Monday, May 14, 2012

An inspiring message

     I must confess that more often than not I find a formal address, including Commencement Addresses, too formal and very boring.  That was not the case with Archbishop Terrence Prendergast's remarks at the Saint Vincent Seminary Commencement last Friday.  They introduced him as a great communicator, and while his manner of presentation did not stir us to a hand clapping, foot stomping YES to what he said, there was much depth and clarity of thought, evoking in me an "inner" YES to the message.

     In addressing Church leaders in the very near future, the Archbishop reminded us that the work at hand is nothing less than saving civilization (once again) from itself and from destruction.  Among other things he said that there are three things that we need to possess to be such leaders:

1) We need to have a "contempt for the world" ... not to despise the world but to hold it in contempt for lying to us, telling us that it has all the answers, that it is the holder of the truth.  Truth is important and the source of that truth is vital if we hold that "the truth will set us free".  Jesus tells us clearly ... "I am the way, the truth and the life."

2) We need to identify the disease - the great list of pitfalls found in society, especially selfishness and the desire to discard God from our lives ... and the answer - which is Jesus Christ!  The sacred page (scripture) is the soul of this knowledge and we need to tell the story simply and clearly.

3) We need to remember history and have confidence in the 1500 + years of the life giving effects of the gospel message to the world's civilizations.  Our tradition, while not always perfect, has been vitally important to the survival of civilization, culture, learning and life itself.  We need to regain a confidence in who we are and what we possess.  And the Archbishop pointed out the deposit of Faith, as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as a source of our strength and foundation.

     I was moved by the message and the simplicity of the Archbishop's presentation.  God has chosen us to bring the Good News to all of the Earth, and to do so that ALL may have life.

Archbishop Prendergast is a blogger since 2009.  In his curriculum vitae it lists his blog as being
The Journey of a Bishop

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