Posts Tagged With: Jesus

Loving Your Enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 Abortion Debate And Democracy

In Ireland and the world over there’s this belief that “the will of the people shall be listened to” . A pro abortion commentator said that recently. 

You will also hear others repeating things like “Pro lifers are afraid of a referendum because they know we will win”. 

Lets begin with “the will of the people shall be listened to”. This statement is the result of moral relativistic philosophy currently pervading the atheistic western society. 

In simple terms it means that if 30 people are in a room and all are asked to vote that we should all for 24 hours eliminate  and relax every law in the country and 16 vote in favour, we are to….follow the  will of the majority. 

Does the thought of being on an island with people like that scare you? An island where nobody has studied medicine yet can decide to vote on a law based on personal opinion? Of course it would and on the island of ireland that’s who we live with. 

Democracy is not all that great. We’ve seen what happened Jesus when Pilate put it to the will of the people who should be released and Pilate expected them no doubt to make the right decision and vote Jesus but they didn’t, they picked barabbass instead.

In the crowd before and during the voting stirring up the people was the Pharisees. Those poor people, they really thought that they were voting when they were voting based on the brainwashing they’d received from the Pharisees and those viewed as more wise than they. They really thought they were exercising their democratic right. 

It is the same here in Ireland today. We have a very nasty type of brainwashing of the Irish people that has taken many many years to do because if evil were to come all at once, we would not be deceived, it must be introduced slowly. 

Like the Pharisees of Jesus time the media along with the politicians move among the people, stirring up their emotions and using every media outlet and avenue to dumb down a nation and slowly break their faith with the use of imagery, movies, songs, newspapers, opinion pieces and their favourite “polls”. 

When they’ve spent years stirring the people up they throw a referendum at them. If the people didn’t vote the way they wanted them too, they simply wait another 20 years before they throw another referendum at them. They continue this process whilst in between these years and whilst they wait, continue to use the media and political power to brainwash the people of Ireland. 

There are many favourite tactics of theirs but some of the ones at the top include Polls, opinion pieces and celebrities. You’d be amazed how much of an effect it has on people when you tell them “Majority thinks abortion should be available on the demand, it’s time to stop hurting women “. People see that and already they feel the majority are correct and begin to turn like zombies and follow the herd. 

Celebrities are the new age Philsophers. Media and political science love using them because die hard fans hang on their every word. 

The poor people of Ireland, like the crowd before Pilate,  they really think they’re being democratic when really they’re voting based on the brainwashing they received from those in power and control of what they should think. They dont know it but from the day they were born into this world they have been groomed by a dark sinister force to think and vote a certain way. 

So in the end, it’s not really the will of the people but the will of the powerful elite that is being exercised. 

A referendum on the 8th amendment is something I’m frightened of because I know that when it comes to crowds making decisions, history has always shown they’ve chosen barabbass over Jesus. 

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Jesus Is A Drug, Without the Drug I’m lost. 

I’ve been trying to examine myself and why it is I’ve come to abhor the Roman Catholic Church so much. I’m either still here because my wife won’t allow me to leave or because my conscience and experience with Christ won’t allow me to. 

Whatever experience I’ve had with Christ has really screwed with my brain. There are days I have when I don’t Beleive it happened. There are days I question my psyche. 

“But it was so real ” is often what I repeat over and over again. Or “Maybe it was real but it was the devil because look at your sinful self now and how horrible you are and all the bad language you come out with. If it was from God, you’d be holy by now surely.”

There used to be days when I would go into the church and beg God to take it back. I’d rub my head and tell him to take it away this prickly thing and burning on my head and just let me go back to being the Stephen I was before. 

Like a husband sick of seeing his wife every day of the week I tell Jesus to leave me alone. 

I tried to return to my old musical, pub attending self adoring man I used to be. One night I came home so drunk from meeting old friends and I told Jesus to fuck off and yet still this prickly sensation and burning from the night we met was still there. Wouldn’t go away. 

I said sorry the next morning, picked myself up and moved on. 

No matter how hard I tried I cannot get rid of Jesus. It’s like he’s here to stay and that’s that. 

I can’t handle the Roman Catholic Church and I don’t feel at peace in it. I walk into an Orthodox Church and I feel as if an aunt or uncle is taking care of me until man and dad get better and I can go home. It ( The Orthodox ) feeds my addiction somehow of being close to God, helping me draw near to him yet I feel and know deep down that the Catholic Church is the one true Church. 

There are days when I don’t want to look at any Christian Church at all. I just want to forget about all of it. My experiences ….everything. I remember when I first asked my wife to marry me. Before we tied the knot I told her everything that happened me. Either she thought I was crazy and would leave me or Beleive me somehow and stay. 

Since we’ve been married we’ve spoken three times about what happened me but I’ve never spoken to anyone else about it since. I leave it alone. I ignore it. Of what use is it to people anyway? How would they benefit from it? No point in telling anyone. 

But this whole Christian thing drives me mad. I can’t leave because deep down I know it’s real and even though I know it’s real I still need faith because I don’t trust it’s real all the time. Even though I’ve had what happened to me I still need faith and often lose it. 

All I know is the Roman Catholic Church annoys me Yet I can’t leave her or disbelieve in her. I’ve tried but no matter what Jesus knows that I know I can’t leave. 

I don’t go to prayer groups or bible groups. I don’t like mixing with other Christians or priests because they annoy me to such an extent that they revive in me the desire to go home and forget about Christianity. 

All I wanna do is go to Mass on Sunday ( reluctantly to a Roman one ) and confession Saturday. That’s it. I’m just so angry at God and the Catholic Church. I ask him why he’s allowing this devastation of his church. With what I’ve seen and know i have felt like a man behind a soundproof piece of glass. 

I’m banging the glass , shouting and warning people of imminent danger but they don’t hear me. I can see it coming or happening but they don’t see me or hear me. How frustrating is that? It’s become so frustrating that I’ve stopped banging and shouting. I’ve stopped writing cardinals letters as well as bishops and priests. 

I just allow God to take his course. Now I’m a door to door sales man and I focus on this. I like the freedom of the job and meeting people on a daily basis. I carry a copy of the bible around but I rarely get to read it anymore. I guess I just keep it there for protection same as a rosary. 

I tend to keep a rosary in my pocket but I don’t pray it as mush as I used to. I’m frustrated with myself, God and everything. 

In addition to this I’ve the devil annoying me. He never sleeps and im tortured. Mentally exhausted. Sometimes I give in as my soul is so weakened by lack of prayer and grace because my sins pile up and up so much that bouncing back from a hard fall is so difficult and so I don’t bother. 

“I’ll go to mass and confession and that will have to do for now” I tell myself.

Please pray for me. 

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I Have Forgotten About God

Recently I have plunged into the deep sea of so much work that I have little time to come to the surface and see the wife and kids and most of all God himself for any length of time. 

In fact I’m encountering a problem where I see everyone and everything  as an obstacle to the couple of hours time I have in front of the TV. It’s about the only energy I have the time for. 

My manager was worried that if I took the extra work with Microsoft that I’d burn myself out. I was initially going to work a 7 day week but decided against it mainly because it’s at least important to have one day off to sort my life out but most of all because for Christian reasons I don’t like working a Sunday. 

From the Monday to Saturday my hours are so evil that I do not get to confession. There is no confession on a Sunday so that option isn’t available to me. 

I do often think about God but is that enough? Perhaps considering my circumstances it will suffice I just don’t know because I am blind to the mind of God. 

What I do know is that I am like driftwood floating down the stream on a journey that leads away from God. Another description of my current predicament is that I’m like a dead fish going with the flow. 

The more and more I drift away from God, the more and more sins I commit and become forgetful of him. My forgetfulness is not one of mindfulness but rather a forgetfulness of the soul whereby my soul no longer wants to bother praying and being Christian. 

I definitely am mindful and think of/or about Jesus but I am distant and forgetful of him in virtue because I’m not actively praying. 

I don’t like it but what’s a man to do? I have to make money and it’s not easy being a slave to it and not a slave to Jesus when you’ve a family to provide for. 

I know someday the Lord will open a door for me. 

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We Make Incorrect Assumptions About People All The Time

There is a story about a 24 year old boy whose on the train home with his father. As he spots the trees outside the window he shouts “look Dad the trees are whizzing by isn’t that amazing? Those are trees?” A young couple take note of this strange behaviour and begin to laugh at him. The boy continues “Look dad the clouds are running with us”. The young couple couldn’t resist, laughed and said “why don’t you take your son to see a good doctor? 

The boy’s father replied “I did, we are just on our way back from the hospital and my son has been blind from birth but now he can see everything for the first time.”

What did the young couple see? They saw their own creation of a story they themselves developed in their heads. They saw a boy acting out of the ordinary and drew their own conclusion and then became convinced of their own convictions about what was taking place. 

That my dear readers is the perfect picture of every human. We are forever drawing up conclusions and base our convictions on these alone without ever entering into a more detailed analysis of the situation. It doesn’t happen slowly either and there is no build up but very quickly it can occur. 

Sometimes it can be to our merit whilst in other cases our detriment. The apostles in the scriptures and the Pharisees have done it. They drew conclusions about Jesus based on their own prejudices about him. They were not real and it wasn’t the real Jesus but the Jesus they created in their heads, the Jesus they thought they knew. 

We’ve done it ourselves and every human is a victim of it. It’s not learning how to eliminate such behaviour but to just understand and control it. Then the more we catch ourselves in the act of doing it, the more likely we can slowly reduce it to a minimum. 

We all paint a picture of something that we think is taking place but is not. We often do this, not just with others, but ourselves also. We tend to develop a bad image of ourselves based on what the world has conditioned us to believe about ourselves then become convinced of that and so walk around daily never knowing our true self. 

In order to discover truth about others we must first discover ourselves and uncover who we really are. Then having done that we will be able to make better decisions in every situation we encounter. 

If you’re thinking of the scriptural passage about taking the beam out of your own eye and the foolish blind leading the blind you will see exactly where I am headed with this. 

The whole dying to the self is very important because if we don’t do that then we will always walk through life asleep without ever truly knowing Christ and ourselves. We will, like the apostles and Pharisees only walk around the whole of life worshipping a Jesus we think we know according to our worldly conditioning.

People often want to know the meaning of life. If you strip off the old self and pray with more than just your lips and the odd climbing of a mountain on pilgrimage, perhaps Jesus will give you a glimpse?

We are all the couple on the train. We’ve all done exactly what they’ve done. Watch out for it now this week. Try and catch yourself doing it next time you’re in public or alone in your thoughts. 

God bless ya 

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Into The Hills For Peace

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THE COOLEY MOUNTAINS

Many times in scriptures Jesus gives sets an example of how we should behave when we lead a busy ministry in the world. Every now and then Jesus would go off on his own into the hills to pray to His Father.

We should also do the same after a busy week in the world. We all need to ”retreat” from the world and into the hills to meet God.

A mystic Vassula Ryden who speaks to Jesus was feeling the pressure of all the administrative duties around her to do with the messages that she lost sight of Jesus.

Jesus would often instruct her to take time away from this to meet him regularly. If we do not do this we lose sight of him and interest also.

I like to do this regularly and so my wife and myself went into the cooley hills near our home to do just that.

She snapped two photos of me.

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THE COOLEY MOUNTAINS

 

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Lonliness Is More Than Just The Absence Of Friends And Relatives

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As many of my readers are aware, my current job takes me door to door selling broadband. This job is like opening up a bag of liquorice all sorts as you never quite know what to expect when someone opens their door.

What will they look like? How will their personality be? Will they be in a good mood or a bad one? Whatever the case may be it is up to the door to door sales man to knock and be prepared for just about anything.

If you’re not the person who can handle rejection in various degrees throughout the day then perhaps something else may suit you. In my life for me a job is a job and I don’t get to choose.

It’s not like I looked up the jobs list online and had the pick of the bunch but rather took it because I’d no other say in the matter. Saint Paul says a man who doesn’t work should’nt eat and so any job will do me.

Selling wasn’t going particular well for me one day and it also happened to be forcasted as the hottest day of the year.

I decided I’d go into the local Marian Parish of St.Mary’s and see how the local priest was fixed for broadband. I asked for Father Marr and as usual our conversation digressed from broadband into other things.

He was fascinated by my job and the people I meet throughout the day. He began to talk about how the evangelicals are going door to door converting people and that a lot of the people are falling for these sects that seem to carry people away.

It was at this point I interrupted and explained that people are lonely. They are like little lambs with a broken leg, unable to come out to Church and to the community. They are waiting for us to come to them.

The Devil is also aware of this lonliness and so he comes as a wolf dressed in sheeps clothing ( the evangelicals ). He offers them an ear that will listen to their sorrows and pains and he snatches an already maimed lamb and lures it in for the kill through soft talking.

Nobody in the Catholic Church is reaching out to these people. Currently there are no missions like this that seek to meet people in their homes. To be fair to other Christian sects, they are afterall doing what Jesus himself did which is calling door to door and healing people of their lonliness through just spending time with them.

Look at the likes of Biblical characters such as Zacchaeus and St.Matthew the Tax collecter. Both of these people threw parties and had lots of friends but inside they were still lonely. The multitude of friends does not undo the lonliness currently plagueing someones soul. Both men then had a personal encounter with Christ and so the lonliness they always knew was there began to dissolve like a cloud in the sky.

Lonliness is experienced through becoming estranged from God and in lacking a relationship with him and his Grace. Monks living in the desert like St.Anthony didn’t care too much for the presence of men. He had the presence of God with him at all times and through his relationship with the Holy Spirit learned how to be content with what he had.

Like Zacchaeus and Matthew, most people don’t really realise what it is they’re missing until someone presents them with the Bible and words of comfort. Perhaps we are too hard on evangelicals? Afterall I often think of them as the good Samaratins who see their brother lying in the dirt and decide to do something about it whilst we in the Catholic church just step over them, ignoring their plight.

I have found that when I come knocking, people allow me into their homes, the conversation often turning from broadband into one where they are opening up themselves to me about many personal things in their life.

They do this because they’re lonely and crave love. It can be young, old and those living in urban or rural settings. I told the priest they crave Love. They’re just looking for someone to love them. Their anger at me upon first sight of me at the door is evidence of this lonilness and hurt within them.

Through my enduring patience and love for them this anger dissipates and a more loving person begins to blossom and the door they once held ajar is now wide open and they welcome me with open arms.

People are fragile and we should handle them with a lot of care as if we were transferring a precious antique from one place to another. We cannot do this though unless we’ve first realised we ourselves are fragile. We cannot see the problem if we ourselves are the problem and so like the blind leading the blind we go around in circles falling into this hole and the next.

I really admire the Christians who knock door to door. It takes a lot of balls to do it with Broadband let alone spread the message of Jesus who is more hated than any broadband company I know. Christianity will always be a hard sell even though it costs nobody a penny. Us Catholic Christians need to put our boots on and get knocking because whether or not they’re happy to see us, like Zacchaues and Matthew, such people are secretly awaiting the knock of the Lord upon their door and to be cured of their lonliness.

As I said before, Lonliness doesn’t care if you’ve all the friends in the world or none, all the wealth in the world or totally poor. Anyone can be a victim of loneliness and those of us who feel the sting of its tail are the ones who lack a relationship with Christ, his Grace and Sacraments.

The Lord is knocking, will you answer him?

“I, the Lord, am standing at the door, knocking; if one of you hears Me calling and opens the door, I will enter to share his meal side by side with him; those who prove victorious, I will allow to share My Throne, just as I was victorious Myself and took My place with the Father on His throne; if anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches;” September 7, 1987 http://www.tlig.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dublin Homeless In Hotels

I’ve come to a hotel in Dublin As I’m training with other colleagues for the beginning of a new job. I’m here for a week and right now there’s a housing crisis in Dublin where people can’t pay the mortgage or the rent and so they end up homeless. 

What is the governments short term solution? Stick them in a hotel. Problem with this is that they could remain there until something gets better. 

Every morning as I head down to work I’m greeted by mothers leaving their children to school. Today I was greeted by them playing hide and seek or with their toys in the hallway. 

They are immediately become fearful in my presence and some apologise for their noise making whilst the little ones too young to speak say nothing but their body language and facial expressions tell me they’re frightened. 

By the time I got to the elevator and had passed through them all, my eyes swelled with tears which I held back from making their departure down my cheeks. I held back because once I get going, I get going. 

I have compassion on them simply because I myself was in their shoes at one stage when I lived in the UK and yet here I am  heading off to my new job. 

Now some people give out about them because they’ve been in that hotel a year and none of them are going out to get jobs. It is therefore argued that they have chosen a particular lifestyle and stick to it. As a result, the logical conclusions by the tax payer is that we are funding that lifestyle. 

Here’s the thing, (and I’m dead serious about this ) Laziness is a sin but sin is also a sickness and anyone with a sickness we should seek a way to heal them. Some folks don’t  possess the ability to move and find work because they lack the mental capacity and confidence to do so. 

There is no such thing as an untalented person. God gave us all talents that would help us gain employment in any role. He also gave us the talent to aquire more talents and learn and climb the ropes. 

Sometimes these talents and abilities remain buried deep within. They’re there, but it’s important we have the right coach to fish them out of us. Some folks have had traumatic experiences in childhood and whether they’re aware of it or not this keeps them in despair. 

I have compassion for these people, you say, because I’ve been there and done that. Others don’t have compassion or wish to see their situations simply because they’ve lived a comfortable life. 

But that’s exactly why Jesus connected with the people of his time. He knew their woes because he assumed the position of a poor slave and was raised alongside them from a young age. The Pharisees who lived a life of fine dining and corruptible livelihood, could not see but were blind to it. 

They ( Pharisees ) were blind to it simply because they’re lives of sinful and excessive comfort had buried it. This is why the Lord heals the blind because he’s interested more in us taking the spiritual message from it. That spiritual message is that our sins blind us and only through prayer and grace can we begin to see. However sometimes along with this prayer we need to rid ourselves of wealth and become poor. 

Saint Francis of Assisi took this literally and so he gave up his wealth and really became in the literal sense a beggar. 

So all I’m asking is the next time you see a Homless family, don’t think “lazy bastards  who won’t work and live off of me “. In contrast to all of that that you should be thinking “She is sick, how can I use my talents to help her”. You know it doesn’t take much either. You don’t have to make an app or build a website or foundation for the homeless. 

Sometimes just a smile and simple “good morning” can alleviate their worry and may be like a roof over their heads and a fire to keep them warm. That smile, that wealth of joy inside you that you store and reserve only for your friends and people who are of use to you, is the kind of riches you need to give away to those who need it most. 

Shelter them indeed if you’re in a position to do so but also shelter them with your love because one roof is just as important as the other, and both kind of shelters you provide keep out the cold, one physical, the other spiritual. 

Pray for Dublins Homeless. Pray for those stuck in a mental block and have despaired. But remember always…..you’re not so great yourself. 

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I’m Already Missing My Wife And Kids

My Wife and two sons Joseph and Christian I have not spent a night apart from in over 5 years.

Yet Monday coming will see me go off to the city to spend a week in a hotel training for my new job.

I’m driving home from my work today and suddenly like an anaconda tightening around my neck I felt anxious for them and myself.

What will I do without them for such a long period of time? Being without them I will feel like a bycycle with the just the frame and no wheels.

I will look like a man who shows up to a job interview in his casual clothing. In other words I will both feel and look incomplete.

Modern technology however is great isn’t it? You can skype them and phone them. You can take along with you a little photograph of them or look at the many on your laptop, phone, tablet.

I shudder to think of how they did it before technology. I often think about a father going off perhaps to war and never to return.

Communication wasn’t great back then and so you’d never know what happened him and all he himself had was a memory of his children embedded in his heart.

The father would be gone years and would not receive regular updates of what was happening his family or even if they were still alive at all. Heart wrenching stuff.

When I think back like this I realise who over reactive I am being. It’s kinda like how you think your headache is really bad and then you suddenly recall the passion of Jesus and the suffering he endured and all of a sudden your actually kind of thankful for your headache.

Even so, for any of you who have spent time away from a loved one, I am sure you can resonate along side thoughts of my own of just how awful a prospect it can be sometimes.

It’s not nice being removed from the regular Rhythm of you daily life and being placed in the unkown even for a few days. However sometimes these trials are neccesary as we all know absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Stephen

 

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