Posts Tagged 'love your neighbor'

Depression Sucks

As the title says, depression sucks.  I’m stuck in a spiral, out of control, everything is getting worse world where no one even notices that I’m hurting or refuses to acknowledge it or want me to hide everything I feel because making them feel bad is the unforgivable sin.

I’m too fat.  Jeans I only bought two months ago have become too small.  I seem to gain weight even though I don’t eat bad food full of sugar.

I’m so bad that I deserve to go to Hell just like my mother and the traditionalists always say.  I starting to really believe it.  I must not be lovable or likable and I certainly don’t have any talents or gifts.  I’m just a useless, worthless, waste of space that deserves to die.  People would be much happier if I was gone.   I’m not even a person.  I don;t matter.  No one notices or cares if I’m here or not.  People say God does but it He cares about everyone so I’m not even a blip on the radar.  People say they at I’m doing this for attention, that I stay this way because I like being a victim.  No I fucking to do not want to be this way.

I want to be loved,  I want to be good at something.  I want to be a person.  I want to be cared for.  I want to be noticed and remember.  I want to go to Heaven not be damned to Hell.  I want to be special.  I want to be the go to person.  I want to be perfect.  I want to be more than a stupid mental illness. I want not to cry anymore.  I want to have actual dreams that actually come true rather than having to squash them in order to make everyone else happy or because I always make bad decisions.  I want to make good decisions.  I want to be thin.  I want to be pretty instead of the real ugly idiot that I am.  I want to be more.  I don’t want to have to settle for scraps.  I want to be free.  I don’t want to be like my mother.  I want to be me whoever that is.  I want to be a real woman not the fake woman everyone else wants me to be.  I don’t want to be the boy my parents wanted and so when they were disappointed that I wasn’t they abused and neglected me.  I don’t want to be abused or hurt.  I want to be accepted for who I am.  I want traditionalists to shut up and get lost.  I want to be something.  I want to be a federal agent.  I want people to take me seriously.  I want people to stop ignoring me.  I want people to acknowledge that a single woman is not a heresy or bad person or a failure or not a person because she isn’t married or has kids or what not.  I don’t want to keep eating emotionally.  I don’t want to be fat.  I want to be real.

 

 

 

Signs/Symptoms of a Radical Traditionalist

Having come across so many radical traditionalists in my time on CAF and even one or two in real life, I thought I’d come up with a set of diagnostic criteria for a radical traditionalist, not unlike the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV for psychologists and psychiatrists.  This isn’t perfect and I know I probably forgot things but this is what I have so far.

For a diagnosis of Radical Traditionalist, three or more of the following criteria may be met (OB is obscure):

-Believes the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, usually referred to as the Tridentine Latin Mass (TLM) is the only valid form of the Mass.  Everything else is inferior, heretical, or Protestant.

-Holds the 1917 Code of Canon Law above the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

-Believes Latin in the only language of the Catholic Church.  All prayers, private or public, are to be said in Latin.

-Believes God only understands Latin.

-Believes Palestrina and Gregorian chant that is sung by an all male choir is the only form of music, esclesial or secular, allowed.

-Believes the Rosary is the supreme and highest devotion.  It is the only prayer, besides the Mass, that is necessary for salvation.  Believes anyone who does not pray the Rosary is not a Catholic.

-Believes the Ordinary Form of the Mass, normally referred to the Novus Ordo and refuses to use the forms of the Church, in the vernacular is inefficacious, is invalid, does not present a valid Eucharist, is inferior, and Protestant.  Believe people who attend the OF are either Protestants or heretics.

-Believes communion on the tongue while kneeling at a communion rail is the only way to receive the Eucharist.  People who are unable to kneel are deemed irreverent.  Communion in the hand is considered heretic and pagan.

-Believes the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima is the only Marian apparition or at least the highest.   Believed to be the best Marian devotion and the only one worthy of belief.  Believe Catholics who do not believe it, follow what was said, or refuse to acknowledge it are heretics.  Requires automatic believe in this apparition as a criteria as to being a real Catholic.

-Believe Confession is required every week.

-Believe most things are a mortal sin, especially if they say so.

-Believe no woman is allowed anywhere near the sanctuary.  This even means the first pew unless they are a nun/sister praying the Rosary.

-Believe there is a strict dress code for every occasion.  This only applies to women and children.

-Believes women are required to veil at all times.  Mantillas only.  Hats and other forms of headcovering are not allowed.  No hair is allowed to show otherwise a woman will be inciting a man to sin.  She is at fault if a mans sees even one strand of hair.

-Believes women are required to wear dresses or skirts (dresses are the preferred option) down to the floor with full length sleeves and extreme high collars.  The prefered style is fundamentalist Mormon.

-Believes women who dress in pants or skirts above the toe are inciting men to lust and other sexual sins and just asking to be raped.

-Believes women are responsible for men’s sins, especially sexual sins.

-Believes the Church does not go far enough is legislating modesty and dress.  Believes the Church should dictate a strict dress code for everyone that must be strictly adhered to at all times.

-Believes women are to be minimally educated.

-Believes women should never work outside the home.

-Believes no one should go swimming do to the immoral form of dress required.

-Believes women are meant only to be wives and mothers, and occasionally sisters but nothing else.

-Believe Natural Family Planning (NFP) is contraception and goes against God’s will.

-Believes the number of children a couple will have is should be entirely left up to the providence of God.  Any abstinence, NFP, or any other method is contraception and a mortal sin.  A mother’s health, a family’s finances, etc. are irrelevant to family size and having children.

-Believes all children should be homeschooled.  All other forms of schooling are tools of the devil.

-Believes colleges, universities, high schools, elementary schools, public and Catholic are bastions of radical feminism, secular humanism, and atheism.

-Believes sheltering children from every interaction with the world and especially other people will make them strong Catholics.

-Believes TV, radio, movies, computers, and any other media that is not explicitly Catholics is immoral, a tool of the Devil, and never allowed in the home.

-Believes EWTN doesn’t go far enough.

-Believes most Bishops, priests, and Catholics to be outright heretics and have no knowledge of the faith.

-Believe Michael Voris is the second coming and like his in the face style and name calling of bishops and fellow Catholics.

-Believe Colleen Hammond is the go to authority for dress and follow her rules exactly.

-Believes if the book is not the Bible, the Early Church fathers, or one of  a select few writers then the books are immoral and advocating devil worship.

-Believe only young earth creationism.

-Believes they must call all behavior not exactly like theirs a sin and everyone who does not believe like them a heretic.

-Believes they are the only one on the right path to Heaven.  Everyone else, except for a select few, is going to Hell.

-Believes having fun is a sin.

-Believes contemporary music is immoral regardless of the lyrics.  Some classical music by some Catholics composers is acceptable.

-Believes the organ is the only instrument.  All other instruments, regardless of use, is profane.

-Believes that quoting documents from Vatican II is sinful and will only cite pre-Vatican II documents to support their arguments, even if they are off topic or have nothing to do with a topic or are out dated.

-Will ignore, put down, or trash Vatican II.

-Believes happiness and joy are useless and pointless especially in the spiritual life.

-Believes it is necessary to point out every little flaw and mistake a priest makes as necessary to stop liturgical abuse.

-Believes liturgical abuse is extremely rampant in OF/NO parishes and have never existed in EF/TLM parishes.

-Believes the Baltimore Catechism is the only necessary catechism.

-Believe the 1950s were the Golden Era of Catholicism in America.

-Believes the 1960s were the end of the Catholic Church in America.

-Believes Council of Trent trumps Vatican II.

-Wants all Catholics to be exactly like them.

-Believe unity is the sam thing as uniformity.

-Believe the EF/TLM would solve all the problems in the Church, including but not limited to sex abuse by priests, lack of vocations.

-Believe a college education is worthless unless you are going to be a lawyer or a doctor.

-Believe they are the only true Catholics and everyone else is a Protestant heretic.

(OB)-Believe women who dress in pants or in skirts above the toe are guilty for their own rape.

(OB)-Believes all Protestants are going to Hell.

(OB)-Believes Jews were abandoned or are ignored by God.

(OB)-Believe Eastern Catholics and the Orthodox are to be Latinized.

(OB)-Believe that is a person receives any sort of spiritual consolation, you are doing something wrong or are possessed by a demon.

 

This is not an exhaustive list but it does include what I have seen, read, and heard.

Rant of the Week

I’ve been meaning to update here but life got in the way.

Why do people have to denigrate someone to support their position?  If Person A doesn’t agree with Person B, do so charitable, don’t resort to name calling the person or the position the person has taken.  Person A is quite able to disagree with Person B’s position on Position X  but Person A should do so in a way that does not resort to calling Person B names or saying that Positions X is stupid or pointless or even inferior.  You can demonstrate that someone’s position is ill-thought out through logic and well supported reasoning.

“Traditionalists” and I qualify that, denigrate those who do not worship the EF  (Extraordinary Form) and attend the OF (Ordinary Form) solely.  And yes I mean, worship the form and not in the form.  They name call those that who attend the OF liberals and heretics and stupid and refer to the OF, a valid form of the Mass, as an inferior product that comes from the Devil and Protestants.  I have yet to see a “Traditionalist” say anything positive about the OF and practically condemn them to Hell those that don’t agree with them or attend the EF solely.  “Traditionalists” seem to prefer denigrating people rather than sharing in love their love of the EF.  Basically, the only Catholics they will call Catholics are the ones that worship solely in the EF, pray exactly like them in Latin, think their own view in the only view, put down and condemn those that don’t agree or worship exactly like them, want uniformity instead of unity (they want automatons rather than individuals created in the image and likeness of God), and berate people for even thinking the OF is valid.

Now, there are people who prefer the OF solely who also denigrate the EF but those seem to be few and far between compared to the ones that denigrate the OF.  It’s like the only position to qualify as a “Traditionalist” is to hate and especially the OF and to bring up abuses that haven’t happened in 30, 40 years. (I haven’t seen anything that truly qualifies as an abuse in the nearly 30 years I’ve been attending Mass.  I have seen things that were questionable but they didn’t last long.)  Yet people seem to think their preference is set in stone rubrics that must be followed or the Mass isn’t valid and they are going to find another parish.  Wow.  Didn’t know the Mass was about us.  I thought and was taught it was about worshipping God.

We are taught to love our neighbor.  Not love somebody only if they completely agree with us on every little thing.  That’s impossible and dangerous.

Let’s Just Beat People with a Stick, Why Don’t We?

Again, CAF seems to be full of people who would rather smack people down than help lift them up.  There’s a thread on how a “priest was harsh in confession” (harsh? define harsh) plus threads on cafeteria catholicism, soft catholicism, etc. and there are people who are going on about how priests today are weak and that nobody talks about hell and damnation anymore.  There are people advocating holding people from receiving the Eucharist (wow, even Christ isn’t that mean) for months to even years at a time, to arguing that people should have to recite multiple Rosaries, to saying that no priest preaches hell and damnation and that since most people are damned anyways (where does it say God on their drivers license) that people should know what to expect after they die.

I will admit there are people who have no concept of sin let alone their own sin.  But to advocate withholding Sacraments and fire and brimstone teaching deviates way past any truth about the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Reconciliation is not about the priest hitting the penitent over the head for not being sorry enough or not confessing every sin as if it were mortal sin or for scaring the penitent into fearful obedience.  Reconciliation is about admitting our sins to Jesus and being forgiven, being absolved of our sins, and receiving the grace that comes from that sacrament that grants us the gift of being in a state of grace to receive the Eucharist.  Reconciliation reconciles us with Jesus and strengthens our relationship with him.  It’s not meant as a means of forcing the penitent into doing what the Church expects of him/her.  It’s about repairing a relationship not reinforcing an abusive dictator.

Scaring somebody straight doesn’t work.  They tried that with juvenile delinquents.  Didn’t work and there are studies to prove it.  Yet people want people to be afraid of GOD.  Why?  A fear of God doesn’t mean you obey him out of love. It means you obey him out of fear of punishment.  That’s not a healthy relationship.  As somebody who was raised in a fear filled environment, fear only made me tense and hypervigilant to my mother’s moods and words.  It made me unable to trust people and I definitely don’t understand how to love. I was always afraid that I was doing something wrong or did something or even just breathed funny and my mother would start screaming at me for being a bad girl that’s going to Hell.  Many times it didn’t even need to be something I did.  It could be one of my sisters or something on TV or some imagined slight my mother came up with.  I was going to be screamed at no matter what and there was nothing I could do about it.  To this day I cringe when anybody says my name or I hear a loud noise or people speak in a certain way because I’m expecting to get screamed at for something I did.  Or blamed.  And I know I have to take it because there’s no arguing.  They are right and I am wrong.  Remember, this is conditioned into me from nearly 20 years of abuse.

So I have a hard time accepting that yelling and screaming and making people afraid will get them to cooperate and do good.  Oh, it might work in the short term but eventually, in the long run, it will backfire.  The Bible doesn’t just speak about God’s wrath, which usually happened after several chances to repent and change their ways but also God’s mercy.  Why do people want God’s wrath for everyone else but God’s mercy only for themselves, if that?  There is more justice in God’s mercy and mercy in God’s justice than anything we can conceive.

Why do we have to smack people down and hurt them all in the name of religion?  Jesus didn’t do that.  He criticized the Pharisees but he didn’t hurt them or say they weren’t loved by God.  He did call for them to repent and that the people should listen to them, just not act like them.  Yet people want to condemn people to Hell all for not agreeing with them or not being sorry enough in their eyes or for the priests not smacking the pulpit while preaching hellfire and brimstone and hell and damnation.  Each priest deals with a unique congregation and unique needs specific to that congregation.  Don’t put down priests just because they don’t preach what you want.  They aren’t there to please you.  They are they to be in persona Christi and to offer the Mass, not to satisfy your need to put down others and hold yourself as a superior model of Catholic living, because you aren’t with that attitude.   What the priest may not deal with in public, he may deal with in private.  It is not your place to determine which priests are acting like priests and which aren’t.  They are priests and that is all you need to know.  You are not God.  You have no place to judge for you judge Jesus himself when you judge a priest.

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Just a though.

Reality Sets In

With my new schedule at work, I’ve been wanting to update here more often.  So far, that hasn’t happened.  I’ve been so tired from working especially picking up overtime since my relief has been sick a lot lately (we’re all concerned about him) so I’ve been covering some of his shifts.  And don’t know what to post about.  I have ideas but I don’t know how relevant they are, how I feel about posting about them, how well I could write about them, etc.  So I’m going to ramble which I can be rather adept at, usually when it’s not necessary (I’m not much of a talker in real life and especially bad at explaining things.)

Something that has been bothering me is the need of some people to impose their spirituality and their spiritual practices on everyone else.  That their personal devotions are the only devotions that are allowed and should be followed.  I’ve seen people push the Rosary, the Brown Scapular, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Carmelite or Charismatic spirituality, St. Theresa of Liseux, St. Padre Pio on people usually by saying these private devotions will “cure” everything; that they are the only prayers one needs; that by not conforming they are being “Protestant;” that they have all the answers.  They don’t recognize that each person is unique and prays in the way that they can and that God calls them to pray in the best way for Him to reach that person.  What works for one person may not work for another person.  I don’t feel called to Franciscan spiritual though the Church recognizes it as one of many beneficial spiritualities and the Church doesn’t have a problem with that.  The Church Herself doesn’t adhere to one spirituality and doesn’t require Her children to either because She recognizes that each of us are unique individuals, not automatons.

Yet there are Catholics that believe and demand that there is only one spirituality/devotion that is absolutely necessary, usually the one that the person is trumpeting.  They refuse to acknowledge or accept otherwise.  This is a huge turn off, even detrimental if they want more people to learn about, practice that spirituality or devotion.  If someone is in my face about the Rosary, telling that just by praying it once all my problems will be cured, that everything wrong with me will be healed in a moment, that it’s the only prayer a woman needs, and won’t listen to anything I say, that’s a huge turn off to me.  I’ve had this happen to me and have seen it a lot. I would have a hard time taking this person seriously because even the Church doesn’t say this.  The Church and Jesus himself never said that prayer was magic.  Yet people treat devotions and spiritualities like this which is detrimental to not only the person being encouraged to try a new devotion but also to the devotion/prayer itself.  The Church treats its members as adults yet people like this treat fellow Catholics like stupid children who can’t be trusted to dress themselves.

Faith isn’t a feeling yet this seems to be a big problem for people who go looking for excitement, for entertainment, etc. in the Mass.  I’ve posted here about Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman and the effect that TV, movies, Internet, etc. have on people.  I see this play out in the Mass not only in the Ordinary Form but also in the “young people” who seek out the Extraordinary Form.  Now, not all those who seek out the EF are necessarily looking for entertainment but I believe there are those that do go for ‘the show.”  People my age have been raised almost exclusively on TV, movies, the Internet exploded with us, etc. and that has an effect on how we view our faith.  How much of this is TV’s fault and how much is our fault? And don’t our parents play a role in all this?  People are taught to be entertained, to constantly seek out pleasure, to seek out the latest newest fad, to seek out the pretty lights and flashy clothes.  I’m not trying to denigrate the EF but I am pointing out that people’s reason for seeking out one particular Mass over another is impacted by our  excessive exposure to the media and entertainment and that people need to be aware of this.  If you are looking to get something out of the Mass, you are completely missing the point.  You are at Mass to worship God, not to be entertained by Him.

Why is it if someone hears something questionable in a homily they automatically assume the priest is a heretic?  I’ve seen multiple posts to this effect on a forum I belong to.  Why can’t it be that Father just doesn’t have the innate talent for homilies?  Or that he’s sleep deprived and he’s lucky enough to stay awake long enough to celebrate Mass? Or that he practiced his homily one way but it came out another way and he didn’t realize it until after Mass?  Or that he’s still afraid of public speaking no matter how much prayer and practice he’s said and done?  Or that he’s still a new priest and still learning?  Or that the priest doesn’t and probably won’t put things the same way you do?  People seem to be waiting for the priest to make one teeny tiny mistake so they can pounce on him and denigrate him.  Isn’t the media and the Devil doing enough of that already?  If you denigrate the priesthood, you denigrate Jesus himself.  Maybe you should think twice about what you say about a priest.  Don’t criticize unless the priest asks for constructive criticism otherwise it’s all about putting someone down to puff yourself up and there’s something very, very wrong with that.  It’s called sin.

When did Latin become the only language in the Church?  Considering there are 23 sui juris Churches, only one rite the Latin Rite uses Latin.  Greek, Aramaic, Russian, Arabic, and probably a language or two, at least, that I can’t think of are also used in the Liturgies.  Latin is only applicable to the Latin Rite and even then wasn’t the only language used in the Latin Rite.  The Latin Rite has never been uniform in it’s use of Latin in it’s liturgies.  It’s only with the Council of Trent and the suppression of other rites at that time that Latin really came to dominate the Latin liturgy.  Yet, even Latins still use Greek when we pray Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy).  And one does not need to pray in Latin to have their prayers heard or answered.  God’s bigger than that but I still see people saying that we need to pray in Latin and that only prayers said in Latin are “effective.”  Considering God is the one listening and answering prayers, I think He’s the only to judge if praying or not praying in a particular language is necessary for it to be effective.  I’ve only come across Him saying that we need to pray and St. Paul saying to pray without ceasing but nothing about all our prayers need to be in Latin.

All of us are on a journey in our faith.  We each follow the same path using a roadmap that is unique to each of us.  What works for you may not work and probably won’t work for me but that doesn’t mean that you should abandon it because it only applies to you.  God didn’t create clones, He created individuals whom He loves as individuals but also as His children.  God doesn’t pigeon-hole us so don’t pigeon-hole others in their journey and how they live their Catholic faith.  Your eyes should be on Christ.  Don’t take them off Him or you will lose your way.

Sex Does Not Make You Free (While the Pill Turns You into an Unpaid Prostitute)

This article was linked on Patty Bond’s blog and after reading TWO, and yes I mean TWO articles about how the Pill “benefited” Mothers on Mother’s Day (what a load of tripe), I thought I would post a link and a response here.

The Pill didn’t benefit women.  It just made the ones who took it unpaid prostitutes.  Women used to be able to demand that men “man up” after they got pregnant from premarital sex (if they hadn’t waited because surprising to all those safe sex advocated, many did wait till marriage before having sex).  Actually, women used to be able to demand that men be men.  And men took responsibility. Not any more.  Now men and women have turned each other into sex toys that they can use and just discard with no care or concern about the other.  Men and women become objects that have no feelings, no responsibility, no life, no worth.  “Carrie” can sleep with “Mark,” “Steve,” “Chris,” “Alejandro,”  “Ling,” and “Sarah” while “Steve” could be sleeping with “Chris,” “Daniel,” “Ming,” “Victoria,” “Manuela.”   Neither “Carrie” or “Steve” realize, care to realize, or try to hide so that it is never acknowledged is that having sex with multiple partners is no way to have a relationship.  Sex is not and cannot be consequence free.  There are studies out there that show that the body actually releases hormones during sex to help the couple bond emotionally.

So by taking the Pill  or using a condom or using any other sort of contraception you already have the mindset that you will only have the physical connection but nothing else.  Guess what: our bodies aren’t made that way.  We are made to bond emotionally and physically.  And by inserting a wall in between one, you damage the other.  You’re probably thinking: hey that’s great, sex with no consequences.  WRONG!  Not only are you damaging the physical connection (you make think a little latex doesn’t mean anything but it does) but it also damaging the emotional connection.  By taking the Pill or using a condom or any other contraception you are saying to the other person that I am only using you to masterbate, to use you for my own personal sexual satisfaction.  The Pill makes it all about me and nothing about you.  Oh, you say that you help your partner reach climax but again it’s all for you personal satisfaction.  You can feed yourself all kinds of lies about how the Pill makes you free to love your partner but in reality it’s all about you.  You turn yourself and your partner into unpaid prostitutes for each other.  When “Carrie” takes the Pill, she’s saying “Steve” is only there to be used as a toy.  “Steve” ceases to be a person in “Carrie’s” world and vice versa.  Dress it up in any language you want but it’s true.  “Carrie” isn’t free, she’s just an unpaid prostitute and doesn’t realize it or doesn’t want to realize it.

Women gained rights NOT to become unpaid prostitutes but that’s what some feminists and society want you to believe, that by having sex whenever you want with whomever you want you are a free and liberated woman who’s on par with men.  Yeah, both are in the cesspool of garbage because they are using each other as objects and not treating each other as people worthy of dignity and respect.  That’s not rights or liberation: that’s oppression that we’ve willingly taken because we believe it sets us free.  Actually, it’s killing us and we go blindly to our deaths.  Sex isn’t everything.  Don’t believe society.  It doesn’t know what’s best for you.  It only knows what keeps people enthralled to it and away from God and responsibility and respect for others and respect for life.

It’s Good Friday. Do you know why?

Well, do you?

If you don’t, I suggest a reading of the Passion in all four Gospels.  That might give you a clue.  But beyond that it’s about how Christ conquered death and freed us from sin.  Jesus did something so incredibly fantastic that only God could have done it.  And God did do it. It’s entirely mind-boggling and yet so profoundly simple that for over 2000 years we’ve recognized that fact in the celebration of Christ’s death on Good Friday.  Death may be the end and yet it is only a beginning.  There’s more but I’m not going to spoil the rest of the story.

Catholics remember and celebrate this conquering of death every time at Mass.  We hear about a people waiting for a Savior, he is born, lived, we follow him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, celebrate the Last Supper with Him and the Apostles, celebrate His death, and then His Resurrection all in an hour on Sunday.  Holy Week affords us the opportunity to slow it all down and meditate and contemplate all these events at a much slower pace.

Yet even the Catholic Church understands that this daily celebration isn’t enough.  We have to spend time meditating on each event individually rather than all together.  We can get lost or even forget why and who we are supposed to be focusing on.  Yet how many of really slow down and truly think about these events?  Think about them outside of Lent and Triduum, outside of Mass?  Do some of use even think of them at all?  For how many of us, is Mass just a chore, something to check off the list with no engagement mental, spiritual, and very basic physical input whatsoever?  Is it even something out of the ordinary or is it just like watching TV or playing a game on the computer?

We live in a world that lets us, hell encourages and orders us to, tune in, turn on, and completely drop out while posting inane information on Facebook and Twitter that makes it look like we are busy when in reality we’re so closed off from reality, from God, from other people.  We’re stuck in our little make-believe worlds and wonder when we temporarily come out of them why things don’t go the way we want and escape back into our digital make-believe worlds.  God, Jesus, people, faith all require actions from us not passive mindlessness that’s found in watching TV and posting on Facebook and Twitter.  We apply our digital make-believe worlds to God and Jesus and faith and religion and get upset when they don’t match.  They aren’t meant to match.  God and make-believe are so vastly different that they shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence.  So we find that we have trouble with conceiving of a God who would take on human flesh, become a baby, live in poverty, gather twelve men one of which would betray him, and die on a cross as criminal and abandoned by all his friends while his mother watched him die.  It’s no wonder that Jesus becomes more myth-like, more a figment of the imagination, than the real flesh and blood human who suffered to save humanity from itself.   We live in a world that doesn’t want truth as absolutes and where God would suffer the indignity and humiliation of being treated like a criminal so he could conquer death and free us to be with him for all eternity.  Sounds nuts, doesn’t it.  Yet that’s exactly what Jesus did 2000 years ago.  And that’s the world we live in.

We live with people who don’t believe in sin while they commit it.  Where people think killing unborn babies because it “inconveniences”  the mother is a good enough excuse for murder.  Where sex is advertised as god and children should be allowed to worship such a god at an early age.  Where vices are considered virtues and virtues are considered vices.  Where anger and hate for God is considered THE religion.  Where children are led to the slaughter by willing parents.  Where common sense is out and propaganda and feel good is is.

Yet that’s exactly why Jesus came and died on a cross.  For sinners.  For ALL OF US, not just a select few.  He wanted to save all of us yet so many reject the gift he gave of himself because they have been seduced by the Devil.  We are the ones that crucified him with our sins and our silence and our shouts of rejection and our support of evil.  He conquered death but we sure don’t want that gift.  That gift is free but it comes with a price.  Yet His yoke is easy and His burden light.  Yet so many would rather crucify him over and over and over again than put down the hammer and nails and accept what he did.

We need what Jesus did 2000 years ago now more than ever.  We need to remember why he did and for whom he did.  We can’t forget or trivialize or push it aside or put it off.  It’s here and it’s now.  It’s GOOD FRIDAY.


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