Yesterday someone asked for my take on the latest “priest scandals.”

First of course, profound sorrow and deep mourning for all involved.

Second, given my own track record in the interpersonal/intimate human relationships department, I’m shocked the scandals aren’t worse.

Every day I hear from at least one person, somewhere in the world, who is suffering: chronic pain, terminal illness, crippling obsessions, a relative undergoing a risky pregnancy, addictions of various kinds, family dysfunction, a child in prison for sexual abuse, existential torment.

So I’ve taken to saying a Rosary each day.

“My inner quiet–blessed by God–has never really isolated me. I feel all human-kind can enter, and I received them thus only at the threshold of my home. I feel they do come to me, in spite of themselves. Alas, mine is but a  very precarious shelter. But imagine the quiet of some souls is like a vast refuge. Sinners at the end of their tether can creep in and rest, and leave comforted, forgetting the great invisible temple where they lay down their burden for a while..

My sorrow is not unusual. This very day hundreds, thousands of us perhaps, all over the world, will be dazed by a similar sentence [a cancer diagnosis]. I am probably among the least able to control a first impulse–I know my weakness so well. But experience has also taught me that I have inherited from my mother,  and no doubt from other poor women of our kind, a sort of endurance, which is the long run is almost unlimited, because it doesn’t attempt to vie with pain, but slips within, makes of it a habit in some way: that is our strength. Otherwise how can one explain the obstinate will to live in so may poor creatures, whose amazing patience finally wears down the callousness and cruelty of husband, children, relations…Mothers–Mothers of the Poor!”

–Georges Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest

natterer was a german outsider artist with schizophrenia

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