Lest we think all the news about the Church is bad (or that I only report the bad stuff), here is an inspiring story of a priest who gave decades of service to the Church:
He was asked what he planned to say to the parents of the man who murdered two Planned Parenthood workers.
“I’m going to remind them that the God of the mountain is God of the valley, too, though sometimes it’s difficult to see Him, especially with all the negative things these parents have experienced. It’s like going down to Crane Beach to see the great expanse, only it’s so misty and foggy when you get there that you can’t see a thing. Yet you know that just beyond the mist, just beyond where your eyes can’t see, lies that great expanse.
“It’s the same way with God. Sometimes, when those clouds of sorrow seem to eliminate His presence, we think that He’s not there, yet our faith tells us no, that He has to be there, and that’s what makes all the difference between hope and despair.’’ That quote was repeated to him, and he was asked if it might apply to priests today, especially the younger ones, reeling from the fallout of a scandal.
“Absolutely,’’ he replied. “This has been a brutal time, certainly a time of great testing. The history of the Church has been a history of crises it has come through. What makes this one different is that instead of addressing an issue, we are the issue, and that’s a big difference.
“I would tell them this. Difficult days? Yes, I have had them, just as they’re having now. But I’ve never had an unhappy day in the priesthood, never a day I regretted doing what I’ve done with my life.
“That’s a wonderful feeling to have when you come to the end of the road, don’t you think?’‘