Will you also go away?

I’ve hung in there through it all.

Through all the scandal that edged up beyond the 1% we’d heard so often.

Through finding out that the priest who was the closest I had to a brother wasn’t just rough around the edges, but had been one of the abusers, “though (he) hurt no one.”

Through hearing a bishop publicly defend an accused as, “He wasn’t wearing his collar at the time, so it wasn’t from a position of power — wasn’t abuse to the degree you say.”

Through the priest not far from here who turned up dead from a heart attack at an inopportune time of a private gathering, to whom a favorite priest was (allegedly) sent by the same bishop to remove any embarrassing items or cover up any unclothedness before the police came — as he was quoted so publicly in the newspaper.

Through a victim of abuse we’d never have guessed in a million years, whose horror went back to decades ago as we talked that day and it all poured out. I turned a whiter shade of pale from sorrow draining blood from my heart, too, with this poor little innocent who was never far from the horror of the past. He had begun with a question, “We go to Mass over here, now.. have many others left the parish?”

Through the Religious sister after Mass who said she couldn’t bear to attend the bishop-celebrated Mass up at the Diocese cathedral even one more time, who cried through that telling. (Who had burst out crying, actually, because she had kept it hidden from all, as if there were shame in it for her.)

Through it all, I kept my eyes on the Prize– only now I knew what more Jesus had been shown in the Garden of Agony after having been betrayed by one of His own from the public beginning of His ministry.

I recalled His earlier words to His disciples who hadn’t been able to rout a certain demon from someone, not even in His name: “This kind can only come out through prayer (and fasting).”

It was the hand of the beloved brother-priest I took one day after Mass that was ungodly cold in the terrible heat, and it caused me to look into his eyes. We knew nothing of the vast scandal at the time, not even a whisper of the truth, yet, but I saw that he was trapped by something utterly terrifying. I made some offerings, which I hold to this day (though he was defrocked and may be deceased). Satan wanted him. (It is far more than a sifting for priests.) I can’t even hardly fight for myself, but some offerings stand.

What is the Prize I speak of?

As the beloved disciple shouted that day he saw Him waiting for them on the beach,

“It is the Lord!”

By the Spirit’s power of Holy Orders, Priests sacramentally act in persona Christi. Jesus said this is how it must be. Even St. Francis, he who received Christ’s own stigmata, when questioned as to what he would do if he was about to receive what some would think invalid Holy Communion from a cleric who was known to have evil ways, said, “I would drop to my knees to receive my Lord, for He is never invalid. That some betray Him changes nothing of His Saving Sacrifice.”

Yes, some left the parish. Some left the Church herself. Some even left Him when the going got rough. “Will you also go away?”

We’re not there for the clerics. We’re not there for the norms and rules and observances. We’re not there because our parents and our relatives and our nuns expected us to be by blind faith / obedience.

Oh.. our faith sees much too well; we are very pale realists.

We are there for the Prize.




  1. I am utterly blown away by this post. Talk about a Lenten reflection. Wow. I would like to reblog to my blog and to the Dominican blog I manage. Please advise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoa.. and I am blown away by your comment. Thank you! You can re-blog anything of mine anywhere anytime, but honestly, your own musings are exquisite and very much holier.


      1. Well, thank you for that. You have a certain raw realness that I admire, so I guess we can set up a mutual admiration society or something…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL! I would deem me crass (not unlike the savvy woman at the well), but as I see it, life in Christ’s own years of humanity upon the Earth was no cleaner than ours except in His earthly home, which He willingly left one day to come find us all.

        Liked by 1 person

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