The abuse scandal has shown the ugly face of the church. But the church also has a very nice side, says Prelate Günter Assenmacher. The saints help us to discover them, he writes in the point of view.
All Saints Day . A day that has become even more personal since 1992, than it already was. The day before, on a gray, dreary Saturday, my mother had died. The day after, the sun was shining.
All Saints means to me: in the saints the church is beautiful. Not to run away, to give up, to be ashamed. Let’s look at the people who have come to perfection through God’s grace. They are the lived gospel. In word and deed they proclaim what God loved in his Son, Jesus Christ, so that he may love it in us. We do not have to be ashamed of the saints, their memory does not have to be eradicated. They did not compromise their Creator and Redeemer, they did not disgrace the fellowship of the Church; on the contrary, God is great in His saints. From them we can see what God can do with us, if we are completely left to His grace and guidance.
We urgently need a counterbalance to the day-to-day reports of annoyances, even crimes in the space of the worldwide Church. Far from any triumphalism and whitewashing, with no blindness to reality, with empathy for the wounds inflicted on other people by members of the Church , we also always need to look to those who blessed others, the role models in the good, in the bravery against the evil, models of true repentance and conversion, role models, even to forgive those who do evil and harm.
It may be that we need constant public pressure not to avoid shameful truths, not to downplay the bad, not to put one’s own failure into perspective, to consistently strive for betterment. But with the “on your knees!” alone, a renewal from inside will not happen. For that the “sursum” is indispensable, the view on the, which God has given us as role models.