Saturday, January 22, 2022

Into the Political Fray?

In the early morning hours I found myself listening to an interview by a popular EWTN personality (whom I do not favor) and a top Vatican Cardinal.  My initial thought as I listened to the questions posited to the Cardinal was that he was being baited to oppose the Pope's position on a couple of different topics.

The Cardinal clearly had no problem "taking the bait" and sharing his oppositional opinions, which made it even clearer that the interviewer had an agenda which the Cardinal knowingly and willingly satisfied.

I found the whole thing disappointing, not to mention disturbing.

I have new respect for St. Teresa of Calcutta.  The image I have of her is that she tried to stay out of the political fray as much as possible.  She stuck to the work she had to do--serving the poor--and rarely suffered fools who tried to politicize her or use her for an agenda.

Her message was consistent--love each other and serve the poor.

In fact, any follower of St. Teresa could easily conclude that she never had anything new to say because she just kept repeating herself over and over, hoping the rest of the world would one day finally get the point.  That's a good thing.

There's something to be said about staying on point, and for Christians everywhere, that point is spreading the Word of God, taking care of others, and living as an example of Christ.  It's the mission of the Church.

Anything else, like that conversation with the Cardinal, is pretty much just a distraction from the work Christ has left the Church to do.  The people of Jesus' time tried to make him a political figurehead and he just kept doing what he was sent to do.  When the Pharisees tried to draw him in, he remained consistent in his response.

We would do well today to make sure we have our eye on the ball and that we do not get sucked into anything that takes us away from the mission of the Church.  Let our success be evidenced by our love for each other and our care for the poor. 

I think St. Teresa definitely got it right.

Janet Cassidy


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Becoming a Saint is Hard!

Here's what I think . . .

If you want to grow in holiness, if you want to become a saint, there's only one way.  It's not easy, and for most of us it really isn't our first instinct.  In fact, you might say it goes against our Eve-inspired human inclinations toward self-preservation, retaliation, pride, greed, hedonism and a whole host of other vices.

What's the one way?

Radical love.

Radical love, a love that goes far beyond our obstructive human tendencies, requires God's grace and divine intervention if it is to be lived out in our lives as God desires.

The disciples who followed Jesus, the saints who grew beyond themselves, and maybe one day you and I, must be set apart by this radical love.  Our unique responses to situations, our sacrifices for others, our compassion, and our humility before God might not come easily, but it is certainly worth working on!

Ask God in your prayers today to send you a radical love--it will change your life and the world around you.

Janet Cassidy

Monday, January 10, 2022


I was praying over the readings for the Baptism of the Lord, reflecting on the first reading which was from the Prophet Isaiah (Chapter 42).  The Christian approach to this passage is to consider it a foretelling of the work of Christ.

I read:

Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
     my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
     he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
     not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
     and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
     the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Let's focus in on that middle part, "not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street, a bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench."

I think we get that this is characteristic of Christ, but as imitators of Christ, is it characteristic of us?

How often are we shouting to be heard today, sometimes even in the streets?  That's not what Jesus did. Do we, like, him, tenderly help those who are bruised by life, or gently approach the person whose faith is smoldering?

Or, do we ignore or criticize those who are down on their luck and harshly preach to those whose faith is wavering?

Yes, the Lord's spirit is in Jesus who brings justice to all, but since we received the Lord's spirit in baptism, we, too, are called to carry on as he did, to the best of our ability.

Janet Cassidy