05 February 2011

Saturday Night Ramble

These past couple days I've had the pleasure of participating in an ongoing discussion with a colleague about (Saint) Paul VI.

Previously these pages have heard me expound upon my love for Giovanni Battista Montini/Paul VI (hereafter PVI) and do not fear, this post will not be a repeat.  Rather, this post points towards what I find to be an ever-growing love for the Church and my devotion to her.  Very often in the battles regarding the use of the masculine pronoun to describe God, the view of the Church as bride is ignored.  I don't wish to engage in an "inclusive language" post, no sir.

What I would like to note is that the Church as a bride, the bride of Christ, and thus my bride too, is a sense and reality that has become ever more real to me as I have learned more about my commitment to celibacy.  Perhaps that is what I admire most about Paul VI.  This man loved the Church, suffered greatly for her and felt in a very particular way the pain visited upon her during his reign as Pontiff.  So often, PVI has become a sort of punch-line for both liberals and conservatives.  Conservatives despite the changes to the liturgy; by and large liberals blame him the Church's teachings on sexual ethics.  Both groups of ideologues more or less blame him for the decrease in attendance at Mass.

And yet, when I reflect upon PVI's life, I find a devoted shepherd of the flock of Christ and a passionate defender of the bride, the pearl without price, entrusted to him.  As struggles in community life ebb and flow, I have often found myself asking for PVI's intercession.  Here was a man who suffered -- and publicly so -- for his bride.  God willing, someday if I am asked to do the same, I will be found worthy of the call.

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