Cleansing Fire

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Failed Leadership

September 25th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I wrote  the following in 2009 soon after US Air Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River.  And I wrote it about what was happening in the parish I was in at that time. Given the current threats to the Church, I have been urged by friends to offer it again. Here it is, only minimally emended:

“Everyone involved in the Flight 1549 situation has been lauded, and justifiably so, and we rightfully give praise to such a Good and Gracious and Generous God who still does miracles, and allows us to learn from them. But there was one failure of leadership ‘in the air’ that has not generally been noticed; do you know what it was?  Well, the failed leadership was in the stubbornness of sticking to a flight plan when disaster loomed.  It was in the refusal to change course, to revisit assumptions, to ask for advice from others.  And it was in the failure of those who might have taken action instead of blindly ‘following the leader’.  Yes, the failed leadership was that of the lead goose, who took the flock to its destruction, sucked into the turbines and losing their own lives and putting many others at risk.  Did no member of the flock see what was ahead?  Had they no authority to depart from the plan, to act on their own initiative?  Did they squawk advice that was unheeded, or were they just silent?” Just what can or should a member of the flock do when he or she sees what is coming?”

Just what should we each be doing today, as a member of the flock, as we see the turbines up ahead?  Your thoughts and comments are most welcome!

 

What Really happened

                       What Really Happened ….

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9 Responses to “Failed Leadership”

  1. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    “Just what should we each be doing today, as a member of the flock, as we see the turbines up ahead?”

    As we were being attacked on 9/11 I prayed God asking what I could do to help our country and our local community. Soon it occurred to me the best possible thing I could do to help was to strive to be the very best person I could be. Not ever being in the military nor ever being trained for combat, I realized God was calling me to fight, defend and preserve by being the very best person God had always been calling me to become: the best child of God, the best husband, the best father, the best employee, the best neighbor, the best Church member, the best citizen I could.

    Alas, the signs of crisis in God’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church potentially can overwhelm a committed believer filling Christ’s disciples with confusion and bewilderment. So how can we ‘fight the good fight’ and ‘contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints’? How can we help the Universal Church and our local communities of faith?

    Be the best Catholics we can be, striving to become more and more the children of God which we have been empowered to become, ‘forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’.

    Whether or not anyone takes notice and is fruitfully impacted for good, we still strive to be faithful not ever concerned about being successful.

    Prayer, worship, acts of love will be graced by the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the giver of life.

    Exhort, encourage, admonish, reprimand, pray, confess, and pray some more.

    Let us fill our hearts and minds with Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, always devotedly participating in the sacramental life of the Church looking for opportunities to speak a word about Christ both to clergy and laymen.

    Thank you, Diane, for inviting us to offer thoughts and comments about what each of us should be doing as members of the flock as we see both clergy and laity ignore the turbines up ahead…..

  2. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    William Kilpatick’s Turningpoint Project suggests It is Time For Catholics To Reconsider ISLAM.and The PROPHET Muhhamad.

    Hmm… I imagine Kilpatrick would assert any unwillingness to reconsider Islam and Muhhamad to be a turbine up ahead….

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5037/time_for_catholics_to_reconsider_islam_and_the_prophet_muhammad.aspx

  3. avatar militia says:

    So, DAZ, would you say the Catholic World Report article is about a turban turbine?

    Here’s a real “turbine” — the Vatican sex-ed program!

  4. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Now the laity are being condescendingly compared to geese??? Well I want you to know I am a gander!!! If all the geese flew in any direction they thought they were called to, there would be no flock!!

  5. avatar militia says:

    What’s condescending about geese but not about sheep?

  6. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Geese are stupid whereas sheep can answer the voice of the shepherd. Geese can also be hostile which you would know if you were brought up on a farm. Geese I think are a model for heretics!!

  7. avatar gaudium says:

    The Canada goose is very well-known in its devotion to its mate and family. Canada geese are very loyal and emotional towards each other, and have strong family instincts. A mate will place itself in danger in order to protect the mate, and parents will also place themselves in danger to protect the young. If one of a mated pair or a family member is injured, a goose will go down with the injured goose, and guard the injured goose until it recovers or dies. A mate will sometimes even pine away if its mate dies and will remain “single” for life. Orphaned “children” are kept together in a group and cared for communally by adult, female geese. We had a pet lamb. She could be aggressive and was as dumb as a post. Just don’t compare us to cats.

  8. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Sheep are very stupid. Therefore, it was apt for Christ to compare us to sheep. Without Him we are lost and not even knowing we are lost. Also a flock of sheep is an apt image for Christ to use to describe His Flock since sheep also don’t seem to defend their young very well. Newborn lambs get their eyes pecked out by crows and ravens.(See book by John McPhee: “The Crofter and the Laird”.) Judging by half the Catholics who will vote for a pro-abortion candidate, this image seems to fit as well.

    And we have the testimony of Sacred Scripture:

    Jer 50:6 “My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains; from mountain to hill they have gone, they have forgotten their fold.” (Following the voice of the hirelings is also a sign of stupidity, as the crime of pedophilia showed. Even when they had suspicions, the sheep didn’t act.)

    Eze 34:6 “My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.” Ditto.

  9. avatar gaudium says:

    Of course, all of this reminds us to not push an analogy too far but Dominick reminds us of an important truth. There is even a country music song that says, if you don’t believe in something, you’ll believe in anything. A survey in Ireland taken years ago showed that the less religious a person was, the more superstitious he was. I know of a man who stormed out of a Pre-Cana session while loudly declaring, “The only truth is in science!” He was perhaps the most superstitious man I have ever met.

    “Prayer, worship, acts of love will be graced by the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. Exhort, encourage, admonish, reprimand, pray, confess, and pray some more.
    Let us fill our hearts and minds with Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, always devotedly participating in the sacramental life of the Church looking for opportunities to speak a word about Christ both to clergy and laymen.”

    If we do not do this, we will fill out hearts, minds, and souls with something else. How much it reminds me of the passage in the Gospel where Jesus speaks of a man who is cleansed from a demon but leaves his “house” empty. “Then it [the demon]says, ‘I will return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it empty, swept clean, and put in order.
    Then it goes and brings back with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they move in and dwell there; and the last condition of that person is worse than the first. Thus it will be with this evil generation.” How great our life of prayer must be in this generation!

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