The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same.

catholic

I came back to the Church almost 4 years ago and I’ve been thinking lately, although things for me have changed for the positive during this time, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Let me explain.

One of the biggest factors that brought me back to the Church was the sin of abortion. Not that I have personally been involved in one but the simple fact that prior to me coming back to the faith, I was very pro choice and then, through time and the grace of God, I slowly started to have a change of heart and am very much pro life now. It drove me nuts during the last election to see so many “Catholic” parishioners who voted our current POTUS in. Most of them gave me the same old song and dance answer “He’s a Democrat and he is for the poor.” And another favorite, “He’s going to change this country for the better.” Well, eight years later and what do we have to show for it? A divided country, continued funding of Planned Parenthood, our religious rights being snatched out from under our noses, forced to buy healthcare, etc…etc…

My thought process was, “Here I am, not practicing my faith yet I seem to know more about what is right and what wrong than some of these parishioners who’ve looked down on me the whole time.” That was it. I was fed up! I asked Jesus to take the reigns and lead this jackass in the direction that he wanted me to go. I wanted to do his will instead of wasting time and doing my will. I wanted to learn more about my Catholic faith and I wanted to have a relationship with Jesus Christ!

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Fast forward 8 years later and here we are again. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Parishioners singing the same old song and dance about how good they are yet, they are willing to vote in another Democrat who will continue to run this country into the ground. I’m not here to say that Donald Trump is our savior. We only have one savior, Jesus Christ, and right now we sure could look to Him for guidance and help. The best excuses that I’m hearing for this election year are: The oldie but goodie, “Democrats are for the poor,” “Donald Trump is going to build a wall,” and “Donald Trump is going to deport 11 to 20 million illegal immigrants (number depends on who’s giving the excuse).

Ask them about the policies and you get a look like the one below.

2 duh

The time has come for no more excuses. Take some time and aquatint yourselves with what the candidates stand for and what the Church has to say in regards to voting. A good start is by reading Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship by the USCCB.

A conversation on the golf course

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So over the weekend a friend of mine sent me a text. “Hey brother, want to join me for a round of golf?” A couple of years ago I bought a set of clubs at a yard sale. I took them out only a couple of times to the driving range where I discovered that I really wasn’t into golf. A few months ago while getting rid of some stuff around the house, I got rid of those clubs. So, when my friend sent me the text, I figured “Sure. Why not.”

It was a beautiful afternoon with small showers. Like I said, I’ve never played before and the few times I did try hitting a golf ball, it didn’t go to well. My friend said, “Don’t worry brother. We are here to have fun, hang out, play some golf, have a few brews and some conversation.” With that being said, we head off to the first hole.

As we slowly progressed through the course, we started discussing our faith. My friend is Catholic like me and we discussed this idea that we had a few months back about revamping our local Catholic men’s group. We had some great ideas back then and then life got in the way. We¬†discussed some of the previous ideas we had and then the conversation turned to a concern that he had. Not so much with me directly but it involved me.

A few months back there was a local Deacon who was having a debate with the Pastor from Calvary Chapel on Facebook. Of course I felt I needed to be a part of it due to something the Pastor said. To be quite honest, I can’t remember what it was he said that got me riled up so I know it must have not been that important. At the time though, I must have thought it was important right? Not necessarily. One of my biggest faults is my need to impose my will on someone. This is not an all the time thing but, it happens here and there, especially when the topic revolves around religion and politics. When it was all said and done, I thought my comments towards the Pastor where less than charitable and certainly where not “Christ like” so I deleted them. I also ended up getting into quite the argument with that particular Deacon and we are no longer on speaking terms which to be quite honest, is the best thing for us both even if he doesn’t realize or agree with it. Jesus commands us to love each other. I’ve learned that some people need to be loved from a distance.

My friend discussed how it disturbed him to see Christians fighting among each other over trivial matters. He was absolutely right. Although some of the topics that were brought up in that Facebook conversation may not seem trivial to the people involved, if they took a step back and looked at it for what it was, it was very trivial. A whole bunch of “We are right and you are wrong” from both sides with only one winner in the end….Satan.

I may feel passionate about my Catholic faith but I don’t need to impose it upon someone who is not interested in hearing or learning about it. Little by little, through the grace of God, I am learning how to “curb” that need to impose my will. I am really trying to ask myself these questions more often; “What would Jesus do? How would he do it? and “Would you do or say that if Jesus was present?” This is how my friend approached me, with the love of Jesus. He didn’t say “John, you know that was wrong!” He discussed his disapproval with the overall Facebook conversation…not any specific individual.

As we continued with our game we came to the conclusion that there are far too many know it all Christians (my way or the highway) out there and not enough “Christians – followers of Christ. Doing as he did” out there. As a Catholic, there are many great role models for me to follow in the saints and in the popes but the main one of course is Jesus Christ himself. May we all strive¬†to do the will of God and not our own.