I heard this story the other day in mass, and I cannot find it anywhere online, so I am going to try and write it here for others to gain wisdom from. It went something like this.
Many years ago in Venice Italy there was a parish priest, who among other things was known as a drunk. He was often found in the local pubs and was lapsed in his duties as a priest. His parishoner's confessions were not heard, masses were not held, pastoral care was non existant. The towns people did their best to work with the troubled priest, but their efforts were in vain, and it was rare that the priest would be seen walking around without the stench of alcohol upon his disheveled appearance.
After a short while, word came to the local Bishop of his troubled priest's behavior. Immediately the Bishop traveled to Venice to find this priest and speak to him of what he had been hearing. Upon arriving in Venice, the Bishop immediately went to the church, but the priest could not be found, nor was he in the rectory. As the day grew late, the bishop found a man who knew where the priest was. The Bishop sent the man to get the priest and bring him back to the church. After waiting several hours the man returned and said, "I am sorry good Bishop, I found the priest in the local pub, but was unable to convince him to return to speak to you". The Bishop thanked the man for his efforts and asked him to take him to the pub where the priest was.
The bishop, after a long journey to Venice and a long day searching for the derelict priest walked into the dark pub. There at the bar was his priest, disheveled and intoxicated. The bishop walked up to the bar. The priest slowly turned his head to see who was standing next to him and was shocked to see the Bishop standing there. The room was silent as everyone waited to hear what the bishop had to say to this priest. The shock of seeing his bishop in the pub slightly sobered the priest as he stood there waiting for what was about to happen.
Finally the Bishop spoke and said to the priest, "I have looked for you across Venice all day and I am so happy that I have finally found you! Please come back to the church with me, I need a priest to hear my confession."
That my friends, is Christian humility. That is the charitable spirit that we are to have when dealing with others. No doubt this man's actions would be dealt with, consequences would be had, but the spirit in which those things are handled must be one of humility and compassion not vengeance and anger. What a witness to the world it would be if we all handled things this way. Truly removing the plank in our own eye before pointing out the speck in our neighbors eye. I can easily imagine Pope Francis doing something like this. His humility and love for others has been what has emulated with the people. Let us all strive to be Christlike in how we handle our interactions with others!
Friday, April 5, 2013
I haven't posted in a while! Sorry! I am still working on part 2 of Protestantism and Authority and will have that out shortly! In the meantime I wanted to share this wonderful video from the Catholicism Series in which Father Barron instructs us on who God is according to Christians. His answer is "God is". God tells us his name is I AM, essentially telling us that He IS, God is Being itself, he is not the greatest creature among other creatures, but instead is the very fabric of Being, the source of all that exists.