2 Priests denied joint gym membership, because they are not “In a relationship”!

Do you even lift

I was talking to one of my online priest friends today. He is so funny – he is always cracking me up and I love him TO DEATH! (Of course I would never tell him that as he already suffers from chronic ego-itis 😉 )

He was telling me the story of how he went to sign up for the Gym in full cassock and dog collar but was denied joint membership with his parish priest because they were not “in a relationship”…

“How do you know we are not in a relationship?” he said. “We live together, we work together, we eat dinner together, heck – sometimes we even just chat, for fun.”

The poor receptionist was a little bemused: “But you’re a… a… a priest??!” 

“Yes, and what’s that got to do with it? How does one define what a ‘relationship’ is? Do you have the authority to tell me I am not in a relationship with my parish priest?”

“Are you a couple?”

“Errr… no. But we live together!”

“I’m sorry, the joint membership is only for couples.”

“What if we were gay? Would that be enough to get a joint gym membership?”

“Errr…. Yes! Are you gay?”

“No. But we do live together.”

“I’m sorry I don’t understand what you….”

“You know I could sue you for this under the discrimination act don’t you? What would Peter Tatchel say hey? Not much equality in this place is there? 😉 “

“To be eligible for the joint membership you have to be in a relationship sir.”

“What if I said we were a couple living together in a non-sexual relataionship? Would you give us joint membership then? We could get ‘married’ if that would help?”

“Errr… Yes? I mean no. I don’t know. All I know is that you have to be a couple sir.”

He left it at that, stopped teasing the poor receptionist and begrudgingly signed up for a significantly more expensive single persons membership!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was satire – but its not! It’s a true story! Ha!

My Open Letter to Pope Francis: Please Recognise the real 21st Century Pharisees.

Cardinal-Cormac-Murphy-O-Connor-meets-Pope-Francis-with-the-College-of-Cardinals-in-the-Clementine-Hall_large

Dear Pope Francis,

I have supported you and defended you many times this year. Even when I was unsure of exactly what it was you were saying – I always gave you the benefit of the doubt and stood up for you against those who were criticising you. However regarding your recent comments denouncing the “rigid” attached to doctrine as “Pharisees” I am sorry but with a heavy heart, I have to disagree with you:

Pope Francis recalled how “Pius XII freed us from the very heavy cross that was the Eucharistic fast:

“But some of you might remember. You couldn’t even drink a drop of water. Not even that! And to brush your teeth, it had to be done in such a way that you didn’t swallow the water. But I myself as a young boy went to confession for having made the Communion, because I thought a drop of water had gone in. Is it true or no? It’s true. When Pius XII changed the discipline: ‘Ah, heresy! No! He touched the discipline of the Church.’ So many Pharisees were scandalized. So many. Because Pius XII had acted like Jesus: he saw the need of the people. ‘But the poor people, with such warmth.’ These priests who said three Masses, the last at one o’clock, after noon, fasting. The discipline of the Church. And these Pharisees [spoke about] ‘our discipline’ – rigid on the outside, but, as Jesus said of them, ‘rotting in the heart,’ weak, weak to the point of rottenness. Gloomy in the heart. This is the drama of these people, and Jesus denounces hypocrisy and opportunism: Even our life can become like that, even our life. And sometimes, I confess something to you, when I have seen a Christian, a Christian of that kind, with a weak heart, not firm, not fixed on the rock—Jesus – and with such rigidness on the outside, I ask the Lord: But Lord, throw a banana peel in front of them, so that they will take a good fall, and feel shame that they are sinners, and so encounter You, [and realise] that You are the Saviour. Many times a sin will make us feel shame, and make us encounter the Lord, Who pardons us, as the sick who were there and went to the Lord for healing.” 

You are correct in saying that the Pharisees of 1st Century Jerusalem were politicians. They were not interested in the spirituality of the Jewish faith in anyway shape or form. All they were interested in was satisfying their  lust for power and status over the people. In this way they held God’s people in contempt.  They used rules and regulations to keep people captive.

But Holy Father, don’t you understand?…

The religious politicians of the 21st century are your friends – the Walter Kasper’s and the Cormac Murphy O’Connor’s of this world. They are the ones trying to control the Family Synod. They are the ones manipulating the media. They are the ones doing deals and getting their mates into the position of Bishop to further their own political agenda, when they really, really should never have even been there (Kieran Conry). Just like the Pharisees of 1st century Jerusalem, they are primarily concerned with their own lust for power and status. They hide this behind a smoke screen of words and phrases that seem to offer salvation, but are in-fact as empty as the rules and regulations of 2000 years ago. They hold God’s people in contempt by offering them apparent solutions to the problem of sin. They do not do this by keeping them captive in rules and regulations, but instead they seek to abolish ALL rules and regulations and usher in a climate of relativism. When people perceive their sin as relative, the rules and regulations no longer apply: and consequently their sin no longer exists.

Holy Father don’t you see? The real 21st century Pharisees operate by keeping God’s people captive in their own sin.

I don’t know how the church works in Argentina. I feel there are some cultural differences in Europe that perhaps you are not fully aware of. You see, here, the church has been kept afloat by those who have remained loyal to church teaching. The church has suffered so much damage here over the last 50 years from people wanting to push their own political agenda – to put Man at the centre of the faith rather than Christ. The truth and beauty of Christ – the true spirituality and heart of the Catholic faith has been almost completely replaced by nothing more than a synthetic substitute.

I understand your message of mercy. You are reaching out to those who are not secure in their faith – to those who have perhaps suffered a massive lack of proper religious education and catecheisis and have never known the real Jesus or felt His love. I know there are many who are already secure in their faith who do not understand why you are taking this approach – but I do. But there are also those who want to twist this message to their own advantage. The mercy Kasper offers is focused on this life alone. He seeks to please man. He makes no mention of how it will effect people in the next life. To allow people to remain in mortal sin is to ignore God’s truth and God’s justice. How will Kasper’s teaching on mercy effect people’s time in purgatory – or worse? Is this real mercy?

Holy Father, I admire your courage for taking on the heavy cross of becoming Pope, and I pray for you every day. Please Holy Father, I beg you – do not be deceived by those who wish to put Man at the centre of the Catholic faith. Jesus did not come to ‘people please’. He came to set us free from ourselves. Please see the true 21st century Pharisees for who they really are.

I love you and you are in my prayers.

Priests – why don’t you ever give homilies on sex?

Dear Priests,

I love you. You know I love you dearly. I pray and fast for you every single day. But why don’t you ever give homilies on sex?

It’s a good question!

I am 34 years old and I have never, ever, not once, heard a priest talk about sex – either in or out of the pulpit. My mum is in her 70’s and she cannot recall ever hearing sex mentioned in church AT ALL throughout her entire life.

I have been thinking about why this could be:

1. This is Britain, and we don’t talk about that sort of thing.
2. Priests are celibate and don’t feel confident talking about sex.
3. There could be children in the congregation.
4. It’s embarrassing.
5. Telling people that artificial contraception is bad would be a very unpopular homily.

It’s a shame because it is becoming more and more obvious that the Catholic teaching on sex is one of THE biggest tools of evangelization in the modern age. The Catholic teaching on chastity, sex and marriage is completely and utterly counter-cultural. It teaches life in our ‘culture of death’. It is so radical that even you, the Priests don’t want to talk about it. (BTW, please don’t use ridiculous terms like ‘nuptial union’ and ‘conjugal act’!!! Instead use terms such as ‘make love’ and ‘have sex’, or if there are lots of children present say ‘be together’ or ‘be intimate’.)

conjugal acts

From my own limited observations, I am confident to say that most people inside and outside of the church have absolutely no idea what the Catholic teaching on sex actually is. The vast majority have never read, or even heard of Humanae Vitae or Theology of the Body. They don’t know about NFP, Billings, Creighton or Napro technology which offers a natural alternative to IVF. They have no clue as to the damage artificial contraception is having on their bodies, their relationships or their souls. Because of this (and I use this word respectfully)… ignorance, they cannot understand why the church opposes gay marriage.

There is call now from liberal Catholics and dissident groups such as ‘A Call To Action’ to publish the results from the recent Vatican survey. They are of course hoping to highlight the fact that most Catholics ignore the church teaching on artificial contraception – and then get the teaching on sex officially ‘modernised’.

It is time for you, Priests, to start teaching your congregations what sex and marriage IS not just what it isn’t. Because if you don’t speak about it, who will?
I’ll tell you… the extremely vocal gay lobby. The sex saturated media. The secularist lefty politicians. The money-making contraception and abortion industry (yes, it is an industry, with sales targets and bonuses and advertising campaigns.)

Please, Priests, do us a favour… learn Theology of the Body and Humanae Vitae like your life depends on it. Give it to us, your congregations in bite sized chunks each week. Trust me, the second you mention the word sex, you will have every eye and ear in the whole place focused on you. No one will be reading the newsletter or checking their Facebook status through that homily!

Visit 1flesh.org and catholicmarriagecentre.org.uk and the Couple to Couple League for tons of info. Explain the awful truth about the history of artificial contraception and its links to eugenics from people like  Marie Stopes and Margaret Sanger. Find out who your local NFP teacher is and invite them to your parish.  Start the conversation within your own parish and keep it going. Because if you don’t preach the beauty of Gods design on sex and marriage, no one will. Please don’t leave us to fight this battle on our own…

Humanae Vitae full version – 

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

Theology of the Body full version – 

http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2TBIND.HTM

Belgium’s parliament votes through child euthanasia

In the UK it is legal to end a child’s life up to 24 weeks gestation for any reason whatsoever. If that child is disabled it is legal to end that child’s life up to birth. If you can make it to birth, then you are safe.

But if you happen to be born in Belgium, as of today, you are no longer safe after birth. Today the Belgium Parliament has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit.

They have actually passed a law that makes it legal for them to kill their own beautiful children.

Life is sacred. I have nothing more to say.

Source – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26181615

Eucharistic Adoration – Society’s Ultimate Rebellion

One of the greatest weaknesses of todays society, and one of the greatest sadnesses of our time  is the dehumanisation of us all.  If you take a step back and try to look upon your life from the outside it can look a little something like this:

Is it any wonder that 1 in 4 of us will at some point in our lives suffer with low self-worth, anxiety and depression? And even worse than this is the fact that we constantly sedate ourselves to this pain with a self prescribed diet of mindless entertainment and quick fixes. Is there really no way out? Is this really how life is meant to be? Am i really nothing more than a rat in this horrible unending race? Is that what we are – a race of rats?!

Please, please please please do not believe that this conveyor belt drone like existence is how God wants you to spend the rest of your life. You are unique. You are amazing. You are loved. Before He formed us in the womb He knew us. Luke 12:7 tells us that “…even the hairs of your head are all counted…”.

Psalm 139 tells us :

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.

We are Fearfully and Wonderfully made. And more than that God had already written His plan for each and every single day of our lives as His eyes beheld our unformed substance. Wow!  

God has a plan for your life. 

Eucharistic Adoration is (viewed through the eyes of todays society) completely bonkers. You are not producing anything. You are not gaining anything. You are not entertaining yourself. In fact i would go as far as to say that Eucharistic Adoration is society’s ultimate rebellion. When we spend time in silence with our creator we begin to realise who we really are . We begin to see ourselves as He sees us, and realise that He never intended us to be a number – a rat in a rat race. We begin to realise that we are unique, we are amazing and we are loved.

Mother Teresa puts it like this: 

“That is why I encourage you to make your Holy Hour (of Adoration) through Mary, the cause of our joy, and you may discover that no where on earth are you more welcomed, no where on earth are you more loved, than by Jesus, living and truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make you soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth.”
 
“When you look at the crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you NOW. I beg the Blessed Mother to touch the hearts of all Parish priests that they may have Eucharistic Adoration in their parishes, and that it may spread throughout the entire world! – Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
 

There is no Room for Opinion in Effective Evangelisation

It’s good to be back! I have had a 3 month vacation from blogging whilst becoming a mother for the 3rd time. Baby is 6 weeks old now and my fingers are starting to itch again for the keyboard!

I have found this 3 month break to be extremely helpful in evaluating my own progress as a Catholic blogger. My aim in blogging is of course to evangelise – that is, to bring Christ to others. Looking back over my early posts I cringe somewhat at the content. I was full of enthusiasm and fire – to the point of seeming aggressive. Even worse I fell into the trap that snares almost all bloggers – I felt my opinion was important!

In hindsight my opinion has only done damage. Who cares about my opinion anyway?! What does it mean? Nothing! My job is to reflect Christ to others. Much of what I have done has reflected myself. From now on my posts are going to be less about me and more about Him.

Opinion can vary, truth on the other hand is absolute. Opinion can be wrong, truth cannot. Opinion is generally used to appease or oppose people. Truth has no agenda. Opinion usually requires lots of text to explain itself, whilst truth can be spelled out in a single sentence or even a single word or even with no words! Opinion causes division, truth unites. Opinion is rooted in human pride, truth comes from God. Opinion detracts from the truth.

During my studies I was introduced for the first time to Papal documents, the Catechism and I began to study Holy Scripture. Discovering these concrete references to the truth was like a breath of fresh air. I now had the chance to understand why the Church teaches what she does on relevant issues to my own life such as marriage, sex, and family. Most ordinary Catholics under the age of 50 have no idea why or even what the official teaching is on these issues. I once even heard of a woman who thought that Human Vitae was a vitamin pill!

My point is that if we have never bothered to study any of these concrete references to the truth, all we have to go on is our own, or someone else’s opinion. This can mislead and even damage people. If what I am learning is not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it is never going to entirely satisfy my soul; “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” – St. Augustine.

If I am to call myself a successful evangelist then “He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease” – John 3:30. In my attempts at blogging I may advance the gospel, or detract from it – yet it remains far bigger than I am. We must all guard against an inflated sense of self, yes? “He must increase, but I must decrease” is a distillation of a humble heart. Are we pursuing this humility when we promote our own opinion? I think not – but then again, that’s just my opinion! 

Lord, teach me to be humble so I may hear the truth.

 

The evidence that blows apart Mr Cameron’s claim that gay marriage will strengthen families.

This is such a great article  – please take a look…

'The ties that bind us': For the PM's inner circle of self-styled modernisers, the proposal of legalising same-sex marriage is seen as a key instrument of change, a powerful agent that can 'detoxify' the Tory brand

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2329294/The-evidence-blows-apart-Mr-Camerons-claim-gay-marriage-strengthen-families.html?fb_action_ids=10151378106401198&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151378106401198%22%3A315009368630424%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210151378106401198%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

 

 

Wedding Cake Prosecutions…

For anyone who thought my last post might have been in the realms of fantasy – think again!

I did a little fishing around on the internet and found this sort of “Your Christian beliefs are not tolerated here…” issue has already raised its ugly head in the USA:

 

Probe: Oregon baker Aaron Klein, pictured, is under investigation after he refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple

Baker who refused to make wedding cake for lesbian couple faces state  investigation…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2272429/Aaron-Klein-complaint-Baker-refuses-make-wedding-cake-lesbian-couple-calls-abominations-unto-Lord.html#axzz2Jm9roLLL

And Another…                                   

Barronelle Stutzman via screencap

Washington state suing florist who refused to supply gay wedding…

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/10/washington-state-suing-florist-who-refused-to-supply-gay-wedding/

And another…

Wedding Cake Wars…

http://www.bilerico.com/2013/05/wedding_cake_wars_oregon_edition.php

And another…

Same-sex couple denied wedding cake by bakery…

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57482042/same-sex-couple-denied-wedding-cake-by-bakery/

 

Well, there you have it! Your comments please…

 

Happy 1st Birthday Faith in our Families!

fiof birthday

Fouth Sunday of Easter – Year C

“… My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me....”

Gospel: John 10:27-30

27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

Gospel Summary

Jesus speaks with absolute certainty of His complete authority alongside His Father, and of assured eternal life for his followers. He explains that nothing can ever change this and that by saying that He and His Father are one, He once again reveals Himself as the messiah.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

This week’s very short Gospel is all about certainty. The first thing that comes to my mind is the Glory Be prayer:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

This prayer, like this week’s Gospel, speaks to us of Gods ultimate authority. He is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. He is in charge at all times and nothing happens unless He permits it.

This is no easy concept to grasp when faced with the reality of injustice and suffering. Take the recent Boston bombings for example – God in His ultimate authority allowed that to happen – but why? Isn’t He supposed to be a loving God?

Isn’t it funny how we never ask God “Why?” when he sends us blessings – we reserve “why?” only for when he sends us suffering. My own children are exactly the same. I never hear a peep out of them when it is time for ice-cream or treats, but when faced with the injustice and suffering of having to tidy their room or do their homework the wailing and gnashing of teeth never cease!

This week’s Gospel also speaks to us of hope and the assurance of eternal life. Is it possible that, like little children, when faced with the question of injustice and suffering we are incredibly short focused?

This life is only temporary. Our suffering is only temporary. And the injustice we have to face is only temporary.

We can understand all three of these situations as we look at Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Through His death and resurrection Jesus teaches us that death is not the end. There is a life after this one that is happy, free from suffering and injustice, and is everlasting.

But through His death, He also assures us that in this life there certainly will be suffering and injustice. Even the son of God was not spared suffering and injustice.

Jesus did not come to take away our suffering. He came to show us that suffering has meaning and purpose. Whether we like it or not, our suffering in this life is part of Gods ultimate plan.

  • This life is only temporary.
  • Jesus has given us eternal life.
  • Ultimately, God is always in control.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.