Sunday, October 04, 2009

Why we need ONE SHEPHERD, the Chair of Peter...Apostolic succession...Sacred Tradtion and the Magisterium

I came across Barry Smith's blog while searching for "coffee house" pictures for my poem below. I got to reading some of his commentary on a trip to Mississippi and loved the cool photos and his witty words. He had me laughing at some of his 'honestly human' pictorial. He's really quite talented. I like his 'out of the ordinary' sense of humor. I take a lot of photos like he does. Pictures of food, old signs, ruins, delapidation, decript houses, cars, trucks etc. I hope to start another blog with photos/commentary too. Or even publish a little book, but I don't think it would be quite this good. But who knows? I need to at least give it a go.

I clicked a few more of his posts and archive links and found this video and watched it, with some curiosity, as a sadness came across me and touched my heart for him. He's obviously searching, seeking, a 'quester' and was hungry for Truth. After watching this video, really brilliantly done, I admit to seeing a bit of myself in him, when I was going through a lot of soul searching. My journey though far different, is still in many ways, the same. I think all of us, when we're thirsty for Truth, and really "want" to know, feel that desperate aching there inside us, begging and gnawing at us to FIND the Truth. You know when you're feeling that unease, that restlessness that seeks for God, even if you don't know that it's HIM you are seeking. We may wind up in a place like he did, some not so overtly wrong, but sometimes only subtly off, maybe by only a few degrees off. But as we know, even one degree off from a straight line eventually makes the gap grow exponentially and in the end be way off! Still 'short of the mark' - missing the Truth - and the final destination, Heaven, where only saints and holiness can reside, is forfeited for Hell if we ultimately reject God's grace.

No, it is NEVER of our own doing. We do not save ourselves, and we cannot rely on man or woman or government to save us. It is Christ, who died for us, it is His Church that He built on Peter, and where we are really safest on this unhinged globe spinning out of control because of sin, reuslting in utter darkness and finally despair. The "WAY" is Jesus, and HIS WAY, is the CATHOLIC CHURCH. Again, I'm NOT saying others are "going to hell" because they aren't Catholic. I can't say that. I'm not God. BUT, to have a better chance at growing in holiness, learning the virtues and acquiring them so as to be perfected BY CHRIST, it's best to be WHERE HE IS. Jesus IN the tabernacle of every parish on the planet. THAT is not only 'thinking' GLOBALLY, but Catholic -- UNIVERSAL. What little 'branch cult' fellowship, tribe, sect, is there that is found all around the world, with over a BILLION souls with ONE SHEPHERD?

So, I pray for Barry. I did pray for him after watching his video. I pray he will come HOME, to the Catholic Church. Not because every single person lives the Catholic faith 100% perfectly. No. But because it's THE WAY given to us, built for us by JESUS. Princes and paupers. Bureaucrats and beggars. Presidents and peasants. All are welcome. All can find their 'place' their 'calling' their 'vocation' to better serve the world in the corner of it where they dwell. Not 'going their own way' (sorry Fleetwood Mac) but going HIS WAY.

Obeying HIS WILL is what HE wants us to do, for our good, for our salvation, more than sacrifices... even more than every "good work" you can do! Because if works of charity are not done according to HIS WILL, FOR HIS GLORY, then read St. Alphosus Liguori; "The Way of Salvation and Perfection" particularly his spiritual treatise: Conformity to the will of God. There you can find out exactly what God thinks of all the 'good works' those 'charitable works' that are done apart from His Will. Those works being done only to satify our own wills, "cloaking them in "Catholic garb" or other "religious" coverings, with or without political agendas don't 'cut it.' Apart from Him we can do nothing! But as we meld our wills into His, by 'falling in love with Jesus (and His Church) we can accomplish great things, even if never noticed by the world at large. When a cup of water is offered to a thirsty soul, in HIS NAME, that will never go unoticed by the One Who IS and Who is to come! That's where we need to focus our gaze, not on anything or anyone else.

He's not a God who's just waiting to sneak up on you and "thump you over the head" to keep you "under His thumb." No. He's given you 'free will' because He loves you! He wants you to choose to follow Him, to live His way, to keep His commandments out of LOVE FOR HIM, not out of sheer religious duty, where your lips speak prayers but your heart is far from Him. No. He wants to LIVE IN YOUR HEART and from your heart, change you into the person you really desire to be. The best place to be changed and transformed by Jesus Himself the EUCHARIST. Where is the Eucharist? The Catholic Church. There is Jesus. Waiting for you. So why not Come Home? Why wait? Why not come to the TRUTH WHO WAITS. Be the best you can be and who you were created to be, as you were formed in your mother's womb. Be tranformed by all 7 Sacraments. You'll find youself saying, with St. Augustine, "Late have I loved thee." And then maybe saying with tears of joy like I did, and still do ...."But better late to love Thee, Lord, than never!"


TJ said...

I agree about the sadness of seeing a seeker miss the Truth that Jesus is really here in this thing he left us called the Church.
But someone who would go to great lengths as he did to seek Truth may yet end up in the arms of Mother Church.
I did relate to what he said about how others viewed us after we became Jesus freaks. People hated us in high school because we were always telling them they were going to hell!
Now they hate us cause were Catholic. You cAn't please everybody so you gotta please the Lord.

Thanks for the interesting post
God bless you Susie

Joyful Catholics said...

Thank you, TJ. You're right, we (I) did get kind of "obnoxious" at times as a Jesus 'freak.' But the motive was in the 'right place'...the zeal, too, but a lot of "foot in mouth" problems! :) Now, as a Catholic IN LOVE with the Church/Her teachings,Sacraments,Tradtion,EUCHARIST...
it's sort of the same, only this time, I'm more tempered but not always. I blow it probably still. BUT, it's usually done 'on line' and with emails and blog posts, so in a way, that's life. The receiver isn't on the end of a phone, but at their computer, so they can read at their leisure and answer when ready (so to speak.) I can't help my zeal or squelch it. It's just what it is now. But I hope it's more 'patient' and kind. God bless you, TJ.