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‘Pride and Prejudice,’ Msgr. Burrill and Spiritual Fruitfulness: Let the Light Shine in the Darkness

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

    United States
    COMMENTARY: It is no accident that fruitfulness is now missing on the spiritual level. With some exceptions, it has been all but abandoned by the culture and even the faithful.

    In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, there is a poignant scene when the Bennet family discovers that Lydia Bennet has run off with the dastardly Mr. Wickham. Sisters Elizabeth and Jane Bennet console each other, as they both know well that Lydia’s imprudence will sour their own chances of favorable marriages.

    “Oh, Jane, had we been less secret, had we told what we knew of him, this could not have happened!”

    “Perhaps it would have been better,” replied her sister. “But to expose the former faults of any person without knowing what their present feelings were, seemed unjustifiable. We acted with the best intentions.”

    What the two sisters knew and hadn’t shared widely was that Mr. Wickham had secretly created an attachment with a young rich heiress. His plot to marry her would both enact revenge against her brother, but would also cover his frivolous spending habits. Today, Jane and Elizabeth’s concerns seem a trifle compared to the kind of scandals we continue to see in the Church.

    Many years ago, a woman confessed to me that she had been a priest’s mistress for a very long time. The revelation did not have the intended effect. I think she was searching for sympathy as the long-term relationship came to an end because he moved on to someone new.

    I spent the next several days thinking deeply about all the people whose lives were connected to this priest — families, single people, consecrated religious, children, teens — and suddenly I understood why I couldn’t see significant fruit among these people. His work was barren.

    Continued below.
    ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ Msgr. Burrill and Spiritual Fruitfulness: Let the Light Shine in the Darkness
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