I know what ‘faith’ is but I checked my dictionary to reconcile my notion: “Faith (noun) is a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. My thesaurus offered words like; trust, belief, conviction, dedication, hope, and others. No problem here.
Faith (adjective) can be a tenuous (weak slight, or insubstantial) matter. I’d guess one’s faith could be easily shaken in that its basis is in the unseen or often unknown.
Okay. The reason for this post has deep personal roots. A priest that I knew very well and respected as a pious man of my Catholic faith was on the list of priests with credible sexual abuse allegations. I was shocked. In fact I wrote the bishop, contacted friends, and made an ‘issue’ of the matter. I even maligned the former classmate who gave the story of her brother’s experience to the Duluth News Tribune. Sadly, I was mistaken and have since apologized. Two weeks ago I learned that another priest who I knew very well was also charged–another unexpected surprise. So, that’s two of perhaps one hundred of the priests I have known over the years.
The Boston story, an explosive expose on a major cover-up of priest abuse, became a powerful movie and shook Catholics (and the general public) to their bones. More recently there had been more of the same despicable behavior–this time in Pennsylvania. My heart goes out to all the victims; how terribly they have suffered over the years.
I’d be dishonest if I claimed my faith was not shaken. My Catholic Church, my religion, my everything spiritual had failed me with its intolerable behavior, and even worse, the generations of coverups at the highest levels. It would have been easy for me to skip going to Mass and nurture my faith in other ways. But . . . I could not. My Catholicism is in my genes. My father and mother were devout Catholics as were generations of MaGauleys and Myres before them.
I found a podcast by Father Michael Schmitz, the chaplain at UMD in Duluth, and listened to his heartwrenching perspective on recent disclosures. It helped a lot. Father Mike is a wise and eloquent voice and I encourage all of you to check out his ‘Bulldog Catholic’ website and podcasts. I am confident that our new generation of priests
are far better prepared for living their vows and comprehending their responsibilities. I pray for them all daily.
In fact, the protagonist of my last several novels is a Catholic priest named Father Mickey Moran. (More about him in another posting).
Anyhow, I continue to go to Mass. My faith is as strong as it ever was. But, at the same time, I realize that most of my Catholic friends are not practicing their faith anymore and haven’t for years. They continue to have their children Baptised and Confirmed but that’s about the extent of it. Thus, their children and grandchildren follow the pattern of being Catholic but not ‘really’ being Catholic and participating in their church. Once the pattern of ‘sleeping in’ on Sundays, etc. becomes thier norm. And, in our rapidly changing culture, I sense a strong undertow of anti-Christianity. God is taking a beating in the media around the world. Satan is always at work and probably reveling in apparent demise of the Christian faith. But this fallen angel will NEVER prevail–NEVER! My God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. He is the alpha and the omega, and He is the Savior of all who believe and commit to Him.
There. I’ve made my profession of faith and feel good about it. God bless you for bearing with me.