A few words . . .

Source: amazon.ca

A few words on Thomas Reese’s article: “When saints fall.”

A friend of mine recently shared an article about Jean Vanier, written by Thomas Reese SJ (National Catholic Reporter). Given the sordid details of Vanier’s reported behaviour, Reese’s article paradoxically ends up giving an uplifting perspective on the realities of good and evil.

Reese begins his article by reminding us that Scripture is full of people who went astray and who sinned, i.e. Abraham, David, etc.. “The message of the Scriptures is not that these are holy men but that God can use flawed and sinful people to do great things.”

Reese states that he does not forgive those who prey on the vulnerable (including Vanier) and that he will leave this forgiveness to God.

Reese is also angry that these people have made him a cynic. “It has gotten to the point where I even take Mother Teresa, Pope Francis and Big Bird with a grain of salt.” That people have fallen is not a new reality.

Abusers of power have existed from the beginning of humanity. What is of significance in Reese’s article is the perspective he takes on life and reality in the face of darkness and evil.

Towards the end of his article Reese presents two questions: “How can there be a God when there is such evil in the world?” asked by people who can not make sense of evil. Reese further asks the opposite question: given where we have come from “why is there good in the world?”

The existence of goodness is as a result of the presence of God and the Holy Spirit in our world. Thomas Reese’s important message rings true in the midst of the darkness: “don’t let sin blind you to the presence of grace in our world. Be surprised by love.”


Thomas Reese’s article – When saints fall – was published on the National Catholic Reporter (https://www.ncronline.org)  Feb. 25, 2020

Grace Colella has completed the requirements for the Masters in Arts and Ministry in Spirituality at Regis College. She is an active parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Toronto.

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 07:51h, 08 July Reply

    Thank you Grace!

  • Sharon Walters
    Posted at 09:51h, 08 July Reply

    Thank you Grace!

  • Ada MacDonald
    Posted at 15:00h, 08 July Reply

    I’ve read that Bart D. Ehrman, the author of The New Testament, A Historical Introduction…, became an atheist because he did not find and answer to the question ““How can there be a God when there is such evil in the world?”.

  • Lorella D'Cruz
    Posted at 21:02h, 08 July Reply

    Thought-provoking! Thank you, Grace.

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