Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Gaping Disconnect I See

                                                                 Trump Papal Visit 
Each morning I ease myself in front of my little computer desk, reflexively picking out 2 of 3 small books on the attached little shelf, to be read as the central core of my daily devotional rote.  The dog-eared Imitation Christ by T. a’ Kempis and Jesus Christ Son of God by Fr. A. Goodier, SJ, both holdovers from my ancient days in high school, surviving all these years in spite of daily use. Two aged books which unrelentingly and without tamed excuses depict the extreme vicissitudes and the coarse simplicities, which characterized the entire life of Christ, and His equally difficult admonitions and demands for those who dare to follow him.  I tell you reading and perpetually re-reading  these on a daily basis has brought me deeply-furrowed wrinkles and troubled soul way beyond anything that could be considered normal, albeit that I now have already advanced terribly in years.

On the other hand, the linked article and a covey of similar stories, which pseudo-politely tries to explain why the Trump ladies are dressed in black in a visit to the Pope, who we Catholics reverently declare as the Vicar of our Jesus Christ, Son of God.  And by the way, they detail further that there are certain ladies from European royalty who are allowed to wear white.  Blest with special privileges for being devoted followers of Christ. Bless their benign souls, birthright has its privileges.  And another item thinly disguised as impartial takes a snipe sidewise at the somber look that the Pope had during the pictorial commemorating the Trump visit.  Implying a look of sadness and displeasure, having to deal with a head of state with coarse manners and one who made bad martial decisions, and of course, a current wife who had such a less than stellar prior life  as scantily-clad model.

Given the labored respectful tone that several articles postured in narrating this particular visit and the details provided, one, or maybe just me, may be disposed to think that the Pope may have been “enslaved” by archaic  pomp and heraldry.  Chokingly bound not just with cumbersome niceties, but with a whole host of nuanced protocols he has to religiously follow as Vicar of Christ.  Indeed, the papal office especially for this kind of visitors must weigh heavy on him.  And what about all those pompous ceremonies he has to observe with other important heads of state and global dignitaries, etc.?

Observe the disconnect?

Jesus Christ, the overarching potentate, albeit mystical, in the midst of all this, could not have been more diametrically different, and a way out of place stranger in all these circumstances and retelling.  One could not find anyone more unconcerned and uncaring about such silly protocols and such petty or maybe hypocritical observances.

His lifelong association was with the poor, the sinners, the disenfranchised, the simple and the pure of heart. He sincerely and truly felt more at home and at ease with them, rather than with those who presumably hold temporal powers and influence in the world. Shying away from the more cultured and supposedly refined and sensitized ones. He avoided like the plague practices and beliefs steeped in petty ceremonies.  Stayed away from those who represented temporal power and wealth and instead proudly walked with the simple and fish-smelly folks.

Thus, some are wont say that if Christ were to come back and relive his mission, he would not recognize those who carry and supposedly honor his name and represent his kingdom.

And neither would they also recognize him, much less accept him.  A stranger in his very own country.

Ironic shades of his original visit?  A gentle leader despised and finally butchered and sacrificed in the altar of misplaced correctness, and dogma.

 So be it.