The sexual abuse crisis has rocked many Catholics, and even if it hasn’t shaken your faith it has likely shaken your peace. How can we remain at peace even as we work for reform and purification?
Dr. Mark Miravalle, professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, stopped by The Drew Mariani Show™ to share 5 ways that we can keep our peace even in the midst of the storm we are currently facing.
“When there is a time of tumult and there is great anxiety out there, then thank God our Church is not 5 years old, or 10 years old, or 50 or 100,” Miravalle said. “It’s 2,000 years old. And we’ve made it through these things before. How? By getting back to basics.”
Below are Dr. Miravalle’s suggestions on how we can get back to basics and remain peaceful as we work toward purification of our Church:
1) Maintain and Protect Your Peace
We have to always start with ourselves. We have to pray more, we have to pray for the Holy Father, we have to pray for the Church. Keeping aware of what is going on? Completely legitimate. But if we are filling our minds with inflamed blogs and comments, we can’t be surprised if we are also inflamed. It doesn’t help Jesus or the Church if we don’t have our own personal spiritual peace, which He gives us.
2) Pray a Rosary Every Day
Pray for the Holy Father and for the Church. Don’t downplay the power of the Rosary and Our Lady for this purification.
3) Examine Your Heart
Do we have a spirit similar to the mobs in the French Revolution where we say, ‘I want heads to roll and blood to spill because of past crimes!’? Or do we have a humility of heart and a fidelity to the Church, and at the same time, do we have an absolute conviction and commitment to the need of reform? We absolutely, positively, desperately need reform of the Church. Well, if we have the second then we are pleasing Jesus. If we have the first then we are helping the adversary. Anger and revenge that looks for blood is not the spirit of Christ. True reform, which is absolutely necessary, is the spirit of Christ. So we have to examine ourselves and how we do this.
4) Respect the Office of Peter
We have to be respectful to the Office of Peter, and to the person in that office. Why? Because Jesus wants us to be respectful to every human being. So clearly, the person who holds that office demands our personal respect. That doesn’t mean there can’t be disagreement. Paul corrected Peter, St. Catherine of Siena told the pope to come back from Avignon to Rome. There can be disagreement, but it has to be respectful of his office and of his person.
5) Keep Your Joy
I know some people are thinking, ‘Come on. Keep our joy? Why keep our joy?’ Because while we endure this purification we are still called to evangelization. And let me tell you something, people do not want to join a cranky, negative, quarreling spiritual organization. They want to join something that has the mark of joy. So while we go through this, we have to keep our joy.
The logical question is: How do we do that? Through greater prayer, through faith, fasting, and conversion. Joy is a gift of peace. And I don’t say that as a Hallmark statement. Joy is a magnet for evangelization, so we have to keep our joy through this. Let’s try to be saints in progress and keep our joy and our fidelity to the vicar of Christ through this process.
Listen to the full conversation with Dr. Mark Miravalle here.