Jesus Christ offers us His Body, broken for us through his death and in the Eucharist. We are also the Body of Christ and now, we are broken too …
I am heartbroken that this type of abuse and the subsequent mishandling of it has taken place in a Church that I love with my entire being. I’d like to share with you my own thought process over the past few days and some of the conclusions that I’ve come to.
This is horrible and I feel injured personally. If you feel similarly, it is a normal and even justified feeling. Luckily, faith is more than feelings. The truth is the truth, even when the people charged with presenting that truth don’t follow it.
Should we leave? I questioned, but then the words of the apostles ran through my head, “Where can I go? You have the words of eternal life!”
I sought counsel and strength through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Then, I turned to the Eucharist and felt the kiss of Jesus as my consolation.
I turned my pain around and considered the pain of the good priests I know who have been injured by this even more than I have. I prayed for them. I reached out to them. I thanked them for their vocations.
We remember in the Old Testament, David was a murderer and yet he was chosen to lead a nation and even became the line from which Jesus would come. Peter denied Christ and ran away! Saul/St. Paul oversaw the persecution of Christians!! God can use us all. No matter where our own actions lead.
I believe the Church will experience a reformation again. The Church always self-corrects and it’s important to remember that there have been very few cases since 2002 when new safeguards and rules were put in place. Read the USCCB statement.
I am happy to discuss any of this with you. If you have questions or are struggling know that I am praying for you, loving you and here for you! WE are the Church. We can work together and pray for God to cleanse and sanctify the Bride of Christ.
We can offer our broken body back to the Lord and He will make all things new.
What can we do?
Encourage our parish priests in their vocations.
Ask for our priests to have “listening sessions” for those who have questions or concerns.
Don’t make ourselves vulnerable to abuse or put those in ministry in that position. (Always meet in groups of three or more, don’t ask those in ministry to give rides home to our kids, and so on.)
Educate ourselves on the issues and solutions. Read the Vatican’s response.
Frequent the sacraments for strength.
Participate in Creating a Safe Environment training and even the development of new programs.
“Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious.” – Fulton J. Sheen
Copyright 2018 Mary Lou Rosien