Sunday, June 30, 2013
Continuing my stream of thought from yesterday, I have another story to tell.
It is frustrating to hear the pablum from the Pope but let us face it - there is a lot of hysteria and we would do best to avoid it until we see what's going down.
We are not there yet.
The Pontificate of Blessed John Paul II was magnificent in spite of the Liturgical antics. The Deposit of Faith he left us takes my breath away. Pope Benedict cleaned up after him.
We should be all in agreement: We are not capable of reaching the intellect of the masses because the spiritual effects of personal and cultural sin have made them deaf, dumb and blind.
We have a pandemic of diabolical disorientation on our hands.
We have corruption of power and sex at the Holy See.
The enemy is sitting in the seat of politics and he is going to carry out his role. The world is in chaos.
Along comes a pope who is on fire with love. It has been very attractive to those who have lured away. They are watching. His language is pablum.
The folksy are dusting off the guitars and practicing Gather Us In. They will come to tell their story, disinterested and ignorant that the Liturgy is the worship of The Story, all happening in front of them.
They are like people who pay for an Opera but when sit in the seat, think the people around them put their best clothes and pearls on to gather in the theater to hear their sob story, so we will lift them out of their state of low self esteem.
It's hard not to panic. We just got rid of it and the Liturgies are about Christ.
We await the Pope's first encyclical: Chicken soup for the soul.
The educated and elect see his flaws. He is Peter - the nature of his intimacy is human. That flaw manifests itself in the lack of respect for the Divinity of Christ in our Sacred Liturgy. He does not know the difference between the thoughts inside of his head and his tongue. He takes pride in his humility.
These people have been looking for the answers since Peter, Paul and Mary told them they were blowing in the wind on the Ed Sullivan show. The bishops are with them. Now we have a Pope that sounds like them.
My conversations with every practicing Catholic who has managed to escape them are basically all the same. We observe the stupidity, heresy, cowardice and we strategize on how to stamp out the fires. For the last three or four years, the fires are so out of control one can hardly keep up with indexing them to make decisions on where to spend energy and resources.
We always end with 'What do we do..I don't know what to do...it's a train wreck', etc.
All I am saying is, there might be a method to the madness because I am seeing some fruit from Pope Francis. Grab something and see if you can hold onto it. Grab somebody and see if you can rope them in. Keep your ear low to the ground and your eyes wide open because I am seeing lots of opportunities that have not been available to us for quite some time.
I've worn my scapular through the madness for a number of reasons. It preserves me from the approach of evil, it saves me from myself, but more than that, it is the witness and identity of the kind of love that stands by Christ through His crucible, even if it results in having stones thrown our way.
There is one other benefit, which I have spoken about before.
When working and living among people who do not practice their faith or who may even resent it - they will come to you to ask you to pray when something terrifying is happening to them or the people they know and love.
Living in Massachusetts and riding the commuter rail for almost ten years, I meet and speak with many who don't practice, who have questions, who have difficulty understanding and processing it all.
Wherever you are, I know that you do too. They probably know that you are faithful to Church teaching, are daily Mass goers, etc. The scapular or crucifix and Miraculous Medal are a beacon to strangers and acquaintances who may not know but can't help but see.
A few weeks back, a fellow traveler on the commuter rail whom I have known for close to ten years, sent me a text. She said I know you are a daily Mass goer and I know somebody who needs emergency prayers. She was in the hospital with some reaction to medication that was literally eating her skin alive and the prognosis was very poor. Most die. They were in need of a miracle.
I told the woman I would bring the petition to the Altar of Christ, seek the intercession of two powerful souls - Padre Pio and Blessed John Paul II and I brought her holy water from Lourdes with instructions. I also told her that by bringing her acquaintance to the Holy Altar of Christ for a miraculous healing, that Christ would bless her faith.
If you will it Lord, you can heal this woman and I will testify to You, your mother and your saints and they will know.
Late last week she texted me again. The woman was healed and released from the hospital. She said my prayers work and she asked me to pray for a special family intention of hers.
I could tell she was amazed at the turn of events and her skepticism was melting away.
I told her that I had nothing to do with it. She brought the woman to Christ and I only carried her request to the Altar. I again reminded her that she did something incredible. She gave life back to a young mother and she was a witness of the Power of the Divine Physician, that I had already asked that God bless her for it. I told her I was confident that He would but that she needed to ask God herself and I would also pray again.
I bumped into her a few days later and she told me the prayers worked, the issue had favorably resolved. I told her I was confident that it would.
She told me she thought I was a saint but I explained to her Deo Gratis. The glory is God's, who always rides into town on the back of an ass.
I am not telling this story to focus on what Carol said and did but I am laying out the details on how we point the people who can and will come to us in the direction of Christ - just in case a person stumbles across the story who isn't as seasoned (old?!) as we are.
I know many of you have dozens of these stories.
While worrying about Pope Francis, as God is my witness, there is fruit and all I am saying is, I am reaping the harvest and asking you to watch for it and hit the ground running.
It's the game plan and I'm looking for what He is asking me to do in this mess, every day and every hour.
I will trust in You Alone.
Where You, Ill go.
Where You stay I'll stay.
When You move, I'll move.
I will follow You.
Who You love, I'll love.
How You serve, I'll serve.
If this life, I lose,
I will follow You.
Blessed Feast of St. Pater and Paul.