By the time you read this, I pray that my nephew and his wife have safely delivered their first child, a daughter. As I anticipate a “great” niece, for whom I will become a “great” uncle (I am sure all my nephews and nieces think of me as “great”!), I am struck by what a “gift” a child is. We celebrated Mother’s Day last month and will honor Father’s Day this month, but my thoughts turn to a child.
From the Bishop
“The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator.” That says it all. Humanae vitae, soon-to-be-Saint Pope Paul VI’s controversial encyclical, Of Human Life, began with these words when issued on July 25, 1968, in the midst of the sexual revolution.
My archbishop back in the 1980s told me that I was not everything one would want in a priest. I was not too taken aback, especially when it became clear that this was mostly about my eccentricities, which I leave to your imagination.
However, I have held on to those words because they are true. I am a sinner, and not everything one would want in a priest. As my time with you here in Lansing reaches the 10-year mark, it is a truism that you could say the same about me, “He is not everything we would want in a bishop!”
“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.” So states the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (#2241)
St. John Paul, in his 1995 letter The Gospel of Life, touched on this issue, among many others:
Perhaps you have heard the terms “intentional disciple” and “missionary disciple.” What exactly do these mean? The first is probably the easier one both to grasp and to put into practice. Think about it in these terms: I presume dads want to be intentional dads; moms, intentional moms; students, intentional students; etc. If we are engaged in something, we want to make sure we are consciously engaged in it.
OK, for most of a year now we have all been praying for someone we know and love to come back to the Church. Perhaps it is someone who will pick up this magazine off of the coffee table at home where we have conveniently laid it. Now it is time to act! Remember this text:
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. Mt 18:12-13