“There is, firstly, political Islam, which exploits a religion that is the fact of a few. The burkini is not a religious sign, it is the affirmation in the public space for political Islamism” – F. Valls – French Prime Minister.
Nothing illustrates the culture clash of Islam and the west better than a bikini vs burkini olympic volleyball match.
At least the Italian woman has remembered to protect her eyes, hey?! That’s a nice pair of Sunglasses! 😀
I find myself looking at the inappropriateness of both these outfits in regards to the sport being played and wonder which one I actually prefer. I guess if I looked anywhere near as good as the woman on the left then I would probably feel right at home in a pair of dental-floss knickers. But the fact remains that after 3 kids I would probably prefer to heap my fat porridge belly into the outfit on the right. 😀
But seriously, I’m not sure I would be too happy about letting my teenage son watch this match on TV…
Unlike the West, Islam has not passed through a secular sexual revolution. I do not like very much about Islam, but I do appreciate their value of modesty – even if they do take it to the Nth degree.
And this is probably the time to articulate my pet hate about semi naked women in church. Why?! Why do you not think about what you are wearing?! What are your clothes saying to the men around you – including the priest? Why come to church in hotpants?! Why expose the rest of us to your acres of naked flesh?! Why does my husband have to have your butt in his face when he is trying to pray?!
And then of course there are the strapless bridesmaids dresses…
But seriously, more and more these days I am finding that the western sexual revolution has run its sordid course. Modesty has actually become counter cultural in our society, which means like everything else counter cultural, it is going to be attracting those who find themselves disillusioned and unsatisfied with what western secular culture has to offer.
And while the Feminazis brains go into shut down at the sight of this volleyball match due to not knowing which of the women is more oppressed and exploited, someone needs to teach all those people disillusioned and unsatisfied with our hyper sexualised culture about modesty, and religion.
And if the Christians don’t do it, the Muslims will be more than happy to do so.
I have found myself really mourning Fr. Hamel. A sweet, kind old priest whom I have never met – yet I still call “Father”.
I have cried real tears today because they killed my gentle old Father.
Father Jacques Hamel was killed in the same manner as his patron, Saint James, on his Feast day. Saint James, one of the twelve Apostles, was martyred by beheading in the year 44.
It is hard to see through the pain of such an event, but today, as I went to the church to pray it started to make sense.
There were a lot of people in the church today. Lots more than usual. And I didn’t recognize them. But they were there to pray. So we all knelt alongside each other, grieving our poor French Father.
I began to wonder how many people all around the world have been moved by his death? How many have visited a church today to pray or light a candle? How many have raised their hearts and minds to God – even just to ask “Why?”. It is still a prayer.
Perhaps the answer to that question lies in the fact that they have begun to talk to God. Perhaps a gentle old priest, beheaded during an ordinary morning Mass is enough to shake people out of their comfort zones and realise that evil is real, God is real, and death comes when we least expect it.
Through his brutal matyrdom, Fr. Hamel continues in death his essential work as a priest – to draw souls to Christ. And this gives his death meaning and purpose, and great glory to God!
Tertullian really was right when he said “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church!”
Rest in peace dear Father. Santo Subito!
Pokemon Go! is already proving to be one of the biggest downloadable games ever produced. Servers all over the world are completely jammed by millions of people trying to get this game to download onto their mobile phones. People are going crazy for it! My kids absolutely love it.
For those who don’t know already, the game is to chase and collect Pokemon characters that are digitally present all over your neighborhood. The game uses real life landmarks as part of the game that allows players to meet up, have Pokemon battles and trade characters.
Many of these real life landmarks are Churches. So as you can imagine, many people – often kids or teenagers – are suddenly appearing on Church property in large numbers.
As far as I can tell, this is probably the biggest opportunity for evangelisation that has landed in the lap of Churches all across the land. People who would *never* usually have any reason to set foot on church property are flocking there in drones! If I was a priest I would be downloading the game onto my phone right now – just so I would have an excuse to go outside and interact with the swarms of young people that were literally on my door step.
Unfortunately, it seems some people have missed this gift from God and instead have retreated into grumpiness – actually telling young visitors to *GO AWAY* and that they are not welcome on church property!
Unbelievable!!! This notice was put up on the grounds of a Catholic church.
And another one…
Please!!! Don’t you get it?! These kids aren’t there to cause any trouble. And tell me this – when will you ever get an opportunity to speak to these kids again?
How about something like this instead?:
And if you are still huffing and puffing in your fuddy-duddy grumpy old person way, let you forget that in 2000, St. Pope John Paul II gave his blessing to the Pokémon franchise, saying the games did not have “any harmful moral side effects” and were based on “ties of intense friendship”.
C’mon guys what’s wrong with you?! Don’t miss this golden opportunity. Love them for goodness sake. Instead of seeing these kids as intruders, perhaps start seeing them as irreplaceable souls made in the image and likeness of God who will spend eternity somewhere one day. Perhaps this is your one chance to make sure that place is heaven.
Have you ever sat in Mass and felt like this?! I know I have. There have been many times where I have just zoned out. I realise the priest has got to the end of his sermon and I haven’t really heard a word because I was daydreaming.
I suppose it doesn’t help when most other people around you are doing the same thing. To my horror, I realise that I have become one of those legendary Zombie-like parishioners that I used to marvel at as a child.
I remember the droning monotone chorus of the congregation during the creed, the robotic expressionless handshake of peace, the lifeless melody of the organ with literally 2 people singing out of the entire congregation. The ones who used to hit the ESCAPE button and walk out straight after communion – I guess they’d fulfilled their weekly obligation right? And yet we, and the same other people used to turn up week after week and filter up the isle into the same old pews that we almost seemed to be pre-programmed to return to.
A congregation of mindless robots.
And it wasn’t as if our church wasn’t trying – they got the parishioners involved in the offertory procession, the choir, the readings and bidding prayers, they even got the children to go up onto the sanctuary during the consecration to see up close what the priest was doing. But still, before long it began to dawn on me that I really wasn’t getting anything out of Mass.
By age 13 I had stopped going. I just didn’t see the point. It was so boring. The people there were so boring. The final nail in the liturgical coffin for me was the ‘Teen’ mass. The cringeworthy band with their ‘Rock’ hymns, the priest trying to be cool, the fact that they were trying so hard to include and please us… It was just embarrassing.
I felt quite sorry for them in a way. I could see how hard the few motivated ones were trying to make it work, but it wasn’t cutting it. It didn’t have any interest whatsoever in going to a dead church full of robots. There was nothing in it for me.
It wasn’t until 5 years later, age 18, when I had my first ridiculously powerful, life changing personal encounter with Jesus after a failed suicide attempt that I began returning to Mass.
Because of that encounter, I suddenly realised that Jesus Christ was real, alive, and truly present in the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist during Mass. In those first few weeks of returning to Church as a young adult, on my own, I remember how the words of the readings and the Holy Gospel would just fly accross the church out of the mouths of the readers and just penetrate my heart like a flaming spear. I remember getting butterflies in my tummy, and my heart racing as I approached Jesus in the Holy Eucharist for the first time in a long time. And I remember the gentle peace of Him, as He surrounded me with reassurance and calm during my first tentative steps of my conversion of heart, that I was wanted and loved by Him.
And yet, I was still surrounded by those loyal, yet long suffering mindless robots that surrounded me as a child. The droning creed, the robotic handshakes, the 2 lonely hymn singers… They were all still there! In some ways I found it quite funny 🙂 but I also found that it broke my heart. I was home, but my family were zombies.
I would just watch them week after week, just going through the motions. It was like they were asleep inside, while my heart was completely on fire for Jesus. I learned pretty quickly that I was not going to fit in.
After another 10 years or so I began my Catholic studies at Maryvale university, and for the first time ever came accross the term “active participation” in the Vatican 2 document Sacrosanctum concilium – the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. I learned here that one of the main aims of the day in and around the 1960’s was to get the laity to participate more in the Mass. I was amazed because I thought the robotic zombie parishioner was a modern phenomenon. It seems not.
The other bombshell I learned was that up until the late 1960’s, the priest always used to say Mass with his back to the congregation!! I couldn’t believe it! Why on earth would he do that? The Mass before the late 1960’s was very different. It was said in Latin, the priest had his back to the congregation, people used to kneel to receive Holy Eucharist and would only receive on the tongue. Women were required to cover their hair in church, members of the congregation would often say rosary during Mass if they didn’t understand the Latin. Things were really different.
I can really understand why people were calling for reform in the church and pushing the idea of the “active participation” of the laity in the Mass. How easy would it be to zone out during Mass if you were just sitting there not even able to understand the language? So the Council Fathers developed this idea of active participation:
“14. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people” (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.
In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.” – Sacrosanctum concilium
Although it was never actually an official part of the reforming documents of Vatican 2, the radically new idea of the priest facing the people began to creep in a few years later. The idea behind this was to make the people in the congregation feel more welcome, more involved and for the first time ever they could see what the priest was doing on the altar. It was all aimed at moving towards this idea of active participation.
I can totally understand what they were trying to do in the late 1960’s, but 50 years later with obviously dwindling parishes, lack of religious vocations and widespread theological ignorance within the church, the million dollar question is:
Has this radical idea of active participation actually worked?
It was initially implemented to reduce parishioner zombification during Mass. But as i’m sure you will agree, the zombie robots are alive and well and STILL filling our churches today.
Now, as you have probably heard, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, urged priests and bishops at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London on July 5 to start celebrating Masses ad orientem (with their back to the congregation) beginning on the first Sunday of Advent this year 2016.
This had caused uproar in the more progressive circles of the church as they believe it would take us back 5o years and undermine all the efforts made at active participation since then.
However I think they have got the wrong end of the stick here…
I think that it is pretty safe to say now that the active participation thing has not worked as intended. In all honestly, I think it has backfired massively and has actually drawn the people even further away from participating actively.
You see, the active participation that occurs currently is focused on outward signs and physical gestures. But this is not what active participation is meant to be. The true meaning is for the persons spirit to be actively involved in the mass, not though superficial things like carrying the offertory gifts, but to carry out our Baptismal ‘priestly’ role by offering our entire lives to God as Christ did on the Cross.
Of course it was never explained to me as a kid – or even as an adult that we are actually present at Calvary in real time during Mass. I never knew that. I also never realised that the Mass is something that is directed at God – not at the people. I never knew. The first time I realised that was during my first ever Tridentine (Traditional Latin) Mass where the priest had His back to me. When he lifted up the consecrated host with his back to me, I suddenly realised that Mass was not all about me. It was all about God.
We all face God. The priests offers the sacrifice on our behalf. Man is not the centre of the liturgy – Christ is.
During Mass, by right and duty of my Baptism, my job is to offer my whole life – joined to the eternal sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, to God.
Why oh why did no-one ever tell me this? How can anyone possibly be luke warm during Mass armed with this knowledge? THIS is the active participation that we are meant to be carrying out during Mass – not joining the priest on the sanctuary or clapping during the Gloria.
I can see now that all those external participations actually served as distractions that drew my attention away from what I should really have been concentrating on internally. Even the priest himself can become a distraction during Mass – especially if he is young and handsome (yes, this has happened to me before during Mass *cringe*).
So to cut a very long argument short – I can totally see where Cardinal Sarah is coming from. He is trying to move the focus of the Mass back to where it should be – onto Christ, and eliminate the many distractions that have crept into the liturgy over the years. He is also trying to educate us as to the real meaning of “active participation”.
There is one last thing…
Offering Mass this way would also be a wonderfully unitive thing to do with the Eastern Churches. They all offer Mass with the priest having his back to the congregation – they never changed. And as with everything in Catholic culture, this posture is highly symbolic. I spoke to my Byzantine friend who put it perfectly:
“Every movement in the Liturgy is symbolic. For instance, we face west during the exorcism part of the Baptism ceremony and then turn to the east (the altar) to declare our allegiance to Christ. It seems strange that the priest would face west to lead us in prayer/speaking to God on our behalf.”
Yes, that does seem strange when she puts it like that doesn’t it? I’m going to have to think more about that last part very, very carefully.
Well, We did it! Our proud nation is finally free once again. I’ve been partying for about 3 days now and I just can’t seem to stop!
Apart from getting married or giving birth to my kids, this has been one of the best and most significant few days of my life.
For the first time ever, I can look at my kids future in this country with a real sense of freedom, hope and opportunity, rather than the dread of knowing that they would most likely be persecuted for their faith under the laws of the politically correct neo-Marxist EU.
Everything I fight hard for can be summed up in the referendum result. Freedom, democracy, common sense. I never dreamed I would see it in my lifetime. WE ARE FREE!!
But I think the best thing is that I know that at least 17 million people feel the same way I do. The sleeping giant has awakened. WE ARE BRITISH! AND BRITAIN IS GREAT!
Top lesson of the day: You have a voice, and your voice counts. And when you find the courage to speak up, you find that millions of other feel the same way. I think this is the first time that a LOT of people feel that their voice is finally being heard.
Unfortunately, this kind of courage can make other people feel, well, sad.
Some of the people were feeling so sad that they even ventured out of their safe spaces to start an online petition calling for a second referendum. Apparently the first one wasn’t fair enough because they didn’t win.
Unfortunately it seems that their petition wasn’t fair either. They had created computer programmes to sign the petition thousands of times with fake signatures. Apparently 50k came from Vatican City!!! Another 25k came from North Korea!!!
Of course inevitably there were hilarious counter petitions rising up everywhere including one that was asking for a re-run of the battle of Hastings, and a re-draw of last weeks Euro million lottery!
I really think it would have been easier on the losing side if they had not all been given prizes throughout their childhoods for *not* winning at school sports day.
But to those who voted Remain and are now saying “Let’s get on with working together to build a great British future…” I have the upmost respect ☺ Hats off to you guys!
The whining quickly turned to anger and insult, and there were calls for older people to not be able to vote ever again because they were, well, old. And that obviously means that their vote doesn’t count.
It’s a shame the young ones forget that their grandparents were the ones who freed this country from the evil of the German National Socialist Party back in 1945.
The accusations of Bigot and Racist were seemingly forgotten and replaced by “uneducated”. I guess if we do have a second vote (which will never happen!) then the only ones allowed to vote should be readers of The Guardian. In one of the most sickeningly patronising articles I have ever read, The Guardian tells us that Remainers should now consider themselves ‘parents’ to the uneducated proletariat Brexiteers who so desperately need re-educating.
Did I mention that an angry Remainer called me a Xylophone?! I think he meant Xenophobe 😀
So here is a summary of our first day of freedom:
The BBC promised me Godzilla and fire from the sky. Where are my huge lizards?! Where are my fireballs?! I’m still waiting…
And who will be our new Prime Minister? I think I have the solution…
In all fairness, we must remember that despite the behaviour our brothers and sisters have been displaying recently, they are grieving. Please keep this in mind when interacting with them. This chart may help explain why people do crazy things when they are grieving:
Today’s second reading said it all for me. It really hit the nail on the head:
Reading 2, Galatians 5:1, 13-18
1 Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery.
13 After all, brothers, you were called to be free; do not use your freedom as an opening for self-indulgence, but be servants to one another in love,
14 since the whole of the Law is summarised in the one commandment: You must love your neighbour as yourself.
15 If you go snapping at one another and tearing one another to pieces, take care: you will be eaten up by one another.
16 Instead, I tell you, be guided by the Spirit, and you will no longer yield to self-indulgence.
17 The desires of self-indulgence are always in opposition to the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are in opposition to self-indulgence: they are opposites, one against the other; that is how you are prevented from doing the things that you want to.
18 But when you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Ok. Party done. Now time to work on a way forward…
I know the way forward. It supercedes Brexit, Remain, the EU, Prime Ministers and Presidents. It supercedes race, wealth, class and education. It supercedes our entire world and it supercedes us.
This ‘it’ is a ‘who’. And that ‘who’ is Jesus Christ.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
So today as we had David Beckham and Anjem Choudary (Muslim hate preacher extraordinaire) come out as Remainiacs, I thought I would come out myself as a Brexiteer.
I would not usually use this blog to write about purely political events – but I believe this referendum to be so important to the future of our country, that I feel the need to speak about it.
There are a thousand and one reasons I want to leave the EU. Here are my top 3:
1. I want the UK to be able to make its own laws and govern its own people independently. I don’t want us to have to run it by the EU first to make sure they approve. If we remain part of the EU we will have no independence as a nation. I value my national identity as a Brit. I want to belong to Great Britain, not the North Western province of Europe.
“European law shall always prevail in terms of rights and freedoms over the national legislations of the countries of origin that limit or infringe such rights. (§7)” – ‘European Charter for Secularism and Freedom of Conscience‘.
2. Under EU legislation, parents will have no rights over their own children. The EU has a massively anti-Catholic stance, especially in the area of sexuality and marriage. I do not want their pro-gay, pro-abortion agenda being taught to my kids at school. If we leave, we will no longer be forced to adhere to their utterly Godless moral stance.
“Freedom of conscience among children and adolescents shall be specifically protected regardless of the ideological convictions of parents and care-takers. European laws shall consider children and adolescents as free citizens and therefore shall ensure their freedom from any coercive doctrinal or dogmatic conditioning, including sexual mutilations based on religious or supposedly cultural pretexts and from the imposition by adults of any religion, rite or ideological conviction. (§5)” – ‘European Charter for Secularism and Freedom of Conscience‘.
“In Denmark, external experts such as prostitutes, homosexuals or HIV-positive
persons are invited to speak in schools about their experience. In the Netherlands, sexuality education begins at the age of four. However, in Poland sexuality is taboo at school as well as at home. In Spain, the subject is hardly ever taught in schools in rural areas. Overall, the best practises are observed in Benelux, Nordic countries, France and Germany…
…The disparities between quality and frequency of delivery of sexuality education in the 24 observed EU Member States can be explained by cultural and religious traditions (incidence and influence of the Catholic and Protestant Churches, traditions, etc.)…
…Consequently, the Catholic Church has had a growing influence on school-based sexuality education. Traditional groups are against methods using a scientific language as they focus on family roles and traditional values. As a result, sexuality education was taken out of the curriculum, to be taught outside of the school programme by voluntary teachers. In the same period, the few accessible school books teaching the subject conveyed false and stereotyped information about contraception and rejected homosexuality. The Catholic Church also had a strong influence on family planning services, which underwent pressures leading to difficult access and uneven distribution of the facilities in the country.” – ‘Policies for Sexuality Education in the European Union 2013’.
3. I don’t want open borders. I want a points system similar to that of the Australians, where people are evaluated on what they can bring to the UK in terms of their skills. This of course would not just be for Europeans – but worldwide. At the moment we are in the middle of a housing, NHS and schools crisis in the UK. We do not need an open ended influx of people when we already can’t cope with what we have. That would be entirely irresponsible and lead to utter chaos.
I do not want people arriving on our shores who have not been checked for criminal records, terrorist offenses or who simply want to come here to claim benefits. I do not want large groups of single young men arriving here under the impression that it is perfectly acceptable to heckle, grope and rape women like we have seen in Cologne and all across Europe.
And just to get one thing completely straight – I am not a racist or a bigot. 99% of Brexiteers are not racists or bigots and they do not take kindly to being called so by the Remaniac media. It is a difficult argument to make when my two best friends are a first generation Polish immigrant, and a Black French Caribbean immigrant! Like I said – I am not against immigration, but I do want it to be strictly controlled.
Another reason for not wanting open borders is that I believe a major goal of the EU is to destroy national identity. I believe the EU vision is to make Europe a super-state similar to that of USA. I don’t want this. I don’t want each country to amalgamate into a big grey soup of androgenous, tasteless conformity. I love the differences of each European country and culture and I believe these things that make us diverse, special and unique need to be treasured and honoured.
I would like to encourage everyone who is undecided to vote for Brexit. Ask yourself this:
If the vote was to join the EU, would you want to join it right now in the near collapsing state it is in?
No, me neither. VOTE LEAVE!
Dear LGBT community,
Come to Jesus and know how much you are loved. Every Christian is a sinner. The Church is just made up of a whole bunch of sinners in need of a saviour. So if you are a sinner too, you are gonna fit in just fine! Jesus doesn’t like people who point fingers at other people’s sin. When he saved a young woman from being stoned to death he looked at the crowed of accusers around her and told them:
“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”” – (John 8:7)
Let me tell you about God…
God loves His children UNCONDITIONALLY. He loves you and me so much that He sent His only son Jesus to die on a cross to pay the price for our sins. He did this because He wants you and me to be with Him for all eternity after we die. He created you unique, special, beautiful, one of a kind.
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – (Luke 12:7)
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you God, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – (Psalm 139)
Come and find out more about this love.
We are all sinners. Jesus wants to forgive us and set us free. He wants us to see ourselves through His eyes, so we can realise how much we are loved. Not once we decide to leave our old lives behind and follow Him, but RIGHT NOW. He loves you RIGHT NOW.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – (Romans 5:8)
Come to Jesus. Come and find out about how much He loves you. Come and find out about His mercy and forgiveness.
The terror attack in Orlando was a hate crime. It was carried out by a man who had learned to hate himself. He believed his religion hated him because he too was experiencing same-sex attraction.
If only he could have known the truth about how much he was loved by Jesus – even in the depths of his hate and despair, he was still loved. He didn’t know how much He was loved.
It is too late now. I commit him, and all those who were killed in the club that night to the mercy of God. They all now stand face to face with their creator. One day, we all will stand face to face with our creator.
You are angry, of course. But please don’t let that anger grow into hate. Instead come and learn about Love as you have never known it before.
God has a plan for your life. He wants you back. Turn to Jesus now and begin the most incredible relationship of your life.
Jesus, I don’t know who you are. Everything I’ve been taught about you doesn’t seem to make sense anymore. How can you love me when I am a sinner? How can you do that? I have turned my back on God many times in my life Jesus. I want to come to you. Help me come to you and give my heart to you. I want to know who I am through your eyes. I want to know about Your love, Your mercy, Your forgiveness. I want to know how much you love me.
For all those affected by same-sex attraction please visit https://couragerc.org/
I am not a perfect wife. I am not a perfect mother. And I don’t pretend to be – anymore.
I fight with my husband and my kids all the time. Most of the time it is over silly little things. They drive me mad. I drive them mad. We all have to live together.
I often used to think that I was doing something wrong. Everyone else seemed to have these perfect ‘nice’ marriages and perfect ‘nice’ families, and my marriage and family were just not like that. It became a point of shame for me that we were not as perfect as other people and really started to get me down.
Satan would whisper things in my ear like “Your marriage is not working… You are not cut out for motherhood… You are failing.” Of course the Father of lies is the master of keeping himself hidden, so I believed that what he was saying was true.
I think the biggest lie I believed was “You are not good enough.” My response to this was to try harder. Mistake.
The scales began to fall from my eyes when one day a close friend who had the perfect marriage and family confided in me that her husband was obsessed with work and never spent any time at home, and she was in love with another man. She was terrified I would judge her. I didn’t of course because she was my friend and I loved her – but I couldn’t understand how her perfect marriage had got into that state?
I kept her confidence, and marveled at how they managed to keep it together at family events – still projecting the facade that everything was still ‘nice’.
The second eye opener for me was when a family member got divorced. It came as a complete shock for everyone because they seemed to be the perfect couple. It seems there was major troubles within the relationship that no-one knew about.
The third and most painful eye-opener was when I decided to hide my post natal depression. I was so ill, but I was so ashamed of not being as good as all the other mothers – or so I thought at the time. Then I found out that another friend was on antidepressants and that she also felt utterly trapped in the unending cycle of nappies, feeding and crying.
When I recovered from the depression I began to see things in a new light. I looked at all my friends and their marriages and families and realised that all of us were struggling. It still makes me smile now when I see newly weds, or first time parents desperately trying to convey the ‘nice’ picture of perfect domestic bliss, because I know that Satan will be whispering the exact same thing into their ears as he was into mine. They are gonna have to work it out for themselves just like I did. I wouldn’t have believed it if anyone had tried to tell me anyway…
This culture of perfection that we all seem to be striving for is based on pride. The fact is that none of us are good enough to carry out God’s plan for our lives. That’s right – I just said we are not good enough. Well, the truth is that we aren’t – and that was the final piece of the puzzle for me.
“I can’t do this Father, but You can. Please, I need You Father, I need You.”
It is amazing how the weight of my whole life just lifted off me at that moment. Realising that I was incapable was the most freeing moment of my life because it finally allowed me to rely entirely on God. And for the first time at that moment, it made sense that I should be entirely truthful with other people about how I find marriage and motherhood incredibly difficult at times. If I was ever going to be able to give an authentic witness to the sacrament of Marriage or to motherhood, then I was going to have to let people see that I was not perfect, and that that was ok.
What better witness to the truth is there than letting people see God’s mercy made perfect in my weakness? I am in need of a saviour. I need my Father.
This exact same principle applies to the Church at large. People do not need a perfectly veneered version of the church. In fact I would say that this is probably the most off putting, disingenuous way of presenting things. If you try to give people the Church of ‘nice’ you are leading them to believe that everyone in that church is already perfect. Then they try to be perfect, and fail, and then try to cover up their shame and get totally put off because they can’t live up to your churches unattainably high moral standards. You know – they are probably terrible sinners, just like you are.
People need to see the truth, and the truth is that we as the church are just a big bunch of helpless sinners in need of a saviour. That includes the laity and the clergy. My role in evangelising amounts to nothing more than me being one beggar, telling another beggar where the bread is.
People aren’t looking for ‘nice’. They are looking for truth. And the truth is that none of us are perfect, yet God still loves us unconditionally and wants us to totally rely on Him, and return to Him again and again through the sacrament of Confession.
One monkey gets shot and everyone goes ape. Seriously, the amount of hate and judgment I have seen directed towards the mother of the little boy who managed to sneak into the Gorilla’s enclosure is just flabbergasting. I’ve seen a petition with over 150,000 signatures who are all calling for “Justice for Harambe” although no-one really knows what that means.
Many are blaming the mother for not supergluing the 4 year old to her side. I’m sure if she thought there was any risk at all of her son being able to breach the fence of the gorilla enclosure then she would have. Perhaps the haters need to be looking at the fact that the security at the gorilla enclosure was so weak it was foiled by a 4 year old? If I were the parents i’d be suing the zoo quite frankly.
And then there is the fact that Harambe is a wild animal kept in captivity so that some people can gawp at him, and others can make money from people gawping at him. I’m sure when God made the majestic and extremely powerful Harambe, He didn’t intend him to spend his life in a zoo. I’m sure God intended him to live in the wild. But we love to control things don’t we…?
The out-pouring of emotion and grief over Harambe reminds me of the death of Princess Diana (stick with me on this one…!) Harambe and Diana were both gawped at by people. Diana was held captive in her own media prison – never being able to leave the house without Paparazzi, never having a moments privacy. People paid good money to view every aspect of her life. She was a spectacle for our entertainment – just like Harambe.
When she died there was one of the biggest outpourings of grief i’ve ever seen. Why? I never understood why? Yesterday you were happy to gawp at this person and revel in her lack of privacy, and now you are mourning her death like she was your own mother. I think what we were witnessing was the widespread grief of death itself. We cannot control death. Perhaps there was also an element of guilt there for gawping for all those years?
Perhaps people are also feeling guilt for Harambe? I’m sure some are. But many more are just feeling plain old rage. The rage, I believe also stems from this lack of ability to control. We love to control everything. St JPII called this the ‘contraceptive mentality’.
Our desire to control things leads us eventually to do absolutely anything to remain in control. We want all the benefits and pleasures we can lay our hands on – and none of the responsibility or consequences. As human beings we take this desire for control to the very limit through murdering our own children through abortion. We MUST remain in control.
So when our control of a 400lb wild animal we are holding hostage is compromised by a 4 year old boy and we have to shoot the animal to remain in control, everyone blames the boy (and his mother).
“She should have been keeping better control of him!” That’s right – there is no room for accidents or anomalies or mistakes in our contraceptive culture. No room at all. In fact, I’m starting to believe that there would have been less of a hyper emotional outcry from the self-loathing haters if the zoo keeper had just shot the boy (and his mother of course…). Then we could all just keep looking at the funny monkey and gawp at how big and strong he is, and how clever we are for controlling him.
People are so stupid…