Friday, March 1, 2013

My Thoughts During the Sede Vacante, Day One

Since Catholicism is in the news with the pope's renouncing the Seat of Peter, I thought I would just jot down some of the things I am thinking during this time of Sede Vacante (the seat being vacant.)

Some atheists and Protestants are rolling their eyes at the pomp and circumstance of the pope's departure from the Vatican. "Why all the hoopla? Sickening traditions of man.... You are making the pope a god!"

Well, my response is that Catholics make a big deal about everyone and everything. We celebrate every life conceived as each human is a creation of God for whom He died. Each man and woman's ultimate destiny is to be united with His Divine Life for all eternity if he or she doesn't reject His love and His life. We are marvelous, we are very good. That's what He said about us. And the grandeur of the Catholic Church and all its buildings and ceremonies show us how God want us to be treated. We are to be kings in Heaven, glorified by Christ Himself. How we treat Mary and the Pope is just a little taste of what is in store for us. God will share His glory with His children. We are co-heirs with Christ! Co-heirs! Think about what that means for a moment.

We love our pope. He is not just the head of our church. He is our papa. God gave Him to us to lead us as a good papa should. While He is preparing the Kingdom for His Second Coming, He gave us a Holy Father who is standing in Peter's place as our leader and a Blessed Mother in Mary. Both of them we are to honor and love, just as Christ honored them. All our honor and love to them is showing God how much we love Him, just as when we honor our biological parents we are giving Christ honor. In fact, the more we respect and love God's creation the more we are loving Christ. In fact, obedience to God's leaders is the way we love God. "If you love me keep my commandments." That is exactly what we are doing when we honor Christ's Church and His appointed leaders. Because Christ told us to submit to His leaders.

Isn't it wonderful that God have us layer after layer of family to make sure we don't get lost. He gave us our biological fathers, grandfathers, uncles and our parish father, then our bishop and then our pope. All of these point ultimately to our Father in Heaven. If one of these men fail us, we have so many back ups in God's kingdom.

Also, the glorious ceremony keep us mindful that everything matters. All we think, all we do, all we fail to do, every tear, every smile has meaning. We are so, so important and we are constantly lifted up and reminded that it all has meaning when we go to the trouble to have elaborate rituals. We ritualize that which is important to us--sports games and teams, exercise and meals. We are naturally a people of traditions and our traditions tell the universe what is important to us. Spiritual and religious traditions are vital to our lives. Even scripture tells us that traditions are good as long as they do not usurp God's word.

Life needs to be celebrated. People need to be celebrated. Life has meaning. That's what all the hoopla is about.