Monday, March 13, 2006

Jesus said to his disciples:“You have heard that it was said,You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.But I say to you, love your enemies,and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be children of your heavenly Father,for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?Do not the tax collectors do the same?And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,what is unusual about that?Do not the pagans do the same?So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” --Matthew 5:43-48

I have thought about this for so long. And it makes me so angry. Adults, in positions of authority and responsibility, molesting children. Unbelievably, both my boys had near-misses with sexual violations of trust as little boys. I know that it's only by the grace of God who loves me that nothing happened to either one of them. During a rough period of adjustment following a nasty, contentious divorce, our family pediatrician, Dr. Ken Kapstafer, referred me to to a child psychologist to help my oldest son settle into our new life a little easier. Straight into the arms of Father Pat O'Donnell walks I, with my little blue-eyed blond, curly-haired monster. And he was SUCH a monster. He badly needed someone to help him sort through the catastrophic turn his life had taken. How is that Pat O'Donnell did so many unspeakable things to other little boys but didn't lay a hand on mine? Not as if he didn't have the chance: one hour sessions weekly for 3 months, behind closed doors. Didn't seem like any cause for alarm at the time. I trusted all the health-care professionals in my life with my life and that of my children and my parents. I trusted everyone of them, no questions asked. Only by providence did my family make it through that time unscathed. My son, now 30 and a highly successful businessman and still the object of his mother's unfaltering adoration, says it's because he had a different mother than alot of the other kids. For starters, his mother was a convert and had no idea that the priests were really rock stars, subject to unconditonal acclamation. He laughs about me finding out that Pat O'Donnell hurt him in any way: mom: you'd kick in his office door at Sacred Heart, grab him by the back of the neck and kick his ass all the way down Washington over to the Public Safety Building where you'd face plant him in the concrete outside the front door and as you came up for air, you'd start taking names of your Junior League buddies who were lining up for sloppy seconds. You of course, would want to do a good sort, prioritize, integrate the information and then instantly produce a brilliant strategic plan for hurting him to the fullest extent possible. His suffering would continue unabated for the rest of his natural life.

That works for me. My son knows me well.

Fact is, I'd like to do it anyway. And here's my problem: I'm a person of faith in Lent. I am absolutely under obligation to forgive Pat for his deeply dark deeds and acknowledge his torment and anguish. Meanwhile, a woman in the UK files a obscure and unsubstantiated claim against our own Bishop at zero hour. Like his suffering in this matter is not complete? My anger soars and explodes, complicated in its fiery machinations. How can I ever be perfect as Matthew exorts me to be without forgiving all of these people?

The 'Kan EWA


Word Tosser said...

You pray for this woman... pray that she comes forward with truth before it is too late. To be able to swallow her pride and tell the truth....for the truth will set her free... that is what you pray for. And I will too.

jb3ll3 said...

Thank you, my friend. You humble me.