Monday, September 26, 2011

Update to Saturday's post

There isn't too much to say but there does seem to be some second thoughts and reflecting on actions going on. This conflict may not be over with yet. By the time Fr. Jeff finished his homily, it finally hit me that I had not done the one thing that we should always do and that is to turn to God for guidance. I was so busy talking to a couple of girlfriends and trying to work out my feelings that I didn't just turn to God for His insight and wisdom. How typical.

I talked to Quanah on Saturday and he tolded me to also turn to St. Michael the Archangel. His greatest weapon against evil wasn't the sword but his humility. Here's the well-known short verson of the prayer:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen. It is the longer prayer to St. Michael that I have to study. I suspect that it is there that I will find the references to humility.

"Many people have the wrong idea about God, the Bible and humility, or being humble. They think being humble means groveling in front of others or thinking we're no good and others are good. That’s not the Bible's picture. God says when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ. You don't need to defend yourself when you understand the Bible's picture of humility, for you know who you are in Christ. You are able to be a peacemaker without needing to fight for your rights. You are able to walk humbly in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, not your own personal power. Godly humility is being comfortable with who you are in the Lord and therefore putting others first. The meaning of humility in the Bible is one of loving others, not being a wimp!"

Understanding the Meaning of Humility in the Bible

Doug Britton, 2008

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

I still have a lot of work to do on myself and oh how I wish I could become a successful peacemaker between people and rise above the clutter of my own feelings right away.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

One of the hardest things I've had to deal with over my life is the disappointment I have to deal with with Church leaders and laity. True, none of us are perfect, but I can't help but hold people actively involved in the Church, to a higher standard. It's not a good expectation. It suggests that I am better than they and can judge their actions. But still, when things happen, when decisions are made that directly impact other people in a negative way, I have to take a position. I can't just sit on the fence.

We don't have a Life Teen organization at our parish anymore. There will be no youth minister or youth ministry for the time being. This is through no fault of the recently resigned youth minister. It is entirely about the whisperings of people who don't like Life Teen and a pastor who listens to them and, for his own unknown reasons, has not been supportive of Life Teen.

It is wrong to judge an entire group by the poor decisions of one couple and then question what kind of example other core members are providing. It is wrong to, on the one hand, say that half the core members must go because they are part of a couple and then, on the other hand, say that the omitted individual can be involved with Life Teen but just not be called a core member. It's confusing and, worse yet, deceitful. So rather than play this silly game aof bait and switch, the youth minister resigned.

I know this post is probably making no sense at all, and I've left out a lot of details but this is my world today and it's a disappointing world. I expect the actions of love and compassion and non-judgment to be hard at work in my world and over and over again and this isn't the first time I've seen it missing.

So - once again I will pull into my shell, pray and attend Mass as a devotion only between myself and my Lord and avoid interaction with the people. Talking with others about my feelings will only lead me into gossip and bitter speaking and the inability to understand, accept, and forgive.