I sat back tonight and thought about all the madness I’ve been through in the Catholic Church in just 8 short years of returning to this derelict Church now in total ruin.
I thought about the time when I wandered around thinking I was going to be a priest, a theologian and entering all theological programs one could find.
I went into the priory institute in tallaght, Dublin and brought my €200 euro I’d saved for a deposit. The very first day I had to forfeit this deposit having listened and examined the text books we were given that basically denied and naturalized all the miracles of God in the OT for a start.
I then went to another one and the director and head of education in the diocese Dr.Tony Hanna professed to me in secret that the church could ordain women. He criticized John Paul II when I told him he had specifically said this could never happen. Furthermore he indulged in some more JP II bashing when it came to contraception also.
The reason I had the meeting with him was because I contacted my lecturer via email about the mad stuff she was teaching that Adam and Eve was a myth and that the burning bush was a myth the old testament writers took from the Babylonians. I thought all this was mental stuff. Like how did these people acquire these jobs?
When he said it, I felt the hairs stand on the back of my neck and the Devil enter the already chilled classroom during a wintry dark evening. Now when I think about it, he told me in the darkness alright for darkness had enveloped his mind. Even though Nicodemus was a good man who wanted to believe, he nevertheless had approached Jesus in the darkness of night to ask him questions. This darkness was a symbol of his ignorance.
I told him this cannot be. I stood up a little confused and he said ”But Stephen, listen to me, I have studied at the pontifical academy of theology and have done so since the 60’s. I know what I’m talking about, I’m well-educated on this”.
I had never said it but the Spirit had spoken to my heart ”Yes and St.Peter was a simple fisherman, but he possessed something much greater, the Holy Spirit of God.”
I left this one as well and again in the space of a week forfeited ANOTHER €200.
I met with the priest who had sponsored me for this program. He called me on my mobile and sounded a little irate and wanted to speak with me.
He called me into the sacristy in the Redemptorist church. I explained to him why I left and that God would not allow me to sit through that like the others.
The Devil took hold of him and his calm demeanour without warning transformed into an ugly tirade of abusive verbal diarrhea.
”None of it’s true, it’s all made up the whole Old testament is a myth.”
At this point I’m thinking ”Time to deflect conversation elsewhere” so I asked about the possibility of becoming a reader or something. He then stood up, laughed and said ”No Stephen you are A HERETIC.”
As I decided at this point to use my major weapon of silence and walk down the hall, he followed me his anger trailing behind him. I’m sure he would have liked to lay hands on me but the Holy Spirit didn’t allow it that evening and for his own safety not mine ( and by this I don’t mean I would have beat him up I’m talking about God protecting his soul).
I think a lot about all of these happenings and sometimes I complain. I say to God or myself ”Gee, I could be back in Scotland again and really made an effort to mend things with my then girlfriend. I could be out playing in bands at least and back to my old tricks enjoying the pleasures I once enjoyed. Instead I am stuck here with this priest, with this church who don’t even believe in their own religion. Only because of your intervention Lord I’d be long gone. In fact I’ve already reverted much to my old ways again and a certain delight I take in it too though I know I shouldn’t say that.
I often think what a big mistake I made becoming Christian again. I had such a decent ordinary life full of music and laughter and now instead of a world immersed in sex, drugs, music and the liberal culture, I’m stuck with these over privileged delinquents who have lost faith in their own God.
There are moments when I say to God ”Why couldn’t you have just left me alone? Why did you approach me the way you did? These people are worse than the secular culture they claim to protest. Why not approach them instead so that they may see your glory? But you come to me, (not an atheist or a serial killer or something) an ordinary young 23-year-old and you expect me to actually enjoy this? ”
There are times when I feel stuck like I can never totally revert to my ways again and I have tried. One night in defiance of God I went to town and I got so drunk and out of my brains. I came home and I cursed at God to his face, his icons on the wall. I told him to fuck off and leave me alone. I told him to get the fuck away from me. I want nothing to do with him and his church.
But even after my night of meeting with ”old pals” and waking up in the morning I thought nothing I had said actually made a difference to the experience I had and already possessed. It was still there. God, in his mercy was still there.
I can’t erase this no matter how hard I try. I’ve often spoke with God and asked what’s the use of it? It’s not like I’ve done anything spectacular but you think he’d respond?
One very mystical priest told me that God has given me great insight, there’s no need to ask questions, he said because ”you seem to know already”.
So in recent years I’ve taken to avoiding every Catholic group there is. All the theological programs I abstain from because I can’t stomach them. All the RC Liturgies and priests on a local level I avoid except for one priest. I quite literally have found refuge in this Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and I’m sticking to it.
I could easily turn and go back to my old ways. The apostles could have done so also, but what they’ve witnessed prevented them from doing so and so for years they obeyed Christ no matter what. This was God whom they lived and died for. It’s the same with me any of us who encountered him the same way, it’s very very hard to return to ones former self like a dog to it’s vomit. It’s so hard to turn around and deny it all happened because it did.