Is God at the Convention?

Our political conventions are beginning. A time, especially this year, when we wonder about our future. No perfect candidates, no perfect plans, no perfect solution. Should we pay any attention at all?

I’m thinking of John Henry Newman, the illustrious 19th century English theologian who converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism in 1845. An Italian Passionist priest, Fr. Dominic Barbari, received him into the church.

Newman’s conversion came through his efforts to bring the Church of England, then struggling against the rationalism of the Enlightenment, back to its orthodox Christian roots. He sought the answer in studying  early Christianity and its development to the present day. The Oxford Movement begun by Newman and other university friends strongly affected the Anglican church and other Christian churches of his time.

Originally convinced that the Catholic Church was corrupt and unfaithful to the gospel, Newman came to accept it as the Church founded by Jesus Christ. An important reason for his acceptance was his study of the Donatists, a 4th century Christian group that split from the larger church over who should be members of the church. The Donatists believed that the church should be a church of saints, not sinners.

Newman came to understand that the Church develops over time, and its development takes place in the real world, which is the world of saints and sinners. The spirituality he arrived at was anchored in this reality. We live in a world of weeds and wheat. “Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.” We don’t live in a perfect world or a perfect church.

The world we live in is blessed by God with a purpose and a mission. No, it’s not perfect nor will it ever be perfect.We may cringe at the circus our political world can create these next few weeks. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try to make politics live up to its ideals. In all the hoopla God is at work.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Passionists, politics, Religion

One response to “Is God at the Convention?

  1. HOOPLA in a stew pot? Life is like stew. In a big pot, you cook veggies, meat, spices, potatoes with added liquid, maybe tomato puree or beef bouillon. Let pot get to boil, then simmer for a couple hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom or uneven cooking.
    They say we are a melting pot in the U.S. I say we are stewed together, different parts that add flavor to the whole, and the mix takes a long time to blend into a delicious, nutritious meal. Can we be patient with one another and show some acceptance of the ingredients of a great nation? Yes, but only when we realize the power of the Holy Spirit is stirring the pot. Yes, God is busy in the Divine Kitchen!

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