Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The Blessing of Being Annoying

May 22nd, 2013, Promulgated by Hopefull

The Catholic News Agency and EWTN News published Pope Francis’ May 16 homily, which said it is better to be “annoying” and “a nuisance” than lukewarm in proclaiming Jesus Christ.  The Holy Father’s words are being noted by Michael Voris (pictures below) and by others as having particular application in our day and time.  Indeed, sometimes it feels like His Holiness’ words are addressed right to Cleansing Fire 🙂  Here is the Catholic News Agency link

Some Highlights Worth Noting 

“If we annoy people, blessed be the Lord,” said Pope Francis….  “We can ask the Holy Spirit to give us all this apostolic fervor and to give us the grace to be annoying when things are too quiet in the Church,” he said at [Mass at] the chapel of the Saint Martha residence ….

The Pope …  contrasted “backseat Christians” with those who have apostolic zeal.  “There are those who are well mannered, who do everything well, but are unable to bring people to the Church through proclamation and apostolic zeal.”


The pontiff said apostolic zeal “implies an element of madness,” which he labeled as “healthy” and “spiritual.”  He added that it “can only be understood in an atmosphere of love” and that it is not an “enthusiasm for power and possession.”


 “[Paul] was not a man of compromise, no!” he exclaimed. “The truth, forward! The proclamation of Jesus Christ, forward!”  “He is a man who, with his preaching, his work, his attitude irritates others, because testifying to Jesus Christ and the proclamation of Jesus Christ makes us uncomfortable.  “It threatens our comfort zones, even Christian comfort zones, right?” he asked the congregation. “It irritates us.”  


We are “not to take refuge in a quiet life or in cozy structures.”  Saint Paul’s apostolic zeal, he observed, comes from knowing Jesus Christ.  According to the Pope, St. Paul was a “fiery” individual who was always in trouble, “not in trouble for troubles’ sake, but for Jesus” because “proclaiming Jesus is the consequence.”

May we at Cleansing Fire be strengthened by Pope Francis’ words, and always do the work of the Holy Spirit to proclaim our Faith, and not ourselves. 



13 Responses to “The Blessing of Being Annoying”

  1. ArchangelMichael says:


  2. erinpascal1 says:

    Wow! What a very good read. The post is powerful and I am amazed at how it moved me while I was reading it. May we be like St. Paul in spreading the word of the Lord that no matter what trouble comes and no matter how annoying we may be to others, will not stop sharing the word of the Lord.

  3. flowerchild says:

    Excellent post!

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Conclave made an excellent choice.

  4. annonymouse says:

    Before we all pat ourselves too hard on the back, and so that we aren’t accused of proof-texting the Holy Father’s words of wisdom, let us take note of his words from yesterday’s audience:

    “This is the first important effect of the Holy Spirit … unity, communion. … At Pentecost, these divisions [the confusion of languages as in the Biblical story of the tower of Babel] are overcome. …A new language, that of the love that the Holy Spirit ‘pours out into our hearts’ [is established]. … We must all ask ourselves: how am I letting myself be guided by the Holy Spirit so that my life and my witness to the faith might be of unity and communion? … What am I doing with my life?” Pope Francis asked, raising his voice. “Am I creating unity? Or am I dividing, with my gossip, criticism, and jealousies? What am I doing? Let’s think about this.”

    These words caused me to pause and think, especially his last line. So let us always be about fostering communion, unity, which does mean adherence to Holy Mother Church’s teachings, but is also all about our attitude and demeanor as well.

  5. Richard Thomas says:

    The Holy Father has said many good and provocative statements. Now, let’s see if his actions “trickle down” and inspire the bishops and priests. I worry that these dissenting individuals will either give him lip servise or blow him off, like they did Pope Benedict.

  6. Scott W. says:

    “Am I creating unity? Or am I dividing, with my gossip, criticism, and jealousies? What am I doing? Let’s think about this.”

    The Truth unites and divides. Obviously gossip and jealousy are off the table. “Criticism” cannot be taken here to mean all criticism, but in the context amongst gossip and jealously might be more accurately taken as gratuitous carping, or arguing for the sake of argument which certainly can be divisive. I say this only because if I had a dollar for every time someone labelled legitimate criticism a “sin against unity” or some such, I’d be a rich man.

  7. annonymouse says:

    Scott – well put.

    I posted only as food for thought.

  8. Scott W. says:

    I posted only as food for thought.

    And it’s good food. Thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever deliberately kept up an argument just for the sake of winning, but I have been sucked into the vortex of disputation long after a discussion has run its course, so this quote reminds me to be vigilant against that. Or, sometimes you just gotta remember: 😀

  9. Ben Anderson says:

    I like this post a lot as well Hopefull. I know sometimes it’s hard to balance evangelizing with not being annoying… so it’s good to hear that sometimes it’s ok to be annoying 🙂

    As far as the discussion over Francis’ homilies, I’d have to agree with Fr. Z:

    Alas, we never get what the Pope actually said in its entirety. We are only getting bits and pieces as determined by someone working for either Vatican Radio or L’Osservatore Romano or… well… it’s hard to know! This is a problem. Did the newsie doing the reporting making the right selection of quotes? Is the newsie doing the reporting a theologian? We should either get everything Francis says or nothing. Moreover, the Italian accounts and the English accounts of what Francis said differ somewhat. And who knows how what Francis says in these sermonettes will ultimately be related to the Ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff? We are told that it is doesn’t form part of his magisterial teaching, but… really? They sure are being played up by the Holy See’s news agencies, aren’t they!

  10. Hopefull says:

    Thanks, Ben. I must admit I am delighted by the extra volume of transcripts we are seeing from Pope Francis that Zenit didn’t show for his predecessors. They may well be excerpted, but his style lends itself MUCH less to spin than prior papal homilies. He is clear, concise, and challenging. Personally, I love him and I am a natural skeptic. The Holy Spirit was clearly doing His job! One also gets the sense of his also being a soul on the journey! He shows that the choice is no longer the one the “American” church has suffered with: the 2nd greatest commandment undermining the 1st. No, he is a synthesis of both, and I think is modeling the healing we need. Just a thought.

  11. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    I am thrilled to have access to what Papa Francesco preaches.

    This Servant of the Servants of God knows who the Greatest
    Servant is, what his Name is, what his Gospel is
    and what Our Response MUST BE.

    On Vatican Radio I heard a report that on Pentecost
    Vigil the crowds Chanted Francis, Francis, Francis.

    The Humble Evangelizer reportedly replied:
    ” Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Is Lord and Is In Our Midst”

    I am thrilled.

  12. christian says:


  13. Bruce says:

    I’m super annoying.

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