Imagine God speaking a language, in five different dialects and it takes an open heart to hear everything God has to say. But most of us only have bothered to hear perhaps two out of the five but more times than not we have only bothered to learn one. We make out what is comfortable for us to hear because it is familiar. I’m in no way referring to doctrinal differences as much as our cultural practices that we have imposed on Christianity, imposing a dogmatic seal and calling it God. God speaks a single tongue to every tribe tongue and nation, it is a single word, the word made flesh. It is universal and has captured the hearts of all, for all, time , and all generations. If you confess with your mouth Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved. Oh the sweetest of names, the name above every name, Jesus. The Holy Spirit bears witness of this name for it is the name in which the earth bends , the word in which breaks the yoke, the word that ignites the fiery wheels of heaven to move and bend under the bow.
But do we recognize the Word when it comes, or are we like the ancient holy people that miss His coming, all because He doesn’t come in a dialect that we are familiar with? We Catholics have been conditioned to be passive with the Lord letting a minority of the chosen few move under the impulse of the Holy Spirit to the point of an expected elitism that is functionally part of the Churches faith life.
A St. Francis is so uncommon among the lay faithful you would think that God only wished to empower the priestly class with such grace. I think more times than not the Church has no room for a Francis even if He were present in our time, in fact I’m quite certain He is out there in the quiet, underutilized because He came in a form we did not expect. You know that guy in the back of the Church that kneels during the entire Mass that never says a word, he even seems a bit alien with his shabby hair with a dozen holy objects hanging from his neck. He’s worked at a factory all his life, never read anything but the bible and has a high school education. Did I mention in his private prayer life he sweats a Holy oil from his brow, and at night light emanates from his face. We never give him a voice or believe that his grace gifts could be used for the body because he comes in an dialect that is not ours.
Grace gifts are given by heaven yet we have created a structure that bars the body of Christ from being the body. A man has a gift to teach or preach, he has been taught by God for decades yet he has no formal education. Modernism is as alien to Him as it was to Jesus, yet he is considered unrefined and ill equipped to minister to the faithful, this guy is me. I must say it is quite discouraging to feel the grace of God bottled inside with nowhere to go. The burning zeal of the Holy Spirit and no vocation to follow the passion, because I have been called to married life. The most under utilized part of the body of Christ is the body of Christ. The Sacramental Priesthood makes up less than one percent of the body and does ninety nine percent of the teaching and preaching in parish life. Perhaps a New Evangelism would be furthered if the body was actually allowed to be the body within the body. As it sits you would think that we are a quadriplegic with only one part of the body running at full steam. Only the body is fine, and we have simply been told to sit down and be evangelized, to be excited about our passive roles of non mobility lest we say something amiss.
If the fear is the ignorant might teach something contrary to the faith, do not fear we already have over educated Priests to do that all the time.