Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Fifty ways your bishop can screw up......

It's that time of the year again, when Holy Mother Church makes us read St. Augustine's "On Pastors", which may as well be titled "Fifty ways to condemn your bishop". All last week, and all this week, also. At least it's not so bad as making it through this period of the Office of Readings last year!

Yet, where, might I ask, is "On Parishioners"? or, maybe, "On the Putative Faithful"? We screw up as followers, students, and sheep just as much, if not more, than the pastors and the bishops flub being leaders, teachers, and shepherds. And, plenty of the ways _they_ fail are directly related to _our_ refusals and misdoing and sheer stubbornness.

If I cultivate a teachable spirit, and hold out my hand to be taken and led, it is no surprise when I am taught and sheltered and led. If, on the other hand, I sit like a bump on a log and fight when anyone tries to pick me up, should I be very surprised when my caretaker succumbs to discouragement and gives up?

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