All is Well

Dear friends, I am writing from the hostel that I will be spending time in for the next while. I will only be online on certain days, and I’m letting you know that all is well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

Sketching Holiness: St. Paisios the Athonite — lessons from a monastery

“Grumbling is caused by misery and it can be put aside by doxology (giving praise). Grumbling begets grumbling and doxology begets doxology. When someone doesn’t grumble over a problem troubling him, but rather praises God, then the devil gets frustrated and goes off to someone else who grumbles, in order to cause everything to go […]

Sketching Holiness: St. Paisios the Athonite — lessons from a monastery

Wise words from a wise saint.

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.

The First Temptation of Christ

Many of you, my dear readers, may be aware of the new “Christmas” film premiering on Netflix called “A Primeira Tentação de Cristo.” The description of the film writes, “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family.” (IMBD)

You know that I never comment on movies or popular culture, but I think this certain thing needs to be addressed. The premise is that Our Lord is mocked, being portrayed as a homosexual bringing “Orlando,” his new boyfriend, home for his thirtieth birthday party. Not even before the debut, the three magi, Melchior, Balthazar, and Caspar, are shown confused as to which star to follow leading to the birthday “party.”

Our Lady is shown as a closet smoker, having invited “Uncle Vittorio” to the party unbeknownst to St Joseph, who is portrayed as a fool and an incompetent craftsman at odds with Uncle Vittorio which is the portrayal of the first person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Father, whom Jesus is unaware is his own father. Amidst the collection of heresies and blasphemy, the Holy Ghost spared, Jesus is written as a moody youth unaware of his divinity or rather, having ‘assumed’ divinity upon the revelation of his father.

I watched this film on Netflix, thinking it was a proper biblical story (one of my favourite genres) but was sadly disappointed and appalled. Dear readers, Roman and Anglican, Eastern and Oriental, Protestant and even Mormon, stay away from this mockery of our shared faith. Can you imagine if such a production was cast around Mohammed? And this production didn’t spare just us Christians, it didn’t mock only the truth of God – it also mocked other faiths like Hinduism and Buddhism so not only do we deserve to stand in shock. The scene, the meeting of the other “gods,” equates Jesus to just a God amongst many: the ultimate heresy. Our Father is also portrayed as a vindictive and manipulative character of finite power. Jesus’s “lover” in this film turns out to be Lucifer. The forty-day-fast in the desert intends to be Jesus “finding himself.” Our Lord is also shown as a reluctant child, wanting to be a juggler and completely unaware of his destiny.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing more repulsive than a mockery of the Holy Family, the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, and the fatherhood of dear St Joseph, especially the glory and honour of Almighty God: the Blessed and Holy Trinity.

Happily, I have found a petition. Although it is a Brazilian one I doubt they would behove an English name to sign it. It has well over a million signatures and I URGE you to add your own. I have.

Click here to sign. http://chng.it/Z8zPmhwZmD I will provide an English translation of the main site text below.

Pela proibição da veiculação do filme de Natal do “Porta dos fundos”, que tem como título “A primeira tentação de Cristo”. Pela remoção do filme do catálogo da Netflix e para que o Porta dos fundos seja responsabilizado pelo crime de vilipêndio à fé. Também desejamos uma retratação pública, pois ofenderam gravemente os cristãos. 

-from the main page of the petition.

To ban the Christmas movie from the “Back Door,” (the production company) which is titled “The First Temptation of Christ.” For removing the film from the Netflix catalogue and for the Backdoor to be held responsible for this villainous crime of faith. We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.

an English translation.

In Akita, Japan, Our Lady revealed that “Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father.” Let us pray. Oremus.

O Jesus, my Saviour and Redeemer, Son of the living God, behold, we kneel before Thee and offer Thee our reparation; we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Thy holy name, for all the injuries done to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, for all the irreverence shown toward Thine Immaculate Virgin Mother, for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Thy spouse, the holy Catholic and Roman Church. O Jesus, who hast said: “If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you”, we pray and beseech Thee for all our brethren who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss; to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity! For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Thy name, unto God the Father, with whom Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Spirit world without end. Amen. (Act of Reparation for Blasphemy)

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, who at this evening hour didst rest in the sepulchre, and didst thereby sanctify the grave to be a bed of hope to thy people: make us so to abound in sorrow for our sins, which were the cause of thy passion, that when our bodies lie in the dust, our souls may live with thee: who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God world without end. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, Order for Compline)

No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against him. How much more does it bring to those who turn to him in repentance. – Pope St Leo the Great

As it is now the beginning of Advent and our fasting has begun, let me share with you this recipe I use to keep productive and avoid lagging. It’s just water.

Take your cup, and cut five red, five green, and five white grapes. Cut them four ways so the flavour is better. Once squeeze of lemon and lime, two sprigs of mint, and two or three cubes of watermelon. Throw in some ice and just add the water. You’ll feel refreshed and it will also cut your appetite.

God Bless and try your best.

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.

Greet the new barley…

When I was young, my Granda made it his habit to pick me up from school or meet me at the bus every day. The minute he laid eyes on me, he would always say “is í an eorna nua tú a fheiceáil!” Roughly, this means “I’m as happy to see you as I am to see the new barley!” Barley, being an ancient means of sustenance, meant that he was always happy to see my face because he loved me. In my heart, I was always as happy to see him and would repeat it. We’d then go to the shop and buy a Caramilk, or he’d teach me a new song on the walk home. I miss him. In 2011 a bad heart disease took his life, but I hope and pray that he is up singing with the blessed angels and saints before the throne of God.

As yesterday was St Valentine’s, I was provoked to ‘think a few thoughts.’ Ultimate Christianity is laying down our will before that very throne of God, ordering our lives around His command and teaching, and loving each other for the sake of God. As this is a confusing time in the world with dissension amongst clergy and liberality (ahem, heresy) protruding from clerics and bishops and cardinals like a cordyceps, perhaps before all else we have forgotten the sense of true love? We ought to embrace truth like a constant surprise and hope that the barley will spring anew, not look at it and try and twist it to our own whim. The truth is the road we walk upon in safety, though we might face a storm. Why ignore it? Why twist it to please our inferior understanding? Great saints are made for being subjected to God. We are all capable of being saints. That’s why we have the Church. I will not speak critically of any specific cardinal, bishop, priest, or pope right now in this post. Rather, I urge you to pray hard for the good cardinal, priest, layman, knight, politician, etc… and all those who climb the ladder to participate with Christ to redeem the latter.

In hoc signo.