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Monday Musing – “We all must be in the middle…”

NOTE: This post was published on my personal blog at the Times Union yesterday, but I thought it would make good food for thought over here today.

+ Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, SJ, Archbishop Emeritus of Milan, died on Friday at the age of 85. His funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, September 3. (I did not know that he was a Jesuit until he died; I am not surprised.)

The Cardinal was a remarkable man and cleric. His name was often brought up as a possible pope, but that was not to be. After his retirement as Bishop of Milan, he moved to Jerusalem, for on-going study of the Bible. He was also a peaceful presence in a place that is not always known for peace. I think that it says something about an aged, retired Cardinal of the Church… If he still felt like he had something to learn about the Bible and about God at his age, what is wrong with the rest of us who think we know it all?

Martini was devoted to reconciliation. If you watch the embedded video, which I hope you will; it is only a little over two minutes long, you will hear him say this:

“We need to be in the middle and work to cease all violence and learn to understand each others pain also.”

We need to be in the middle. Regrettably, that position is often seen as one that lacks power. But Christ is always in the center, drawing all to Himself. If we profess our love of Christ and that we follow him, shouldn’t we be doing the same? (Trust me, I stink at this part of it, so I am talking to myself, as well as speaking out loud here.) Given the giant tug of war between the “right” and the “left,” or the “liberals” and the “conservatives,” it is further proof of Christ’s divinity that he has not been torn in half due to our constant fighting and claims of authority.

In his last years, in pursuit of peace, Martini  focused on the high value of intercessory prayer. In the video he speaks of the meaning of intercede as to walk thorough. I like that kind of etymological understanding, it brings us deeper into understanding. He says that we must walk through “without giving or taking any reason, not to say that one side is more right than another.

Walking in between in prayer… who does that remind you of?

Today we mourn a man who dedicated his life to God, to the Gospel and the the need for mutual trust and dialogue. Maybe today, we can all reflect on how we all might choose this path of Christ and not walk apart, but walk through this life together… in Christ.

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2 Responses

  1. A beautiful homage, Fran. Yes, let’s be in the middle and work for reconciliation. It’s wonderful to watch him. What a treat! Thank you.

  2. We here in Jerusalem will miss him. May Cardinal Martini’s memory be a blessing and may we study his legacy, e.g. what is extensively quoted here:
    http://kavvanah.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/cardinal-martini-on-judaism-and-jerusalem/

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