Posts Tagged With: Faith

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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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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You Don’t Have To Know The Faith To Escape Hell

If you’ve never known a cup of coffee before, its name ”coffee” or anything about and its source being obvlivous to you and I present it before you to drink what happens? You drink it, you taste it, you like it and as you grow to like it you may want to know more about it, perhaps just enough to know where it came from and its history. It may even evolve into wanting to know it so much that you study its entire history. I don’t know about you but I enjoy coffee. Don’t ask me the beginnings of it or inner workings of it. I know a little about it but it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the coffee.

The coffee here is God. There is a false idea many of us fall victim to that we must know the faith to escape hell. In fact the reason I’m writing this post was because it was inspired by Michael Voris who repeatedly likes to drive home how much we need to know the faith in order to avoid hell. Forget about living the faith, we just really need to know everything about it. In fact I just don’t put the finger here and poor Michael I just beleive he is the victim of the American protestant culture which is heavy on being successful in the business world and education and that both of these things such as work and good education = salvation.In fact my wifes American father ( she is american also ) who is an entrepreneur goes by that exact saying ”Work = Salvation”. It seems to be the protestant American culture that working hard, putting your kids through college and learning as much as you can somehow makes you ”right with the Lord.” Although Catholicism and personally myself cannot emphasis enough a good education they are not a requirement for getting into Heaven.

In fact most of Our Lords major supernatural relationships was with the most uneducated and lowly of Saints such as St.Joseph of Cupertino who couldn’t read or write. He was reported to be as ”Dumb as rocks” yet he could levitate during prayer such was the closeness of his relationship with God. The little children of Fatima were just peasants as well as St.Bernadette of Lourdes who knew nothing about theology and I doubt either of these could read or write yet they were called to a deep relationship with God in a supernatural way. The list of uneducated Saints who Our Lord handpicked to be his role models of faith and love is endless simply because Our Lord is not interested in how much you ”know”. Yes he’ll give you knowledge it is afterall one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and you can, like St.Thomas Aquinas, come to desire to know it all and still remain a saint. BUT it is not a requirement for Sainthood or to escape the fires of Hell. Those who say this are deciding for God who goes to heaven and who goes to Hell based on what they know.

Finally we must learn and know about the Sacrament of confession in order to actually attend it right? otherwise we risk going to Hell. That is true but you don’t even need to know this to develop and begin a relationship with God. We must drink the coffee first and be fed with knowledge about it later. Same with God, he wants us to come to him broken and stupid as we are and our approach does not have to have knowledge of the Catechism to precede this. He wants us to come to him as we are in our current state of utter sinfulness and messy wishee washee beliefs that we’ve accumulated due to our secularisational upbringing. We may still be addicted to Heroin, cocaine, drink, sex, porn, TV, anger….whatever it might be God wants us now and our relationship begins like a small seed planted in the ground, which then grows and grows stronger and the more we taste the more we might want to know. and all these things then Like a basic knowledge of the faith fall into place and the tree keeps growing the more we feed it with prayer and knowledge ( but not a worldly knowledge of God, not a worldly knowledge of theology it is a knowledge not like this world where we learn ABOUT God but Learn to LIVE INSIDE OF HIM. this is true knowledge aquired only through prayer).

Evagrios the Solitary in his 153 texts on prayer said ”If you are a theolgian you will pray truly and if you pray truly you are a theologian.”

So if you’re trying to search what the Catholic churches teaches online don’t do it. go first into the Church before the presence of Our Lord, light a candle and sit, kneel, stand whatever you like before him. Just do it and do it every day. You can talk if you want, you can stay silent if you want but just sit there for a while. Pick up a book about the lives of the Saints and those who God graced with a supernatural gift to converse with him as I am conversing with you now and I cannot recommend a modern mystic Vassula Ryden to you enough http://www.tlig.org. Thats what happened me. I’m still not perfect but I first walked into a church, picked up a rosary and began to pray. after weeks of this someone proposed confession to me and so I went as my relationship with God had already started to grow you see? so going to confession was like watering that seed enabling it to grow and so the relationship developed even more. This is all you need to do to go to Heaven. Go to Mass, go to confession, read the bible, pray the Rosary and adore Jesus in the Eucharist. if you lay down this foundation, and you grow to Love God everything else will fall into place and accepting a teaching you once thought was at odds with your secular values might perhaps be that little bit more bearable. If you want to like many great saints go to college and learn more about systematic theology and so on the by all means follow that calling but don’t allow the devil to fool you, like he has the protestants that gaining knowledge of the faith will get you to heaven as mentioned before the children of Fatima are proof you don’t need to. what you DO need to do however is to LIVE the faith but God doesn’t give a fiddlers fart what you know about him because he wants your hearts not your minds.

Don’t forget the most important thing of all that will be of enourmous help to you in your quest for Heaven and when you find yourself on the brink of insanity and that is…….a nice…..old fashioned…..cup of tea with a simple glance to the Icon of the Holy Theotokos such small gestures of comfort and love can raise your place in eternity forever.

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The Polar Express And The First Gift Of Christmas

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I am not normally into the whole Santa Claus films in which materialism seems to be the pinnacle of influence on children and sends out a lot of false vibes about the true meaning of Christmas. But in these films there are truths that I enjoy watching.

If you want to know the full story behind the movie, I would suggest you google it: ”The Polar Express”.

In the movie towards the end, one boy is given the first gift of Christmas by Santa Claus. The Boy chooses the simplest of gifts which was a bell that fell off Santas Sleigh. The boy believes with his whole heart in Santa Claus and that he is undoubtedly real. When he arrives back home and it is Christmas morning he picks up his little bell. When he shakes it, he hears the bell ring out a sweet sound. His parents notice the bell and they take it off him and give it a shake also, only this time the bell does not ring for them.

I found that part of the movie pretty amazing. How many of us feel like we are talking to Jesus and he never speaks back? How many of us really ”believe” in his presence and that he is really there present in the Eucharist and ready to have an intimate relationship with him? Jesus is like the bell, we pick him up but we hear nothing because our hearts have ”grown up” and we have lost the innocence we need to get into heaven and to have an authentic relationship with Jesus, we need this child-like quality of blind and naive faith. We lack faith.

Those of us who search for Jesus in the wise manner, such as atheists who spend endless days looking for belief in Jesus within the confines of an intellectual argument will never find him. Because Jesus reveals himself to the simple, to the innocent. Even Christians are guilty of these kind of arguments too. Unless us Christians re-discover our innocent child-like faith, going to Mass on a Sunday and confession will just seem like a cultural or mandatory thing we must do, but if there is no relationship or love there for Christ, then it is all but futile and useless to us. We have all the ritual right, but where is the fire of the Holy Spirit? And then we wonder why we don’t hear him.

Many of us are walking blind zombies who don’t have the ears to listen. Jesus repeatedly asks people to hear him who ever has ”ears” to listen. But the reality is we are deaf to Gods answers, we ask him for help, he responds but due to our lack of faith we miss his response and we hear ”nothing”.

So when you speak next to Jesus, do you hear that little tinkle of a bell? or do you hear nothing at all? I’ll leave it up to you. If I could answer my own question, sometimes yes and sometimes no because sin seems to contribute to that deafness and loss of innocence.

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