“We usually keep this one locked,” the friendly usher explained as he opened the little door. He smiled brightly and tried to usher us in.
It was Sunday Mass and we were, of course, outside the church. In our family, we don’t expect kids to make it through the entire service until they are at least four; and this particular kid is only two, and such a two year old. She wants to give glory to God by ripping up the paving stones out of the little Mary garden and throwing them over the railing, shouting, “BYE, ROCKS!”To change things up last week, she circled around the other side of the church, and, before I could reach her in my Sunday heels, she started pounding on a little side door and rattling the handle. Thus the friendly man unlocking that mostly-unused door and trying to let us in.
The reason I’m telling you this is because the Francis Papacy has sparked many a fracas over who does and does not get to come in to the church, and how.
I find it hard to take it seriously when folks argue that we have to be very, very cautious and strict about whom we let in. If that were the case, 100% of us would be out of luck, disqualified, cast out to wail and gnash our teeth. It behooves us – those of us who consider ourselves solid Catholics with uncomplicated marital histories with a firm grasp of basic doctrine – to remember that we don’t have any right to be here. We didn’t earn it, and we certainly don’t deserve it. And yet here we are, every week or maybe even every day, eating God and fumbling our way toward eternal life. Non nobis, domine, non nobis. I know.