I Am a Catholic
By Pat Miron
East of Eden / Tethered or Freefall
America once the Moral Compass for the world; has I fear, deduced it is far Better [and certainly easier] to join “them, “than to fight “them.” To follow; and no longer lead?
Gauging by the number of abortions done annually; mostly because of inconvenience; the number of divorces [even Catholic]; the exodus form religion nationally [and certainly within the CC], the number of single family homes; the push for “same-sex” “marriage?,” “gay-rights,” and “don’t blame me and I won’t blame you,” and “It’s [ONLY] RIGHT IF I say it’s right;” with no need for God because we “are gods” ourselves. And yet some cheerfully point to “see how far we have come!” And “they” are Correct; but are they “right?”
It’s happened before, and I suspect that we have failed to learn from it. Is today: NOW PLAYING: Adam and Eve II?
East of Eden is a penitential place; a place to prepare for the inevitable
East of Eden …. What?
What seems to necessitate asking, “is it possible to have too much of good things?” Once, I thought I knew the answer. As a much younger man, I didn’t think so. Too much money, power, sex, good-times; I just didn’t think it was even a possibility. today I know better, and it‘s not the answer I held as a younger man.
Sometimes, with age comes wisdom gained from experience; and if we are so blessed by our Merciful God; Grace is offered to us and a TRUER [fuller-understanding] Wisdom, no longer based on “self,” becomes, at-least a possibility, for a great multitude of souls.
Part of the “what” seems to imply a responsibility to at-least make a serious effort to change it. “What” seems to me to be offering a clear choice of simply accepting “what is; because it-is,“ or being committed to changing it. Of being part of the solution, or settling for being part of the problem. Duet. 30: 15, 19 “See, I [God] set before you this day life and good, death and evil.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live”
So, it seems to me that the “what” is a bit different for each of us, as it has to factor in our life choices to the current time. Still each of us bears responsibility for the world we helped make, and the conditions in which we now find ourselves and our loved ones. “It is” exist either by our laziness or by our participation, by ignorance or our indifference?
I think of this discussion as a suitable Lenten Topic, because Lent too is about change. While we are “changing ourselves” for the better; why not broaden the scope; to include our families, our parish, our country.
East of Eden …. “Where?”
Where must include our, past, our present and our future locations and the choices and decisions we make. Where is located both in reality, and what is imagined; both physical and Spiritual. In our person, our minds, and our Religious Spirit.
The precise location varies for each of depending on where we were; and where we currently are. “Where” is a reference to our physical location; our mental state, and to our present Spiritual condition..
As a pragmatic, Its easier to explain “where” and what Eden was and what Eden became, than where Eden is, which is a huge variable.
Eden was life as God Ordained it; perfect is every way. No death, sickness, to real “wants” and certainly no real “needs.” ….. Amend that; it would seem that there was at-least one [real?] “want.”
In this singular act of deliberate disobedience by Adam and Eve; one can find elements of all Seven of the Capitol sins:
Pride: “you too will become like God!” Genesis 3:5
Avarice: They had “everything!” But “everything” was not enough. Gen. 3:1-3 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, `You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;” but God said, `You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
Envy: Genesis 3: 4-5 “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Wrath: Accepting this newly revealed “truth [from the father of lies, catapulted there pride to make them angry at God “”For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Lust: There are many forms of LUST; lust foe sexual pleasure, for money, and for power. There’s was a LUST for the power to become “God.”
Gluttony: Genesis 3: 6 “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.” Seduction is TOO EASY!
Gen.3: 1 -6 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, `You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, `You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.”
Sloth: Read this once carefully, because it’s profound. “Sloth is “laziness.” Definition from Father Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary: “Sluggishness of soul or boredom because of the exertion necessary for the performance of a good work. The good work may be a corporal task, such as walking; or a mental exercise, such as writing; or a spiritual duty, such as prayer. Implicit in sloth is the unwillingness to exert oneself in the performance of duty because of the sacrifice and the effort required.”
So we might ask how they were lazy. Because, God planed for them; what God desires for us. And it was handed to them without effort on their part; only obedience was required of them from God. And they said “No” to God.
For those of us who pay the price of admission to heaven, will be made by God, very much into God’s very image. All that was “lost” by Adam and Eve will be restored to us. Perfected bodies, minds, intellects and freewill’s and NOW; a perfected soul! And like God we will go from finite to infinite as perfected examples of God’s love.
They wanted “it-ALL.” BUT did not want to pay any price for it, not even if all they had to do was Obey God. God handed them salvation and they said “No Thanks.” Matt.10: 24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master;” … 1Tim.6: 1 “Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be defamed.”
So God moved the “where” to “East of Eden.” A term implying both a changed location and a significantly change if “being.” They chose for us from the menu of “life and death;” ….. ”DEATH,” AND so must we! …. WHAT! “Are you crazy?” …. Read on and decide for yourselves.
What was perfect; was changed to imperfect. What was only possible “good,” now had to include a possible “bad.” Where there was no-sin; sin begin to grow and to dominate. Gen. 3: 9-10 “But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” humanity would forevermore be unsatisfied, and have a natural desire to be god; not like God; but god.
We were moved from Eden‘s-Perfection and Happiness; to East of Eden and suffering, misery, longing for more, and more, and more. There would now be only one way to again find true, but yet incomplete happiness. And we would be permitted to know where, and even how to find it.
However, it would require much, demand much sacrifice, and in the midst of knowing that there were easier alternatives; we too would be given a COMMAND regarding “the fruit.” But ours differs from the Command God gave to Adam and Eve. … Do Not eat of the fruit in the middle of the garden.“ ….Our Command is , DO “Eat of the Fruit.”
John 6: 50-56
“This is the bread which comes down from heaven that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat? So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” Because God knows it is easier for man “to eat” rather than “not to eat from,” God changed the command from “Don’t, to Do.” And now many choose spiritual death by not eating; when Adam and Eve chose spiritual death by eating what was forbidden them. Interestingly; the only thing we know of that was forbidden for them, was not to eat of the fruit of the middle of the garden. But they wanted more; they wanted all. And just as amazing, is refusing today by many, to eat what can bring life, and kill death. “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.”
East of Eden …. “Why?”
“Why” is not always discernible. The Why includes the decisions we too, like Adam and Eve have made. And just as there actions caused reactions from God; so too, our sins do not pass unseen, or without consequences. The “Why” is God’s reaction to our “what.” And just as we too can choose life or death; we are expected by God to “choose Life!” …. Collectively and individually, we will pay the price for not doing so.
From the Life of Christ; Bishop Fulton Sheen
“The world has room only for the ordinary; never the very good or the very bad. The good are a reproach to the mediocre and the evil are a disturbance. Hence on Calvary, Goodness is crucified between two thieves. That is His true position: among the worthless and the rejects. He is a man in the right place
The conduct of everyone around the Cross was the negation of the very faith the good thief manifested; yet he believed when others disbelieved. A dying thief understood it before the Apostles. This is the only deathbed conversion mentioned in the Gospels, yet it too was preceded by the Cross of suffering.” End Quote
It is so easy to be “average,” to be “normal,” to “not make waves.” BUT, is that why God placed us here? Is that God’s expatiations of our Minds, Intellects, Freewill’s and Souls?
“WHY” is answered in Divine Justice. …Saying “NO” to God demands a penalty; a pay-back. Faith is a Gift; always offered, and often rejected. Love desires to be loved. This last point friend is the summation of “Why.”
“Why” often involves a “judgment call; and requires us to decide.” But be careful judgments are often filled with danger.
Here is an excellent example of WHY God tells us “not too judge .” Matt.7: 1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”
Yet this message seems to be contradicted by a second and different message. Which is RIGHT?
Matt. 7:12-23 “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” …. “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ “
As we have many times shared: The most significant “key” to correct understanding of the Bible is “That no one passage can contradict another.” Such an occurrence would invalidate the entire Bible.
We are permitted to “judge actions” and to make an informed “moral judgment” of their worth. We ARE NOT permitted to judge others motives and intensions. ” This is God’s task; not ours.
Yes BUT… didn’t you just pass judgment of Adam and Eve’s motives? Yes I did! But God had done so long before I got around to it. And my judging was in relationship to there actions and the consequences caused by there saying “NO!” to God.
So God moved the “where” to “East of Eden.” A term implying both a changed location and a significantly change if “being.” The opportunity to sin, often, regularly, and Grievously, now became part of who and what we had become. Yet, sin was, is and always shall be abhorrent to God. If humanity was, and is to be in a personal relationship with God; which is much desired by God; we are going to have to have help:
H = He is Real, and Really Present: Seek Him … Ask and you shall receive!
E = Everywhere and Every time we are tempted. We can choose to ignore God; but we cannot hide from Him. God will aid us in temptation IF we ask.
L = There can be no greater love by God for us than already given; and no greater love for us towards God than humble, Informed Obedience
P = Prayer has to be a great part of the answer. Normal prayer, sacrifices as prayer, charity as prayer, and Right reception of the sacraments as prayer; most notably, Confession and Eucharist
“They chose for us from the menu of “life and death;” ….. ”DEATH,” AND so must we! ….
WHAT! “Are you crazy!” …. Read on and decide for yourselves.”
We in an absolute sense must be the leaders in the revolt against corrupted-truth. Moral truth, and Spiritual truth. By our actions, we must lead, and we must teach by our example. We must be willing to be humiliated, accused, slandered, and even ignored. We must endure, we must pay the price of admission to heaven. KNOW, God has placed each of us where we are, at this moment in time to make a difference for Him, for His Church, for our families, and for the Nation God has to be having second thoughts about. We must be willing to “die-spiritually” meaning; accepting the following priorities is our lives:
God First: in every thought, every decision, every act; Family is second only to God. Do what is right; do not count the cost. Third is work: one of the penalties of our “inherited sin.” Give to God what is God ‘s and to Caesar his just due. Work hard, smart and with integrity. Forth is our Country. Get involved. Vote only for those who reflect and will act in a moral and just manner. It’s not about “party-politics,” it’s about making a difference, knowing that your doing your share to make a moral and religious statement; rewarding good; and dismissing evil. If your inclined to be involved in politics, do so ONLY if your willing to pay the price for doing so by example, WWJD…. What Would Jesus Do; then do it!
You Shall Not Want
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
To the lost sheep, He is the seeking Shepherd;
To the needy sheep, He is the providing Shepherd;
To the hurting sheep, He is the comforting Shepherd;
To the bruised sheep, He is the healing Shepherd;
To the anxious sheep, He is the peaceful Shepherd;
To the wandering sheep, He is the guiding Shepherd;
To the fearful sheep, He is the protecting Shepherd;
To all His sheep, He is the Good Shepherd.
By Pastor –Roy Lessin
Tethered or Freefall
Are you a “self” person, or a “selfless person?” Is your opinion of greater weight than God’s? Are you satisfied with where you are spiritually? With the direction your heading spiritually? With the effort you are making spiritually? Are you HUMBLY seeking the singular truths [plural;] on all matters of Faith and Morals of God? Are you open to the truth? [Which does not mean blind acceptance; or acceptance without debate.] Once the evidence become irrefutable; [to the common and ordinary person], then, mandatory acceptance is the rule. Know that God does not so much ask us to agree with Him [but it’s a very good thing to do so], as much as God demands Obedience to the Moral and Faith Teachings of the only Church; only Faith that he personally established; and that he personally protects and guarantees.
Wisdom and Understanding; like Faith, are Gifts from God. Not given to everyone in the same amounts. Pray for these Gifts! If my friend, your heart is pure, your intensions are moral, your goal is heaven; then you are likely “tethered” to God. If your lacking any of the above; you may well be in “freefall” on the slippery sloop, to ???? And in nearly all cases; if your not an informed, practicing, member of the CC, or in process of becoming one; you have much to worry about, think about and pray about. Salvation is possible outside of the CC; but God does not make it easy.
GOD BLESS YOU, PRAY VERY MUCH