Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Think about such things"

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." - Philippians 4:4-8

If you had spoken to me six years ago about the power of positive thinking I might have thought you were a new ager with a naive and unrealistic view of life.  St Paul's words to the Philippians however show that focusing our mind on what is pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy is not only a good thing but thoroughly Christian.

There are a number of Catholic writers whose orthodox, traditionally minded views I share but I am repulsed by some of the venom they hurl upon other people.  Rather than stating the truth with kindness they hurl ad hominem insults, attack swathes of people and fire denunciations before understanding what another person is trying to say.

I was recently looking at some Catholic blogs and they were criticising the Pope, not for what he has said but because of what other people said he had said based on second hand reporting.  They were attacking the Pope for courting popularity and presuming to understand his motivations for his recent interview - and thinking the worst.  

The writers didn't ask others to pray for him or suggest any practical course of action but left me feeling irritated and downcast. Perhaps if Pope Francis' detractors spent as much time in prayer as he does (including an hour's adoration of the Blessed Sacrament daily) they would experience - and exude more joy.

In this blog I am determined to focus on what is true, noble and admirable and seek to encourage rather than condemn.  This is not due to naivety but heeding the words of St Paul.   Where I disagree with others, I seek to bear in mind the words of Saint Augustine:

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”


  1. Excellent! Now to put into practice the principles expounded in your post - and in Sacred Scripture. Incidentally, the editorial in this week's Catholic Herald (September 27th) is very good on Pope Francis' speech.

  2. Very good commentary. I think a lot of people are starting to find their voice and oppose this face of ugliness that is put on Catholicism by some.

  3. Mater Mari, thank you. There is so much that can make us bitter in this world and yet I recall a very wise person saying to me, "Don't curse the darkness, light a candle." I shall have to get hold of the said Catholic Herald article although can't find it online. I'm looking forward to when you write your blog!

    Diane, thank you for this. I very much echo what you wrote in 'Te Deum Laudamus!' re caustic commentary and was moved by what you said, "There's nothing in harmony with the Gospel that would allow us to dwell in things that have caused us pain." In my experience this can only make things worse and scripture appears to command the opposite. May I add your blog to my links here?

  4. Nice to see this post! I'm filled with shame at my previous self-righteous bishop bashing blogging!

    I have a new blog you might like:

  5. Thank you Jackie. We can all look back at things we've written thinking "ouch!" although in my case I'd add what I would say too before I started going to weekly confession and realised that the forest in my own eyes might impact how I see the splinters in other people's.

  6. Thanks for the blog link too Jackie - I look forward to reading it! Feel free to link mine to yours too if you wish. :-)