Words spoken by the new Roman Catholic leader, Pope Francis 1, in an informal homily delivered to the College of Cardinals today, thrilled me. (Thrilled is not one of my usual verbs. But that’s exactly how I felt.) From The Los Angeles Times account of the Mass at which Francis preached:
Stressing the power of prayer, Francis told the cardinals, “He who does
not pray to the Lord prays to the devil. When we don’t proclaim Jesus Christ, we proclaim the worldliness of the devil, the worldliness of the demon.”
“When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and
when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the
Lord. We are worldly.”
He added, “We may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, all of this, but we are not disciples of the Lord.”
Francis issued a strong warning to the cardinals, telling them the
Catholic Church risks becoming a compassionate nongovernment
organization unless it sticks to its spiritual path.
Building a solid Church, he added, was vital to stop it from crumbling like a “sand castle” built by children.
[To read the remainder of the post, go here. Be warned that what I write there as a Lutheran Christian pastor is overtly Christian. Just a loving warning.]