The Parable Of The Sower Explained

Last night after my recent post talking about Jesus message of loyalty both my son and I try to do a nightly prayer where scripture reading becomes part of that routine.

We read about the parable of the sower. I read my son the adult scriptures in addition to the children one because I find the Childrens Catholic Bible to be very watered down and does not include these parables of the sower. By watered down I don’t mean its intentionally bad, it just does not seem to give enough in my opinion.

I’m gonna get you into a good habit here and force you take out that dusty old bible and read ”Luke:8:11-15” where Jesus explains the Parable. The translation I am using is the Jerusalem bible 1966 so some words may differ in my post.

These whole verses describe us and our approach to God. Sometimes we are a combination of all of these things throughout our life.

I know that in my life I’ve been every one of these at some point but I want to focus for now on the one who falls among the thorns and the former who give up in time of trial because the two are often intertwined.

”Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. -As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity.”

I witness many including myself who parade around the Church their whole lives. They’re good Catholics who work in the local community, go to Church every Sunday, meet with the priest afterwards for a coffee, attend confession and pray their rosary every day. Like me they have elaborate libraries and icons plastered all over their walls, go to pilgrimages every year to distant lands where the Blessed Virgin Mary appears.

This isn’t just in referral to the laity but the clergy as well ok? The priest preaches great and wonderful orthodox homilies. His parish will not have rock music or anything of the sort. He is a spiritual director of a well-known mystic or something like that.

But watch what happens when you go up to him and tell him he’s a big fat, smelly, overweight piece of slime and watch his reaction. If his reaction isn’t external it will be internal and it will fester in him for days and his hatred towards you increases all the more.

These are the people who live in the thorns and have not gone beyond saying a few rosaries and learned the ways of the Holy Spirit of pure love. The actual point of our faith is to actually live it out.

They can be found in Bible groups talking about ”Oh how hard it is to be a good Christian and put all this into practice, it’s so hard. ”

Actually nothing is as so easy but we are so happy to live in our thorny bushes aren’t we? Believe it or not the first step into Spiritual liberation is to admit you don’t want spiritual liberation.

Like Keanu Reeves in the movie the matrix, life in the matrix although it isn’t real is so much more comfortable isn’t it? mmmmm. I love my job, my ferrari, I love getting angry and upset. I love getting drunk on the Saturday night and having all the approval of my friends and entertaining them so that they will continue to like me.

All the riches ( the approval of others and holding onto our concepts) and the worries of life we couldn’t live without.

In fact I bet you’re reading this now and thinking ”Ah but you wouldn’t be NORMALLLL if you gave up all these things. ”

hahahahahaha. But the thing is when you behave like this you’re not normal. In the eyes of the Kingdom of God you’re behaving like an abnormal son of God. We are born of nobility and yet when God sees us behave in such a manner it’s equivalent to the Queen of England finding out Prince Harry was drunk last night and beat up half of London. Could it be said he was acting noble? Of course not. .

A call back to normality is to throw away our childish toys and become detached from the emotions that we are enslaved to. The emotions that satisfy our gluttony and need to engage in anger and lust must be understood for what they are and dealt with.

If we don’t then although we are not deprived of the Kingdom in this state, we will never truly be able to navigate this life and experience the Kingdom here and now.

Watch what happens when someone approaches YOU and calls you a smelly ass. Oh you blush, and suddenly a wave of anger begins to gently rise in you like a volcano bubbling. If this happens you then HAHAHAHA, you’re just like me, a big slave to the world. How do you like your ball and chain . . . . heavy isn’t it? How does the world look from your invisible cage? It’s so beautiful but you can’t touch it. You think you’re in touch with it but you’re not, you’re in touch with an illusion.

You think you know what joy and love is. You’re the master of your own destiny riding on your horse. The star of your own show hahahhaa ya big idiot.

You’ve no root in you, you live among thorns, many times the devil has come and gobbled up the advice that has been given to you by convincing you that YOU know best. haha ya big buffoon. And with all your attending of confession, bible groups, theological university and Church every Sunday, when someone comes along and calls you a smelly ass, you go into a fit of rage and show just how immature you really are.

Hey, we are all in the same boat and the first step is to realize there is a boat and you’re in it. The next Step is to admit you like the comfort of the boat, don’t want to leave it and the third step to liberation is having the balls to jump out of that boat and meet Jesus half way.

Jumping out of the boat can only be done with prayer and understanding. the two go hand in hand. You definitely need the grace because you can’t do it by your own power.

I’ve two stories that have come to mind I want to leave you with. One is true and the other is fictional.

The first one is a story in Medjugorje of a woman who became possessed. All the priests rushed to her aid and nearly all of them fled when the demon started shouting at them their personal sins. He began revealing all their sins and what they did.

This frightened them and they run for the hills. This is because they have not yet reached the level of maturity and the devil knows they’re still living among the thorns and have not yet reached the spiritual heights to deal with such public exposition of their personal sins.

But if the Devil were to meet a true mystic and someone who is a great spiritual giant who knows how to go to war with him (such as St.Anthony the great) then things change.

Here’s  the story of a monk who had a novice come to him for spiritual direction. He threw rocks at him and cursed at him and told him to get out of his sight. The novice thought to himself what kind of holy monk is this? and he left and never came back.

The next novice came and pretty much the same thing happened to him. He ran away and never came back.

Third novice did come back. He was met again with lots of stones and insults. He came back again this time all bruised and bloodied and he said ”Please, I am ready to move on.”

So the spiritual master recognizing the man had roots in him and did not give up in time of trial, welcomed him as a student of prayer.

Pray for faith, pray for the roots necessary to grow. It’s what I pray for every day. Like you I am also rotting away in this prison I built for myself.

God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Icon Wall

Don’t know why I’m doing this but here’s my icon wall. I don’t need to describe it as it pretty much speaks for it’s self. 

If love to have some chandeliers so that the other icons further up in darkness become illuminated also. 

This is a 19th century antique icon I bought from a dealer in Kiev Ukraine. I won it at an online auction. 

I love how distinct the iconography in Ukraine is from other regions such as Russia and Greece. The Theotokos is so approachable in this icon. I like buying old things. 

This is my little incense pot given to me by a woman and friend from the Lebanon. I use it all the time especially on Sunday. In the distance is Peter and Paul a prayer card I bought from the Russian Orthodox church named after them in Dublin. You can also see padre pio right beside Our Lady of Fatima where else would he be? . I have some holy water from the river Jordan and icons of Michael and Raphael but Gabriel is missing. I lost him when moving house one time. 

This is our place where we encounter heaven as a family. When people come into my home which is rare because I allow only those closest to me across the threshold or the exceptional laity, they will encounter this wall. 

I like to think of it as less than a wall and more of a window. It’s still a bit bare at the minute and I’m planning to fill it more. 

Do you have a prayer wall or space and if so has it helped you in your daily struggle to be mindful of God in the home? 

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The Day A Charismatic Woman Gave Me A Message From Jesus

healing-mass

It was 2014 and I had heard of this healing service taking place inside a local church one day. It was during the ordeal of my wife and her cancer although I think she had just been given the all clear at this stage.

From day one in the chemotherapy room she had met and became friends with a lady called Lucy. A very quiet and lovely woman, Lucy was a homosexual who lived with another lady I had known my whole life.

Lucy had ovarian cancer and although many efforts were made to rescue her from this, unfortunately she was given the news that the treatment will no longer save her.

I’ve no idea what went through her mind but she had resolved to remove herself from the treatment and just let the cancer take its course.

I recalled a year she was at the stations of the cross which is a theatrical performance that takes place in the streets. I played Jesus that year under invitation by some local Roman Catholics.

With this in mind I thought I’d invite her to the healing service. She was in St.James Hospital, and, encouraged by me, my wife who conversed with Lucy more frequently and so sent her the invite.

She was that close to deaths door that she didn’t think that permission would be given to come but the nurse took her down.

We arrived and I allowed God to do the rest. I watched Lucy from a distance in her wheelchair by now totally unrecognizable. A priest I have great admiration for, quite frankly the only one in the diocese with some salt in him, approached Lucy.

She was having her confession heard. Towards the end of the service, the Charismatic Lady I am not sure who she is but came all the way from Australia. Apparently she converses with Jesus, and the small number of people there all lined up along the altar was approached by her for her to pray over them with a personal message from Jesus.

I always wondered what it was she said to Lucy.

When my time came she said ”Jesus says ”You have come here today to honor Me, but I have come to honor you for your loyalty to Me”.

That was back in 2014 and I’ve never forgotten what was said. I won’t lie and say I believed it to be true and I’m the most disloyal personal I know so I came home confused. Why would the Lord praise me or extol me? It seems unlikely that if this message was from Jesus that he was say such a thing to me. Praise doesn’t normally come from the Lord.

The other part of me thought it made sense as every day I was struggling to remain in the Catholic Church myself. However that still didn’t mean Jesus was talking to me as many the times the devil often knows your situation too and will often say things that sound good. Not that I’m saying I know if it was Jesus or not, I always like to play the safe card and say I ultimately don’t know.

Whatever the case may be, following the service I met with Lucy in the wheelchair. She could not really speak so I nervously just shook her hand by now so weak and fragile. A few days later Lucy fell asleep in the Lord at home.

We attended the wake and the funeral Mass. Lucy never allowed anyone know what was going in her heart but her actions of coming to the stations of the Cross, having her confession heard and receiving the anointing of the sick in addition to organizing a Catholic funeral spoke louder than any speech she could have written.

It was clear that the Lord, although he did not heal her of the cancer that day, gave her something much greater than any of us here could imagine. Jesus gave Lucy forgiveness, himself and a place in his Kingdom.

That my friends is the ultimate prize, to know and love God both here and in the hereafter with the Blessed Theotokos and all the Saints and Lucy in her last moments was given that opportunity and she took it.

We stand there and think ”God didn’t heal her that day how sad” and yet how wrong we are, he certainly did.

Eternal memory to Lucy who was Loyal to her calling to come home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Can Be Poor And Yet Remain A Wealthy Man

In the Gospel there is the bit where the wealthy man approaches Jesus and asks him what he must do to gain eternal life.

Jesus responds in part that he must give up everything owns and follow him. But the man walks away sad because he was wealthy and remained enslaved to his wealth.

I would like to think that Jesus wasn’t just telling him that he must give up all his gold.

There is much wealth we possess that we must get rid of. Like Gold this kind of wealth is also transient and not long-lasting. The riches I speak of here are Self Esteem/egoism, approval and the need to feel loved by others.

This is actually much harder to give up than wealth.

Take a look at the current case in the united states with Kathy Griffin, a small time comedian whose made a career for herself but it’s now shattered due to the nature of her most recent stunt.

Now, instead of humbling herself she is playing a victim. But what were the intentions behind her actions? She wanted to be ”provocative” like most celebrities do such as Madonna and Miley Cyrus in order to ”further” their career.

Kathy is a prime example of someone who goes fishing for ”likes” and appraisal by the world because she feels like most of us that without it, we cannot survive the emotional roller coaster in life.

Unfortunately for Kathy, instead of getting the pat on the back she was expecting for a job well done, even her own liberal kind turned on her in the end for going a step too far.

This pat on the back we crave it don’t we? Without it life just isn’t worth living. We are enslaved and held captive by none other than ourselves. We throw ourselves into this prison of Egoism, Vanity and the need to feel approval or loved by others.

It is us to create a prison for ourselves and when it’s been brought to our attention we play the blame game such as Kathy did live on television, surrounded by her laughing lawyer who laughs with her all the way to the ”bank”.

Kathy is a reflection of the sickly world, a reflection of me and you. We need to pray for that woman because it’s obvious the Lord has humbled her and in his merciful justice tries to do the same with all of us that we may return but our hearts are so stubborn.

So if we want eternal life get rid of all the wealth might be a good idea, but what about the hidden treasure we refuse to let go of, the kind that we need no matter what our financial status is? That’s the treasure Jesus requires we forfeit in exchange for the true treasure which is knowing and Loving God.

 

 

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Why As A Youth Did I Leave The Church?

I think as a male who left the Catholic Church or rather the practice of my faith there had to be more to it than just blissful ignorance.

My father would play in the churches. He would write hymns and I could see this is how they converted him. They used his talent to make him part of the group. They tried that with me as well with the photography and the guitar but unlike my dad Such tactics have little effect upon me because they’re preaching the the choir anyway.

He has written many nice hymns on a guitar by the way. I’d never really appreciated them much until I began to become interested the mystical once more.

I walked away because of several factors. I didn’t get any education growing up in the Roman Catholic faith. What is odd is that my father went on many pilgrimages and cursillo. He troubled himself and drained himself of energy to entertain the priests and become their musician for their Mass.

In this way he abandoned us at home. All of us grew up on the street and we lived in a slack household of a loose Christianity.

This combined with the absence of music, incense and a sense of masculinity about the church was really instrumental and a major influence in the destruction of myself as a youth.

When I’d spotted the Orthodox Church it was very manly. Their balance of the sexes and promotion of true feminist snd masculine attributes really appealed to me. Men love a good challenge and their unwavering orthodox ways with prostrations and standing for hours in church as well living out the Gospel really appealed to me.

The art and icons of Jesus made him look like a man whereas the blushed red cheeked curly girly haired pictures of Jesus of the west made him look soft and feminine.

Going back to my father it’s not all doom and gloom as in the beginning whilst my father was instrumental in the loss of my faith, he was instrumental later on in regaining it.

We also share in the knowledge of what happened me on that night of quiet prayer together in our living room of my family home. Recently he confided in me that he briefly opened his eyes and saw what took place although it was not visible to him only to me.

It is also because of these things that conversion to the Orthodox Church may never happen. I would have to deny it all happened or was from the devil in order to do so and the temptation to do so is there all the time.

In the beginning the fruits were there such as Love of the church and the Sacraments and all the teachings of the faith.

Being naive as I was I ran around in the beginning telling everyone. I really thought them hearing my story would make them believe and how wrong was I? I thought ok the priests they will believe seeing as they’re already close to God. But no, in fact every single priest was dismissive of me.

Speaking later on when looking for an exorcist to cure me of this One priest thought it was from God having heard it all. He attributed my downfall to lack of spiritual direction. Unfortunately for me I had to seek it on my own via books. But like Constantine XI and his soldiers were eventually worn down in battle, and the walls breached, I too was overcome. I often feel like a lost sheep with nobody to guide and help me.

I have realised that what I have is spiritually too much for even some priests. I therefore have never spoken about it to anyone for many years. I don’t tell anyone because I’ve concluded it doesn’t matter. What I have is of no spiritual benefit to anyone. Telling them will not convert them, heal them or anything of the sort.

What I have is between me and God and sadly I will never truly even know if it’s from him until the day I die. Perhaps the not knowing is the Cross I must carry and it glorifies him that I do so with all the ups and downs I go through.

Whatever the case may be I wish God left me alone and converted me in a less extraordinary manner that he did. I envy people who live an ordinary Christian life full of faith. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. It’s too much to bear.

Please say a prayer for me.

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When I Pray Nothing Happens, I Don’t Get An Answer

Often we pray and nothing happens. It almost seems as if Jesus isn’t hearing us. However Bartimeus the blind beggar in the Gospel of Mark teaches us differently.

When he hears of Jesus coming he cries out ”Son of David have mercy on me”. Everyone is so disturbed by this but he shouts out all the more.

46] And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho, with his disciples, and a very great multitude, Bartimeus the blind man, the son of Timeus, sat by the way side begging. [47] Who when he had heard, that it was Jesus of Nazareth, began to cry out, and to say: Jesus son of David, have mercy on me. [48] And many rebuked him, that he might hold his peace; but he cried a great deal the more: Son of David, have mercy on me. [49] And Jesus, standing still, commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying to him: Be of better comfort: arise, he calleth thee. [50] Who casting off his garment leaped up, and came to him.

St.Monica, mother of Augustine, cried for the conversion of her son and her husband. Only on the fathers death bed did all these things come to pass. That’s how long it took.

Prayer requires ”Prosohi” (”Attention”).

There is another story of a man who comes to the monk and complains that when he prays nothing happens. He doesn’t feel it’s effects at all.

The elder gives him a dirty old bucket and asks the man to go down to the river and fill the bucket and bring it back to him.

The novice does as he’s told and comes back with the bucket but on the way it had leaked and there was no water left in it. He did again and by the third time he did it complained that the water kept leaking and that there was no use.

The monk asked the novice to peer into the bucket and sure enough the bucket which was once dirty was now very clean.

The power of prayer and the point of prayer is not really to be this sort of thing we do and expect immediate results. Prayer is what cleanses us over time.

We need to continue in our effort to pray and stop treating it as a short term solution to our problems.

 

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What Is Happiness?

I’ve often wondered what happiness is. Sometimes we all experience happiness and the experiences we have may be genuine but are they?

Is the feeling you get when you see a long lost loved one return after years spent away in another country happiness?

You hear the question propose itself time and time again, ”What makes you happy?” and you may see it scientific articles ”10 things proven to make you a more happy person. ”

One of those top ten has to be ”Friends.” It’s not it’s a bad thing to have friends but to be told you NEED friends is what bugs me. That you need to feel accepted and approved is another trap of the world.

Another one may be exercise and that this will increase your happiness. Exercise does help motivate you and keep depression at bay but does it make you happy?

I don’t know, I think of the Catholic priest in prison celebrating Mass on the palm of his hand in the dark cell he was kept for many years with no exercise and lived very happily.

Therefore I’m not entirely convinced but would opine that happiness is not something someone does to you or gives you. Happiness is not something that comes and then goes rather true happiness is a state of being one can only achieve in Gods Grace.

There is what we’ve been told happiness is and what it actually is. For example when one boy is happy because someone applauded him for doing a good act, another boy who was taught that being applauded is a bad sign that you’re on the wrong path will not respond with a feeling of joy.

Therefore there’s a happiness we are taught by the culture around us a sort of set of rules for when to feel happy. We’ve been taught that ”having friends” makes us happy. So when we go out and make lots of friends we feel the need now to be happy. We have achieved the target for happiness that the culture around us has planted in the rule book.

But then after a while of gaining these friends we begin to feel unhappy again. The happy drug is beginning to wear off and the friends we now know have become like a fresh loaf of bread and become stale over time. It’s now time to change our friends or do something else to get happy.

Happiness is often equated with ”feelings”. Are you feeling in a good mood today? You’re happy! Are you feeling in a bad mood today? awww you’re depressed”.

I like to think of St.Oliver Plunkett at the stake being burned and how he showed no sign of sadness or the priest in his dark jail cell and the joy he had every day when he awoke into nothing but darkness.

In those harsh conditions we are taught that this is a time we should get sad but the Grace of God transcends this human brainwashing and so the priest lived in a state of constant happiness.

Ah yes that is it, happiness is a state of being not a fluctuation of feelings. Happiness is a continual state of being in which we are fully immersed in God and dead to ourselves and all the human brainwashing we received from birth.

Then there’s the problem of sadness in the Gospels. Our Lady wept and Our Lord wept. We are all talk about happiness yet Our Lord and Our Lady expressed sorrow in the Gospel.

There are two different kinds of sorrow. There is the earthly sorrow and there is the heavenly sorrow. The heavenly sorrow is mingled with joy and love for all it sees where the earthly sorrow is a real depression and often the result of the human conditioning we were spoon fed. The heavenly sorrow is still attached to the state of happiness.

There’s always Love and it’s earthly counterfeit. Happiness and it’s earthly counterfeit. Sorrow and it’s earthly counterfeit. Joy and it’s earthly counterfeit.

The devil likes to mimic what is heavenly to make a mockery of what real love, happiness, joy and sorrow is. He does this to blind us and keep us from the real thing. The problem is many of us claim we want the real thing but we are happy to live in our illusion of what happiness is.

Take a look at this scene from the Matrix. He quite openly even knows that the steak isn’t real and that the feeling he gets from eating it or the taste isn’t real. However he’s quite content to live in the bliss of ignorance.

 

Ignorance is bliss eh? We all complain and talk about wanting the real thing but when the real thing presents itself in the form of the Cross we aren’t long running back to our comfortable zone of man made illusions about love, sex and life itself huh? We are so pathetic me included.

However, when we make the first step of admitting we are on the wrong path, at least then we can progress to the next level. I like to make concessions that happiness can exist in different stages and that every now and again a hole in the cloud appears and we get a glimpse or experience moments of happiness.

However there is a true state of happiness and sadly whilst I can do my best to point you in the right direction, I can’t make get up and go looking for it. You know why? Because I’m busy looking myself.

 

 

 

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Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

I recently signed up to become a member/volunteer for this organization created to provide parents with photographs of their children who have life limiting conditions and are not expected to live long outside the womb.

I was invited to a conference in Dublin in 2014 where they were looking for photographers like myself to join.

I was really interested but I thought with Audrey having cancer, a new born and the process to join was a little lengthy I just couldn’t really see myself doing it.

I also felt I wasn’t good enough for the job at all and that perhaps a little more time spent doing photography may help.

Even with that I never joined at all because I’ve never saw myself as a portrait photographer to be honest. I really thought they were looking for the complete professional.

That was until recently when I got a message from a friend showing me the post of the nilmdts Ireland page in which they were looking for more photographers to join.

At first I was dismissive but over the coming days I decided I’d do it. I applied and within 3 days after examining my photographs I got notified that I had been approved and was now a member. I really thought I’d be rejected because portrait photography is not my forte. But having examined all my portrait photographs they decided differently and that I should be a member.

As a father who has not seen his daughter in 10 years I know what it’s like just having one picture as a reminder of Erin when I last saw her.

It was a picture the photographer in the hospital took that day and I still have the card in my wallet to this day it’s never been anywhere else. Every now and again when I think about her I pull it out and take a look. It gives me hope that we will meet again.

With this in mind I’m deciding to go ahead and give other parents the same hope by providing them with some proper photographs of their sons and daughters before they leave this earth. people may view it as a bit morbid or macabre but as one photographer in the video I provided said ”Say that to the parents and I find you’ll get a different response”.

I am now listed on the nilmdts website as a photographer for the Dublin, Louth and Meath district.

It’s going to be difficult for me but then again Jesus Christ never said living the Gospel was going to be easy, in fact it’s how we handle the most difficult parts of life is what will define our character and place in heaven (or purgatory) in the end. For it’s the man who endures to the end who will be saved.

God bless

 

 

 

 

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Clothing For The Modern Catholic And What Not To Wear

RUSS16-without-logo-Low-res36

 

St.Anthony the great, I had read either in his life story or in the Philokalia I can’t quite remember, came down to speak to the Greeks or testify in front of a Judge.

He appeared in court clean-shaven and well-groomed/dressed.

Christ says in the Gospel we are not to worry about what clothing we are to wear but the emphasis here is on the worry not the clothes even though there’s a limit to what we can wear.

Anthony would have been a scruffy monk living in the desert and yet he scrubbed up pretty well when engaging with civil authorities and the world, why? Because Anthony was wise and clever. He knew that clothes are meaningless in Gods eyes and that all the fuss over fashionable clothing a load of horse-feathers but would often use the cultural dress code to help his argument that they may take him seriously.

It’s very important in this case to wear what everyone else is wearing and to blend in to the particular environment you find yourself in. Blend in and respect the cultural formalities as much as does not compromise your faith (I’m talking about women walking around looking like prostitutes you don’t have to succumb to that clothing.)

This means modern haircuts, clothes of the latest trend or whatever they’re wearing. For example you wouldn’t show up to a yuppie party wearing a track suit would you? Nobody would take you seriously and you’d be thrown out most likely.

No you’d show up in a nice crisp suit with all the bells and whistles. Clean shaven and practicing how to speak yuppie with a few marbles in your mouth.

Going to meet with the working class? Nice pair of jeans and a T shirt with sporty running shoes will do. Yes in case you’re wondering I’ve a whole wardrobe up there for every occasion.

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It’s very important for the Christian to hide himself and blend in with modern society to date. The reason for this is because the children of Light cannot hide themselves among men and therefore they’re better off in a monastery and even then depending upon their spiritual progress they can come under a lot of heat by the worldly monks that live there.

But in the world the Christian whose job it is to evangelize and live out the faith cannot just get a tonsure like St.Anthony of Padua and wander around in an old worn out robe. The devil is always lurking around the subject you’re trying to bring back to the faith. He lurks around in their ignorance and when you put on a display of piety that is spiritually too much for the person you’re trying to convert, you give the game away and the person under the guidance of the devil goes into retreat.

Thats it now he’s caught you.

There’s a great movie out there called ”The Matrix” starring Keanu Reeves. I think it reflects the Christian story quite a bit and what I’m getting at here.

It’s a world where everyone is asleep and obvlivious that they’re under control of the agents. There is a rebellious group who make up a minority. They’re not strong enough to take on the agents because they’re outnumbered.

When they’re is a disturbance in the matrix the agents are immediately alerted and they’re onto it and a fight scene ensues soon after.

In Christianity the agents are the devil and the minority is the Christians. So when we put on a display of piety it makes the devil go wild. He hates prayer and immediately all heads turn on you and even though Jesus is stronger than the devil, the devil is much stronger than me or you in this world.

Therefore when I watch a yuppie Christian lady evangelist go into a real down and out estate full of hard children who’ve been in and out of prison before they’ve even hit 18, I can see straight away she won’t get anywhere with those kids. In fact there’s a real chance she’ll get beaten up.

No, you need to make it harder on the Devil to find you. That means hiding among them and behaving with their temperament and wearing their clothes.

Anthony the great knew what he was doing when he came down from his cave, hair cut, clean shaven and dressed to the nines. Even back then it worked and it still works now.

I write this because I’ve met or rather observed some radicals dresscodes. One woman had her children dressed in clothes from the 1930s. Totally no need for that but you can forget about that family being a source of evangelisation. In fact you can count on those young boys getting bullied.

So there you have it, build your wardrobe and the wardrobe of your soul. Make it well fortified, don’t give your enemy a foothold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Could Be Enjoying The Pleasures Of Life But I Settled For Christianity.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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