Via CWN: The Anchoress articulates what a lot of ordinary Catholics feel when the Pope lectures us:
I love His Holiness Pope Francis, but for a while now, I have been feeling harangued by him, as he’s been harping on us to do more, and ever more, to practice mercy on the world; to welcome the stranger, to clean up the rivers, to bring about justice and peace in our time; to level the playing fields, visit the sick, and so on.
These are, of course, all very good things. You can’t argue with someone who is telling you to love the poor, or to make room in your pew for the transgendered, or to help poor kids get new opportunities, or to pay a worker what he is due.
But sometimes, when I read Pope Francis exhorting us again about the poor, or the environment, and urging people once again, to take action, to go out into the world and fix-all-of-the-things, because Jesus wants it (and yes, I’m sure Jesus does) I can’t help thinking, “but Holy Father, have mercy! Do you not know that many of us are already doing the best we can? Some of us are doing all we can to keep the family together, keep food on the table, and maybe go out to a movie once in a while.
There is a lot of sainthood going around with ordinary folks who just try to do the duty of their daily lives. I see it with our workers here, I see it with my patients when I worked in the US.
St Therese of Liseux taught "the Little Way", to do the duties of our daily lives, the joys and sorrows, as a way to serve God....but the idea goes back thousands of years, and one even finds it in non Christian religions: The idea that ordinary folks lives can be as holy as those who "specialize" in doing great religious things.
Flannery O'Connor had a similar cynical take on these "religous" folks:
To a lot of Protestants I know, monks and nuns are fanatics, none greater. And to a lot of monks and nuns I know, my Protestant prophets are fanatics. For my part, I think the only difference between them is that if you are a Catholic and have this intensity of belief, you join the convent and are heard from no more; whereas if you are a Protestant and have it, there is no convent for you to join and you go about in the world getting into all sorts of trouble and drawing the wrath of people who don’t believe anything much at all down on your head . . . .
yeah. Sounds ok for me. And I am allowed to criticize those who urge us to "be active in ________(fill in the blanks) or you are not a "good" christian... When asked if I believe in Jesus, I usually answer: Believe in him? Heck, I almost got my tush shot off serving him.
But that's another story for another day.