Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Monday, April 11, 2005

This Work Yet Falls to Us

The following people were never pope: St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke, St John the Evangelist, St John the Baptist, St Paul, St Jude, St Andrew, St Augustine, St Anselm, St Athanasius, St Ambrose, St Bonaventure, St Cyril of Jerusalem, St Cyril of Alexandria, St John Chrysostom, St John Damascene, St Jerome, St Bernard, St Martin, St Francis of Assisi, St Dominic, St Albertus Magnus, St Thomas Aquinas, St Teresa of Avila, St Clare of Assisi, St Rose of Lima, St Bernadette, St Therese, St Francis de Sales, St Francis Xavier, St Ignatius Loyola, St Thomas a Becket, St Thomas More, Blessed Cardinal Newman, St Elizabeth Ann Seton, St Pio de Pietrelcina, the Children of Fatima, St Faustina, St Theresa of Calcutta, Venerable Solanus Casey, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and so-on and so-on.

What was the point of that extended exercise in name-dropping? It's my way of seconding a point the indispensable Amy Welborn (who by now has surely had "the indispensable" welded onto her first name) made yesterday:
It's okay that we'll all be speculating and expressing our hopes over the next week, and giving voice to our senses of what the Church needs, and how the next pontificate could and should build on this one is interesting and helpful for all of us. I have my views - expressed here - on a couple of issues I think are quite important, and there are many more. But these issues and discussions on the state of the Church are only useful insofar as they prompt us to action. Are we concerned about the state of catechesis? Then get out there and catechize. Are we concerned about the challenges of spirituality in a materialistic culture? Then get out there and live it.
(Emphasis added.) Who the next pope is matters, and we should all be praying that the Holy Spirit, through the cardinals, gives us the shepherd we need. But the pope isn't some kind of superman who can fix all the problems of the Church, or the world, simply through an exertion of his will. Over the long millennia, the work of building, and sustaining, and renewing the Church has largely fallen on those who do not hold The Keys. So will it be in the future. So pray for a good shepherd, but know that to us, the sheep, still falls much of the work.