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A habit of crying out
June 4, 2020
Having faith, someone said, is a habit of crying out.
We all need to be like Bartimaeus in the Gospel (cf. Mk 10:46-52) let us recall that passage of the Gospel: Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus that blind man who was begging at the gates of Jericho. He had so many good people around him telling him to keep quiet: ‘Be quiet! The Lord is passing by. Be quiet. Do not disturb. The Master has much to do; do not disturb him. You are annoying with your cries. Do not disturb.’
But he did not heed those suggestions: with blessed persistence, he insisted that his wretched condition might finally encounter Jesus. And he cried louder! And the polite people said: ‘No, he is the Master, please! You are making a bad impression!’ And he cried out because he wanted to see; he wanted to be healed.
“Jesus, have mercy on me!” (cf. v. 47).
Jesus heals his sight and says: “Your faith has made you well” (v. 52), as if to explain that the decisive element of his healing was that prayer, that invocation shouted out with faith, stronger than the “common sense” of many people who wanted him to keep quiet. Prayer not only precedes salvation, but in some way already contains it, because it frees one from the despair of those who do not believe in a way out of many unbearable situations.
Source : Pope Francis’ catecheses on the Lord’s Prayer, given during general audiences between Dec. 5, 2018 and May 22, 2019.
Msgr. James F. Fetscher
The following is a letter of Chicago’s Archbishop, Cardinal Blaise Cupich. It says what I wanted to say in this Twitch so much better than I would have.
May 31, 2020
The past nights I have watched in great personal pain as the pent-up anger of our people caught fire across our country. I saw the city where I was born, the cities where I have lived, the city I pastor now, catch embers from the city where I was educated and burn. Was I horrified at the violence? Yes. But was I surprised? No.
As the saying goes, if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.
- What did we expect when we learned that in Minneapolis, a city often hailed as a model of inclusivity, the price of a black life is counterfeit twentydollar bill?
- When we added another name to the list of those murdered for being black or for caring about the marginalized?
I will not pretend to speak with any authority about the challenges people of color experience in our society. I do not share the fear they put on when they and their children leave their homes every day. I do not know what it means to be “other.” But I know there is a way to fix it. And the fix begins when we stop talking about the proportionality of “their” response and start talking about the proportionality of “ours.” Surely a nation that could put a man in space, his safety assured by the brilliance of black women, can create a fair legal system, equitable education and employment opportunities and ready access to health care.
Laws do not solve problems, but they create a system where racism in all its forms is punished and playing fields are leveled.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been called a great equalizer. It has been even more a great revealer of societal cancers as deadly as the virus. As others have pointed out, health insecurity kills, and poverty is poison. We can and must make a society that views the soaring of a child’s potential with more joy than the soaring of a rocket.
I stand ready to join religious, civic, labor and business leaders in coming together to launch a new effort to bring about recovery and reconcilia tion in our city. We do not need a study of the causes and effects. Those answers can be found on the shelves of government offices and academic institutions across our burning nation. No, we need to take up the hard work of healing the deep wound that has afflicted our people since the first slave ships docked on this continent. And we need to start today.
The Cardinal’s letter is worth rereading and pulling each sentence apart. I hope you will join me in doing that. That is the only way coming together again in our own Church, masks and spacing and squirting and all, makes any sense.
Don’t let anger over destruction blind us to the far greater number of injustices in our society that continually resist any effort on our part to fix them. Not fixing makes it easy to forget. As the Cardinal said, “We need to take up the hard work of healing the deep wound that has afflicted our people since the first slave ships docked on this continent.”
Msgr. James F. Fetscher