Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

What My Parish Priest Said That Changed My Mind About This Blog Post

I had no plans to talk about "the scandal" in another blog post. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about it. I'm not saying it should be swept under the rug and those involved shouldn't be prosecuted because they most definitely should. My priest's Homily made me change my mind about this blog post. What he said really hit home.

Never in my life have I seen the congregation clap after a Homily. My parish priest is a kind, gently, very holy man. When I look at him I see the epitome of holiness and humility. I've listened to Father Mike Schmitz and Father Leo Patalinghug speak on the scandal. They both said (along with Father Don Calloway in his book Under the Mantle) that someone has verbally said they are a child molester. One morning, my priest's Homily hit home. He said he was in a grocery store; someone walked behind him and said, "There's one of those pedophiles." My heart sank when he said that. To see him so persecuted, it was like seeing Jesus being persecuted. This man, this sweet, gentle, kind, holy man had to endure those words without saying anything back. My first thought was that people are just ignorant, but Father said that the person who said it wasn't ignorant. It breaks my heart to think how deflated he must have felt.

The Readings over the past couple of weeks have been amazing. The Holy Spirit (heck the whole Trinity) is telling us to have faith; to not give up on our faith but to rely on HIM. I didn't realize this, but I heard on a podcast (I don't remember which one it was) that the news broke on the Feast of the Assumption. That has satan's signature all over it. We all know that he has NO power over Mary; that Mary is the one who he leaves alone because she's awesome that way. Of course, he would get someone to do his work on such a special day.

Here's a run-down of God telling us what's up:

  • Ephesians 5:15   Brothers and Sisters: Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil.
  • Ezekiel 24:21   Thus says the Lord God: I will now desecrate my sanctuary, the stronghold of your pride, the delight of your eyes, the desire of your soul. 
  • Ezekiel 34:2    Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves!
  • Ezekiel 34:10   Thus says the Lord God: I swear I am coming against these shepherds. I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep so that they may no longer pasture themselves. I will save my sheep, that they may no longer be food for their mouths.
  • Ezekiel 36:25-26    I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.
  • Joshua 24: 15    If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve...
  • John 6:66-69    As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."  

I heard the Lord loud and clear the day we read Ezekiel 34. Who could have missed that message? During the Homily, the priest said he has received emails from parishioners who said they just couldn't come to Mass. These people need our prayers, for sure. In my opinion, those people either were looking for an excuse to stop attending, or they don't have a true grasp of what being a Catholic means...of why we go to Mass every Sunday. It hurts me to think of what they're doing to themselves. Are they hurting the Church? Not as much as they're hurting themselves. It's like when my boys wouldn't turn school work in or wouldn't study for a test because they didn't like their teacher. I would just look at them and say, "Well, you showed her, didn't you?" The difference is that Jesus does care. The teacher may or may not have really cared, but HE DOES.
This song is a reminder that we should continue to let others see Christ in us.
I love my faith. I love being Catholic. I love that I have the privilege of receiving His Precious Body and Blood at least every week. I have had the honor of knowing some very holy priests. It hurts that every single one of them has been affected by the terrible actions of some. It breaks my heart that my parish priest has had to endure some snide comments by someone who has no idea what a holy, gentle man he is. People can be mean. Priests have a heavy cross to bear right now. Please pray for them.

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