"The danger in our day is not a shortage of honey."
That's for sure! Bishop Vasa wrote this in a blog post about the patron of parish priests, St. Jean Vianney. Here's more:
Indeed it comes as no surprise to any pastor that St. John Vianney was severely abused and derided because he called his people to chastity when debauchery was the norm, to sobriety when drunkenness was rampant, to holiness when secularity was much more popular.
Because he loved, however, he did not cease to challenge sinfulness and call his people to repentance. His determined love for souls cost him dearly. I strongly suspect that if St. John Vianney himself were in many of our American parishes, there would be an abundance of letters from concerned parishioners about the direction in which he was taking the parish.
This in no way implies that letters about priests to chanceries all across this country are not sometimes warranted. It also in no way implies our priests are comparable to St. John. What it does imply is that most of us do not respond well when the sinfulness of our own lives is challenged. That goes for all of us.
And yet the old adage about the need to “hate the sin but love the sinner” makes perfect pastoral sense, but the situation is often made very difficult when the sinner has such a solid affection for and attachment to and even defense of the sin that any attack on the sin—not the person, but the sin—is deemed an unjust and indefensible attack on the sinner!
In some ways the adage has been revised for American sensibilities so that its present rendering might go something like: “Love the sinner, and you do that by condoning the sin.”Read the rest here and don't forget to pray for your priests today.