ASK FATHER: Your questions weigh heavily

Upon our birth not a single one of us was promised a bed of roses.  Upon our baptism and admission to the other sacraments, not a single one of us was promised an easy path.

We regularly call this earthly life a “vale of tears”.  What part of that is hard to understand?

Hell is real and the Enemy of the soul, endowed not just with brilliance but with angelic abilities, hates us with malice beyond the ken of any man.   Do people really not believe that?

Hell and the Enemy work relentlessly to harm the Church and to pervert souls so that they choose not to embraces God’s promises and graces for heaven.  Each time a soul fails the Enemy shrieks in self-loathing anti-triumph: “That’s one more YOU don’t have!”

Hell and the Enemy are deep into the Church, with agents infiltrated everywhere.   They’ve won a few rounds lately.  You can tell by the ripple effects.  I can tell by the change in tenor and themes of my email.

Here is a fraction from this morning’s crop:

From a reader…


I’ve heard some pretty horrendous stories over the last couple of years, firsthand from former seminarians in our diocese about what is going on in the seminary.  Over the last decade some of our priests have died of AIDS, some have committed suicide after being outted and one went to prison for seeking a hitman to murder a boy he’d abused.  I have the resources at my disposal to be able to investigate this kind of thing and expose it, however I’m unsure of the moral implications of a non-LEO, non-state official layman investigating clerics and exposing them.  I want to act and get in the fight for my children’s sake, but I do not want to sin against the Lord in doing so.  I hate what these men have done to Christ and His Church.  Your thoughts would be very much appreciated.

From a reader…


Father- as a parishioner in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, I’m disgusted by the grand jury report outlining the abuse in Pittsburgh, and Cardinal Wuerl’s response. Many fellow DC Catholics are demanding his resignation. I can’t help but agree, given the abjectly evil nature of the abuse. But Cardinal Wuerl is the leader of my diocese and it is our duty to obey him. With that in mind: is calling for Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation or ouster considered sinful or an act of defiance of the Church? To what extent can a Catholic appropriately criticize the leader of the diocese?

From a reader…


Please pray for me and others like me.

It is hard to keep the faith. I look and see this evil, and I know these bishops don’t believe in Our Mother Church. Not a word. The sick and twisted priests– they may believe, I don’t know. I have more pity for their broken and evil souls. May God grant them justice and mercy.

But the bishops who covered it up, they don’t believe anything, do they?

How can I hold on to believing? I don’t doubt because there is evil. I doubt because the Fathers of our Faith take me for a rube and a Patsy.

They think it’s a sham. They think there’s no Hell. They think there is no Judgment. They don’t believe it would be better for a millstone to be tied around their necks.

How are we to trust -any- priest or bishop? How can we want to entrust our sons to a seminary knowing the bishops running it have the sickeningly poor judgment ?

This isn’t just that some priests were sick and evil. Almost every bishop almost everywhere *continued to be deceitful* after Boston, after the Dallas charter, after the settlements in Portland and San Diego, even after the law change in Minnesota that made them financially culpable. How can we tell which priests and bishops weren’t complicit in their silence?

I’m in the boat with Jesus sleeping through the storm. Okay–but somehow the bishops think they’re the ones in it, and they’re the ones suffering. How do we tell them they’re wrong?

At what point will our bishops be honest? The truth, the whole truth?

What to say?

At the very least, this.

Attend well to your state in life, your vocation.  Live your vocation with true devotion, committed to the here and now details.  God will give you all the graces you need because, by living well your vocation, you are playing the role He knew you would have in His plan of salvation from before the creation of the cosmos.

Be wary and on guard against the “roaring lion”.

Examine your conscience.  Go to confession.  Make good Holy Communion.  Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and pour your heart out.

Make a plan about certain practices and act of penance for the specific purpose of reparation for the sins that so offend the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and Joseph.

Prayer.  Fasting. Reparation.

Ask God for help and be confident, remembering that He may also leave you in pain to test and purify and strengthen you.

Say the Rosary, that great spiritual armament which so terrifies demons.  Ask Mary, Queen of the Clergy, to guard all the priests you know.

Reparation.  Reparation.  Reparation.

Ps 145 (146 – DRA)

Alleluia, of Aggeus and Zacharias.
2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes:
3 In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.
4 His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish.
5 Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God:
6 Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them.
7 Who keepeth truth for ever: who executeth judgment for them that suffer wrong: who giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth them that are fettered:
8 The Lord enlighteneth the blind. The Lord lifteth up them that are cast down: the Lord loveth the just.
9 The Lord keepeth the strangers, he will support the fatherless and the widow: and the ways of sinners he will destroy.
10 The Lord shall reign for ever: thy God, O Sion, unto generation and generation.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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