I’m in Hell on Earth

The things we say, the things we do… they all cause. In each action we cause good, or we cause ill, trouble, or something we do not always intend to happen. This is why our intentions are important, for our intention can differentiate between whether or not we sin or we defend, protect or harm.

With that said, the “road to hell is paved with good intentions.” (first published by Henry G. Bohn’s “A Handbook of Proverbs.”)

I’m worried because I am convinced that I have built up a ‘hell-on-earth’ around me which causes another greater fear in my heart: the fear of salvation and the desire to spend my eternity with God. And I know that if I continue living like I do, that’s not what my eternal reward will be. For example, I cannot wear myself thin nor to the point where the veil is shredded between this life and the next in order to ensure that everyone else is okay.

I find it awful easy to judge myself to be in a good disposition, to be strong for those whom I love and to hoist myself up as some sort of solid rock they can all grasp to, then I remember that I am not God. Easy it is to imagine that my tether could keep someone fully grounded, that my love enough would blot out every trickle of anxiety that assaults them – when I, myself, am asphyxiated by discontent and a sickening restlessness.

But, I promise: I’m trying. Perhaps in the past I have not articulated, really, the uneasiness that is my cross. Throughout my life I have dealt with more loss than gain and I’m only in my twenties. Having a family that is primarily of an older generation, death is frequent. Belonging to a generation in which depression and despair is rampant, like one ever-descending icicle. I’ve found myself trying to be the main-station for all. I can not do that. It is not my purpose either.

I will help as much as I can, but often enough, I need help as well. I’m reflecting upon these past two years in particular. My eyes have been closed and my own, personal descent down-hill hidden from my sight yet so palpable to those around me. No kindling remains lit in the fire, yet the lights are on and nobody is home, lyset er på, men ingen er hjemme, some might say.

So I admit defeat and I have no shame in saying it, either. God will build me up again, like anything that falls.

Five months ago I drove into the ocean and ruined my car, but as soon as those waves crashed over me I also felt the love of God consume my heart and soul and I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I called my mother to get me, and we towed the car out because, thank God, the water was shallow, more shallow than my thinking and selfishness. The wharf is down from a grotto of Our Lady, so I tried under her very eyes to end my life and she dragged me right back to start it again.

I sought counselling afterwards, it didn’t work. Twenty-two years old and already at rock bottom. There are scars on my body that no intellectual could ever decipher, there are words I have said that no book ought to have written in them. I’ve cried enough, wept enough, to give the banshee a run for money. But I did one thing at least, one thing: I “raged against the dying of the light.”

I never want to think like that again. I never want to feel those dregs of vexation and depression. In that one moment, I figured I would be bringing myself to my true home, to true happiness…but in reality, how quite the opposite would the reality have been!? I have lost a lot. I have lost so much in my life, and the road has never been an easy one, but how dare I become someone else’s loss as well? Not only that, I would be a loss unto myself and the glory of God.

Pray for me, my friends. I will keep writing. On March 2nd, I’ll be going to a place for some help, a hospital of sorts but one that treats cancer of the heart and mind rather than of the body. I won’t be ashamed when I go, and I won’t be afraid to admit to my weakness which is my own, but I will rejoice in my strength which is God’s.

Put thy trust in God.

Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks

 so longeth my soul after thee, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God

 when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

My tears have been my meat day and night 

 while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?

Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul

and why art thou so disquieted within me?

Put thy trust in God

 for I will yet give Him thanks for the help of his countenance.

Psalm 41, though listed as 42 in the Coverdale Psalter from the Book of Common Prayer as quoted here.

This psalm is the most relatable to my prayer life. Perhaps it is false humility, or an honest profession. We all struggle with doubt; the great doubt of our own mortality and the question of where is He who sustains it?

Yet that same psalm answers my very question: put my trust in God, because though I might not hear His voice now it does not mean He speaks not to me but rather than I am not listening, and the day will come when I will hear His voice, just put my trust and faith in His providence and divine countenance. I hope you repeat those words in your heart as we face the difficulties our Church has faced and continues to: the perversion of God’s holy words and Sacraments. You might as well say to me: Cameron, why then use an Anglican translation of such a beautiful psalm?

Don’t worry. I am not going anywhere. Being the recent canonization of St John Henry Newman brought about, I wish to entrust this blog henceforth to his holy protection and intercession against the smoke of Satan which has entered our blessed Communion. That it be in this day and age that a group of our Christian brethren returned to their Mother, the Church, in such a large fashion so as to be granted the protection of their beautiful tradition – our beautiful tradition, with the remission of error and restoration of truth, perhaps it be so – I know it be so, with the rest of our world.

Suicide is Closer to Home than Ever

I have written about suicide before. Many friends have tried, many friends have succeeded, but for this past month, that mortal choice has been closer to home.

A while ago my dear cousin, raised as my brother, attempted twice. His first attempt failed him: his weight hanging by the noose broke the branch. The second time, the branch also broke but he fell unconscious to the ground. We called the guards, the police, and the ambulance. That dark night the fog filled the forest and we couldn’t find him, but his six-page letter gave an answer as to “where is he?” Eventually one of the police dogs found him, and we all transported him to hospital. As he was not of age he was admitted to the children’s psychiatric ward.

It was upsetting because he had been one of my rocks throughout my course of anxiety and depression and we told each other everything, every intimate thought, all of our deeds, all of our troubles. I knew he was troubled. His parents were abusive and I often protected him to my own detriment, and he did the same for me. There were days where I’d receive fourteen to twenty calls from him, and I would answer only when able, and the guilt weighs upon me like a boulder. His faith has died, his will to go on has been snuffed out. I am his only allowed visiter at hospital: today he told me that it was selfish for us to want him to keep living. This handsome, intelligent, Dean’s list young man has been crucified to the point where he wishes to take his own life. Without thinking I went to the hospital with a set of Rosary beads, something to grant him grace – they were promptly taken from him as they were considered dangerous to his health. The vicar was up to see him and he refused to speak.

Can you please, my dear readers, take a moment to pray for him? I have not slept in about a month, and I don’t feel bad asking also for your prayers as I struggle to keep my closest family member, whom I love dearly, alive. Please pray he will cooperate with the doctors – something he refuses.

God love you all.

Nature of Love

Love. Do you love your husband, husband, do you love your wife? Have you ever loved someone to the capacity that you would do something stupid for them? Have you ever loved to the point where your heart will ache? Or been the subject of love to the point that you repress your feelings by drinking and become an absolute devotee to the image of a man? If you have, then you’re my friend, and you’re also God’s. To be enchanted in a cave, underground, with many a circumstance. That would be normal liberality as the sexual programme prescribes.

They are wrong. True love has been abandoned. Any love between men is deemed “gay.” You, my dear friends, might know of my previous encounter with people who have committed suicide, well last week I received a bad account about my first cousin who tried it. Twice in a row. Firstly, he tied himself to a tree by way of a noose and he jumped. The branch broke. The second time, he climbed higher and tied himself to another, otherwise looking strong, branch. He jumped, the branch broke, and he knocked himself out on his way down. Police were called and the dogs found him, gently gnawing on his leg and letting the police know by barking. He believed in God until he woke up.

Upon waking up, he renounced God and renounced life and is mad at all of us for letting him live. He admitted to me that since the age of seven he has wanted to do away with himself. I have been crying ever since. I thought my troubles were great. No, his are worse.

He is now in the children’s hospital ward as he is only seventeen. I have been visiting him daily and for great hours. I spent the night last Thursday. He has no sense of life or of vitality, of happiness or suffering. He just wants to be dead. Now. He refuses the nurse’s advice, the psychiatrist’s advice, and the love of his family. I am his only allowed visiter because we have always been on the same level and I know how to talk to him, and he’s helped me out of a few situations regarding my own mental health. He knew how I thought, but he held back on revealing to me how he though. Now we are honest with each other but he’s still nihilistic. After a six-page letter, he decided to travel two kilometres from his house and do the deed.

My buddy, my brother from another mother as they say, tried to end his life. Please pray for him to great accord, and pray for me as well. I am doing my best to love him as much as I can, so he knows God’s love as well. He is in care, and they’re doing their best to make him know the same. He will not comply. Pray for him. Pray that he comes along. Pray that people who have these feelings and thoughts can find the strength to think differently and feel the love of their families.

God Himself loved us so much as to allow His own Son to die, the second person of the Trinity of the one God. To become human and to be sacrificed. At that crucifixion Jesus bore the sins of all of us, including my cousin. He bore the suffering he is now experiencing. Pray.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Our Lady of Grace, take care of my cousin and grant him peace of mind.

 

God is in Charge

The Dominion of Canada is legalising marijuana. Bishops are calling for the resignation of Pope Francis, the Holy Father. Steve is making an appearance in northern skies.

I am frightened. The days carry ever so much weight as my time goes on. My life, however, becomes more stressful and hard each day. I sin, I forget promises, I do not do what I ought to have done.

I know God is in charge, and that, as we are His creation, He will never fail us. The faith of that is good enough to keep me calm. Today, let us pray.

Thou, Most Holy Virgin, who dost evermore stand before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to the most beloved Son, pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, give thanks for me, and obtain for me pardon of all my sins; help me especially at my last hour, and, when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, sprinkle me with holy water, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favour me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overcome the wicked enemy; and when I can no longer say, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands, say it for me; and when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, then do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, O pray for me instantly, earnestly, and admonist my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and conduct my soul into Heaven with thee, that, united with all the Elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thyself for all eternity.
Amen.

 

Pray for the Holy Father, not a friend to orthodoxy, but hopefully not guilty of what is being accused.

Living and the Dead

Today I travelled a wee bit outside of town, and came across a beautiful little village that contained two churches and a chapel. One, Anglican, the other, Catholic. Both were imbibed with the beautiful of 500 years, another a more Victorian structure (that was the Catholic) with seating in the upper part of the church as well as the lower. It is amazing what a God-fearing priest can do to revive the dusty faith of and ageing population.

Now, in both churches, the altars were facing ad orientem. Central to the Catholic church was the tabernacle placed beyond the altar. On said altar remained three traditional Mass cards, and a statue of Our Lady and St Therese on either side. The priest is a young, recently-ordained fellow and in charge of three other parishes. I had missed daily Mass, but it was evident how used the building was. According to the figures, it has been growing and growing each Sunday do to the attraction of traditionalists and those who seek a proper Mass each Sunday, as both rites are offered at the Church. I knelt at the altar rail for a prayer, and was moved at the tranquility the little building enclosed. There was a quaint little pump-organ placed in the back, and on it by some sort of Divine Providence was placed my favourite hymn. I managed to walk a little further around town, and enjoyed the familiar spray of salt water on my face. The beauty of God’s creating is amazing. And for someone struggling like I am, a five-hour drive from home truly does one a world of good.

The Anglican church was a fully wooden Gothic building, and a very grand one with the full English pipe organ, now in disuse (such a pity for a beautiful thing). Of course, the minister is a liberal who preaches the modernist concept of tolerance.

The building is threatened with closure.

So, it seems as though a dead faith makes a dead church… but a ‘lively’ faith, creates a lively congregation.

Accepting Suffering

On the other hand, whoever bears firmly in mind the thought of final divine justice and projects the light of life eternal upon the obscure paths of earthly life, will not be uncertain as to the way. Modern light-houses function in this manner in cloudy weather. They do not project their light forward, out onto the open sea, but upward, onto the dark clouds. And the clouds, which otherwise would envelop the horizon in darkness, thus reflect the lighthouse gleam for more than a hundred miles. Our faith, too, projects the glow of eternal life upon the clouds of our earthly paths, because it knows that otherwise suffering cannot be endured. It cannot be endured, except with the consolation given by the knowledge that this is not the final word in our lives.

Man was not created by God for affliction; he was created for happiness. Every particle of us longs for happiness. Mary Magdalen was great when she wept repentant tears at our Lord’s feet, but this was not the final part of her journey, not the final word in her life. That moment of supreme bliss was when the risen Christ said to her: “Mary.” The Blessed Virgin was great when, with grief-stricken soul, she stood under the cross of her divine Son. But the final halting-place of her journey could not be the Stabat Mater; it is the Regina coeli, laetare, “Rejoice, Queen of Heaven.”

– Fr Thamer Toth: The Great Redeemer – Acceptance of Suffering

How He Loves Us!

He found it hard to focus on the light, because the strength and depth of the void between them was far too blighting, far more gentler, and slightly more beautiful than the stars which mapped the heavens.

Water moved below his feet, slapping against concrete, holding the River Thames together. Finite, finished, feeling. “Oh just to plunge, to drown – to fall into the depths of darkness and complete this earthly journey…”

The young man prayed, and Jesus came. Consumed by divine love and ardour, he took up his pen. Then he wrote a hymn, words of hope and an expression for reason. A true reason, the only reason for to live.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Samuel Trevor Francis is the author. Although a member of the non-conformist Plymouth Brethren, as a lay preacher, his sentiments are contained in no ecclesial community specifically, and reign in the fulness of truth when we consider the profound truth of Christ’s holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Perhaps if Francis were a member of the Church, he might have been completely consumed in the fire of Divine Love, with access to the Body and Blood of our loving Saviour himself.

I love this hymn. Quite often I find myself lost in the void of darkness, carrying the burden of a sadness so inhibiting and burdensome that I wonder if I can carry on until the next day. I have never been suicidal, because it is the love of God alone who guards me from those thoughts. It is my faith that drives me, because I know that God wants every individual here on Earth for a divine reason. I know I am loved, and I know who is my master, and it is not myself.

“How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!” How true are these words! How He loves us! Each Sunday we are privy to His own flesh and blood, soul and divinity!

Though unworthy, how He loveth! 

To all who carry their cross, never despair. Always hope, and if you can’t hope, pray. Then you will be given the grace to hope. Never stop praying.

20234865_1_x
The Good Shepherd – Voelkel

Escaping the Meantime

We are all in a rush. A rush to grow up, to get through life, to fall guilty of complacency and absurdity in our practise and belief. The world presents itself a harsh friend; you try and die as quickly as possible. We kill each other quickly enough, due to the stress and personalized hegemony we try to place on ourselves and other people. We can’t control what we wish to keep reigns out, and therefore despair and anxiety upsets what ought to be our naturally cheerful, patient, or serene disposition.

Truly, the meantime becomes our enemy. Our enemy we cannot escape, but we are not God – we are not divine – contrary to our desire to be God. The desire to control. The desire to dominate. Only the spiritually mature can escape this, and it is through the universal call to holiness by which we loosen the shackles that keep us bound in depression, fear, and anger. You see: we are not of the world. Christians, by virtue of their baptism, break a bond with evil and death and the Church – the Mystical Body of the Saviour, nourishes and feeds us as we come to serve and possess knowledge of the Divine as we take part in Him, the lover and nourisher of our soul. The creator of all things, ‘visible and invisible.’ 

Keep that in mind. Life is not meaningless, it is not a waste of time, and we ought not to rush through it entirely. Remember your maker, who desired you in this world so dearly that He thought you up and put you down on earth. He created you because He loves you. He needs you to sow your roots, and groom your garden.

Jeremiah 1:5 states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” This is the truth. Every day each and every one of us is awoken by the sun, and the memory of His unfailing, everlasting love.

And so therefore, waste not the meantime.

Medicine for the Young

What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.

Who said that? St John of the Cross, the counter-reformer whose writings many Catholics have come to love. I resign myself to complete humility before the sight and gaze of these greats, these treasures of our tradition. I, myself, have a heavy cross. I often meditate on the more sanctified souls – how great then do they bear the wood of the cross? I say this because we have forgotten the way, in this world, to understand how badly we need the mercy of God!

Look at the youth: look at our inheritance, our younger generations. Look at whom we have to bear our torch. The world is in complete misery, and young men and women who have been brought up either anti-theist or without any faith have no means of coping with the anxiety of this world. They have no reason, religious nor existential, to make a leap of faith. Instead, the rates of suicide go up – why not? They’ve no reason to be here. One switch of a blade and it’s all over. Binge-drinking? Why not? There’s no spiritual nature to the cleanliness of our body and soul, no consequence for our actions. All we must do is carry the stone of this existence until it’s over! Why not escape while we can? Do a few drugs, lift our brains to Ganja, metaphorically if not spiritually. Nihilism has crept in, taken over, and redefined existence in the modern eye.

So therefore, the human condition makes no progress but regresses into a primitive state, perhaps one before man became respondent. Did not our loving Creator form mankind out of clay, in His image? Is this not the greatest act of love? But we live under the conditions of the greatest act of disobedience, destroyed by Christ on the cross. We are each cleansed of the structure of original sin at our baptisms, yet as humans we recognise our weakness and susceptibility to giving in to that which we know is bad for us. When we lack faith, we self-medicate, and turn into robotic things freely choosing our poisons when we know there’s something better in the world. We are rowdy, bashful, loud.

Our ears are closed.

Our lips constantly apart.

We crave nothing but what satisfies our heart for the mean time, until when its over we crave another temporary satisfaction.

We end up hating ourself, unaware of infinite mercy and forgiveness that God extends to every creature on the face of His green Earth.

He forgives us for forgetting the sovereignty, He forgives us for rejection our dominion. He forgives us for all that we repent for, and He takes us and hides us deep within His wounds until we go kicking and and leap out. We can do this a thousand times, and He will forgive us because He never tires of forgiving.

Aren’t we lucky? Don’t we have a vast and immense privilege to be children of Love itself?