Many of us wander, blah blah

And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.'” Genesis 20:13, English Standard Version – Anglicised

It would be a benign thing to say ‘many of us wander,’ but who are we trying to kid? We all wander. None of us are the Blessed Mother, without sin nor stain. Believers, as are we, are wont to climb the ladder to salvation and make use of the sacraments the God has so graciously provided us with. God is our comfort, and in His love we find the consolation of our fears and sins. In confession we receive the absolution of the same and begin again, knowing our obedience to Christ has been less than wanting. As I begin, I ask you all to turn to Our Lord and commit an act of love towards him: our sustainer, our strength, our provider, whose provision is something that will last our life long so long as we adore and glorify Him, the God our our redemption. Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

Many of you know that the question of suicide has been on my mind for quite a long time. Why do it, why be driven to the point of having to do it, the immorality or morality of it, the consequences of the human family, the consequences, most importantly, of the immortal human soul.

Dear readers, whom I pray for and hope pray for me, suicide is never, ever, a solution. Consider those around you. Consider the people that you love, those people who before maybe even meeting them, you required in your life. To me, love is like this: upon meeting someone, getting to know them, you realize that they start to fill up an empty space in your heart. This place in your heart is a home. They respond by confiding in you, by seeking your advice, and you do likewise: seek their counsel and being thankful forever for their help. This is our human nature, but it all stems from God and His provision. He would not create us to be alone, that is why He created many of us.

When we lose love, it hurts. That is because a piece of our heart is also shattered and buried with the loss, whether alive or dead. We must look at each other with this attitude, something I am learning to do and am absolutely not good at. I am judgemental, sarcastic, spiteful. Learning these things are the path to sanctity, but admitting my struggle with you, dear readers, is one thing I hope to help all of us including myself.

When you see your friends becoming something you previously had not known them to be, consider their life’s situation and never ever falter in love. Let them wander, like the prodigal son, if they must. Yet always be there and love them and tell them the right from wrong. Admonishment is love, and a hug is love. Forgiveness is a balm to the repentant soul.

My friends, many people, anyone you might come across, is alive. They are the creation of our God. Yet, their life experience is different to ours, and seldom ever will it be the same. Even twins differ. Let us pray to the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God, and Mother of the Church to yield these souls into her bosom. Then, directly, they will be before the throne of God. Suicide is not an automatic damnation. St John Marie Vianney said to a grieving wife, who in sorrow left a long lineup to see the same, “between the parapet of the bridge and the water he had time to make an act of contrition.” He was in purgatory. The instances of suicide, however, which leave us in awe, are those people who reject the love of the people around them, the love of the parents whose love caused their own growth, and their own rejection of the love they gave their own loves. This is rare, especially in this age, when mental illness is like a plague amongst men.

Treat each person as your brother. As your sister. Shine forth the love of God from your own eyes, so that when met, their eyes realize that you are a kind and gentle person, totally oriented towards what is right. It might not resonate in their mind, but it definitely will in their soul.

Now, dear readers, I ask you all if you will be in Nashville any time in September. I will be heading down with the vicar of our parish to participate in a conference headed by the Getty’s for rectors and worship leaders (being me) who work in the Anglican tradition (as I do). We will be there in September. Come for a meet and greet, or otherwise, pray for me and for our church, and for the one, true, holy, and apostolic Church.

As a Roman Catholic who works for the Anglican Catholics, I could not be more honoured. Please pray for them and for the many saints who are headed their way.

 

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Social Justice post

With news from good ol’ county Armagh ta-day. A certain high school, known with renown for it’s love of the marginalised – the persecuted LGBT people in our society, has decided to take the courageous step and meet at the Pride parade, as if it were the very thing they should do to promote Catholic values and commitments.

Sponsa. Capite nobis vulpes parvulas quæ demoliuntur vineas: nam vinea nostra floruit.

Now, call me stupid, please go ahead and do it, but gay pride has not a single thing to do with Catholic values.

Pride in oneself, in ones abilities, are. To support against the marginalisation of LGBT people, is as well. The affirmation of the sin of pre-marital, same-sex sexual acts of any time, isn’t. You can argue that Pride isn’t about that. I’d listen to that argument too, and I wouldn’t say anything because I haven’t got a clue about what Pride is to begin with. I only know what I’ve experienced first-hand.

To be quite honest, one of my closest friends is homosexual. I’d support him in anything he did, help him along in school, take him in were he ever out of the house for some reason. However, he knows I will not be on board with, in any circumstances, a same-sex relationship, and he understands why. Education breeds understanding, as the progressive crowd likes to say.

What the group of students did here was approach the issue of LGBT rights from the modern, progressive, “common” angle. As Catholics, it’s quite important that we are familiar with our own faith and dis ain’t how it’s done.

It’s true that we live in a sex-obsessed culture, and on all sides of every political spectrum, it is the main choice of conversation as of these past few months. The pride parades that I’ve witnessed were a show of a few different things. The biggest aspect was the promotion of sex-based love, that however you choose to have a relationship, the most important thing was good sex and common sexual interests. I know for a damn sure fact that just like heterosexuals, homosexuals are no different: they need to be loved, and to love, and sex isn’t the main priority. I also know for sure that we can’t group people into two groups as homo/hetero-sexuals. This is the reductionist terminology that the Church warns us against.

L – lesbian, G – gay, B – bi, T – trans, and the rest of the LGBT alphabet of people have been denied the opportunity to be treated as individuals. A boy that is attracted to other boys is seen as a “gay”, and likewise the girl that is attracted to other girls as a “lesbian”, and a boy or girl that has an attraction to both sexes as a “bisexual.” From what I’ve seen first hand, especially in my age group, we are defined by our sexuality alone. What Tristian does is so gay, because he’s gay. What Aisleen does is even gayer, because she’s such a lesbian. It’s no longer about the beauty of Tristian’s personality, or Aisleen’s sense of humour.

That is the first error that I’ve seen at these parades. The reduction of men and women into three, two, or seven letter words. Their souls and individual personality are completely neglected. As Catholics, it is our duty and our joy to “love one another, as we love ourselves.” We wouldn’t want to be kicked out of our homes and thrown out into the streets for professing to be a Catholic by our parents, and in like manner, nor do boys and girls who are attracted to the same sex.

We must always remember that we are our own people, we all are created unique in the likeness and image of God. There is no “a” breed, “b” breed, “c” breed. We are different, yet united in faith and in humanity. What’s more amazing is that we are united in that Christ himself died so that we would sin no more – his sacrifice for our debts, because God loved us so very much. Yet here we are, going against His will in the name of “promoting Catholic values.”

The choice made by this high school to allow their Catholic school to be represented here is counter-productive, because it doesn’t promote the authentic message of Christianity. How? I just explained that to you. The authentic message is that God is love, and the Lord himself has said:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and thy whole mind. This is the greatest of the commandments, and the first. And the second is this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The regular idea of a Catholic school is to foster a great love of God, and love of neighbour, and knowledge of our faith. The catechism reads:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

I know I might be preaching to the choir, but it’s important to talk about this from my perspective. I’m going into my last year of high school. If we loved our neighbour as ourself, it would pain us to see them fall into sin. If my friend, who I love as the best friend I have EVER had, were to fall into this sin I wouldn’t be seven seconds out the door to give him a hug and ask him to reconsider – talk to him genuinely, truthfully, ask him to help me understand, and for him to understand me. I’d do anything for to make him happy as he could be, and that trap of false happiness is an easy one. I’ve fallen into it, and do, on a regular basis.

I’m not sure who is to be blamed – the administration or the students. It’s the teacher who is supposed to promote a moral education – this isn’t happening. We need to say a big prayer for this High School – a daily, nightly, afternoonly prayer for the students and teachers of this otherwise exemplary institution. Have you seen their A-grades? I’m jealous!

Dear Lady of Knock, Queen of all Ireland, pray for us that have recourse to Thee – and pray for St Paul’s. We should offer up a sacrifice for all of Ireland both Northern and the republic. We cannot pray too much, it’s impossible so ya know.