Fr. James Martin, S.J.: Sometimes it’s really hard to be Catholic
Last week, the final Jesuit Province in the United States released its list of names of Jesuits who were credibly accused of sex abuse since 1950. Over the last few months, other religious orders and dioceses have done the same thing, and voluntarily released their own lists. It’s the right thing to do—essential for the process of confession and reconciliation that needs to happen in the Catholic church. Sometimes it’s really hard to be Catholic. And, I know that’s probably not what you want to think about during your examen, but it brings up an important point in the spiritual life, and that is being in a sinful church.
Last week, when we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus, we were reminded of an important point. When Jesus decided to be baptized with the people from “all over Judea” who were being baptized, he decided to further immerse himself in our humanity. Even though he is sinless, he stands with us. I always like to think of Jesus standing in line on the banks of the Jordan River waiting his turn to be baptized by John the Baptist. And he knew exactly with whom he was standing: some sinful religious leaders and people. So for your examen maybe you could ask yourself, How do I deal with living in a sometimes sinful institution? And, more importantly, can I find Jesus standing next to me?