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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God is my Treasure

Dear T-Bird,
I posted your whole response to the "Audacity of Despair" in the comments. But it doesn't show up very easily. You have to click on comments at the end of that posting to find it.
I am very glad you came into the Catholic Church and and that you said,"Why are we afraid of a man's opinion, when it comes right down to it; Heaven's opinion of us is the one that counts. What can man do to us? Kill us, hey I'm outta here and on to better things, so what can they do to us?"
That's a very important discernment principle in the Catholic Church that we should seek only Our Father's reward and none other. Only my Father's opinion matters. We should seek His Will, through the teachings of the Church, spiritual direction, reading Holy Scripture, the Sacraments and prayer, and therefore no man's opinion is god. Yet many people fear others' opinions. And there they live enslaved. I personally know what that enslavement is like as when I was a child and a young woman I was terribly insecure and worried what people would think of me. God - through daily Eucharistic Adoration - healed me of that enslavement. He showed me an experience I had as a child when I was only two years old. My father was sick. He had been sick since I was born, and my mother -- worried for him -- would keep me out of his room and try to keep me quiet so he could get his rest. Being kept out of that room, I somehow developed an understanding that I was not acceptable to my father. This plagued me my whole life as a deep sense of insecurity. I compensated for it by overachieving -- getting two bachelor's degrees, two master's degrees, traveling around Europe and rising in the world of journalism to a very high place. But I can remember waiting to interview the U.S. Treasury Secretary, and inside I felt like a bug about to be squashed. (He never knew that, of course -- I was a very tough newspaper woman) Then when I was 39 and I had abandoned my career to stay home with my young son, I was in the habit of dropping him off at school and going to the Adoration Chapel for an hour after wards. But on this day, the Father told me to go home and pray. So I did. And there he revealed to me the secret of my insecurity as that experience I had when I was two. I cried. But as an adult, I recognized the lie. Of course, my father had accepted me. In fact, I knew he had loved me. He died when I was four years old, so there was no way for the child to know that. But it was a lie, and so confronting that truth, I was just healed -- by God. I didn't feel like a squashed bug inside anymore. My husband and I had been married 10 years at that point, and something in him sensed that. Now he had walked on eggs our whole marriage, always afraid to say something critical even when he was mad as I would go "Boo Hoo. You don't love me." And so for three months, he was kinda mean! But it didn't bother me at all. And now we have great freedom in our marriage of 25 years to say what we think without the other person (me) getting offended.
Later I had a deeper lesson on this subject of my Father's reward. I was sitting in the home of my beloved mother. My stepfather -- who had multiple mental conditions -- was treating me like the dirt under the carpet. I felt so bad -- even knowing as I did that he couldn't help it. And then the Father reminded me that when I came to His House, which is also our house, he would welcome me, put a beautiful cloak on my shoulders, a ring on my finger and kill the fatted calf and have a nice party for me and my friends. That has stayed with me ever since, and God is my Father. The father that died and the father that was abusive, they were not perfect. Really, they were my brothers in Christ. But God is My Father! And I apologize because He is really Our Father!
You also said, "I was surprised with so much attention paid to this election by all the Parishes that the election went the way that it did. So many people attend, are their ears closed along with their hearts on these things. I know the Protestants were pushing the Republican agenda and with the Catholics combined we should have won this one. If we actually became one body in Christ, we should have defeated evil. But the scary thing is where is the heart of all of those who voted for such a man. The Bible says something about where our treasure is, there is our heart also. What is the treasure in their lives. We need to pray for these people. The real treasure is the Eucharist. What can they be focused on. I feel like saying, WAKE UP CHURCH!! Something is getting missed in Adult teaching in the church. Maybe our prayers should be about this."
Wow. That was also a very important discernment principle. Are you sure I don't know you? Where is your treasure, that is where your heart is, and the Eucharist is the greatest treasure. Catholics can never say that they have been given nothing as they have been given it ALL in the Holy Eucharist. And that is the real meaning of that Gospel Reading we had last Sunday about the servants who banked and buried the talents. I was told it was a question of practicing the piano if I was good at it. Or practicing baseball if I was good at that. But no, it referred to those Catholics who sit on their hands and vote for Obama and complain they have nothing to give back to the Church because they are poor -- when in fact they have everything in Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. And if they only shared that knowledge with others, they would realize how rich they are. I'm really glad you have this impression that the election was preached about and everyone should have known how to vote. Unfortunately, that depends on what diocese you are in. There is a fear among some in the Church that it will lose its tax exempt status if it allows its priests to preach against abortion. (Sounds like they are worried about the opinion of man and not God, right?) Some American bishops have said maybe we should stop worrying about our tax exempt status. They are concerned about God's opinion, and not that of the IRS. But I think from this election that God has settled the matter, for unless He works a miracle (and we should all pray for that) we are going to lose all our Catholic hospitals and adoption agencies, our right to stand outside abortion clinics and quietly pray, our right to exercise our freedom of conscience if we are Catholic pharmacists or doctors. We may lose our money as well -- maybe not our tax exempt status because Satan wants us to continue to be enslaved by that, but if there is widespread unemployment and the government seizes our retirement savings, there will be less money given to the church. God bless You T-Bird. Susan Fox

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