Frank McMullan's blog

My post-retirement blog adventures

Archive for December 2010

Fr John’s House Mass

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Fr John is a very dear friend.  He is one of the many Catholic priests who have been falsely accused of child sex abuse.  While he has been acquitted in the criminal courts, simply as there was no case to answer, the due process under canon law for his reinstatement as a practising priest is taking its time and its further toll – not least financially, as his priestly income ceased totally while his case was under investigation.  For many months now Fr John has not been at liberty to celebrate Mass in public.  He is thoroughly blessed in his being able to see this horrendous experience as being something that can help him to be a better priest.

It was a privilege recently when he celebrated Mass with us in the apartment where I am staying while in Portland.  This was one of several special spiritual experiences during my stay here.

The gospel for the day [Luke 23] was more than apt:

39 One of the criminals hanging there abused him: ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us as well.’

40 But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did,

41 but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.’

Fr John had us reflect on a short extract adapted from Jesus’ Plan for a New World by Richard Rohr, OFM:

The opposite of faith is not intellectual doubt, because faith is not localized primarily in the mind. The opposite of faith, according to a number of Jesus’ statements is anxiety. If you are fear-based And there’s more…

Written by Frank McMullan

8 December 2010 at 22:42

Posted in Church