I am just an old “has-been” NFL player and coach, who truly loves his Catholic Faith and would give his life for her. I am a cradle Catholic, who would like to give my take on all the scandals facing the Church at this time.
We are all aware, as Catholics, that this has been a very difficult time for the Catholic Church and all its members. The responses from many of us regarding this matter has gone through the entire spectrum of emotion, all the way to disbelief. The responses, or lack of, from bishops and other clergy, and some lay leaders, have been all over the board. Most of the responses from this group have fallen in the categories of denials, cover-up, passing the buck, finger pointing and flat out lack of truth. In other words, lying.
Many Catholics are saying to themselves and others, how could God let something like this happen to his Church? Or, how could the highest leaders of our Church let us down like this, and hurt so many innocent people? Well, I truly believe that God has allowed this to happen, and all of the warning signs have been there for quite some time. Do we really think — and more importantly, do the guilty parties to these acts really think — our Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t know the entire details of the whole mess, and who was involved, and who covered up facts and protected these predators? Our Lord not only knows each and every person involved in this scandal, from top to bottom, but the guilty ones know that he knows. Their conscience has to be in utter torment. They will not escape God’s wrath. In God’s time, all of this will be brought to light and revealed. “The Lord looks down from heaven” (Psalm 33:13-15). Yes, the Lord will see to it that the victims will be justly rewarded — maybe not on earth, but eternally in heaven.
The Church will go through some trying times, but we will be better off as a result of it. God will allow this purging to take place. Meanwhile, this is not a time for bickering, or being afraid, or doubting God, or leaving the Church, or worrying about many issues in a diocese or parishes, etc. Jesus does not want us to move away from him in these dark times, He wants us to come closer to Him. Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is the time for all the people of God in every diocese in this country to stand-up and be counted. This is the time for clergy and laity led by our bishops to ban together and get back to the basic fundamentals of our Catholic faith.
I believe that both clergy and laity have allowed ourselves to get out of shape in regards to our faith. When is there ever going to be a better time than now to get back into spiritual shape? Let’s all of us commit to this simple spiritual workout action plan:
- Everyone, make it our No. 1 priority to attend Mass every Sunday, especially as a family. Encouraging others to attend. Read the Scriptures before attending Mass. Whenever possible, try to make daily Mass.
- Commit to praying. Without a daily prayer life, we don’t stand a chance. The Rosary and Divine Mercy devotions are great (Luke 18:1) — “Always to pray and not lose heart.”
- We all need a good interior cleaning. Make a point to go to confession. It doesn’t matter how long it has been. Priests need to make confession available more often and better times.
- Teaching from the pulpit. Solid Catholic doctrine. Don’t be afraid to talk about sin and that the fact that heaven and hell are real. Challenge people!
- Organize and promote small men’s groups and small women’s groups in our parishes. Accountability!
- Each diocese should organize lay-driven women’s and men’s conferences. Game changer!
This would be a great positive start. Let’s let “God be God.” He wants us to be holy men and women of God. Please take some time and read and reflect on Psalm 139.
And ask ourselves, “If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” Because “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Danny Abramowicz is the host of Crossing the Goal on EWTN