I am a few days late to reading this, but it deserves a link, I think. Bristol Palin has a blog and wrote there about the president of the United States calling Georgetown Law activist Sandra Fluke. Addressed to President Obama, she blogged:
here’s why I’m a little surprised my phone hasn’t rung. Your $1,000,000 donor Bill Maher has said reprehensible things about my family. He’s made fun of my brother because of his Down’s Syndrome. He’s said I was “f—-d so hard a baby fell out.” (In a classy move, he did this while his producers put up the cover of my book, which tells about the forgiveness and redemption I’ve found in God after my past – very public — mistakes.)
If Maher talked about Malia and Sasha that way, you’d return his dirty money and the Secret Service would probably have to restrain you. After all, I’ve always felt you understood my plight more than most because your mom was a teenager. That’s why you stood up for me when you were campaigning against Sen. McCain and my mom — you said vicious attacks on me should be off limits.
Yet I wonder if the Presidency has changed you. Now that you’re in office, it seems you’re only willing to defend certain women. You’re only willing to take a moral stand when you know your liberal supporters will stand behind you.
What if you did something radical and wildly unpopular with your base and took a stand against the denigration of all women… even if they’re just single moms? Even if they’re Republicans?
I mention this for a few reasons. One of them being: It does underscore, again, the crass politics this “Where are the women?”/”War on Women” nonsense is about.
Another is: These are real people with real struggles in politics and media/public life. When we are all watching them like it is a running television series, that can be easy to forget.
Also because I only found the phone-call post because someone brought this one, about this holiest of weeks, to my attention. The young Palin writes: “it’s not about what you’ve done, it’s about what’s been done for you.”
It obviously was not written as an explicit call to Catholics to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but why not read it that way?
As a priest friend always reminds me: “live the present with God, leaving the past to His mercy and the future to His providence.”
Whatever it is we’ve done, God wants to give us His mercy. What are we waiting for?
Last year, New York’s Cardinal Dolan wrote in a pastoral letter:
God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to Himself, and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church, may God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you of yours sins, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
How easily those words come to the lips of every priest; how ingrained they are in his mind; how deeply do they reside in his heart! The consoling, simple words of absolution are powerful beyond imagining!
To pronounce the sacramental absolution by which our sins are forgiven is one of primary reasons the Church and the priesthood exist. The Church is an instrument of mercy and reconciliation, for Christ Jesus, the Head of the Church, came to reconcile us to the Father. We call this sacrament “penance,” “confession,” or “reconciliation”. Call it what you will, the sacrament is essential for the life of the Catholic disciple. Every Catholic should be eager to hear those words; every priest should be eager to say them.
In so many churches in the next 48 hours, the confessional light is on.
Sin is with us; if we deny that, we are cheating ourselves; it means the truth does not dwell in us. No, it is when we confess our sins that [God] forgives our sins, ever true to his word, ever dealing right with us, and all our wrong-doing is purged away. If we deny that we have sinned, it means that we are treating him as a liar; it means that his word does not dwell in our hearts. (1 John 1:8-9).