Yes, seriously. You see, I was sitting in the hall with many of my ACTS brothers having our 1st team meeting in preparation for our upcoming ACTS retreat in April. And as clear as a ringing bell I heard the Holy Spirit say to me “Matt, it’s time to tell your story”. See, all the years that I’ve been on the ACTS team and the similar Kolbe teams, I’ve been scared to death to be asked to give a talk. I felt hollow inside, just going through the motions, but felt like a shell of a man. Had I been asked to give a talk I probably would’ve soiled my depends. LOL.
I went home that day and started writing as if I was going to give a talk, not knowing if I was even going to be called to give one. That writing went on and on. Coincidentally, my wife’s car needed to be put in the shop so I had to drive her to work. I would drop her off and go to Cotton Patch with my laptop and write, and write and write. By the end of the week I had a written a book!
Now what? It seemed to me that my book would be of value to others who had suffered childhood traumas but what do I do about it? By writing down my story, by being able to put it into words, and being willing to share it with others gave me a sense of freedom. What followed was what feels like another call from the Holy Spirit to reach out to other victims and try to help them and even more specifically to try to reach the yet unidentified victims that were molested by the same priest that molested me.
Similar to the “Me Too” movement, and the women of the Cosby scandal, the victims of this particular priest need to know that they are not alone. Their suffering will continue without abatement, potentially unnecessarily costing lives until they are able to reach out and get help.
So you, see, me telling my story, me starting this blog, me reaching out to the news to have my story told boils down to a question of obedience.
What would you do?
Pope Francis, I appeal you to meet the needs of survivors of clergy sexual abuse by making reparations commensurate with the damage, emotional or otherwise, caused to survivors. I have ideas on how to do this. If you can’t do this, then I respectfully ask, on behalf of the Church, you to stop receiving communion until such time that the Church does. Because until the Church does, it will not be in communion with the saints. Sincere contrition is meaningless without reparations in kind. Demonstrate to the world that the Catholic Church is catholic; that is, the Church Jesus established with Peter as the rock, the first pope; that the Church practices what it preaches.
Thanks for reading.
Wishing you much love and peace,
“Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” ― Mother Teresa
Consider sharing this blog with others. Victim/survivors of abuses, more often than not, carry this burden silently alone, not knowing how to deal with it or where to turn, but need hope. Loved ones and caregivers also need support. We never know who is or wants to reach out for help. This blog might be of help to caregivers and loved ones of abuse. Silence is deadly and if together we are able to help or save just one life, isn’t that worth it?
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It has been great to meet and talk with you Matt… I look forward to reading long or short versions of any topic, story, thoughts or emotions you touch on.. I hope they help other survivors in their healing journey.. I know talking about it helps me.. be well !
The other day I shared a story on FB about losing two teeth in an accident, and someone said everything isn’t everyone’s business. I said, it was a burden and shame I was holding onto and I no longer wanted to carry it. God told me to turn over my burdens and turn them into … Continue reading Tamirra H.
In reaching out to others, you are Christ’s hands. It takes courage and broad shoulders. I will continue to pray that the Holy Spirit guide those open hands into a thriving ministry…Don’t let yourself fail prey to discouragement. It may be your calling. God bless you!