The Name of Christ is mighty
Apparently the Name of Christ is more dangerous to the public than concealed weapons (which are perfectly legal) in N. Carolina. Nice.I found a seed on Father Z's blog this morning detailing a new policy enacted in N. Carolina regarding police chaplains' ability to use Christ's name while praying at public events.
One chaplain's response was like an arrow to my heart... a beautiful, wonderful arrow of integrity and wisdom.
Pastor Terry Sartain, upon learning of this change, withdrew from the event because, "Jesus is the only thing I have to bless people with." This man understands what so many others do not. The Name of Christ is one of our greatest blessings. It's why we always ask for everything "in Jesus' Name." Christ left us even the grace of His own Name to help shield us from harm. Other religions treat the names of their gods / prophets as unspeakable or curse-inducing utterances. Not Christianity. We were blessed to understand that our God is a loving God who WANTS a personal relationship with us. He WANTS us to know Him intimately. Thus, He blesses us with the comfort of His Holy Name.To remove our ability to call out His blessing through using His Name, this policy effectively steals from us our ability to properly pray. It also forces us to deny the God who gave His Life for our salvation.And I can't help but know with certainly that the developers of this policy fully understood that. I believe Satan and his demons coated this with the sugar of tolerance and unity, but in reality, this is just one more step towards a global "religion" that is no religion at all. It is a dismantling of Christianity in lieu of agnosticism. It is a stifling of our faith... another gentle inoculation to prevent the spread of Christ's Name to new generations of souls. This has nothing to do with tolerance. It is INTOLERANCE that has paved the way for this desecration of religious liberties. But few will see it this way because so many are grateful for the chance to cast aside the trappings of religion. Their own opinions on religion cloud their ability to see beyond the "Don't use Jesus' Name" and realize that it is a tiny cog in a bigger machine that is shooting down a person's individual right to practice their religion as he or she sees fit.Chaplains are VOLUNTEERS. They are volunteering their time to give comfort to the men and women who serve. At a prayer service (if one is requested by the police force), folks EXPECT to hear names like Jesus, God, Buddha or Mohammad. These words do not point a finger at atheists, Jews or Spaghetti Monster believers in an attempt to say "You're going to a naughty place for not believing!" If you invite a volunteer chaplain to one of these prayer services, you're inviting their brand of religion. If you don't want to be stifled by Christianity, find a volunteer who will speak what you're looking for. But do NOT, NOT, NOT attempt to tell someone how they can and cannot pray (publicly or otherwise!). These chaplains (whatever their religion may be) are looking to offer comfort in the form of a universal blessing. Christ does not just bless Christians. He blesses all, regardless of their belief in Him. If someone were to say to me, "May the Spaghetti Monster's blessing be upon you always" I'd say, "Right on, good sir. Thanks for having my back with the warm fuzzies."I would not respond, "Dude, I believe in JESUS, okay? Stop insulting me with your well-wishes!"And yet that's exactly what is being done by this policy. It is ludicrous and is once again an attempt by policy makers to stifle the religious freedoms of folks... folks who are VOLUNTEERING THEIR TIME for goodness sake!*Sigh*It reminds me of this yearly mess... Will this sort of foolishness have no end?
This is a perfect time for the Golden Arrow Prayer. It was given to St. Gertrude the Great by Christ, Himself, who said, "It will wound My Heart delightfully and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy."
As I said on Fr. Z's wall, I hope in this case it will heal the wounds inflicted by arrogance, silence and betrayal.
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
True photo of an in-womb child.
Tortured for Christ. For those of you who have not yet read this book, please avail yourselves to its contents here.
I've been thinking about this a lot recently. It's probably one of the most thought-provoking moments in his memoir (and he's got a LOT of those!). Ever since first reading it (several months ago), I've been unable to parray it from my mind for very long. It swooped in and enveloped my conscious again yesterday, when a friend asked me how I could possibly be sure there was an afterlife.
"Suppose that we could speak with an embryo in his mother's womb and that you would tell him that the embryonic life is only a short one after which follows a real, long life. What would the embryo answer? He would say just what you atheists answer to us, when we speak to you about paradise and hell. He would say that the life in the mother's womb is the only one and that everything else is religious foolishness. But if the embryo could think, he would say to himself, ‘Here arms grow on me. I do not need them. I cannot even stretch them. Why do they grow? Perhaps they grow for a future stage of my existence, in which I will have to work with them. Legs grow, but I have to keep them bent toward my chest. Why do they grow? Probably life in a large world follows, where I will have to walk. Eyes grow, although I am surrounded by perfect darkness and don't need them. Why do I have eyes? Probably a world with light and colors will follow.'
"So, if the embryo would reflect on his own development, he would know about a life outside of his mother's womb, without having seen it. It is the same with us. As long as we are young, we have vigor, but no mind to use it properly. When, with the years, we have grown in knowledge and wisdom, the hearse waits to take us to the grave. Why was it necessary to grow in a knowledge and wisdom that we can use no more? Why do arms, legs, and eyes grow on an embryo? It is for what follows. So it is with us here. We grow here in experience, knowledge, and wisdom for what follows. We are prepared to serve on a higher level that follows death."
This truly is a beautiful insight... an inspired insight. May it touch you as it has touched me.
The below text is taken from Richard Wurmbrand's
One of my favorites
It's true, it's true. I married myself a non-Catholic. Sure, he was born and raised in the Church. And sure, his mom has pictures of him dressed up in a chasuble pretending to be a priest. The truth, however, is that my husband is agnostic.
I was well aware of his agnosticism when we first dated. I respected his beliefs, and he respected mine. Sure, he'd tease me now and again, but back in those early days, I didn't really feel as though he looked down on my devotions. He just accepted them as a quirky part of who I was.
I had been surrounded by enough atheism and agnosticism that his lack of belief structure wasn't a big deal. Nor did I think it would pose much of a problem for our married life, either. After all, my parents were similar. My mom is Catholic and my dad is... well... nothing. My dad never cared that my mom took us to Mass and raised us with the faith, and I assumed the same would be true of John. After all, he had always said, "Sure, teach 'em whatever you want, but I plan to teach them about other religions and stuff, too."
I was agreeable to that. I appreciate other cultures and think it's important to be aware of the various belief systems out there. I had made it clear, however, that I'd be raising them as Catholics (the sacraments, Catholic schooling, Sunday Masses, etc), and that I wouldn't tolerate his eye-rolling or subtle snark directed towards my chosen set of beliefs. John agreed that was fair, especially when I granted the compromise of consent. When our children are ready to be confirmed, it will be their choice to move forward or not. At that point, they should be able to make the choice for themselves (and if I teach them properly, that decision, I'm hoping, will be the right one!).
So the years went by and religion didn't really come up between us. John balked a bit when I baptized Vincent, but as soon as I reminded him of the promise he made to allow me to raise our children Catholic until they were able to decide (properly) for themselves, he stopped.
Now that I've had a resurgence of faith, however, he's getting extremely antsy about my beliefs. He confronted me about my threads (again, readers not connected with me on Facebook, commentary abounds there), and said, "It's like I don't even know you anymore." He accused me of going insane, and very plainly worried about how my religion would affect our son. I guess he was marginally OK with my tepid religious beliefs before... but now that I actually voice those beliefs, it's an entirely different ballgame.
He's struggling with this. It's just as difficult for him as it is for me. He's afraid I'm being brainwashed by religion, and that I'll spread the "infection" onto Vincent. He's also embarrassed because my religious beliefs conflict very much with the anti-religious stance of our mutual friends. Even those friends of ours who ARE religious are very much gun-shy when it comes to talking about their faith. So for me to be so vocal about so taboo a topic as religion is scandalous, apparently.
I'm trying to be patient. I'm trying very hard to see this from his perspective as well. I understand that I really have "changed" in his eyes, but at the heart of it, I'm still the exact same person. I just happen to be more secure in my faith and much more willing to teach others about it. My faith has done nothing to change my political views, to alter how I treat others (except for an attempt to be more gentle and loving), or to disrupt my daily obligations. But all these exterior forces are weighing heavily on him. The most I can do is pray to St. Monica. May her intercession melt his heart.