God Said, “Let Light Shine Out of Darkness,”
But God, this is a great darkness! God, what do we say? How can we relate? I know the trauma and effects of sexual abuse, but to have this pain come from the hands of a priest? There is no way any of us could begin to understand unless we were one of the victims. What is the answer then? Let us ask God as we always should. Let us go to His Word.
From 2 Corinthians Chapter 4.
The Paradox of the Ministry.
7* But we hold this treasure* in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. 8* We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; 10* always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
11For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12* So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13* Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we too believe and therefore speak, 14knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence."
God never willed for any pain and death, trauma, sickness, crime, hate, and the side effects of Adam's sin to come into this world. But He had to give man free will, so that mankind can freely LOVE! What happened next had to be allowed. The sins of all of human nature came into the world and were passed down.
Many who are traumatized by any horror such as sexual abuse may be too wounded yet to HEAR that Word from Corinthians or receive any comfort from that Word. I was in my fifties before fully realizing how MINISTRY began with the seeds planted in my life that were FERTILIZED by the "manure" that others threw onto my garden.
I never would have been gifted with compassion, understanding, and forgiving mercy ---if not for having experienced the pain of rejection, belittling, dying of a child and siblings, sickness, aging, and yes the sex abuse. We know that only an recovered alcoholic or anyone addicted to anything INCLUDING sexual perverted desires ---only these can minister to someone walking their walk. I know that the MAJORITY of us feel deeply that a child molester is the worst of the worst. But we must know that first they were taught that behavior (for some) by a very trusted person who led them to associate this action as way of showing love. But mostly what all were taught was anger and to hate. This is why we cannot HATE the individual. Justice must be served by the civil authorities, but as for us, let God see the heart and be their judge.
My heart goes out to the victims for I know what it is like to be a victim. But my heart also goes out to the person who is controlled so strongly by this urge for that 'abnormal approach to sex.' Believe me when I say THEY HATE THEMSELVES!! I do not like the way I act sometimes, neither do you when you cave in to the temptation of what ever addiction you have. We HATE our weakness. Our pride steps in and we get very upset with ourselves, guilt follows!! Then that hate seeps deeper within the human we are. It is at this point--WE MUST turn back to the One who can forgive and heal our pain.
This is our FAITH, our BELIEF---That when I am WEAK--God is STRONG in me. THAT is when we come BACK to HIM.
Quoting Padre Pio--a very HOLY Man of God----"Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often". God only knows what demons this Saint struggled with for him to pray that prayer.
Today's reading speaks strongly of God's answer to all who struggle with 'fleshly desires.' I do believe that is ALL of us for we were made human and all of these urges were included in that package of human nature.
From Ezekiel 16:59-63
Thus says the LORD:
I will deal with you according to what you have done, you who despised your oath, breaking a covenant. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you.
NO MATTER WHAT any of us have done---God never forgets His Love and Promise to always forgive us and restore us to new life when we give unto Him our whole life's story.
May this be our prayer. "Forgive me Lord. Use me Lord, use all of me to be the bread blessed, broken and given. Give me the grace to drink from the Cup you drank from so that many can be blessed who are in despair. God help us and have mercy on us all."