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: