The Saint Francis prayer is well known:
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in
Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console ….
Francis is famous for his loving kindness. It lies at the heart of Judaism, going back to Adam himself. The Jewish view is that as long as Adam was alive, God wanted to have an interaction with him. He knew that Adam had the capacity to sin, God knew it was going to happen. That was part of Adam’s struggle. That’s what God wanted. So after Adam made a mistake, God demanded him to love kindness. To love kindness, that’s a state of being that we have constantly to grow into. Adam could certainly have loved kindness more than He did. (Sin in Adam and his descendants).
According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the road to salvation is festooned with acts of loving kindness. It may be, said the Rebbe, your one tiny act of kindness that may bring Messiah (Moshiach). Here is a short interview between a reporter and the Lubatvicher Rebbe Schneerson (1992; two years before his death):
Reporter:”Rebbe can you tell us the message for the whole world about the Moshiach.
Rebbe: “Moshiach is ready to come now, we all must only do something additional in the realm of goodness and kindness. At least a little more and Moshiach will come immediately.” (See video here).
There is a second Francis, Francis the First, the new pope, who has much in common with Judaism, if not with the real Saint Francis: it’s all about loving kindness, says Pope Francis; salvation is all about loving kindness – good works. Justification (reconciliation with God) says Pope Francis, is no longer about faith AND good works, but solely about works – opera solum (if my Latin is any good). You can be an atheist, says Pope Francis, on condition that you’re good and kind. Well that is what I read on the internet, so it must be true. ”
“LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – The Holy Father is full of surprises, born of true and faithful humility. On Wednesday he declared that all people, not just Catholics, are redeemed through Jesus, even atheists. However, he did emphasize there was a catch. Those people must still do good. In fact, it is in doing good that they are led to the One who is the Source of all that is good. In essence he simply restated the hope of the Church that all come to know God, through His Son Jesus Christ.”
The Vatican, it seems is alarmed, at best; no wonder, for Pope Francis is indeed, if not in deed, trashing Trent. Here is Trent:
Session 6, Chapter 8
“[I)t is most truly said that faith without works is dead and of no profit, and in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by charity [love].”
Here is how Pope Francis would rework Trent for the good atheist:
“It is most truly said that an atheist without works is dead and will remain dead….unless he worketh by love.”
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like menstrual rags. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.”
Pilate asked Jesus: “What is truth.” According to modern Catholicism, since Vatican II, who cares? THE question for the Pope and swathes of Roman Catholics is: “Did you feed me, did you clothe me, did you bind up my wounds.” In other words, “Who cares?”