Take Courage, Friends
Perhaps you, like all of us, have sat for hours this week staring at your screen while bile builds up in your throat. The news of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury findings is unspeakably horrific. Honestly, my grief over the realization of the brokenness in our Church and in the episcopacy defies words, and I am beyond devastated for all of the victims and their families.
I want to tell you a story that I think is so relevant here. The Cardinal commissioned by JPII to start the Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family wrote to Sr. Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries, to ask for her prayers for his endeavor. She wrote back, and one of the thing she said was, "the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family...but do not be afraid,” she added “because Our Lady has already crushed his head.”
We are absolutely facing this battle this week, my brothers and sisters, because any violation of children is a violation of the family.
This battle for the glory of God amongst the darkness of human brokenness calls to mind one of our patrons, St. Maximilian Kolbe. He faced down an unspeakably horrific violation of human dignity in the Nazis, and he stood strong in his witness to the faithfulness of the love of Jesus Christ and the victory of light over darkness.
In our little way, we too, like St. Maximilian, are choosing to stand up to fight for the glory of God in the midst of these atrocities. Your intentionality on your path to marriage in your single years, your dating years, your engagement, and your breakups is your joining the fight for the victory of Jesus Christ in this present darkness.
So what to do now? Even though it's so tempting to run and hide because the carnage is so devastating and we have no idea what to do, we take courage like St. Maximilian Kolbe and so many other brave souls. Like Jennifer Fulweiler said in her Instagram post on Aug 15, we go into attack mode to commit to be part of the solution, even if we don't really know where to begin. So, we pray for the healing of the victims, for the Bishops to have the courage necessary to seek justice for these heinous crimes, for the holy and innocent priests who are now under attack because they too wear a Roman collar, and for hope for the universal Church. We fast and do penance for healing, and we work to form ourselves into the image and likeness of Jesus. We cultivate the virtue of chastity: the integration of our sexuality into our whole person. We seek God's will for our lives. We love those around us, particularly the broken-hearted. And we remember God's unfailing love for us and his promise that the gates of hell will NEVER prevail against the Church. We can do this, friends. We can be saints in these dark times. Let's all pray for each other!
We want to point you to a couple of excellent posts if you’d like to read more about how to respond to this situation: