Thank God for Good Bishops
Like any relationship, my walk with the Lord, or faith journey, or whatever Christian jargon you want to use to describe the living relationship I have had with Christ since my youth, has had its ups and downs. Many, many times I have fallen, many times have felt my self fall, like Christ, under the weight of my cross. I thank God, and alone give Him the glory for the grace and strength to get up and keep going. I have had moments of doubt in Christ, and the Church. God usually clears those up if I allow Him, proving Himself able when I believe He’s given up. In what was the darkest time I would say in my spiritual life, God still came to the rescue, and refused to leave me.
To explain very briefly, there had been a priest in my life, who I thought was one of the best out there. He seemed to have it all going for him. But, one day, in a stroke of sheer what I now call ignorance, some may call it something else less charitable, he completely betrayed my trust. He had not only hurt me but also someone else very dear to me. We had been decent friends but now all my trust in him was gone, and with it, I found myself painting the vast majority of the priesthood with the same brush. I thought, “Well if this is one of the best and orthodox priests that I know, what will the mediocre, lukewarm priests do”? I had placed, as any decent Catholic does, a lot of trust in my priest and now that this was gone my spiritual life immediately began to suffer greatly.
God had done an incredible job of forming my trust in the Catholic Church and the Magisterium. I had a deep love of the Saints, especially the Queen of all Saints. I knew that without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. However, I also knew, as in the Scriptures, that God could speak through a donkey, so God can always use a priest, no matter how much of an “ass” he is. Though I believed all of this, I lost my trust in the men. I began going to another parish and found myself again distrusting these men. It should be said that I am a very critical person, and it is something I need to work on, but I have been to many masses since that horrible day, and I can count on one hand the amount of orthodox Catholic priests I have heard. This did not help me. The priests along with the Bishops were not the men they were called to be. I was searching for just one good priest, faithful to Rome and willing to teach the faith, and not the social justice gospel. I could not find one. It became a very dark time in my life spiritually. I found myself though still believing in those central tenants of the faith at the same time doubting God’s love for me. I thought I had lost it completely. God had given up on me. He saw my hunger and was letting me starve. I became angry and resentful with God. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I felt very alone in those days, even though I had the presence of very good Catholic friends and family.
But God always comes to the rescue.
I was invited to go on a pilgrimage to Quebec in May 2009. It had been almost two years since I had the experience with this wayward priest. I was ready for anything. My heart longed for a touch of grace; “Like a deer longing for water” as the Psalmist says. And so on this pilgrimage, God began the restoration of my faith. It began with going to Confession, which I had not been to in 2 years. The priest in that confessional was incredibly kind, and knew, without me saying directly that I had been wounded by a priest. He made me bring it to light in that confessional that morning. I was in tears and had a hard time keeping it all together. But once that confession was complete, I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. The darkness was not so dark anymore. While on that pilgrimage, I also met a priest by the name of Father Dominic, a priest of the Marie Jeunesse. He was absolutely incredible and spoke my language-music. We talked about all of our favourite bands and found we liked a lot of the same ones. He actually liked metal! My heart rested.
God always works in steps, and always has a process to bring the heart closer to Him.
While on this pilgrimage, we were given the immense privilege of being able to attend the Ordination of two Bishops. I had no idea what was going on most of the time as it was mostly in French, but I felt the wind of the Holy Spirit in the Cathedral that afternoon. I had no idea why. But I was hopeful for these Bishops. I saw some good men chosen by the Holy Father to shepherd to flock in Quebec; a task I would not wish on the best of Bishops, as the people of Quebec are incredibly hostile to the faith. Even their swear words are not like our English ones, but are literally blasphemies against God, including the Blessed Sacrament. It is a crazy culture that will use basic swears as an opportunity to curse at God. I knew these men had a real battle in front of them, but I could see in their eyes a readiness for the task and a real love for the faith.
My trust was slowly being restored.
Needless to say, God continued the work He had begun, and shortly after that pilgrimage I was going back to confession and my prayer life was growing again. Things are so much better now. I attribute a lot of the work done to the intercession of the Blessed Mother, and to St. Peter Julian Eymard. The two of them worked quite well on me- but that is a story left for another time.
Though that period of my life was difficult, and I still lean on the side of caution when dealing with members of the clergy, I now know that I can trust some of them, but like any other human, they are bound to fall. I still believe that there needs to be a renewal in the life of the clergy. I do not think many priests truly know Jesus Christ personally. But I believe that a day is coming when the Church will be revived and back to it’s vibrancy. This, like my own spiritual life, will only happen after a time of great pain and suffering.
God will restore His Bride – either we do it for ourselves, or God will do it for us (I think He already is beginning)
In conclusion, in going back to what I said before about the wind of the Holy Spirit moving in the Cathedral, I think I see why. Today I found this in my Newsfeed on Facebook. Here is a video, recently produced by the Canadian Catholic broadcasting company, Salt and Light Television about the newly ordained Bishop and now Archbishop of Quebec, Archbishop Gérald Lacroix ISPX, the same Bishop ordained that day in May 2009. God has brought full circle for me another reason to be hopeful about our Bishops.
There is always hope.
PLEASE ENJOY WATCHING THE VIDEO BELOW AND PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS BISHOP AND FOR ALL THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY OF CANADA
In the Immaculata,
Posted on October 15, 2011, in Apologetics, Bishop Lacroix, Catholic, Catholic Clergy, Church Corruption and Renewal, Current Events, faith, Love, Orthodoxy, prayer, Testimony. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.