…AN OPEN LETTER TO THOSE OUT THERE…

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Dear:  haters, baiters, militants, miscreants, trolls, ne’er-do-wells, and assorted nasties….

So…you say my praying ‘offends’ you? That somehow me mumbling a simple ‘Pater and Ave’ is somehow an affront to God?

That somehow me, a simple servant, is somehow trying to single-handedly ‘destroy the Church’…?

Oh…you poor deluded fools….let me explain something.

Not a day has gone by in my Ministry that I have NOT been reported, inboxed, or sent a nasty message regarding what I do.

You would figure, if you really stop to think about it, that if these people had NOT done this that somehow by now I would have become burnt out…that I would have given up, packed up my kit, and moved along to greener pastures…That somehow YOU belittling me or mine that I would just say “Oh well, this is SO not worth it”…?  Let me tell you something shocking…. BECAUSE of YOU, by EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU DO attack me, you make me firmly resolved to NOT give in….because, as we both know, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV) …and being a cleric who takes his job VERY seriously, why on Earth would I give into THAT sort of pressure!?!?

Why do you think Catholic’s have so many Saints and Martyrs? Because they did NOT give into lack-brains like you who seem to feel superior by coming at them and trying to chase them off the pitch.

You cuss, and scream, at ME because I pray for those YOU consider ‘unworthy’ or ‘outside of God’s Mercy’….and yet scream LOUDER at the world that ‘everyone is trying to destroy Christianity’….!?!?!

TAKE A SIDE, for the love of Saint Peter, CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER….is it ME trying to, or THEM???

How can you say I AM RESPONSIBLE, yet accuse everyone ELSE of doing it? It is either one, or the other…

Don’t you think that if GOD HIMSELF had a problem with me praying, then HE HIMSELF would say something? (And NO…He would NOT choose someone of narrow mind and loud of mouth to do as much!)

There ARE people out there trying to rid the world of our faith, yes that is true, but not THOSE WHO ARE OF THE FAITH! Get a grip, people!

If you go around criticizing others for doing what GOD HIMSELF has sent them to do, then how can you say WE are the one’s ‘destroying’ it?

Oh….wait…perhaps YOU did not realize something…MEA CULPA…you must have slipped a needle there….here..let me help you remember it now….

GOD DOES NOT NEED YOUR HELP DEFENDING HIMSELF.

“So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.

And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.

Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’” – Acts 17: 23b-28a

You like to say to me that YOU are right in all things pertaining to worship of Him? Well…I think you may want to read this and contemplate it for a minute…

“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbour?” – James 4:12

“But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. “For he who is not against us is for us.” – Mark 9:40

“Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.

There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” – 1 Corinthians 12:3-11

Is it, perhaps, that YOU are having trouble praying for those God told you to pray for? Perhaps it is something in YOU yourself seem to have lost that you are trying so hard to eliminate from others…?

If you believe that by attacking others simply because of their faith, or because they are not doing ‘your faith’ the way YOU want, then it is because YOU are lacking in knowledge OF that faith.

Do you really believe that coming after me, and saying HORRIBLE things about me to others will somehow embarrass me? That I will say “I am not wanted here” and revoke my Ordination as a cleric?

You really need to read Romans 11:29 before you get THAT thought into your head…”For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”.

Why not concentrate your efforts on those who ARE trying to destroy OUR faith? There are MILLIONS out there (and without naming names I think you have a pretty good idea WHOM I speak of) who ARE killing, crucifying, burning, beheading, and torturing those of the Christian faith simply because they want THEIR brand of belief to be the ONLY one in existence.

Do you not realize it is not WHICH God we are worshipping that is the cause of all these problems, but HOW we are worshipping Him that IS?

You cannot stand by and attack YOUR FAITH, simply because someone is not praying, or kneeling, or going to YOUR church the way YOU want.

You have to understand that though there are differences in HOW we are worshipping God, we are worshipping THE SAME GOD.

How arrogant of you to believe YOUR way is the ONLY way….God is not Christian, nor Muslim, nor Jew…GOD IS GOD…if He sends someone to preach, THEY PREACH.

If He sends someone to comfort the grieving, or succour the downtrodden, or uplift the downcast, WHO ARE YOU TO SAY AGAINST WHOM GOD HAS CHOSEN?

Take a lesson from Jesus…my Master…HE told us what to do…HE sent us out there… and He himself said “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no commandment greater than these.”” (Mark 12: 29b-31)

Go…seek harsher climes….seek out those who ARE trying to destroy, and not those who are trying to help gather in…

“And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” – John 10:16

I may not be YOUR Cleric, or YOUR Minister, or YOUR Priest…but I AM HIS SERVANT…and there is nothing, if anything, you can do to dissuade me from doing as He commanded.

And I am pretty sure that if YOUR Cleric, Minister, Pastor, or Priest was aware of what you ARE doing that you would be chastised VERY harshly by them.

Find another pasture, because those who look to me to help them spiritually, emotionally, and mentally would tear you asunder should they see you doing what you do.

I will not quit…at least, not until HE HIMSELF tells me to, or I am before His Throne and He either condemns, or lauds me for my service…

“For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

I WILL, however, suggest you go pray…yes..YOU pray (Just as I am praying for YOU as well!)…and ask of God what GOD wants, not what someone says from a lectern or pulpit…READ His Word….and gain understanding….for in the meantime, I have work to do and no time to listen to YOUR version of what you THINK God wants…He already TOLD HIS SERVANTS what He expects from them in HIS WORD.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 01 FEBRUARY, 2016

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SAINT BRIDGID
Abbess, and Patroness of Ireland
(c. 453-523)

        Next to the glorious St. Patrick, St. Bridgid, whom we may consider his spiritual daughter in Christ, has ever been held in singular veneration in Ireland. She was born about the year 453, at Fochard in Ulster.

During her infancy, her pious father saw in a vision men clothed in white garments pouring a sacred unguent on her head, thus prefiguring her future sanctity.

While yet very young, Bridgid consecrated her life to God, bestowed everything at her disposal on the poor, and was the edification of all who knew her. She was very beautiful, and fearing that efforts might be made to induce her to break the vow by which she had bound herself to God, and to bestow her hand on one of her many suitors, she prayed that she might become ugly and deformed.

Her prayer was heard, for her eye became swollen, and her whole countenance so changed that she was allowed to follow her vocation in peace, and marriage with her was no more thought of.

When about twenty years old, our Saint made known to St. Mel, the nephew and disciple of St. Patrick, her intention to live only to Jesus Christ, and he consented to receive her sacred vows.

On the appointed day the solemn ceremony of her profession was performed after the manner introduced by St. Patrick, the bishop offering up many prayers, and investing Bridgid with a snow-white habit, and a cloak of the same color.

While she bowed her head on this occasion to receive the veil, a miracle of a singularly striking and impressive nature occurred: that part of the wooden platform adjoining the altar on which she knelt recovered its original vitality, and put on all its former verdure, retaining it for a long time after. At the same moment Bridgid’s eye was healed, and she became as beautiful and as lovely as ever.

Encouraged by her example, several other ladies made their vows with her, and in compliance with the wish of the parents of her new associates, the Saint agreed to found a religious residence for herself and them in the vicinity.

A convenient site having been fixed upon by the bishop, a convent, the first in Ireland, was erected upon it; and in obedience to the prelate Bridgid assumed the superiority. Her reputation for sanctity became greater every day; and in proportion as it was diffused throughout the country the number of candidates for admission into the new monastery increased.

The bishops of Ireland, soon perceiving the important advantages which their respective dioceses would derive from similar foundations, persuaded the young and saintly abbess to visit different parts of the kingdom, and, as an opportunity offered, introduce into each one the establishment of her institute.

While thus engaged in a portion of the province of Connaught, a deputation arrived from Leinster to solicit the Saint to take up her residence in that territory; but the motives which they urged were human, and such could have no weight with Bridgid.

It was only the prospect of the many spiritual advantages that would result from compliance with the request that induced her to accede, as she did, to the wishes of those who had petitioned her.

Taking with her a number of her spiritual daughters, our Saint journeyed to Leinster, where they were received with many demonstrations of respect and joy. The site on which Kildare now stands appearing to be well adapted for a religious institute, there the Saint and her companions took up their abode.

To the place appropriated for the new foundation some lands were annexed, the fruits of which were assigned to the little establishment.

This donation indeed contributed to supply the wants of the community, but still the pious sisterhood principally depended for their maintenance on the liberality of their benefactors.

Bridgid contrived, however, out of their small means to relieve the poor of the vicinity very considerably; and when the wants of these indigent persons surpassed her slender finances, she hesitated not to sacrifice for them the movables of the convent.

On one occasion our Saint, imitating the burning charity of St. Ambrose and other great servants of God, sold some of the sacred vestments that she might procure the means of relieving their necessities.

She was so humble that she sometimes attended the cattle on the land which belonged to her monastery.

The renown of Bridgid’s unbounded charity drew multitudes of the poor to Kildare; the fame of her piety attracted thither many persons anxious to solicit her prayers or to profit by her holy example.

In course of time the number of these so much increased that it became necessary to provide accommodation for them in the neighborhood of the new monastery, and thus was laid the foundation and origin of the town of Kildare.

The spiritual exigencies of her community, and of those numerous strangers who resorted to the vicinity, having suggested to our Saint the expediency of having the locality erected into an episcopal see, she represented it to the prelates, to whom the consideration of it rightly belonged.

Deeming the proposal just and useful, Conlath, a recluse of eminent sanctity, illustrious by the great things which God had granted to his prayers, was, at Bridgid’s desire, chosen the first bishop of the newly erected diocese.

In process of time it became the ecclesiastical metropolis of the province to which it belonged, probably in consequence of the general desire to honor the place in which St. Bridgid had so long dwelt.

After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtues, corporal infirmities admonished our Saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh.

It was now half a century since, by her holy vows, she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained; her holy institute having widely diffused itself throughout the Green Isle, and greatly advanced the cause of religion in the various districts in which it was established.

Like a river of peace, its progress was steady and silent; it fertilized every region fortunate enough to receive its waters, and caused it to put forth spiritual flowers and fruits with all the sweet perfume of evangelical fragrance.

The remembrance of the glory she had procured to the Most High, as well as the services rendered to dear souls ransomed by the precious blood of her divine Spouse, cheered and consoled Bridgid in the infirmities inseparable from old age.

Her last illness was soothed by the presence of Nennidh, a priest of eminent sanctity, over whose youth she had watched with pious solicitude, and who was indebted to her prayers and instructions for his great proficiency in sublime perfection.

The day on which our abbess was to terminate her course, February 1, 523, having arrived, she received from the hands of this saintly priest the blessed body and blood of her Lord in the divine Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him.

Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, but was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar.

In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of St. Bridgid were removed in order to secure them from irreverence; and, being transferred to Down-Patrick, were deposited in the same grave with those of the glorious St. Patrick.

Their bodies, together with that of St. Columba, were translated afterwards to the cathedral cf the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII.

The head of St. Bridgid is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.
(SOURCE: Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894])