All Conversations in My Heart
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
  Love is confrontational

There is something in me that feels disgusted most of those times I hear a homily on "God is Love". These homilies are they not inaccurate, and so incomplete and misleading? One time the priest, with his eyes raised unctuously to heaven in pious tones intoned “God is Luvvv” You know the pronunciation where the syllables slowly roll of the front of a rolled up tongue. As this happened the older single woman next to me, sighed and shook and moaned. I hesitate to guess what was happening to her, interiorly.

When, just when will we be taught the truth of God’s Love, not some highly accommodated modern pseudo catholic impression of the Lutheran Policy God’s love is so merciful we are all saved. We never remember we save ourselves by taking advantage of Christ's sacrifice and teachings. Look at Christ objectively. Study, meditate on His Life and we will see in a properly translated Bible how, He our Lord and Master taught and lived. You will find if you are of a sound and well informed spiritual life and mind, God’s love is confrontational. He confronted sin in all its examples including the personal intervention of the possessed by crushing it with words and deeds. I see from Christ’s actions, His personal actions how much He loved us, represented by the people of those times, therefore I must be very careful of how I behave. Let these thoughts affect your spiritual life and the life of Charity we should live. We will all meet Christ twice in our spiritual life, the life by which we shall be judged. Many of us are either not looking forward to these meetings or hoping against Hope, they will not happen. I am not unusual in wishing these occasions when I will justify (perhaps) how I carried out His will. To this end and to ease my hope for this dual experience of what will be justice and not love, I daily examine my conscience. I try not to rationalize my actions (sins) but seeing them for what they are. Like in many of the eyes of others, even unfortunately in my eyes and disgracefully in the eyes of many of the sixties style priests, who seek actively to belittle the gap between us an God, they, our sins, are not little errors. These are thoughts due to that educational stage we are in, brought there by modern Church teachings. It would do us all well to consider what does God think of us catholics, who given much fail to use the “muchness” of faith and the sacraments. We deny the right of our Providential God to be charitable towards us, by doing it our way, certainly not His. We are in denial or more properly we have opinions and not facts about Christ's mission and offerings. He earned for us our salvation and no way will any of us work as hard as did He, for ourselves and of course for His satifaction. How dreadful is that? The confrontational love we receive from God goes both ways and as is usual ours is dreadful when we confront God with all our nasty attitudes and receive Him or try when we have nothing to offer but our sinful souls, dead to grace and very much in denial of His available mercy in the Confessional. Did He do that to us and for us on Calvary???

 
  The Black Robes

I found a very interesting quote in "Parish Priest" the biography of Fr Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, by Douglas Brinkley and Julie M. Fenster.

Old Wolf a Cheyenne Chief in Montana during the !880s told this story

“In the land of the Cheyenne, there is a mountain higher than all the mountains around him. All the Cheyenne know that mountain; even our forefathers knew him. When children, we ran around whereso­ever we wanted. We were never afraid to lose our way so long as we could see that mountain, which would show us home again. When grown up, we followed the buffalo and the elk; we cared not where we pur­sued the running deer, so long as the mountain was in sight; for we knew he was ever a safe guide, and never failed in his duty. When men, we fought the Sioux, the Crows, the white men. We went after the enemy, though the way ran high up, and low down. Our hearts trembled not on account of the road; for as long as we could see the mountain, we felt sure of finding our home again. When far away, our hearts leaped for joy on seeing him, because he told us that our home came nearer.

During the winter, the snow covered all the earth with a mantle of white; we could no longer distin­guish him from other mountains except by his height, which told us he was the mountain. Sometimes dark clouds gathered above. They hid his head from our view, and out of them flew fiery darts, boring holes in his sides. The thunder shook him from head to foot; but the storm passed away and the mountain stood forever.

This mountain is the Black-robe. His heart is firm as a rock. He changes not. He speaks to us the words of truth. We are always sure of our path, when we look to him for guidance. He is the mountain that leads us up to God”.

It was in order to stand as firm as Old Wolf's mountain that the parish priest made his vows and his sacrifices. Without any turbulence in his own heart, he might just be as dependable and as strong. That was the ideal and in nineteenth-century America, the ideal of the priestly life was as strong as ever it has been. The high regard for the priest as a sacral figure set apart did not arise from mere naivete on the part of the flock.

I truly believe in the priesthood as found in the Catholic and Apostolic Church. I believe in it without the adulation and superstition it is generally treated in today’s Church. Often as I pray for the Church and Her priests it comes to mind that there are amongst them many who do not truly comprehend what the role of the will of God is in their lives. One priest, whom I hold dear as a friend, tells me that there is a belief in those who helped form him of how special they are in a way. This teaching does not contribute to humility. How unfortunate that these brave men, and they are brave if we consider the responsibility they take on before our God who chose them or did He? Never the less it suffices to write, “Of those who have been given much, so much is expected”. Oh Dear.

Locally, I have met and talked with the hereditary chief of the Coastal Salish. He told me with reluctance of two episodes in the life of his people. Reluctantly because it is or was not customary for the Salish people to speak outside their community of their history, although it has become commonplace. This man was present as a young boy at meetings between his father and the federal government in New Westminster as was his father and grandfather before him.

In his peoples history, it is known that two people known as Elijah and Moses met many years ago with some of their ancestors and taught them on one occasion the Sign of the Cross and later made them aware of the Black Robes who would be coming.



 
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