The Scandal

 

First published March 25th, 2010. 

 

FOR decades now, as I noted in When the State Sanctions Child Abuse, Catholics have had to endure a never-ending stream of news headlines announcing scandal after scandal in the priesthood. “Priest Accused of…”, “Cover Up”, “Abuser Moved From Parish to Parish…” and on and on. It is heartbreaking, not only to the lay faithful, but to fellow-priests. It is such a profound abuse of power from the man in persona Christi—in the person of Christ—that one is often left in stunned silence, trying to comprehend how this is not just a rare case here and there, but of a much greater frequency than first imagined.

As a result, the faith as such becomes unbelievable, and the Church can no longer present herself credibly as the herald of the Lord. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, A Conversation with Peter Seewald, p. 25

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When a Mother Cries

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 15th, 2014
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Liturgical texts here

 

 

I stood and watched as tears welled in her eyes. They ran down her cheek and formed drops on her chin. She looked as though her heart could break. Only a day before, she had appeared peaceful, even joyful… but now her face seemed to betray the deep sorrow in her heart. I could only ask “Why…?”, but there was no answer in the rose-scented air, since the Woman I was looking at was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

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The Little Path

 

 

DO not waste time thinking about the heroics of the saints, their miracles, extraordinary penances, or ecstasies if it only brings you discouragement in your present state (“I’ll never be one of them,” we mumble, and then promptly return to the status quo beneath the heel of Satan). Rather, then, occupy yourself with simply walking on the The Little Path, which leads no less, to the beatitude of the saints.

 

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The Desolate Garden

 

 

O LORD, we were once companions.
You and I,
walking hand in hand in the garden of my heart.
But now, where are you my Lord?
I seek you,
but find only the faded corners where once we loved
and you revealed to me your secrets.
There too, I found your Mother
and felt her intimate touch to my brow.

But now, where are you?
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Just Today

 

 

GOD wants to slow us down. More than that, He wants us to rest, even in chaos. Jesus never rushed to His Passion. He took the time to have a last meal, a last teaching, an intimate moment of washing another’s feet. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He set aside time to pray, to gather His strength, to seek the will of the Father. So as the Church approaches her own Passion, we too should imitate our Savior and become a people of rest. In fact, only in this way can we possibly offer ourselves as true instruments of “salt and light.”

What does it mean to “rest”?

When you die, all worrying, all restlessness, all passions cease, and the soul is suspended in a state of stillness… a state of rest. Meditate on this, for that should be our state in this life, since Jesus calls us to a state of “dying” while we live:

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it…. I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. (Matt 16:24-25; John 12:24)

Of course, in this life, we cannot help but wrestle with our passions and struggle with our weaknesses. The key, then, is not to let yourself be caught up in the rushing currents and impulses of the flesh, in the tossing waves of the passions. Rather, dive deep into the soul where the Waters of the Spirit are still.

We do this by living in a state of trust.

 

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Will I Run Too?

 


Crucifixion, by Michael D. O’Brien

 

AS I watched again the powerful movie The Passion of the Christ, I was struck by Peter’s pledge that he would go to prison, and even die for Jesus! But only hours later, Peter vehemently denied Him three times. At that moment, I sensed my own poverty: “Lord, without your grace, I will betray you too…”

How can we be faithful to Jesus in these days of confusion, scandal, and apostasy? [1]cf. The Pope, a Condom, and the Purification of the Church How can we be assured that we too will not flee the Cross? Because it’s happening all around us already. Since the beginning of this writing apostolate, I have sensed the Lord speaking of a Great Sifting of the “weeds from among the wheat.” [2]cf. Weeds Among the Wheat That in fact a schism is already forming in the Church, though not yet fully in the open. [3]cf. Sorrow of Sorrows This week, the Holy Father spoke of this sifting at Holy Thursday Mass.

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