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Rod Dreher points to the latest blog post by Los Angeles cardinal emeritus, Roger Mahony:

Given all of the storms that have surrounded me and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently, God’s grace finally helped me to understand:  I am not being called to serve Jesus in humility.  Rather, I am being called to something deeper—to be humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many.

I was not ready for this challenge.  Ash Wednesday changed all of that, and I see Lent 2013 as a special time to reflect deeply upon this special call by Jesus.

To be honest with you, I have not reached the point where I can actually pray for more humiliation.  I’m only at the stage of asking for the grace to endure the level of humiliation at the moment.

Mahony has chosen to “bless and forgive” those angered by his complicity in the coverup of child abuse:

In the past several days, I have experienced many examples of being humiliated.  In recent days, I have been confronted in various places by very unhappy people.  I could understand the depth of their anger and outrage—at me, at the Church, at about injustices that swirl around us.

Thanks to God’s special grace, I simply stood there, asking God to bless and forgive them.

The Cardinal promises to distill “spiritual insights” for his readers from the outrage over his deeds:

Over the coming days of our Lenten journey I hope to explore with all of you some deeper spiritual insights into what it really means to take up our cross daily and to follow Jesus—in rejection, in humiliation, and in personal attack.

Indeed, he has already found in these events a source of “inner peace”:

Strangely, the more I allow all of this to unfold without protest and objection, the greater the inner peace I feel.

The Cardinal is right that these events are an occasion for forgiveness, that spiritual insights wait to be gleaned, and that inner peace should be sought for victims.

The questions, though, are these: Who is in a position to forgive? Who has a right to offer spiritual insights? Who stands in real need of inner peace? Victims of abuse, or those complicit in coverup?

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