My brain has been on overload for the last week. As a Catholic, I, along with so many other faithful, have been rocked by the news regarding cover-ups, lies, sexual perversity and assault, by those in positions of power within the Catholic Church. My heart hurts and I know Our Lords heart has been wounded by those with whom He called to lead His sheep.
I’m not sure if I’m more angry at those who committed the atrocities or saddened for those who were victims. So many people are voicing their opinions about the way to seek justice, punish the perpetrators, “clean house,” and or leave the Catholic Church altogether. I decided I wasn’t able to sort all of this out in my brain so, I went to Adoration and turned it all over to Jesus.
Adoration is probably the best place to be at this time. Our Church needs the faithful to continue praying for it, for those Holy Priests, Bishops and Cardinals who will have a very difficult time through all of this. They will be confronted with anger, threats, and a shaking-up of their own faith and commitment to God. I’ve already heard of a good, Holy priest being verbally accused of being a child molester and other priests wondering if they should go travel in their clerics or not, just so they don’t get harassed. It’s sad to know how a few, terribly bad men, can cause the whole lot to be blanketed with such hatred by the public.
Bishop Fulton Sheen once said that about every 500 years or so, the Catholic church will experience a scandal that will rock it to its very core. Well, it’s been about 500 years since the Reformation and while I would have preferred not to have to live though this; we now have one of our worst scandals.
While I was sitting before the Blessed Sacrament, I was pondering what it was that I could do. I knew about the traditions of prayer and sacrifice; however, one word kept popping up into my head, love. I am to love. When we love, we are letting that part of God fill us; because, what is God other than love itself? He chose us before he created the Universe, before He created the earth, and before He even thought of a raindrop. He loves us so much He wants us to be with Him forever, in eternity. It’s hard to imagine that kind of love. Even when we try to compartmentalize and think of our greatest love; such as, the love of our children, spouse, and parents, God’s love for us is so much greater than that, we just can’t fully comprehend or even imagine it!
God wants us to love. In order to do that, He laid out guidelines, just as a parent would set boundaries for their children, because they love them; He created the commandments for us. In Matthew 22, 34-39, the Pharisees asked Jesus which commandment of the law is the greatest and He replied, ” You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Jesus also spoke of the second commandment which is like it: ” You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
When we love God, we turn to him in thanksgiving and in sorrow. God never stops loving us; He never leaves us. We have to remember this when it comes to the Church that Jesus founded. He has promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it; however, He did not say the Church would be uncorrupted. Man is corrupt and if a mere mortal is placed in the seat of Peter, as a Cardinal, Bishop or priest, he is still just a man. The evil one can infiltrate his thoughts and actions if he allows it. Satan tempted Jesus after his 40 days in the desert with power and prestige; however, unlike Jesus who cast Satan away, men can be lured by the sin of pride, rather than forgetting oneself for the sake of another.
Now, more than ever, we must pray for our Church. We must purge the prideful, arrogant, and sinful men from our ranks and build a Holy, Apostolic Church which has LOVE at its foundation. We can’t abandon the Church which Jesus founded; as a matter of fact, we should be praying harder, fasting, and sacrificing more, so we may offer to the Father our love for His Son and the sacrifice He gave of himself for us. I keep thinking of the words of Saint Peter, in John 6, 67-68 when Jesus asked his Apostles, ” Do you also want to leave? Simon Peter answered him, ” Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
God’s love never leaves us no matter what we do, say or neglect. I can’t let my love for the Church Jesus founded just go away because of the sins of man. Where would I go? I choose to stay, pray and love more. Do you?
One thought on “To Whom Shall I Go?”
We need to love and pray for the church Christ founded, for the good shepherds (our priests) who guide us in our walk with God, for our fellow Catholics who are angry and disillusioned with the perpetrators of the sexual abuse of children and those in authority who have covered up these horrendous crimes for so many years, and for all the victims. As hard as it is, we also need to pray for the perpetrators of the abuse—that they will be brought to justice and in the process realize the sins they have committed and ask God, and their victims, for forgiveness and mercy. May you, O God, strengthen and bless your church, your dedicated and holy priests, deacons, religious, and laity who are trying to live lives of service, love, compassion and mercy.