Posted by: sisterbernice | May 21, 2010

Contemplating

What does one say about evil?  especially the evil of sexual abuse?  That is my question again today.   I am struggling with how to respond and what to say.  I don’t think anyone really knows what to say.  This reality is why I think people are taking out their frustrations on the Church and, in particular, the Pope.  It is an evil which no words, even apologies, will explain or help.  To understand this evil, one requires knowledge and courage few of us have.  The Church is supposed to have the answers and as its main representative, the Pope, is supposed to supply the words.  He has supplied many words about it.  I have found the message sincere and meaningful.  I also know that it won’t be enough because it can’t be.  Only the Lord can heal this; which is why I have found the Pope’s words to be true, why his call for Friday prayer and penance to be a powerful approach.  So, we need the courage to have faith in the words of prayer and confidence that the Lord has the knowledge we lack.  He knows how to heal.  

Do we have faith?  I find faith sorely lacking among Catholics writing about the sex abuse scandal.  One reads so many hateful things in the National Catholic Reporter, America, etc.  and so many defensive things in others like the National Catholic Register.  It’s as if we can’t put our faith in faith.  How did we get to this point? How did mistrust creep so thoroughly into our faith lives like it has into our relationships and our understanding of the world.  And, I don’t mean doubt.  Doubt is altogether a different entity to a person of faith.  I’m talking about Catholic believers who mistrust the simplicity and power of prayer.  We fail to believe in love when we do.   I’m  sure at this point someone out there is screaming at me – don’t you get it – the scandal is about the abuse of trust, power, authority and that has made us mistrust.  But, I would respond – hasn’t it always been so? why in this era do we choose to turn away from the ways of the Lord as if they have no merit and yet, have always been effective?

So today, as I continue to contemplate, I renew my pledge to pray the Our Father with reverence, humility and love.  I will pray the sorrowful mysteries the same.  I will continue to pray that the Pope’s words and ideas break through our hearts, not for his sake but for ours.  He is true to the centuries old mysteries of the relationship with God, even if the secular and Catholic press and the rest of us somehow don’t seem to “get it”.  By focusing on him, the office and the politics, we lose sight of our own power.  What if? What if they and we just focus on the faith aspects of the his message and leave the personal and political grudges aside?  What if?  And so, I pray my modified St. Francis Prayer asking the Lord to make Benedict and instrument of His peace as well as the prayer to St. Michael, to protect the Church.  And as a note to self –I also notice that I pray all the other prayers I have put up here each time before I sign off.   

What is my prayer for?  Healing for the victims and the Church which is all of us.

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