I get lots of hate mail and I share very little of it. Why waste our time? After glancing at 99.999% of the missives in this category I think, “There’s 8 seconds of my life I will never have back.”
Most of it, if you are wondering, comes from hard core traddies, homosexuals, and feminists, with some political liberals. Lately, Ron Paul supporters have been chiming in, at least those whose critical reading skills are underdeveloped. But I digress.
The following note, however, a particularly eloquent screed, made me pause a moment and reflect.
Background: I occasionally get love-notes from devotees of Matthew Fox, former Catholic Dominican priest and professional nutbar, now an Episcopalian somewhere. Woohoo. Romanorum coetibus!
In any event, this early valentine came to my email:
I thank God for Matthew Fox everyday. I was raped by a priest. They
are all rapist & homosexual. The catholic church is evil nothing but
evil. My sister is a devoted catholic, she broke up a marriage, she
had an abortion, her husband has affairs, both are alocholics, that is
the typical catholic. MEAN, HATEFUL, DEVIL.
Not exactly Voltaire, is it.
But he’s right about one thing: “the typical Catholic”.
We are, in fact, as “typical Catholics”, a Church of sinners.
The possibility of salvation consists in knowing just that about ourselves.
I’d rather be associated with home-wreckers, abortionists and alcoholics who know they are sinners, than with smug elitist “saints” whose presumption may very well land them in Hell.
In Finnegan’s Wake, James Joyce suggests that the Catholic Church can be described as “Here comes everybody.”
Christ is the only Just One.
Never forget, if you are despondent about your present state or worried that perhaps you have done something dreadful and are afraid that you cannot get out of the jam you are in, that there is no sin that we little mortals can commit that the omnipotent power of God cannot take away provided we are truly sorry and we intend to amend our lives.
Though your sins be as red as scarlet, they will become white, by washed away in the Blood of the Lamb.
This is not a covering over of the sins, that might still stain us. This is not an ignoring of our sins, as if by slick bookkeeping.
When you confess your sins to a priest confessor and he gives you absolution those sins are gone.
They are taken away. They are no more.
They are removed from you and will never be held against you.
They have been cleansed and eradicated by Christ Himself acting in the person of the priest.
You will have the memory of the sin, but not it’s guilt. You will have to do penance for the harm, but you will not have to suffer separation from God for eternity.
Sinners, “everybody”, go to confession.
Clamor for confessions at your parish.
Request them, require them, repeat your call for them.
Fathers, do you duty.