Friday, August 07, 2009

David Wilkerson's video...

Some of my thoughts:

Suffering/anguish (in all forms) has never been glossed over or neglected in the CC, and now in my more "mature years" that makes it a comforting, safe place to have landed. Stable. Unchanging. Like God. Suffereing should be alieviated as much as possible, of course, when it can be. But to avoid it (in whatever form it comes) at almost all costs, or to attempt to 'wipe it out' with a 'prayer of healing' or 'prayer of deliverence' or a 'pill' thinking or believing God never asks us to suffer or to be in anguish is the very "sticky problem." I saw it in the many churches we were involved in over the years. Not all folks, but some almost seemed to believe and teach a: "Jesus suffered so we don't have to" gospel. And when a trial came, one was to "pray a prayer" and it would be gone - if not right away, very soon. And if not, then you didnt' have enough faith or you were in sin, or...whatever. Putting/leaving the result in 'man's hands' and not God's. I agree with Wilkerson, where is the anguish and where are the tears for sake of souls? Not just the "lost sheep" but those in our own family who may or may not be "lost" but just "old?"

I think the anguish and tears are covered up by selfishness, apathy, laziness, seeking material gain/success, by new toys acquired and in the end anguish isn't felt and tears aren't shed because of isolation and fear. Faith communities keep splitting up and not necessarily because of "holy aspirations." But because no one wants to be under an authority. They're not so much "planted" anymore but rather resultant of a lack of commitment. The divorce rates are so high even among Christians, because the "me first" attitude prevalent in all believers/communities. I dont like this or that or the way they do this or that, so I'm leaving. How crafty is the serpent when he lies to us. How "light" and "good" his lies become, when we're not alert to his snares. When we believe the Holy Spirit guides us all "individually" as we read the bible and interpret it "our way" we keep divorcing ourselves out of community/family. How can there be anguish when we do that? It's tragic.

While seeking the perfect body of believers, and thinking we've finally found it, we then make it imperfect when we arrive with our life's sin-stained baggage and our affection to certain sins, i.e. the constant battle/war waging in our hearts we'll fight until we die and go to be with the Lord. We're no longer in community long enough to SEE/SHARE/EMPATHIZE with the suffering of others, let alone attempt to understand it in our own lives. We shove granny and gramps off to a "home" - we hire help to serve the ones we should be serving. I'm not accusing busy younger families of complete selfish neglect, however, it is a problem that does exist in America where the elderly are not respected and neither are the babies or infirmed. Not that we can do everything for them during their sicknesses or age-realted illnesses, surely we need nurses/doctors and professionals to assist them when we can no longer do so, but who actually attempts to "do so" from the first anymore? An unplanned pregnancy? Poof ~ abortion is thrust/forced upon a frightened woman or girl. And now we have a president who wouldn't want his daughters "punished with a baby" which has certainly done nothing to help end the war on the unborn.

Some in the Church have bought the lie of contraception, too. Yet, the CC is the only Church that still condemns contraception, because of the very tool it has become in the hands of Satan and his minions to destroy and kill families/marriages. Contraception was to end suffering of "unplanned pregnancies" and without unplanned pregnancies there wasn't going to be suffering or anguish of unwed mothers. But it's only perpetuated it and made it worse! Destroying babies, families and marriages to the nth degree!

When we lose respect for the 'least of these' and buy the lie of contraception, then I guess anguish for ourselves and others can only be expunged and not found in churches anymore, right? We're blind to suffering in our own lives. We don't want to face it in others' either, and so we choose to 'see' only what's desirable to us. Isolation, independence of/from any real/true authority has wreaked havoc in Christendom, and our crosses we're to "pick up" remain on the blood-stained floor (we've been busily trying to bleach) of our lives. The CC has it's own heterodox dissendents lying to parishoners all the time, and leading many astray. Better for them to have never been born than to cause little ones to stumble and stray from the fold. One doens't divorce Peter because Judas was a badass. Pardon my French.

The Truth sets us free, but like Pilate, we sneer and say "What is truth?" We make it up and we lose anguish. When the Reformation came along, it did not help Christians unite, but was divorce from the Church Jesus built, plain and simple. God hates divorce. People in the Church were wrong, people not in the Church were wrong. St Francis remained IN the Church and reform was accomplished, Martin Luther did not. He was a very sick soul. His intentions were good early on, perhaps, but he went way too far, even ripping books from canon making the bible. That couldn't have been God's will.

I doubt God said, "Hey Marty, maybe you should start your own church, dude. I blew it. Mine's corrupted." From there, we get the BIG split and then split after split after split. Self-proclaimed prophets continue "starting churches," "planting churches" and the Church is indeed in anguish, over that! But Her people (in the fold and w/out) are few and far between who actualy SEE what happened (and continues to happen) and repent of it in their own hearts. We must call on Divine Mercy for sins of the whole world, particularly those in the Church too blind to see.

Unity can't be established when people are proud and constantly "on the move." The proud God will scatter. The humble will be exalted by God and their prayers will be heard. They are the ones who feel, see and express sorrow and anguish. They are the 'few' the remnant if you will who have eyes to see and ears to hear and suffer the most. And most certainly, they're to be found in all denominations, for sure. They don't have to be Catholic, so please don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say. BUT, is it not better to remain in or come back to the "First Fold?" To grow and learn there and should reform be needed, as is the case in living/breathing organisms, then remain INSIDE and do so, rather than raoming about in 35,000 different faith communities that are all squabbling and bickering and feeling only their own selfish religious/spiritual oats?

The CC says that if suffering continues, and the person is not healed, or the pain is not relieved, then it is to be accepted as the will of God. i.e. when someone is dying of cancer, as Fr. Kevin was in 2006. He told his brother Ray, "I hope the cancer kills me, because I don't want to die by suicide." That's how much anguish he was in. The pain never stopped, for 40 days. It only got worse. It was anguish for his mother, tending to him every day, watching him die. It was anguish for his family, for his friends, but he did accept it as God's call on his life, and was able to plan his funeral, (a gift) which brought in thousands.

Touching those thousands of lives via a glorious funeral, many were brought back to the Church and to Christ. His suffering then was efficacious to many souls, his anguish and accpetance of it brought comfort to others who were suffering. His mom would have preferred him to be healed and left on earth as would any mom, but now, over time, she's been shown the fruit and the good has come from his suffering and death. Though she still is 'mad at God' sometimes. A human response. Mothers know anguish so deeply.

The Mother of God, Mary, surely knew anguish deeper than any soul that ever lived aside from Jesus. Her heart was pierced as Simeon told her. Pierced w/ an anguish none of us will ever know or experience. She never ran from suffering or "prayed it away" with contempt. She never left her Son as he suffered and died, as did his closest friends, who couldn't bear it. Jesus took, and accpeted that anguish in the Garden, maybe hoping for another way, but yielded his will to that of the Father. "Not my will but Thine." If the Father didn't spare his own Son suffering and anguish, how do the followers of Jesus claim and tout such an exemption in our time?

Being a mom means having a heart vulnerable to pain, they're pierced to the core by our childrens' sinful choices, (I know I broke the heart of my own mom a time or two) and my suffering and anguish in my heart now, the real, definite ache is there every time I see the residule effects of liberal/left indoctrination in the adult lives of my sons. But now, instead of "praying it away" believing "Jesus took our pain, so now we shouldn't have any" (which I believe some really believed.) My pain now has meaning. It can be offered for their salvation, and for others. It can be joined to the suffering of Mary and Her Son, because there's no "time" at the foot of the Cross...the sacrifice goes on, in the sense that we all need redemption, hence 'redemptive suffering." I can offer any pain, physical, mental, spiritual for their minds to be illumined by the Holy Spirit, for their hearts to be made soft and repentant - to bring them to conversion and finally home as did the prayers and anguishing heart of the father of the prodigal son. I can suffer along with the suffereing Christ on His way to the Cross every day by uniting my anguish to the Father's, through the Son's and through the Son's mother's, for it so pleases my Lord when I do.

In the Church so many martyrs and Saints suffered so plainly for all to see. Great physical, emotional, spiritual was their anguish. Yet so deep was their JOY. I think of Mother Teresa, without any 'consolation' from God for 40 years! Holding the suffering/anguishing lepers and poor in her arms, yet not 'feeling' God at all. The adrenaline of "entertainment" was not what she craved or supposed to be "worship." Not that music is bad, don't get me wrong, but music isn't worship per se, but a vehicle to do so. And silence isn't always holy if filled with numbing distractions and fears. The biographies of the Saints are full of anguish and pain, "dark nights of the soul" (St. John of the Cross, St. Therese, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Padre Pio -Italian stigmatic who suffered extremely and died in1968 - to name a few). They leave a clear and concise legacy for us now, one of HOPE and PERSEVERENCE to the end THROUGH suffering, as St. Paul wrote, "I preach Christ crucified" he wasn't preaching a "prosperity gospel" bereft of suffering, void of anguish.

Shame on the Church (Catholic and Protestant and all in between) who've allowed "entertainment" "worldy culture" and "noise" take over the place of silence in sanctuaries where the heart is brought to actually hear God's voice, let alone the fluffy homilies and "feel-good" sermons preached, that only tickle the itchy ears with political correctness, while the souls perish in the pews (or theatre seats.) Judgment begins in the "House of God." It is now here. We best work out our salvation with fear and trembling, work for our own holiness, (we can't give what we don't have) and not rely on the latest gizmo/technology-equipped sanctuary to bring us a "false peace" and the sheep home to stay. True seekers of Truth won't ever be content with all the razzle dazzle and sacchrine sermons. Dangerous waters these are, and the ship is being slapped and tossed in a raging sea. Jesus is in the boat, but how many "SEEK HIM?" How many instead seek only His gifts? And will He find faith on the earth when He returns? Or will He find only a people dressed in religious platitudes, quoting bible verse left and right, saying "we healed and we cast out demons, Lord!" yet that won't "cut it."

Having replaced suffering/anguish with material success, never taking up our crosses as He commanded, bearing the anguish and pain in our life and others' as did He, then will they be cast into the fire as so many dry,dead, fruitless branches. How easily we are deceived! The Jesus on the cross cried, "I thirst"....meaning for souls to believe and receive his mercy and forgiveness. We should also weep for souls to come to Jesus with childlike faith and trust in Him. It will cause you to weep when you read the lives of these 'friends of God' and how they joined their own anguish to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His suffering.

I went to YT and commented on the video. I should have reread, as I usually do, before posting. I meant to begin, "No one remembers..." Hope it will make sense when read "as is." Not a big 'error' but when I fail to reread with my 'editing eye,' more often than not, I'm sorry I didn't.

I always loved The Cross and the Switchblade. My friend, Kay, our MYF (Methodist youth fellowship) leader, gave it to me to read so many years ago. It was one of the first books I read as an 18 year old, starting my pilgrimage "homeward." Prison to Praise was the first one, given to me by a Catholic couple. I think when we read, it's such a blessed a time because it's usually quiet! It's when we are "still" and can hear God. I may not agree with Wilkerson on every point, but I think I understand his plea.

And as St Jerome, early Church father and Doctor says about spiritual reading:

"When we pray we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us."

Now to go to Boys Town and PRAY!

~ a reading fool these days by the way! :)

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