Today is the Feast of Pentecost - the Birthday of Holy Mother Church.
There they were, huddled for protection next to Our Blessed Mother, praying and scared that they were to be the next ones to die. The sound of the Holy Spirit filled the room and tongues like fire appeared above their heads. Suddenly these scared little men were transformed into Lions for The Lord.
What a blessing that must have been to witness such an event! How Mary's heart must have been soothed to see all that her Precious Son had died for begin - the great mission of The Church springing forth from that tiny room.
On Saturday I attended my third Dominican Chapter meeting and what a great way to spend a Saturday morning. We listened to a wonderful presentation on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, particularly how the discipline of celibacy developed from Biblical times to be the preferred state for men following The Call to serve Holy Mother Church as one of Her priests. The historical background filled in a lot of the gaps of the normal philosophical arguments and it was great to be surrounded by calm, intelligent, vibrant people - all eager to learn more about their Church and Her history.
I am still struggling with learning how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I purchased an AP for my iPhone that seems to help; at least it is easier for me to follow than flipping back and forth between pages in my Christian Prayer book.
The sadness I feel today is over the capitulation of the local Episcopal Church to the culture that runs the world. I know that many people think that what they did (agreeing to bless same-sex or non-married 'unions' as 'HOLY LOVE') is 'inclusive'. Is it?
I don't think so - and I don't think so because it is action based on lies.
The lie that theological principles should be democratically decided is the lie that is killing Christians in this nation. Oh, we rarely have to worry about someone beating us up, raping us, dragging us through the streets naked or otherwise imposing their physical will upon us because we are Catholics (Welcome to Pakistan - may I show you to your hiding place?). No, we have to endure the slings and arrows of those who believe that confirming someone in their sin is somehow kind and gentle and inclusive - and loving.
It is not loving to let someone kill their own souls all for the sake of being popular.
BUT - this is America, land of the free and home of the whopper so no one is going to force the Episcopalians to be anything but what they want to be: popular.
I have met a lot of Catholics who left the Church to become Episcopalian and it is interesting to me: none of them have left because, after studying the Catechism, the Early Church Fathers and Holy Scripture, they decided they found the church Jesus founded and so they needed to join in order to be in His Presence.
Instead, I have heard "I don't like that women cannot be priests" or " I think priests should be able to get married" or "they will do Gay Marriages".
I have never met a Catholic who joined a once-saved-always-saved group because, after serious study of ancient history, philosophy, Church Doctors and Early Church Fathers said, "Yup - right over there at the Assembly of God Power Wagon Temple and Coffee Shop is the real presence, the true authority...TRUTH".
I have heard, "I liked the music and preaching better" or "I felt the spirit" or "I did not like our priest" or "I was divorced and wanted to get married again and the Catholic Church said I couldn't" ....
In other words "me me me me me".
Oh sure, there are those who pretend they did a deep and meaningful study of true history but it is impossible, as Bl. John Henry Newman said oh so many years ago, to be deep in history and remain outside The Catholic Church.
Well, I know we will be getting a run of people at RCIA now as a result of the decision to be popular rather than faithful.
Meanwhile, I will keep studying and praying and wishing and a hoping for that day when all Christians can partake of The Eucharist because we are truly One Body.