My heart is breaking. Only five minutes ago our son—our number three—rolled out of the driveway, bound for seminary. As moms, our hearts break over and over again throughout the years. It doesn’t help at all that he is entering seminary at one of the worst possible times in the history of the Catholic Church in America.
By Suellen Dusek
17 August 2018
My heart is breaking. Only five minutes ago our son—our number three—rolled out of the driveway, bound for seminary. He will be attending St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver. My husband is making this trip with him. I just couldn’t.
As moms, our hearts break over and over again throughout the years, as we drop our children off at daycare for the first time, or watch them board the school bus on the first day of school. There are first sleepovers, birthdays, first loves, move-in day at college, graduations, that first big job and move far, far from home… Our hearts break every time we are separated. All this breaking and mending makes a mother’s heart flexible and expandable over time, the seams never completely melding back together. So it should be easy, right? Except that, it’s not. I rarely cry, but today I cried like a baby.
It doesn’t help at all that our son is entering seminary at one of the worst possible times in the history of the Catholic Church in America. You know what I mean. One would have to be living under a rock not to have read or heard news reports of sexual abuse in various dioceses throughout our country. Like many of you, I’m angry, deeply saddened, ashamed and uncertain. Here’s the thing, though: the evil actions of even MANY people do not, in any way, compromise the Truth revealed by Jesus Christ. If you are feeling as frustrated as I am right now, take a deep breath and pray. Ask for God’s help to bring the Church through this terrible time of reckoning, sorrow and suffering. Even as Christ, our Church’s Head, entered into His suffering and arose from the grave, His Church, the Body, must follow Him through her own agony. Still, if you’re tempted to leave, remember the Bread of Life Discourse in the Gospel of John and the question Jesus asked his disciples: “You do not want to leave too, do you?” To this question, Simon Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69, NIV)—this, from our very first pope.
Pope Francis is a flawed man. I am flawed. So was Peter. Aren’t we all? If you’re looking for perfection, by all means leave, and good luck with that. As for me, I think I’ll stick around. And as for today, I’m just going to spend the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself, because I am pretty selfish that way. However, even in the midst of my tears, I realize that our son is a gift from God, on loan to us. What an awesome privilege parenthood is when you think about it. We just have to love our children enough to let them go and trust that God will lead and care for them. So pray for our son, please. Pray for vocations and for all those parents who, like me, are struggling to help our children realize their full potential within a call to the priesthood or religious life. Perhaps God created our sons and daughters for just such a time as this.
Whatever you do, keep the faith!
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Photo Credit: Joshua Clay, https://unsplash.com/@joshua2529.
Hi, my name is Sue. I grew up in the Midwest where the land is stable and doesn’t shift under our feet. No earthquakes here, but we do have an occasional tornado or blizzard. This place shaped me into what I am: a practical, down to earth, family-loving, sensible, occasionally comedic, cradle Catholic who has struggled with my faith and remaining in relationship with God and others all my life. I make progress in baby steps, not miles. I hope to offer something that is spiritually edifying to others on this earthly journey. Keep me in your prayers, please. God’s blessings to you all!