Monday, May 07, 2012

Lost Sheep.

Recent events have caused me to reflect upon how much I hate loosing sheep, whether it be to another parish, another church, or that other church known as cafeteria Catholicism. My secretary remarked, "Wow, you really take it personally." Damn straight I do. This isn't just my job, it is my vocation. And if that weren't enough, there is always the knowledge that I will be held accountable by the Lord for each and every soul entrusted to my care on the Day of Judgement.

There isn't much I can do about folks going to another parish. People move or personalities do not mesh. Occasionally, well more than occasionally, I stick my foot in my mouth or failing in my duty. I also know that I don't fit the modern stereotype of the priest.

When folks leave for another church, thankfully an infrequent event, I always wonder what I could do to better teach the Faith and help the folks deal with their doubts and questions. It is enormously frustrating that many people won't come to you, or someone, with their doubts, questions, and concerns. And when people leave for a stupid reason like romantic love or business, I just wish I could pound some sense into them.

The hardest are the Cafeteria Catholics; those who think that they can be their own Pope or really their own God. Here we find the mystery of sin. A mystery which goes back to Lucifer. I will not serve. Or I will only serve when convenient and in accord with my own desires. And what infuriates me is that they are always able to find a priest and fellow 'Catholics' to encourage and enable them. Father Flapdoodle says it is OK.

I suppose the most difficult thing is recognizing that it really isn't about me at all. Everyone has free will whether I should think they should or shouldn't. And everyone will receive their due reward whatever I do. God has decreed it, so I must accept it. We have to realize how powerless we are. I am no Saint Jean Marie. All that I can do is do my job as best I can, learn from my mistakes, and get out of God's way.

That being said I miss my lost sheep. I pray for them and ask that the Lord return them.
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