It is coldish and raining. It is also gray, good sleeping weather. Sometimes when I’m depressed I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. When I was in college seminary I remember telling someone that if I am asleep it is less time spent being awake and depressed. Twisted logic I know but in my defense I was only 18. Also in a way it was true.
Of course when you sleep all of the time you cannot work on your demons. The seminary was not a safe place. In a lot of ways the Church does not feel like a safe place either. There are people who are given some semblance of power who do not know how to deal with anything out of their little way of doing things. God forbid it does not fit into their little boxes. And it is then that they say or do something stupid and hurtful.
I freely admit that I too like boxes. I realize that there are times when they are not helpful so one must think outside of the box. Sometimes situations dictate out of the box thinking and actions. As an example I will use the time I was sexually propositioned by a stranger. After refusing said proposition I was left to ponder what it was that would make anyone think that it was okay to offer a sexual act to a priest. (I was thinking in my little box.) Maybe boxes are akin to, ‘putting our heads in the sand.’ Was that fact seen as relevant to the situation or living life as a priest. NO! All anyone wanted to discuss was a priest quoting a crazy woman’s come on and saying the words blow job.
Think out of the box. What was it that brought us to a time and place that someone would even think to say that or do that to a priest. Was the important thing saying a word for a sexual act or the fact that some stranger, a man, offered to perform that act on me? We are not in your father’s or grandfather’s Church. So in-spite of all the other stuff a priest has to deal with on a daily basis now we have to add to that such incredible disrespect. Even though we do not have to deal with sexual propositions daily we still have to live and work in a climate of disrespect.
The genesis of that is not just the fault of the clergy sexual abuse scandal although that has contributed mightily. The faith has not been taught by educators or parents, the faith has not been lived by priests and nuns as our first examples. Our sex, determined by whether we were born with male or female genitals, is science, science in this case is trumped by feelings. Feelings have been given a primary place in decision making. (Sometimes I wake up and feel like I am 80 does that make me 80? I feel it so it must be true. This baby is unplanned and an inconvenience so kill it.) I could go on. Madness in the world, madness in the Church.
Here is a radical idea for the upcoming of the Synod on Synodality, LIVE THE GOSPEL!!! Synodality (from synod which is Greek συν [“together”] + ὁδός [“way”, “journey”]) is in the Catholic Church a term “often used to describe the process of fraternal collaboration and discernment that bodies like the [Synod of Bishops] were created to express”. I know it is not easy and we ALL fall short because we are ALL sinners. As was presented in the gospel today, REPENT. God forgives.