Discussion in 'Positive Critique' started by padraig, Dec 25, 2017.
A Lutheran take on Pope Francis. Sigh I have to say I go along with a lot of it.
We celebrated Christmas with my son and his family yesterday. She is a Lutheran and he gave up his faith and joined hers and then they quit the Lutheran church and joined an episcopal church with a female priest. (I have no words...). Anyway our 16 year old granddaughter harangued us for using Merry Christmad because "it's not respecting others..." But then the final blow. The Salvation Army is a bad organization and no one should support them because they discriminate against LGBT yada yada yada...
I lost my temper. I rarely lose my temper but I lost it. She went off in a huff and never reappeared. Her other grandfather had stepped into the argument as well--complimenting the Salvation Army as did her mother but it fell on deaf ears. My husband actually didn't entirely disagree with her. He went on and on about how it was a pagan holiday that Christians co opted. Just SO depressed yesterday --real existential grief--but then I went to the Vigil Mass for Christmas last night and came away with such peace. No answers but yet great peace. God is good.
I love the Salvation Army. Apparently their spiritual formation is really austere and tough. Although I think one time a few years back I heard a talk from one of the grandaughters of the founder who said they were starting to fall away. We have this continual swings and round abouts in the Church too, in Religious Orders they start well fall and reform again..a bit like people.
I have found with my own family the most wonderful results with the rosary. I know it sounds so simple but I have seen it work with my own two eyes. Amazing.
I read one time about St Padre Pio , perhaps the greatest saint of modern times, that he had a sister who was none too good. Apparently she never converted. I find this reassuring in a strange kind of way.
This is a bit of a confirmation. I prayed the Rosary last night before Mass for my son and his family. And I mean to do it every day in addition to my regular rosary. Like you I believe it is the most powerful prayer next to the Mass.
Our Lady promised me one time that all my family would be saved because of the Rosary. It sounded pretty incredible at the time, some of them wer pretty far, far gone. But I have to say looking back 35 years later it has worked out well. Real miracles of conversion.
I believe God puts more effort into one conversion than He did to make the Entire Universe. Conversions are not a small ask.
Much, much , much prayer, many, many, many rosaries
The more I am emotionally attached to the person for whom I desire conversion, the more difficult it is for me to let go and trust God. A multiplicity of rosaries might become something of a scorecard with which I go to Mary and expect payback. I still connect an intention with each decade, but for me, the Novena of Abandonment is a safer route. I do love entrusting individuals to the maternal heart of Our Lady. But I can then turn peacefully to the next task or person at hand.
Safe in the Refuge of the Immaculate Heart!
Yes! Six years ago my son (very fallen away Catholic) was getting married overseas and the day of the wedding a typhoon was bearing down on us and I went into really intense prayer and sent out an SOS to prayer warrior friends. The typhoon veered away suddenly and all was well. My son looked perplexed but didn’t say anything about what a miracle we had just witnessed. I heard “the still,small Voice” say “typhoons are easy. Conversion is MUCH harder.”
Can't like this enough AED. Miracles like that are such a blessing it is hard to put into words just how much they impact us and also those around us. Something like this one would always remember and have tucked away for days such as today!
This is rather hilarious even though it is just horrible.
Interpreter Jeff seems to become quite Lutheran at caller #4's question
I wonder how Jeff would interpret the following?
I love miracles like this. I will tell one of my own involving an angel.
I was at a New years party in London, in a pub. When I left the bar I put my hand in my back pocket for money to get a taxi. I had not got a dime. I think maybe I was robbed or perhaps I drunk it all. I was concerned for I would have to walk across the city in the dark and I knew I would have to pass through some pretty bad areas on my own. As I was walking along the street a man, a complete stranger walked up to me and handed me a ten pound note. I was amazed and asked why he was giving me the money which was just right for getting home. He replied with a smile,
'You looked like you need it'..and he walked away.
Anyone who knows things about a big city like London knows things like this just do not happen. I am convinced it was my Angel Guardian bailing me out.
I think maybe that is why Our Lady promised me my family would all be saved, Terry, so I could reach for the off button. I think it is true we can maybe try too hard sometimes.
I wonder how hard St Monica prayed for St Augustine? Did she too pray the rosary?
There was a story used to go around about St Francis. Some was supposed to have asked him what he prayed for and the saint was supposed to have replied that he prayed for nothing , that he just loved God. But I found out later this story has no foundation. If you look at the Our Father it is one big prayer of petition.
I suspect if it were not for the prayers of mothers, for instance , heaven would be quite empty. But I keep forgetting my petitions so have ask God to remember them all for me. But I think it would be better if I remembered them all.
One thing I have noticed is that the saints in heaven pray for us, intercede for us. They actually take an interest in us and our goings on down here. Sometimes a very great interest.
I mean not just when we pray to them but off their own bat.
I love this.
I love your comment about mother’s! My mother teamed up with Mother Mart to get me back into the sheepfold. She had a great devotion to Our Lady of Prompt Succor. I have been praying for years for my children. One is safely home (maybe still in purgatory so I pray and have Masses—but I know he is safe because Iur Lady basically told me so. A great and merciful grace to a grieving mother) the other two I storm heaven and again count on Our Lady. And I count on my Guardian Angel completely. He has never let me down. I have many stories about that!
I have always loved angels from childhood. There always seemed something so magical about them. To have been taught the prayer , 'O angel of God my Guardian Dear' , from childhood was a great gift it opened the heart to a great Devotion to them.
One of the things I like to do , especially in a strange Church where I have never been before is to count the angels represented there. The statues and paintings. Often I get over 50 which goes to show how deeply in our collective hearts the love and openess to the presense of the angels.
I remember staying in Rome one very hot summer and I used to go to mass in a Basilica run by the Benedictines. There used to be frescoes of the angels in the little side Church were I went to mass every morning. I am guessing they might have been done in the 1920's , so beautiful and fresh. I think I would have gone to that Church just to see those angels every day alone.
Angles point to the supernatural reality. It is the death of the supernatural in out Liturgy and theology that is killing Faith more than anything else. Bring back Devotion to the angels and Our Lady is a great cure for this.
I read a great article by Scott Hahn on the mass and he went back to depictions by the Church Fathers of the mass as entering into heaven and the Church being full of angels in Adoration and Praise. The old Latin Liturgy constantly underlines the angels ; I am afraid the Novus Ordo mass kind of wipes them out. Such a pity.
I love the way the Eastern Liturgies place such emphasis on the angels
AED, we all have much to pray for with our family, relatives and friends. The following story is one that tells us what the answer is and where it is found.
Seeing my father pray the Rosary saved me from homosexuality
December 20, 2017 (JosephSciambra.com) – As a child, I revered my father and I didn’t understand him. I instinctively knew that my survival depended upon him. My father was a hard worker. He was industrious. He could create something out of nothing: a garden, a tree house, an addition to our home. He was a dispenser of my material happiness; a joyous day was when he occasionally brought home a cake or donuts. Then, I knew my father was pleased and I was happy. Sometimes, when I did something wrong, my father would get angry. At that point, I feared him as he was the bestower of punishment. But I loved my dad and I knew he loved me. But in the mind of a child, he was not human, he was a god. And a distant god.
My father was ambitious, bold, and loud. I wasn’t like him. My father was strong and stout. I wasn’t. My father was a man’s man. I considered myself less than a boy. I always shrunk next to him. My father could fix anything, always choosing the right tool and using it correctly; he could drive tractors; lift massive wooden beams with the power of his muscle; he was never bullied; he was no man’s fool. I felt safe but unsure when I was around him. As for myself, I couldn’t stay vertical on my bike; I was unable to throw a ball more than five feet; when I held a hammer or a screwdriver I inevitably hit my thumb or stripped the screw. Instead, I sat for hours with a pencil and drew little pictures of imaginary words filled with rabbits and rainbows. The boys at school mercilessly teased me while I stood by humiliated unable to say a word in my defense. I was ashamed. One day, I was so petrified that I soiled myself. Although my dad was nowhere near the schoolyard to witness my disgrace, I thought he was watching and he knew. In some strange way, I thought I failed both god and man.
The picture of Jesus presented at school, was of a slightly effeminate constantly smiling hippie. He preached some nebulous doctrine about love, but eventually fell to the political powers of intolerance and oppression. I could never figure out exactly why He was killed, because no one should have even cared about Him. The most indelible picture of Christ implanted in my brain during those years was Jesus as the simpering flower-child from Godspell. The school wide viewing of that film in the darkened gymnasium was an experience that would change the course of my life. If my father was more god than man, this Jesus was more man than god. If my father was larger-than-life and somewhat overpowering, this Jesus was mundane and cloying. And as I grew older, I scorned both of these gods. In homosexuality, I thought I could find the perfect man – someone who was masculine and powerful, but unquestionably accepting and compassionate.
I never found my gay god. Because everyone else around me was looking for precisely the same thing. But the more I expected and the more I hoped, the increasingly desperate I became. My parents, especially my father, could not bear what I had turned into. Only, I didn’t care. Publicly needing a man was my way of getting back at him, although he didn’t comprehend this. I was proclaiming that I needed him, but I contended that he was never there. One day, he made a cutting, albeit honest, comment about the appearance of me and my friends. Testing the waters of acceptance, I had deliberately brought home one weekend some of my odder appearing gay compatriots. My father made it clear that they were not welcome in his house. I saw it as just another repudiation. So, I walked away.
As the years passed, I got older, and I got sicker. My options were fewer, and now a younger generation of lonely boys looked to me as their potential savior – as their new god. For awhile, I played the part. Only to become imperious and vengeful; treating those who sought my approval in the same manner as I had once been abused and broken by older men. I hated myself, and I began to envy my long vanished friends who died painfully of AIDS. Because, I thought, at least their suffering was now over.
One night, I lay dying and forgotten on a cold and hard hospital gurney. I prayed for death while my mother prayed nearby to Jesus. I cursed her as she attempted to intercede with heaven on my behalf. I didn’t want her God. Where had He been my whole life? Anyway, he was scrawny and pitiful. Yet, in my pathetic death throe attempt at finally being assertive and confident, I became afraid. I panicked. And I called out to God the Father and He sent His Son. Immediately, I felt His solid reassuring presence. In a way, it was the same feeling I had as a boy when my dad was around – I felt safe. Later, a certain uneasiness returned. Was this Jesus Christ the same long-haired social worker from the 1970s, who was here to give me a hug, a gift card for a free meal, and then send me back to the streets? Only, I didn’t want to go back.
While I danced in some gay disco, my father prayed. While I had sex with nameless men, my father prayed. While I tossed my life away, my father prayed. Every day He prayed the Rosary and I didn’t know it.
Having nowhere else to turn, I went home. The prodigal son was alive, and my parents opened the door. But I was too confused, exhausted, and ill to celebrate. For awhile, I couldn’t speak or sleep. I was shocked back to near infancy. I was grasping for help; I was grasping for truth; I was grasping for life. I was reaching out for my father and I was reaching out towards God.
At first, my father didn’t know what to make of the situation. He stayed away and I stayed in my room. I prayed to God, not knowing I was praying. Because I was in so much physical pain, I couldn’t concentrate on any of the simple prayers that I inaccurately remembered from childhood. Instead, I just pleaded for help. I begged. And for the next few days, I lived as a hermit. But I was still uncertain.
Slowly, I ventured out of my monastic cell and went in search of answers. I made my way almost directly to my parent’s bookshelf. Without even thinking, I took two books back to my room: The Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church; I had read neither.
Over the next few days, I selectively studied again and again certain passages. Primarily the forgiveness of the public sinner by Christ and the paragraphs in the Catechism dealing with homosexuality. There was compassion and then there was strength all residing in Truth. Christ was not the ineffectual wimp I imagined since grammar school. He stood up to the bullies, and then He consoled the wounded. But He didn’t leave them cowering in the dust; He gave us His Word to live by, and the laws which should guide our every thought. He offered a way out.
Carrying my two books, that I now placed all my faith in, I left my room to put them back on the bookshelf. On my way there, I saw my father praying. I had never seen him pray before. During my self-imposed imprisonment within homosexuality, my parents had gone through their own captivity in a world of diversions and excess. But they found the extravagance of expensive wine and endless nightly gourmet tours of the globe to be an essentially empty meal. Now, they had abandoned the luxuries which my father’s determination had afforded them. My father didn’t seem less driven, but his ambitions had changed. Everything used to be directed in his life towards a material goal, now his energies were focused on the purely immaterial.
I stood and watched semi-concealed halfway up the stairway as a few small beads on a cord passed through my father’s fingers. As a child, I never knew how to pray the Rosary. Over the past few years, my only recollection of a Rosary was the one a young singer named Madonna constantly wore around her neck. In my mind, it had become almost a profane object, transformed from the sacred as the crucifix was always strategically situated inside Madonna’s ample cleavage. But in the rough calloused hands of my father, the Rosary had been restored to its rightful meaning and significance. Like my childhood conception of Jesus Christ, there was more to my father than I previously believed.
All the time I thought my father detested me, he actually prayed and wept for me. And in that act, often performed alone and silently, there was compassion. While I danced in some gay disco, my father prayed. While I had sex with nameless men, my father prayed. While I tossed my life away, my father prayed. Every day He prayed the Rosary and I didn’t know it. In those long days of desolation, like on my deathbed, I wouldn’t have cared or thought that he was incredibly stupid. It must have appeared that his prayers weren’t working. I didn’t return home. But he persisted. And that took strength and determination, the same qualities that seemed offensive when I was a boy, were transformed into a means of my salvation through Christ Jesus.
Dissatisfaction with the world sometimes leads to regret. Next, useless you are to remain continually bitter and sullen, a radical revision of how we conceive ourselves and everything around us is required in order to move forward and survive. And, that takes humility. In my present ruined physical state, my humiliation was complete. In my futile quest to the find a masculine man who would save me, I was sent back to boyhood; the damage to my body was horrendous, the scared little boy was still messing himself. Except, now I knew that no mere human could make me clean, forgive me, or wipe away the pain, not even my father. For another man, who was somehow more than just a man, had already saved me. And in that deliverance, my father played a part.
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