Friday, June 13, 2008

know thyself

When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully as I am fully known.” (1Cor 13: 11-12)

Only the final Light will reveal us for all that we truly are. If an adult achieves only shadowy, blurry knowledge of self – as Paul admits – what introspection, what self-criticism could a child have?

In these many months since the whole LC ball of yarn began unraveling, I have engaged in a peculiar form of self torture: I try to imagine what i capi talk about behind closed doors. Especially now, without Fr. Maciel’s all defining presence setting the agenda...

Is it all just damage control? Is it business as usual, keep the rank-and-file marching to the same beat and act like nothing has happened? Is it calling in favors to stop the bleeding? Is it putting the spin machine on overdrive to keep the bubble from bursting from within? Is it denial and hope that the storm blows over?

Or is it an openness to grace, a sincere reckoning, a fearless self-questioning, an honest and transparent desire to seek and embrace the truth of who we are and what the Church needs us to be?

Archbishop O’Brien’s demanding letter and his painfully candid interview will either be dealt with begrudgingly, as another splinter of persecution from our already heavy cross, or it will be embraced and reflected upon as a call to conscience for the LC, like the others that have been issued over the past three years.

Baltimore’s Archbishop sounds ticked-off and skeptical. He fears that the LC’s institutional lack of transparency may be beyond cure. He makes it clear that only a few timely phone calls from the Curia staved off a much harsher reaction, à la Columbus, OH or St.Paul-Minneapolis.

Still, the Exorcist remains hopeful.

When I was a child, I reacted like a child... as a man I leave childish things behind.

Maybe these are the LC’s growing pains. Maybe upon denial comes acceptance and self-analysis. Maybe the LC can yet learn to trust its own and not fear transparency and change. Maybe the best is yet to come...