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A number of readers wrote and commented in response to my post last week about how I accidentally-on-purpose wandered into a church - a Catholic one, Sean, in case you were curious, though I have no objection to attending Mass within the house of any real denomination of the True Faith, as long as it spreads the Gospel properly. (Naturally this rules out the Episcopalians.)
I should have taken the time to respond to those comments individually. I did not, and that is a failing on my part, an egregious one. It was a busy week to begin with, and I was rather a bit lazier about writing and reading than I should have been. None of this is an excuse, of course; such failures are mine, and mine alone, to own up to and live with.
Even so, I did want to take a moment to thank you for your good wishes and your prayers. They are greatly appreciated by one who still struggles to accept Truth, because it is often uncomfortable and difficult.
I lived for a very large part of my life without faith. Eventually, I found my way back to God - or perhaps it is more appropriate simply to say that He was waiting, with His usual patience, for me to wake up and realise that I was being a bit of a moron.
But organised religion was, until fairly recently, a step too far. It still is, actually. I have bad memories of being forced to go to a pagan temple as a child; to me, religion has always had a mildly distasteful feeling of compulsion mixed in with a lot of noise and nonsensical rituals that serve no apparent purpose whatsoever.
That stigma still remains, unfortunately. Now that I am older and wiser, I am more able to appreciate the point of receiving the blessings of the Communion, and I understand where the ceremony of the sacramental wine and the Communion wafer comes from. I see the point of asking the Lord to hear the prayers of the congregation, of offering the sign of peace to all present, and of kneeling in reverence before God.
Of course, I cannot sing a hymn to save my life - and, trust me, everyone is better off for not hearing my singing voice. I know that the Lord is infinitely merciful and all of that, but even He might have a few things to say about my, er, "singing" - and not one of those things would likely be regarded as particularly "nice" or "merciful" by us mere mortals.
But I am learning. The road of faith is a long one and I do not pretend to know where it will lead.
I am not a Christian. I have no idea whether I ever will be. I do know that the Whisper that led me to the Church has not gone away; if anything, it has gained strength. I should have gone to Mass last Sunday. I did not. Perhaps this Sunday I will have the good sense to listen to that urging and actually go.
Time alone will tell.
And yes, I did attend Mass today. It honestly was the highlight of my day.
Oh, and while we are on the subject of the True Faith:
Christians, feel free to argue between yourselves as much as you like about which particular denomination is or is not heretical to the Word. I do not mind in the least. As far as I am concerned, the Wars of Religion (between Christians, anyway) were settled centuries ago. Right now, as long as you have faith in God and in His Truth, I have no quarrel with you, and indeed we are natural allies.
But never, ever forget that the single most blasphemous and dangerous heresy of the Faith ever to rear its ugly head is gaining strength and power once again, as it has done for the past thirty years. Islam started out as a warped and twisted reform-Judaism heresy of Christianity, and now threatens to supplant the Faith in the very nations that once spread the light of the Gospels to every corner of the world.
That is our true enemy. That, and the secular materialistic ideology that let this daemonic political ideology in the guise of a religion take root within the very heart of Western civilisation in the first place.
So remember, my brothers: SHUT UP AND SHOOT LEFT.