Pray, don't prey


Of all the unholy revelations that have surfaced about Fr. Maciel over the past year, the one that surprises me the least is that he stopped praying in his final years. This is consistent with most cases of serial abuse among clergy that I have encountered as a canonist. Long before these men began preying, they had ceased praying.

In fact, I think this is why Maciel's writing always turned me off. I could only read his writing in bits and pieces before headache-inducing foggy confusion came over me. One cannot give what one has not received. It is now clear that Maciel's writing (at least that which was not ghost-written or plagiarized) was not based upon prayer. Nor does prayer appear to come naturally for many of my LC/RC acquaintances. They come across as too focused on activity, with prayer scheduled in between (and heavily scripted) like one would schedule the reading of a business file during coffee break.

Which is why, come Good Friday, I invite you to join me in praying the Divine Mercy Novena for Aaron, Jose Barba, Juan Vaca and all other victims of Maciel and his movement. As Catholics let us pray for those who were preyed upon in the name of the Catholic faith. To find out more about this special Novena, please click here.

In a similar spirit I invite readers with LC/RC background to check out the following Jesuit blogs, of which two focus heavily on prayer:

- Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit
- The Spiritual Exercises Blog
- Father Brian Van Hove's Blog


Given the stories of mothers concerned because of strange noises emanating from the room where the young seminarian Maciel was teaching catechism to their children, and Maciel's sainted uncle's anger towards Maciel because of whatever deviant behavior was creating the strange noises, it makes one wonder if Maciel ever prayed at all. Not sure it was a matter of ceasing to pray so much as a matter of never knowing how and/or desiring to go about doing so in the first place.

Perhaps this question will become more relevant if the Holy See orders a re-foundation, with the intention of preserving the works of the Legion, but it seems to me the LC has been and always will be a group that really functioned more like a society of apostolic life, rather than a religious congregation. The rampant activism, the priority of the works over everything else, the shallowness of what they understand to be spirituality and liturgy- it seems to me their past would indicate they have no right to pretend to be re-founded as a congregation with vows. If I recall, Societies of Apostolic Life have a looser organization, do not make vows, but may make promises, can own property and have more individual ownership of their personal spirituality than a religious order which has more control... in short the less control any reconstituted group has over its members the better for their future.

Pete, count me in. My prayers during the Divine Mercy Novena will be for this intention.
What you say is absolutely right. Even if a priest is struggling with serious sin, if he stops praying, all is lost. The sacramental life and the life of prayer have to support the priest's life (other than being the celebrant or officiant). This is the real task of our day for priests: make a daily Holy Hour before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; pray the Rosary; go to confession as much as you need to; prepare carefully for Holy Mass; love the Sacred Liturgy. Have a spiritual director.
And, I might ask if you all will pray for me; I'm giving some talks on Divine Mercy Sunday and would appreciate the prayer support. I want to say what Jesus wants the people to hear. Thanks.

Has been wondering if the bad voices that come into our midst these days , such as the seductive voices or the mocking laughter on T.V , movies etc: have an effect on us that is far beyond what we recognise and if this effect is even worse in those who have been given more of the power of The Word, through Sacraments
- just like the devastating effect on our first parents who carried perfect Godly glory prior to listening to the enemy voice and thus took in its spirit !

Even Maciel , with the presence of a pious mother and abusive father, could have become a conduit of more of these negative powers too , if he was not able to easily wash off the hatred !

The present crisis hopefully would help many to delve deeper into these areas and to recognise better, the power of the Liturgy as well as confession and need to tackle bitterness in hearts before they harden ! Good suggestions above !
God bless !

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on March 31, 2010 1:31 AM.

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