Well my Brothers and Sisters we have come to the end of our journey in looking at the Fifteenth of the Fifteen Diseases of the Vatican Curia. As I have said to you throughout the series, each of these diseases can not only be found in the Vatican Curia, but can be found amongst us. I am very grateful to our Holy Father Pope Francis for addressing this to the Vatican Curia and by extension allowing us to spiritually look at each of these fifteen diseases and reflect if they are in our own lives. If they are we need to turn to the Divine Healer Jesus Christ to root them out and restore us to health!
The Fifteenth of the Fifteen Diseases of the Vatican Curia – The Disease of Worldly Profit and exhibitionism.
“When the apostles turns his service into power, and his power into commodity to gain worldly profits, or even more powers. It is the disease of those people who relentlessly seek to increase their powers. To achieve that, they may defame, slander and discredit others, even on newspapers and magazines. Naturally this is in order to show off and exhibit their superiority to others. A disease that ‘badly hurts’ the Body because it leads people to justify the use of any means to fulfill their aim often in the name of transparency and justice.”
Unfortunately we have all seen this with Priests who find themselves in “positions of power” who then forget who they are, or where they have come from. Priests who, unfortunately who look at assignments as wanting to only be assigned to “plum parishes” or who suffer from “Scarlet fever – in other words aspire to be Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals- and who do not care who they step on in the process, I admire very much a young priest who after completing a prestigious academic assignment in the Seminary came home to his diocese and was told by his Bishop that he was being assigned to a very small, very poor parish. Most of his friends truly expected this young priest to be assigned out to further studies. This young priest was not bitter, nor angry, and instead worked tirelessly in service for the people of his parish. That priest after that assignment ended eventually was sent on to further studies. That priest was Fulton Sheen noted speaker, author, televangelist.
Unfortunately we have seen this with Lay people who either in the parish, or in Lay Catholic Fraternal Orders, try to work themselves into “positions of influence or positions of power”, rather than into” positions of service and humility”. I always find it sad when I see Lay people who become “climbers” trying to get more power and influence, who ruthlessly gossip about others, put others dow and then callously throw down edicts as part of their new find “lay clericalism” No wonder people leave the church after witnessing such sad behavior. A good Bible Verse to prevent this is:
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? (Matthew 16:26)
Thanks for taking time to walk through this deeply spiritual look at the Fifteen Diseases of the Vatican Curia and our own lives. You can find all of these on our webpage www.stfranciscr.org
On my blog.
Blessings, Fr. Brad
This week we continue to deeply look at the 15 ailments of the Vatican Curia. As I have said before, it is easy for us to simply say that this is only a problem of the Vatican Curia – but the reality is that each of these can be a problem with each of us.
#13: The disease of accumulation.
The disease of accumulation occurs when the apostles seeks to fill an existential emptiness of heart by accumulating material goods, not out of necessity, but simply to feel secure…Accumulation only burdens and inexorably slows down our progress.”
Our Holy Father poses a very important question for all of us. “Are we as disciples of Christ seeking to fill an existential emptiness of heart by accumulating material goods, not out of necessity, but simply to feel secure?” I would like you to look around at your life and in your prayer answer that question directly to Jesus Christ. In my life I have met people who constantly buy more and more things out of an emptiness where they try to fill that void by buying more possessions. I have met people who always are trying to satiate a need with another purchase in an unending pursuit of finding material happiness. I was most happy as a religious order brother with no possessions completely dependent on a God who always provided, not always what I wanted, but what I truly needed for the day.
I have also encountered people who seek to fill an existential emptiness of heart and seeking to fill it by the use alcohol, drugs, and pornography. These never work as they only provide very short term relief, or a time away from the existential emptiness, which is always present. Augustine of Hippo found this in the way of his life until that great moment of conversion when he was able to say Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” Jesus Christ will fill that existential emptiness of your heart.
As disciples of Christ do not be afraid to talk to Jesus about any existential emptiness of your heart. When you die all of your accumulated possessions will not go with you, with most going to either greedy relatives, or to “friends” or to the trash dump. When Pope John Paul II died, all that he had was a rosary, a picture of his family and the stethoscope from his brother who died. Do we suffer from the disease of accumulation?