During the month of October, the Church asked us to reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human life. In November we remember the dead. It is also Indigenous Peoples month. Recently those involved in parish ministry signed that we received and would comply with the guidelines of the Archdiocese for those adults who interact with minors.
I offer an article, Young Women, #MeToo and Clergy Sex Abuse: Lessons from My Students,* in America Magazine. Written by Jessica Coblentz, an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., she provides insight of the impact the changes made by the Church have had in the fifteen years since she was their age when the guidelines and training began.
Hearing victims’ stories and the acknowledgment of their victimization were crucial to this process. I believe such action has brought us closer to what is meant by the Kingdom.
I mention the article in the hope that such transformation of hearts by hearing and minds by recognizing the truth of oppression, violence, and the apartheid that instilled self-hate, despair, and death. My return to daily mass was greeted by the massive statue of St. Junipero while my heart and spirit were dealing with the discoveries at Kamloops Residential School in Canada. I pray for the intercession of our patron that we might receive the grace to know the stories of the women of Juarez, the Red Dresses of Canada, and the horse-whipped of Haiti. May the God of love inspire us to transformative love.
The love God desires is not for him alone, but for all the people he has created. Jesus affirms God cannot be loved without loving his creation, his image in our neighbor. Jesus tells us to what degree and with what we are to love. Our strength and understanding include loving ourselves. May it be so for our neighbor.
God in Deuteronomy teaches we write the law upon our heart such that our children will learn as we go about our daily life from the awakening to our sleeping. As Catholics, may they learn their call to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end.