My Thoughts

Looking through the rearview mirror at what has been so quickly passing, receding, winking out of sight, then as soon forgotten; all newness ages before aging eyes with their blinking. It is but the softest whisper which so teases thoughts too tired to trouble; yesterday too soon forgotten, today fleeing fast away, tomorrow but a promise never to be met. Old habits have lost their favor; few are any more inclined to don such poor attire, evocative of best forgotten memory. The cassock, the collar, the distinctive tri-cornered biretta worn by parish priests, the tunic, scapular and cowl, the hood for monks or friars, the veil for nuns, all eschewed, exchanged for modern artless dress. Old distinctions have turned to bland; religious wear, once black and white, brown or gray, have become kaleidoscopic, indistinguishable from the ordinary and the common.

Where have they gone, those men and women set apart, eagerly dedicated to the greater praise and glory of Almighty God? Where are they who once wore their faithful witness—humility, holiness, honesty, sanctity, chastity, virtue and divine devotion—on their sleeves with every fiber of their being? Where are they who by their living faith taught us everything we needed to aspire to sainthood, and to heaven? Where are they who dared call sin a sin, who in the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God, imposed penalties for our transgressions, gentle but strict counsel for our souls and forgiveness when we fell. And yes Lord, we fell again and again. We are still falling, ever more so, but with a difference, for we no longer care a twig or twaddle for such errant nonsense.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people. For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth. As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith; but they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

Like old habits, we no longer play that silly game once known as Finding Heaven, the game with ridiculously rigid rules that must be followed or suffer condemnation of our mythic souls. Right and wrong, good and evil, the battle for our souls, God and Satan are so passé, so yesterday, token relics from an analog board game buried beneath the dust and clutter of long forgotten oddments of useless stuff. We no longer—at least by all outward appearances—concern ourselves with what lies beyond the grave; eternal realities, heaven and hell are but fairy tales told to worry children toward good behavior. God, long absent the classroom, finds no room within, no fire, no desire, no love, no welcome. Satan has taken up residence within the vacant soul, an unbidden squatter demanding nothing for the pleasure of his perverted company. Everything, whether natural or supernatural, comes with a purchase price and a payment plan, but, as someone once quipped, “the devil is in the details.” Heaven and Hell are polar opposites in every way possible. Heaven is purchased with a heavy price in the here and now. Hell is the purchase price for earthly paradise here and now. The choice is binary, cash or credit, pay now on layaway for eternal reward or enjoy paradise now and pay later for all eternity. Consequentially, removing God from the classroom and the public square, proves the aphorism “out of sight, out of mind.” Simply put, we no longer think about God since all mention has been forbidden by law. God, in truth, has been declared an “illegal alien” and denied entry into the squalor of our minds and darkened souls.

Without God, the supernatural has no meaning; without the supernatural, heaven and eternal life are meaningless. Without God, life has meaning only in what one desires of it. Without God, good and evil, right and wrong, love and hate, morality and immorality, truth and falsehood, guilt and innocence are but subjective scalars relative to personal whim. Without God, there can be no evil, no sin, no hell, for such as these are but mere antipodes of goodness, righteousness, and heavenly reward. Without God, worry or concern for what lies beyond the grave is hopelessly oxymoronic.

I choose to know and to love God. I choose to live my life as God desires. I choose to follow his rules, knowing full well that I will fail (sin) again and again and again. I choose all of God for the only other option is to choose nothing at all. I choose to worry about hell and eternal damnation; obviously, there are others who are of like mind.[1]

Wake up America.

Just my thoughts for a Thursday, for what it is worth.

[1] From Colloqui, All or Nothing at All, March 22, 2019.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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