By Lorna Kernas
Special to The B.C. Catholic
It is with dismay that I read of the antics and words of people involved in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
I would venture to say that the only perfectly sinless humans were and are the Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. As for the rest of us, we are all sinners to a greater or lesser degree, depending on our relationship with Christ.
So since the Church has at its heart, core, and soul the one, true, Holy Spirit, we sinners are called in baptism to become, in our earthly walk, saints.
There have always been false prophets, and various traitors to God and the Church He established. I have read that the percentage of priests who have abused children is less than 2 per cent. The other 98 per cent of priests and religious in our Church are today paying the price for what was done by a few.
These were traitors and betrayers of trust, to Christ and their vows to Christ and to the Church, and also to their victims. The traitors' first motivation under Satan has been to destroy the priesthood and, among the youth, potential priests and religious.
Jesus said, "It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin" (Lk 17:22). We also read, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them" (Dt 32:35).
The majority of these perpetrators of gross sin have already died and come before the Just Judge, Our Lord, and received their punishment. This could be, for many, according to Scripture, eternal damnation. For others who repented there might be a long term in the deepest realms of purgatory.
This leaves us with a number of victims whose shattered souls need healing, and this is being addressed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
To put it all in perspective, it was the Government of Canada that decided to establish reservations and boarding schools like those already available to Christian children through Christian churches at that time. European children also attended boarding schools.
Truth has to be on both sides of the coin. My sympathies go out to Brother Tom Cavanaugh.
My mother went for eight years to St. Mary's Mission, going home only on the holidays, and so did her five siblings.
As a child I heard her speaking Halq'emeylem with my grandmother, who spoke seven dialects used from Washington State to the interior of B.C. My mother spoke her language with her brothers and sisters, and with classmates and friends.
I suspect that it was alcohol, traded to the natives, which brought about the loss of language and culture. We should be praying, "Father-God, Creator of all that is, seen and unseen, help us to forgive all those who have wounded us in body and soul." Only then will the healing begin.
Let us echo Jesus on the Cross: "Father forgive them, they know not what they do!" and St. Stephen, the first martyr: "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Acts 7:60). "If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you" (Mt 6-15).
Forgive like Jesus our Saviour! It could be your ticket to eternal glory!
Let us also try to understand and see in perspective the times in which they lived, which were quite different from today. Then, perhaps, we could be less judgmental and more understanding and forgiving.
Demonic entities and occult demons, as in the worldwide New Age Movement, continue to besiege true Christianity. In other words, there is a tug-of-war for each and every soul God has created.
Jesus said, "I say to thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt 16:18).
Come into the shelter of Holy Mother the Church. True believers await you with open arms of love. God has a good plan for each of us. Let us cry to our Creator God, "Here I am, Lord. Let me know and do only Your will. Amen."
Lorna Keras is a non-status native Canadian who lives in Surrey, B.C.