Yesterday, December 17 2015, was an interesting day. After my morning prayer and daily reading from Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost Devotional Bible”, I suffered the displeasure of reading about, listening to, and learning of Paul Ryan’s disgraceful 1.1 trillion dollar surrender of the only real power Congress (our representatives) had to hold onto…the purse. Later that morning I attended the wake of my friend’s father, a U.S. Marine who survived Iwo Jima to live a fulfilling life and die in his sleep at 92…after a quality Sunday with the people who mattered most to him. The conversations with my old friends I met at the service ranged from conceal-carry, to political-correctness, to the purchase of a Vermont “get-away”, to the increasing burdens of government red tape and regulations, to the Republican Debate and Donald Trump…
Later that afternoon, one of my colleagues sought me out to alert me about a 3pm webinar entitled, “Is a Significant Downturn Imminent?” He seemed as anxious as I’ve ever seen him in ten years about how to prepare his clients for whatever was coming our way. I thought to myself, how tough it must be to face the reality you’ve spent so many years ignoring. And then I thought about my most meaningful experience of the day…my reconnection with a friend who just learned from his doctor he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and may only have months to live. Good Sunday Morning Dear Friend.
Bearing the Cross
The events of the day brought me back to the focus of Chapter 6 on “Purpose”. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Now, I don’t know where you live, but I live in New York, where former Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver was convicted on corruption charges in November…followed weeks later by the conviction of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos…bringing us to this week’s growing demand for Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s resignation over his cover-up of the sado-masochistic-embezzling priest, Fr. Peter Miqueli of St. Frances de Chantel parish in the Bronx… http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/cardinal-dolan-has-to-go
Two of the three most powerful men in NY State, and the most powerful man in the NY Church! This is the state of the state in one of the bluest states of the union where our friends on the Left are always crying for more and more separation of church and state…I say to them, WE need a separation from a church and state which have so clearly devolved into a God-forsaken mess; resulting in the attempted destruction of one, and the nearly complete corruption of the other! WHAT HAS THIS TO DO WITH ME…and the bearing of the cross?
“Joy means the perfect fulfillment of that for which I was created and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing…The Bible talks plentifully about joy, but it nowhere speaks about a ‘happy’ Christian.” ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost Devotional Bible, who quotes our Lord, “As My Father has sent Me, even so am I sending you…Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.”
I started to write about friendship when I began this chapter because true friendship is sacred to me…I think because it links me to my purpose. There is a state of love and grace I feel when I am with the “old friends” that’s hard to explain. In a world that has gone so terribly wrong, being with them today is as right as it was forty-five years ago! So what do they have to do with bearing the cross, you’re wondering?
When most of us think of the term, “my cross to bear”, we connect it to suffering. I learned about the Truth on Calvary and the meaning of Christmas as a child who had no way of knowing about Secularism and Communism…that one was not only the dead-end denial of the Cross, but a pathway to the safe-house of evil. And the other, an endless series of wet-dream-nights on the very same path. I needed to experience the pursuit of happiness as an adult, and comprehend the nature of man in order to fully realize the significance of the Cross. Only here will we understand the distinction Chambers makes between Christian “Joy” and the more common “happy” found on bar stools and Game Boy screens. When happy is so easy to find, who can be bothered to look for Joy? Think of it like this…You are the golden-boy desire of the two competing seductresses…heaven and earth. To every conditioned sense, the former promises what the latter already provides…AND, you must destroy the sweet version of yourself to attain the former. Such a deal…until you add Truth to the calculation. Then dear friend, it’s a stunning no-brainer!
At every Mass, the temporally transcendent sacrifice of Calvary which is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ Himself, re-presented to God the Father by the power of God the Holy Ghost. This is accomplished through the transubstantiation of Bread and Wine as prefigured by the priest and King Melchizedek in Genesis 14. This sacrifice is the Todah sacrifice of Israel, which is the only sacrifice to be offered in the post-messianic age and for all eternity, according to ancient Rabbinic teaching. The Todah sacrifice is the sacrifice of Thanksgiving. The word “Thanksgiving” in Greek is Eucharist. The Divine Surprise to Israel and the world is that GOD provided and provides HIMSELF IN THE FLESH as the final, worthy and fully efficacious Todah sacrifice. ~ from Ann Barnhardt’s “Boston Speech”
Your purpose! My purpose! Our Purpose is to disown the lies, and bear the Truth to find “the perfect union with Himself, without a shadow between, through the death of Jesus Christ.”
Forgive my impulsive passion…it is not for me to tell you your purpose. That assignment can only come from within you. So let us not talk falsely now…the hour is getting late.
Imagine the life of Simon of Cyre’ne, described as a “passer-by” in Mark 15. There he was minding his own business one minute, and suddenly finding himself at “the center of time and eternity” the next! He was “compelled” to pick up and bear the Truth that “switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God.” An ordinary man leading an ordinary life one moment…
God spoke to my friend diagnosed with cancer through me saying, “the True harvest is eternal…and miracles happen on the head of a pin.” Think of this moment as the head of a pin, and then ask yourself how your moment compares to Simon’s moment. Ask yourself the most important question you’ve ever asked yourself, knowing it was the authority of the state that compelled Simon. Please tell me you can finally see…
Lastly my friend, please indulge me in this hour of my “joyful” burden in these two critically important settings. First, you and I are seated in the center front pew of the Church on either side of a squirming Timothy Dolan to listen (here) to all three parts of Ann’s “Boston Speech” which was canceled by a Rabbi who chose PC over Truth after she had already purchased her ticket. And then ask yourself again, “What compels me?”
Next, you and I are seated in the in the very front row of the classroom of the State, otherwise known as public education…on either side of Shelly Silver and Dean Skelos to watch the greatest civics lesson NEVER taught to our children; James Jaeger’s “Midnight Ride”, which can be purchased here! And then ask yourself yet again, “What compels me?”
Note– These three scoundrels are interchangeable with those in your particular state of residence.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! WHY ARE YOU HERE?
What are friends for? 🙂