DEAR FATHER…I DON’T GET IT…..

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(An open letter to Our Father in Heaven)

Dear Father,I DON’T GET IT…..

Father, I see the world today and I just do not get it.

I see violence everywhere, people dying for no reason, hunger, sadness….here, Father, let me explain….

 

See Father, I know You told us we should have faith…and yet I see faith declining.  Oh sure, I see ‘faith’..faith in money…faith in power…faith in empty words made by those who claim to be Your servants…faith in those who think they can explain ALL that You made…yet, I see little REAL faith.

 

They point and say “AH-HA…THIS is how it began, THIS is how it is” and yet they do not stop to think of WHO created those things they hail as the “breakthrough” they found….I hear them say “It was all an accident” or “It was not because of some God, but because of something else”…silly people…pointing out how 2 pieces of NOTHING made EVERYTHING, and yet cannot tell us WHY we are here, WHAT we are supposed to be doing here, and WHAT HAPPENS if we do not stop to think “should we be doing this?”

 

I see the rich complaining that they do not have enough, so they destroy lives by the thousands to enrich their own.  I see the rich taking and taking without even giving anything back.  I see them destroying the land You gave us just to make MORE than what they already have.

 

I see the rich saying “I want more” and not being grateful for what they have, and yet I see the poor who ARE grateful for ANYTHING given to them….even if it is just a meal or a cup of water.

 

I saw in the news a while back, Father, a store that the rich had foreclosed on…in one of the poorest neighborhoods of a city… instead of giving the food to those who NEEDED it, those who were out of work, had families, children, and NEEDED the food…I saw them have the police hold people back as they threw the food into the trash and prevented the poor from getting it out.  Yes, I know they SAY it was “for their own good”…but we are not talking PERISHABLE food Father, we are talking canned goods…dry goods…food that could have lifted their spirits and fed their hungry families….

Did You not say that those WITH should give to those WITHOUT? How is it their hearts are so closed, Father?

 

No, Father, I do not get it at all…

 

I see those who claim to know You, claim to serve you, end childhoods. I see them and the lives they destroyed. The horrors, the ATROCITIES, they have visited on those they claim to shepherd…and they are still wearing the collar they say YOU put there. And yet, they walk away without so much as justice to their victims…or punishment for what evils they have wrought.

I see “The Justice System”, Father…I see them persecute the innocent, and yet pass laws to protect those who prey on society. 

 

I see lies being made that destroy others lives…I see people jumping onto a bandwagon and howling for the blood of a person…and yet, when they are proven innocent I do not see ANYONE apologize for destroying said destroyed lives. It boggles me, Father, how people can be so easily SWAYED in their understanding that they do not stop to say “We must wait and see if these allegations are proven true.”…no…they are like rabid animals who only thirst for the blood of others….

 

I see laws passed that boggle the imagination, Father…I see them actually making being poor a CRIME..arresting those who have no where to go, and saying that if we help them we are “enabling their lifestyle”…and yet I see no one stopping the rich taking and taking…Father, I believe a law should be passed that once you reach a certain amount of wealth if anyone contributes further to their gain THEY should be prosecuted for “enabling THEIR lifestyle”…for they give so little back, and yet take so much.

 

How is it,Father, I see stores CRAMMED with food, yet I also see the hungry and near-death outside of these stores with empty bellies?

How is it I see stores PACKED with clothes, yet the ones just a FEW FEET AWAY are wearing tatters and have no shoes?

How is it I see MANSIONS that reach up to the heavens, yet at their base are those who huddle under a cardboard box to shelter against the elements?

 I see the rich, Father, and all that greed which has consumed them….

They destroy a person’s livelihood and when that person has NO WHERE to go, and NOTHING left, they make it a crime to help them out…how is THAT for strange? And yet no one persecutes the rich for doing this! I know, Father, shocking right?!?!

 

I see people who say “There is no God”…and yet they stand there eating food YOU made grow, wearing clothes YOU produced the materials for, walk on YOUR ground and yet deny You exist…

 

No sir, I do not understand it….

 

I do not understand how people can wage war over dirt and say it is because of words in a book, or some person a LONG time ago said YOU told them to say this or that…

They scream YOUR name as they kill others and yet they fail to see that killing in Your name is NEVER justified…no…not by the words of those who lead them, or shepherd them, or give them “Your Blessing” to do their crimes… 

The world has changed, Father, and in so many ways so fast.

 

I cannot see how killing HUNDREDS of people and destroying THOUSANDS of lives justifies the death of a couple of people…when all they had to do was simply say “We demand justice, please give us those responsible for this outrage”…you know, the way it was a long time ago when they WERE favored in Your Eyes.

 

I cannot see how those who DID do the atrocities can sit back with a clear conscience and NOT STOP what they are doing , and NOT feel an ounce of guilt over the HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of lives that are lost through their stupid actions of “look at us” and “notice us” and “we want to make a statement”…simply because they want land, or prestige, or to establish themselves as some new power among people…

 

I cannot see how groups of people can suddenly end lives, destroying people, and say it is for YOUR will they are doing this.

I do not understand, Father.. they SAY it is “The Will of God”, and yet I know by reading their book, and Your Book (yes, I know Father..they are ALL ‘YOUR BOOKS’) but they do not heed the words inside of them.  It says to love your neighbor, forgive those who wrong you, practice peace and love….and yet they wage war, not because of WHO we worship, but HOW we worship You.  

No, Father, I am confounded….

 

I see creations, Father, WONDROUS creations that should enable us to live SMARTER lives…MORE filled with wonder and generosity, for they bring this world so much closer than it was only a couple of decades ago…creations that enable us to have a WEALTH of information at our fingertips and the ability to help turn the downtrodden into useful LIVING people with lives of fulfillment…, and yet they do not take time to look at these things.. they simply scroll on.

They raise idols and icons out of ordinary people who do nothing more than win some sporting match, and elevate them to near god-like status and try to emulate them by wearing clothes with names of these people on them… yet their idols are false, for they are merely human and just as corrupt and greedy as ever.

I see them showing movies about love, yet there is no love in those who watch…I hear them making music which masses sway and dance to, yet it brings them no real joy once a new band, or fad, comes around.

I see them tossing out clothes into the refuse instead of holding them out to those who are in tatters…I see them buying things they do not need simply because they are told it is the latest thing to have….I see them pamper and puff themselves up with pride at some new aquisition, yet do not lift a finger to help someone who has not a single pair of shoes on their feet nor warmth for the cold winters.

 

I see the land being destroyed and broken so that we can consume and consume, yet we give nothing back to replace that which we took. Yes, I know Father, all of these “natural resources” have a limit…they have, like everything on this planet, only SO MUCH before there is no more, and yet they do nothing to look into renewable resources that consume NOTHING except what is already freely given (again, by YOU Father)….

 

No Father, I do not understand it at all….perhaps I am not meant to, and that is Your Will.

 

Perhaps THIS is the lesson You wanted to teach us…that when we run out, cannot breathe, cannot eat, cannot help, cannot control ourselves, that we need YOU to step in and take it away from us…like a child who keeps breaking the precious gift, or the spoiled brat who just needs a good smack up the bottom, to teach us that we have to CHERISH what we have, and to NOT want more than our share.

 

Perhaps You want us to end up with nothing left so that we will understand that YOU are the end all and creator of what we DID have, but no longer have due to our greed….

 

I still do not understand it all, Father, but I DO understand ONE THING… to trust in Your Plan is to know that whatever WE may think WE need, is nothing compared to what YOU want us to have and what YOU want to give…

 

Anyway, Father, I just wanted to say this before I send this letter off to you:

 

“Thank you Father for what I have, and for making sure I have enough of what I need to”.

 

Your Loving Child,

Jeff. 

 

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READING OF THE DAY: 18 JULY, 2014

Woe_unto_You_Scribes_and_Pharisees

 

“Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.

When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” 

He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat?

Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent?

I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. 

If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men.

For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.” -Matthew 12:1-8.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 18 JULY, 2014

Saint Camillus of Lellis

Saint Camillus of Lellis

Founder of the Servants of the Sick
(1549-1614)

Saint Camillus was born in the kingdom of Naples in the year 1549. His early years gave no indication of his future sanctity. At the age of nineteen he entered into military service with his father, an Italian noble, against the Turks.

After four years of hard campaigning he found himself, through his violent temper, reckless habits, and inveterate passion for gambling, a discharged soldier in bad health, and in such straitened circumstances that he was obliged to beg in the streets.

Finally he found work as a laborer for a Capuchin convent which was being built.

A few words from a Capuchin Friar brought about his conversion; the following day he cast himself on his knees, seeing himself clearly by a divine illumination.

He prayed, Forgive, Lord, this wretched sinner! and give him time to do penance! And he resolved to become a religious.

He served the Capuchin Fathers, working in the garden, sweeping the convent, washing the dishes, until he could be received as an aspirant.

Thrice he begin his novitiate with them, but each time an obstinate ulcer on his leg forced him to leave. God had other designs for him. He went to Rome for medical treatment, and there took Saint Philip Neri as his confessor.

He entered, as a servant, the hospital of San Giacomo. The carelessness of the paid personnel and nurses towards the suffering patients inspired him with the thought of founding a Congregation of voluntary servants of the sick, to minister to their wants without thought of remuneration. He recalled the Cross of Our Lord, thinking, If they wore it on their breast, the sight of it would sustain them, encourage them, reward them.

He spoke of this intention to the most pious ones among his companions, who joined him with enthusiasm. They set up an oratory in a little room where they retired to read and pray. They met great obstacles; their oratory was closed when they were suspected of wanting to control the hospital.

But eventually Saint Camillus was ordained priest in 1584 and founded his Congregation with only two co-workers, at the chapel of Our Lady of Miracles.

They continued to serve in the large Holy Spirit Hospital, and in 1586 his community, theServants of the Sick, was confirmed by the Pope.

Its usefulness was soon felt, not only in hospitals, but in private houses. Summoned at every hour of the day and night, the devotion of Camillus never grew cold. With an inexhaustible tenderness he attended to the needs of his patients. He wept with them, consoled them, and prayed with them.

During a famine in 1590, the poor were reduced to eating dead animals and often raw herbs; about sixty thousand died during that winter, which was exceptionally cold. Saint Camillus procured bread and clothing and went out to distribute them in Rome to all who needed them.

Never did he refuse what was asked, giving away his cloak more than once, and the last sack of flour in the storeroom. But God always provided for the Brothers when they had nothing more to give.

Saint Camillus knew miraculously the state of the souls of his patients; and Saint Philip saw Angels whispering to two Servants of the Sick who were consoling a dying person.

One day a sick man said to the Saint, Father, may I beg you to make up my bed? it is very hard. Camillus replied, God forgive you, brother! You beg me? Don’t you know yet that you should command me, for I am your servant and slave!

The Saint founded houses of what had become his Order in several cities — Milan, Bologna, Genoa, Florence, Ferrare and others, and sent out his religious when a pestilence afflicted Hungary and surrounding regions. Several of his religious died on that occasion.

In his hospital he was heard to say, Would to God that in the hour of my death one sigh or one blessing of these poor sick creatures might fall upon me!

His prayer was answered. He was granted the same consolations in his last hour, which he had so often procured for others.

It was in the year 1614, and on the feast of Saint Bonaventure, to whom he had a great devotion, that he died as he had foretold, having the full use of his faculties, as the priest was reciting the words of the ritual, May Jesus Christ appear to thee with a mild and joyful countenance!

Reflection: Saint Camillus venerated the sick as living images of Christ, and by ministering to them in this spirit did penance for the sins of his youth. He led a life precious in merit, and from a violent and quarrelsome soldier became a gentle and tender Saint.

(SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 8;Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894))