Friday, April 29, 2016

Heart's on Fire - Showing Up Catholic Episode 14

Here is the latest episode of Showing Up Catholic for the Vericast Network.

Showing Up Catholic Ep. 14
“Hearts On Fire”
April 28, 2016
This episode is all about heart. Do we have hearts that are on fire with the love of Christ? With some help from St. Ignatius and Pope Pius XII we talk about uniting our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With hearts on fire we then go forth to set the world on fire for the greater glory of God and the salvation of humanity.

Holding Out for a Hero

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need

Such has been the persona of Michael Voris. The Catholic media man and white knight who's mission it is to right the wrongs in the Church by trapping and exposing all the lies and falsehood. If you follow the more sensational aspects of Catholic media you will have heard of him. I have the feeling, however, that the majority of Catholics in the world might not really know who Michael Voris is. They are merely living their faith the best they can and trying to share it with the world around them. They are holding out, not for a hero, but for one who loved them so greatly that he died to give them life. They serve the God who so loved the world that he gave his only son to save it. They haven't been holding out for a hero, probably don't see the need for one. If they see heroes at all it is in the example of those who have gone before. Those of proven mettle through heroic virtue. Those who lived and died dedicated to passing on what was given to them. It was through those lives lived for the sake of others, far more than their ability to expose and right wrongs, that we are given the precious gift of our faith.

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

The trouble with heroes is that they gotta be larger than life. None of us really are. There are times, however, when we bestow upon someone that level of import and relevance. In the last week or so, whether you regard Michael Voris as a hero or an anti-hero, he has become larger than life. Countless articles, blogs and even odes have been written about him. He has been lauded and applauded for his courage, integrity and honesty. Com boxes have been buzzing hot and heavy about him. People have argued and divided over him. The outpouring of support for him was a proud day for the Catholic Church. He has been called the poster boy for mercy and by some, I would say, deemed the future St. Michael of the Vortex.

So what did Micheal Voris do that was so extraordinary and larger than life that we would be willing to extend to him such charity and mercy? A charity and mercy that we are almost obstinately unwilling to give to others? That, quite honestly, even he himself was often unwilling or incapable of giving to those he sought to expose? What did he do that was so worthy of praise, honor, glory and accolades?

He publicly admitted to the sins of his past and that those sins had included a homosexual lifestyle. That's it? Why, yes, yes it is. He owned up because he thought he was under the gun of a public disclosure if he didn't.

Let's just let that sink in for a minute. I've got time...

Don't all of us have to own up to and be accountable for our past? He is not the first under threat of exposure to choose to make public a sordid past nor will he be the last. What makes this so special and worthy of all the attention that has been given to it? Isn't Michael Voris, then, no better than the rest of us? Bingo.

Then why?

Because there were many who believed that his muck rucking constituted the fighting of the good fight. They need a hero and he was it. And if he isn't, if he is just like everybody else, sinners that we are, they are not sure what they can believe in anymore. And because we are afraid. We are afraid of the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. We are afraid that since men are in the Church that evil lurks there too. We are afraid of the evil that lurks in our own hearts and in the hearts of the person next to us.  That  mercy or forgiveness may not be available to us because of it. Essentially, we are afraid that evil might be winning. So we have set ourselves against each other and sometimes against the Church, exposing and pointing out the sins of others. We squabble amongst ourselves. We defend those who we consider our own and recriminate those who are not. We construct saviors and villains that oppose them. Michael Voris led that charge for many and without him where do they go? 

Most of all, it is because we are "oh ye of little faith".

Jesus Christ, though he certainly is larger than life, did not come to be larger than life. He came to be life itself and to give it to us abundantly. He told us not to be afraid. He told us that evil has already been defeated. It doesn't win, it isn't winning and it won't win. To believe otherwise gives it a power that it does not possess. Only a lack of faith makes it appear larger than the life of Christ. It makes us afraid and holding out for heroes.

As for Michael Voris? He only faced what is common to all of us. The consequences in this life of our choices both past and present. Did he do it well? Only God knows the sincerity of a man's heart. In charity we pray for him as we should always pray for each other. We might want to stop holding out for him to be our hero, though. We might want to stop making him larger than life. He doesn't have what it takes. None of us do.

4You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 Jn 4:4

For what it's worth.

Holding Out for a Hero - written by Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford