Reprinted on Spero News and RenewAmerica.
Almighty and eternal God, behold, I approach the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ...as one who is sick to the physician of life...unclean to the fountain of mercy... blind to the light of eternal brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I beseech Thee, of Thine infinite goodness, to heal my sickness, wash away my filth, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and to clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords with such reverence and humility...contrition and devotion...purity and faith...purpose and intention, as may conduce to the salvation of my soul. --from the "Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas" as found in the old Latin Missal. [emphasis: mine]
I talked to Father Euteneuer for forty-five minutes on Saturday night, and while he couldn't talk about the reasons he left HLI because his bishop (Bishop Gerald Barbarito) bound him under vows of obedience not to, he did say that he liked my Demonic Abortion review. And so, as I sit here writing this on the Feast of St. Anthony of the Desert, I imagine Father feels a little like Anthony, off praying in the wilderness, hoping to return to public ministry, awaiting his next order. But since it is doubtful a priest with such a high profile as Father wants to stay in the desert forever, I propose we (Father and me as well as his bishop and the HLI hierarchy) pray to St. Thomas Aquinas for guidance on what to say...and do, for not only do Father and I share this saint's first name, but Thomas was perhaps the most gifted writer-philosopher in Church history, so who better to pray to for the right words when it is time to make a statement on one's own "poverty, blindness, and filth"?
Of course, for those who know this saint's story, there is another reason for Father to pray to St. Thomas at this time. As a young man, some of St. Thomas' relatives tried to dissuade him from the priesthood by sending a nearly naked lady into his room to seduce him. But instead of succumbing, Thomas instead sent the woman running when he chased her from his study (and life) with a hot poker he pulled from the fireplace. Sure, it's doubtful Thomas E's bishop would approve of such medieval tactics today, but you've got to admit both the devil and St. Thomas' temptress sure got the "point" back then. So let's pray that the bishop, HLI, and Euteneuer, make a statement about Fr. Tom's past--and future--on January 28th, the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. That way, if Thomas is banished to the desert for all of Lent...or longer, we'll know the bishop has him there for good reason, and HLI has retired him for good measure.