Sometimes St. Paul has just the thing, and usually, when he does, it's because he himself has already been through whatever "the thing" I'm facing is.
Today I got a 20-page critique of one offhand comment from a talk I gave two weeks ago. I had remarked that the Opening Prayer at Mass was "worth a thousand rosaries," and the writer took that as a criticism of the rosary, rather than as an exhortation to pay attention to even the "smallest" parts of the Mass. So I was treated to an exhaustive presentation not just of the rosary in the teachings of the Popes and saints, but a catalog of the Marian images in the parish church itself! (Talk about overkill!)
I'm going back to that same Church this evening, but now with the feeling that there are sharks in the water. Weak sharks, but with gnawing teeth. The presentation I hope will offer inspiration and hope is going to be subjected to parsing by someone intent on finding some unorthodox shading. (A first for me, I have to admit!)
What, you might ask, does St. Paul have to say about that?
Well, in Romans 14, he wrote about bearing with those whose faith is weak. As in Paul's day, those "weak" ones can be very strong in expressing themselves (something Paul faced repeatedly). But they are weak--hence, the overkill. It's a sad situation, and (sadder still) not uncommon. Maybe I can "offer it up" "for the sake of Christ's body, the Church," which needs to be united in essentials and charitable in all things.