Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘choice’

Now we begin…nitty-gritty

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on July 27, 2009

As I had indicated in the previous Post, my parent and I had a discussion shortly after Thanksgiving about a certain false-sugar product that I had used for two years.  It came up because they also used the product and still use it to this day.  Our discussion revolved around the consequences of my consuming the product either in my coffee/tea or on cereal and other foods; mostly, I experience (almost immediately) an increased heart rate, while a little later I’ll break into a sweat, and that is followed by restricted breathing, and if not addressed immediately, unconsciousness. The discussion we had seemed rather benign, as I was trying to impress upon them the need to discontinue use of this product based on the reactions I had experienced and some other researched information; I had no idea that they would use this product against me.


Thanksgiving Day


For Thanksgiving, God provided the money to rent a car so that I could see all the family as my Grandparents had traveled down specially and my sister flew in from California.  If I hadn’t a vehicle, I would not have traveled, or better stated, I would not have had the option of leaving early if necessary.  It was necessary.  The whole gathering was very stressful with a few moments of calm.


After Thanksgiving, I seriously began discerning whether or not to return for Christmas.  After all, the grandparents weren’t going to be there (though my sister was), and so the trip was not so urgent.  I’m sorry to say that I did not listen to the results of the discernment.  Continuously, I was warned not to go.  However, I knew this would be my last Christmas with them as I was sure God would be moving me somewhere else and possibly very far.  So I ignored the warnings.


In retrospect, I also wanted to see if I could talk to my parent and begin to heal the breach that existed between us.  This is a tendency that exists with ALL victims of abuse – we REALLY want to help and love our abusers.  My parent wants the same thing from their parent, which is why they constantly agree to travel the five plus hours to help their mother clean out cupboards.  What is the result of this trip?  Clean cupboards, to be sure, but also a great deal of ridicule and chastisement for the lack of initiative of the children (us) and/or their spouse or even of themselves.  As if my parent is responsible for any initiative besides their own…


I asked my grandmother once if she had thanked my parent for helping her clean the cupboards – she answered NO and gave no further comment.


Therefore, when my sister called and asked if I’d like a ride down for Christmas, I accepted her offer (although a deep sense of foreboding remained in the back of my mind, reminding me that I’d have no means of leaving if things became difficult).  She picked me up in our parent’s car and drove me down in plenty of time for the midnight Mass at their church.


Attending Midnight Mass with the Family


It is important to remind the reader that my family was raised Cafeteria Catholic.  For those who do not know what that is, simply put: Cafeteria Catholics pick and choose what they want to follow and believe what the Church teaches.  Reminder! My parents did not accept the Church’s teaching on the use of contraceptionThis also means they have problems concerning the authority of the Teaching Magisterium who passed down the teachings on contraception.


As such, their church-of-choice also has difficulties following the authority of the Teaching Magisterium.  Many liturgical abuses occur, but none so blatant as the holding of hands during the Our Father (an issue that had been dealt with by our United States Bishops back in 2003, after the Vatican had passed down a mandate in 2001 concerning the practice).  The Vatican’s mandate required all parishes to cease the practice immediately giving the American Bishops the option of substituting holding hands with a different and reverent gesture.  Both Wyoming and Colorado’s Bishops choose to allow their parishioners to pray the Our Father with opened and raised arms, but upheld the mandate that the holding of hands should cease.


Why I chose the word “Blatant” has to do with an insert that happened to be in their bulletin, and that most everyone had with them prior to Mass.  There, in black and white, was the mandate and explanation for the change.  One would think that the Pastor would then begin leading his parish to the correct posture for the Lord’s Prayer… but he did not.  Everyone still held hands… everyone but me.  For some reason, I decided to stick out like a sore thumb, and NOT take the hands of those family members around me.  Needless to say, one parent was not too happy and told me so in the middle of Mass – to which I then pointed out the notice in the bulletin only to receive continued anger and contempt for disrupting Mass… btw, this wasn’t THAT parent, but the other parent.

I ignored their comments and after Mass went to calmly talk with the Pastor about my concern of his lack of authority within his own parish.


I’m telling you my experience with this because it will have a great affect on the events that would follow that also will lead into the next day; so please, bear with me…


When I went to talk with the Pastor, I did so with reverence and respect, because no matter what folly he may commit as a man the priest IS STILL Christ’s representative on earth.  Therefore, you NEVER attack a priest!  Not VERBALLY or PHYSICALLY for I believe the consequences will indeed be grave.  So I approached him in humility and simply asked him why his parish hadn’t been instructed in the (now 3 year old) mandate with the current Bishop’s response to that mandate?  He asked me to what I was referring, I told him by pointing out the section in the bulletin that addressed the issue.


A list of excuses and reasons why he has said and done nothing to change the practice followed.  My Father’s righteous indignation began to grow steadily within my own self, and I noticed a definite rising of Holy Heat within me.  This is how I can best describe what happens to me when the Holy Spirit begins flowing from God’s Truth and Word and directs Itself within me to those He wishes to teach.


This dear priest was not listening to his own feeble words, not realizing that he was expressly going against the Authority of the Church by his apathy, and as such, caused a great sadness and disappointment within my own soul that consumed all my energy.  Leaving church shortly afterward, I drove back to the family house, and proceeded to make myself ready for bed for I was tired and disgusted with the lack of pastoral care of the misguided and down-trodden priest, for the laity really do run that parish.


While I was changing into my Pjs, my other parent (the one who accused me at Mass), called up to me and informed me they wish to take a family picture.  I called down and said that I was in no mood for a picture and to please take it without me.  I then went to the restroom to brush my teeth when that parent called up a second time and told me to get into the picture; clearly they had ignored what I had said earlier and expected me to re-dress and be down stairs for the picture.


However, when I emerged from the bathroom in my Pjs with my toothbrush in mouth brushing away, their words turned to complete anger as they ordered me back into my church clothes for the family picture.  I responded with, “I’m not 13 yrs old!  I told you I was not in the mood for a picture and to please take it without me.  If you want me in a picture you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.” And I returned to brushing my teeth.  I paid no attention to their response, finished my tasks, and went to bed.

To be continued…

Previous Posts:

Healing Begins
Part 3 Continues…
Importance of Reconciliation
In Between Things

Recommended Reading:

Accept the Crown
The Thirteenth Man

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Choices…Part II

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 21, 2009

For the next few weeks (or however long God desires it) I will review a series of talks given by Archbishop Fulton SheenI will try as best as I can to quote him accurately – thus all his direct quotes will appear italicized and in “quotation marks”


Choices: Part II :  “For many are called, but few are chose.” ~Mt 22:14

So Our Lord is saying there is a broad road, a wide gate and many travel that road.  There is a narrow road, and the narrow gate, and few there are that go in.  Now suppose if He said, ‘But I will not make a choice.  I will live indifferently.’  Not to make a choice is to choose. … White fences do not remain white fences, they become black fences, because we do not paint them and take care of them… So everybody is making a choice…even when they do not choose.”

Is there a good example of this in Scripture?  Yes!  The story of Pontius Pilate and his “choice” not to choose.  When did that happen, you might ask?  The moment that Pilate brought Jesus – scourged, bloody, and crowned with thorns – out to the people.  Instead of letting Jesus go, as he said he would do; Pilate brought out another prisoner, perhaps hoping that the people would rather condemn a man already condemned instead of sending an innocent man to death.  Pilate was wrong.  But even still, Pilate did not make choice between life and death, per sé, he instead chose to wash his hands of the innocent blood that his soldiers would continue to extract from Jesus as they lead Him away to be crucified.

“I think the choice that is offered us is something like the choice that was offered on the sunlit porticul of Pontius Pilate the day he brought Our Blessed Lord and Barabbas out before the mob…Jesus was scourged…He was made ‘King for a day’…and they [the soldiers] bowed before Him, mockingly… Now, Pilate brings Our Lord out,… and with Him, Barabbas, a great popular hero.  Let us remember that.  He was not just a robber, as been described.  He was rather, a revolutionist…he was anti-establishment, he was popular because he was violent, he tried to overthrow the Roman authority; and Pilate now brings out these two figures.

“There is even some evidence, in the early manuscripts of scripture, that the name of Barabbas… in Hebrew, means…’son of the father’.  Pilate, therefore, was really saying, ‘Which shall I release to you?  Jesus, the Son of the Heavenly Father or the ‘son of the father’, Barabbas?  They chose Barabbas… ‘Release unto us Barabbas’…’What shall I do with your Christ?’ Crucify Him!  Now we have that choice.  We are in many important moments of our lives making that decision.  We are ‘opting for the hero’ (Barabbas) or we are ‘opting’ for the One who, for the moment, is quite unpopular.  Or to put it in other scripture language; we are going to one of two cities…”

St. Augustine (c. 354-430 AD), wrote a book entitled, The City of God.  In this book he compares two cities; the City where God and His people dwell and the city where evil reigns with his dominions.  St. John, the Evangelist, the youngest of Jesus’ Apostles, wrote a similar description in his apocalyptic writing known as Revelation, found at the end of the Sacred Scripture.  Both cities describe the great contrasts between the profound and the profane.  The city of evil contains all blasphemies against God and His holy ones, against His Son and His Church.  The great City of God, on the other hand, is adorned with jewels as a bride adored for her bridegroom, with the Most High resting in its center.

So ultimately, at the end of our choice, after having chosen either Christ or Barabbas, there will be two cities awaiting us: The city of Babylon or the Great Marriage, for in Heaven there will be the marriage of the Lamb to the Bride, which is the Church.”

For Jesus IS the Lamb of God, and His Bride IS His Church, as St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

We are that Church, which Christ established on Peter and the Apostles (cf. Mt 16:15-18), and the gates and powers of Hell will not overcome it! We will not have homosexual unions recognized as marriage; we will not sanctify the lie that murdering the unborn child is a ‘God given choice’; the Church will not fall into the sin of women priests because a bride cannot be a ‘bridegroom’ as Christ is for the Church, as the priest is en persona Cristi (in the person of Christ).  The Church may become a remnant few, a chosen few who hold to that which Christ has taught and continues to teach to this day through His successors (cf. Mt 28:20); But the Church will always be here, until the moment of Christ’s return to reclaim her and establish her in Himself once and for always!

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day–and there shall be no night there; they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” ~Rev 21:22-27

“We are never to be cast down by trials, by discipline, by mortifications … we have God with us, Christ within our souls!  You are good people.  You would not be here if you were not good.  Even though you are not as good as you want to be, you have come here because you want to be better. There is a deep yearning today in the American soul for goodness and spirituality, and you manifest it.  And if you bear with me, during these talks, I will lead you step by step to inner peace, to inner joy, and to consolation. Thank you, and…

God Love You!”

Previous Posts

Cross of Christ
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part I

Fulton Sheen: Cross…  Part II
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part III

*Part I

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