Author Archives: Stephen Mc Elligott

Liturgical Relativism

I spoke with a priest recently and the conversation moved to Liturgical music. He heard I played guitar and so he wanted to involve me in his gospel group.

I quickly declined the invitation in the nicest way possible. ”what you don’t lift the hand high?” as to infer I don’t like the whole ”praise the lawwwddddd” stuff at least in the context of the Liturgy.

Answer was no I don’t. He tried to explain to me that he has been reading books that talk about how we need to use the culture to try and help convert them. In other words using modern music and giving the lyrical application and theme of Jesus to it.

Furthermore there is a whole culture out there he explained where people love the somber Gregorian chant but not everyone is like that or likes this music. Sometimes it’s important to have joyful music he said.

It’s at this point I’m thinking these people don’t really and truly understand the public perception of what it is they’re doing and have a wrong perception of what joy is. Music does toy with our emotions but there’s a difference between feeling joyful and being joyful. True joy is found in the application of oneself to a particular discipline.

For example when we look at Islam it has all the discipline but it has no joy or love. When we look at the Catholic and protestant west we see all the joyful uplifting and praise and good emotions but no discipline, no real depth. In the Orthodox Church one can see both joy and discipline coming together nicely.

Anyway I explained that he said himself the architecture of the church all lends itself to the mystical and I continued that so when you stick a drum and a rock guitar in there it looks out of place with the whole scene and interior of the Church.

It’s not just my opinion but every soul that walks into that church can feel it in their gut that whilst the music in itself is nice, it doesn’t fit the actual dramatic scene of Calvary before them on the altar. It’s wishy washy and people don’t come to mass to experience the world again, they come to experience an other worldliness. They come to see, hear and smell there’s a fine line between US (the church, heaven, the kingdom, Jesus ) and THEM (the world, secularism, atheism, the playground of the demonic).

I understand the mystical side of it and I’ll get to my history as a musician/singer/songwriter in a minute. But if you want to be the pink floyd of Christianity God has given it to you, it’s called the Charismatic group. Go there but sadly the Charismatics have invaded the Parish church and now everything is upside down in there they’ve ruined the discipline that held it all together because their type of worship doesn’t suit the parish liturgical life.

Tonight I watched Lord of the Rings the two towers. I saw that the music fits the movie. If you were to put some indie folk music in there or even star wars music it wouldn’t fit. It just wouldn’t be the Lord of the rings would it? It’s the same with the Mass. When you insert that type of modern music it no longer looks or feels like the Mass, that something heavenly is taking place.

I understand that we need to use the culture and that this helps conversion. St.Paul VI said this in his encyclical and I’ll never forget what he said although I do forget the encyclical in which he said it. But he said that the use of the local culture is important and helps with conversion but to always remember that God is above the culture.

I hate to boast but there’s nobody who understands the liberal, secular culture like I do. I was immersed in the music, drugs and sex scene for years. I have smoke joints with Ian Browns musicians, I’ve supported acts like Rick the drummer of the Jam (He had his own band once and I forget the name of it already). I’d been involved and friends with Los Angeles biggest movies critics for film/tv later in life also.

I drank and puked in the darkest of places. I’d a different woman almost every other weekend.

I just know the mindset of this culture this priest thinks he’s converting and they think your music is absolutely horrible and horrible is not the word they’d use for it, it’s way too kind for a description of what they think.

I don’t think it’s horrible but it just doesn’t fit THE SCENE of what’s going on at Mass. I told him that I highly doubt that when I die, that Jesus is going to greet me on a cloud with a rock band behind him.

This music is great for a youth festival/retreat and works well in that setting but NOT at the Celebration of the Mass.

I’ve been having a discussion with atheists about this who used to be a part of the Church. They say that music is diabolical. They hate it. Is it any wonder people are leaving the church at an alarming rate. You may not think it but the Divine Liturgy is what keeps people coming to the church and it’s the divine Liturgy which helps them from youth to realize then that the teachings of the church are not to be taken lightly.

But for as long as they see you compromise with the world on the Liturgy they then don’t see any issue with Compromise also on the teachings of the church. Everything is connected, when you sever one thing and rupture the Liturgy you cut off everything else that the Liturgy gave meaning to which is the teachings of Christ.

Discipline and Love are not distant cousins but brother and sister. Without them both we have a broken family, a broken Church.

Sadly we live in a world of Liturgical Relativism. The Folk mass is not right for you, but it’s right for me. You may like incense and candles but ya know, I prefer the glow of an artificial light.

It’s really sad and so you can see why I don’t bother fighting it. I was glad to leave him at that because I really hate getting into a discussion with priests over it because I know that you cannot preach to someone whose already made their mind up. Never teach a pig how to sing, it only wastes your time and it irritates the pig.

I’ve given up teaching pigs how to sing and I’d rather just get on with my life. The Church will enter it’s dark period and there’s nothing I can do to stop that. But does it mean I must be a part of it? Perhaps so but very reluctantly.

 

 

 

 

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Dreams

Dreams, what are they? This was my sisters question at my sons 6th birthday party.

My simple explanation was they are mostly due to several factors like what you ate can have an influence. In addition they can be just reflections of your current spiritual and emotional state.

Our dreams can be a tell tale sign of how sick our soul is and so if our prayer life isn’t too good we can end up with a lot of nasty dreams because when our prayer life is weak we open ourselves to bad emotional habits.

The Divine and the Devil can interfere in our dreams. It’s mostly the devil. You’ll recognize him because its a lot of anxiety and shouting in the dream. Sometimes he mimics the face of Jesus but it turns menacing very quickly and so your soul will recognize who is who pretty quickly.

Dreams from Jesus which are extremely…..extremely rare, are filled with peace and no fear at all.

The Devil is more of a nuisance. He enters your dreams especially when you’re on the road back to God or are a prayerful person. He’ll have you tortured and it’s quite scary. I have regular dreams of him pulling me down to hell and screeching in my ear. It is quickly ended when in my dream I shout out the prayer of St.Michael and then I awaken. I do this within the dream every single time.

He’s trying to dissuade us from our progress in prayer. That’s all he can do really is dissuade you and intimidate you and only has as much power over you as the Lord allows him to.

Another example is my wife. I met my wife on Catholicmatch.com and it when we got talking first before we’d ever met she said she’d never been to confession before. I told her she has to go. She scheduled an appointment with the priest in her diocese of New Jersey city. The night before the morning of the meeting with the priest she called me and told me of the dream she had.

She explained that she was in the confession box and on the other side of the confession box behind the grid was the devil hissing and scratching with long nails along the wood. She awoke frightened, called me and said she couldn’t go to confession. I explained that it’s just the Devil trying to intimidate you because pretty soon, you will receive full absolution and no longer belong to him.

It turned out Audreys problem was she had an abortion, something she did not confess nor all the drug taking etc etc.

Ah, now you see how the devil can enter dreams? We will always have menacing dreams but our dreams often reflect the state of our soul or they confirm we are on the right path. Audreys certainly reflected a dream of someone who was making the right journey home.

Good night, sleep tight, don’t eat too much cheese.

 

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Surrounded By People Who Want To Convert Me

Christos Annesti!

They’re good people whom I love dearly and I know have good intentions, but I am surrounded by many who are trying to rope me in and get me involved in their religious communities. Some may offer an invitation to their Church and some may try and use something I possess like my photography for example to get me involved. Why? because people see I’m interested in the Orthodox church and so the Orthodox want to help me and the Catholics see I’m looking for a good excuse to leave the Catholic Church as I’m concerned for my boys and families spiritual future and growth (which I don’t believe they’re getting in the overtly feminine Catholic Church) and so naturally are employing tactics to get me to stay.

It’s a good idea and I like their strategies because one knows that when you’re embedded into a group there’s a better chance you’ll remain in the Church or become part of theirs. I know my photography is awful so when someone asks me to come in and do it for them I’m always aware of the reasons why and its not because I’m any good at it (I’ve only being doing photography since 2013) but because they want to use it as a means to get me involved.

That said I enjoy doing it anyway if it contributes towards the church and the cause because I hold both of these things dear to my heart anyway.

I would just prefer it if people would not approach me in a roundabout way and do it directly be blunt and just come out with it. I don’t like to praise myself but I’m a little more astute than most people think in examining situations. I’d prefer it people just said ”Stephen would you like to speak with someone about why you want to leave the church or for any other help you may need?”

Great, its just so great because it eliminates the wastage of time inviting me here nor there. Again I’m not praising myself here or boasting but that’s something you do with someone whose spiritually asleep and who needs a gentle awakening and introduction to the faith because they’ve been hammered by secularism and numb to all things spiritual for years.

I on the other hand am a different kettle of fish altogether and to be honest there’s really no need to convert me because the massive row that’s going on between me and God at the moment over his Church he’s brought me into will be ongoing and there’s nothing you can do about it. I possess my own spirituality in the sense that I go to Mass once a week and confession, accept all the churches wonderful teachings and I’m happy to leave it at that with everything else in between such as the odd devotional prayer.

When I came into the Church I’ve done my bit in my immediate local community, tried to get involved and realized the church from laity to bishop wont listen to reason and so getting any more involved in the Catholic Church would drive me absolutely more bonkers than I already am.

I’m happy in the job I’m currently in and I’ve returned to what I consider a fairly normal life and I’m at peace now with that so just leave me be and focus on those who need your attention. It’s not your fault, its mine for advertising my difficulties on facebook and wordpress but you’re better off ignoring my rants and getting on with your own life. You have enough to be worrying about me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Theology Of Roman Catholics On First Holy Communion

There are some theological innovations of Roman Catholics I actually like. Adoration is one of them. There are some theological innovations however that Christ puts up with because the church have the keys but that make no sense to those of us in the East.

When administering the Sacraments they used to do what the Orthodox do which is Baptize, give Holy Communion and Confirmation all in one go. Now it has become a case of separating all of these.

I don’t know why that began but the theological arguments I’ve heard from both east and west in its simplest form is as follows.

The East argue that Jesus says let the little children come to me and do not refuse them. The Western Church seem to use St.Pauls argument that unless someone can truly recognise the Eucharist as the Body of Christ they shouldn’t be admitted. Therefore until the child reaches the age of reason, they should not be admitted.

It appears that the Roman Catholic one makes sense. Nobody is refusing the children in their regard because we are just doing what is in their interests.

Years ago I thought about this. Honestly things like this would make me just sit and think all day because I love arguing against stuff for the sake of arguing. If arguing was a sport I’d have a cabinet full of trophies.

I came up with something that so far seems to be legit and I’ve held fast to this day as a logical argument against the Roman Catholic practice.

Does a mother refuse her child the breast because he doesn’t understand it? He has no concept of what it is, breast, nipple, milk, ¬†yet it’s food that is necessary for his growth. It is the same with the Holy Eucharist. Does the Lord refuse himself to the little child? No of course not because The Lord, like a good mother will give his sons the food of eternal life which is necessary for his spiritual growth in this world.

So what about St.Paul? If Jesus says don’t stop the children from coming to me and St.Paul argues that we shouldn’t admit those who do not recognize the Body of Christ then can scripture contradict itself? Truth cannot contradict truth so why then are Children an exception to this rule? Because the very fact they’re naturally ignorant makes them exempt but not excluded from the Mystical Supper of the Lord.

It’s one of the innovations of Roman Catholics that I will never be able to comprehend and make sense of.

 

 

 

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J.R.R Tolkiens Vision For Christian Unity

 

In the Lord of the rings I’ve always had a theory of Tolkien’s vision of the modern church today in all its splintered glory.

The Catholics (the elves), the Orthodox (the bearded dwarfs) and the Men (the protestants). The Catholics and Orthodox being elves and dwarf and are not portrayed like the men because they’re other worldly and mystical whereas the protestant culture doesn’t have these characteristics of theology.

In addition to these Tolkien has the Orthodox (Dwarves) down to a T. They are often very loud, grumpy and uncompromising much like the Orthodox Church of today. They are very manly whereas the Elves (Catholics) are very feminine looking. It’s a weird way of looking at it but tell me I’m wrong haha.

In Tolkiens vision we see that in order for the entire kingdom to eliminate the powers of Darkness and put a lid on it, All the elves, dwarfs and men must unite. What about the hobbits, who are they? We will get to that in a minute.

Without unity the powers of darkness rule and for as long as there is discord and no harmony within Christendom, the devil has much more of a foothold. Today, even though we may have our theological differences, without Christians settling their differences and coming together to unite against the powers of atheism and secularism, it will have constant rule over us.

What about the hobbits? Isn’t funny how Frodo is given the job of getting rid of the ring? He’s light footed, small and nobody will see him come in the back door. Who are the hobbits in the church? The hobbits are the mystics. The children (vassula ryden, fatima, medjugorje and Garabandal to name some examples) who nobody ever sees. They’ve been chosen because they will be light footed and are usually unseen because their humility gives them no cause to be seen.

When we are humble, the devil can neither see nor touch us. It’s only those of us who are full of sin who become entangled in him and come under his fire. Jesus has always chosen the weak in the Bible to be his prophets. They may not have all been perfect but they were chosen nevertheless to lead the Church into the future and back to God.

However these little hobbits can’t do it alone. They need the help and guidance of the world around them to take them there. They need a spiritual director (Gandalf) and they need others to guide them (the elves, dwarf and men) because without them and their unity they will never defeat darkness.

The call of God for the entire Christendom is unity because without it Christians will be overcome. Scripture says a divided house cannot stand. If Christians are at each others throats is it any wonder darkness has the upper hand?

We need to become small and humble like the little hobbits. We need to become like this in order to fight evil. I do believe that this movie was J.R.R Tolkiens message of unity for the modern and broken Church.

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Loving Your Enemy

Loving your enemy is a Grace so it’s not something we can learn. But there are exercises I do that I find helpful and when Christ sees the effort we put into trying He will often bestow upon us the Grace if He wants.

I take a picture of someone in my mind who find really mean and horrible. I picture this person and I try to view them as Christ would do so. How does Christ see this person in comparison to me? Is his love any different for me than it is for him?

It could be someone close to you who committed a red scarlet sin. It could be a member of Isis you saw behead or kill someone. Whatever and whoever it may be, it helps to picture that person when they were an innocent baby themselves before they became who they did.

When I do this and ask these questions, I suddenly feel love for them. If at any time I do this and I don’t feel love for them and the hatred is strong, it is because my prayer life is weak and relationship with God needs more attention.

Everything has its root in our relationship with God. How we approach certain situations will all determine on our relationship or lack thereof with Jesus.

Try it, I find that it works and well as praying for them. How do you go about forgiving your enemies?

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The Long Goodbye To Catholicism

My spiritual confusion has reached an all time pique. I went from someone who was unsure about his spirituality exploring Buddhism, Hinduism, to becoming Catholic again. I was so sure of myself because of the encounter I had and spiritual happenings that took place whilst on route to a deeper relationship with that.

Now I’ve gradually lost my interest over the years. I used to go to Mass every day or week and studied everything book that I could find. Like all spiritual beginners I grabbed all the icons and crucifixes, books and necklaces one can find.

Not only that but I was interested in actually practicing the faith. The encounter I had turned my attitude around 360 degrees. What may be odd to some but not to those who are spiritually tuned in, is that mystical experiences does not mean you wont lose the run of yourself and take a nosedive in your relationship with God.

That’s whats happened me. After a while I began to convince myself that what I saw, felt and experienced and the mark I’ve been left with afterwards was and continues to be all in my head. I’ve done this so I can somehow escape this Church which I feel no longer serves me or my existing children’s spiritual growth.

Other days I really wished I never had any encounter and could return back to my life of what I considered ordinary living. I played guitar, sang and I went to the pub every night and had plenty of people to hang out with.

I always considered myself capable of major wrong doing but not as bad as the atheist with 666 written on his forehead down the road. Why didn’t the Lord reach out and find him? Why did he have to come and bother me all of a sudden and what makes me so special that he had to do what he did?

All these thoughts run through my brain and there are times when I become overwhelmed.

Then I get introduced to the Orthodox church more and more. I feel so rested in that church. Whenever I’m in a Catholic church or group I feel agitated and unable to find rest in it. It was never that way before and I could withstand any amount of modernist rubbish thrown at me, but as time progressed I became increasingly angry towards all things Catholic.

Even so, saying goodbye was hard to do so I began to make one last attempt to quietly deal with what happened me. I rang the local diocese and asked to see an exorcist and go through whatever procedures necessary. The lady told me I’d have to explain it to my immediate parish priest, and if he felt strongly enough about it he’d have to represent me for an exorcism.

In between trying to make this arrangement I met one priest who said it wasn’t from God. Great I thought, I finally have some sort of answer and will have this sorted in no time but nothing came from it as I realized inappropriate help was being offered that raised a red flag for me.

Then I went to the immediate parish priest who having listened to everything from my climb to my fall and to my existing state and how I’m convinced it’s not of God he said ”Stephen…what you have is ”X” and it’s from God. Your whats known as a ”X” soul and I cannot give you exorcism or represent you because you show no signs of the demonic”.

I pleaded with him and asked him not to be so naive because my daily life does not reflect that of a holy person and the fact that I even have a love for the Orthodox church should be enough of a tell tale sign. His response was ”I can only represent you if you show signs of the demonic but you don’t. ” ”You have lost your way and now it’s time to accept what has been given you and to move on and continue to live your life and come back to God and his church, its as simple as that.”

Another priest also felt it was from God and said that the reason I am in the current state I am is because I’ve no spiritual guide, nobody to guide me.

I’m at the stage now where I’m totally lost. In the beginning when it first happened I was so sure of myself it was from God and wanted to tell everyone but priests would tell me it is not from God. Now I go and tell priests its not from God and they tell me it is.

Either way I’m still here with nobody to help or represent me. It makes me even more angry towards Catholicism because you see so many people following all these people in my country who believe they’re having all sorts of apparitions when they’re most likely not and yet here I am in my house for 8 years (with no followers thank you Jesus haha) sitting with something that I’ve been ignoring for the last 7 years very open to the idea of not being from God. I would love to get an answer so I can get on with my daily life but unable to get any help whatsoever.

The only people who know are my parents, priests, my wife and that’s it. I’m reluctant to tell anyone as I’ve realized its of no spiritual benefit to anyone so there’s no point. It’s also spiritually too much for some to handle.

So the goodbye to Catholicism is taking longer than expected. I would love for nothing but to enter the Orthodox church and be rested. I feel like the agitated King Saul whose agitated moods could only be soothed by the playing of the Harp. I feel like this every time I visit an Orthodox Church. The Orthodox church may not think it, but they’ve no idea how much they please God.

The Catholic church whilst I continue to believe it is the one true Church, has become an absolute circus. I really don’t like it and so I find my peace by just attending confession and Liturgy. Any other invites that require social gatherings in the church I always avoid as the more I interact with it, the more I become disillusioned with it.

Back to my predicament there is hope though. I was passed to this guy who apparently has the gift of reading hearts. I know, sounds ridiculous and I’d probably not approach people like this but I’m desperate at this stage. I email him and he tells me he has a waiting list of phone calls ( he phones you and talks with you over the phone) and so I’ve to wait a whole year. Whether or not he’s the real deal I don’t know. Don’t care at this stage as I’m desperate for answers. I’m afraid that I’m gonna die and never know. that’s my biggest bug bear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Self Defence In Christendom

If you’re a Christian, married man and you do not know how to defend your family then marriage may have never been your vocation. A married man is called to both spiritually and physically protect as well as lay his life down for the wife and children entrusted to him.

Any married man who refuses to do so or acknowledge his need to learn the art of hand to hand combat is a sorry excuse for a human being in the eyes of the Lord.

There is no doubt that turning the other cheek and choosing a path of non violence is the higher ground, but not everyone’s vocation is the higher ground.

Saint Paul in Romans recognized civil authority and even said that we should obey the Law or prepare to be struck by him whose job its been given to bring down the sword. He even goes as far to twice call him Gods ”minister” whose been called by God to bring wrath upon any wrong doer.

”For he is God’s minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.” Romans 13:1-7

Thou Shalt Not Kill is for the innocent but not for the guilty. This is where a lot of people get confused about the command not to kill. Some people just read it for what it is but the actions of Moses (who gave us the commandments) and that of King David who done a lot of killing proved that this commandment was only for those who were innocent.

King David was the greatest example of a man who can teach us everything about why it is necessary to protect ones country, culture and family. In addition to this, post new testament, the knights of templar are another good example of men who were employed as those to protect the Christian heritage of Europe and Jerusalem.

Without the Crusaders the western world would have fallen to Islamic rule. That isn’t even a theory but a well known fact. Many like to infer that the Crusades were an act of violence against the islamic people. This is not the case at all, it was set up originally to defend Christian pilgrims from being raped and murdered as they traveled to the Holy Land. That was it and so the fight against a very evil religion that’s still causing us trouble to this day began.

So what Self Defence training do I recommend? I myself practice Krav Maga, a self defense martial art that is put into use by the FBI, CIA, SAS, Irish Rangers, and literally all military and police training. It was developed by an Israeli Jewish man called Imi Lichtenfield a hungarian born Israeli. You can read more about him here.

It brings all the martial art forms together to bring mans natural reactions in a fight so that he may use these to his advantage when in a life threatening situation.

Although all marital art forms provide us with discipline, awareness and fitness not to mention great life skills, they do not really prepare us for a real life situation. Most are just sports. I wanted more than this and so I got involved in Krav Maga. You will learn how to strike on the street (which is different than boxing), ground fighting, knife and gun fighting. There is so much to learn I couldn’t fit it all in here so here’s some videos of my own Krav Maga Club.

 

 

 

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The Roman Catholic Parish Council

I really don’t know if this always existed but I’ve never looked at it in a good light. When among some people who saw my interest in the Orthodox Church increase, they began little attempts to keep me in the Catholic Church.

They’re kind people and I love them dearly but they’d often employ little tactics like asking me to come do photographs for them. I knew my photographs were rubbish and I am not a good photographer but they’d invite me to photograph their events.

The idea was to try and get me involved in a Catholic community and make friends. Nicely done and it’s true that if you spend long enough time in a Community either Orthodox or Catholic there’s a stronger chance you’ll stay or convert depending upon your existing situation.

Another one this local guy tried was to get me to go to cursillo. I don’t know how Cursillo is celebrated in other countries but here it’s full of old people (not that there’s anything wrong with old people they’re wiser than most of us and have my respect). They sing Christian pop songs from the 1980s and I just….no. I’d never do it.

So he tried a different angle and tried to get me onto the parish council. I was brought along one night where they all vote you into the council and you’re supposed to feel now that you’re one of the gang and special now that you’re part of a solution to make the parish stronger.

I actually went along to this one because I was curious what went on in the council and what type of people attended it. It was all lay people and a lot of women. The women out numbered the men.

My first parish council meeting I came in and sat down and the lady said ”Now we will pray before we start the council. I’d like to start with the cd of this guy *she names him* who is pretty good.” So she hits play on the button and on comes this guy singing pure country music with a steel guitar behind him singing ”Jesus I lurrrvvveeeee youuuuuuuu”

I’m not joking you my heart sunk within me and I cringed for these people. I found myself looking around the room for a quick exit but I couldn’t show any disrespect to them all the same because I loved them so I endured the meeting for that alone.

I suddenly realised you know what? Even though that show Father Ted is a horrible anti Catholic show, it kinda has the roman Catholic church down to a T. They are right, it’s full of buffoons and for every character in Father Ted you’re guaranteed a real life replica in the church.

The priest beside me shows me a Cross a local guy made and he laughed and said ”Do you want one of these, they’re terrible”. Keeping silent I took the cross and blessed myself with it and that was enough to let him know he was being arrogant. This man made this cross, it may not look great but he did it out of love and heres this guy making fun of it and trying to act the cool dude around me. Dear me I just wanted to get out of there.

Parish councils are not great simply because they’re full of people from the world. It’s not good to have a worldly mindset running the church because that’s where you get communion in the hand, rubbish protestant gospel choirs and the easter bunny sitting on the altar beside Jesus from.

They may love the church but they’re not supposed to be running it. I hear you saying ”ah but stephen Jesus calls everyone to follow him” that is true yet he chose only twelve and one person to run the church for him. Ok so these apostles all had a past but they were the closest to Christ more so than the man on the ground. By the end of their Journey with Christ they were spiritually tuned in.

Opening up the Church to the laity and for them to run it is a bad idea. It is especially bad when they’re women as they tend to be the most liberal and they’ve feminised everything that it is no longer a church for men anymore but extremely feminine.

This is why I don’t go to Catholic bible studies, meetings, parish councils, retreats because they’re actually doing the opposite of what they’re trying to achieve which is to convert. I just go to my Mass once a week, pray, go on my own retreats and read my theology at home. Right now if anything is keeping me in the church and has me hanging on by the fingernails it’s that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moments Of Grace

Life is riddled with suffering and turmoil. For the average man like me and you who don’t live out a vocation of spiritual perfection (religious/priest) we are often not spiritually tuned in.

We are so busy trying to please the wife and kids that we really don’t even bother with prayer all that much or spiritual reading. We’ve no time for it except for the weekends. As a result of our inability to pray this means we become more worldly.

Married life therefore by saint Paul was rightly seen as the worst of all vocations because it was the toughest. Why was it the toughest? because it deprives you of God basically which you wouldn’t get if you weren’t married and all the time to focus on God.

However there are moments of Grace where God approaches us in the midst of our blindness. Have you ever seen the Shawshank Redemption? It’s a movie with a particular scene where Andy Dufrane breaks into the prison office and play a beautiful early 20th century song sung in french over the megaphones in the prison yard.

All of a sudden in this world of suffering, everyone from rapist to murderer and from petty thief to the innocent all stop in their tracks. They look up and listen with joy. For those few moments they felt so free and they forgot about their suffering for a brief moment of time.

God does this too. Like Andy Dufrane he chooses his moment to break into our minds and turn on the record. He turns up the volume enough so we can hear it and stop our daily routine or what it is we are doing at that moment in time.

The the philosophy of the world which we’ve been brainwashed by is a prison of suffering but God gives us little tastes of freedom to remind us of what is really important.

Therefore in our daily tasks in which we are not mindful of God, he will approach us enough for us to know that it’s important to hang in there with our Sunday obligation and weekly Mass. We are given moments of Grace as encouragement.

Here is the scene of Andy turning on the record and the devil coming in at the end to spoil the show haha.

 

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