A Secret

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I have a secret. I am radically different. I am powerful and free. But not because of anything I’ve done on my own … it’s because I’m Catholic.

I am powerful and I am free because I have a place inside of me where God lives.  The God who created everything out of nothing.  The God who is All-Powerful and All-Knowing and All-Loving. The minute I claim any power is from me or I am free on my own, then I fall and lose freedom and am vulnerable. I have sinned by pushing God out of me and when God leaves, so does His power and true freedom.

I can feel it when I no longer have that anchor of stability, that protective presence of God. And that is when I humble myself and go to confession … why confession? Because I have sinned by claiming something for myself independent of God, thus pushing God out of the relationship …. confession is the way God chose to be welcomed back into our hearts, back into my heart (John 20:23).

Many people see the Catholic Church and Christianity as a prison with rules that create fences keeping people from fun.  But just the opposite is true.  Let me share the secret background … God created everything and everything He created was good!  As a quick aside, I say “He” because the masculine is self-giving and the feminine is “receiving” … God is the giver and we are called to be receptive to His gifts – all creation is feminine in relation to God – let’s get this straight – there is no goddess god.

Anyway, back to God creating everything good – when God created the angels, they were given the choice to be receptive to Him in service or not … some angels claimed power and freedom for themselves outside of God and because they were given so much knowledge and intelligence of God, they fell immediately and became demons.  There was no confession and second chances for the demons.  Their choice was a perfect rebellion against God.  God did not create demons, rather their choice against God made them evil and brought evil into the world.

Actually, that is still happening, our choices that push God out of our hearts still bring evil into the world.  Some small choices that happened eons ago now have catastrophic effects that we wouldn’t have even dreamed of – we are understanding more of how that works through the science of physics in the theory of Chaos.

The Catholic Church does have a sort of fence around it with it’s rules but that fence is like the fence around a playground. It is intended to keep those inside the fence safe from the evils that are outside the fence.  There is freedom and a protective power when you play inside the playground fence!

For those who would bring up the clerical sex-abuse scandal, that is actually a good example – the priests and religious are suppose to maintain, guard and patrol the fence and it’s a scandal when they actually opened the fence and crossed the boundary ushering in evil to those who were supposed to be protected in the playground … that’s precisely why it’s a scandal – the perpetrator’s have sinned, disobeying the very rules of God they were supposed to maintain.

Another thought some people entertain is that all religions are a path to God … that is only partially true … God does work through many different means, but there is only one womb from which you are born into heaven and that womb is the church Jesus founded (Mt 16:13-20) and only one church can trace her lineage back to Peter, the Catholic Church.  Does that mean only those who join the Catholic church are in Heaven? Nope, but the church is where God acts to bring you the graces for your journey to Heaven. You can’t choose who your mother is, but you can deny her or embrace her. Did you know that Muslims are very disturbed when we Christian’s call God “Father” … for them, God is Master … but when Jesus came, He taught us to pray “Our Father, who art in Heaven …” (Mt 6:9) and when Jesus died, we actually became more than created beings, we were adopted into God’s family (Jn 19:25-29).

I have a secret. I am radically different. I am powerful and free. But not because of anything I’ve done on my own … it’s because I’m Catholic.

Power and freedom, outside of God’s Will becomes the 666 … that old sign of evil. Where does THAT come from?! Well, here’s one clue – humanity was created on the sixth day but there are seven days of creation. Seven is the number of perfection, when God rested (the sabbath), and six is a number that is incomplete, not quite there (if we live as though there are 6 days, we don’t celebrate the sabbath and rest with God, giving Him the praise for creation and enjoying His creation). And another clue  comes from Rev 13:18 which starts with “This calls for wisdom” … who in the bible is associated with wisdom? King Solomon. In a super quick summary, God’s rules for Solomon were to avoid multiple marriage, to avoid accruing a large army and to avoid accumulating wealth.  Solomon broke all of those commands, even though he had wisdom, he was allured by pleasure, power, and possessions … those three ppp’s became the 666. You see those three are actually all good within God’s rules, we are allowed to have pleasure, power, and possessions within the limits of our Catholic playground, but when we dismiss God’s rules, we push God out and allow the evil of sin into the world, and the consequence ends up being that pleasure, power and possessions gets turned around and those things control us rather than us controlling them.

Isn’t it interesting to piece together God’s messages in the bible and see the amazing truth in it all?!

I have a secret. I am radically different. I am powerful and free. But not because of anything I’ve done on my own … it’s because I’m Catholic.  What about you? Are you willing to dive in and learn more about our mysterious and awesome God?

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