Diary of a Ghetto Priest | Forgive me, Lord
"I can't understand. I keep falling."
"It's the loneliness and emptiness, Lorna."
"Yes, Father, is so it go. Then, there is the worries. I have two pickney and no man to take care of me. Then, I have to worry about the pickney dem at school. Two girl pickney dem. And dem reach dem age. One is 14 years, one is 13 years, and dem a show bump pon dem chest.
"I have to feed dem, clothe dem, send dem off to school. Den, I go off to work and don't come back from work til six o' clock. Dem deh pickney deh hungry, and other boy pickney dem down at Rum Lane come on to me girls dem.
"I fear dem going get pregnant ... .
"Same thing happen to me. Is so me born of me madda, me poor madda, who me just bury. Father, I need school fees and money fi school supplies, I still owe the school.
"Me worry, me worry, me worry so til ... . I fraid the two girls going expel from school."
DEEPER INTO TROUBLE
I said to her, "Lorna, there is the problem of the children's school fees. But can't you see that you are getting deeper into trouble? You are seeing that man Roy who works on the wharf. He already has a babymother. You will soon get pregnant with another child."
"But him kind to me. Now and then him even give me a little something!" I was firm with Lorna. "But you can't keep living that way. You come to church and we teach you about self-control... ."
"But loneliness, Father. Sometimes it just lonely. Sometimes, this man Roy just sweet. I try use birth control, but sometimes I just forget." "Lorna, Lorna. You are a good woman. You take care of our poor old women at Lord's Place. We will help you with the school fees, but you must stop fooling around with men. That's more trouble."
"Yes, Father, but sometimes it is just too lonely, and woman is just made for man."
"Lorna, Lorna, you work hard, extra hard. Sometimes you even work extra days and late for free. But you must stop with men. Self-control is a cross, but you must carry it."
"Every time I try, Father. But I keep falling." I told Lorna. "Keep trying, never stop trying. God loves you. You have passions, you have feelings. But you can't stop working and trying to serve God."
I keep remembering that I, too, am a sinner. I offer my sins daily to the Lord, and as a priest, I offer the sins of my people to Him. By the blood of Jesus, all things will be well. I am tired, but I must keep on serving to the end.