Monday, March 4, 2013

St. Bridget Meditation Prayer & Reflection: The Crowning with Thorns

Begin by praying one Our Father and one Hail Mary.

Eternal Father, through Mary’s unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer you the wounds, the pains and the Precious Blood of Jesus’ Holy Head from the Crowning with Thorns, as atonement for my and all of humanity’s sins of the spirit, as protection against such sins and for the spreading of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth. (Sins of the spirit are sins against our faith, when we didn’t live it well.)

Faith, the act of believing in God and all that He alone has put in place, is a gift given by God to help us learn to love according to God’s faithful plan, set in motion the day He alone created the world. I believe in God and I believe in the Holy Catholic and apostolic Church. I believe in the words of our creed too, and that actions speak louder than words.

This is a difficult post for me to write, because I don’t want to send the wrong message. There’s a difference between faith in what God has given us and what man has given us. Blind faith is quite often erroneous faith – faith that I personally wouldn’t qualify as faith at all.

Men have a way of tainting the message. They put boundaries on faith, lay guilt trips and demand prescribed acknowledgment thereof. Oftentimes, this causes more harm than good in our society, enabling some men to become more powerful than others, while weakening those who otherwise would be living faith without hindrance, until such a time as someone comes along, claims authority on such matters and figuratively tests them with internal doubts.

This is where thoughts of Pharisees enter my brain, causing me to be cynical toward those claiming to be authoritative figures regarding matters of faith. It is also where I consider Jesus’ call to be like little children, who clearly know what is what, until they start growing up and someone in authority tells them it simply isn’t so.

Parents, teachers, religious of every denomination and background need to pay heed to the impact they have on souls. Living faith isn’t as much about doing what we are told by authority figures in our lives, as it is about abiding in love with each other, according to the model of Christ and the love He alone poured out for souls and our salvation!

Faith is dynamic and alive. It is a living process, beginning from the moment we are conceived and developing throughout our lives, clear up until the day we die. That’s why sudden events can symptomatically alter our path of faith, enabling us to see things like we never could before – because God is the author of faith, and God is the only one who has the power to change our hearts.

Man, on the other hand, can manipulate our hearts and confuse us about things, making our journey of faith an extremely difficult process at times. While we must take responsibility for our own actions if and when this happens, we also must be cautious not to be too harsh with ourselves. For it is right to respect authority, particularly learned authority. However, all the learning in the world still can’t hold a candle to the amount of love and gift of faith God showers on us throughout our lives.

It is with this in mind that I plead with you to discern all authority you listen to with regards to something as personal as faith. Many (far too many) have been led astray by false leaders, who seek personal gain, rather than to build up the kingdom of God. I don’t have the answers, but I do know if we don’t at least try to ask the questions, we will have no one but ourselves to blame.

Thank you for visiting Being Catholic.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Christ Carrying the Cross, El Greco (1541 – 1614) – Web Gallery of Art, PD - US
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