Last Sunday's reading from the Prophet Malachi always leave priests feeling a little uncomfortable. The Book of Malachi is only short and deserves to be read in its entirety. We should read it and all feel a little uncomfortable, not just priests.
It is hard not to see this book in a contemporary light, it smacks right to the heart of the Church on earth. We should not be surprised by this, good prophecy is timeless because it reveals timeless truth. The sad thing is that there is still the need for such a stern prophecy, priests and people are still doing the same old, same old; picking and choosing what to believe in, being unfaithful and not fearing God.
The frustration of some with the Catholic hierarchy in the UK is due in no small measure to the belief that they "have caused many to stumble by their teaching"(Mal 2:8). It is a frustration that the Body has been weakened and that those in a position to strengthen the Body seem for the most part incapable of (a) obedience (b) seeing the problem, (c) having the guts to do what they were ordained to do. If it is a frustration born of love and powerlessness, both things are inherently good. Indeed if that frustration boils into anger, provided it is channeled correctly, then it can be for the good. Though at all times remembering the legal maxim those who come into equity must come with clean hands because it is always dangerous to say "we have a better claim to be the Church more than those others who claim to be the Church".
I put forward the proposition that some priests/bishops and people have always been like they are portrayed in the Book of Malachi, this is not some arrogant judgment on my part but a statement of fact. We are dealing here with types, not specific people. Many are causing others to stumble; pray that we are not a cause of stumbling or stumblers who have been led astray. Yet somehow the rickety ship keeps afloat, God is in control. The unknown faithful by their service to God in prayers, good works and adoration, in no small measure make sure of that.
When we know we are right about something, and someone else is in the wrong, we should never draw attention to ourselves, only to the source of our righteousness, and carry the ruptures the wrong has caused as a penance. I was told this by my confessor yesterday.
Let us not weary the Lord with our words (Mal 2:17).
I'm going to stop serious blogging for a bit too.