News Flash: Catholic Priests are Human Beings

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, a bishop I have admired most of all for the heroic effort he has put into encouraging priestly vocations, has an excellent article on his blog reminding us of a reality we should have learned in the last two millenia:

Popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, nuns, brothers are human.

That means, we are sinners.

Yes, religious people are people….and people sin.

He goes on.

Our faith is not in popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, or even in monsignors.  Nope:  our faith is only in Jesus.  He and He alone will never let us down; He will never sin; He and He alone will never break a promise; He and He alone deserves our absolute trust and confidence.

That’s why it’s especially tragic when someone leaves Jesus and His Church because of a sin, scandal, or slight from a priest or bishop.  If your faith depended on us, it was misplaced to begin with.  We priests and bishops might represent Jesus and shepherd His Church, however awkwardly — but we are not Jesus and His Church.

Please read the whole thing.

I think I should share a bit about my story as a convert in order to help expand on his points. I never really knew Jesus growing up. My parents were protestant and, being big believers in the protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura, made sure that I had a Bible in my hands and expected that I would figure it out. I had a problem accepting Jesus in the manner that my parents had, though. I could not get past John 6:

The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

Mind you, many people will believe as those who quarreled, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” In order to both ask that question and persist in asking it, you have to posses in your mind an unbending idea that it is an impossible thing. That belief that it is impossible is what protestants have not, and possibly cannot, overcome. It is those who continue to believe that it is an impossible thing who continue to reject what Jesus said in reply to their objection.

As a fifteen-year-old daughter of protestants, I understood what He was saying, and I understood many of the supporting parallels throughout Scripture, on some level. I had no problem believing that it “could” be possible. After all, God is the Creator of all flesh. I understood on a very basic level “why” He would ask us to believe this very incredible thing in order to have eternal life. The only thing I did not know was “how” He could do it. I  knew of no church that taught such a thing. For this reason, I could not accept that Jesus was the Son of God…..just yet. I made a promise to God the Father, if you will show me “how” this is possible, I will believe that Jesus is Your Son, join that church, and follow Him always.

It was in 1982 that I made that promise to God. I was very sincere, but I was apparently not ready yet because it was not until Ash Wednesday, 1991, that God finally showed me “how”. The first time I ever attended a Catholic Mass (apart from the funeral of one of my parents’ friends when I was a small child), I witnessed the Holy Mass and knew “how” Jesus made possible what He commands in John 6. I had found God, at last, after a life of what might be called a sort of agnosticism. My joy was immense, and remains to this day, but especially at Holy Mass.

And nothing the priest says in his homily, and no sin that any priest anywhere commits, can take away from that joy.

It is for this reason that, for the life of me, I cannot even get my mind around why there is a propensity on the part of so many to act as if the whole world is crumbling because priests and bishops are sinners….or who act as if the Church is evil because some priests have sinned. Jesus is in the tabernacle: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

When people protest due to the sins of some priest somewhere in the world, I always think of the words of St. Peter, the first Pope:

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Jesus is present in the tabernacles of Catholic churches (and only Catholic churches) worldwide. When I hear someone speak of leaving Him, it is what St. Peter must have felt in that moment that I feel. Simply dumb-founded.

Read Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s article: A Blessed Holy Week

28 Responses to News Flash: Catholic Priests are Human Beings

  • God Bless you Lisa!

  • “…or even in monsignors.”

    Monsignors! Now my faith is shaken.

    Seriously, thanks for the post.

  • Thanks for posting this, Lisa… I just came across it earlier this week, and it’s really a terrific article.

    I’d also highly recommend his earlier post, An Airport Encounter… he details his encounter with a man who begins the conversation this way: “I was raised a Catholic, and now, as a father of two boys, I can’t look at you or any other priest without thinking of a sexual abuser.” !!! Archbishop Dolan does a masterful job of leading the conversation down a fruitful path.

  • Excellent post, Lisa.

    All human beings are sinners and being a priest, bishop, cardinal or Pope doesn’t exempt you. Some are greater sinners than others, but all are sinners. The percentage of priests who have done these terrible things is very small. Anyone who thinks that child molesting is somehow limited to the Catholic Church is fooling themselves. Every other church has the same problem, as do public schools, as do youth sports, the list goes on and on. Jesus says that we are to forgive our sinning brothers “seventy times seven times.” It’s difficult to even talk about forgiving those who have done these things, but doing so is what Jesus taught us. At the same time, forgiving is not forgetting. We must avoid the occasions of sin (“lead us not into temptation”), and help others also to avoid those occasions. My heart goes out to those who have been tested by being molested and who have not fallen away.

  • Would anyone want to belong to a Church for saints only? I am very glad that our clergy, for whom I have the utmost respect, even when they are scoundrels, are sinners and not saints. Fr. Groeshel once responded to a Mormon (paraphrase) I don’t want to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Present Day Sinners. Now that is a comforting thought. Jesus loves me so much He invited me into His Church so I can be among fellow sinners. Talk about tolerance and inclusiveness. Can you imagine having to be perfect before you are confirmed! Jesus came to call sinners and for those lucky souls who happen to be saints (even if it is only in their own minds), congratulations, some of us need much more help and we can get it in the Catholic Church, from sinful priests too. A priest who commits the vilest sins, jeopardizing his soul, not mine, can still give me absolution because he’s just an instrument and God loves to work with broken instruments. That ensures that we don’t confuse Whose actually doing the good work – it ain’t the priest – even the best of them.

    Lisa, one minor, but I think important point: Jesus is also ‘substanitally’ present in Orthodox National Churches too – they are schismatic, but not heretics.

  • I think Bishop Sheen said priests were called to be better than the rest of us and set an example. So if they sin and do so in a vile manner, it reflects badly on the Church. As a backslidden Catholic, now agnostic, I cannot embrace an institution that harbors, covers up or otherwise excuses in all manner of ways the egregious and sinful conduct of its clergy. Yes, we are all sinners and Paul said he was the worst of all, but in context he was condemning himself for the persecution of believers; nothing more. One wonders what the original 12 would have thought of the horrors inflicted by wayward priests in modern times.

  • Joe,

    We are all called to be better than we are, that’s kind-of the whole point. You are right that it is more scandalous when religious and clergy sin egregiously than laity, but that doesn’t diminish the perfection of Holy Church, it is merely a reflection on the fallen nature of her members. There are many physicians and lawyers who are far, far worse than some priests, yet I doubt that you have sworn of medicine or secular law. So why disdain the means of your salvation simply because some of the administrators have sinned?

    I’m pretty sure St. Paul considered himself the worst of sinners because he believed it on all accounts. He probably also endured the stigmata and did not ask that it be removed because he chose to live a life of penance for what he did to the One he met on the Damascus Road. St. Paul is preserved for us as an extreme example, not to explain away our sins. In your reference to the original 12, did you notice only one of them, St. John, actually stayed with Christ. Our priests and bishops have been sinners from the get go. Ever heard of Judas Iscariot or the foul-mouthed, impetuous Peter, whom Christ referred to as Satan!

    There are trees and there are forests, what are you looking at?

  • Good points, Mr. Knight, which I am familiar with, having read the Bible from cover to cover. A passage in particular strikes me, quoting jesus: “By their fruits, ye shall know them.” Actions, therefore, count much more than words and all the verbal piety that emits from the pulpits on Sunday is more than offset by the sinful actions performed on the other six days of the week.

    Yes, there are good priests. There also are good agnostics and atheists, too. God alone decides whom to bless and whom to curse. So if you were born a Pharaoh and needed as a prop to prove a point, you never had a chance.

    Here, we get into determinism vs. free will, Calvinism, etc., which will only lead to another set of arguments that never seem to end.

    I haven’t give up on God, but I think He has given up on me. Remember the parable of the sower — sometimes the seed doesn’t take root, sometimes it does.

  • Joe,

    We may judge material evil, we are rarely, if ever, informed enough to judge moral evil. Only God knows what is in the hearts of men. Could the Church have handled the small amount of abuses better? Of course, but that is not what happened. Why? Who really knows? We can speculate, but we cannot know. Bad consequences with good intentions, bad consequences because some have evil intentions, simple mistakes, the list goes on. It sucks, it always has and presumably will until the end of time. Perhaps the enemies of the Church have entered in order to separate the faithful from the Sacraments. What ever the reason, the priests are not the Church, they are merely her ministers, some good some bad and all manner of shades in between. We cannot denigrate the institution because of the actions of some of her members – that is totally illogical.

    God has NOT given up on you. He never will. Sometimes He withholds the manifestation of His Grace and Presence in order to draw you back. I know, He did that to me for nearly three decades. Only He is perfect, if you expect perfection, or even goodness from any other place or person, you have set yourself up for disappointment. Just know that God chooses to work through the imperfect, it may not be pretty, but that is not His fault – the fault is entirely ours. How gracious is He for calling us despite our stupid, sinful decisions and open rebellion?

  • Knight…” Who really knows? We can speculate, but we cannot know.”…

    This is always the easy out when humans are at a loss for an explanation. If I hear “It’s God’s will” one more time after a child dies, I think I’d throw up. If we cannot know and can only speculate, then my speculation is as good as yours or anyone else’s. Yes, the fault’s in ourselves, as Shakespeare says, but if we are faulty it is because we were made faulty. Call it Unintelligent Design. For every prodigal son that comes back, 99 more leave, of which I am one.

  • “but if we are faulty it is because we were made faulty”

    Only if Free Will is a fault Joe, and I do not think it is. Human speculations are beside the point. If a benevolent God exists, the dead child is in God’s Hands, which believing parents, in my experience, find to be their only comfort in such a time of unbelievable tragedy. If such a God does not exist, then existence is meaningless in any case. “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord!”, is my believing thought when loved ones of mine have passed away, a piece of theology passed on to me by my mother as she died of cancer.

  • Don, sorry, I respect you but I’ve heard these pious platitudes all my life. Thirty years ago, my son’s best friend, 12 at the time, was hit by a car and lingered between life and death in the hospital. Believing Christians that we were, we took Jesus at his word. “Ask anything in my name and it shall be done.” So that night I asked him to save that child’s life. And the next morning the child died.

    In subsequent years, all my prayers for others have gone unanswered — the dying, the sick, the poor, never for myself — and all those pleas have been ignored. With each succeeding prayer unanswered, my faith has eroded to the point that it has vanished completely. If you have an employer and he promises to pay you and every week you don’t get a paycheck and you ask him and he says, “trust me, I’ll pay you soon,’ and weeks and years go by and you labor for nothing, then the laborer is a fool to continue to work when he has been promised wages. So it is with Christianity.

    Disease, poverty death — all curses of the law — were supposedly ended with Jesus’ death and resurrection. But nothing changed — except that a new delusion was added to the countless other delusions and philosophies to which humans cling to.

    You say if God doesn’t exist then life is meaningless, which is why Voltaire said it was necessary to invent him. I would bet with Pascal that He does, but I wouldn’t genuinely believe it and unless I can believe it wholly and truly then that belief becomes meaningless.

    “But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 4:3

  • Excellent, Mr. McClarey, bravo! Clearly your mother had the patience of Job and handed on that which she was given.

    Joe,

    It is true, your speculation is as ‘good’ as mine. If by ‘good’ you mean valid, which is actually invalid, because as I said, we CANNOT know what is in the hearts of men. You are right that we can judge their actions, but that is only so we can attempt to formulate the right reaction within our proper sphere.

    As for “It’s God’s Will” being some kind of cop out, clearly you misunderstand what Christian thought on God’s Will is. God’s Will can be simplified to giving us the opportunity to freely choose Love, as in God Himself, which means to think and act as He does to the maximum of each of our individual capacities. He knows that we have abdicated our gift of life and He chose to save us from ourselves. His only purpose is to bring His sinful children home to Him to be perfect. In His infinite Wisdom, He allows us to do the most horrid things to each other because He can draw greater good out of our evil than we can ever hope to achieve on our own.

    You mentioned the death of a child as a horrible thing that God allows, and it is. Yet, from His perspective, we are all children no matter when we die. If the dead child is drawn to Heaven then it is no loss to God, He has gained one of His children back. If the situation created by the death of the child leads His other children back home, all the better. Remember, God knows what it is like to lose a child. He sent us His only begotten Son to die and reconcile us to Him. Nothing can be more evil than creatures killing the Creator. Yet, we know that Good Friday leads to Easter Sunday.

    Heaven is ours to lose, Christ has already gained the victory. You are attempting to rationalize discarding the greatest gift ever given. I know, I did that for a long time. You’ll get through it. Merely have a love for Truth and try to get out of your own way.

  • ““Ask anything in my name and it shall be done.” So that night I asked him to save that child’s life. And the next morning the child died.”

    Did you honestly think Joe that miracles are performed on request by God? Miracles are in defiance of the laws of nature and are exceptional by definition. One of my sons has autism and will never be able to live independently, hold a job or carry on a conversation. I have prayed for a miraculous cure, as I am sure almost all parents in my situation would. That it has not been granted to me detracts not a whit in my trust that my son is in God’s Hands in this world as he will be in the next.

    “In subsequent years, all my prayers for others have gone unanswered — the dying, the sick, the poor, never for myself — and all those pleas have been ignored.”

    Truly Joe, or did the Almight have his own purposes, to paraphrase Lincoln? Every prayer is heard Joe, as is every sparrow’s fall marked.

    “If you have an employer and he promises to pay you and every week you don’t get a paycheck and you ask him and he says, “trust me, I’ll pay you soon,’ and weeks and years go by and you labor for nothing, then the laborer is a fool to continue to work when he has been promised wages.”

    To recall a Marine Corp recruitment poster from my youth Joe, God never promised us a rose garden on this Earth. Actually quite the reverse if you will remember the Gospels. God is not our personal genie to perform tricks on command. You seem to believe that if God does not answer your requests He is not there. That is not the role of our Creator.

    “Disease, poverty death — all curses of the law — were supposedly ended with Jesus’ death and resurrection”

    Quite untrue Joe. Jesus quite explicitly stated that all of this would continue in this world. Christ at no time promised a utopia on this planet, but rather wars, persecutions and division. His kingdom is not of this world as He made quite clear to us.

    “But nothing changed — except that a new delusion was added to the countless other delusions and philosophies to which humans cling to.”

    Rubbish Joe. Even an agnostic would have to admit that Christianity’s impact on the world has been extraordinary. Since Christ died countless Christians have met death unafraid, as my mother did when she died, with hope in the future. It is is not a delusion Joe. The delusion is that God does not exist and that existence is meaningless.

    “You say if God doesn’t exist then life is meaningless, which is why Voltaire said it was necessary to invent him.”

    Actually Joe, I think Voltaire is a prime example of why some men, and I do not include you in this category, invent for themselves a universe in which they pretend that God does not exist in order that they can live like scoundrels. (Leaving aside for the moment that Voltaire was a born liar and on occasion he did profess a belief in a Deistic God. With Voltaire it is hard to credit honesty to anything he said or did, which is a truly tragic way to live.)

    ““But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 4:3″

    Ecclesiates 12:14 “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

  • How do we confront bad things that happen to good people?

    I am a simple person, not a deep thinker. That is obvious to all.

    I think of Job and Our Lord’s Passion.

    Job:

    “Bless the Lord God on every occasion.”

    “But as for me, I know my redeemer lives.”

    “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

    “Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and shall we not receive evil?”

    “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

    The Gospels tell how Our Lord was tempted by Satan and how He dealt with it.

    Luke 4, 1 – 13; Mark 1, 1 – 11; Matthew 4, 12 – 13

    Matthew 4 – 11

    ‘Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’

    Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’

  • Keep selling, guys. Not buying yet but you’re doing a wonderful job of standing up for your faith. Perhaps on a better day I’ll be more receptive.

    You see, I just finished my taxes. I made a grand total of $31,788 last year, which including 24K of Social Security and wound up paying approximately $800 in federal and state income taxes. Which I ask you all to note is $800 more than General Electric, which had net income of more than $100 billion.

    Is this a great country or what?

  • GE made $14.2 billion last year, not $100 billion as I previously stated. Still, they paid zip, zero, nada in U.S. taxes.

  • “Is this a great country or what?”

    It is Joe, but don’t ask me that question within a few hours of my paying my taxes. I normally have “I’m a Good Old Rebel” playing in the background mentally when I am making out my estimated and final tax payments.

  • “Still, they paid zip, zero, nada in U.S. taxes.”

    Of course corporations never do pay taxes, they collect taxes since everything they pay, by definition, has to come out of the hide of their customers or their stockholders, or they go out of business. Taxes on corporations are simply a disguised sales tax.

  • That may be true, Don, but the top US corporate tax rate is 35%, which the Captains of Industry are always harping about. Get this: GE has 975 gilded tax-avoidance professionals at work and cut a fifth of its US workforce since 2002, and its CEO chairs one of Obama’s economic advisory councils.

    I’m just so glad to be able, as a patriotic America, to outpay GE to support our public sector unionized employees and pick up a tiny fraction of the tab to keep the welfare state alive and well.

    God bless America.

  • “That may be true, Don, but the top US corporate tax rate is 35%, which the Captains of Industry are always harping about.”

    And the big corporations avoid paying the taxes because they can hire enough accountants and attorneys to take full advantage of the increasingly byzantine tax code. I have limited sympathy with “big” anything but taxes on businesses have always made little sense to me. The big corporations will avoid the taxes and what they can’t avoid they will pass on to consumers, and the small businesses are often rife with fraud, including the head of a small trucking company who told me with a straight face this week that his accountant had told him that he could deduct food for a year for his entire family as a “business” expense. I told him that I would do my best to prevent him and his accountant from having adjoining cells.

  • Joe,

    We aren’t selling you on the faith. Sales is a necessary action for a business that needs to convey the information that the product or service they are offering satisfies your needs better than their competitor. God has no competition and you cannot buy what He has to offer. It is a free gift. You merely have to choose to accept and receive it. The other choice is not really a choice. It is an anti-choice. For the gift God gives is life and rejecting that gift is the negation of that very gift. It isn’t a choice between something and something else. It is a choice between everything and nothing.

    Your attitude toward God and His Church and our country seems to be the same. You focus on what you perceive as an injustice (oddly, how could you even conceive of justice to notice an injustice if it wasn’t for God in the first place?) and sink the whole thing because of that.

    America is a big mess. No question. Yet, that mess is better than any other political entity anywhere in history. Why is America such a mess? For the same reason the Church is a mess and why it seems that God’s Will is not being done on earth as it is in heaven. That problem is us. We are sinners.

    Don explained well that corporations cannot be taxed. Yet it is even worse than what Don posits. The tax systems is designed as a political tool to socially re-engineer our culture from a Christian culture into a materialist culture, which means it is Marxism as practiced by Lenin and implemented by Stalin. It is also designed to consolidate wealth and power by destroying competition. GE pays no taxes because the parasites that have take over that company are in lock-step with our current political masters, both the Rs and the Ds. Business in America today is a political game and becoming more so everyday. Until we restore a free-market, meaning we allow consumers to decide from whom they want to buy and what, including health, medical and insurance products and services, there will always be some politically-favored bank or corporation that will ‘succeed’ because of government coercion and political elimination of their competitors.

    The beauty of America is that we had a better system in the past. We still have a Constitution and we can correct our errors. Yet, that is never going to happen if we feel that we are victims of anyone but ourselves. We will never be motivated to develop real solutions to our problems, if all we do is gripe about our problems from a selfish perspective. America was made good and America can be good, yet it will never happen if we keep insisting that God stay out of our lives. We can’t ask God to bless America, if so many of us do not want Him interfering in history.

    Also, don’t forget that paying your taxes is ‘voluntary compliance’. There is no law that allows the federal government to collect taxes on ‘income’ as they do. Of course, if you don’t make your extortion payments, er, ah, tax payments, then the gangsters, er, ah IRS agents will make your life a living hell. Oh, and you’re welcome for the SSI income. The government did not provide you with that. Don and I paid for it with our FICA taxes, SSI is merely a transfer of payment from those who are currently working to those that have chosen to stop working. Does that seem just to you? Don’t get me wrong, if you’re down on your luck, I’d give you whatever I had, but I would expect you to kindly ask me for it. Instead I am robbed and the kudos for the benevolence are lavished on our tyrannical government.

    Yes, Joe, America is sick, but America is also a dream that we once lived and we will live it again, but not without a fight and not without God.

  • Knight, agree with some of what you said, and you said it well. I’ve worked 50 years, am 69 now, still working, a Navy veteran and paid a lot into SS so just getting some back. As for taxes, there’s an old Steve Martin routine on how to make a million dollars and not pay taxes: “First, make a million dollars. … Second, don’t pay taxes.”
    Like Jacob, I wrestle with God all the time. Even though I don’t formally acknowledge His existence, i remember Francis Thompson’s wonderful poem, The Hound of Heaven. Try as I might, the story of Jesus Christ is indeed the greatest ever told, and if, after 2,000 years, He can still exert such a tremendous influence on human life, then perhaps there is something to it.

    I’m just not there yet. You, Don, Shaw and the others here who are so sure of your faith are an inspiration. That’s why I keep coming back to TAC; because you’re like mini-hounds that keep chasing me — if that makes sense. : )

    Now, if I could just take my dogs to the Elysian Fields, I just might believe.

  • Joe,

    First thanks for your service. We have the finest military in the world, the fact that they are misused by our corporate-political masters does not detract one iota from the valiant service they render us. Second, you are NOT getting back anything from OASDI and you never paid into it either. OASDI (Social Security) is a Ponzi scheme. It merely transfers wealth from workers to those who are not working. So I am not paying into it now, I am paying you. You never paid into it, you paid for some retiree who has probably passed by now. It is a scam and Medicare is an even bigger scam.

    This may seem like an unrelated topic, so let me tie it in. Reality is what it is, which means it is as God made it by His Will and as He has allowed us to modify it (usually for the worse) by His gift of a free-will. The problem is not what reality is, the problem is what we think reality is. People think SSI is their right because the paid into a ‘system’ but that is a lie, it isn’t real. You were merely robbed and some other guy benefited, and now I am being robbed and you are benefiting. I don’t mind that you benefit, like I said, I’d probably give you the money if you asked, especially because you’re a vet. What I do mind is being robbed. Theft is wrong no matter who does it and no matter how noble the purpose is. The good Samaritan helped the victim on the road, He didn’t force the next guy to come along to do it at gun point. A true act of Charity, requires Charity, that is Love. When I am robbed and the recipient of my property receives it, they receive no love from me because I wasn’t given the opportunity to love and they are robbed of the opportunity to thank God because it would be Him acting through me.

    I suspect that you have picked up some very valuable lessons in the experience of your life and you have learned somethings that are simply not true. We are creatures of habit so shedding these paradigms is often hard. You really should try. I mean really, really try with an open heart.

    Ask God in humble prayer to tell you Who He is and then patiently listen. Look at everything that happens, good and bad, as coming from His hands, because it is. You will begin to see a harmony and a Wisdom and Love. This will happen, I am absolutely sure, but you can screw it up at any moment. So when you do, just shake it off and ask Him to give you His Peace and place you back on the path to see clearly as you’ve never seen before. He will do it. Be certain of that. If I am wrong, then nothing at all will happen – so you have nothing to lose. Try to allow God into your life, faith is a gift. I strongly recommend you got to Confession and believe that your sins are forgiven, not by the priest, he is merely a instrument, your sins are forgiven by an All-Merciful God.

    There is no better time to do Penance than during Holy Week. Christ entered Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and then die for you and me on a Cross, only to Rise the third day and open the doorway to Heaven. After your penance, receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament during Easter. All the while open your heart to the Person of Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into you and allow you to see. He wants to do it, but He will never impose, He only proposes – the choice is yours.

    God bless you brother, I’ll be praying for you and I am sure many others here will too. You are loved, more than you can ever imagine. Pax Domini.

  • Thanks, Knight, hope you prayers go higher than mine, which do not go beyond the ceiling.
    As for SS, Ponzi or not, I’m glad to have it because without it I’d be on the street.

  • Joe,

    My prayers go to God – so do yours. We just don’t often listen to how He answers us. Sometimes I think He’s ignoring me and then months, even years later, it hits me how He answered me and it is always better than I could have planned or imagined.

    You would not be on the street without SSI, we’d all be wealthier without the wealth-wicking of that Ponzi scam. Like I told you, if I wasn’t shelling out over 12% of most of what I earn to transfer payments to SS recipients, I’d be wealthier and would be able to give more. Nevertheless, even with the monkey of FICA on my back, me and many others would never let someone like you live on the street if we could help it. Don’t think I am special, because it wouldn’t be me, it would be Christ in me who will shelter you.

  • It’s Saturday night and I’m sitting here reading youse guys’ comments . . .

    Joe, You have nine years head start on me. I thought I was older than dirt. Keep working. It’ll keep us young. “Eat when you’re hungry. Drink when you’re dry. If the sky don’t fall in, you’ll live ’til you die.”

    And, you and everyone here are all saints compared to me.

    Pacem AK: Everything in this fallen world is a Ponzi scheme. Nothing is constant nor permanent. Nothing is real. Nothing is good nor Truth, except God. We are sojourners here. We are in this world. We are not of this world. Our true home is with God. While we are here we ought to avoid sin, pray constantly, and do good works.

    And, never vote Democratic.

    Sorry

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