Do you ever notice that sometimes a word or thought repeatedly comes up in your mind and you wonder why?
For me, recently, it’s two words: virtue and advocacy. I don’t consider myself very political, but when situations of injustices stir me, I might sign a petition or write an email to a city leader, state senator, or U.S. representative.
A few months ago, I wrote about my involvement in a small group at my church that is exploring how we as a parish move forward in the aftermath of the priest sexual abuse crisis.
I made an announcement to the congregation about it and invited other parishioners to join. Our charter includes four areas of focus:
• parish-wide commitment to proactively protect the vulnerable;
• taking a hard look at current protocols and strengthening them;
• developing educational tools around the topic of abuse, so it’s more clearly understood and recognized;
• and advocacy in our community, the diocese, and Rome.
On Page 6 of this issue, there’s a follow up story on the announcement made by Bishop Edward Burns of the list of credibly accused priests of sexual abuse since 1950. Burns said, “As we look back at the Church’s history, our failure to protect our most vulnerable from abuse and hold accountable those who preyed on them, fills me with both sorrow and shame.”
I feel that too, but now is the time for action. The leadership of the church has failed us; and we also have failed in the sense that we were asleep and did not recognize, protect, and advocate for the most vulnerable.
This is a hard lesson, but one that can be applied to any injustice we see in our community and the world.
“We all can make a difference,” is not just a cliché – it’s a truth.
Are we teaching our children about virtue? Virtue – (meaning) moral excellence, goodness, righteousness.
In the absence of virtue there lies the worst of human acts.
I’m striving to live a life of virtue. Many times a day I fail. But as one of my favorite authors Matthew Kelly says, we can become better versions of ourselves in the struggle.