Dear Mr. Robinson,

After last week’s writing on obstacles to renewal, Jennifer Gregory Miller leads us back into more positive territory with her reflections: I Would Rather Be a Peasant: Contemplating the Rural Life.

Also, after rounding out his recent essays on the shortcomings of contemporary bishops (Is ‘corruption’ the right way to describe the dysfunction of the Catholic hierarchy?), Phil Lawler brings things closer to home by exploring attitudes all of us must avoid:

Getting back to features of our modern culture which all Christians need to guard against, I offer a partly whimsical look at The intrusion of secular values: A mysterious case study.

We can all be more transparent in letting our neighbors see Christ. Since most of us are not in Holy Orders, perhaps we can learn from the Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church. Issued last December in Rome (by the CICLSAL), the full text is now available in English.

I note that in his latest general audience, Pope Francis preached on On the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. The theme is the compassion of Our Lord.

I do not wish to retract last week’s critical assessment of the episcopate, but neither do I want any reader to get the wrong idea. Not only must bishops show Christlike compassion for the faithful, but we (the faithful) must show Christlike compassion for our bishops.

Clearly, we can all do better. As usual, we can find inspiration in the days of the liturgical year.

Clergy might hearken back nearly a thousand years to find inspiration in St. Bernard of Clairvaux. His feast is on Saturday (tomorrow).

All of us would be wise also to turn for help to the Queen of Heaven. Her feast, The Queenship of Mary, falls on Monday.

Our Lord offers living water (Jn 4:10-11). He also promises that rivers of living water will flow from the hearts of those who believe (Jn 7:37-38). Our thirst can be quenched to overflowing. Then Christ can quench the thirst of others through each and every one of us.

Jeff Mirus
Trinity Communications


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