Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 14, 2014

Lip service not enough

The president of the United States invoked the pope during his annual speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. It was not the first time, and it won’t be the last. As a political matter, it makes sense. Pope Francis has become a pop-culture icon. But treating the pope like a celebrity misses the richness of the source of his joy and the implications of the proposal he embodies.

Much of what Pope Francis is most cited for — particularly by politicians — is his love for the poor. He urges us to go out to the periphery, to the very edge, and serve all who might otherwise be forgotten in a society that has become indifferent, a transactional, throwaway culture all too casual about the value of human life.

In his recent message celebrating the season of Lent, Pope Francis points to the redemptive generosity of God in “taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us.” He writes: “What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love.” He continues: “Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all: Jesus’ wealth is that of his boundless confidence in God the Father, his constant trust, his desire always and only to do the Father’s will and give glory to him. Jesus is rich in the same way as a child who feels loved and who loves its parents, without doubting their love and tenderness for an instant.”

That, as you may expect, is a revolutionary challenge missed by most media coverage.

Last year, Pope Francis and the pope emeritus, Benedict, appeared together — their one public event. They consecrated the Holy See to St. Michael the archangel. The symbolism and the spiritual reality behind it were unmistakable. “Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil” is one of the petitions of the traditional prayer asking for St. Michael’s intercession.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Politicians stress us out WASHINGTON — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation just released a wide-ranging survey on the prevalence and causes of stress in the U.S. Overall, 86 percent of Americans say they’ve been stressed out in the past month, with 26 percent saying they’ve ex

    July 12, 2014

  • Parents: VA failed their children WASHINGTON — Parents of military veterans who took their own lives after surviving combat told a congressional panel on Thursday how not to prevent suicide:n Turn away a veteran of some 400 combat missions in Iraq because he’s no longer active in the

    July 12, 2014

  • Lawn and order Today was a perfect day to mow the lawn. Bright and sunny, the birds were singing, the bees were busy. Yes, today was the perfect day to mow the lawn. As was every day for the last three weeks. If only my lawnmower weren’t down at Snuffy’s Small Engi

    July 12, 2014

  • An experiment worth trying New Jersey’s Senate approved a raise in the legal smoking age from 19 to 21 last week, pushing the groundbreaking experiment in public health one step closer to fruition. The bill, which the General Assembly will consider in the fall, would make New

    July 11, 2014

  • Phone carriers must stop corralling customers with SIM cards If cell phone subscribers can receive services from other mobile phone carriers without changing their actual phones, the convenience of using mobile phones will be greatly improved.In using mobile phones, including smartphones, customers insert a su

    July 11, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby decision a victory for all Washington, D.C. — The Independence Day celebration started early this year, on the very last day of June, in front of the Supreme Court of the United States.I got to the marble steps just a little before the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, in which

    July 11, 2014

  • Know law of appointments Editor:County Board Chairman Robert White announced that he is nominating Greg Sims to the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board to replace David Stewart. This is just another example of White’s “shoot from the hip” approach of governing that seems to

    July 10, 2014

  • Is there a patriotism gap? Despite prolonged economic troubles, deep political divisions, headaches abroad, and a sense that the country is on the wrong track, the heartening news this summer is that a majority of people say they often feel proud to be an American.A new Pew Re

    July 10, 2014

  • Clear rules for clean water Lawmakers, mostly but not only Republicans, are seeking to undermine the twin foundations of Environmental Protection Agency authority: the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. In both cases, Congress should back off.The agency badly needs clearer

    July 10, 2014

  • When 'unaccompanied alien minors' are baby Democrats There is one thing we can predict about the tens of thousands of “minor aliens” crashing our southern border. If permitted to stay in this country and gain citizenship, at least 8 in 10 of them will grow up to be Big Government Democrats. They will l

    July 9, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks