Posts Tagged With: story

We Are All Lazarus In The Tomb

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I read this to my son Christian this evening. He really likes this story.

It is the story of a sick man who dies and has been this way stinking in the tomb for four days. Everyone who cared for him is weeping and moaning.

It is the Story of St.Lazarus but it is also the story of me and you.

As a convert myself I too was once sick. I was so sick I became spiritually dead to the world. There I lay in the darkness of my tomb, no light to be seen for many many years. My spiritual corpse smelled so bad.

Everyone who loved me (like Martha loved Lazarus) all cried and wept over my rotten corpse. Even ”Jesus wept”(John:11:35) and could endure it no longer.

First he didn’t remove the stone, he ordered my friends and family to do that for me. They were the instrument he used to open my tomb and then he did the rest. They gave me rosaries and books.

He called me forth from the tomb. I came stumbling out of the darkness of sin but according to Jesus there was still more work to be done. Ok I’m free now but… I was all tied up and mummified in the cloth of spiritual imperfections.

He ordered those who would spiritually guide me (the Orthodox and Catholic fathers of the churches) to unbind me and loose me that I may at least have some kind of vision of who it was that called me from the tomb.

When I look at myself today and the state my soul is in, I realize there’s always going to be more unbinding to be done and that the work of those around me is never finished.

I just pray that Jesus never has to call me out of the darkness ever again.

 

 

 

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Your Kids Don’t Like Being Read Bible Stories? Try This Instead

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In Judaism and during the first centuries of Christianity nobody had a bible. The Bible is something we take for granted today but thousands of years ago there was no printing press until 1440 and so if you wanted to make an exact copy of something you wrote the entire book out again word for word.

Therefore those who went to the temple to pray and heard the word of God being spoken had to memorize the stories. They’d take them home and tell their kids these stories around a roaring fire at night. It was never going to be word for word but the guts of the story was always there.

I do this with my kids. Believe it or not it grabs their attention more when I do it than it would if I were to read them from the Bible. There is something about the energy in which I retell the stories along with the vocal inflections and character role play that really keeps them engaged.

Stories such as David and Goliath and Joseph or Tobit really does make for great telling in a fire setting without the Bible itself.

Try it sometime and see how you get on. If you’re having trouble reading them the bible, tell it to them orally and when they become accustomed to the story have them retell and play some characters also.

Great family fun.

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The Night I Nearly Died On Drugs

I’m a business to business sales man. One of the businesses I canvassed was in my old estate where I grew up. It was a youth club I attended from the age of 13 through to 16 years old.

It was established in the attempt to keep working class kids out of trouble. The good were mixed with the bad and anybody could come and go.

I hadn’t really been inside of it since. It was always known as ”The Club” or ”The house” but now the police have taken over and so it’s very controlled. Only kids who get in trouble with the law are sent there and they’re only allowed in for a year.

As I came up the stairs and into the room on the second floor, I had a major flashback of the day I swallowed an enormous lump of cannabis on my own. No yoghurt, no sprinkle of the coffee, I just took that thing and chewed it and swallowed it whole.

An hour later I arrived at the usual time to the club. Nobody knew exactly what was wrong with me but I recall bushcraft lessons were taking place and knives were being used. I was so stoned that I couldn’t even function at all.

If my memory serves me correctly, I got up to leave and one of the lads had to be taken to hospital because he accidentally cut himself with the knife. I met him in the toilet and laughed at his misery.

As I left the house to go home, I remember a guy called Mark who stood there with a hot cup of tea. He laughed at me and threw it all over me and to their surprise I didn’t feel the scalding pain.

I kept walking as I knew I wasn’t right, I thought I needed to sleep it off so I struggled to get home. I went straight upstairs and into my bed.

As I lay there, my heart was racing, my stomach felt so heavy as if there was a brick inside of it. A voice of inspiration ”Get up, tell your dad everything and get to the hospital.”

I was so weak, I sat up on the bed and with my foot, banged on the floor. Eventually my father heard the faint bang of a foot from below and he came to me. I told him I needed a doctor I swallowed a big lump of hash.

As I could not walk I was dragged up the corridor ahead of the queue as I was an emergency. In that queue was the boy who had cut his hand waiting to see a doctor.

I was screaming as I knew I was going to die so I was panicking. The doctor was an indian doctor. I will never forget the look of fear on his face when he saw me. Struggling to understand my English or slang for Cannabis I lost all patience with him.

Everyone stood around the bed as they watched me squirm around in pain and panic. Then the doctor injected me with something and all of a sudden like a fire mans hose I vomited an incredible amount of blood.

It had transpired in later tests that the lump of cannabis I swallowed grew to the size of a big potato in my stomach.

In it only 5% of cannabis was found. Tests later presented to us that rat poison, VIM bleach ( which gave it the yellow color you often see with cannabis ) among other household chemicals were found in it.

The cannabis was also microwaved prior to me buying it to give it a bigger appearance than it already had. Doctor at the time explained that had I laid in my bed and fell asleep instead of seeking help I would never have awoken.

That night I remember only my mother putting on my socks to keep me warm I was shivering. I laid in the hospital bed and at around 3am a nurse came in to find me sobbing. She whispered ”He who never made a mistake, never made anything”.

When I came around to it and a week later was out of hospital, I remember coming back to school with an empty bag. I just showed up to economics class and I was marched straight to the principal office who was a new guy and he told me to go home and don’t come back I’m too long out of school to be accepted back in.

I left school that day and I never came back. We tried another school but they rejected me as well. I never had the opportunity to finish my leaving cert and got a job working in tescos.

It was an amazing sort of flash back of all the fun and games had in that youth club. You may think my behaviour on the street signaled someone who the youth club obviously didn’t work for but it did. If it wasn’t for it I’d have ended up worse.

I never touched drugs again until I went to Scotland years later where again I fell into a hole of my own digging. I was on my way to total destruction but it was at this point Jesus stood in and decided he’d had enough.

At what point did Jesus stand in when your life was going on wide path to destruction? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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The Monk With The Giant Diamond


One day a monk was strolling through the woods when he happened to stumble upon the biggest diamond in the world. 

That evening he lay down by a tree, rummaged through his rucksack pulling out a sandwich to eat. 

After a heavy meal He fell asleep. 

On the same night in another part of the village the most holy Theotokos approached a peasant man in a dream as he lay asleep in his cabin. “All your prayers have been answered and you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams”She explained.”go to the woods in the morning. There you will find a monk laying beneath a tree. Awake him and ask him for the giant diamond in his rucksack and he will gladly give it to you”. 

The peasant man upon waking ran into the woods and sure enou there he was laying beneath a tree. He awoke the monk and explained the dream to him. The monk responded “what this thing? I found it in the woods, it was weighing me down any ways so here you can have it.” 

The man couldn’t believe his look. His eyes bulged with excitement at his future investment. 

Some time later the peasant came back to the monk who by now was in the middle of morning prayers. 

The monk surprised to see him again said “what is it you want now? ”

“Please ” replied the man in a sorrowful tone and with a repentant heart said “take it back from me I want something you have that is greater than is diamond. ”

“And what what would that be ?” Replied the Monk cheerfully.

“Could you give me whatever grace you have that enabled you to part with this diamond and give it to me?”

“It is not for me to give but I will certainly show you “the way”.”

So the man certainly became rich beyond his wildest dreams and the Theotokos was telling the truth but he became rich in a way he didn’t expect. 

Sometimes God responds with what we need when we pray not with what we want. 

Please tell this story to your children if you like. 

God bless

Stephen 

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Was I speaking to an Angel last night?

For individual discernment: last night was day 10 of my wife’s chemo. Her blood count was really low and she got an infection in the area where her biopsy was done and it was swollen. We were all wondering what to do and when I saw her sitting on the top of the stairs in a state of panic and anxiety I sat with her, held her hand and I began to pray the novena to the Sacred heart of Jesus, st.michaels prayer and the memoare of St.Bernard, when I finished Audrey just vomited all down the stairs and all over me after which she felt much better. So having cleaned it all up I called the hospital and explained the situation.

A nurse answered and said she’d call back in half hour. Sure enough I got a call from a female lady who said she was a doctor and that I should take her in that she will be there expecting us to arrive. I said ok and that the latest Audrey could get there would be by 10pm. So off she went with my brother in his jeep and when they got there I got a phone call at exactly 10pm so I thought to myself as I picked up the phone “they must be there”.

When I answered the phone my brother said ” they were not expecting Audrey to arrive and they want to know what doctor you were talking to as there is no female doctor on at all nor was there a female nurse who remembers speaking with you”.

I was baffled and insisted I spoke with a female nurse and a female doctor. Anyways turned out it was a life saving decision we made to drive her to the hospital. Were those two females angels? Who knows…. all I know is I am thankful to God and Our Lady that Audrey went to hospital and is now in good hands.

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Aladdin The Cartoon And A Nice Message

Before I get started may I just note to the reader that this is not a full review of this Disney feature film. It is just my excerpt of what captured my attention right away and something I felt compelled to write a short post about.

I am sure many are aware of this Disney feature film. If not then I suggest you buy it and watch it with your kids. It carries with it a good message about the dangers of wanting power and what it entails, and in the end how truth always prevails even if the outcome should be that one remains powerless because weakness and truth is power.

So I bought this movie for my son. it was in fact a kind of selfish desire of my own to buy it also as I wanted to revisit my childhood years in watching it.

So apart from other messages in the film I picked up on the part where Aladdin and the Princess escape the market from the guards who wanted to capture them for being thieves. When they do finally escape they have a conversation where the princess is saying something like ”I hate the rich life of being a princess, always being locked up and never getting out. ” While she is saying this Aladdin ( a poor thief and begger boy ) is saying ”I hate being poor and being trampled on and would love to make it big and rich someday.”

They both look at each other, realise what it is they are saying and then erupt in laughter before moving on.What I find interesting about this is that such a conversation proves that both of them are miserable regardless of their material position, that is, one being poor and the other being of great wealth.So it is not our material disposition that gives us happiness. It is Christ from on high.

It reminded me of that part of the Gospel where the rich man approaches Jesus and has a conversation with him about wanting to follow him. The man of great wealth asks Jesus what it is he must do in order to be a follower of his. So Jesus tells him to follow the commandments. But the wealthy man replied that he already does this. Jesus then tells the man of great wealth to give up all he owns. But then the man walked away sad because he was extremely wealthy. He was not prepared to give all his material possessions up.

But there is something even deeper about Jesus message about giving up what one owns. It’s not just about being detached and getting rid of our ”material” possessions but also our ”worldly” riches. The riches of egoism, prestige and desire for power and to commit sin. The desire of pleasure in worldy things. Poor or rich many of us are unwilling to give up these things in order to truly follow Christ.

So here we have Aladdin and the Princess. One rich, the other poor and both miserable. The solution to their depression lies not in their getting of one thing, But their dropping of another, that is, their attachment to the world and all it offers. It is their attachment to materialism amongst other deeper attachments that lay more hidden in their soul that keep them locked in a cage they created for themselves.

God bless

Domestic Monk

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