The living word is broken.
It is lost for words at the loss of its word.
At a loss to comfort the flock betrayed by the shepherds.
The sacred is treasoned.
Belief in belief is shattered, smithereened, smashed to bits.
Sorrow and trauma fill congregations of lost, scattered church goers. Faith in church and out is a sacked ruin.
Could this be Christ’s work?
Confronting not the money merchants in the temples
but his very own
apostles and vicars?
His once servants; now the self-servants.
All eyes turn away in hurt,
closed tightly in deep-felt shame
at the shamelessness of it all.
This is no glorious terrible beauty born
but entire disgrace upon us all.
For atrocity, inhumane cruelty, acts of barbarism,
insults and injustice,
have been perpetrated down upon generations of children,
boys and girls, men and women,
by our priests, our orders of religious congregations,
those we were loyal to,
while our Bishops stood idly by
those of us trespassed upon without mercy.
The living word is struggling
to live up to its name.
No comfort now in the good church,
created to love and cherish all.
Dimmer now the sacristy lamp and the living word
is struggling to live up to its calling.
Voices from within a scream emerge
through the raging pages of the unholy bibles,
testimony from Murphy, Ryan and Ferns.
No tales here of Cú Chulainn’s childhood deeds,
no myths, no freedom dreams,
only perpetual sackcloth and ashes.
Please don’t abandon me now.
Stay present, intimate,
for surely what I say is the living truth.
Ordered into slavery by courts and State,
trafficked into the hands of tormentors,
of some men and women of the cloth of our church,
the trusted ones. The ones we were loyal to.
But their work was not for the greater glory of God.
Not in my name, laments the living word.
We are shocked.
A nation bewildered, a world blitzkreiged,
by the revelations, the scandals, the facts, the evidence,
the witness testimony
of the starved, beaten and slaved
in this republic of Ireland
on the island of Ireland’s land.
Stand now this moment your ground.
Stand on your own two feet and feel this truth,
this day, this moment, right now.
Feel your own loss of faith,
your own pain and distress,
disgust at what happened
and what is happening.
When we all stood idly by.
No one came to the rescue, nobody bothered.
You turned God’s miracles into frightened, gibbering wrecks
stripped of everything.
Own that now before you begin to atone
or seek reconciliation or healing.
Offer up personal responsibility, accountability
this now, this immediate instant.
Offer it up if only for the life of the living word
that was in the beginning.
Time now not to turn the other cheek
because they say they do,
because they know not what they do.
Yet they still do.
Protecting their reputations, their assets,
their position, their status,
the wealth of their church.
The living word has nothing to give, but gives.
They’ve no poverty any more;
no chastity; no obedience.
They threw away the honest truth to set us free.
Perhaps it is time now for you not
to consider your resignations
but to reconsider your vocations.
All of you who served your own will and your self-created
Stand back now from that rock upon which
you have brutally collapsed our Church.
Our Father who art in heaven ...
This is not about giving us our daily revenge;
not about not forgiving them their trespasses.
We know deep down we are not forsaken,
that this is not in vain;
but, Lord, we are only human beings
whose dreams were not tread softly on
but harsly stood upon.
Who is accountable? Who is responsible?
Where is responsibility?
Who will lead us not into temptation?
Is it Faith? Is it Hope?
Is it Charity, and unconditional love?
If so, Lord, give it here.
Pour it out. Aid us now.
Supply us from every quarter
in the midst of this catastrophe,
this church-made disaster;
this organised criminality;
this treason of trust.
Breathe life into the living word.
The living word has passed away,
overwhelmed by acts of man’s inhumanity
to men, women and children.
despaired by the self-serving Church.
You did a disservice to your trusting flock
but we’ll say no more of that.
Fruitless now to cling to tragedy,
to stay in loss, in fury,
in grief, in anger.
Best let go.
Best to try and make
progress from here.
From this day. From this now.
Nothing now but the last words of the Living Word.
Remember my meaning.
Cherish its essence
and begin anew.
There but for the grace of God go I.
Order of the Christian Brothers, I forgive you
Order of the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate, I forgive you.
Order of the St John of God’s, I forgive you.
Order of the Sisters of Mercy, I forgive you.
Order of the Good Shepherd, I bear you no grudge.
Order of the Brothers of Charity, I forgive you.
All religious congregations, I forgive you.
Priests, bishops, cardinals, Popes,
I forgive you.
And I forgive myself.
© GERARD MANNIX FLYNN,