[Guest post by Hudson Byblow]
I don’t know you. I’ll probably never even meet you. However, what you have chosen to do has seriously impacted my life. This isn’t some kind of victim story, but rather me telling you that your choice to do GOOD was the inspiration to ME to strive to live a holy and chaste life.
My story is rooted in escapism. All it took, however, was a few good men to be the reason why I wanted to step up my game and become a man instead of remaining a boy in a man’s body. A man does what is difficult, while a boy runs from it. A man pursues self-mastery while a boy justifies his attachments to the passions of the flesh. For many years as an “adult,” I was nothing more than a boy. I ran from woman to woman, and then from porn site to porn site trying to escape myself. I lived very unchastely for many years. Though I was wounded, it was my choice to remain in my wounds.
It was you guys, however, who radiated a peaceful confidence that I craved, which drew me towards what you were holding onto. And that was Jesus Christ, King of our Universe, The Restorer of man. And today, I strive to live not in my wounds, but in His. I’ve been renewed.
[NOTE: The following is excerpted from a homily by Father Patrick R. Schultz delivered Aug. 19, 2018. It is transcribed and printed with his permission.]
It’s been so hard reading and watching the news over the past [several] weeks and days as we hear again the incredible abuse and negligence of churchmen from within the hierarchy; not just priests and bishops, but all the way up to cardinals, and my heart is just shattered — it’s just shattered — for the victims and their families, and for this Church that I love so much. I’ve spent many of my holy hours this week sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament, sitting in front of Jesus speechless; I’m not quite sure what to say to him or what to ask of him, other than, “Why?”
I’ve been really blessed by a number of people from this parish and around the diocese, a number of people who have reached out through emails and text messages, things like that, just to check in, to offer words of support, just to check in and see how I’m doing, how I’m processing, how priests of the diocese are doing, how we’re processing. And the honest to God truth is: it’s not been easy, it’s been a struggle…I’m angry, confused, hurt, I’m disgusted, heartbroken…I feel betrayed by brother priests, I feel betrayed by bishops. This is the first time since I was ordained a deacon in 2015 that, putting clerics on in the morning, going out, walking on the streets that I am very conscientious of what I’m wearing.
I was ordained in 2016, and entered the seminary in 2008, and I feel like my generation, my classmates and ordination class were ordained at a very interesting time, and formed during a very interesting time. Between these two lulls, it feels like we always had the abuse crisis hanging over our heads, we always had it in our minds, it was always part of conversation. We knew that we would be coming into a Church that was badly battered and wounded and desperately in need of healing. But this is the first time walking around as a priest that I … I feel it. I feel it.
[The following is the Message of the Holy Father for Lent 2018 on the theme: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12).]
“Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in His providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”. Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.
With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth. I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12).
These words appear in Christ’s preaching about the end of time. They were spoken in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, where the Lord’s passion would begin. In reply to a question of the disciples, Jesus foretells a great tribulation and describes a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself: amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.
If you’ve attended a live presentation of mine over the last several years, chances are you’ve heard the soulful cry of Mike Mangione’s music. From the first time I heard Mike perform, I knew he was an “artist of the ache” – a guy who was brave enough to tap into that abyss of yearning in the human heart and give voice to it in his art. Since his band first accompanied my presentations at World Youth Day in Sydney (2008), Mike’s music has been an integral part of what I do whenever his busy touring schedule has allowed.
Speaking of busyness, my own has made writing this review of Mike’s latest album long overdue. But I’ve Seen the Stars was released in October. New albums in my life – the good ones, that is – typically seem “new” for about two months. But four months on and I’m still listening to Mike’s latest with the enthusiasm I had the first week it came out.
[Mike Mangione is a nationally touring musician and popular podcast host. To subscribe to his podcast, Time & the Mystery, on iTunes (and leave a review) click here. To learn more about his music, click here.]
Growing up in the 90s there was no bigger show for me than Saturday Night Live, and no bigger cast member than Chris Farley. When I was a student at Marquette University, I used to imagine fellow alum, Farley, running late for class through the academic yard … as seen in the movie Tommy Boy. Anytime I share my story of touring and living in a van for two years it is almost guaranteed someone wittingly responds, “Was it down by a river?” – a quote from Chris Farley’s iconic motivational speaker character, Matt Foley. I have always felt a strong connection to Chris especially after I heard that he was a practicing Catholic, like myself. I have always related to the very honest and human sweet/troubled reality that Chris lived. Not for any glorified reasons but rather for its honest, hopeful and redemptive qualities. Chris was not perfect and neither am I. I have always felt like I could relate to him, though never knowing him, somewhat on that level. So when I found out that his SNL character Matt Foley was named after his college rugby buddy-turned Catholic priest, Army chaplain and Afghanistan veteran, Father Matt Foley – and Fr. Matt lived an hour and a half away from me – I thought, I absolutely have to meet this man and talk about who he is, his friend Chris, their relationship, and their faith. Enjoy Time & The Mystery: Conversations with Father Matt Foley.