Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Christian Road – It Can be a Little Rocky

From 2002 to 2004 I read the bible, and virtually nothing else. I read and read, and reread Scripture. I loved it and still do. It was for me truly the living word of God. I would read passages like Isaiah 6 about the Lord’s call to Isaiah and be dumbstruck along with him. To imagine the seraphs calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." And at the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. To be aware that they are at all times crying out to the Lord, praising his glory is just overwhelming.

All of the truths of the faith are overwhelming. I remember reading John 3:16 and being dumb struck at the realization that I would live forever. I’m just a simpleton, I don’t need to dissect Scripture to take it in. When I was considering a little Tiber swim the first thing I looked into was the Church’s take on Scripture. When I read that the first interpretation of Scripture is literal, I knew I could proceed with my investigations. I don’t need to get all wrapped up in wondering if the world was created in seven days or not. If it was it was, if God simply outlined the whole affair in seven days and put the wheels in motion matters not to me. Either way it’s created of God, and that’s that.

I noticed in my travels through God’s word quite a few passages about peace making and not stirring the pot. Things like Titus 3 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. Also, from James 3 The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

These passages seamed to me to be in sharp contrast to the attacks on the Catholic Church I was constantly hearing in Protestant circles. It really got me wondering, so I gathered up a whole bunch of these types of scriptures and went to speak to the head Pastor about the topic. We didn’t see eye to eye on the matter. Basically he told me I was full of it. When he wanted to bring my husbands opinion on the matter into the discussion I was really perplexed. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where interpretation of the word of God is a majority rules affair. As if to say well more people agree with me than with you so I must be right. Say What?

From there Hubby and I moved to a dissenting Catholic parish. That was interesting what with one of the Priests telling me to find a new Parish if I wanted to pray the Creed every Sunday. OK. So we did find a new Parish and made friends along the way with another couple coming back into the Church around the same time who were similarly uncomfortable with the shenanigans at the We Are Church parish.

What happened next has really had a profound effect on me ever since. I’ll leave out the particulars and simply say that the friendship soured. These people attacked my husband and I in the most vicious and nasty way I have ever been attacked in my life, and continue to do so. That was a little over two years ago, but I’ve been extremely hesitant to become involved in our Parish as a result. I go to Mass and Adoration, but I’m concerned, frankly a bit frightened, to get more involved.

I’ve found out since then that these folks have done the same thing to several others in the Parish as well, but it’s still just plain uncomfortable to be around people who are attacking. Fr. talked today about Pope John Paul II forgiving and meeting with the man who shot him, but I’m guessing that if the man had a loaded gun, even our Holy Father would have exercised caution.

So what’s the upshot? It’s a rocky road on the way to Heaven. For now I just hang out with other Catholics on the Internet where if I get attacked I can just power the machine down. I’m not sure what God has in store for us, but until that becomes more apparent for now I will simply follow St. Paul’s advise to the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Angel of God, My Guardian Dear to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side to light and guard and rule and guide. Amen.

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