Sorry not to have posted yesterday; spent the majority of the day in airports and on planes. I got back to Chicago last night, a little before midnight; feeling "jet laggy" today.
So much has been happening in our Church here in the Unites States and abroad this week. The Church in Europe continues to struggle; this morning I read that another Irish bishop's resignation has been accepted by the Vatican; the pope has apologized to the people of Ireland; the Church in the Netherlands is beginning to address what appears to be a large number of sexual abuse complaints. Just this morning I read that the costs associated with the crisis have amounted to 2.2 billion dollars in the United States alone, with a cost of $104, 439, 629 in 2009.
I write a brief reflection on the inside covers of many of WLP's worship resources. At the height of the crisis here in the United States, I remember writing about how painful all of this is for Catholics in the pews. Remember, I am originally from Boston. I struggled as I watched the pain of my family members, some of whom were parishioners in places where priests were removed because of credible allegations. In my own pain, I turned to the scriptures and ended up pondering a section from John's Gospel. This is the section immediately following the "Bread of Life" discourse.
"Then many of his disciples who were listening said, 'This saying is hard; who can accept it?' Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, 'Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.' Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, 'For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.' As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, 'Do you also want to leave?' Simon Peter answered him, 'Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.'"
I know that many people have left the Church because of all of this. There were times when I wanted to leave. But, ultimately, I pondered the Lord's question to the Twelve, and I had to come to grips with their response and make it—and continue to make it—my own: "Master, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life."
Let's continue to pray for our suffering Church; for those who have suffered abuse of any kind; for those who committed the abuse; for those who have decided to leave.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.