12 May 2014

Feeding the Faithful...


During his Regina Caeli address on May 11, Pope Francis used this image from the everyday life of the simple farmer:

“When a calf is hungry he goes to the cow, his mother, for milk. However, the cow does not give it to him immediately; it almost seems as if she keeps it for herself. And so what does the calf do? He nudges the cow's udder with his nose, and in this way the milk comes. It is a beautiful image. And this, says the saint, is what you must do with your pastors: always knock at their door, at their heart, so that they give you the milk of doctrine, the milk of grace and the milk of guidance..."

It's a great image, and one that I understand completely, being a dairy farmer's son. I've seen it often, and when the cow continues to be hesitant, I have seen the calf's nudge develop into harder and firmer head-butts, until the cow knows her calf means business.

It appears that the Holy Father has given us permission - nay, even a command - that if our bishops and priests are less than forthcoming when it comes to giving the sweet milk of the Gospel, or if they attempt to pass off curdled milk as the real thing, we should give them a firm nudge, or even a demanding head-butt, as a reminder of why they occupy their particular position in the Church.