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It’s Killing Me Slowly, But Joy Comes in the Morning

April 11th, 2013by Deacon Royce Winters

I’ve been engaged in the Rediscovering Catholicism conversations with parishioners and I’ve recently read the book, “Growing an Engaged Church – How to Stop “Doing Church” and Start BEING the Church Again” by Albert L. Winseman.  It has been a fascinating journey to rediscover and stoke the passions deep within me to seek a deeper relationship with the Lord.  The installation of Pope Francis has opened eyes and renewed hope for what the Church can be -servants to the least of our brothers and sisters.


Yet, in the midst of it all, the unveiling of Cardinal Roger Mahony’s cover-up of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the recent report of alleged sexual misconduct by Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland and remembering the past sexual abuse committed by priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has me in a spiritual spiral, a descent into the darkness of sin.  This Season of Lent leads us to reflection and celebration of Holy Week and it comes at an opportune time for me to repent for my own sinful failures as well.


Our profession of faith requires that we place our trust in Jesus, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world.  This profession of faith is not to the institutional Church, the Pope or to other ordained leaders.  But, “give me a break” [there were many words I would rather use].  We’ve always needed credible witnesses of God’s amazing power to transform lives to re-create from broken pieces a renewed heart.  When we’ve been raised in a Catholic culture and the culture fails us, what do we become?  How do we overcome the trauma of broken lives?   It’s interesting that our answer seems to be, “we just place our trust in Jesus.”  But to trust in Jesus requires that we also place our trust in those whom God has called by name – each and every one.   It’s slowly killing me and I know we must die in order to live. But, come on now!  Is God in charge?  Has the victory, really been won? 


We won’t know the depth of the damage sexual abuse has done for years, upon years to come.  What we do know is that there will be a number of people who have and will turn away from God simply because at times we can’t be credible witnesses of God’s goodness.   


So let us all pray: “I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.” The New Roman Missal

Deacon Royce Winters

Deacon Royce Winters is the director of African American Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He has been married for 36 years and his wife, children and grandchildren all attend Church of the Resurrection in Bond Hill.