Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wounded Healers



I was struck by the claim of this piece: 3 Saints who may have had autism spectrum disorder, there seemed to be a correlation between the Holy Father's reported anxiety about religious orders that have lots of vocations, calls them 'rigourist', yet they attract vocations and others repel them and seem to have nothing to say to the young, either those who are thinking of a religious vocation or those who want to practice their faith.

As a priest myself and someone who has lived and worked among priests for over half my life I have a feeling that most priests I know are somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Is that alarming? It might be to some. To me it just seems normal, we are all damaged goods, wounded healers. It is after all 'by his wounds we are healed' and there is something about encountering Christ through our own needs. Most encounters in the Gospel result from people seeing their needs and turning to the Lord.
I would some priests I know are selfish or egoists but many are or become saintly.

Who is perfect? Who is unwounded? Who is without the scars of our own sins or often more and more significantly the scars of the sins of others?
I always think parents at a baptism who will bring up their child with as much love as possible but will probably leave that child marked, if not scarred, by their parenting. Parents do their best but often their best not perfect -only God is perfect- but is good enough.

Priests and religious choose an exceptional way of life, the norm, is marriage and a 9-5 job, if one probes there are bound to be reasons why God should chooses such men and women, if as seems to be the custom today one discounts the supernatural, then one is left with the individuals psychological needs. Part of the black propaganda going the rounds at the moment is that the Pope is on anti-psychotic medication, he has often spoken about his psychological needs, his reactions to most things seem to be 'psychological' rather than reasoned or rational. Post Freud, post Jung rather than accepting what is, we look for deeper motivation.

In an island where we have seen the dismissal of bishops even a Cardinal, who could hardly be described as 'rigourist', because of sexual predation other psychological problems are perhaps of less significance. The thing is, that as the Holy Father says the Church is a field hospital, but actually we are all patients, our role is to bring our wounded souls to heaven.
In the discernment of vocations - perhaps the most important things is: does this young man or woman desire goodness first and foremost, secondly I would ask are they humble enough to know they have nothing of their own to offer, only JESUS, I don't want people pushing their pet theories or ideologies down my throat, I want the to give the Lord.

12 comments:

Just another mad Catholic said...

I'm sorry Father but as someone with autism, I can say that most priests are NOT on the autistic spectrum. Even though a few of us may have bean able to sneak in under the radar up to 50 or so years ago, the intensity of the psychological screening that goes on these days would weed us out.

Pelerin said...

Is it really true that Pope Francis is actually worried that some Orders with a Traditional leaning are successful in attracting vocations? Shouldn't he be pleased?

Frank Karwatowicz said...

Father Ray, I was deeply affected by your last posting, which you ended by saying "the Church is DEAD."
And here the present posting provides (for me) the answer that the Church is NOT DEAD and what is more it never will be DEAD. It may be comatose or even in a coma or as you say in a state of autism, which still to this day is not a clinically clearly defined medical state. Yet,"Who is perfect? Who is unwounded? Who is without the scars of our own sins or often more and more significantly the scars of the sins of others?"
"we are all patients, our role is to bring our wounded souls to heaven."
The human race has been thus since the original sin and will continue so but with the ever needed Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Thus the Church will always be there because we the people with all our imperfections need it and look to it for a cure.

Charlesdawson said...

I never thought I would say this....but what this Pope really needs is someone to whisper to him, often, that true mercy involves treating with kindness and respect, those whose opinions he disagrees with. And that true mercy does not involve toleration of sin. I pray for him often.

Maria Anna said...

Ah, father, and how can we describe St. John the Baptist, in Christ words the highest of all men born from women? Savage mysanthrope who lived on a mountain fed by invisible aliens?
And St. Moses - schyzo? And David - neevous breakdown, he was king yet yearned for an invisible land called Heaven? Because they cannot label Christ so instead they say - "he raised from the dead? Hmmm so you say but then you also talk to immaterial creatures you call Archangels so then.." the masked cruelty of the psy-medical profession. And when they fail at this we can always be associated to the sociopaths who claim Allah and video games, and be called bigots and face whatever the Irods of our time want us to face. It just happens. Christ told us to be happy about it and rejoice, and they will say He only exists in our imagination. Hm, so be it.

geneticallycatholic said...

@ Frank Karwatowicz: Thank you! I totally agree with you. Christ is the Head of the Church, and while we might say 'true - He is Head of His Mystical Body', the Church Militant (the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church), is a integral, though sinful and wounded part of that Body. At least the way that I learnt about the Mystical Body...

The Church, the Bride of Christ will not be abandoned by Him. He will not let the the Church die. ...

Frank Karwatowicz said...

Father Ray, I must apologize for not exploring your website fully, until now, and I was surprised (pleasantly) that there is a Polish Mass.
Is it still in effect and who and how many are the attendees and also who celebrates this Polish Mass?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Frank, Yes, still going about 250 attend, a churchful + standing latecomers

Mike Hurcum said...

If a large majority send the Holy Ghost the Divine Eternal Spirit of supernatural love and sanctifying grace away by pride and disobedience then the Church is not comatose but in its final death throes. The Church Militant is all but gone. Man who is Her defender are in the main not interested. The Church in Heaven is and will still live. God will make a choice for us as He did for the Hebrews but the Messiah cannot come again. He suffered once and it is almost like He never came and if He did, who has it, the Word, wrong. Another denial on Man's part unless we rise up and rid the Church of the spiritually suicidal the end of the Age of the Holy Ghost will be over and Christ, the Love will withdraw. The choice is ours, man should march on Rome and put the spiritually ignorant opinionated to the sword that Christ came to bring us.

Sixupman said...

Father, how the heck would we mNge without your words of wisdom?

Palincor IG said...

I don't think Father Ray meant the church per se is dead, but that a great part of those who take communion are not in a state of grace, and so are 'dead souls'in truth.

So the need for a mass change of heart on the part of those who go to mass but do not live for Christ.

Maria Anna said...

Someone said that a priest is like wire - electricity passes through the wire whether the wire is rusty or not. Electricity being the Grace of God and the rest of abilities given the Mystery of Priesthood, of course.