Skip to main content

The Fruits of the Dark Night

by Fr. Robert J. Carr

As I write this, here at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, we are preparing for two days of Eucharistic Adoration. We will be in prayer while our legislature in Massachusetts debates whether to allow gay marriage here in the Bay State.

As the parochial vicar at this parish, I live in the middle of the storm that is the Boston sex abuse crisis. Protesters, at times over a hundred, once as many as five hundred, stand outside our Church on Sundays. I listen to parishioners tell me of their pains just trying to exercise their right to freedom of religion and stated to one representative from a protest group, “Leave our parishioners alone!”

As veteran, it has been painful to watch the rights of innocent Catholics trampled so intensely and blindly. I served six years in the United States Navy so that this would not happen in my country and it has.

Yet, as we plow through year three of the crisis, there comes a time where one has to accept the reality, not in surrender, but in grace. As Catholics we follow Christ who leads us to know life, life to the full. That is why we do what we do. In fact, one of the most important bible verses of why we persevere is from John 6 where Jesus turns to his disciples and asks if they too will leave him. “To whom shall we go?” Peter responds. “You alone have the words of eternal life.”

If the sex abuse crisis has done anything in my priesthood, it has not discouraged me, but has turned me away from anything related to a happy relationship between my secular American side and my Christian faith. It has not led me to turn away from my country at all, but to turn in joy and strength more toward my God. If I have anything to say to my country it is the disturbing statement, “Do not forget, you do not have the words of eternal life.” Our country’s very strength is based on understanding that truth. The United States, like all sovereignties, is still a secular power and must see herself in light the gifts from the Divine.

I have contended for sometime that the gay marriage issue is not about rights. It is about evolution. When you combine gay marriage and stem cell research, you have the perfect combination to bring to fruition the results of a godless form of science. You have the biological structures to bring forth cloning and other aberrations and you have the philosophical backing to act on your ideas. It is then that you have taken pro-creation totally out of the hands of God and put it into the hands of his children.

Gay marriage and the biological science and structures that come with it are the mechanism for a new species. We already created a new race, humans brought forth not by natural means but by unnatural means. Now, we create the biological tower of Babel.

Jesus told off the Devil by reminding him that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God. (Matt 4:4) If we reverse that, then man who does not live by every word from the mouth of God, does not live.

Jesus promised us life and life to the full if we follow him and seek him. It is a message that the world does not want you to hear. Yet, the world does not promise eternal life, only God promises it to those who love Him.

The crisis has forced me to reject more strongly everything that does not lead to life and to live more a life that seeks the living God and all He promises. The crisis has not discouraged me, it strengthened me to seek and live truth more fully. The crisis has not silenced me, but helped me to pursue the truth at times through silence.

Ultimately, we can never forget that the world promises nothing of value to us in the long run. When we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, (Matt 6:33) we find all we need to become the humans we were created to be over time through His grace. That is the road we walk. After all, there is no other and only the seeker of life to the full in Jesus Christ fully understands this powerful truth.

This time has been a ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ for the priesthood, but as St. John of Cross, who first uttered that phrase, reminds us that the fruit of the Dark Night is worth all its trouble. We have discovered a treasure of wisdom the world will never know, for the world does not know the Christ from whom it comes, even in the Capital City Of Universities ( according to the New York Times), Boston, Massachusetts.


Catholicism Anew  MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Parochial Vicar, 617 542-5682



Cloning, Holiness, Priest Abuse Crisis, Gay Marriage

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 4:1-11
This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the day. Fill your ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 7 Saint of the Day

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More