Monday, March 24, 2014

Know When to Leave

Know When to Leave

  There are times as a Catholic we need to stand up for the Faith. This is something many of us are used to and we know it comes with the territory. Yet there are places where we should not feel that need. For example one would think that in the Church itself one would not feel that need or even on a Catholic Retreat. Those places we should be able to take the time and be able to recharge and explore the faith in a safe environment. Yet, never the less, it is not always the case.

   I have heard of Churches where the faith, the Catechism, the Dogma, Church Doctrine etc.. come into question. Not always by the laity but from those who have been entrusted and have had the Sacrament of Holy Orders bestowed upon them. It is a very sad state when this happens. It causes a divide and people question what the truth is not because of the secular world outside but from the ones who are to uphold the truth. 

    As you have read I was heading out for a retreat this past weekend and was looking forward to it since last year. I enjoyed last years and received so much from it. It is with a sad and heavy heart that I must say this years retreat was not the same. There came a point where I could no longer stay with a good conscience. You see, what was to be a silent retreat was disrupted by a Q&A session that brought in a spirit of unrest, a divide, and that caused criticism of the Faith, Doctrine, Catechism, and moral issues like Abortion and Marriage came into question of what is true and what is a persons right. I could not believe what I was witnessing. Yes, people stood up against the turning tide of what I will say is deception but as a Priest stirred the pot of doubts and questioning, it just added more and more of a spirt that confused and spun the false truths. 

    The Priest spoke about things that go against the Catholic Faith and used words like “pastoral care” and “self happiness” to justify a watering down and instances where we do not speak the truth but allow one to examine themselves by a different set of conditions then the ones the Church teaches. I do not want to go into specifics of the “rhetoric” because to give it more fuel just adds to a spirit of division. Some people were lapping it up quicker then a dog drinks its water after a long run on a hot day. While others were shaking their heads and answering back. 

     As this continued I felt more and more that I needed to leave and not be part of this any longer. I was not the only one who felt this. Some may say “what is the big deal, just ignore this and do not let it end your weekend” but for me and the other person who left felt that we could not in good conscience stay and be ok with what went on. For myself and others there what was said would not influence us by an means but for those who may not know the full teachings or are newer to the faith it could be detrimental.  When a Priest speaks people trust what He says to be true, and when others add to that discord it speaks more and more to those listening. 

    The sprit of the weekend was tainted and no longer one where peace was to be found. I left along with a friend late on Saturday night after this and explained to some why we were leaving. For us staying would have meant we agreed with what was said and that there was nothing wrong with what was said. We have to remove our selves at times from events and situations because of what we are called to do. We can not sit in silence or stand idly by and allow the Catholic Faith be torn apart or twisted. It does not matter who it is or where we are when it happens. We owe it to all those who sacrificed their lives for the Faith from Jesus, to all the martyrs. We are in a time where we can get information from so many places and people in the matter of seconds. Know the Truth, Know the Faith and Know yourself. When issues arise know when to stand for the faith and know when you need to remove yourself. Listen to that inner voice calling out telling you what you need to do. Do not allow your Faith to be diminished or twisted. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you know and stand for your faith. 

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Lectionary: 545
Reading 1
IS 7:10-14; 8:10
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said: 
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us!”
Responsorial Psalm
PS 40:7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 11

R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Reading 2
HEB 10:4-10

Brothers and sisters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats 
take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”

First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.
LK 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

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