Social Media has been buzzing – more like screaming – with posts and messages about the latest scandal in the Catholic Church. I’ve seen more hate being tossed back and forth than I have with the election of Trump. God forbid a faithful Catholic say that they’re a “faithful Catholic”, you might as well draw a red bulls-eye on their forehead.
Speaking first-hand, I’ve had my own bulls-eye hit a few times – on Twitter and Facebook (go figure).
In one case I was asking for people to “pray for the Church”, then told with obscenities that I should be asking for prayers for the victims (aren’t they part of the Church?).
The second time I was scolded by several friends on Twitter for re-posting an article so that I could read it later (those who criticized jumped to the conclusion that I agreed with the article even though I hadn’t read it).
I spent a lot of time and energy addressing both incidents but ended up deleting everything I’d written; nothing seemed appropriate.
I also spent too time much time crafting articles and messages on Social Media in defense of our Church, our amazing priests – those who have given their lives completely over to love and lead the church with integrity and holiness, and my friends who continue to stand up for their faith. I wanted the world to know that the sickness of the abusers and their heinous crimes can never destroy that which Christ gave us.
But, after reflection and time away from social media, I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to contribute to the conversation. Not because I don’t care… but because I do care and passionately.
You see, at the very heart of the abuse lies the Body of Christ, real human beings who are unconditionally loved by God, most of whom do not know God or even believe that they are deserving of love.
While the last few weeks have caused our Church to focus on the abused, we cannot forget the others – those who hunger for a kind word, who need someone to tell them they are worthy and that they matter, to show them that they are loved as God loves and to walk with them in a journey of discipleship.
Prayer and reflection has led me to recognize the amount of spiritual and emotional energy it takes to reply to negative comments, edit articles of defense, and scroll through feeds keeping up with what the world is saying about the scandal.
This is not what God is calling me or anyone else to do.
So, let’s huddle…
“Go and make disciples of all nations.” ~ Matthew 28:19
All the time and energy it takes to engage in the conversation regarding the scandal distracts us from ministering to the poor, the lonely, and hungry, the afflicted, the widow and orphan, the teen, the single mom, the unemployed, the homeless, the addicted, and the average Joe and Jane who are no longer in the pew because we had neglected them for so long and the scandal was the straw that broke their back.
Satan loves our church more than we seem to do right now. [sarcasm, people!]
While Christ mourns for His Bride, the Church, we need to be reminded that nothing can stand against Her.
We have a job to do and we need to trust that God’s justice will be done for “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
Now, let’s get back to work!
Please pray for me as I pray for you and the rest of the Church.