"In 2002 I was working on self-care with the priests in Boston at the height of the pedophilia scandal. I framed my presentations under the heading of spiritual darkness. The third and final day of these presentations was for retired priests, and it occurred on the heels of a revelation that one of the highest prelates of the diocese had been removed from ministry because of seemingly credible accusations. Those attending my presentation appeared deeply demoralized by this latest bombshell.

"Just as I was about to wrap up with a question and answer period, a man on the right side of the room shot up his hand to squeeze in one last question. 'I want to divinize you for a moment.' I replied, 'This sounds very dangerous!' and smiled.

"He laughed, and then when the smile faded from his face he asked, 'If you could predict the future, would you venture a guess as to when all of this will end?'

"I looked at him and replied, 'Even if I were divine and could answer your question, I wouldn't.'

" 'Why?' he asked quite surprised.

" 'Because although the concern is a natural one, when you are in spiritual darkness, it is the wrong question. A more helpful one is: "Given all of this darkness in me and in the diocese, what can I learn?" ' "