I say, let's move on and not debate it any longer. Let Corapi and SOLT work it out. Our focus needs to turn back to Jesus. Let's spend time in prayer asking for heavenly intercession on this difficult and confusing matter. If we aren't happy with the outcome right now, let's not turn from our Church, but instead pray, and then seek out some of the other faithful priests who can guide us. And let us guard against putting them on a pedestal or turning them into a celebrity. Instead, let's pray for them, too, so they may faithfully do their job of shepherding God's flock.
Holly, who blogs at A Life-Size Catholic, recently invited me to participate in her "Pay It Forward Meme." I thought the best way to do this right now -- especially in light of the Corapi situation -- it to share a link to blogs by two of my favorite priests. I understand that both of these priests have appeared on EWTN, but I since we don't have cable TV, I haven't had the chance to see them there. However, their radio sermons and blog posts are very inspiring!
Father Robert Barron's Word on Fire blog
Father Barron is a theologian and professor at The University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. I've listened to him on Relevant Radio since they began broadcasting his sermons in 1999. When his sermons come on the radio, I stop what I'm doing and take 15 minutes to listen. Really listen. Because each sermon is filled with many little gems about our faith. I always walk away feeling refreshed and happy. On days when I'm feeling a bit down, his sermons give me a positive new way to look at the problems of the world and remind me that God can overcome all obstacles. I hope some day to catch one of his sermons in person! You can listen to his radio sermons here.
An example from my own life:
I once attended a parish where people would often arrive late for Mass, sometimes 15 minutes or more. One day at the end of the Mass, the priest gently reminded everyone about the importance of being in the pews before Mass begins. He talked about how disruptive it can be when people drift in after the processional. He kindly stated that he knew that some might have extenuating circumstances occasionally, but we should all try harder to be on time as much as possible. Not a big demand, is it? Nothing in his tone was accusatory or angry; it was a helpful, gentle prodding. I was guilty of being late quite often; trying to make it to 7:30 a.m. Mass with a 3-year-old can be a challenge at times! I didn't take offense but told myself that I must develop a smoother morning routine so we could be at Mass on time.
However, there must have been a lot of angry phone calls to the rectory that week, because the following Sunday the priest apologized profusely for upsetting some of the parishioners. At the time, I remember thinking it was so sad that the priest could not make this simple request without taking a lot of heat for it.
Perhaps that's why I appreciate Father Longenecker's blog. I might feel uncomfortable sometimes, but I bet I'll grow from the experience and learn something new about myself and God. As a result, I'll also feel closer to God. And isn't that the job of a priest--to help us grow closer to our Heavenly Father?
Father Longenecker's blog is here.