Wednesday, March 06, 2013
A Word of Encouragement
When I got back from the Retreat on Sunday evening the first thing I heard when I switched on the radio was the news of Cardinal O'Brien. I think it has affected us all in different ways and I know I have to make an effort to focus more on praying for the Cardinals gathered in Rome to elect a successor to our beloved Pope Benedict than waste time thinking about news headlines.
However, I have also to face the reality that a number of young men considering the priesthood have been in touch - and not all from Southwark or indeed south of the border - to talk about how devastated they are by the news. As one put it, it was hard enough to be a Catholic thinking of priesthood before, how can he possibly defend himself before his friends now?
This blog is not a place for controversy and I have no intention of entering into a debate about what has been going on - comments trying to draw me will not be published. I do however want to say something to those of you who may have been shaken by the recent revelations which I hope you will find consoling and encouraging:
How would we react if we were to discover that our father was committing adultery? I am sure there would be a range of emotions including anger, confusion and great sadness. But would we blame our mother? No. We would cling to her more closely. We would try to console her by the warmth of our love. We would stick with her. When the Church has been wronged by one of her members it should evoke within us a desire for reparation and a determination to respond with greater fidelity. Our fidelity is shown in little things: in getting up on time, in doing a day's work, in looking after our prayer, in our service of our neighbour, in our determination to turn away from sin.
This isn't a time to get disheartened. It is a time to be more faithful. That is what the Lord is asking of you today. Please be assured that I am praying for you.