Monday, April 15, 2024

Wait and see

 Lillian Roth was once a stage, film and recording star. Her parents put her to work as a child and didn't concern themselves  with her safety as much as her paychecks. She was molested at the age of 6, while at a modeling job. Miss Roth started drinking in her teens and by the end of her twenties she was considered unemployable and was killing herself with alcoholism.  Finally, she went to Alcohol Anonymous and got sober. Her sponsor was a Catholic man and she converted and married him. Her autobiography, conversion story and the movie made of her life were huge news in both secular and Catholic circles. After 18 years of sobriety, she relapsed and her husband, who was also her manager, left her. Lillian then discovered that he'd stopped by the bank as he was walking out of her life, and emptied their account. 

Her Catholic husband who had been her knight in shinning armor turned out to be a really nasty  toad and from reading old newspaper archives, I get the impression that a some of the public  who were lavish in their enthusiasm for Roth when she converted were disappointed and not all that helpful when she needed help again. Roth did regain her sobriety and she even made a triumphant return to Broadway. She is buried in a Jewish cemetery. I hope she kept the Faith but I haven't found anything that makes it clear that she did or didn't. 

Why do I mention this?  Because the tragic story of Lillian Roth reminded me of current events. Right now a lot of people are excited because two women who made their living from  the sex industry have converted.  

By all means,  be happy for them.  Pray for them but don't treat them like they're God's special gift to the Church.  Give them a chance to show they're genuine and give them time to mature in the Faith.  Considering what both these women did for money I would think that anybody who really cares about them should be advising them to step away from social media and live their new redeemed lives in private. People are watching them closely in an effort to prove that they are fake. If they are sincere, surely all this slobbering fandom on one hand  and hostility from others is too much pressure to be under.  When real life gives them a rough patch or they meet a Catholic who lets them down, they might weaken in their conviction. Remember the parable of the Sower and pray that these women aren't seeds in shallow soil. Let's wait and see.