Reflections on frustration

I was chatting recently with a friend who was very frustrated with the inertia that he perceives in some quarters of the Church leadership concerning what he sees are key issues. I could see his point for each issue, but I think I took him aback when I replied that these things really don't bother me that much. "Why not?" he asked. "You do care, don't you?"

Well of course I care. I just don't let them bother me. Apart from praying for them, I have absolutely no control over whether or not the Pope, the Roman Curia, the Cardinals, my bishop, my brother priests, or anybody else, will be faithful to their vocations. Now perhaps I do have some minor influence at the lowest levels of the local scene, but I don't see how choosing to be even more annoying than I already am helps in that regard.

Beyond this, though, I see a sad trend among some Catholics whose love and defense of Faith seems to make them myopic when it comes to Hope. The result is that they try harder and harder to defend the faith to the point of getting frustrated and wondering if it's all worth if, wondering where it's all going — in other words, losing hope. And when Hope is lost, Charity is not far behind. It is possible to have faith and still be on the road to perdition.

Hope is about being able to recognize the current movement of the Holy Spirit in the world, and to then cooperate with it. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who is in charge, not us! We need to develop the habit of asking ourselves the question "How might the Holy Spirit use this situation to the advantage of the Divine Plan? And how am I being called to be part of that movement?"

If we are waiting for the orders to come from "on high" we are only bound to be disappointed *if* by "on high" we mean our ecclesiastical superiors. The only real power "on high" is the Holy Spirit, and we have direct contact with Him. The core function of the hierarchical side of the Church is to coordinate and unify the initiatives of the faithful, not replace that initiative. So as much as our leaders have their obligations, we have ours as well. As much as it can be legitimate to ask "Where are they?", we must first ask, "Where am I?"