Today, May 13, is the Feast of the Ascension of Lord.....
How could we ever forget?
When I was a little Catholic (a school girl and parishioner at Christ the King in Pleasant Hill) this was a Holy Day of Obligation as well as a day of rejoicing and fun. It meant songs and a party. Today was the day Jesus went Home to Heaven - we were taught by our young and enthusiastic nuns to not be sad but be HAPPY....because Jesus cannot come back if He hadn't left in the first place.
Now that is great logic - and it is also the way to teach a valuable lesson to little Catholics.
There is a plan in place for us and every bit of that plan is important. It is not just necessary that we learn our Faith, it is our BIRTHRIGHT as children of God to know what has happened and what is coming. We have a right to know how to pray, to understand where the Nicene Creed came from and exactly what is happening at Mass. We are children of Holy Mother Church - not just children of The Book but sons and daughters of The WORD. A good father and mother teach their children and we deserve to be taught.
Traditionally, this feast day is celebrated 40 days after Easter. Pentecost is considered the birthday of Holy Mother Church because it is the day the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, came to our fathers (The Apostles) and bestowed upon these holy men the gifts necessary to begin to birth that which lives today - The Church. This is why our priests are so important - even the ugly and icky ones - for without Apostolic Succession we end up with confusion and anger, disunity and ego as every Tom, Dick and Joyce establish their own denomination.
Christian Unity is a goal, I know. We will always struggle because we are human. But I have no doubt in my heart that God wishes for us to be ONE...to share in the Sacramental Life He plans for us until it is time for the Second Coming of Jesus.
I am tired of battling with people who believe nonsense - even if the battles are rooted in kindness and love. The people who think Jesus became a Baptist or that Catholics worship Mary. I know I have to love these people but sometimes I think, "The Crusaders were right..smite the infidels".
Then it passes and I ask for forgiveness for my meanness of heart. I pick up my sword and shield once again and enjoin the battle.
I guess that's why I love The Sacraments. Without the Sanctifying Grace afforded me by them I would have given up long ago. The enemy is strong and human beings can be so darn stubborn....including me.
Which is why I ask for God to turn my character defect of stubbornness into an asset by giving me the strength to continue. Truth is not relative. Truth endures. Truth is Love.
God is Truth.....
Happy Feast Day everyone!