Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I'm Praying for All of You

All of the readers here, and also at the Female Bullies blog, are included in my annual Saint Andrew Christmas Novena. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a joyous, happy and healthy New Year.

May the church bullies in your life occupy a much smaller part of it in 2015, than they do now. May be soon become a distant memory.

We hope and pray that God's grace will touch them, so they can use their talents for good, instead of evil.

God Bless you all.

(For my non-Catholic readers, a novena is usually prayed over nine days, in honor of Pentecost.)

Pixabay image top by PublicDomainPictures

Thursday, December 18, 2014

God Doesn't Tell Us to Trust People

God doesn't tell us to trust our neighbor. He only tells us to love one another. So we are supposed to love our neighbor, but we don't necessarily have to extend our trust. Of course, we should always try to assume the best of people, and, if they do something strange, we should first think of the most charitable explanation, instead of assigning the worst possible motives. We need to treat our neighbor with kindness and mercy, regardless of whether we trust them. We also want the best for one another, which is eternal salvation. This is true love.

However, at the same time, we must be discerning. The Bible warns us of wolves in sheep's clothing, false brethren and hirelings. Not everyone we meet at church is worthy of our trust. Sometimes, for reasons known only to God, the pastor sent to a particular parish may have personality issues. This is where love comes in. We need to pray for him, and sincerely hope that he receives more graces to lead his flock. But we don't have to trust him.

One mistake I made was to trust a particular church lady, whom seemed holier than thou. So I shared with her my wants, needs, fears and desires. Knowing my weak spots, she used them against me. Although I did nothing wrong, malignant personalities often use known facts, woven with damaging lies. This is how they get others to believe their largely fictitious accounts. If part of the story is true, everyone will assume the rest is as well. Any bit information in the hands of a narcissist, or socialized high-functioning sociopath will be used to harm.

Eventually, my husband, children and I were forced to relocate. Malignant narcissists are dangerous and destructive, even if their outward appearance resembles a lamb, as it often does with malicious people you may meet at church.

Ultimately, the only one we can trust is God himself. He asks us to trust in him, and not in our neighbor.

Pixabay image top by geralt

Monday, December 15, 2014

Advent is a Time of Joy, Regardless of Church Bullies

Despite the difficulties you may be experiencing at church, this is one time of year we need to remain joyful. Yesterday I heard a great homily about not letting anyone steal your Advent joy. This especially includes church bullies. Focus instead on the little babe who came into the world to save us from our sins. (Eventually, the grown Christ will address the problem of those who mistreat others in His Father's house, in His own way, in His own time.)

This isn't to say that being the target of a church bully, or even a pack of bullies, is not one of the most difficult things you'll ever experience. But remind yourself that this too, shall become just a memory. Eventually, God will fill your life with peace again. Meanwhile, one thing you can do is to find a place in your house where you can pray, surrounded by beautiful reminders of God, Our Lady, the angels and the saints.

Also, being rejected at church might be the impetus you need to reestablish ties with people on the outside. Perhaps your particular place of worship has become a little too clannish. If that's the case, taking a break might be a healthy thing, mentally and spiritually.

Pixabay image top by falco

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Don't Expect Peace in Church Right Now

There's an old Catholic saying, "As the Church Goes, So Goes the World." Perhaps I've mentioned this before. What this means is that when things are not well in the Catholic Church, founded 2,000 years ago by Christ, we can expect to see trouble in the temporal sphere.

The Catholic Church is still in the midst of perhaps her biggest crisis in history. However, the fourth-century Arian Crisis was very bad as well. This is when most of the world's bishops accepted the heresy that Jesus Christ did not have a Divine nature. This heresy was started by an unfaithful priest by the name of Arias, and it spread throughout Christendom. One very brave bishop now known as Saint Athanasius resisted this heresy. He and his followers held the faith during this period.

Eventually, the heresy died out, since Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would not destroy His Church. Other heresies around, but, today, there is widespread apostasy and weakness of faith. We see this in the lack of attendance at Mass.

There are varying estimates about Mass attendance in the United States. But the vast majority, perhaps around 80 percent of people whom identify as Catholic, do not attend Mass every Sunday. This trend is also evidenced by church closing and mergers. In recent years, hundreds of Catholic schools around the country have also closed.

It used to be that nearly every parish had a group of religious sisters (in habit) praying for the priests and for the parishioners. Now, it's rare to see a nun anywhere.

We have wars, famines, epidemics and flagrant violation of God's laws. Everything seems shaky at the moment

So try not to get too comfortable in any one religious setting, because things can change so quickly. We can always expect problems anywhere a group of people gather, but that's much more true today, given what's going on.

Various Church-approved prophecies, such as Fatima and Akita, have warned of these times. We are now living in them.

Stay close to God, no matter what is happening around you. He will see you through this.

Pixabay image top by Nemo