I’m sure Cardinal Law’s resignation will be all over the blogs and the news today—with lots of commentary, lots of judgment, lots of speculation. I personally do not feel any sense of triumph or satisfaction. Just sadness.
All I want to do for today is remember the good priests. As of today, they can begin to get back to what they do and have done throughout the long years of their vocations.
In case any one needs to be reminded, that includes:
Getting up at ungodly hours to visit the beds of the sick in the hospitals or the homes of nearby parishioners;
Getting themselves out of bed to light up a cold dark church at 6AM so the regulars can receive communion;
Driving miles and miles to churches out in the boondocks, parishes that cannot afford their own priest, to serve a second community on top of the one that commands most of their lives;
Sitting for hours on a wooden chair inside a coffin-like confession box every day while we all shuffle in, trundling our little sins, our pathetic ones, our dirt, misery, resentment, our mortal sins, our betrayals and our guilt to dump in their lap so that they can absolve us;
Saying Mass every day no matter how distracted they may be, no matter how much pain they may be in, no matter how many or—as is more likely the case—how few come to sit in the pews;
Keeping their lights on and their doors open in the rectory, perhaps even when they should be having a normal dinner, for anyone who may need their help or consultation;
And last, but not least, patiently enduring the mockery and abuse that is heaped on their vocation and profession by our otherwise oh-so-tolerant culture. Just when they thought they could take a few minutes out of the day to sit back and enjoy a little television in the evening—they get to be hectored and lectured by the morally superior auteurs of our entertainment industry.
So for all that, today, I’d like to say “Thank you, Father”, and “I’m glad you’re still here.”