We were at Father's Day dinner at my parents' house and somehow, the most innocuous comment put me in tears. I would imagine many of you feel the same way. It seems like every time I turn around, another priest is in some kind of trouble. It just gets to me and I can't put my finger on the reason why. Is it for myself, for them or for Him that I want to cry?
Sunday morning and I open the paper to read about a father who bludgeoned his wife and son to death and then laid his head on the railroad tracks and waited for the train to finish the horror he had started. I'm not following the Casey Anthony saga but it keeps barging into the evening newscast. Dear God why? Why do human beings do what they do to one another?
What is it that makes people go so terribly wrong? What is it that is so powerful it can overcome the love between a husband and wife or a father and son? There have been times in my life when I thought I couldn't go on and all I had to do was think of the reaction my parents or my young children would have to me doing something rash and it's always been enough to snap me back to reality. Since my reversion, those kinds of thoughts do not cross my mind.
Last night I got to ease the loneliness and dread I feel every Sunday evening by going to the Adoration Chapel for an hour. I wondered what I had done to deserve so rich a privilege - to sit all alone with my Lord on a Sunday evening in a perfectly quiet chapel with no interruptions, no cell phones ringing and no chatterboxes. I realize there is nothing I can do in this life to merit such a reward, so it's better not to wonder about such things and just bask in His Presence. I have to say that I did not run out of people and causes to pray for and on the ride home, I thought of a few more I could have added.
I could not ask the Lord why and expect an answer, but I could pray for those who are struggling and for those who have been hurt by priests who have succumbed. I will do my part by praying more than I ever have. I hope the priests will do theirs by taking stock of how they are living and answering whether or not it's in conformity with Christ. In fact, it's not just the priests who need to do this but all of us, myself included.