Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret


At first, I had a hard time coming up with any photo that would mean “regret” to me. Then it clicked in my head, and I came up with this photo of me with Fr Maciel.  And I regret that this may bother some of my friends if they see it… (isn’t that fashionably “meta”? I regret that my image that speaks of my regret may make some people regret having seen it…) …but I don’t regret it enough not to post it, because the message is true.

God help me to truly forgive him.

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About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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14 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

  1. And by the way, I want to apologize publicly for ever having defended the man’s reputation and directly or indirectly criticized his accusers. I fully believed what I said, and was trusting the word of my superiors and elders. I was seriously mistaken.

  2. Federico Durán says:

    Thanks a lot Fr Matthew. I got rid of all the pictures of me with him. Unfortunatedly he will still be part of my life and personal story on account of all these years as a Legionary, and yet God worked through him to help me follow Him up to this point. Once again God wrote straight in crooked lines. May God help with his grace all those who continue to follow Him in the Legion with sincerity of heart and an upright intention. See you soon!!

    • Hopefully, those who remain in the Legion are no longer following Fr Maciel as a spiritual father, but rather are following Christ through the Church. I certainly pray for the Legionaries and Regnum Christi members, and I love and respect them as people. They are well intentioned, good men and women, who do their best to serve God and the Church.

  3. Federico Durán says:

    May it be so, Fr Matthew

  4. Rodolfo says:

    Thanks Father. I feel like you and share your thought. We speak a lot about mercy and forgiveness but when it’s your turn to forgive and be merciful especially in cases like this you realize that it’s not that simple. I’m still a legionary and the prayer to Jesus Christ of the morning offering is helping me a lot… “I renew my consecration to you Jesus Christ”. Thank you for all you taught me in Thornwood.s

  5. Chip says:

    I share your regret hope you will share my forgiveness, because inner peace and healing for all will come in the measure that we are able to forgive.

    Forgiveness is a virtue I still need to work on myself and probably always will be. I find myself returning to the same events and faces, and then turning to God again and again to give me that grace.

    However, I have been able to relinquish heavy burdens through forgiveness and overcome bitterness and sorrow, thanks to God. He’s the only one who can help us bear the crosses we feel we did not earn sometimes. He’s the model — the way, the truth, and the life. Our only happiness.

    I ask that you pray for me too, because I still don’t find it easy.

    One last thing. Sometimes prayer and fasting is necessary to help us increase our faith. It truly works when you believe.

    God bless you Fr Matthew.

  6. Alex says:

    Hey Father. Alex here. Hope you are well. Speaking as someone still working within a Legionary run center, I have to say that the scandal finally coming to light has been one of the best things ever to happen to the Legion! I see a more open, sincere, humble group of men that are now taking their futures very seriously and are having to take up the flag and change what needed to be changed. Please keep up the prayers… in a way your praying for my future job! 🙂

  7. A Reader says:

    Father. You are a victim. You did nothing wrong. You may regret what happened, but it is not your fault.

    It is comparable to Bernie Madoff investors regretting their investment decisions. You based your actions on what you thought to be true. You invested your life in it. However, when you knew better, you did better.

    You did not accept the fraud and deception. It took courage and conviction and strength of will to leave. To start a new life when middle aged is not easy or comfortable.

    The stand that you and many other Legionaries took was very brave. It, ironically, in my opinion, is what opened the gates to minimal reforms that have taken place. There is woefully inadequate leadership at the helm of the Legionaries of Christ.

    God allows all suffering for a reason. It is not without purpose. You must believe this and trust in God’s ways. Which are not our ways. You were there. Part of it. For a reason.

    Perhaps God allowed us this experience so that we would be ready to battle the Marxist forces at work in the world today. No one, and no government, should have absolute power nor remain hidden and not transparent without accountibility.

    You must forgive because, until you do, you will not be whole. Maciel will still have power and control over you. It changes who YOU are inside. Instead of anger, you should feel sorry for him.

    I, too, was duped. It brings me peace to contemplate one of two things:
    (1) Jesus on the cross. Forgiving those who nailed Him there. Or,
    (2) instead, think about God’s justice. Maciel is either in hell or spending many thousands of years in the fires of purgatory. Perfect justice has been served.

    Keep up your good work. You do a lot of remarkable things, and truly brighten my day. I am glad to have found your blog. My children have even taken up an interest in origami because of it!

  8. Dave Monahan says:

    I suppose it is natural to regret being taken in by a con artist. Even from my worm’s eye view I saw things about Fr. Maciel that were strange or incongruous (unrealistic goals, belief in conspiracies, disappearing alone from the community with a car and wad of cash when he could barely walk), but I decided that those things were less important than everything else in the Legion seemed so right at the time (of course they were not). Still, I do not blame myself for having been taken in. I would blame myself if I were fooled like that a second time.
    I think I left after you did. I can testify that the wheels of reform are in motion, there is hope for them, but they have a long, long road!

  9. Michael says:

    Kudos to you, Fr Matthew. Any association with Fr Maciel is a source of embarrassment, and you don’t flinch from admitting it. But at the same time, you show your stature by not dwelling on it, or letting it hold you back. I miss the good times we had talking about astronomy in Isle la Motte… Count on my prayers, and keep up the good work!

  10. Fr Ben says:

    I feel the same way Matthew and judging by the other comments it is safe to say all of us who were or still are Legionaries feel the same way when it comes to Maciel. I left in 2001 after five years as an LC; something just didn’t seem right but no one really knew just how ‘not right’ it really was. I joined the Legion to be a modern day missionary; I’m sending this comment out to you from Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan surrounded by the Marines I serve as a priest. It can’t get more modern-day missionary for me than it is right now. I have been so richly blessed.

  11. charlene carrier says:

    Fr.Matthew…I have read excerpts of Maciel’s life..Yes, very Avignon! Father you are to be commended for not ignoring the lifestyle of Maciel…You have continued to be a great Apostle/ a true representation of Christ. People are commenting…Oh, yes, He’s the new priests at Holy Family… Oh, we love Padre Mateus. Great to hear. As I have mentioned to you,Father Matthew,the archdiocese and more importantly the Northshore could use a few of these good men. You and Fr.Gariboldi could be very instrumental in helping these good religious make the transition to diocesan priests. Thank you for all your good work.May you be a part of the Cape Ann area for many happy years. God bless. Charlene,

  12. James Smith says:

    As a non-Legionary seminarian (diocesan), I truly appreciate people like yourself being above board about your feelings and what happened. God bless!

  13. Gail Green says:

    Among the few people in my life I count as inspiring, Father Matthew, you are at the top…. From Father Matthew’s father.

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