I found this little meditation written by Henri Nouwen to be very appropriate for the feast of today. There are many experiences of Church and sometimes I think we forget who are church is founded on. I believe our baptism calls us all to be priestly, faith-filled witness of truth, and when our hearts and conscience tell us something other than what our church leader say, we are obliged to follow our heart and conscience. I love what Nouwen states, “In God’s eyes there is no distance between top and bottom.”
Today I pray for all in leadership in the Church, may God’s grace fill them and sustain them in their role of proclaiming the truths.
The Poverty of Our Leaders
There is a tendency to think about poverty, suffering, and
pain as realities that happen primarily or even exclusively
at the bottom of our Church. We seldom think of our leaders
as poor. Still, there is great poverty, deep loneliness,
painful isolation, real depression, and much emotional
suffering at the top of our Church.
We need the courage to acknowledge the suffering of the
leaders of our Church – its ministers, priests, bishops, and
popes – and include them in this fellowship of the weak.
When we are not distracted by the power, wealth, and success
of those who offer leadership, we will soon discover their
powerlessness, poverty, and failures and feel free to reach
out to them with the same compassion we want to give to
those at the bottom. In God’s eyes there is no distance
between bottom and top. There shouldn’t be in our eyes