All Are Welcome……Except Clergy Abuse Survivors and Their Advocates

The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

These are reflections I wrote down after attending Mass about five ago. I need to add that I have not attended Mass on a regular basis for more than a year. I was thrown out of my parish in 2004, after handing out newspaper articles about clergy abuse in my parish. I tried to remain a faithful Catholic, but after 10 years of rejection by many parishioners and many in leadership, I decided to stop trying. Going to Church was like hitting my head against a wall or beating a dead horse. It doesn’t hurt the horse much.

Well anyway, this last Sunday I was sitting in Mass. My wanders too much. I try to pay attention to the Bible readings. Sometimes I hold onto the word of God more easily through the music.

The Psalm that was sung, not spoken in church this week was, “If today you should hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.”

I’ve heard the voice of God saying, “I love you Mommy.”

God was speaking through my child. That’s an easy one.

But what about the guy in the car who cursed me for riding through a stop sign on my bicycle. I didn’t come to a full stop. I was sitting there wobbling on my bicycle at the stop sign as I looked around to make sure it was safe to go. I guess I was supposed to put my feet on the ground and come to an absolute stop.

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