Monday, March 16, 2009

Novena of Grace - Day Nine

The ninth day of nine days of grace....

There is a lot I said these past days, things that had stifled inside of me, not for lack of willingness to say them, but more for lack of someone who would listen. Friends have listened, family has listened..... But now I have published it, and it is here for anyone to read. And whether anyone does read it - or not - I do feel at peace that I have said these things, out loud, and that I have grappled with deep emotions to do what I could to identify it all. Process matters. Wholeness of integrity while wrestling with process - that also matters. I think I had that this past week. I think the Man of La Mancha would be proud.

There are things I could have said - unasked questions that I could have answered. For example: false reports are so rare, virtually nonexistent, and it is not even worth creating a factor for it; the church still will do what they can to call a victim a liar, though - I have one example of just that, with one client, but I happened to know that the Diocese had another report of abuse (they forgot that they had told me about it!) so then the Diocesan lawyer was the one who looked like a liar; sex abuse victims' lives truly have been destroyed, with real financial consequences (not to mention the pain and suffering) so there is a purpose to paying them money, though no amount of money will never return them back to square one, or give them back their childhoods; the church is not "nice" now, but continues to be a bully - I have a client whose story I was going to tell at St. Ann's parish here in Spokane as my client's surrogate (part of the Diocese settlement is that the victims may tell their stories at the parishes where they were harmed, and my client's abuser was Msgr. Pypers who served at St. Ann's), but the Diocese through its lawyer told me that I was not allowed to act as my client's surrogate in that way. Never mind that my client lives in California, is older, and likely unable to make the trip up here; never mind that he is not a public speaker and so would have asked me to speak on his behalf even if he did live up here. The Church would not allow it. In fact, to date the Church has succeeded in keeping the Pypers story shut down (though the lay review board did list Pypers' name as an abuser, so that's good).

There are so many answers to so many unanswered questions... know that, if you have a question, I likely have an answer - and it's not going to be a pretty answer, most likely....

Still, there is beauty in the Church. And there are good people there. I had a nine days' worth of it. A complete cycle - nine is the end of a cycle, did you know? Look at 10 - 1 + 0 - it is a one. A new cycle. So nine is completion, as we ready for what comes next.

Some of the words these past nine days encouraged me to have a voice; some gave me thoughts to ponder. And I do think that I have found balance, both physically and spiritually, just as I asked. And Grace, too. This last day of nine days, that is what I said I sought, when I went for my individual blessing. The relic-holder looked at me expectantly. Grace, I said. Just - I'm seeking Grace, today. And so she asked that God give me Grace. It was a perfect way to finish.

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