A TIME FOR REFLECTION AND GRATITUDEI have been blessed to get back on my road bike recently and ride three days a week. This time for me is a release from the stresses of my job teaching and life in general. It is also a time for spiritual reflection.
DISTRESSED AND DOUBTINGToday was no different, but I was deeply distressed. Again at Mass we heard about the sexual abuse crisis, this time from a visiting priest from Ireland. His homily as always prompts one to think about their relationship with God and the parish community itself. He talked of Pope Francis visit to Ireland and the demonstrations that were taking place as well as the Pope's visit with survivors of abuse in the Irish church.
Later on in the afternoon before I went on my ride I was reading various Catholic blog posts from fellow bloggers in the Catholic Blogger group. I found myself emotionally moved by posts from both lay people and those serving in various roles in the church.
A couple of hours later I was on my bike for a gusty ride down to the beach. It was at this time I begin to reflect on what I heard and read today. These were the questions that came up and mind you I was disturbed with some of these thoughts.
- What if the Church has been hiding other things as well such as the validity of biblical teachings.
- How does one talk to a priest about their doubts of Church's hierarchy?
- Should the Church change its policy on married priests?
- What can be done about the sexual abuse crisis?
- Should the church examine and rethink its approach to human sexuality?
- How can I trust priests and those in power in the Church?
- What can I do as there has been many suggestions the whole Church is hurting?
- Should I fast?
- What if everything about our faith is lie?
WHAT IS NEXT?It was at this point that the Divine Mercy prayer began to take hold of me as I pedaled in stiff crosswind. "For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on the Church. For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on those in authority in the Church. For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on those affected by the abuse crisis...." As hard as it as all of this was to pray I found myself somewhat at ease, but with still many questions. I was also reminded that Mary is with us forever as well waiting patiently for me to approach her and ask for guidance. I know that we are in turbulent time both societal and in the Church. I have to remember no to make any one person a higher power, no matter who they are. There is only one God and that God will always be faithful to me even when I as sinner wander off as I have so many times. I am reminded of the U2 song I will follow in which the refrain is as follows:
No matter where I go Jesus will be there with me even as I am greatly troubled as today.