Keeping alive the Church we love

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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in a July/August 2010 special issue of Catholic Digest about the clergy sex abuse crisis. As the Church confronts another crisis, we hope readers find the information spiritually helpful. For some additional content from this special issue, read “Coping with the clergy sex abuse crisis.” 

With seemingly no end to the horrible deeds and cover-ups coming to light, it’s easy to lose sight of what we love about the Church. So while we’re struggling with the truth and mobilizing for positive change, it’s a good idea to also keep in mind the good things about the Church. For example:

Acknowledge that progress is being made. While more needs to be done, in the past 20 years the Church in the United States has taken many crucial and effective steps to protect children and help victims.

Reflect on the “good eggs” in your life. Who are the Catholics you know who live good and holy lives? How do they encourage and inspire you? It might be a dedicated person at your parish, an inspiring friend, or a Catholic schoolteacher of a child or grandchild.

Remember the good priests.

“I had never met such a caring and vibrant priest.” “His loving gentleness reflects the love of God the Father.” “I felt that God sent him.” “He has changed my life.” Though a small minority of priests have sorely betrayed their calling most priests dedicate themselves tirelessly each day to their vocation. During the Year for Priests, Catholic Digest  featured many letters from readers (from which the above quotes have been taken) who share all the wonderful ways that priests made a positive impact on their lives.

Connect with the saints. Read about their lives, pray to them, and give thanks for all they have done to promote the Gospel, care for the poor, challenge injustice within and without the Church, and follow in Jesus’ footsteps.

Discover the good works of the universal Church. From rescuing abused children to providing spiritual nourishment for the visually impaired, the Church is doing amazing things around the world.

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