I've been thinking lately about the "Prayer for Peace" attributed to St. Francis, particularly the desire not to be understood, but to understand. Regardless of its true authorship, this bears at least some similarity to the Litany of Humility, which I certainly don't pray often enough.
As an Elder Millennial, I hear all this talk about "reaching out to the youth," or "reaching millennials," which of course just means some "panel," or "initiative," that will ultimately do little. Rarely is it founded on the true and unchanging reality of what draws people to God - Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.
And it upsets me.
As the phrase goes, "To be loved is to be know, and to be known is to be loved," and here it feels like no one understands me (because I might not still live at home, but who doesn't like to replay the hits of their teenage years!).
All jest aside, it is upsetting when you long to hear truth proclaimed from the pulpit, to hear beautiful and sacred music resonating in our Churches, to see a Church bursting with good works, and instead you get programs and panels.
It is upsetting when you just want the truth, and your shepherds insist on misdirection. When those called to imitate the Good Shepherd malign anyone who dares to question their intentions and actions.
I say the following as someone who has not been a victim of abuse. I speak only for myself.
Maybe this is a chance to change the Church. To rebuild it as St. Francis was called to. Maybe the only way to do that for many of us is to pray, and to fast, accepting the calumny, and the inaction, and the lies, as realities that we have no power to change on our own.
I think about Our Lord's Mercy covering Justice in that He accepted in His Sacred Body every punishment which we deserve. Paul says, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church..." (Colossians 1.24)
If to be a Christian means to daily take up our cross and follow Him, then maybe for some of us, especially those who are not in the center of the particular scandals that rock our Church, our Cross can be these feelings of confusion, doubt, anger. Even our sense that we are powerless in the face of it all.
Because we are.
But He's not.
And He wants you to be a Saint.