Justice: In Home and Church

15 Jun


At last! I’m back! My computer got sick. Then I had a little bit of a sympathy illness. Now the computer is fine–and so am I. My head has been examined and they found nothing–nothing wrong, that is. So! Here we go!


Recently I had a holy aha-moment.

It happened as I was reading about generosity in Matthew Kelly’s “Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.”

Ordained thirty years ago, I’ve ministered in our own St. Mary Magdalen Parish learning from the wonderful people who fill our church and our ministries. For ten years I served as chaplain for the Winter Springs Police Department. I’ve written thousands of words for books, homilies and my blog.

But have I been generous with mercy? God has forgiven me so many times for the same old stuff over and over again. Yet, I still stroke my memory with a desire for comeuppance for this or that personal offense—real or imagined.

In mercy, have I actively forgiven family members and friends who hurt me deeply—and have I had the courage to ask them for forgiveness? To request forgiveness is to admit that I wronged someone—and that takes both humility and gratitude to God for the mercy extended to me.

Have I been merciful with my children—or have I demanded more of them than I was ever willing to give of myself?

And in our Church, have I been truly generous—or have I taken a joyful leap into the duties and ministries that please me and make me feel compassionate and holy?

I have to admit that I have not always reached out (shared life) with those folks who rub me the wrong way, whose posture, like my own, demands attention and acceptance. Have I embraced others for whom they are—brothers and sisters with the same Father, Savior and the Holy Spirit who is Lord and Giver of Life?

When I meet the poor and terminally ill, why do I feel threatened or at least uneasy? Is it because I still fear weakness and death more than I trust in my God?

More yet.

We preach mercy and forgiveness but still, when it comes to sins such as sexual abuse of children, we struggle to forgive and to protect others in our community. In situations like this, I can stew over the sin and crime of abuse—and remain discontented with how we have had to remove the offenders from our midst.

But, we have an understandable concern that offenders will abuse even other children in our community of faith. Also, there is the question of legal culpability if we do not offer protection and stand firm against such abuse.

Who said it is easy to be a conscientious Catholic—one whose spiritual life is without warps and wrinkle and even disaster?

No one, I am sure, who has a bit of experience in trying to live in Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.


2 Responses to “Justice: In Home and Church”

  1. Sherri June 15, 2016 at 12:39 am #

    Woo Hoo!!! Glad all well !!! ❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Monica June 15, 2016 at 1:55 am #

    Welcome back! Great to receive your emails again 🙏🏻🙏🏻

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