On Spy Wednesday we ask forgiveness for being untrue to Jesus.

Wednesday, 4/12/17

Recalling how one of his Apostles betrayed Jesus on Wednesday of Holy Week, English-speaking Christians have always referred to this as Spy Wednesday. The next evening, after Jesus was put on trial, the Bible, speaking of the other Apostles, said, “They all fled.” 

So, being truthful, we must face up to the fact that as a church we have taken some wrong turns. However, just as we stand by the families we grew up with, so, we see the Catholic Church as our family, and we stand by it, even though we do not see all of her moves as perfect.

We could take the French Jesuit Henri de Lubac as our model in having the right attitude toward the Church. Lubac wrote the first draft of some of Vatican II’s finest documents, and he was later named a cardinal; but he did not always enjoy such approval.  In 1950 the Holy Office, deeming Lubac’s ideas too radical, removed his books from Catholic shelves, and banned him from teaching in Catholic schools. On being asked if he had bitter feeling toward the Catholic Church, he gave this reply. 

“Although the shock that assaulted me from without also troubled my soul to its depths, they are still powerless against the great and essential things that make up every moment of our lives. The Church is always there, in a motherly way, with her Sacraments and her prayers, with the Gospel that she hands down to us intact, with her Saints who surround us; in short, with Jesus Christ, present among us, whom she gives us ever more fully at the moments when she allows us to suffer.”

Since I was made to retire ten years ago I have been moderately busy writing. I wrote a book about the people I have dealt with through eighty years of conscious Catholic life. With that out of the way, I have been writing my take on the history of Christianity. Doing my best to be honest, I sometimes have been critical of steps church leaders have taken; but like Cardinal de Lubac, I have criticized lovingly.

It is during Holy Week, even on Spy Wednesday, that we have our greatest love for our Church.

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