Ah, a difficult topic. I’ve heard from a few of you who want to know, what if the darkness is coming from within the Church herself? What if it’s faithless priests and bishops who are causing your frustration and feelings of isolation, desperation, and despair?
If this strikes a chord, then read on. I hope to have some words of advice or encouragement. If this topic doesn’t interest you, or isn’t helpful, I hope to see you next time!
Church Crisis Causing Turmoil and Interior Darkness
I received the following email from one of you dear readers the other day. I’ll post parts of it below, for one can feel the agony in this woman’s heart as she wonders what to do? In her diocese, unprecedented and unlawful liberties are being taken by the bishop and priests. For example, the faithful are not allowed to receive the Eucharist on the tongue, contrary to the Church’s Universal law Redemptionis Sacramentum, statements put out by the USCCB, and Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
But it’s not just the Communion in the Hand Debacle. It’s everything. It’s so disheartening to be told that one’s faith is “nonessential,” and then to have seemingly no bishops or priests publicly fight against this discriminatory term. (Well, almost no one. There is this priest. And Archbishop Vigano.)
In any case, here’s a part of this woman’s heartrending email:
Kim, I appreciate your post on darkness. Thank you for sharing it.
I have been experiencing a total disconnect in some ways when it comes to the Church. I know, I believe, and I trust in Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church. However, I still feel so bitterly disappointed in how we are being led. I can’t even think of the right word to describe how I feel about our bishops seeming to make our Faith nonessential. Whether or not they intended it, that is what seems to have happened. Is abandoned the right word?
I try not to dwell on it, and I try to instantly offer it up, but I feel the darkness, the loneliness, and the disappointment that the institution I look to in order to help make sense of this life was pretty much silent throughout all of this. I go to a Holy Hour and I try to pray, but not much comes, but I keep going because it’s about Jesus (not me) and it’s about being there with Him even if I feel disconnected, unworthy, and an utter failure. The leaders in His Church on earth might fall short, but He does not.
Forgive me, but I find it ironic that bishops are marching in protests (racism is an issue that needs to be dealt with, of course) with no social distancing but we can’t more fully open our churches. I can’t speak personally to whether or not the bishop or any clergy attended these protests, but it’s ironic to me that social distancing doesn’t seem to matter anymore and we still aren’t able to live the full life of the Church with its many devotions and Communion.
I feel all of these things so deeply, and I also try to offer them up and to live in the joy that is the Lord’s, but I confess it is very, very difficult at times. I wish I could be more saintly and welcome the suffering. I find myself often praying, “I do believe, help me with my unbelief!”
Thanks for listening. I always appreciate your insights and any thoughts you might have.
Ask For the Grace of Longanimity
Oh, how I wish I had greater insights into what one should do in these dark times. Truly, this email is heartrending, especially because it’s not the only one I’ve received from you readers. I have spoken to too many people who feel abandoned and hurt and lost. O, the agony in the world! In the breasts of faithful men and women! How long, O Lord?
There is no logical reason why the bishops and priests won’t stand up and be real mean of God. I don’t get it. It would seem that if you, dear readers, find yourself in a similar situation as to the woman above, that I can only think of one sensible thing to do: ask Jesus for the Grace of Longanimity or long-suffering. If you are meant to stay in your particular diocese, peace will come, even in the midst of great suffering.
If, however, you cannot accept the local situation or stand it or stomach it, then pray about leaving. Say, Jesus, give me longanimity and peace or open a door for us to leave this forsaken place. And then patiently wait. Accept whatever His will is. Rest in His peace. It’s out of your hands.
Ah, easier said than done!
But I’m serious about the leaving part too. Some of you readers may know which path our family chose–we left a diocese that continually suppressed tradition. We worked for 10 years there, trying to establish a TLM. Eventually, it became evident that it was no longer God’s will for us to struggle under such a heavy, oppressive yoke. We had no peace, only an everlastingly nagging feeling that we needed to leave, to seek refuge in another place where we might raise our family with the aid of faithful, courageous priests. And oh, happy misfortune that finally gave us the courage to leave–Paul’s medical problems. And then, my husband could have worked anywhere, but that a job miraculously opened up in the one place with an abundance of Latin Masses and a beautiful, traditional school.
Indeed, we know of others moving too. Just two days ago, I spoke with two different men after Mass. One was nearly crying because he couldn’t believe the courageous things coming out of our priest’s mouth during his homily. This man drove hours and hours with his family to hear him. This man is now in the process of moving his family here because of the unlawful things happening in his home diocese.
The other man I spoke to was telling us about his brother, who is also hoping to move his family here to escape the madness in California.
Dr. Taylor Marshall speaks about all this HERE. He calls it the “Great Catholic Migration.”
But of course that path isn’t for everybody, which is why I mention asking Jesus for peace–for the grace to accept your situation too. And longanimity–the grace of long-suffering. He will give it; only beg for it! Jesus may have His reasons for keeping you in your particular diocese, for who else would carry out His plans? He needs faithful men and women everywhere after all.
I wish I had greater insights to give, for I’m afraid I’m falling short. I can only end by saying stay close to Jesus. He loves you. He cares deeply about you. You are never alone!