“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church (27)
In the wake of several interviews with Pope Francis which have wreaked media havoc over the recent months, I encountered several posts which initially startled me.
I found many fallen-away Catholics, protestants and pagans alike, celebrating the Pope’s comments on gay marriage and abortion. And along with many faithful Catholics, I was frustrated; frustrated with Pope Francis for causing such scandal, frustrated with the liberal media for telling an incomplete story, frustrated not knowing exactly what to say in response to all the confusion.
And while my disappointment hasn’t subsided, I’ve found some reassurance in reflection.
I wondered, “Why does anybody care what the Pope says anyway?” Most secular references to the pontiff, whoever he has been in recent decades, have labeled him just another old man, disconnected from the modern world, not doing much to upset the apple cart of our atheistic culture. So why do they care?
Perhaps it’s simply because they believe he is finally saying something that affirms their agenda. Perhaps they have mistakenly sensed a conversion of their opposition and find victory in a battle won. Although they don’t obey it, perhaps they recognize his authority over a flock of millions and have a new-found hope in a leader who will reverse the bigotry and misogyny that’s been fostered among the faithful for too long, finally to be corrected.
But! If we consider the power of Christ, perhaps it is because they seek to know God. Perhaps they have even a very slight understanding that Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ. Perhaps it is because their hearts are drawn toward the Truth, a Truth contained, in its fullness, in the Holy Catholic Church. Perhaps Christ has drawn their face, their eyes, their ears toward Him… and beckoned His children return to him. Perhaps the flame inside them which lights the path to God… is flickering.
So we must remain hopeful. Yes, we must correct the misunderstandings, we must boldly proclaim the doctrines of our faith, we must not cease to recognize the war we are in, but we must also trust in the Lord, that He has created every one of us – pro-choice and pro-life, pro-gay and pro-traditional marriage, Catholic and non-Catholic alike – to seek Him, to find Him and to know Him.