It has been a long time since my last posting.
Frankly I was caught by surprise, after the second car accident within less than two weeks, by the amount of time recovery takes, the physical therapy, the need for emotional healing.
Certainly allows for a lot of time to read, reflect, pray, get caught up on both e and snail mail.
Throughout this period, I have been reflecting upon the continued pain within the priesthood, the pain across the world from terrorism, war, poverty, epidemics and today’s news reports about the busting of yet another child porn ring stretching from Canada to the United States to Australia to Britain.
Over and over again what comes to my heart is, in common parlance, our dual failure to communicate truth and to help one another connect the dots.
In the Divine Office of the Latin Rite for the Friday of the First Week of Holy Advent the Second Reading in the Office of Readings is excerpted from the Proslogion of St. Anslem and that, along with an article in the paper RESTORATION, gives comfort and hope.
I’ll try and clarify.
Since the mid-sixties, especially in Western Countries, we have chosen repeatedly to continue down a path of ultimate self-destruction through an ever more pernicious disdain for the Lord and Giver of Life and for life itself.
Now in the early part of the Third Millennium, the 21st Century, there is an ever approaching catastrophe most visible in things like global terrorism, expected pandemics, and the devastation of global warming.
Cries St. Anslem: Without God it is ill with us. Our Labours and attempts are in vain without God.
Pope Benedict and some Bishops and Priests, Ministers, Rabbis and Imams, even some intellectuals and artists who profess no particular religion, all these voices are trying to articulate a fundamental truth, namely we simply cannot continue as we are going or we shall indeed perish.
However what pains my heart, as a Roman Catholic Priest, is what I perceive is a more widespread lack of boldness in truth-speaking/preaching, an almost fearful hesitancy to connect the dots, both among clergy and laity.
These, I believe, are the dots needing connecting: abortion which leads to a cascade effect of disdain for life, especially human life, and a loss of the sense of the sacred dignity and worth first of every human being, whatever their stage of life or condition in that stage, and a type of greedy impunity when it comes to making decisions about the rest of created life, be it animate such as fish in the sea or inanimate such as the ‘environment’.
The cascading impact of abortion needs to be connected to greed and its cascade, terrorism and its, the spread of falsehood from the pulpit and its impact.
The immense evil of pornography in all its forms, the most heinous of which is that which victimizes children appears to shock ordinary good people when the news reports its spread – yet where is what should be in the first instance the greater shock and outrage over abortion?
How can a society which claims to be outraged at the horrific treatment of children living outside the womb not get the connection between the spread of abuse and violence being the cascade effect of murdering children in the womb?
If the unborn little person is reduced to a disposable object by abortion then we open the door to legions of evil spirits which spread disdain for life.
We seem, even the Baptized, to have become a people who reacts but does not act, who emotes but does not think, easily disturbed but unmoved.
I am not suggesting we abandon attempts to reverse global warming or cancel the war on terrorism or ignore epidemics.
I am saying we are overly focused on the outside edge of the cascade of evil and failing to address the source of the rivers of blood soaking the earth.
Until we rediscover the first Tabernacle of the Redeemer was the womb of His Mother, until we understand the first flesh and blood Presence of God-with-us was as tiny as our own beginning, and in the same place, we will never comprehend in the least the actual sacredness, beauty, truth of each human life.
Silence does not exist in and of itself. Silence is the deliberate absence of sound.
Silence in the face of abortion and all other forms of evil is a deliberate choice which we, especially priests but urgently all the Baptized, must reject and become the bold, truth-speaking, truly audible voice of the voiceless.
We cannot tell the Islamists or the merchants of greed or those who starve women and children, and do worse, in Dafur: STOP! LOVE ONE ANOTHER!,
if we tolerate the abortion of a single one of our little brothers and sisters.
Rightly they will call us hypocrites.
This Lent is a time when we must, to borrow loosely from St. Anslem, take some little time with God, with the Lord and Giver of Life, deep in the enclosed garden of our hearts and LISTEN!
Pope Benedict urges us in his encyclical on the Love of God to contemplate the pierced Heart of Christ if we would understand love and I believe part of love’s understanding is action: charity – beginning with charity in the womb!
How shall we get to that enclosed garden?
Pope John Paul always urged us to go to Our Blessed Mother and, as Fr. Pat McNulty wrote in a recent article: When things get too messy or too mysterious, just put your hand in the hand of our Lady…. [ see the March 2006 issue of RESTORATION – www.madonnahouse.org ]
Tomorrow late, in the day I leave for an extended weekend serving the poor and staying with the Staff at a local soup kitchen.
These will be days of encountering the lonely Christ, the homeless Christ, the hungry Christ [ hungry in so many ways] and is something I am honoured to do as a priest.
They will also be days of many hours with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and from those hours I will be asking the grace to resume regular postings once more starting next week.
Be assured all who read this will be prayed for especially during those same days and I always ask the men, women, and children who come to the soup kitchen to pray for the whole world, for the prayer of the poor is powerful indeed!