“I was given a thorn in the flesh..” I Cor 12
Paul tells us in today’s second mass reading, that he had been given a “thorn” in his flesh. Thorns hurt. Yet it is a saying we often use, although we may well say we have a pain (thorn) in another part of our body! This is usually someone we find difficult, often a close friend or family member. Yet, as has been said, “They may be a pain, but they are OUR pain!”
It can happen that the person we find so hard to bear, is really trying to help us. The truth can hurt. It is the small people who refuse to listen to constructive criticism, big – hearted people welcome such assistance.
However, there is a big difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. The former is intended to help, the latter to destroy. We have noted some Blogs, when referring to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham fall into the latter group. It would be so easy for us to fall into the same trap and “have a ‘go'” at them. But it rarely is a good idea to “wash one’s dirty linen in public”. There are internal forums for such remarks, and the remarks ought to be restricted to them.
The purpose of this Blog is to promote the Ordinariate, to explain its rationale, and to encourage its growth. It is fair to say, that at the moment, the Ordinariate is having a hard time. There are those within it who are too quick to moan, those who show little loyalty, and those who are too wrapped up in their own agendas, to carry the project forward. They are our “thorn in the flesh”, but they are OUR thorn.
Destructive criticism is not restricted to those within the Ordinariate. There are those who are anxious to destroy it from outside its ranks. The effect is, of course, the same. Lower morale, a loss of ‘verve’ among members and a weakening of the cause.
The heart of the matter is that the Ordinariate exists to bring people into full communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; to unite them with Peter. Anything that detracts from this over-arching purpose, is a hindrance.
It is hoped that this Blog, will in some small way assist the Ordinariate in its mission, given to us by Pope Emeritus Benedict “the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus”.