Saturday, August 25, 2018

1,300 Embraced Splinters

Over and over again, in everyday stuff and online, I find faces of despair.  People have much to be angry over, and they're hurt they have to wrestle with this pain when there's so much that needs tending too.  This great mess called life keeps getting somehow messier, and it's frustrating to people of good conscience, of good will, of good faith, to find themselves overwhelmed with the levels of stupidity, cruelty, indifference, clericalism, protectionism and self-indulgence and self delusion we're bombarded with on a daily basis. 

In the Church, people are taking their children from schools, and themselves from the pews, because the leaders/princes of the Church have shown themselves to be poor shepherds in one of the most primary of roles, and as such, it is legitimate to question, how good they are at shepherding in any of their other functions.  It seems, to the laity, the leadership of the Catholic Church does not yet grasp in its totality, how much damage they've created by their slow plodding approach to things in this situation. 

I'm reminded of this scene.

The faithful are the hasty hobbits.  They've said they'll address this in November.  It' rather like Treebeard's telling Merry, "We've just finished saying Good Morning." and Merry's terse response, "But it's nighttime already! You can't take forever." 

Elizabeth Scalia says as much in her very fine article here.  I second all she recommends.

People do feel put upon by the public calls for prayers and fasting when it does not seem those who perpetuated or aided and abetted or ignored these crimes/sins are doing much at all other than publicly wringing their hands.  However, what we are asked to do is still of great merit, not merely for their souls, but for our own. 

I would love for Bishop after Bishop, even those who are good ones, to say, I renounce, I resign, I will serve at the lowest position, and for them to do it.  We need to see something from the Bishops akin to this: 

Even if they've earned a spot on the team by their efforts, talents and service.   

They know the ways of the saints.  Saint Maximilian Kolbe said "Take me instead."  in the concentration camps.  If he could surrender a place of no comfort for a place of certain death for love of Christ, for love of the other, a father who cried out, how is it no bishops, no cardinals feel this same push of the Holy Spirit?  If they cannot see it, then what about us who can?

Well, if they don't, then, we who feel the pain of the fathers and mothers over their crushed children, and of the children who were so violated, we must say, "Take me instead." and that's why it's not wrong for the laity to pray and fast and offer penance.   We need to take on something, something which will cost us, something public and I do not know what it is, but since we see the pain, and we know the depth of it, it's not enough to howl "Do something."  If they don't get it, then it must be us who act. 

I go back to the report, there are over 1,000 victims.  There are over 300 priests.  So there should be a 1,300 day penance, if only to give some hint of action on the part of the laity and yes, we will do penance for the guilty, and penance in reparation for the damage done to the innocent. 

Yes.  But what do we do?   

1) Begin.  Write on your calendar today, Victim 1.  Writing it down, since we don't have the names, is a way of beginning.  
2) Offer a sacrifice of today, of something today for victim 1.   
3) Tomorrow, begin again, for victim 2. 
4) If you forget, begin again anyway. 
5) If you mess up, offer your foolish forgetfulness. 
6) Keep at it.  

For those who question, what good does sacrificial offerings do to the sufferings of the past, or of today, for the victims of the sufferings? 

Answer, more than we can understand. 
1) It acknowledges the reality of the injury done (something kept hidden for far too long).  
2) Spiritually, you become united with Christ by your sacrifice/atonement.  Christ suffered and died for each of us, we're not even doing much more than offering a splinter, but we can unite with Christ with that splinter.   
3) It might prompt you individually to more, because the Holy Spirit always starts with mustard seeds. 

The number of victims posted would take from today to Friday, May 21, 2021.  May 21st is a feast day in the Catholic Church, the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, instituted this year by Pope Francis. I didn't know that until I googled it, it seems providential, to pray for each of these little ones harmed by the church, to the Mother who birthed Christ, who loves the Church as none of us do, and who wants all of us home at the altar.   

7) When you get to day 1000, begin work on the alms giving and prayers for those who did or hid these acts.   Here, 
8) Give something away each day for 300 days. It can be time, it can be things, it can be money, but surrender something.   
9) Why?  

          a) Because these acts occurred over time, and so time is something that must be given in response. 

          b) Because the only way we won't be driven from the life of the Church even as we cling to the faith of it, is by willful obedience, and this is a discipline which will allow us to lead by example. 

          c) Because these priests, who did these things, they also held the Eucharist, they were consecrated to Our Lord, and God does not want any of his sheep lost, and they were/are lost.  We must be like the good shepherds to these lost shepherds with our prayers.  The prayers will not be wasted, (but I did put them after the victims because yes, I'm still annoyed and flawed and know we all need time to beat that down. Our prayers will be like the Lord's invitation to their souls, to respond to the feast.  We cannot save them, but we can participate in their salvation by our prayers.   We can imitate Christ's mercy on the cross which came before anyone asked or acknowledged what they'd done.   

It won't be a Year of Mercy or a Year of Humility, because it will take three years, six months and three weeks plus a day to embrace the  1,300 splinters, by the people of the Church for the Church, out of love of Christ, and all those injured by this grievous wound, this great thorn.. 

That day will be March 17, 2022, the feast of Saint Patrick's, and a feast day marking the chasing out of the snakes from Ireland. I didn't know that either when I googled it.  So to me, feasting for the victims with the promise of Mary whose foot crushes the serpent, and with Saint Patrick, who chases the snakes away, is the proper response.  For me, it is too wonderful and too perfect a timing not to begin.

So let us begin.  

1 comment:

Linda said...

I cannot imagine the damage this did. I have never been abused nor have I known anyone who has been. I would imagine it could be as traumatic as a parent abusing a child.
i will surely pray for victims.

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