Saturday, March 5, 2011

Reap What You Have Sown

Those of us who grew up in the Irish Catholic City of Boston have a treasure chest that is filled with precious gifts.

The city and the communities within them were built on the foundation of faith.

Within walking distance from our Churches was a bakery, a fish market and a religious store. There was a store called Kennedy's that sold freshly churned butter, natural dairy products and many of the products that were staples in the homes of Irish immigrants.

We were all part of a larger family.

Summer evenings, we sat out on the porches of our triple deckers with our families to talk about our day. We would chatter amongst ourselves and our neighbors. As darkness settled in and the stars became visible, we tried to figure out the constellations. We sat in awe under the canopy.

There were many characters in the city. Some amused us. Others brought their wisdom and faith to the table and set us all on fire.

We heard about our day of reckoning, Christ, the antichrist and the battle that wages for souls at a very young age. Every Sunday, priests taught us how to recognize our own sins so we could keep watch on our souls. The members of the community were living in, or striving to live in, a state of grace. The pews were packed. There were long lines in the confessional. The priest was not our friend, he was a physician.

Sanctifying grace built a community that loved, laughed and served. We served God above all things. The primary focus of our own lives was our individual relationship with God. Then, we served each other.

Grace is an energy. It lives. It's a life force that we are each free to approach and embrace or reject.

The more people in a community draw from sanctifying Grace, the more the community is blessed with the fruit of the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, individually and collectively. Wisdom, understanding,right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence and fear of God.

There are those who teach the freedom to choose is a private and individual matter. This is technically true - the theology of free will. But my sin affects you and your sin affects me.
When enough people in a community or country withdraw from sanctifying Grace and lose the sevenfold gifts, everyone in the community is deprived of that positive life force and energy.

The Chancery has changed the royal priesthood into fundraisers and money managers. To fund-raise, they shut off the valves to the teachings that make us all aware of our own sin. People are to be entertained and have their self-esteem fed so they will pay for the show. The primary focus of pleasing God has turned into a pursuit of pleasure. With pleasing God out of the picture, pleasure is what feels good to the flesh and ego.

This transition was invisible.

Wisdom, understanding,right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence and fear of God are replaced with the pursuit of pleasure. Cardinal O'Malley is training the fundraisers and money changers and ushering in the replacement for sanctifying Grace: Feeling good about oneself through doing things for the poor so that when you go home to sexually exploit another soul or kill them you can enjoy it knowing these things are not impediments to salvation.

Sin has encamped. Like sanctifying Grace, it also has an energy of its own. The entire world is now reaping what has been sown.

There are many stories in Scripture that teach the effect on a city of bishops and priests ushering in this type of encampment.

One in particular, the people in the city who crawled out of the sin and back to God and sanctifying Grace can see what is happening. They see the destruction coming down the pike. They try to warn the people they love. They pray. They appeal to God to save the city for the sake of the 50 righteous people living in it. When 10 righteous people in the city can't even be found, God invites the few in a state of grace to hightail it out of town before the destruction.

Scripture gives us context when this theme has repeated itself throughout history.

Mark Mallett has an excellent reflection on the The Seven Seals and the turmoil and revolutions we are now seeing all over the world.

What I like about Mark's reflections is that he mostly uses Scripture and the writings of the Saints to give context to his writing.

Catholics pay very little attention to hoopla about Armageddon. Everything we need and want to know about how it all comes down, and what we do about it, was proclaimed by Christ 2000 years ago.

Stay close to the Sacrament of Penance and the Eucharist, the Angels and Saints.
Do penance and acts of reparation.
Make good use of your sacramentals, holy water, salt.
Appeal to God for mercy.

The day of reckoning will come like a thief in the night. For most of us, through natural or accidental death, but there is also a day when Christ will come down from the Heavens to gather what has been sifted. The devil is going to be there too. There's an accounting for our lives. Then we're all going someplace.

Be ready for it.

The harvest is the end of the age,
and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
(Matt 13:39-40)


Anonymous said...


God bless you for writing this!


Maria said...

This is a beaut,Carol.

caroline said...

It hurts to read this...but I remember too-- the days when priests were our physicians, not our friends or administrators. The longing of your heart spills over everything you write Carol..The Lord sees it and He hears your cry. You speak for many of us who long to see Holy Mother Church once again be that glorious beacon of hope to the lost.

St Patrick pray for us.


Carol McKinley said...

Veronica, Maria and Caroline - thanks for your kind words.

Boston has a unique vantage point. Watching them usher in the agenda, seeing the entrenchment and plans to spread the errors across the United States - we've have barely started the slide down.

When Christ's Church shines again at the top of the Hill, me thinks we'll be watching along with our invisible friends.


Jack O'Malley said...

That was an inspiring and uplifting post Carol. You have outdone yourself, it that's possible.

Good Lord, how much has been lost! I also remember sitting on the porch when everyone knew everyone else and they all stopped to chat on an evening's walk and you saw them all at Sunday Mass and Benediction, before there were Saturday afternoon quickie masses. And you fasted from midnight to be worthy of the reception of the Body and Blood of our Lord.

And not a few of those vespertine visits were ended with "pray for me" or for him or her or them.

And the parish priest was an occasional visitor and your parents would by chance meet a nun on the street and say "God bless you, Sister, you're doing the Lord's work." And in those days, in their habits, they were indeed doing the Lord's work.

Where did it all go astray?

Carol McKinley said...

Jack, thanks for adding your beautiful memories. As others have so eloquently said, having been a part of it makes it much harder to watch what is happening now.

I thought about the timing of the robbery when putting this post together. Roe v Wade? The moonbattery around the time of Vatican II?

Jack O'Malley said...

You know, Carol, I have wondered that too. A lot of tumultuous events in the sixties and seventies -- it's hard to pinpoint the major cause.

The confluence of many upheavals including the civil rights movement, Viet Nam war, the Pill, drugs, the Timothy Leary (was he Irish?) "turn on, tune in, drop out" philosophy destabilized society and devastated the culture.

Personally, I blame Ed Sullivan (was he Irish?). If he'd never had the Beatles on, we might have muddled through. Four Merseyside bounders who couldn't sing, caterwauling their moronic lyrics, and the world goes nuts over 'em!

Yup. It was Ed Sullivan. I'm sure of it. ;-)

Jeanette O'Toole said...

@Jack -- Funny about the Beatles. I've mentioned that to my husband a couple of times as well. :)
@Carol -- Very nice post; it reminds me of Cinderella Man. I love the scene where so many are at church praying the Rosary for James J. Braddock, who ended up becoming the heavyweight boxing champ. Great movie ... did you see it?

Carol McKinley said...

Jack, Jeanette, Truth be told, when thinking about it, the Beatles did cross my mind!

Given that's at least three of us who see a yellow flag there, I'd say they contributed something to the degeneration. Drugs, sleeping around,the ideology that harmony is irreligious anarchy, kooky krishnas, revolution, class wars, yoko ono - etc.

It's been a long days night.

Carol McKinley said...

Jeanette - I've never seen Cinderella man. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

Anonymous said...


One of our priest, who is just ordained two years and is in his thirties, told me last week he thinks it will take another thirty/forty years. I don't have that many years left (nor would I want to have hasn't been a bowlful of cherries).

Please God I will be with Him when this occurs.


P.S. It began before the sixties and came to fruition during the infamous Council (sorry to call it such, but I am certain that in two hundred years or so it will be regarded that way). This is what happens when the powers that be in our Church do not clamp down on heretics when they should and relegate them to a place where they will do the least amount of harm. Don't ever forget that the beloved disciple, St. John, ran out of a bath house rather than be under the same roof with a heretic so great was his horror of anyone who distorted the truth, even if they leave 99% of the Truth intact. All you need is that 1% of poison.

Jack O'Malley said...

I didn't know that St. John ran out of a bath house!

What have we come to? Today, there are more priests running into bath houses than out of them. And I don't think they're on their knees to be praying at all.

Anonymous said...

I often wondered about the Beatles too.

Funny, isn't it, how they disbanded not long after the sixties ended. They did the job they were given to do and then broke up.

I still remember when my brother brought home from work a 45 of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". The jacket had a picture of them on it. My mother and I laughed at these men with long hair. We had never seen such a thing.


Carol McKinley said...