Right after my post about trying to develop new (and grow older) friendships, God gave me the opportunity to do just that! We were invited to a big party to celebrate a friend's visit from Alaska, and had a wonderful evening with lots of nice people from our parish. The next day, we brought a meal to our friends who just had their seventh baby, and watched our children run around and play while sharing in the joys and sacrifices required to having a large family.
The next day was a beach trip with some of my siblings and nieces and nephews and then at night, a big family party at a sister's home to watch the Patriots game. My brother and his family came to visit for the weekend and the kids had cousin sleepovers galore. We finished off the weekend by having two of our dear priest friends over for dinner (and lots of discussion about this letter).
It was all so so good for my soul.
I want to note a few things:
1. I often forget to pray about simple things, like friendships, and instead focus on the bigger fish to fry. But God wants to be with us in all the details of our lives, no matter how mundane or small. I started praying for good friends, and boom! busy social calendar full of reminders of the awesome friends I already had.
2. At dinner with the fellow mom of seven, she asked me if one of my sisters was my closest friend. It actually took me a second to respond because I think of my sisters and brothers (all five of them) as my siblings, but not as my friends. In fact, they have become my closest friends, even if I can't see them all as much as I want to. How lucky to have built-in friends for life.
3. The topic also came up about how having a first baby is such a celebrated blessing in life, but then having multiple babies can feel like "old news" and we must all do our part to realize that each individual baby is a new soul from God and should be celebrated as such. Moms need to feel cherished and supported after any baby, not just the first.
4. Amidst all the horrible stories of priestly abuse, I think the future of our Church is going to be so bright. Smaller, maybe, but better. Let's root out all the evil men and start fresh with good holy men of God who are there for the right reasons. Will this mean a resignation from the Pope himself? Hopefully.
5. I know there's been some outcry from the faithful about priests and bishops not speaking up about this, but I've been hearing it from everywhere. The word is out and everybody is one the side of justice. As a lay person, I am participating in the 40 days of fast/prayer acts of reparation to do anything in my power to help heal our church.
6. I'm really ready for school to start for the kids tomorrow. I love them so much, but they need to be in school.
7. My beautiful niece is starting her first year at Franciscan University and our goddaughter is also in Ohio at the Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother.
I need to move to Ohio STAT!
That is all.
(Linking up late with Kelly for Seven Quick Takes
Hi there. Catholic here, wanting more clarification about the Pope's role in all this. There are so many articles out there that I am having trouble deciphering through. People want the Pope to resign because he knew about the abuses? Thanks in advance for clarifying for me!ReplyDelete
First of all, I'm glad you got to spend some time with an old friend. It sounds like you really connected and had a wonderful time.
I'm commenting for another reason, though: something has been weighing on me, and what I'm about to say is not meant as a personal attack, but rather an attempt to express my frustration and concern.
I agree that the recent abuse scandal in the Catholic church is horrible (who wouldn't?). I also agree that the Pope needs to be held accountable for any cover-ups.
If this Pope needs to be held accountable, so does every other Pope before him. As you well know, there are many, many well-documented incidents from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s that have been covered up, either by previous Popes, or by other clergy high up in the hierarchy. This is not me ranting about the church - this is just a statement of fact. This means that it's not a problem particular to the church as led by *this* particular Pope, but a problem in general. It's systemic, and has been for a very long time. At least this Pope (unlike his predecessors) apologized and asked for forgiveness. In short, I like your optimism, but I find the focus on this Pope, rather than on the horrifying systemic nature of this abuse really troublesome.
Likewise, I find the emphasis on homosexuality rather than pedophilia (in the article by Roger Landry posted a few days ago) highly problematic. They are not the same. This is a myth that has been debunked by science many, many, many times.
If you don't believe in science, consider this: shifting the focus to homosexuality ignores or plays down those instances when girls are being abused (again, as done in the article by Roger Landry). Why would anyone want to do that?
The problem is not sexuality per se. The problem is sexual *abuse* and abuse of power.
I read your blog to learn more about American Catholicism, and to gain an understanding of a life so different from mine (a European non-Catholic). Now, however, I'm afraid I'll have to stop reading. It is too painful to see Catholics turning a blind eye once again - this time, under the guise of confronting the problem.
I hope in the future, the church WILL indeed be scandal-free. But truly, and not only by appearance.
- Bee (commenting anonymously because I have no blog of my own).