I'm not OK. There I said it. I am a cradle Catholic and have had my 'ups and downs' in my faith. At the age of eighteen, I walked away from the Church only to come back at twenty-one and become a Youth Minister. Years later, I would become a worship leader and years after that, a campus minister. God has always seemed to find me right where I was and capture my heart. I lived through the abuse scandal in the Diocese of Orange as a Youth Minister. It was brutal. I saw friends get interviewed and watched as a settlement came out of 100 million but I was OK. I "dealt" with it. This time is different. I really have been trying to understand why THIS time hurts so much and I think I know why. Now, I am a parent. There is no responsibility I have ever taken on more seriously than being a parent. When your kids are young, your sole job is to keep them alive. Seriously. Just keep them alive. As they grow up, things get a touch more complex but my primary job as a father is to protect my children and give them the best life I possibly can. It has not been easy, but it has been worth every single drop of sweat and every single tear. Now, this latest scandal has surfaced and I am angry. Even in the past when I had a crisis of faith, it never felt like this. The best word to describe it is, "detached" and I don't want to feel that way. I am passionate about my faith and I LOVE the Church. There is "change" that is needed. I don't claim to know what that is at this time but I know we need SOMETHING. We need to humble ourselves. We need to acknowledge that we have to make things better and DO whatever it takes to protect the flock.
Today, as I listened to the Gospel, God seemed to find me once again and capture my heart. The Gospel said, "As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." Though I am still struggling, these beliefs still hold true. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the Eucharist. And I believe although I am not OK right now, I will be because I am convinced that God's grace will continue to heal the Church and me.