How was your Easter? Joyful? Oddly, mine wasn’t. Why not? Well, I was weighed down with what I am here going to outline as “The Seven Sorrows of Schütz”. These are not complaints–they are real sorrows, which bring me often to the verge of tears. They did this last week. To put it in some context, I worshipped at a number of different places–three Catholic parishes (counting Palm Sunday) and a Lutheran one.
1) Disunity among Christians. The deep richness in scripture, song and love of the gospel among our protestant brethren and sistern are lost to us and our ecclesial and sacramental authenticity is lost to them. It should not be so. It is only distrust that keeps it so.
2) Disobedience towards Christ. Would that there would be more “docility” (to use Pope Benedict’s words) in obedience to the teaching of the Church of Christ in Faith, Morals and Worship.
3) Lack of passion for the Proclamation of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ is Risen, He is risen indeed (isn’t he?)
4) Lack of passion for the Proclamation of the Forgiveness of Sin. I mean, that’s what its all about isn’t it? I need Christ and the Church because I need my sin forgiven. If I am not a sinner, why do I need Christ or his Church? If Christ and his Church cannot or do not forgive my sin, what good are they to me? If we do not preach about sin, how can we preach repentance? If we do not preach about repentance, how can we preach about grace and forgiveness?
5) Discord among brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are one body, members one of another in Christ, how can there enmity between members of our congregations and parishes?
6) My own lack of faith. Why can I not simply trust that Christ’s Church is in God’s hands and his Spirit is guiding and guarding it?
7) My own pride. Why do I think that I have to “fix” what I “see wrong” with the Church? What makes me so sure I am always right? Why can’t I just “let it go, and let God”?