Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
I am writing this letter in the first week of the new year. In my normal Catholic newsfeed, I found an article by George Weigel, a very significant commentator on Church issues and events. Mr. Weigel is perhaps best known for being the biographer of Pope Saint John Paul II. To help people prepare for the new year, Mr. Weigel predicts some of the bad news that will come in the new year, so people will not be shocked:
– Financial scandals in the Vatican will intensify. (More will be revealed about past mishandling of $$.)
– Vatican diplomacy (work in various hotspots around the world) will continue to disappoint.
– A report on the career of Theodore McCarrick will likely be issued by the Holy See.
– Aggressive and politically motivated state attorneys general (in the United States) will continue to issue reports on historic sexual abuse cases.
[To read the entire article, you can go here: https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/new-years-resolutions-for-concerned-catholics-a-few-suggestions ]
Then I really appreciated the second half of the article, containing resolutions for the new year, explaining what you and I can do to bring about reform. I quote most of that section for you:
Resolve to be a missionary disciple at the retail level. Amidst these and other troubles, concerned Catholics constantly ask me, “What can I do?” To which I always respond, “Between now and next Easter, try and bring at least five disaffected Catholics back to Sunday Mass, and try to introduce at least one unevangelized person to Christ.” Retail evangelization is essential to authentic Catholic reform; it’s also deeply satisfying. Let’s get on with it, irrespective of the troubles.
Resolve to limit your exposure to the Catholic blogosphere. In 2019, many Catholic websites went bonkers. There is no need to click on sites that specialize in all-hysteria or all-propaganda all-the-time. If you want reliable Catholic news, visit the websites of Catholic News Agency and the National Catholic Register. If you want sane commentary on the turbulent Catholic scene, go to the websites of Catholic World Report, First Things and The Catholic Thing. That’s more than enough for anyone. Limiting your blogosphere browsing to these sites, while ignoring the hysteria-mongers and propagandists, will lower your blood pressure while keeping you well-informed.
Resolve to deepen your spiritual life by serious spiritual reading. A good place to be start would be a recently published book by Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, Grace in Season — The Riches of the Gospel in Seventy Sermons.
Those are some pretty useful suggestions. I really agree with Mr. Weigel’s internet sites and other recommended reading. May the Lord help us all to be greater instruments, as He seeks to transform the world through us!
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,