Thursday, October 30, 2014

We cannot be afraid

Typical Thursday around here...until we went to school Mass, that is.

Yes, we are homeschoolers and yes, we attend Mass with the local Catholic school kids. I find the homily, more often than not,  an excellent springboard for discussion on the way home. 

As always, there are priests who are more and less gifted when it comes to bringing the hard stuff to elementary level. Our deacon, however, seems particularly able to make things clear. Oh, maybe that's because he speaks truth and he does so directly. I find that so refreshing, don't you? (He claims it is all the Holy Spirit.  Ahem.   Amen, Deac!)

Today the homily was all about living as a Catholic in today's society. Deacon spoke about how difficult this was and how we, like Christ in the Gospel,

“Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose."
Jesus, the Deacon said, was not afraid because he knew His Father was with Him. By the same token, we should not be afraid to live our faith because God is with us.
So when we are eating out as a family and the meal comes, we should not begin to eat until we all give our blessing over the meal. We should say our grace before we eat. When someone sneezes, we should say God bless you. No apologies, no shortcuts. This reminds me so much of our former parochial vicar who spoke about something similar and when I said someone will be offended, he said, "I'm offended that the person is offended."
This is the insanity that passes for today's society. A place where a late-vocation, deeply devout priest can quietly suffer as he is ravaged by ALS and go unnoticed while this tragedy is the lead story. Why is that, do you suppose? Because, for some reason, the media loves fear. Loves it. Wades neck-deep in it. Can't wait to bring you the next story that causes you fear. and doubt. and distress.
Fr. Barry may have known moments of fear but he also knew that God was walking with him. That was what allowed him to continue walking. All the way to his eternal reward. This tragic woman who is a witness to how far we have fallen as a society, has nothing but fear. 

What she's doing doesn't take courage. You fall asleep and that's the end. Courage is waking up every day knowing that it might be the hardest day you've ever faced and continuing because you know that you are not alone. I am truly sorry for her suffering.  I am equally sorry that suffering no longer has a place in society. 

 What a gift I was given yesterday when "St. Francis" and I had a discussion about the stigmata and how it is a huge grace for the special people God chooses to share that closely in His passion. Pray God that little boy internalized such an important lesson.
When I'm in this state, I have to pray. I have to take it to Satan and say, "yes, I see that you've taken hold of a lot of society and it does worry me more than it should, considering I have the Redeemer on my side. You know what, though (bad words omitted.'s Satan) go back to hell. You have no power here." Today, being somewhat overwhelmed by the news of that woman, I decided to go where I knew I would find the dark one. I went to pray in front of Planned Parenthood. Here, I learned two things.
1. There was, yet again, a movie being filmed on that block so I guess I am right that Hollywood is drawn to the dark and

2. There are still people that are good and striving to be holy.  I know because I stood with about five of them.  Even when a minion stopped to stir up discord, they were not moved from their mission.  Giving a voice to the voiceless and witness of what God can do.

Just look at me. 20 min to find a parking place, a long cold walk, only enough time for a rosary then rush home. Still my day was lifted from my selfish dispair. Isn't it always like that when you help someone else? 

Our God is so very good. We are blessed! 

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