Dialogue may be impossible with bullies or addicts who haven’t yet hit rock bottom, but mercy never is.
(Mercy, dear readers. The days ahead are uncertain for me. No medical insurance and my legs swell with fluid. This blogpost that follows isn’t directed to only one specific U.S. Catholic, but many. I am talking to many people here. Not all, but many. Be advised.)
Mercy keeps me going. I would be dead without many Catholic brothers and sisters living in South Florida and beyond. This year has been challenging, but Catholic friends have been there all along.
Even now, without the Catholic love and justice given me, I would have no place to write this. Brothers and sisters continually shower me with goodness and demonstrate the beauty of Christ’s Body. I can’t deny that the Lord pours out mercy on me through them. I am forever grateful—that must be said first before anything else. What follows does not reflect on them.
But there is another side about which I must also testify. I have a fire burning up my insides.
Mercy & Dialogue With a Dying Man
Days after January 6, the cry came from everywhere. “Dialogue. Please.” And I heard this cry coming from people in the Archdiocese of Miami, from people who literally threw me away in the middle of a global pandemic. Marcy on them, Lord.
Then, after posting Is “The Chosen” Realistic to the World of Jesus?, I read the following posted on the Catholic Patheos Facebook page:
“Dear Fellow Dying Inmate,
It would be a real shame if you lost your job
once we find out who you are
and shut down your BS posts.
Passion of the Christ is not Anti-Semitic
and you know sh-t of it.”
Marcy on this cruel person. To Catholics out there like him (who are legion)—I have been without gainful employment, home of my own, and medical insurance for almost a year. You want to threaten me? I don’t frighten.
Still, mercy and forgiveness, I offer you.
Mercy for Bullies
Sometimes people cry when they get popped in the face. That’s what bullies do, be they conservative or liberal, religious or non-religious, what have you. When a swift and devastating response comes for their careless violence, suddenly, they beg for a cease in hostilities. They cry out for dialogue when they received their just desserts. Then these liars talk about how they want conversation. That’s a sad joke.
But we must offer mercy, nevertheless.
To some, I know, it does not seem like much of a gift when coming from me. For I was a snowflake, and a coward, and a p—y. I was a loser, and a heretic, and an overall “POS.” Why would anyone want mercy from someone like me? Why would anyone want dialogue with me? It’s like the powerful Constantinian Church used to say: “There is no dialogue with error.”
Remember, Mister E-apologist, how you quoted that to me, and with pride? “Does Beowulf dialogue with Grendel?” No, Beowulf smashes Grendel in Christendom-cruelty and then throws a feast for his victory. All under the banner of the congenial Christ Triumphant.
But mercy I give you, nonetheless.
Mercy for the Deaf
Hey, South Florida Catholic group leader? Remember when I tried to give my testimony, and you laughed when I got to, “I had been homeless”? Even though I was employed when I told you, you still interrupted me and commanded me to get a job and stop whining.
Mercy be yours.
Remember when I dared to show up at your Spanish Rosary? I’ll never forget your disgust and discomfort at my existence, at the pro-life parish, in your pro-life movement, Seňor Pro-life doctor. You were so above worthless “POS” people like me. Every time I showed my face how exasperated you were. “¿Por qué no se va este gringo?” It’s so much easier to defend an idea, a fetus hidden in a womb, than stinky, homeless old me, eh? “Choose life”?
Está bien. Que la misericordia sea tuya.
Prayer for Broward County
And what about you, Broward County, Irish-Italian Catholic? Remember this past Epiphany? Is our face smashed? And are your teeth busted? I ask because your racist hero, POTUS 45, is gone. You know, the supreme liar you proclaimed as messiah. And your prayer circle didn’t work a miracle for him! Go figure!
And neither did your fundraiser fiasco work out either. Remember? The one where you tried to auction off an AR-15 to help the legal defense of your crony police officer bud undergoing trial for racist violence? That’s no way to use a men’s club or a parish.
And you, True-Patriot Broward parishioner. Remember all those times you praised veterans? I do. I remember when a veteran needed a place to stay, and all of you in your FOX-News clique, with your four and five bedroom-homes, turned your backs on him. Yes, I saw your patriotism that day. Soon, I will write about this.
But anyway, mercy be yours, Mericans.
Ice-Cold South Florida
And you, well-to-do St. Kevin’s family of six-figure salary. Remember when I crept into Saturday evening Mass, late Summer, 1999? At the Sign of Peace, I reached out to shake your hand. I remember it. I saw how you recoiled in disgust at the homeless loser before you. You communicated to me how I had no place at the table.
I remember waking up in the St. Kevin’s parking lot each morning, those days. It was a sanctuary for the homeless me. But not for the old women glaring at me through my car window as they marched into the chapel for their daily Magical Bread. They gave me icy stares of disdain.
Have mercy on them, Lord.
Mercy for the Little Monsters
And I also recall the St. Brendan’s high-schoolers at McDonald’s, the beautiful pro-life children, when I came in from my car, my home on wheels, to use the restroom. I can still feel their glares. I still hear them rushing into the men’s room, boys and girls, screaming and threatening the worthless bum. They kicked and banged the stall, throwing their garbage and sodas over the top. “F—–g die, loser!”
Lord have mercy on the high school kids of the Archdiocese of Miami. May they know compassion today, as parents, graduated from college, many of them. See them send their own little monsters to schools? I wonder what they would have done with me had they any lighter fluid and matches. And that was 1999. Just think about how this is 2021.
Crying Mercy By the Side of the Road
Then, after January 6, I hear them whining and calling for us to have Eucharistic Adoration, insipid guitar music, and a night of peace.
Hey, Catholic Guitar Man? Is there anyone other than head-nodders at your night of peace? Your peace is BS. You offer a false peace, fake community, anti-church, and a dialogue of lies. Forever young in the pejorative sense of the term, go throw your “night of peace.” Feel good. Keep replaying your songs to the blind. Go sit and sing before your Magical White Circle held aloft by the Fake Sun of incorrigible arrogance. Go home after, deluding yourself into imagining that the Spirit unified people.
Have mercy on the blind, O Lord.
Your circle dwindles, and your pews empty. You are filling the cemeteries up, but the funeral Masses reduce in attendance. Your Emmaus meetings look like clones of the Knights of Columbus—same old, same old.
Contact with Reality
Do you really want to experience the Holy Spirit? She’s to be found via contact with reality. Go check out your ever-dwindling circle. See how small it becomes? Wake up.
All bullies want to dialogue and talk peace when they’ve been popped in the face. Look at the blood pouring out from the broken nose and jaw of the beaten bully. All violent oppressors hide behind the call of peace and mercy when they are (deservedly so) on the losing end. How does it feel now, “winner”? Like a homeless man without family, reaching his hand out on a Saturday at Mass, greeted by the Superior-in-Christ? Excluded by cruelty in Catholic costume?
Where was my mercy when I told you how, at eight years old, my mentally ill mother went missing for days? When I broke down and shared how she had been raped continually by a gang behind a Key West bar? Did I miss your mercy when you rolled your eyes? Did I miss it in your “Get over it”? You didn’t have any mercy for me.
Mercy be yours.
Remember when I told you about that time my sick mother tracked my friend’s stolen bike to a nearby neighborhood? When the 22-year old gang member emerged with twenty of his friends and declared my mom a whore to laughing onlookers? You didn’t care. Imagine the frantic worry of a ten-year-old boy like me back then. Should any child worry that his father might discover this and get killed going to confront them?
You didn’t care. And when I complained of panic attacks and undiagnosed PTSD at 25, you told me to “Man up, snowflake.”
Should I tell you the same, snowflake? Should I call you loser? Maybe I should ask you to pull yourself up by the bootstraps? Tell you to stop calling evil good and good evil?
I only have one thing to tell you: mercy.
Prayer for the Merciless
Mercy on you for spreading a false Gospel. Mercy for the atheism you have spread like wildfire because of your repugnance. Compared with your Christianity, it shines golden. Mercy on you for becoming the incarnation of everything Neil Rogers claimed when he spoke out against the Catholic Church. Peace on you for calling my words scandalous. Compassion on you, walking sacrilege. Mercy on you, living scandal.
The Church, in many places, needs divine mercy. Should they defend their right to unionize, teachers and parish employees? If so, they shouldn’t worry about being terminated and blacklisted, right? Have mercy, O Lord!
Mercy on Feudal Tyrants
And for the wealthy bishops of the USCCB, have mercy, O Lord. Have mercy on Thomas Wenski living by the sea. May God show compassion on you all, his enablers, who refuse to stand in solidarity with those who suffer. Lord have mercy on the spineless jellyfish.
Have mercy on the ignorant, Lord. According to the CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) Report, between 2008 and 2018, the Archdiocese of Miami (ADOM) lost nearly 292,000 Catholics. Archbishop Wenski was installed on June 1, 2010. Two years earlier, 2.5 million people lived in Miami-Dade County and 1.7 million in Broward County. But by 2018, Miami-Dade had grown to 2.7 million, and Broward 1.9 million. Even though basically 400,000 new souls increased in South Florida throughout that decade, the Archdiocese of Miami lost 291,900 Catholics—source: CARA Report. Again, most of that time was under Wenski.
That says a lot. That you don’t know about it says even more.
Someone, please tell Archbishop Wenski in his mansion, gala dinners, and Legatus seminars at The Breakers in Palm Beach (!!!) that he isn’t doing his job. He is FAR from being consistently “pro-life.” Someone tell Wenski that he needs to practice his faith way more until he gets it right—treating employees his way isn’t being in persona Christi. But no one will—because this prelate surrounds himself only with head-nodders, yesmen, and spineless jellyfish. Mercy on us all!
Mercy for the White Males
Although many had no mercy for the people of Standing Rock when they pleaded for it, still, may mercy be theirs. When black athletes took a knee, respecting both the flag and their own dignity and at significant personal cost, many offered cruelty, not mercy. Many U.S. Catholics were deaf to the gasp of “Let me breathe”—but may the God of life breathe in them mercy, still.
When countless people wanted to dialogue about women having a voice in the Church, for them having a say in the shepherding authority of the Church, the Old Regime was merciless. They censured, blacklisted, and excommunicated. May God grant them mercy, still.
Mercy for Father
Hey, once-popular South Florida priest? Remember when I went to dialogue with you about the police killing Eric Garner? Remember how you kept insisting that Garner would be alive today had he not resisted and that you should never disrespect a police officer? Your ignorance and arrogance are sickening. Yet, mercy be yours.
Do you recall when your carnival-boss used the n-word repeatedly? I do. I’m not alone, either. It was overheard by six Hattian young adults and the young adult group leader, herself Hattian. Remember when I confronted you with that? You and your circle of enablers would hear no word of it! Mercy!
Some of you reading this are no doubt having a bad reaction. I bet some of you wish I’d die and go away, huh? Just like those “traitors” who exposed the priests who molested them. Did you have the same reaction to them also? Some of you did. Well, I am not going away until I die. I will sing my song until the last breath, fellow dying inmates.
Till that day, mercy be yours!