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Austin, United States

I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...

Priests, God, Mockery

So many have become uncaring about God, about holiness, about virtues, about heaven and eternity. In place of valuing what is eternal, people often resort to mockery of religion and those who love God. They look for the means and reasons to degrade anyone who speaks to them of God, saying, “AHA! We know what bad things you do or did, and we turn our backs on God because of you.” Oh please! You turn your backs on God because of your own mind, because you are a godless person, and because you want to violate all of the Commandments. You use people who are struggling to live a holy life because you seek to justify the way you live. You really don’t know the people you mock. You only listen to awful gossip and false stories and such. There are those who spend a great deal of time creating vicious things about others. So what? Why would that keep you from the love of God? That’s absurd!

So I get around to this latest thing about the priest scandal. Yes, there are those who sin. Wait a minute! Everyone sins. The Church works hard to recruit for the priesthood men of a certain quality and caliber and faith. I’m sure that at times there are those who get in who are not of that order of person. Also, people can change over time. What is remarkable is that the problem, as I’ve been told by some Protestants, is worse in the Protestant churches. And among the general population at large, just look around you. Enough said. So we have our jobs cut out for us to pray for our country, our priests, our families. Way back in the 1980’s, Our Lady in Medjugorje called us to pray for priests. I’m wondering how many of us have done it. She foresaw what was coming. She said that Satan tempts priests more than anyone else, and that it can be very hard for them.

On that note, Father Paul of Moll made a wonderful comment. He said that Satan tempts us, and that we must repel a sinful thought right away or else another demon comes to assist the first one who gave us that thought, and more besides as we refuse to repel it. So the cure is to redirect your mind when such thoughts come to you. The spiritual writer, Garigou-Lagrange, said the same basic thing: What you dwell on in your mind is what you will actualize in the world. So it is best to dwell on what is good, and redirect other thoughts. I’m sure you can think of many good examples in your own life of both aspects of this subject! I don’t think any of you are exempt, btw.

On the subject of mockery, I recall something Our Lady told the two little shepherd children in LaSalette, France. She said that the disasters were going to come, of which she had warned them, because only a few old ladies went to Mass. Then in the winter, more people came, but only to mock religion. This was one of the reasons God was going to send the disasters she had foretold. It did indeed happen, just as she said. So mockery isn’t exactly esteemed by God….

We assume so much at times, and we don’t even realize how wrong we are. We immediately repel any thought that we have erred. Gossip suffices for many of us to ascertain what we believe to be “facts”. Someone only has to say, “He did it.” and everyone takes up the cry. However, this does not establish any kind of fact, only someone’s prejudice, especially if they are paid provocateurs, such as those employed by Planned Parenthood.

I very much like what the Church teaches with regard to such things. It’s also in Scripture. Pray for your enemies, and bless them. None of us are perfect. If I can’t bring myself to pray for my enemies on a particular day, I pray for others, and then on another day when I am feeling better, I remember to pray for my enemies as well. It’s human to have feelings. Everyone’s got ’em. To remember that God must have them too is perhaps the beginning of a certain kind of wisdom, along with “fear of God”, as Scripture relates. Yes, we love Him. We must also respect Him. May we all succeed in our efforts to live well, and to make it to heaven one day.

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