I have a little conversation going on over at SC&A with a “Father Jim”. This is an interesting man. Been a long time since I had a religious discussion with a Catholic- and not about differences in doctrine either. He makes some beautiful points that really got me thinking about love and truth and good things like that.

Some excerpts:

“What is truth? Jesus was asked what was God’s greatest commandments and He replied ” First is you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Note the order where our heart must come first so that the old man in all of us can surrender to where the soul wants to take us that our mind may finally see by faith and give us strength.” Only then can we hope to “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself” because united with God, we will have the ability with His love to do as we should. And so you see, God is love.
Father Jim

love demands that the other have a free will to truly chose to give or recieve love,

When we center on Christ all the Protestant/Catholic dissension about things like infallibility and transubstantiation take a back seat. Sure those things are still important, and the history is that martyrs blood was shed… but there is a continuity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will lead on into the greater truth of Knowing God. Jesus came so we might know our Creator and fulfill our purpose of being Friends of God. More than friends, children.

Anyone who is a friend of God is a friend of mine.

A side thought: There are those Protestant Christians who will bristle at my seeming lack of respect for the differences and the fact that many martyrs died terrible deaths over those differences.

I don’t. What I do is realize that those protests -even to death and torture- had a focus, a purpose. That was that all men should know more of the God of Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. That was why the translation of the scripture was so important and why men relating to God and understanding the importance of Grace was so important…. not that there should be a proud group of “Those Who Hold The Grudge’. There was a point, and when that point is accomplished…. we should reunite in Christ.

That is the love that proves He was sent from the Father, isn’t it?

So if you don’t think I am strong enough on Protestant doctrine and apologetics- You need to look at just what it is you are standing for- is it Christ? Or is it party spirit?

Just asking.

5 thoughts on “Sidelights”

  1. Profound, penetrating…your blog is aptly named, Ilona…you possess true grit! And, whenever Christ is taught, there is love.

  2. Were you following the commentary over at SC&A? What did you think of it? I’d like to have more of those kinds of conversations.

  3. Whenever someone comes to me and says they want to convert to the Catholic faith, I first try and find out where they are on the journey. I have a painting in my office to remind me that Jesus came to us while we were sinners and still does every day. Too many people see religion as the answer that must come before love. This would be like having an arranged marriage and after the ceremony, asked to find love.

    Having said that, in years of study and working with thousands of people, I have found that when one starts with love, and works to find God, I do not think they will ever be disappointed when arriving at the end with the Catholic Church and her teaching. Many find the teaching hard and seek that it should bend more easily. Can one maintain love when we discover that their truth bends with the wind? When Jesus taught what all who believe in him must believe is truth, some walked away saying what he spoke was to hard to accept or believe. Jesus did not chase them so he could retain butts in the seats of his church. How can real love not speak the truth that is in the heart? When a child comes for food, does the mother give them a rock? I teach Catholic teaching not out of loyalty or as in politics because I have an R or D attached to my thought process. I teach because in using love as the pointer to my compass, I find love at the core of what the church teaches.

    However, we are called to cast out the nets with love and depend on God to bring in the fish. Peter fished all night and had nothing until Jesus told him to cast out the nets on the other side of the boat and the nets were filled. But Peter had to throw the nets and those seeking God must open their hearts to the risk of hearing what they do not want to hear even to death of the old man who walks inside us. Oh how we fear the death of him who is within us. But the seed must die before we can be born again. So cast out with love and when a heart finds truth with love, they will fly to it like bees to the sweetest flower. One only has to read the hearts soaring in the Psalms to see the bees who have tasted of the flower one time calling for more.

  4. I understand your love for your Church, especially as you have made it your vocation. Early on I veered away from recommending Churches- any church- as the way to find God. what I hope for now is in giving the simple invitation, that Christ Jesus is available to know, and that He invites us all to know Him. I am not strongly evangelistic in the way of preaching to others. Although I think preaching is good, necessary.

    What I do, especially in the online context ( which I think is very limited), is break down the smug barriers we tend to build as fences around our thinking.

    I would call it plowing the furrows. Someone else is more equipped to deseminate the seed.

    We have different gifts of how we show love, and mine is not transferable over the internet- which is too bad really.

  5. I spoke on this above. I would add that we teach by actions and use words only when needed.
    I find the internet very restricting. Right now, I am somewhat limited by a hip replacement surgury and so somewhat restricted in my actions. So, I chose to visit a few sites. By the way, I found yours starting out with a friends site and went to another that connected to a third and found a post which led me to yours.

    I find most sites to be a bunch of hot air filling the balloon of pride. I also find a lot of pain which you can almost smell through the screen. Being one who likes to reach out to people and see their eyes and body signals, this is very restricting and one that I will soon abandon I am afraid when I become mobile. I gave a sermon on my visits to internet sites without names or issues. In our days of email and internet access, I fear we are losing the common touch. After a few days of this, I felt the need to visit a nursing home and talk with a few souls and give a few hugs.

    I will say that I also met a few souls like you that have been added to my daily prayers. You are one I sensed in pain and yet vibrantly alive and fighting. Always keep seeking and He will continue to open the doors to bring you to a place where you can take up the cross and find the easter sunday .

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