There's a strong contingent of support out there ...
@pontifex No amount of darkness can overcome light. So it is with Jesus Christ, Light of the World. #Catholic
— Lisa Graas (@CatholicLisa) January 7, 2013
There's also a lot of "twerps" on Twitter. First, the puerile ...
@pontifex YOU'RE DRUNK
— Under Seal (@JLLLOW) January 6, 2013
And sadly there are a great many of the crass, loathsome, and faithless ...
@pontifex I thought you prayed for more attractive choir boys in the Vatican church choir
— Samuel J Rosenberg (@SamuelJR91) December 21, 2012
@pontifex trust god,but watch your children around catholic priests.
— antonnewcombe (@antonnewcombe) January 2, 2013
@pontifex Or…you know…have a less confused and corrupted mythic belief system.
— Damien Walter (@damiengwalter) December 12, 2012
The Pope knew this would happen, of course. L'Osservatore Romano quotes Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli: "A bit of everything came in. We have received the most beautiful messages from all ages of young people, and with differing content – at times joking, offensive and critical messages too; but, for us who live in these circumstances, it was no surprise, I confess. We were fully aware of what would happen: when the Pope wishes to enter into dialogue with modern man and puts himself on that level, there are risks to be taken and borne."
Thus, I have a two-part plan. First of all, look at his account on Twitter and you will see a pattern. His posts are generally at the same time of the day. Whatever that time is in your time zone, if you are on the Internet, open the Pope's page and leave it in your tab bar. If he posts, a (1) should appear. Open his post and respond with a loving and supportive message--quickly!
I know, I know... some of you are still Twitter hold-outs. I was holding out until last year. (Realistically, if you are on Facebook, you could even use Twitter to reduce your Facebook time. I digress.) The second part of the plan is for everyone--even Twitter holdouts. Back in March of last year, the blog Acts of the Apostasy began its "Adopt a Priestess" campaign. Here, The Charcoal Fire begins a similar campaign: Adopt a Twerp
What to do? When you see someone you want to spiritually adopt, such as one of those above, offer a prayer such as, "Eternal God, I offer all my prayer, fasting, and alms this coming Lent for the conversion of ______________." Please remember this person in your daily prayers as much as possible, and offer him or her in your rosary intentions especially.
Very simple. That is all that is necessary. I do not even ask that you tell me about it. It would be good to have a more coordinated effort, but I will trust the Holy Spirit to do the coordinating and guiding you to the one for whom you should offer prayers. I do ask that if you feel so moved to please share this post.
I thought about laying down some sort of no-contact request, but upon further thought, I realize 1.) I cannot stop you, and 2.) on Twitter many people (including Catholics) are contacting these people and scolding them for their public disrespect. Probably not very effective. Here's my recommendation if you are thinking about it:
I see a lot of people returning hostility to these angry or confused individuals, and it's clear that they too are angry and confused. Remember, Our Lord said,
To my international readers: If you set something up on your own blog for your readers to engage in a similar spiritual endeavor for the Pope's other tweeting languages (German, Italian, French, Spanish, Arabic, Polish, and Portugese), please let me know in the commentary box.
Lent begins on February 13 of this year, and so we have some time to build this up. Please click on the buttons below to share this on your Facebook wall, or Re-Tweet to your Twitter followers, or Pin it to your Pinterest board.
The Holy Father has sought to shine the light into the dark corners of all the nations. Let us not be afraid to follow him and support him. Let us especially pray for him, that he not be discouraged from all the hatred (which is one of the reasons I think that the first part of this plan is important). Lent is just around the corner, so adopt your twerp now; they are plenteous!
Oh, and one last thing, pray especially for this guy (in addition to your Twerp of choice)!
@pontifex_it sir. Please pray for me. I want to be Catholic Priest. My name is Woo sang hwan.Thank you sir.
— 우상환 (@youne090864) January 7, 2013