Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pope Francis and the interior life

I think we are going to have to be careful when we interpret the words of Pope Francis. Sometimes he may seem to be saying something he isn't. For instance, at today's Chrism Mass he said:
It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live by going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith, go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all (from Whispers).
This emphatically does not mean that the priest should not cultivate an interior life. A good Jesuit would never say such a thing.  One can not go out with unction without a life of prayer and the cultivation of the interior life and a relationship with the Triune God distinct from our apostolic activity--or our liturgical activity, for that matter. Our Lord spent many hours in prayer, and he was God!  

What Francis says is "...self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live by going from one course to another, from one method to another..." These things aren't really prayer, or even retreats--all of which are not only good, but (canonically) necessary for priests. 

Francis wants us to go out, to evangelize. That is the call of Vatican II and the New Evangelization.  It requires a deep interior life. 

1 comment:

Fred Kaffenberger said...

Yes, a strong interior life is needed. And this comes not from lying in one's room like Descartes, nor from reading M. Scott Peck.