Easter Sunday 2012

Have you noticed I tend to write in this blog every holiday? I guess it has to do with the fact holidays are a time of remembrance. Who knows.

Tonya is working today so I went to Easter Mass by myself at the same church I was baptized, made mt First Communion in, was confirmed in, was married in and will probably be carried out in a box from. When the mass was over I thought how today I looked at the mass in a whole different way. I suppose that is true of most everything in life, as we age we gain wisdom, knowledge, experience, and that changes us. Sometimes it changes us for the good, sometimes for the bad, but we do change.
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When I was a kid, I remember going to this same church and all I could think of was getting out of there and going home. I didn't understand what was going on (seeing as occasionally the mass was in Latin or French didn't help), I didn't understand the significance then, and do now. But there seemed another difference as well.When I was a kid the priests seemed to by stiff and cold, today the pastor was full of energy and he seemed so full of life and energy, it really struck me for some reason, first as kind of strange, but then as a wonderful change.

We of a certain age, especially we Catholics, remember back to the dark days of the clergy abuse crisis, something which turned many of us away from the church. After all when you are raised to believe your priest is like God and you can trust him, second to none, and something like this happens, it is certainly disillusioning. There were other reasons I left the church as well, but we need not go into them now. When you are taught that a priest is like God, you forget that they are humans too. And they too can succumb to the same temptation and evil as the rest of us. Did the church mess up with how they handled the problem? Absolutely and I would be willing to bet they would be the first to acknowledge that fact.

But these priests must be forgiven. They will continue to suffer the rest of their lives with the guilt of their sins. But can the rest of us continue to hold the rest of the church responsible for the actions of some? There was a time not so long ago I would have answered that question with a yes, but not now. By doing so we are playing into the hands of the Evil One. We are letting him destroy our faith and our church.

Our God is a god of forgiveness and mercy. Jesus taught that when he was alive and now when he watches us from the right hand of His Father. Does this mean the priests who sinned should not be punished? No, they need to be as would anyone else, as do those who covered up their sins, but they do need to be forgiven and prayed for.

As for me, who knows, I've made my share of mistakes, chose the wrong path more than once, I seem to be on the right one now and I know i won't be making the same wrong turns again, so I guess time will tell.
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