Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux!
(May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!)
from the Cross of St. Benedict
Before I get into the subject I wish to talk about this evening, I want to open with the following:
We must go to this Child, this Man, the Son of God, at whatever
inconvenience, at whatever risks to ourselves, because to know and love Him
will truly change our lives.
- John Paul the Great, Central Park, NY 1995
To follow Christ is never an easy path, yet it becomes more difficult when you follow your faith where it leads you, even though you know that it will not be popular, well received, and of course viewed by some as being flat out wrong to the point of risking being viewed by some as apostate. If that is where God calls, one can only follow, even if it risks friendships, relations with an old congregation of believers, and a variety of other pitfalls. It is this path, filled with obstacles that I have headed down over the past year or so. Slowly at first and then a dead run this year, the long road home that can only be described by the words of the Greatful Dead, "What a long, strange trip it's been." That it most certainly has been.
Today is Palm Sunday, the start of the Christian Holy Week where we remember the events that lead up to the Last Supper, the crucifixtion, and the resurrection of our Lord. It was a week that changed the world to say the least. My personal Holy Week, started Friday afternoon at St. Mary's Catholic Center on Friday between 5:30 and 7 PM. The Bishop of Austin, Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, celebrated the third sacrament of initiation with myself and 18 others, that of Confirmation. As is custom in the Catholic Church, one selects the name of a patron Saint to use for the Sacrament, the giving of a new name in the Biblical tradition of Abraham and Peter. So it was with these words:
Benedict, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peace be with you.
To which I responded "Amen" to the former and "And also with you" to the latter. With that, I was fully home and there is no longer any turning back, no need to keep so many people in the dark and at arms length in an effort to protect them from the reprisals I know will come and also because of my own fear of how they would react. I already know that some friendships of mine are over because of this, but it begs the question if they were friendships to begin with or just theological buddies. Time will tell with some relationships just which category they fall into, yet even in the event of things not working well, I can hold nothing against them. Just the other night in some conversations I had and overheard with friends, many are trying to tear down a Church that does not exist anywhere else but in their minds and in the minds of those who they have been educated by in their anti-Catholic stances.
To my friends, I know there are a lot of questions. Ask them and I will answer them as best I can or point you somewhere that can do better than I. I'm home, I'm happier than I've been spiritually, and I thank God for His work in my heart and in my life everyday.
Following Christ is never easy if it was everyone would be doing it, but remember we, like the turtle, can only make progress when we stick our necks out.