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

A Woman’s Right to Choose

One particular person I admire, who is dear to my heart, and remains on my mind every time I pray, is my great grandmother. Nan Uí Bhriain – everyone called her Nan O’Brien – yet she faithfully wrote the full form of her name.

She gave birth to six children, my grandmother was the second; she struggled to carry many children to full term, and so many passed on within the womb. She was a remarkable woman so I’m told. I never did meet her, yet her legacy lives on like a river that never dries up. She died when my own ‘Nan’ was 15. My great-grandfather was stricken with grief from that day on, unable to cope with her loss. He turned to alcohol often, but more often relied on my grandmother – now the oldest; my uncle (the firstborn) had drowned in a boating accident, which added to their collective grief.

But ‘Nan O’Brien’ was a force from God. While her husband worked, she also worked – along with raising a family, she was the housekeeper for the rectory and its four priests. She met many throughout her life, one whose cause for canonisation is at the diocesan level and remains an unofficial patron of the town she loved and lived in. She taught her children that love was an unconditional thing, and that anyone you met was subject to it. I know this is true because of how my own dear nan responds to the people around her: she brings food to her sick friends, and she admonishes those she knows who have gone wrong or members of our family who have made great mistakes, yet she always tells them she loves them. I think whoever meets her confrontation knows her forgiveness is at the end of the tunnel, because she forgives all of her friends, all of our family.

Is that a perfect family? Of course not! Besides the Holy Family, no family is perfect. My grandmother has told me of many lessons she learned in her life, and one of those was about life and forgiveness. Broad topics, eh?

One night as my grandmother lay in bed, her mother came trotting home from her friend’s house. She burst through the bottom door crying, weeping, screeching for her husband. About ten minutes later, after he asked her what’s wrong, he apparently ran outside and cried on the bank behind the house. Half an hour later, everyone was asleep.

Nine months later, my grandmother had a new younger sister.

My dear readers, I confide in you: the dear public, a lesson. That night when love wept, a woman was taken by another’s husband. By force, not by choice. My great-grandmother was raped, and she conceived of a child.

The night of tears wasn’t an ordeal. It was a moment: reality came to light, human vengeance perished, and love overcame all.

My grandmother told me about this after we watched a programme about abortion. Nan always wore her faith on her sleeve. Someone in my family was conceived in an unorthodox way, yet lives today as a mother and wife, an aunt and friend herself.

Abortion is murder.

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?

At Calvary…

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. I am requesting that you pray for me, because I’m praying for you; offering sacrifice for you. If you have any specific requests, please offer them up and let me know. I’ll be happy to receive them. I’m on the path to a Masters in Divinity and the priesthood please God, and my life has been busy.

As it is, with the Blessed Mother and the saints we praise, let us further extol them all in this following song…

I’m only human, I’m just a man (or) woman
Help me believe in what I could be
And all that I am
Show me the stairway I have to climb
Lord for my sake, help me to take
One day at a time

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m askin’ of you
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time

Oh, Do you remember when you walked among men
Well Jesus you know
If you’re looking below, it’s worse now than then
Oh! there’s pushing and shoving  and crowding in my mind
So for my sake, teach me to take
One day at a time

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m askin’ of you
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time

Here’s a link. It’s as good for us as anyone.

Modesty

With the exam season coming to an end (thank goodness), I find it very amusing to go shopping to see what sales are on and all that. I laugh at the “alternatives” and their “outrageous” fashion statements, the pink and neon-green tights or the yellow leather jumpers and striped shades. Not to group these people or categorise them, which is the exact thing I’m doing, but they’re all unaware at how un-individualistic they really are. Supposedly expressing themselves and their true spirit, to me and a great majority of people, they just look foolish.

That’s my opinion; not a single person in this world is obligated to take it as an unadulterated dogmatic statement. I only (well mostly only) see this in the city, not in my tiny village/town of 700 people. Of course this is apparently common in the urban sphere of influence and I’m happy to play no part in it. No, I don’t get up and put on the most comfortable track suit I can find. I personally tend to binge on ASOS and then the typical country wear: jumpers, collared button-ups, etc. This is the fashion where I live, and by writing down my viewpoints you can say I’m judgemental when it comes to what people wear and that’s a horrible way to be. This is the fault of this sinner, myself, who is inclined towards having people respect themselves. This is common in today’s media-era, where celebrities with their conventional wisdom and sense of style prevail over common sense and above that, modesty.

One day last month, a girl and a few boys were sent home from school because the girl had worn a spaghetti-strap shirt and the boys were wearing tank tops. A fuss was kicked up because according to the school these select few were “disrespecting themselves and providing a distraction and display of immodesty.”

You’s knock the kettle over at how fast the progressives at the University caught up with this, then a professor in ‘Social Justice’ was on the television saying that in the modern world the girls and boys could still respect themselves dressing as they please, even going so far as to say the bare minimum of underwear is a happy combination for school! Then Tumblr caught on and they had a field day. All over a school, rightfully sending home scantily-clad boys and girls for dressing below the requirements and dress code.

How sad is it that an institution funded by a public system that begins their constitution with “Recognising the supremacy of Almighty God” yet can teach their students that abstinence is ineffective and rubbers are the only solution? Then when they instill any sense of modesty (ie – doing something proper for once), all the world comes through to meet whoever instills a sense of self-respect.

Summer is hot, summer is humid, and summer is the season for shorts a t-shirts but one can still dress respectfully in a God-fearing way. We can dress as expensive or as economically as we please, but in the end we must remember that we are dust and unto dust we shalt return. Beyond the grave we cannot take out blazers and jumpers, our watches and loafers.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

We are human and this is a fallen world, as original sin took away out innocence and yet baptism restoreth, we are as of yet only human. Be custodians of your eyes. This is difficult for me, being a young person, and for you as well I’m sure. As Catholics and as Christians, our blessed Lord and his Blessed Mother, the saints and the angels are always at your side and have always an inclining ear. Tell them your sorrows, your sins, your difficulties and your joys. When you’re out on the go, drop into the confessional and restore grace to your soul. Remember always the God loves you, and that he sees your heart and your soul and judges you on your deeds and your faith. It is especially useful that all young people know that there is a loving God, ever accessible, ever good and always steadfast in love.

ImageSalve Regina, Mater Misericodiae!