Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I Don't Trust the Pope

I've been, at different times, inspired, confused and aggravated by Pope Francis. I've been trending towards the later over the past few months. His recent visit to Washington DC, and my opportunity to attend the Canonization Mass, has opened my spiritual eyes and ears to him and his message in new unexpected ways.
The day after the Mass I was walking around outside The National Shrine praying the Luminous Mysteries of The Rosary. I came to The Baptism of the Lord and read "Seeing Jesus John the Baptist exclaimed "Behold the Lamb of God". The words "seeing Jesus" spoke to me so I meditated on them and what I heard in my soul was ":Do you see Me?". I turn as I hear these words and see the large banner hanging on the tower of the Basilica that says "Love is our mission". I read those words and again hear "Do you see me?". I headed into morning Mass and the Gospel reading for the day was from Luke 9:7-9 "And he(Herod) kept trying to see Him(Jesus)."God is speaking.
After Mass I headed up to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to pray. There was a large group in the main church taking pictures. As I began to pray they started cheering "Viva il Papa". I became irritated. Thought to myself "shut up in church." I heard "Do you see Me in joy and excitement? Or do you see me only in your way? (practicing my faith)Your way is not My way. Do you see me or do you see you?
Do I worship and love Jesus or do I love and worship what I want Him to be?
The Bible speaks of silence but also of clapping, dancing, and praising.
"Do you see Me? The Pope reflects an aspect of Me that you do not accept. I want you to accept all of me not just the parts you are comfortable with."
"Don't hate what is not like you. Embrace it."
"Listen to Me and see me as I am."
I went home and watched the Pope speak in front of Congress. He said something that I did not agree with and as soon as I started to think something negative I heard "Do you hear me?"
I do Lord.
Peace came to me after this.
A week later I woke in the morning and had an image in my head of our Holy Father's pectoral cross and the words The Good Shepherd in my head.
Pope Francis's cross has Jesus carrying the lost sheep on his shoulders on it.
Luke 15:4 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it...?"
Pope Francis is leaving those of us with stronger faith behind while he goes out to bring back the sheep that have gone astray. Meeting with the transsexual, the gay couple and Kim Davis. These are lost sheep. This is his calling.
"...And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulder, rejoicing. And when he comes home he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost."
This is what he asks those of us strong in our faith to do. Rejoice that he is out searching for the lost sheep and rejoice when he brings them back. Accept these sheep dirty and injured from their time wandering with no shepherd. He asks us to join in this search and rescue.
Matt 9:36 "When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out (distressed, dispirited, wearied) like sheep without a shepherd."
Many have been unshepherded for a long time. Our Lord looks upon them with compassion and mercy as does Pope Francis. He calls us, strong in our faith, to do the same.
From Strength in Weakness by Andrew Comisky "The Lord spoke through Anglican Minister Andrew Beel...He saw a broken army...The ragged soldiers were impressive for only one reason-their obedience and utter reliance upon the Lord of glory...His glory reflected upon the troops...the troops advanced successfully wherever the Lord of glory led."
The Church will be strengthened by the lost sheep returning to the fold.
Luke %:31-32 "And Jesus answered and said to them 'It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
The Pope is helping to build Jesus' ragged broken army.
Help me not to stand in your way Lord because I do not see as our Shepherd sees.
Does this mean Pope Francis can do no wrong? Of course not. In his zeal to bring back the lost he will stumble and miscalculate sometimes.
His fellow shepherds must do their part for those of us, strong in our faith, who sometimes feel left behind.
Lord help all the Shepherd's of your Church to step up.
Morning Prayer Week 3 "Light of nations, remember those who remain in darkness, open their eyes and let them recognize you, the only true God."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Severed Threads

"My dwelling, like a shepherds tent, is struck down and borne away from me; you have folded up my life like a weaver who severs the last thread. 'Is.38:10-20
Objectifying myself and others is the tent I've dwelt in for a large part of my life, even through all these changes in my spiritual life over the last 4-5 years. That tent is being struck down and it is so painful. I want to let it go and at the same time am holding on desperately. Torn between the comfort of misery and the discomfort of unknown happiness and love. The last threads that keep me attached to it are being severed.
I know that God is holding me up but I see myself falling backwards grasping for those cut threads. Falling away from my self.
Lord "You have preserved my life..." and I know you will continue to.
"You uphold the mountains with your strength..." Psalm 65

Monday, November 17, 2014

Death of True Martyrdom

This is inspired by the monthly prayer intention fro September 2013. "...that Christians suffering persecution may, by their witness, be prophets of Christ's love."
I wonder if suffering and/or dying for our faith has the same impact on non believers as it used to. With the rise of radical Islam and people willing to "martyr" themselves to murder innocent people do people see believers in Christ willing to suffer and die for our faith as just another segment of the "crazy religious folks"? With the rise of Christian preachers who teach that we are rewarded if we are "good" and suffer if we are "bad" is the beauty and value in sacrifice, suffering, and dying for our faith distorted in the minds of believers as well as nonbelievers?
Muslims seeking out death is not true martyrdom  It is pride and vanity. Jesus and His disciples avoided it when they could. When people were plotting to imprison or kill them they fled in many instances. They only suffered torture and death when there was no other option. They embraced the idea that martyrdom may be necessary but they didn't seek it out as many do today.They didn't try to take others with them into their martyrdom and they certainly didn't do it to earn a reward. They didn't run around seeking the cross.
I pray that the beauty and value of true martyrdom will not be further distorted by the perverse version many other faiths participate in today. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Know Better

This is based on a journal entry from September 7 2013 on the evening of my second day in a row of no food.
I woke up in the middle of the night. I wanted to masturbate for some reason and at the same didn't. I felt a hunger inside. Something I wanted satiated. I don't feel strong hunger for food which would make sense. My legs really hurt.After a few minutes I wanted to get something to eat but I feel like this is a test. Jesus got me through the day, He,ll get me through the rest of the night.
Not sure why, if I'm hungry, which I have to be, I would wake and think to masturbate. Are eating and sex connected somehow in my mind?I don't just want to eat at this point I want to eat gluttonously. I want to stiff my face. I want top consume for the pleasure of it.
I feel empty from not eating and I'm used to filling an empty feeling with physical pleasure of some sort?
I think of Jesus hungry in the desert and the devil tempting Him. He made it 40 days. I can surely make it four more hours. He is with me always and with Him anything is possible.
Got out of the bed and spent some time praying. I joined my suffering with His for the sake of those suffering in Syria.I'll read until I fall asleep.
I felt I should read St. Ignatius letters. I started reading the one on obedience dated January 14, 1548. "How far from making a pleasing sacrifice to God is anyone who offers God a non obligatory action, even an action which is of itself more perfect, against the mind of his superior!"
Luke 10:16 "Whoever hears you hears me, whoever despises you despises me."
Then read about the unacceptable sacrifices of Saul and Cain because they came from disobedience.
The church gives us a way to fast. Instead of following their guidance I disobey and do things my way. They suggest a light meal in the middle of the day. I choose no food. I choose my way. I presume to know better then the leaders of God's church.
This is pride. To place my own will above that of Christ's representatives on earth.
"Great is the glee of the enemy of our nature when he sees a soul traveling, even on ways that are truly lofty and sublime, without caution and without the bridle of someone able to rule and govern, for he has all the more reason to anticipate it's fall and plunge to ruin." By disobeying the church saying have a small meal I've put myself in danger of giving in to sexual sin and gluttony as well as anger and hatred. This is not God's will.
I am going to eat out of obedience.
Thank you Lord for leading me to these passages and opening my eyes to the pride in my sacrifice.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Long Road

Inspired while meditating on Jesus in the Temple in the The Joyful Mysteries of The Holy Rosary. "Mary: Son why have you done this to us? We have been searching for you in sorrow. Jesus: Why did you search for me? Did you not know I must be about my Father's business?" Mary and Joseph were focused on the here and now. What they could see and understand. Jesus saw the big picture. The long view versus their short view.
Lord help me to trust in your long view when I am only able to see what's right in front of me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Without Light

John 8:12 "I am the light of the world...whoever follows me will have the light of life." He is the light of the world whether we choose to follow Him or not. If we choose not to follow the light the light is still there but is covered by the shadow cast by the moon of my free will.
The moon, my will, passes between the Son/sun and me blotting out the light that flows from being open to and following God's will. The shadow of my will distorts how I see and hear God's will.
Lord never let my will eclipse yours.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

All About Courage

Great information on the Courage apostolate. The Catholic church's outreach to people with same sex attraction.