Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Silent No More and Vocations to the Priesthood

Yesterday on Patheos, The Crescat posted a very personal, moving account of the lasting effects she suffers from mistakes she has made in the past.  Please head over there to read the whole thing, say a quick prayer for her and all those who are agonizing with such mistakes that they might be healed by Christ's loving call and then comeback over here.  Ok?  Ok.

Back?  Good.  A few thoughts, if I might.

I am involved in the Pro-Life Movement.  Gladly.  I say Mass once a month for the Helpers of God's Precious Infants at Holy Name Church, Mount Auburn.  (I'm on 1st Saturday of the Month, 8:00 AM, stop by if you get the chance.)  I pray regularly for an end to abortion and the conversion of hearts of those who are in that industry and the lawmakers who shelter and coddle them.  I've been to the March for Life, but need to go more often.  I am an advisor for Cincinnati Right to Life, where the Pro-Life Movement was founded.  (Really, I mean that.)

With all the above, I also recognize that I am not going to be the one who wins the war against abortion on the everyday level.  I can't.

However, those who, like the Crescat, come forward after an abortion and admit the terrible and lasting effects that it has had on them in their lives.  The depression.  The feeling of absolute inadequacy.  The imprisonment. The Shame.

I have counseled women who have had abortions, at least initially.  It is beyond my limited abilities.  I have seen the same pain and turmoil that the Crescat talks about in her post face to face.  I have also seen the courage that it takes to publicly admit that mistakes have been made.  The fear that paralyzes.  The evil one whispering in the ear that 'because of this, you are unloveable.'

It is not so.  I look at the Gospels and see the ones Jesus called closest to Himself were not the perfect and the 'Holy,'
but sinners who knew of their need for His healing.  The 'Perfect' are so convinced of their 'Perfection' that there is no room in their hearts for God.

But when the woman caught in adultery is thrown to the ground before Him, He looks at her with love.  Grasps her hand, helps her up, restores her to peace.  Certainly, the follow-up challenge remains: 'now that you have been cured, do not sin anymore!'  But the healing and the cure is there, available, open; shall we just turn to Him and ASK!

It is only through the healing offered by Christ that the wounds and scourges of this particular sin can be healed; but as the Crescat admits, they will always be there.  Use them!  Don't let them be tools for the Devil but spurs that others may not fall into the same trap!

In my work as Vocation Director, it is something I remark on often.  God does not call the perfect to Orders.  If He did, we might as well have just one seminary in the country, and a small one at that.  He knows I'm not perfect, I face my limits daily.  Look at St. Peter in the Gospels, Far From Perfect!

BUT HE STILL CALLS!!!!  But in order to be truly effective, in order to be truly a minister of Christ; we as priests (or that potential future priest I am chatting with) must first be healed.

And then when healed, He gives us a particular sensitivity to the issue that was originally involved.  Those who are struggling with the same issue will seek you out, and in compassion, you will be able to heal through those same wounds that Jesus has originally healed.

1 Peter 2:18-25

Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse.For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace. But what credit is there if you are patient when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.For you had gone astray like sheep but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.


Gail Finke said...

That's a great reflection.

Trey said...

Very well done, Padre