Sunday, September 14, 2014

Identity Theft

Identity Theft

     Well..... Here we go again. Sorry for my quick and unexplained exit a few months ago. Things went a bit off track for me and it has been a while to get things in order. The reason I am back now is because something was said by a Seminarian on a show that got me thinking and this fit my circumstance for the past few months.... As usual humor me for a bit and you will see where I am going with this... Let’s get to it.....

     In this day and age the idea of Identity Theft, having someone steal who you are and use it to their advantage is a scary and unsettling thought. It takes a long time to get things settled and you have to prove who you are and rebuild yourself and your credit. This is not easy by any means and while you are rebuilding yourself and credit, you are stuck in a Limbo state almost. There are constant things that pop up that you have to fix and settle and wait on things and people so you can move on. How does this relate to what has been going on with me these past few months? Well, First I did not have my physical identity stolen, Thank God for that but what happened I think is still very dangerous and conniving. Let me explain.... 

     The other night I was watching a show and a Seminarian was on speaking about Vocations and the struggles. What he said really hit home and explained what I felt like these past few months. What he said was “ The first identity thief was the devil. He was the first one who originated the identity crisis in the world”. It rang so true that statement. The devil has taken so many identities over the centuries. Think about all those in the Bible who struggled and lost their way. Judas is a great example of someone who lost their identity in Jesus and lost his way.  Think of the Saints that did the same. One of my favorite saints, St. Augustine who lost sight and struggled at times. Think of yourself. Think of how many times you lost who you were and fell into sin or turned from God or went a different way. Each of these times, there was a whisper or a trap or an obstacle that was there to help you lose your identity. Being a child of God is the center of who we are. It is what we build the rest of our identity on. It is the foundation of who we are and who we are meant to be. It is not God who does this but the enemy, the devil. 

       My Identity was so wrapped up in who I was and who I wanted to become that when one aspect of that came into question, I listened to that whisper and allowed the rest of my identity to be taken from me. That whisper did not come from God but from satan. That whisper unleashed a storm within myself that destroyed and manipulated my identity. It is no secret to anyone who is in my life or Friends of mine on Facebook that I am discerning the Priesthood. It is very clear by things I say, things I post and how  things look in the “cyber world”. I was both in real life and my “cyber world” discerning my ultimate identity, my vocation calling. Well, I had received an email about my vocation and the direction I had to do to make it a reality. Unfortunately it was not the direction I was planning on and things were shifted in a new direction but it did NOT say that it was not going to happen or I was being turned away. Yet, that is how I took it. That whisper was “ I told you this was not for you”, “Told you this was wrong”, “See, they don’t want you”, “ Your not good or holy enough for this”, “Your a loser”, “Your worthless to God”, etc... It took my identity and ripped it to shreds. I went into a depression and turned inward and blocked out God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Mary, Saints, family, friends and all things that had to do with the identity I felt I lost. That is why the blog was all of a sudden gone. My “cyber world” looked very different. Post and Images that I would have posted about the Trinity, my Faith, Catholic Church and mostly Priesthood were not to be seen anywhere. I could not face any of those things. I was lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore or who I was going to be. My only identity was an empty shell of who I was. 

       Each day I tried to figure who I was now and what was going to be my future. I was not sure what was going to happen next. There did not seem to be any light to focus on. I lost all those things that I would turn to and help me figure it all out. I did still go to mass on Sundays but it was more of going through the motions then what I was doing before. I could not see that this was just a speed bump or a new route to get me to where I was going to. I allowed the devil to work and settle in my thoughts. I allowed him to take my identity and warp it so I didn’t even recognize it and as I got further from it the more distorted it became. I started building this new identity without God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, My faith, Church, my Discernment and it was an empty identity but I thought it was better then no identity at all.  It wasn’t working. I wanted that other identity again. It was my life.

       It started to get better and has continued to get better. What changed you may ask? I started to watch videos about seminaries and seminarians. It seemed at first to be painful but in reality it was showing me more and more of the direction I felt i needed to head in. Then one night I saw that a local church had confession and mass on a Wednesday and decided to go. Confession has been such a saving grace for me these past few weeks. It has been a great reminder of the saving grace of God and helped me uncover all the darkness of sin and doubt that helped hide my identity that God gave to me. More and more I started to see a light. So many people and information started to come my way and helped me get stronger and then I sent an email asking what I need to do and where I am with things about my discernment and I am now waiting to see what I need to do and what is changing. 

         Listen to homilies, listen to those around you who have a faith life, speak to those who care about you, use the sacraments to help give you strength. Find the resources that fits how you pray and study. It is hard when you are down to do these things but it was my saving grace. God will reach down to you, we just need to reach up and take that hand. It doesn’t mean all will work out over night but keep the faith and it will work how it needs to work.

         We do need to remember that satan will try and steal our identity and use it for his advantage in the world. He will use it to take us down and question every aspect of who you are and who you are to become. We use passwords and security software to protect our financial and personal identity but why do we not protect our spiritual identity? I would have thought I had that protection but there was one thing I did not do and that was acknowledge that it can happen to me. That is the first line of defense. I felt I was above that attack and all was going great. All the rest, going to mass, praying, rosary, confession, etc will work but you have to know first that the attack was beginning to start to use the other defenses. With going to confession more, praying more, talking and listening more, things are getting better and I am in a much better place then I was two months ago. I now look in the mirror and see more of the man that God is asking me to be then the man that the devil said I was. 

   I ask that you continue to pray for me as I discern and I will pray for you as well. We live in a world where our identities are being stolen and used against us and being reinvented by a force that wants us to be ruined. Our spiritual identity is our most important identity we have and needs the most protection. I really feel strong about this. So strong that it got me back to the blog and share this.. Think and pray about your spiritual identity and write down who you are so you know it and able to see when things change. Look in the mirror and see that identity. That is who you are not what the devil says.

 Until tomorrow, God Bess, and know your spiritual identity because it will save your soul.  


       Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Lectionary: 443/639
Reading 1
1 COR 11:17-26, 33
Brothers and sisters:
In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact
that your meetings are doing more harm than good.
First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church
there are divisions among you,
and to a degree I believe it;
there have to be factions among you
in order that also those who are approved among you
may become known.
When you meet in one place, then,
it is not to eat the Lord’s supper,
for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper,
and one goes hungry while another gets drunk.
Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink?
Or do you show contempt for the Church of God
and make those who have nothing feel ashamed?
What can I say to you? Shall I praise you?
In this matter I do not praise you.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my Body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my Blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 40:7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 17

R. (1 Cor 11:26b) Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
“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. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

Sequence (Optional) - Stabat Mater
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
‘Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.
JN 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
LK 2:33-35

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

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