Let is always a difficult time for me.
I always come in with some grandiose plans for spiritual growth. It usually ends up being a time of great spiritual assault.
This year, I’m doing well with my devotions. I’ve commited to say certain devotions every day, and I’ve been doing them. If I’ve missed something one day, i’ve caught up the next.
I’ve been more active in maintaining this blog, and it’s shown some fruit.
But I’ve also been under deep spiritual assault, and I’m about at my last straw, as i will discuss in a separate post.
I think that, almost every Lent, I become overwhelmed with the problem of Scandal.
Now, I’ve long since become adjusted to the fact that many priests have very serious sin problems. What bugs me is the attitude of people sticking their heads in the sand about this. When a priest is engaging in scandalous behavior, he doesn’t need us to look the other way and feel sorry for him. He needs us to pray for him and fast for him. He needs us to stand up to him and say, “What you’re doing is wrong.”
Fr. Corapi is the only one I’ve heard give a reasonable position on this subject. Many priests, he warns us, have serious problems with sin. It goes with the territory. Being a priest is very psychologically stressful and spiritually strenuous. Priests are prime targets of the enemy. To deny that priests have addictions and serious sins is to deny them the grace they’d get if we were praying for them.
Then there are the many “good priests” who are strongly orthodox but seemingly lacking in what we might call “evangelical fervor,” the kind of fire for the Gospel that Fundamentalists condemn Catholics for lacking.
I’ve known very few priests who seem to have the right combination of doctrinal orthodoxy, liturgical and disicplinary rectitude, spiritual asceticism, and evangelical fervor.
One of those was Fr. James Haley, and he now sits in canonical limbo.
Most of the others I might list were sent off at some point for extensive “psychiatric treatment.”
*That* is what scandalizes me. The bad priests get promoted, or retire comfortably, or receive no disciplinary action whatsoever. But the really devout, prophetic priests end up being sent away for “nervous breakdowns” because they make the laity uncomfortable.
So, that has been weighing on me.
And then there’s the problem I will post more extensively on in a separate post.