At my last reconciliation the priest gave me a penance of reciting 7 times the Serenity Prayer. Since I don’t really know it I looked it up on-line. “Accept the things I cannot change.” That is very difficult for me and for a lot of people. It seems that the hierarchy, priests and some people are so entrenched in covering up or denying the abuse issue in the Church that no none can change it. Billions of dollars used to settle cases of abuse have not changed the culture in the Church so what makes me think they will listed to a lone voice in the wilderness. (John the Baptist had his head cut off.)
I have experienced or witnessed many priests lie, some of them about criminal enterprises that do not involve abuse. That some priests lie and do it so easily is diabolical. “Accept the things I cannot change.” There are devils in the Church and I cannot change that. Someone sent me a copy of a talk that the exorcist, Father Ripperger gave. He did say in it, the Church, was in even in worse shape than we know. He also said not to get wrapped up in the bad we are seeing in the Church…“Accept the things I cannot change.”
I cannot change the consciousness of the bishops, I cannot change the consciousness of fellow priests, I cannot change the consciousness of the people inside or outside of the Church and I cannot change the fact that I was sexually abused. I must accept the fact that things are the way they are in the Church and that the evil is even deeper and more deeply rooted than I imagined.
On the first Grief to Grace retreat I went on I tried to conceal that I was a priest. It didn’t last long. Everyone there said that they tried to see their bishop and were rebuffed, Crying, I revealed that I was a priest and that unlike all of them I could at least get my foot in the door with the bishop’s office. Unfortunately that was all I could do, I could not make him take any action.
“Accept the things I cannot change.” It is all a lot to digest. The evil is too entrenched, I know that now. Everyone is responsible for the salvation of their own soul…and the Catholic Church which should be in the forefront of helping with the salvation of souls is not. That is a harsh reality, (I care about souls.), but I must, “Accept the things I cannot change.”
This whole blog seems to be a big downer but really it has been freeing for me, at least for now. It also says in the Serenity Prayer, “Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace.” I am not good at that either.
The whole Serenity Prayer on line is not the edited version of the prayer used in AA. Trust in God and surrender to His will. Easier said than done. And as Father Ripperger emphasizes, not God of my making. So let us all pray to know the real one true God and not the God of our making.