Not Speaking Out but Praying

Every day seems to bring further revelations of corruption, abuse or sheer incompetence, both within the Church and outside it. Collectively, we are suffering from an ever-mounting sense of impotence. What can we do about any of it? Even the three-day conference on the protection of minors scheduled to begin at the Vatican tomorrow is being greeted with low expectations. The truth is, whether we are talking about the abuse of power in the Catholic Church or unreal expectations of Brexit negotiations or anything else, the role of the ordinary person seems to be negligible. We simply don’t count.

I believe that is defeatist because it overlooks two very important points. The first is that we have to speak up for what we know, or at least believe, to be true. That can be lonely and difficult, but it is essential. Truth demands no less. The second is that we have to pray — and the prayer we make must engage the whole of our being. We must wrestle with God as Jacob did with the angel throughout the long night of doubt and fear. If we do not, we shall never see the dawn.

I myself feel I have no words left after the most recent allegations of abuse committed against deaf children in the Americas and cover-ups of abuse against religious sisters in Poland. That leaves me with prayer as my only option, so to say. Thank God one does not have to be important or clever or anything else in order to pray. One has only to want to be with God and do his will. Simple, really, for only God can save us from ourselves.

Virtual Vigil
We shall hold a Virtual Vigil tonight between 7.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. for the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the Vatican’s meeting on the protection of minors. No set form of readings/prayers. Please join us in spirit if you can.

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15 thoughts on “Not Speaking Out but Praying”

  1. Prayer is an act of love. words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love. Saint Theresa of Avila

    Catherine so often it is all we have . All we can do .and yet it is everything ,
    Speaking out is important , and am much saddened that truth is silenced . Speaking out in vitriol though as we have seen here with the young woman who joined Isis is also sad ,
    We discussed this at church recently concluding that we are meant to display the love of Christ even as we abhor another’s actions and yes pray for our enemies as He taught us to do ,
    We shall join with you in spirit at our prayer evening this evening
    Bless you all

  2. Praying for the Holy Father. Also for the brave Religious, like Sr Olech of the Ursulines in Poland, who have stuck their heads above the parapet. And for you, dear iBenedictines.

  3. Your courage in the face of such adversity puts me to shame. The Sunday Times report plus plus plus…. its too much to comprehend such evil.
    I will join you, of course.

  4. Our parish is currently in the care of an Administrator, our Pastor having been removed, arrested and about to make a court appearance tomorrow on charges of sexual abuse. Where such happenings appeared distant, however horrendous, we seemed to have had a lot to say, but now it is in our midst, in our spiritual family so to speak, we are practically speechless. So much sorrow for all involved. What is to become of the victim(s), our Pastor, our parish? Too many “what ifs”, trust betrayed if he is indeed guilty. We are left to our prayers, the Sacraments, and each other as a community, hoping God hears our prayers.

  5. Sad that I missed this post yesterday.

    The issue of sex abuse of children and vulnerable adults is not confined to the Catholic Church, other denominations, including Anglican have faced such challenges, which damage both the church and the people affected.

    Prayers for the victims, potential victims and the those who commit such sinful acts and those who turn a blind eye to the abuse, or worse, cover it up, moving offenders from parish to parish, leaving them free to abuse again.

    There are no winners in this situation, only losers. Victims, families, Clergy and people and those lose their faith and leave or drift away. The breaches of trust involved are horrendous as are the misuse of power that those in public ministry, betraying their vows and vocation.

    My prayers are along those lines, because the churches are losing trust and reputation on a vast scale. Apologies are not enough, action for restorative justice and needed, along with real penitence by all involved, only than will victims feel that they have some closure.

  6. I got the message just before the end, and joined you then. As someone who was educated at St Benedict’s before there was any awareness of abuse, and knowing several of the monks there quite well, especially since becoming an Oblate, I feel so helpless. For that, and many other situations, like health, homelessness and unemployment involving ourselves or others, all we can do is pray.

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