Posts Tagged With: Church

My Miraculous Meeting With St.Spyridon

SPYRIDON

St.Spyridon lived somewhere between the latter part of the 2nd and early part of the 3rd century.

He was at the first ecumenical council of Nicea and was instrumental in the arguments against Arius.

Originally from Cyprus and buried there, when the Arabs took Cyprus he was removed from the grave to be taken to Constantinople where they witnessed he was incorrupt. In his hand was a scent of Basil indicating true sainthood.

After Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, his relics were removed by a Corfiate monk to the island of Corfu where they remain to this day in St.Spyridon Church.

One of his miracles during his lifetime was calling forth rain during a time of drought. This is where it got interesting for me.

An Orthodox Priest and friend of mine learned that I was in Corfu via facebook and highly recommended I visit this church and venerate the Saints relics. He noted that the relics are not always there due to them being moved around a lot and when he was there some years ago they were not present.

Eventually we made our way through the Venetian cobbled streets until we landed upon the Church. I took some pictures of the boys outside in front of the icon of the saint.

From there we entered and there was a short enough queue and to my surprise the relics were present with two priests at either side. Before I entered everyone was quiet. When me and Christian entered the priests began to chant ”Kyrie Eleison”.

I wasn’t sure what to kiss and didn’t realise that the priest opened the Casket for me to kiss the Saint so instead I kissed the Casket as did my son Christian.

That was all good and so we decided to go around the corner to the byzantine Museum which was an old Church now in disuse but everything still in place just used as a Museum for Icons.

I wanted to go back and buy an Icon in the shop directly across the road from St.Spyridons Church and so we headed back that way.

The woman in the shop kept me there for quite a considerable time. By the time my wife came along she was waiting on me and obviously does not share the same enthusiasm as I do for the Orthodox icons or churches so she’s impatient and wanting to leave.

She approaches me and said ”Stephen you need to hurry it up, dark clouds are gathering and it looks like it could actually rain.”

I kept calm and allowed the lady to finish showing me all her icon collection. Then a seriously heavy down pour of rain and hailstones began. It was so heavy I’d never seen anything like it not even in Ireland. The rain was so thick, heavy and chunky. You could hear it just slam into the ground.

I wanted so desperately to visit the Church again with my icons but I knew Audrey wouldn’t have it and so whilst in the shop and anxious about these things it began to rain.

I said to my wife I want to touch the icons off the casket of St.Spyridon and in this way have them blessed. We might as well go over to the Church and inside there because we are blocking entry to the shop.

The woman approached me and said ”This is such unusual weather for this time of year but it shouldn’t last long”. But it did, a whole three hours.

I was delighted to be back in the Church. This time I actually peered in and saw his face with his little skull-cap and vestments all still on him.

It was at this moment that the Saint revealed to me that it was him who, calling forth the rain all those years ago to end the drought, had called forth the rain yet again that I may have my icons blessed and venerate him once more.

Whilst I stood there, the rain plummeting from the heavens, to many it was an inconvenient moment where they had to refrain from shopping and it ended their day out in Corfu. To me however, I stood there in the church with a gleeful smile on my face knowing who it was that called forth the rain and hailstone.

It was an undeserved grace for a rotten little sinner like me. It almost seems prideful to even assume that the Saint would accommodate just one speck of dust such as myself with all the problems going on in the world but I was convinced that this miracle was simply God’s simplicity shining forth giving me the time I really needed to soak up the experience of venerating one of the churches greatest ever saints that lived.

 

 

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The Demons Let Loose On Me Today

This morning I awoke as usual to get up for the job. Decent nights sleep and I open my phone to yet another Anti-Pope Francis rant by lifesitenews.

In my usual undisturbed fashion I engage in a quick debate on my facebook page over it. Before I leave the house I stare into my lukewarm coffee thinking ”Lord, how do people not see the clever divisive tactics of Satan? Why is it time and time again the Narrow path is ignored and we plummet into spiritual perdition of both liberal and right wing?

To put it into perspective lifesitenews threw up an article on Pope Francis homily seemingly condemning Catholics who seek doctrinal clarity as ”Fanatics”. Pope Francis talks about those in the church focus only on doctrinal clarity whilst running around calling people heretics, forgetting the teaching of Jesus. These people are fanatics and they’re spiritually sick.

I agree with him. People like Michael Voris go around beating people over the heads with doctrine and bashing them over the head behaving like the religious police. Don’t get me wrong he may be right in those he picks on but it’s a very divisive approach and to make it so public.

Then there are those who have turned doctrine into an ideaology. Pope Francis I feel is telling people you make an idol out of the doctrine and its this you worship not God. You worship yourself and correct teaching, not God. It’s like when the images in the OT began to be worshipped only then the king had them destroyed. Same with icons, we don’t worship the icon but it’s used as an aid to our relationship with Christ.

The same mistake is being made with doctrine by the right wing fanatics and Pope Francis has picked up on it. The pope recognizes the need for doctrinal clarity but what are the motivations of those who seek it? We do not have to look far to see the aggressiveness of the right wing in the church who are every bit as aggressive as the liberals they oppose.

A friend of mine said ”But Stephen he seems to always be on the attack of the conservative type and not the liberals and so his outrage is so selective.”

This isn’t true at all, recently an austrailian priest was excommunicated by him after he wrote a letter demanding women be ordained to the priesthood. All these things are long forgotten. Not only that there is no real need to attack them as they are out in the open and pretty obvious to the world.

But the fundamentalists type are more easily the ones you can be lured by. They’re fruit looks so good to eat and it all looks sound but it all leads to spiritual perdition of the soul and away from a relationship with God rather than towards him.

The Devil he is so clever, if he doesnt succeed in tempting you to the left, he will get you to the right and once he has you untying that knot can be very difficult.

I leave the house after all this big discussion and suddenly I begin to feel very very ill. I drove one hour and half and made it to a small irish village. I felt so dizzy and nautious. The spiritual side of me felt the force of the Devil himself and all the demons let loose on me. However the side of reason within me thought perhaps I need to eat something and go for a walk.

I went into the Catholic church in this little village. Great big high ceilings the acoustics where amazing so much so that before I left, as nobody was there I sung some ”Salve Regina”. I lit five candles, one for those massacred in Manchester, one for the soul of the man who exploded himself, one for Pope Francis and those who attack him, one for lifesitenews and voris and finally one for the Holy Souls in purgatory.

I went away and stumbled into a restaurant. It was expensive but food was all I needed and so I ate a big bowl of penne romesco.

I called my wife and explained I felt really ill. She said come home and take the day off. I almost did so whilst still on lunch I felt drawn to go back to the Catholic Church I was in. I go back and by this time my candles had burned down to the nub. I walked over and only one candle was still alight and it was the one I had lit for Pope Francis. I stood there like an idiot and watched it burn all the way until it’s extinguished and watched the smoke rise before the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.

I felt a great love in my heart for the Pope. I cannot explain it but it was there. With this sickly feeling all over my body I went and stood before the tabernacle.

I looked for a psalm on my phone, a prayer against enemies and as there was nobody there, aloud I prayed it.

I prayed aloud yet slowly Psalm 69: ” O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. [3] Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul: [4] Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame that desire evils to me: Let them be presently turned away blushing for shame that say to me: Tis well, tis well. [5] Let all that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; and let such as love thy salvation say always: The Lord be magnified.

But I am needy and poor; O God, help me. Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, make no delay.”

At first I was just doing my best to sincerely pray it and all of a sudden, in this small little parish church in the middle of nowhere, God gave me a most undeserving grace. I actually felt his presence and my as my eyes began to tear up I held it off and kept on praying.

Then at the end it was as if God had something to say to me and he used the scriptures to do it. I don’t know why I did it but I randomly selected a psalm and this is what I read

”Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and unhappiness in their ways: and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.” Psalm 13

Both the right and left in the church are full of bitterness and aggressive. They all cry peace when really all they want is war. I got it.

I walked out of the Church, got in my van and I felt renewed. I was made well again. God had answered my prayer and so the more skeptical side of me diminished and I realized it was the demons who were oppressing me.

The devil hates when someone uncovers the mask he wears in the church. One mask under the guise of liberalism, the other ultra conservatism. I am not boasting but he literally hates me. He hates voris, he hates lifesitenews, he hates all the liberals, he hates us all with a hate beyond our minds, a hate we cannot grasp.

His departure can only be quickened through prayer. and it’s hard for me, its hard me living in the world as fighting him is made much more difficult due to the nature of my vocation. Today taught me a lesson though, that I need to pray more. My prayer life is just not as strong as it should be.

Lord have mercy.

 

 

 

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Silence By Martin Scorsese and The Apostasy Of The Irish Catholic Church

Image result for silence scorsese

Everyone has been viewing this movie through a different lens. Some view it as anti- Catholic, others view it as an honest depiction of life as a missionary and others are undecided as to the motives of the movie at all but enjoy it nevertheless.

I think those that view it as an anti-Catholic movie just want to see either the church shown in a completely good light or perhaps just upset they didn’t get the overall happy ending they wanted and left the cinema disappointed. Having done that they had to have someone to blame which was the director, thus a manifestation of being left a little dry.

I won’t take up any of your time by describing the movie and plot as I’m confident a little googling is all you need to gather that information, rather I just wish to share what I took from the movie, not that what I think is genius or even matters at all.

The priests in the movie are slowly introduced to a denial of their faith. When captured they’re gradually broken down through the experiences of comfort and psychological tactics to bring them away from their Christian faith.

Even though they always remain priests at heart following their denial of their Catholic faith, having allowed themselves become manipulated into silence, deep down they are always priests.

We are all sitting watching this possibly assuming such tactics belong and remain in the 17th century. Today however, we see these tactics still being played upon the Irish Catholic Church by the secular Irish state who, like the Japanese, view the Catholic Church as a threat to their current way of living wishing only to drive it underground and get it privatised at the very least.

Unlike most Christians who still undergo physical torture in the middle east and beyond, the Western Christian undergoes a type of torture being that of comfort and psychological.

Irish Catholic priests are silent, and have been forced into silence by the secular state. Yes they remain priests and continue to say Mass, but they’re notably silent on all important matters pertaining to their Christian faith.

You may think such priests, because they remain as such having a loose faith in Christ and continue to say Mass that somehow they haven’t become apostates but listen to the Lords words to Obadiah:1:13 ”On the day, when you stood aloof while strangers carried off his riches, while foreigners passed through his gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were as bad as the rest of them.”

Even though they’re priests, when secularism invades the church making off with the riches of its teachings, those who stay quiet behave just like the enemies of Christ. These priests are known as apostates and people who have chosen the comfortable life of sitting in front of the TV watching the football and news whilst the devil runs rings around them.

These priests are victims of the psychological tactics of western secularism. They’re homilies are silent empty and devoid of all substance when it comes to defending the faith on matters such as abortion and the ever progressive sexual/LGBT movement currently attacking Catholic schools.

They (Certain Clergy) have chosen the life of comfort, having succumbed to the psychological pressure upon them to be silent or be ridiculed not just by the secular state but other silent priests within the Catholic church who themselves want newcomers in the seminary to be just like them because the young traditional boys way of life reveals the silence and evil of their own.

Like the Japanese told the Christians of the 17th century, today the Irish state has silenced the Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals with these words also, that is, ”There is only room for one religion in this country and that is our own”.

You see, evil does not come all at once, if it did we would not be deceived. The Christians are first asked to simply stand on an icon of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin, then they up the ante and get them to do it more often and increase the level of blasphemy they must perform.

Now the Irish state continues to do the same, they slowly introduce us to their ideology and they’ve found a window to do that through our Christian schools. Now having gradually introduced us to the idea that religion shouldn’t belong in schools because it discriminates against others, they have in recent weeks found now the time is right to petition the schools to eliminate religion altogether. Will the priests continue to remain silent? I think so.

Is there even a happy ending to the story of Ireland? I think so. In the movie we saw it was the laity who didn’t deny Christ and were burned and tortured for their faith. Today I see a strong Christian community (Laity) in Ireland who, in spite of their dreadful silent priests, have put their neck on the line and spoke out against the tyrannical atheist philosophy that seeks to pervade and consume their heritage and the future faith of their children.

I see a Laity who will not allow themselves to be forced into SILENCE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Orthodox Delusion 

I’m at the Japanese restaurant tonight with my wife having sushi. I don’t recall how the conversation turned to Orthodoxy but it did. I think it was my fault. 

You see…I’m not normal. I can’t have a conversation about the weather, movies or trivial things. It always have to have Christianity in there somewhere which is weird because I’m nowhere near a good Christian. 

I really can’t function during the day because God is always on my mind. It’s actually hindering my day to day interaction with the world it’s that bad. 

I lean over to my wife and I spontaneously blurt out “when I walk into a Orthodox Church, I feel at peace, a peace I feel nowhere else, why is this ?”

She rolled her eyes dismissively and answered ” because your deluded Stephen, you’re suffering a delusion. It’s all in your head ”

I threw one last thing at her and we both withdrew from the conversation. I said ” Then I like being deluded.” 

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It’s The Little Things That Bug Me

Right now it’s electric lights in my local Catholic churches. We go to Mass every Sunday to the Dominican Friary Church in Dundalk because they use actual real candles and have a sense of the sacred with regards to the Liturgy. A real light that you can actually strike with a match and watch that real light and prayer burn before for your very eyes whilst inhaling the scent of candle wax.

This is quite a difference from just pushing a button for an electric light. Oh the whole 1980’s charismatic club will tell you that its not about the light but the prayer but don’t listen to these premature St.John of the crosses please don’t listen to them. Most of their congregations are liberal protestants with a disdain for Catholic teaching and the sight of an icon gives them the shivers. If they want to live in a world of Catholic rooms with no kneelers and chairs only as well as their electric lights in a room with no icons ( because they’ve obviously been reading St.John of the Cross wrong again ) let them have them.

In the real Catholic churches both Roman and Byzantine we burn real candles that engage the senses. The electric light display is just a cheap cop out and its a lazy way of saying I don’t wanna clean up that candle wax. Oh I’ve heard all the excuses. ”We don’t have the money for them”. please…just …no please don’t go there. What utter nonsense.

My dear readers, I cannot tell you how much I despise these votive lights that charge me as much money as when they actually had candles. Every time I see them I have horrible ( I’m tempted to subsitute horrible for pleasant ) fantasties of taking a sledge hammer to them and taking them to the scrap yard so that they may be recycled into something useful.

Please, teach your children to light a real candle like the apostles of old. instil within them a desire for the sprititual and other worldliness through the senses whether its candles, incense or icons. In fact where possible, let it be a combination of all three. Unfortunately this banal 1980s pop theology that is the Charismatic renewal has not kept to themselves in their own liturgy but invaded the roman church with their modern, protestant way of doing things and quite frankly I’m disgusted.

The Charismatic renewal was started by the Holy Spirit and continues to be so as a reaching out to a modern world but like with every good crop the weed always makes his way in. I’ve more to complain about these modern progressives hiding in the charismatic renewal who beleive women can be priests whilst the next apparently speaking in tongues. Makes you wonder are they all Charlatans and who is who?

Anyway I’ve digressed into an awful rant about the state of the Charismatics themselves but sure look, I’m too busy working out my own salvation and looking at myself to care anymore. I’m not equating myself to a prophet but sometimes I feel like Jonah and I get really pissed off with God and I runaway to sit under that tree and moan about the town of absolute morons who are ruining his church and he does nothing about it.

Surely there’s more to life than candles? of course there is but its the little things that bug me as well. Prominent Mystic and monk of the middle ages Thomas A Kempis said if we can’t be obedient in little things, how do we expect to be obedient in greater things? this goes for Liturigical things like candles also. its just so important we see that real authenitc spiritual light in front of us. Admit it…its far more admirable than some old tacky ridiculous electronic piece of garbage.

 

 

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The Orthodox Churches Theology Is Stagnant

Some Catholic theologians have made this assertion that our theology is not something that has progressed. They feel that the Holy Spirit is always on the move and theology is always developing. I often view these type of accusations as coming from the mouth of a theological hipster which is what the Catholic Church feels like at times. It feels like this cafe of theological hipsters discussing how things must ”progress”. For example giving children Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Communion all in one go just wasn’t cool anymore for them, so they invented a new reason as to why they should do away and abandon this tradition, all in the name of gaining new converts no doubt.

They ( the Catholic Church ) are forever complaining that the Church of England is embracing new things just to appease secualr liberalism and get bums on the seats but they do the very same themselves. Apparently their Vatican Council II achieved this and statistically it did gain many converts, but does bums on the seat really count and are the converts just there because life and theology was made easier for them? I don’t think that would work well in the Orthodox church where one doesn’t enter merely to keep warm and dry from the cold and rain, but to become transfigured from the old to the new.

The Orthodox church does not exist to adapt to the world, but to be apart from the world. The law of 2+2=4 is old but we still apply the sum to our daily lives today. If someone gets the sum wrong, the laws of physics cannot adapt to such a persons weakness or feelings, rather the person in question must adapt to the it and there must be a teacher there to help such a person get the sum right. If the person becomes frustrated and leaves the classroom well that’s just too bad, lets hope they return with more fervor than before.

This is what the Orthodox church is. It is the ancient faith but her traditions and theology are always relevant. It does not adapt to the worlds weakness and it awaits and prays for the rest of the world to adapt to it and become another strong beam in the boat of salvation. The word ancient just represents when it began but the Orthodox church will always be more progressive than the progressive because it has that which is more priceless than any passing phase of human theological musings. . . The Truth as revealed by Christ himself.

The Orthodox do not need the use of gimmicks, balloons and  of modern cultural music to convert people, we just need to become witnesses of the Gospel through our actions as best we can. If,  (in relation to the earlier use of the sum) people cannot adapt to this way of life and become frustrated and leave, why should we be worried? We just pray and hope they return to learn and adapt with more fervor than before and overcome their demons.

Your prayers please,

 

 

 

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Today Is The Feast Of Pope St.Leo The Great And Our Wedding Anniversary

We were married four years ago on November 10th in 2009 and would like to sing a happy anniversary to my wonderful wife this morning. Our love for one another has certainly been put to the test in the last four years and for such a short space of time we both have been through a lot ( at least we would like to think so ). I’d like to leave something St.John Chrysostom said which young husbands should say to their wives and can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us…. I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.”

We pray to Pope St.Leo The Great that our marriage will last the lifetime we always wanted but to also help obtain the Grace for us that our will and wants be aligned with that of Gods will and wants.

Pope St.Leo the Great, protector of Gods building both physical and spiritual please protect our building also and pray for us who need your prayers.

God bless
Stephen

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The Spiritual Hangover And The Recovering Sinaholic

Today I thought about those of us who sin greatly but are blind to its wrongness and its bad effects. When we sin, we prefer to indulge in it and find ways and means to try and bend the laws of physics to make 2+2 = 5. Politicians and dissident theologians happily try to find ways in which to help us along in our journey towards that end but it’s always out of self interest on their part because they don’t care either way once they get the pat on the back and the few votes. The media also encourage us to indulge also.

The alcoholic will never recover if he doesn’t take the first step of acknowledging that what he is doing is destroying him, not only physically but spiritually also. In fact I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as an alcoholic who is cured and I guess that’s right, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic but it’s the same with sin, once a sinner always a sinner. But look how greatly life improves for the alcoholic who acknowledges his/her problem and takes remedial steps to diminish this weakness he/she has towards the bottle.

Sin is like this. We get high when we sin, but like alcohol we get what’s known as the spiritual hangover and the very thing we think makes us high does in fact make us depressed and has the opposite effect. It isn’t until we accept that what we are doing is to no benefit to our physical and mental state can we actually take the remedial steps necessary to a road of forgiveness, Grace and a cure, not just a cure here and now but for eternity.

I’m no great Christian myself but I have met Catholics who reject certain dogmas of the faith, even Catholics who reject the priesthood ( yes it gets that complicated ) and I think its due to the culture that if something doesn’t fit our views, then we get to decide reality and reality doesn’t get to decide us ( moral relativism I.e what’s right is right for me and what’s right is right for you ). If -lets say- I find myself struggling with masturbation, then instead of seeking to understand its bad effects I will perceive it as a normal thing to do and will look for someone to verify that for me. That seems to be the worlds way that if we fail in being capable of controlling our anger, rather than seeking to acknowledge it as wrong and coming to an understanding of it, we instead indulge in the anger. That is how it is In countries today that have legalised gay marriage and abortion. Or how about in Sweden where they have legalised prostitution and masturbating in public spaces. These countries are blind to the sin but rather than ban it and understanding why it is wrong, prefer to take the easy root of shoving their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes and refusing to take a peek or listen to the voice of common sense.

What mathematician in his right mind, if he had a student who was telling him 2+2 =5 would just allow the student to bend the laws of physics allowing him to arrive at such a warped conclusion? Would he not come down to the child’s level and do his best to teach the child he is wrong? This is what’s happening in the church today. She is continuously ready to explain the sum of her mission and teachings but if we are not willing to listen, if we are not willing to acknowledge our wrong doing then we will continue to live like thirsty fishes in the ocean looking for a drink. God is all around us but unless we sinaholics addicted to sin and Franks sinatras “my way” take the first step to recovery and admit we are really unhappy and need help, we will never make it. This may sound odd but I think its better to be a habitual sinner aware of ones faults, remaining close to God and His sacraments than one who is unaware he is doing wrong and heading for ruin. I think it was St.Austine who said there is is nothing worse than a sinner without temptation and he is right. I would like to believe what he means is that there’s nothing worse being both unaware and unwilling to to admit we are wrong. The devil has no need to destroy a soul willing to destroy himself. He’s more interested in tempting the ones who have by the Grace of God figured it out and are trying to lead lives close to Jesus Christ.

That’s why I always advise Catholics that if your failing to practice the churches teachings doesn’t mean you should reject them altogether and indulge in the sin. Likewise repression of the sin doesn’t work either, only understanding the sin and its bad effects coupled with the Grace of God and prayer etc etc will see you through it all. You’ll always be a sinner but at least the opportunity to improve and live a fuller and happier life is there for the taking not to mention an eternal home all made up for you in heaven.

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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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The Last Rock’N’Roll Photo Of The Domestic Monk

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I have had this blog two years now and was thinking of adding a profile photo of what I look like in my about page but still unsure. However I thought I would share with you this photo of me. It is the last “rock’n’roll” photo taken of me just before my conversion. I am pretty sure during the taking of this photo the imitations of Christ book was in my pocket as I was reading that when not in the photography shop owned by my brother. I used to walk in to the Church next to the photography shop my brother owned and would sit and read Thomas a Kempis book “Imitations of Christ”. I couldn’t put it down and read it from back to front.

I had just arrived home from another country I spent some time in and I was kind of in the twilight zone with no job and no musical prospects and there was other stuff going on that I will leave out for now but suffice it to say I was as blank as a sheet of paper and fed up of my life. Whilst in the other country, I had begun to show interest in Christianity and would pray the rosary my dad sent me. I also read back to front Anthony de mellos spiritual classic “awareness”. Having come home to Ireland I was kinda lost and I began going to church, a few days after this photo was taken I ran into true life in God messages, I began to go to Mass, adoration, confession and I had a wonderful experience with the tlig messages, so much so that it would be too much for some of my readers to understand so I will keep that with me.

All of that took place in January 2008. I was 23 years old. In the picture you will see I am just out of bed…literally…and that the hairstyle isn’t really done like that on purpose. When I look at this photo today or even just now as I type, I see the old me before my conversion to the Catholic faith. My messy physical appearance pretty much reflects my soul appearance of the time, messy and out of order. Some would argue I still am like that messy and out of order haha.

A lot of things happened after my conversion. All the friends I had disappeared. All the people I used to know and hang out with are gone. Some stayed but through time disappeared as well. I guess that’s the price we pay for being Christian. Whenever I sit and moan about not having any friends to Jesus, I hear a little humorous voice echo back from the tabernacle ” Stephen, you are Christian, your not supposed to have any friends” haha and I look at the Cross and see that Jesus was abandoned by his friends too and I know it all makes sense.

Well…..there I was and now here I am.

Thanks or reading and God bless

Domestic Monk.

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