Posts Tagged With: Christ

The Day My Son Became Part Of The Circus

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This is the Clown that picked Joseph out of his seat. Isn’t his hair so funny?

 

This afternoon for a couple of hours I got front row tickets to the Circus for my kids. We sat there eagerly waiting the Circus meanwhile my four year old Joseph indulged in a Pony ride.

When the show began and the clown ”Harvo” came bursting onto the scene his fringe glued to the sky, bursting with colourful dungarees, giant buttons and long deep pockets, the whole arena of children erupted with Laughter.

The laughter was like a volcanic eruption that began from the back of the audience, trickling its way down to the front row.

The Clown decided he’d need a little helper and so Joseph was brave enough the put his hand up and the clown immediately picked him to come out into the arena in front of all the children. Out came Joseph who strutted himself along with the clown devoid of all fear and yet at the same time an obvious residual of innocence remaining.

He was order to to take both his fingers and turn them towards each other at which point the clown inserted some toilet roll. Pulling the toilet roll out he wrapped some in a ball. Doing what crafty clowns do he threw it behind him and asked Joseph which hand the piece of paper was hidden inside. He did this three times but Joseph never caught on that the paper was in neither hand.

The clown who grew weary of Josephs lack of awareness to the seemingly obvious, picked up a large chair and repeated the same closing both hands asking Joseph which hand the chair was in.

The innocence within Joseph became all the more apparent and, in the heat of the moment, he could not grasp the concept that a big chair could not possibly be hidden inside of one of the clowns hands and yet he decided to trust the clown and picked a hand anyway only to discover yet again no chair.

The grand finale was the magical presentation of a lollipop to the cheer and laughter of a crowd entertained by Joseph. It was the day my son became part of the Circus and it’s one that although he may sadly forget it, I will always be there to remind him of.

Throughout the entire show I was suddenly reminded of how nothing beats a real live entertaining show so I turned to my wife. I said ”If I had a choice between bringing them to the Cinema to watch something like the Toy Story and something like the Circus, I would choose the Circus every time.

Children often lose focus at the Cinema but at the Circus, like a moth to a light bulb they were drawn to the dazzling beauty of the acrobats, clowns, dare devils, horses and gun slinging cowboys.

It’s a bit like the Divine Liturgy. Watching the Divine Liturgy on TV or you tube is really beautiful and the next best thing especially when hospitalized. TV however is nothing in comparison however to actually being there. The energy is really different. The sweet smell of candle wax mixed with the aroma and clouds of incense are all but absent.

Indeed, we are there to worship rather than be entertained but I also like to think of the Divine Liturgy as Gods gift to man also. I do take preference with entertaining the thought that God and the angels like to entertain us also which is why the Liturgy is there. It’s there primarily for God but to lift us to him and there are many ways we like to worship him.

If I were to ask you to describe to me the Circus you could bring me close to the vibrant energy that took place but nowhere near as close as what it would really be like if I were to go and see for myself.

It is the same with God. All the mystics would love to show us what it is like to experience God as they currently do or had at one point but they always admit it never comes anywhere close. The description is always inferior to the experience.

Today the circus proved that whilst Hollywood may be making their money, that the true live entertainment will always trump every movie script ever written.

Today my son nearly ran away with the Circus and who could blame him?

 

 

 

 

 

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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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The Reason Why Your Friend Takes You Away From Christ

Do you remember the time you were in high school and you made a commitment for the new year to lose weight, get thin, only to have that one jealous fat friend who’d do anything to take you off the beaten track and quit?

Why…oh why would they do that? because according to them who lack the will to make that commitment, losing weight isn’t real and it can’t be achieved and in order for them to prove that point to themselves they begin with tempting you and bringing you down to their level.

It’s the same with Christianity. The reason why that one friend who suddenly hears you’ve taken the baby steps necessary to abandon your old heathen ways, will do anything to tear you down. They don’t believe that this whole Christianity thing of chastity and love is possible and so proceed with the plan to wear you down until you’re your old self again.

When you become a Christian, three things will occur with regards to your ”friends”. The one is they will abandon you because the new light in you reveals the evil in them and so they run for the hills because they feel terrible in your presence and can’t be their ”evil” selves around you.

The second that will take place is that they will challenge your new found love of Christianity and will lie in wait sometimes months, days and years waiting for you to return to the friend they once knew so dearly. They are doing this to prove to themselves that true love and humility isn’t possible, it isn’t real so the devil puts it in their minds to make war on this new found love of Christianity you have.

The third thing that will happen is after having exhausted all avenues of trying to get you to change back to your old ways, THEN they will finally abandon you simply because they’ve done everything in their power to bring you down. OR …your firm stance in your faith will have a profound effect on them and they themselves, seeing your unshakeable faith, will themselves convert and become renewed in Christ also.

To surmise the above, the friend who does his best to destroy your new love for Christ does so because he doesn’t believe real sacrificial love, chastity, humility and obedience can be achieved and so he uses you as his guinea pig to prove that point to himself as an excuse to carry on living in his sin.

Misery Loves Company!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My First Encounter With My Wife

When I came back to the catholic faith and realised I was too uneducated for religious life and was being turned away left right and centre I decided to think about married life and that perhaps God was calling me there. Don’t ask me why as then I didn’t have a job and no money so who in their right mind would consider me? 

Yet somehow, Gods love, calling and protection is always proven to be stronger than these things. There was no catholic girls in my vicinity and so I took to the Internet in search of someone either living that life or with a renewed desire to do so like myself. 

It was a bit weird at first and a bit of a disaster, especially with the American girls who were all after this big wedding. I always stayed clear of anyone who spoke more of the big dress and how much a wedding cost. It was not because I didn’t have the money but because I felt their heart was not in the right place. 

In my profile page on Catholic match I wasn’t quite like the others in my questionnaire. For example one of my questions for new comers was “we are at your parents for dinner. We meet for the first time with all your relatives at the table. In the duration of this I let out ( unintentional )an almighty fart. What do you do? 

Audrey unlike other girls thought this was funny and so just before I’d given up on Catholic Match I happened to come upon her profile. 

We talked for a week on the phone and we both wanted to get married. She told me her life story and especially the part where her 20s was ruined by visiting mental hospitals over her abortion and now she wanted to be Catholic again and meet a Catholic husband. 

I asked her if she’d ever been to confession before and she said no. I invited her to go and talked her through the process. She called me up the night before she was to go see the priest as she had made an appointment and told me the dream she had. The dream was that she was in the confessional box and there was a demon on the other side of the grid hissing at her and scratching its walls. 

She woke up in a sweat and called me. She said she felt too scared to go to confession now. I told her that the devil is just discouraging you from visiting confession and the only reason he is bothering you now is that you will no longer be his property but that of the Lord. The devil doesn’t bother much with people who are not working to get closer to Christ. He only pursues those of us trying to get close to Jesus. 

This is how frightened of confession the devil is. It is a serious form of exorcism and not many of us realise this. 

After this and disapproval from her secular parents to come to Ireland, she came anyway. We met opposition from the local priest who made fun of us and called us Muslims when he saw she wore a mantilla and we were quite interested in the Catholic faith. He wasn’t impressed we were getting married so soon. 

But we did get married and in November this year we will be 7 years married. We have two children aged 3 and 5 whose names are Joseph Francis ( born on feast of St.Joseph and day of Pope Francis inauguration ) and Christian Alexander . 

Unfortunately after a few years in Ireland Audrey caught hodgkins lymohoma cancer. By the time it was diagnosed it was in its last stage and had spread throughout her body. What was harder to realise was she happened to be six months pregnant. 

She went through the chemo whilst pregnant and the baby boy Joseph was delivered on time. We called him the miracle child as he had no trace of chemo inside him as was to be expected. Not one trace. 

We are here now and I begin my latest job next Monday. We love each other and believe we have been called by God. Our marriage is strengthened by God and it’s the little faith we have that keeps us going. A family that prays together stays together right? But we also need you to pray for us too. 

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Do Atheists have faith? Of course they do. 

Everyone at one stage in their lives has exercised their faith. Therefore if it’s possible for an atheist to have faith in someone else’s story, including their own judgment of a situation facing them, then it’s equally possible for them to have faith in Christ. Go ahead and go up to an atheist and tell him his house is on fire with his wife and kids inside, make it sound believable and watch him gather his lawyers to make an assessment before he believes you. Will he do that? Highly doubt it. 

I say this because many atheists criticise the use of faith  and that we believe in something or someone without evidence. How many of us ever questioned the love of our wife and demanded visible evidence that she would love and serve us all the days of her life like she vowed upon the altar? We didn’t, we simply leapt into her arms, exercised our faith and said yes to marriage and yes to her love. 

Christians love of Christ therefore, does not rest upon evidence alone but an understanding, like that of a future husband who will never fully understand the mind of his wife, Christians understand that we will never come to fully know Christ but we love him regardless, have faith in his testimony as well as that of his apostles and we just throw ourselves into his arms. 

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A meditation on Tom hanks Castaway ” Wilsonnnnnnnn!!!!”

This morning I awoke thinking how much my prayer life is lacking especially in the area of the Rosary. When we first pick up the Jesus prayer or Holy Rosary of Our Lady, we begin to pray but we feel much unrest and we are like monkeys jumping from one branch to another, that is from one thought to another. We begin to feel very lethargic and prayer can seem like a chore for most of us and all of these experiences can make us run from prayer, feel great discouragement and just sit and mope. But I find that each of us is stuck on an island that separates us from God. It is an island of an empty pleasure of the world where the soul at some point realizes it doesn’t belong and try’s to break free. Our journey off this island of self adoration and interest never always begins instantaneously but requires us to play our part and use the materials God gives us if we are ever going to get a response. It requires us to get up and search for The Holy Spirit, for freedom from the bondage of the bodily passions and sin.

We build with prayer and this can take some time I find. At first tom hanks try’s to build a raft but he is met with great resistance as he fails to get over the first wave. What’s happened there? He realizes he has built wrongly and needs to go back to the blueprint and rebuild a proper way. It’s the same with us, sometimes we desire to get out of this world of our sinful imperfections but we are praying wrongly, and when we are met with the wave of resistance of the flesh and enemies that govern the air of this world we keep falling back and that the many exterior and interior ( but mostly interior ) obstacles seem to prevent us from shedding our old world in search of the new one and in truth the obstacle is often ourselves. But if we keep building and continue to pray and seek out Christ and look deep into ourselves we will find that eventually we build what’s needed with Gods Grace to get over that wave. But even then, once over the wave the journey has just begun and as with Tom and his imaginary and emotional attachment that is Wilson the football, we too still have many imaginary things that we are attached to that we need to die to having got over the initial wave. It pains us even to sometimes say goodbye to them for we stupidly believe that they bring us comfort and rest.

So the foundation of our raft must be the living of the Gospel and becoming dare I say Jesus himself, becoming another Jesus. But without the gift of Fortitude we will never acquire the sail that completes our raft, and our sail is the Light and Grace of Christ himself to get over the wave. So this is something I am praying for at the moment because I too want to get off this island and wilderness in which I am separated by my sins and my imperfections from truly seeing God face to face. So if your out there and your finding prayer difficult I would invite you to join me in the fight in using all the materials that Jesus and the Church has given us to acquire the means necessary to break free from the chains of the world and sail the sea to freedom. It takes time, it takes patience but if we pray through the torrents of all the lethargy and disinterest we will by the Grace of God get there eventually.

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Are you conservative or a liberal?

When people ask me this question of whether or not I am liberal or conservative I answer that I am neither of these, I am simply Christian. It is only by embracing Christianity that we can truly be set free from all evils. A politics or country that denies itself and embraces the Gospel will always win. But then again I guess in some kind of an odd way I could play the hypocrite here almost and say that the Christian is both conservative and liberal. He ( the Christian ) wishes to conserve that which is true and liberate himself from evil and seeks new ways to communicate that unchangable truth to the masses. But on second thoughts there is no hypocritical outlook in what I said because being a Christian is the root, and conservatism and liberalism is but two branches that sprout from it or the fruit that emerges from being a Christian, because its a conservatism and liberalism as Christ would understand it and not the worlds idea of conservatism and liberalism both of which can often seek to contradict the Gospel the latter being the bigger culprit.

So yes I am a Christian who is both conservative and liberal. But when somebody asks me am I conservative or liberal they are asking me which worldly outlook do I agree with more, and the answer is neither, I am Christian whose Gospel message has a conservatism and liberalism that is much greater and of higher value than that of the worlds understanding of what real conservatism and liberalism is.

I think I have a headache now haha. Goodnight and blessings to all of you.

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Interpreting the Time

I have a big interest in bush craft and survival techniques. You will often find me watching ray mears or reading Lofty Wisemans book the SAS Survival Guide Book. Instead of the book I was reading it in app form on the ipad this evening. I was reading the part about the various ways in which to determine how the weather would turn out through use of watching the animals motives and formation of the clouds etc.

such study provoked me to think about the part in scripture in which he rebukes the pharisees and the rest of the world for their ability to determine the weather by studying it but failing to recognise the times at present. Lets read that passage together.

“He also said to the multitudes, ‘when you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, “a shower is coming” and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat” and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” – Luke – 12-54

Having pondered that for a while immediately modern man and science came to mind. Not that there is anything wrong with science, it is very useful but there is something beyond and more important than it which we are blind to and that is God himself. Here people are able to predict the weather by observing, like science, the visible world around them. What we notice is that as our ability to examine one thing in the world such as weather progresses, too does a sort of regression in knowledge of that which is invisible suddenly take place also.

We often hear that saying absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it certainly does not apply to our relationship towards God because absence and ignorance of God makes the heart grow cold. there is a sort of abandonment of thinking about God and believing we have progressed and are doing so all the time and do not need God.

within the end times we live in, which explained by many mystics such as vassula ryden for example about being understood as the end of an epoch or era and not the end of the world, many of us are too busy with our scientific tools to interpret these times and Gods work in the world, and sadly the obvious work of the devil in the world too. There is nothing wrong with science and the discoveries which have aided human beings in many ways in the medical field and beyond, pick whatever category you like. It is only when we rely and become dependent upon the visible alone do we lose sight of Christ in our hearts and in the world.

Pride sets in and we humans feel like we have finally made it to the top of the mountain and no longer need God. Like the Towers of Babel we really think we can reach the heavens and proclaim ourselves valiant over God and creation. Yes thats how far back the modern man goes. because modern man, when examined through the magnifying glass of Gods Holy Wisdom can be seen as not modern at all, unchanged and ever thinking he has progressed.

Every Empire from Egyptian to Roman thought of itself as modern and progressive. It is no different today, man has not changed. He is still able to predict and observe the weather but he cannot observe the times or the presence of Christ in his heart. Modern men, like busy working husbands, have spent too much time at the office, and have destroyed their relationship with their wives all the while overlooking the woman’s obvious pain and grief of not being able to feel their love. That is it my dear brothers and sisters, we need to ask ourselves the same kinda question. Are we focusing too much on predicting the weather ( science and study of the visible world ), and as a result of which severing our ties with the lover of all lovers, the more visible than the visible itself?

Forgive me for any typos and the bad lay out. I write now from my ipad as my laptop is broken.

God bless and have a Christ filled evening.

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Turning The Corner

It has been quite a busy week for me and even more so for my wife Audrey. Her Mother came home from the united states recently. The morning she came home we all decided to go for breakfast at our local cafe called Jackie’s in Dundalk, Co.Louth which is my home town.

We sat and discussed everything we could starting small with questions on how the flight to Ireland was, then progressing to more emotional talk upon Audrey’s current battle with cancer.

We were all pretty tired so we decided to finish the food quickly and take a ride back to the house. On our way there we suddenly turned the corner of the court house ( positioned center of the town ) only to see a man lying on the ground shaken up. He could not bring himself back to his feet. Material possessions of his such as a watch, book were flung from his body. It was clear he had a bad fall.

I suddenly recognized Jesus in this man. It was a strange yet very unmerited graceful experience. I ran to him without hesitation and asked ”are you ok?” ( bit of a stupid question really ) and he replied in a very dazed and confused tone, ”Yes, I just need a little help getting to my feet.”

He was a heavy man, very tall, strong and about his 50’s. To top it all off I recognized his face which by now had a lot of scrapes on it from the hard fall he had. He is a very intelligent, well respected artist/painter in the town. He taught me some art when I was a child but I doubt he remembered my face of course.

After making several attempts to keep him grounded until we perhaps call a Doctor to which he repeatedly refused several times, I bid him farewell. He always has a limp I noticed and that perhaps he may have a disease of some sort that restricts his balance from time to time. Whatever his story was, I was only happy that he was well, so limped onwards into the town amidst the sea of people as if nothing had ever happened and went his way and that was that.

It is really true that we just never know when we will meet Jesus Christ. I mean, we meet him all the time in the hearts of everyone we meet in the city, but I guess we never know when there will come a time when we suddenly turn a corner and be presented with a difficult situation in which we must help Jesus carry his cross. Do we behave like Symon of Cyrene? Either complain or try to avoid this situation, walk on and pretend we never saw this person? Or will we willingly – like many Saints down through history – beg to take the place of Symon of Cyrene and lift Jesus to his feet and also carry his Cross?

Many of us have a Symon of Cyrene in us. Unwilling to part with ourselves to be selfless and help others for fear of what others may think of us.

It is very worthy to note as well just how life can be one minute and suddenly just turn on its head the next. One moment we are turning a corner and laughing, and experiencing Christ in each other and all around us, and having turned the corner, just like that, the moment changes drastically and we experience Christ in his time of need, we no longer are laughing or full of joy, but now we are full of sorrow. Not a depressing sorrow or self destructive type of worldly sorrow ( that belongs to the world ) but a sorrow that is mingled with joy, a sorrow that reaches deep inside us and creates that selfless love for others. A true authentic sorrow like Our Blessed Mother felt watching her only son be hung on a Cross and treated so viciously. None of our sorrows though could ever match that of Our Ladies but she is a perfect example of someone who remained true to her son all the way, through think and thin. A Woman is Our Lady who turned many corners and met Her Son in many moments of Joy and sorrow.

There are many times I have failed to turn a corner and recognize Christ and pass a great treasure by. I did this because my selfish heart made me blind. But I feel it is very important for us always to be ready to turn a corner and be prepared to Meet Jesus, Sometimes laughing and somethings in great pain and in need of our consolation ( not that he would need us for he himself suffices alone. ) but he does desire that we help him carry His Cross for him. Because when humans suffer, Jesus suffers too because we are part of his body. Like my wife and I who are one body. When my wife is in pain, I am in pain also, because she is my body and vice versa. And both my wife and I are connected to Jesus and he suffers when we suffer.

I’d like to thank you for reading my post and I hope you enjoyed my late night tired ramble. I have an interesting post coming up about St.Padre Pios actual Glove that he wore and how it made its way to our home. I hope to find some time to write about that soon.

God bless

Domestic Monk.

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Can taking our mind off suffering really be to our benefit?

I have been thinking recently about my wife’s illness and ever since people have known, a lot of them ( friends, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers ) have suggested that I do my best to distract and take her mind off it instead of thinking about it all the time. I am guilty of looking at it this way too. We all think that this kind of response is a normal one don’t we? ”Take your mind off the pain by thinking happy thoughts” or ”Go out for a walk in the hills.” Surely one should not just sit and mope around all day, it would drive them crazy would it not? Yes I agree to a certain extent but no further. Physical exercise is good for depression and plenty of sunlight. However, I am not so sure suppressing these thoughts about pain and suffering is a good idea. I have instead been trying to help Audrey confront this and meet it head on.

Easing her along this path, I have gently tried to help her view this suffering as something that can be turned into a great Jewel before the Almighty Jesus and how this suffering can save many many souls. I have tried to help her focus on Jesus passion and to look at him on the Cross. To ask him for the grace to understand a little bit of the mystery of suffering which he himself endured for all of us, a suffering so greater than any other on this planet. How Jesus too in the Garden of Gethsemane had a slight moment of anxiety come upon him, the human nature side of Jesus beginning to, how shall we say, ache all over like a bad flu in winter. That even though Jesus was one with his suffering and gladly suffered it for all of us, he even requested it be taken away from him, asking his father to let it pass him.

Now you see that although we suffer, there is no harm like Jesus did in praying to be delivered from it. However we must be prepared to accept that the elimination of our suffering may not be Gods will; and, planted in the soil of Gods mystery, lays something we do not see and that is the seed of greater good that sprouts into something much better than we could ever have imagined. So I say, if you are suffering, try to confront it, don’t run away into the dark alley of Satan’s trap and avoid it by gorging upon the distractions of the world, that is what the pagans do and to their own destruction. It is stupid to down a bottle of wine because it never eradicates the problem. Run all you want, the problem will always be there until you confront it and deal with it.

There is a man who is ready to do battle on the field and has no other choice, he cannot sit down and pick up a Playstation or run to the nearest cafe, he must pick up his sword and confront the enemy. I have only some idea of what suffering God allows, what suffering comes from God or what suffering comes from the enemy but we cannot run away with it, rather we should pray to God to be delivered from it, but if not, then we should rejoice in his will, even if doing so stings a little, rejoice anyway.

Go out and meet reality face to face, don’t hide from it. Meet it with The five stones of Our Lady Queen of Peace. They are: The Eucharist, the Sacrament of Confession, The Holy Bible, The Holy Rosary and Fasting. Lets invite God in and ask him to give us weak wretches the grace to submit to his will in all things. Tell him we cherish our lives that he has given us and that we avail of all the prayer and practical science he has given us to take care of these lives, but that in the end, we are happy to place our trust in him and let his will be done in us and take its course, because either here or elsewhere, we know there is no such thing as dying and our souls belong to His Sacred Heart for as long as we continue to live His Commandments, Amen.

 

 

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