I tried to write about something else tonight, but it wouldn’t work. The reason it wouldn’t work is because I continue to be troubled by a set of concerns that are intruding on my life and perhaps into the lives of others in the Parish.
First and foremost is the thought of division ( ÷ ). My wife and I are new to the Parish, but we have encountered something that “… has disrupted the reverence of our worship, has divided the parish, and has sown seeds of discontent and resentment …” The words in quotes are but a very short excerpt from a letter written by one of the sheep of St. Peter’s. They capture three very important ideas that must be pondered in the context of what St. Peter’s was and what it is becoming.
To some extent I have discussed “the reverence of our worship.” That is the primary reason why my wife will not attend Mass at St. Peter’s – what a great sorrow that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has become a “near occasion of sin.” Yet, she and I both have to confess the feelings of anger that beset us when we attend Mass at St. Peter’s. It is the Holy One, the Almighty One, the Immortal One on the altar and He is treated with indifference. He has become secondary.
It struck me last night as I attended a meeting of the Knights of Columbus, I will not be able to participate in any Knights’ function with my wife until our new Pastor has moved on. Once again, as a married couple we cannot share in the social functions with my brother Knights and their families because … because if our new Pastor is there, it casts a pall over the festivities and places my wife and me where we are uncomfortable. Now that may sound extreme or overly sensitive, and I’m sure many Knights would disagree with me …. but … that’s the point! I have been a Knight since 1978 and have never been placed in position like this before – a place which is an open division. So, rather than fall into any type of disagreement with a brother Knight, I will have to withdraw for now.
From irreverence, indifference, and division naturally flow “discontent and resentment.” None of this is in the future tense. It is already upon us. St. Peter’s has seen a succession of shepherds, who despite personal quirks or personality traits, always were there to feed the flock.
My apologies to all. Usually, I endeavor to address topics that are substantive. Tonight, I was more personal and subjective. The unpleasant realization about my participation in future Knights’ functions does not make for personal calm and peace. And I suspect that other people in the Parish are encountering similar problems.
Nevertheless, prayer and sacrifice are necessary. I found this Vortex episode helpful in providing reasons for hope.