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Paul Vadakumpadan, Shillong says,
SPIRITUAL WORLDLINESS
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Shillong, Jan. 9. Spiritual worldliness sounds like a contradiction, like loyal deserter and selfish generosity.



Pope Francis in using it in his recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (arts 94-97), has tickled the curiosity of many. The Pope explains it in highly readable and remarkably lucid language. If he gets a Nobel Prize for literature, it is likely to be for masterpieces like this.

Spiritual worldliness is far from spiritual. It is through and through worldly.  It is nothing but the seeking of self-glory and personal well being, behind a fašade of piety and religion. The term may be new but the idea is old. In fact this is what the Pharisees of Jesus` time did. The Lord probably used a little more harsh language to condemn it, whitewashed sepulchres. Even the apostles, despite hearing the good news the master preached and exemplified, finally asked, ``What will we get out of it?`` The man Jesus was preparing to be the first Pope had the cheek to ask the Lord precisely that in blunt language. Two other members of the apostolic team went further. They wanted to occupy the chairs closest to the centre. The other apostles were shocked not because of such spiritual worldliness on the part of the sons of Zebedee, but because they thought they would be left behind in the rat race. Sounds surprisingly modern?

Politicians, especially in democracies, openly contest for power and spend much time and energy, and money too, to prove their suitability for the same. This sounds like the boast of a famous sportsman many years ago, ``I am the best.`` Instead, spiritual worldliness makes one position oneself behind carefully cultivated appearances. One could even build up powerful barricades to protect oneself, for example, intransigent faithfulness to a Catholic style from the past. Thus one shows oneself to be more Roman than the Pope, and more Catholic than the Church. Protected behind the barricade he has erected, he is full time busy analyzing, classifying, inspecting, verifying. There is an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church`s prestige, effectively turning the Church into a museum piece.  

May God save you and me from this adulterated form of Christianity.  

Comments


jeffreyglad India
January 10, 2014

With the present Pope's insights and instructions, the church is set to go through a new Pentecost. Fr.Paul Vadakumpadan's ardent efforts in breaking down hi-fi concepts into day-to-day realities is praise worthy- Fr.Jeffrey Sdb, Chennai Province





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