The Color Red. November 8, 2016

Just opened an email containing a letter by our archbishop that concerns a second collection, or maybe it’s about Renew My Church. In any case, it looked like he signed his name with the title “card”  before Cupich. He’s not wasting any time whatsoever, since I believe the actual title, at this point of time, is  “Card elect.”  The color red and the red hat await our archbishop. 

I love the color red, since my mom always said I looked good in red, given my skin color. But the color red has deeper, symbolic meaning that speaks about the giving of one’s life to the point of shedding blood. The very reason these bishops turned cardinal wear red is to “wear” the sufferings and death of Christ, not on their sleeves or cassocks, but in the hearts. But has this tradition of the making of cardinals, a beautiful one at its core, become a fashion statement and a title change? Can’t this College of Cardinals be expanded and involve other voices than the Pope’s  on who gets in? I believe lay MEN have been a part of the College of Cardinals in centuries past…how about lay women and men? There is nothing to prevent this, as long as the one elected Pope is male and a bishop? 

I should be happy and elated at the surprise choice of many of these current cardinals, at the choice of our own archbishop, at the power/status it gives, but I am not. Church intrigue, institutional politics, promotions, who gets the plumb diocese or parish, liberal versus conservative reforms…these used to intrigue me and capture my imagination. Now, I yawn…. what happened?  I’m not down or cynical, I have just let go of these internal church skirmishes and preoccupations. 

And so I where the color red, not to make a statement, theological, fashion, or otherwise. I do so because I simply like red and know my mom thinks/thought it was my color. If I’m going to make a statement about reflecting a life that mirrors Christ’s Sacrifice for All of humanity, I will help the lonely, listen to the struggling young, be generous, weep with those who weep, spread JOY, visit the sick, teach the faith, celebrate God’s Love. 

All these can happen regardless of what color one wears. Peace. Fr. Frank. 

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