About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."
— His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI (7 July 2007)

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Overcoming Disillusionment
published 7 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Teaching at a seminary involves a specific poignancy when a hero priest is revealed as having fallen into big sins. Several of these have hit the non-Catholic and Catholic news of late. Heavy-hearted, I was pondering one of these news flashes at the same time as someone gave me pause to wonder about a priest I thought was a beloved hero and now am told could be someone with clay feet on grounds other than scandal.

It reminded me of a psycho-therapist years ago remarking to me about myself that “naivete is a pretty weak defense mechanism!” At the time I was 28 and she was about 50. Let me open up that cryptic statement a bit for you. If at one time you thought so, do you still think now, at whatever age you are over 14 that:

If a country is a democracy it can save the world even without virtue in the majority of the populace. (In spite of warnings that go back to Aristotle!)

If I go to daily Mass and believe in the teachings of the Church I can never commit a mortal sin. (In spite of St. Teresa of Avila writing that even after the spiritual marriage someone could fall into mortal sin!)

That people with beautiful natural gifts and great love of the beauty of the liturgy could never betray anyone, especially not me. (In spite of the fact that some composers of exquisite Church music were atheists or Masons!)

That those I love among family and friends could never reveal my secrets to others. (In spite of knowing this takes place in most other families and friendship circles!)

Everyone who reads this blog believes in forgiveness of such sins public or private. The thrust of this little piece is more to address a related issue: disillusionment. Since disillusionment breeds cynicism (the idea that everything that seems good is really evil underneath) it is important to come against letting the natural feeling of let down in the face of unexpected evils lead us not into cynicism, but into sadness, grief, and prayer for the perpetrators and for ourselves when we are the unexpectedly evil ones.

May having to see the fall of heroes lead us to work out our own salvation “with fear and trembling.”

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.