By Nothing but Prayer and Fasting:
Responding to the Sexual Abuse & Leadership Crisis in the Church
“This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).
This scripture can be hard to understand because our experience of fasting in the modern Church is so limited. The truth is that asceticism (or acts of self-denial) are part and parcel with being a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is through the Cross that we arrive at the Resurrection. Only having presented ourselves to Christ the Judge, can we encounter the mercy of our Heavenly Father.
The scandals coming to light in recent weeks are demoralizing and depressing. They will not likely end for a long time, as more and more dioceses seek to set the record straight. And then there will be the resignations.
As men, it leaves us wondering what needs to be reformed, what needs to be done, so that our future can be different from our past. We cannot only chalk the sins of the scandal up to psychological disorders. That’s easy. And that passes the buck. Eventually, that will lead us back to where we find ourselves today.
So what can we do? We pray. We fast. We become accountable. We are not only called to atone for the sins of the Church, but to take it one step further: as men, we need to take ownership for our lives and play our part in the solution. Christ calls us to love, but we cannot love our wives, our children, or our parish communities if we have not first been freed.
Where are you dependent or addicted? To whom or to what have you become enslaved?
The roadmap is not complicated. It takes 90 days to reset.
Prayer. Asceticism. Fraternity.