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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Spiritual Stumbles...

Our guest blogger today is Heather King who resides in Los Angeles and speaks nationwide. This blog is adapted from Heather King’s book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between (Franciscan Media). Her blog can be found at

I find there are two types of people who attack me when they discover I’m Catholic. The first are lapsed or disgruntled Catholics who claim to be revolted by the Church but can’t stop talking about it. The second type are always trying to get me to say something bad about other (in their eyes, lukewarm) members of the Church. None of these folks can bear the gap between how a follower of Christ should be and how a person who claims to be a follower of Christ actually is.

But you have to be somewhat nuts to sign up for something that is basically impossible to achieve. As Thomas Merton observed, “We must remember that in order to choose religious life, you must be a misfit.”

Christ did not confine himself to politics. He didn’t say, “We need more rights.” He didn’t say, “Let’s overthrow the Romans.” He said, “We need to live in total integrity and love. In order to do so, we need a Church, and because we are never going to do so perfectly, the Church will inevitably also be imperfect.”

To avoid the scandal of the cross, which is to say the scandal of the Church, is impossible. How could a Church made up of us be anything but imperfect? What Church would take us except a Church that tolerated imperfection? Where else would we drag ourselves to pray for the people we resent at any given moment—our mothers, our spouses, our kids, our friends, our politicians, the other people in church—but to church?

Where else would we go to be reminded of the perpetual death and perpetual rebirth but to Mass? In order to try resurrecting the Church we keep wrecking, we have to keep going to church—because we need Christ: to walk with us, to live.


Photo by blue67sign/Shutterstock


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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."