Okay. I go through a three year religious crisis.
Not that I could never recite the Nicene Creed without flinching. Or pray the Hail Mary without tenderness.
The sort of crisis where in the end you realize that you have been stripped down to the heart, losing the human construct of your neat little religion but with faith intact and intensified.
And what remains is the essence:
The Ten Commandments (naked, without all the interpretations), which can be summed up in seven words: ‘Love God and don’t be an asshole’.
The Sermon on the Mount, an instruction manual for how to bring Heaven into Earth.
All accompanied by a greater understanding of the evils of capitalism and all its works and pomps, a realization of how everything is stacked against the poor and the new proletariat.
As I am in the midst of this clarification a new pope is chosen. He takes the name of Francis, my favorite western saint, and you know the rest. Jesuit, with the incarnational love of the poor that marks the best of that tradition. Taking traditional social teaching to its radical conclusion instead of politely stated, a disregard over rules and laws and human tradition.
He is saying what I am thinking, which is very weird.
Catholic loyalists, many in fear and others in love with one particular form of Beauty, are increasingly distressed at this pope. An open rebellion is brewing, with a certain foppish cardinal taking the role as the Anti-Francis.
Me, I think this pope is the right man in the right place at the right time.
And he is not backing off.
The other day he delivered an address to a global movement I had never heard of. And it is remarkable.
Here is the link to the pope’s latest salvo: