Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. ...Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew : 7 15-20
Dear Sweet Sister, We were reminded again with the latest priest scandal that evil is in our midst. Shepherds in the church preying on the most innocent. Disgusting, unthinkable, horrible…there are no words to describe this evil. I have spent the last two weeks plus grieving over the innocence lost of these victims and for their parents. Grieving for other abused victims whose scabs of healing are ripped off each time they watch the news. I have raged with righteous anger against all the leaders and authorities that failed these innocent children. These are God’s precious lambs. Magnify your own sorrowing feelings by a trillion and imagine how much this breaks our daddy-God’s heart. Imagine your anger and magnify that by a trillion and that is how Angry our Lord God is that His shepherds abused the lambs that were put in their care. (I picked trillion for the trinity…the point is to think of a humanly incomprehensible number) In fact Jesus talked about what will happen to those who cause “little ones” to lose their faith. (or stumble)
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin (a weakening or loss of faith), it would be better for a great millstone to be wrapped around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world for the things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! If you hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. Matthew 18: 6-8
As the above verse warns, if a member of the body hurts “a little one” then those in leadership are to remove that member. This is what did not happen in the Catholic church in many parts of the world. Instead of a pruning and a trusting in God to bring in replacements, priests were transferred and given an opportunity to prey on another flock of lambs. Ultimately, a spirit of fear and a lack of trust in God and His desire for the protection of the most vulnerable resulted in decades of cover-up.
It appears this happened because of a lack of Trust in God by leadership to provide for the church, when dealing with gangrene priests. Evil is an infection that spreads and only when let out into the open and revealed in the light does healing occur.
However, those that desire to please God do not need to fear. We can trust God and below are some of the reasons Why and most importantly How we can help with the healing process.
God is not Dead, Asleep or Stupid–
Jesus was very aware that Judas was in his midst. God is aware of all injustices and pr0mises his children to deal justly on the judgement day. Jesus states that ultimate justice will be on the judgement day when he separates the weeds from the wheat. The enemy has sown weeds (children of the evil one) within the field (world) and Jesus promises that action will happen:
His slaves said to him “Do you want us to pull them up?”He replied, No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest: then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and time them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.” Mathew 13:29-30
Did you know that a lot of good seed can help prevent weeds from spreading? What are we called to do so that we are considered “good Seeds”? While God does not act on our timetable and sometimes seem slow, can you trust His Word? His word says that He will separate and sort out and punish evil doers.
It is so hard to wait for Justice. It is easy to get stuck in the why’s. I have wrestled with these questions myself…… “Why is it taking so long for justice to occur?” While justice does happen on earth at times through our legal system, some of these offenders died or aged out of the local statues of limitations.
But let me ask you two important questions sister? 1. Would you be ready if Jesus came back today? 2. Would all of your family members be ready if Jesus came back today ?
I certainly have many family members who have not accepted the gift of salvation and are living in the dark. I pray every morning that God would keep them alive until they are right with Him. May Jesus hold off His coming until the scales on their eyes have fallen and they fall to their knees in humble realization of their need for the sacrifice of Jesus.
So could God’s slowness of Justice really be His mercy as He waits for our loved ones to repent and enter into the kingdom of God?
Saint Peter explains it like this:
The present heavens and earth have been reserved by the same word of fire, kept for the day of judgement and of destruction of the godless. But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,”but He is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3: 7-9
So sweet sister, may the evil we see in this word be a warning sign that judgement is coming and we need to start with ourselves first. I recently walked on the beach and asked God for help with my own hardened heart. I asked that He would forgive me for my anger toward the Catholic church, toward (Himself) God whose timing I do not understand, and toward some people in my life (who are made in God’s image). I do not want a hardened heart.
I want to have God’s heart. A soft heart. A heart that can help reflect His love and Healing.
The verse above states “God does not wish that Any should perish but that All should come to repentance”. So we have a lot of work to do, don’t we sister?
Starting with asking God to forgive us and soften our own hardened hearts. A hardened heart struggles to hear God’s voice. A hardened heart struggles to pray for others.
Next, let us persevere in praying for our loved ones and advocate that God would soften their hearts and open their eyes to His love and mercy.
Justice delayed, means mercy is still available today.
Please stay tuned for Part 2 of this series and address how we can keep authorities accountable and help educate children so they do not become the next victims.