Catholic Halos


There are two beams of the cross: Justice and Mercy. Shepherding occurs at the intersection of those beams, the crux of the cross. Today's shepherds, as shepherds throughout Church history, are awakening to the need for both beams. Those who predominately brandish the vertical beam, the law of the Church, are realizing that God calls them to meet people where they are, on the road to Emmaus and join them on that journey. Those who predominantly embrace the horizontal beam, the grace of Christ through the Church, are realizing God calls them to challenge those they journey with toward justice, so that mercy may be granted. Amidst it all, the Church is also awakening to the presence of a rising tide of evil poison that has seeped into society and the Church through the air and the water, for well over one-hundred years: modernism in it's many flavors: scientism, communism, socialism, and progressivism. The wolves are in our midst and we need shepherds to wield the authority of Christ in His Church against it for the shepherding of souls to eternal life.


What is Shepherding and How Do We Shepherd?

The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God. – Saint Mother Teresa, “A Simple Path”

A growing number of voices from various strata in the Church lament the decline of shepherding and resulting harm, including hopelessness. Saint Mother Teresa sums this poverty of shepherding up with poignant, painful clarity. This post will explore what it means to shepherd, and to fail to shepherd, using Saint Augustine's 'Sermon on Pastors' from a fortnight's series of second readings in the Office of Readings.