21 October 2014

If the Church is a Field Hospital. . .

1. A severely wounded solider is brought to the Field Hospital. The doctor pokes his injuries with a stick and declares, "These wounds are self-inflicted. You can't be admitted to this hospital until you are completely healed."

2. Another severely wounded solider is brought to the Field Hospital. The doctor begins life-saving treatment. The solider blurts out, "STOP! I don't want to be healed! I want to be affirmed in my woundedness. Just accept my injuries and welcome me as I am!"

3. Yet another solider is rushed to the Field Hospital. The doctor and the soldier agree that he is OK in his woundedness and let him stay in the hospital just as he is. . .wounds and all.

4. One last wounded soldier is carried into the Field Hospital.  The doctor immediately begins treating his wounds. The solider says, "Thanks, doc. I can't heal up w/o your help."

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  1. Simple and brilliant in its simplicity. Thanks so much for posting ... this can be used as a form of self-examination, individual as well as in the collective, as in parish ministry attitudes that are reflected in their policies.

  2. And when the soldier is well enough to go home, he finds no wife, no children, and that which he swore to protect, already stolen from him. Those in the hospital keep encouraging him to pretend that this is okay, perhaps even appropriate, for it is ever so easy to convince him it is his own fault.

  3. Anonymous5:36 AM

    Fr, can you explain number 1 a little more? Most of our wounds are self inflicted (sin) and the remedy is the dr (confession). I would hope not to be sent away from self inflicted wound but healed. BUT, if I refused the medicine and advice, stop shooting myself in the foot, then I guess I could understand being sent away.
    Like the others btw. I think of number 2 as arriving dead with a DNR tattooed on the chest!

    1. #1 represents that sort of Catholic who refuses to offer God's mercy thru the Church b/c sins are self-inflicted. This sort demands that we be healed completely of sin before we can be fully members of the Body.

  4. Why do those soldiers even want to come to this field hospital? Why don't they just go to that other field hospital, where they'll feel right at home?

  5. This is an aside, but the Field Hospital metaphor justified it to me. I just had the stomach-churning experience of listening to the Official Hymn of the OP 800th anniversary. http://www.op.org/en/content/laudare-benedicere-praedicare-official-hymn-jubilee-order. Awful EuroPop dreck, making the old Fr Faber hymns of my pre-VatII childhood sound chaste and martial by comparison. Pathetic. (I don't expect you to publish this; I just wanted to vent.)