Friday, February 28, 2014

From The Hermitage
February 28, 2014

Dear Friends,

First an update on my brother, Jack.  Last evening he had to be taken to the ER at nearby Beebe Hospital where he had been for the prior three weeks.  Why?  He developed a nose bleed which the nursing staff and the Rehab Center could not stop.  So .... off to the ER.  From what I learned late last night, Jack was on his way back to Rehab.   I will talk with him later this AM.

The second characteristic of the Christian, as mentioned by Pope Francis, can be a challenge to most of us especially in our contemporary world.  Christian identity "must always remain as a lamb.  There is an old Easter antiphon we sing with the words:  'these are the new lambs, the baptized.'"

The Holy Father cited Luke 10:1-9:  The Christian is a lamb and needs to preserve the identity of being a lamb: 'Go, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.'"  During the yesterday's homily the responses of several of the youngsters in the lower grades were so on target.  Wolves are mean!  Wolves are vicious!  Wolves are like bullies!!!!!!!

Why is it difficult to be like a lamb today?  Because there are so many of our challenges today are brought about by the lack of others being charitable, caring and calm.  It seems so many today carry buckets filled with anger, distrust even envy.  Wolves are clever animals and we could easily be drawn into contests with them.  The Holy Father said that we must remain "as lambs, not as fools, but as lambs.  Lambs with Christian guile, but always as lambs.  If you are like a lamb, the Lord will defend you.  But if you feel as strong as the wolf, he will not defend you, he will leave you alone and the wolves will viciously eat you."

Rather strong words from the gentle Pope.  But, this man has suffered much in the junta that took place in Argentina during his administration of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires where are times the "aires" were not so "buenos."