‘I pray for good humour’ – Pope Francis

Sep 15, 2018 | 1 comment

“Every morning for 40 years, after morning prayer, I recite the prayer of St. Thomas More, asking for a sense of humour. It seems the Lord has given it to me!” 

So answered Pope Francis when asked by Irish Jesuit Fr John Callanan: “But how do you manage to keep your heart happy with all that is happening to you?”  The occasion was the pope’s private meeting with Irish Jesuits on August 25th, 2018 – immediately following his meeting with eight Irish victims of abuse by clergy.

The question could not have been better timed: on that same day the pope had come in for bitter public criticism from a former papal nuncio to the USA, Archbishop Carlo Viganó.

Clericalism was nevertheless again a prime target of the pope’s attention at this meeting:

“There is something I have understood with great clarity: this drama of abuse, especially when it is widespread and gives great scandal – think of Chile, here in Ireland or in the United States – has behind it a Church that is elitist and clericalist, an inability to be near to the people of God. Elitism, clericalism fosters every form of abuse. And sexual abuse is not the first. The first abuse is of power and conscience. I ask you to help with this. Courage! Be courageous! I really was unable to believe the stories that I have seen well documented. I heard them now in the other room and was deeply upset. This is a special mission for you: clean this up, change consciences, do not be afraid to call things by their name.”

By ‘the other room’ Pope Francis apparently meant the room in the papal nunciature in Dublin in which he had just met the eight survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy and religious.

To read the complete Civilta Cattolicà account of Pope Francis’s meeting with Irish Jesuits on August 25th, 2018, click here.


Prayer for Good Humour
by St. Thomas More

Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it.
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil,
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments,
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.”
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humour.
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke, to discover in life a bit of joy,
and to be able to share it with others.

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Walters

    “Clericalism was nevertheless again a prime target of the pope’s attention”

    The problem of authoritarianism and elitism that is embedded within clericalism emanates from an abuse of this teaching given by Jesus Christ.

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”

    ‘Jesus appears to be conveying that His disciples do not take honour to themselves, which did not belong to them; nor even choose to be called by such names, as would lead people to entertain too high an opinion of them, and take off of their dependence on God the Father, and Himself, as these titles the Scribes and Pharisees loved to be called by, rather look to the mandate given at the last supper, to those who would lead in His name’

    If I were a Shepherd what would I do
    In trust a bowl and towel I would bring to you
    A Bondsman to the one above
    To All, this must be truly understood
    In spiritual poverty we only serve love
    Water with grace to clean your heart feet and face
    As I wash your feet the Masters heart I will seek
    Your heart to mine will surely speak
    No one can divide if in the light of the Spirit we reside
    Our opinions are no longer truly our own
    The Word of GOD (Will) is all we own
    To Bishop on his throne we will take our towel and bowl
    As we wash his feet his heart we will seek
    No one hides from where Christ truly resides
    Father with tongue and flame give us unity again.

    Please consider continuing via the link

    kevin your brother
    In Christ


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