Staying Faithful to the Church through Scandal
I hate it.
I hate that the people who were supposed to be leading the faithful to Jesus have hurt them. Abused them.
I hate that so many of our priests and bishops have put such a stumbling block in the path of our trust in the Church.
It’s a hard time to be Catholic.
But as broken, hurting, and defiled as the Church is right now, we need to stick with Her. Because Jesus gave us this Church. He’s here in the Eucharist. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us.
If we turn away from Jesus’ Church, where would we go?
The Church has the Truth. The Church has Jesus. The Church is where we belong and where we need to stay.
It’s a hard time to be Catholic.
We don’t have to put up with the evil. But we can’t run away from it. We need to fight it. We need to purge it from our Holy Place with overturned tables and whips and shouting.
We need fortitude to stick with the Church through this time of suffering. And fortitude to do whatever it is God is calling us to do to fight the evil infecting the Church.
Jesus, show us the way to have fortitude in this time of scandal.
The Agony in the Garden
Jesus, You were an example of fortitude in the Garden of Eden.
You saw the horrors and evils that would be committed by all Your children everywhere.
You wished in Your heart that they would turn to You. That they would accept love and forgiveness. That they would repent of their evil ways and seek a life of virtue.
And You wept at their rejection.
Then You stood to meet Your betrayer.
You didn’t give up on the world. You accepted and embraced the hard road ahead of You, with love and perseverance and fortitude.
Lord Jesus, we are overcome with sorrow and weeping in the face of evil. Give us the fortitude to stand, even in the presence of those who have betrayed Your Holy Church.
Help us embrace the hard road ahead of us, as we pray and work to root out this evil. Show us what action You need from us today.
And give us the courage and strength to do it.
The Scourging at the Pillar
Oh, Jesus, what torment You endured in the scourging at the pillar. Unimaginable suffering.
Chained to a pole. Unable to get away. What unthinkable torture.
But… You didn’t even try to escape. “Like a lamb led to the slaughter,” You suffered silently while Your body was ripped to shreds.
You allowed Your body to be violated to atone for the atrocities committed against victims of sexual sins. Whose own bodies are violated by the very people who are supposed to lead them to You.
Lord Jesus, through Your suffering, heal them from the abuse they suffered.
Give them the fortitude to stay faithful to You, in spite of what they suffered at the hands of the leaders of the Church.
Let them know Your love.
The Crowning With Thorns
The crowning with thorns is a mockery of Your Kingship.
But even in the face of their ignorance and hatred, You didn’t shy away from the Truth. “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world.”
You proclaim the truth simply and with conviction. Even in the face of such abuse, You didn’t fly off Your hook.
You were strong and courageous, in a very purposeful way.
Help me, Jesus.
In the face of this scandal, I want to fly off my hook. I want to shout and scream. I’m on edge, and I’m tempted to lose my temper.
Give me fortitude to bear witness to the truth: simply, and with strength and conviction.
The Carrying of the Cross
Oh my Jesus, what heroic fortitude compelled You to take every step of Your long way of the Cross.
What courage that called You to rise again every time You fell. That helped You complete the holy mission before You.
This was Your hour.
This was the task to which God called You to. The reason for which You came into the world.
You fought sin and evil with every marrow in Your body. No matter the personal cost, You would not sit idly by and let Satan take over.
God, give us fortitude to fight the spiritual battles in our time. Don’t let us wimp out and walk away from suffering and sacrifice.
Inspire us and give us the grace to embrace the call You put on our hearts.
Help us fight sin and evil with every bone in our bodies, every breath in our lungs, every beat of our hearts.
Show us today how to kick Satan out of the Church.
Once and for all.
And then You hung on the Cross.
Like a criminal.
And still, You loved.
Still, You proclaimed the Good News. Still, You thirsted for souls. Still, You offered forgiveness for sinners.
You are perfection itself, my Jesus.
You never waver. You never give up. You will never ever stop working for the salvation of souls.
You are my Hero.
You are my Savior.
Only You know the way to the Resurrection. And that way is through the Cross.
Today, Your Church hangs on the Cross. She was hung there by those she trusted to lead her flock to You. Those leaders who turned away from Your love and attacked Your very flock.
Now, Your Holy Church is laid bare to the world, like a criminal.
But still, She thirsts for souls. Still, she holds out hands filled with grace for all the hurt and all the suffering. Still, she calls for repentance of sinners.
God, give us the fortitude to stand by Your One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Help us as we suffer a pain as strong as death in these dark times.
And bring us, through it all, to the Resurrection on the other side.
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