Tag Archives: life

Dear Pope Francis

18 Sep

Pope Francis

I am writing this seeking understanding and clarification on the “new evangelization.” Many things are being attributed to Pope Francis in the media – and many clergy, bishops, and faithful are acting on them. The most concerning of these outcomes has been the vilification of traditional Catholics in the media and by other Catholics, and the foreshadowing of the elimination of sacramental marriage by either allowing divorce and remarriage or changing the basis of annulments so that they become the equivalent of a Catholic Divorce.

As a traditional catholic, I would like to assure you that our faith is not dead, we are not uncompassionate or unforgiving. Though our loyal devotion to the catechism leaves us open to ridicule when we refuse artificial birth control and have large families in our openness to life. We are thought mentally simple when we profess a deep and abiding belief in the real presence in the Eucharist. We are ridiculed when our wives and daughters wear mantillas in the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist and at Mass. Many of our wives are looked down upon because they find fulfillment as stay-at-home wives and mothers.  We are seen as deluded for considering the sacramental marriage covenant as much a promise to God, as to each other. I have been scolded many times for kneeling when taking communion, because I was holding up the line. We are derided for preferring the awe and majesty of the Tridentine Mass because it fills our souls. It is a mystical and moving experience beyond words to be joined to the sacrifice of the holy Mass in quiet and stillness, and allow yourself to be filled with God’s presence.

Often, we are accused of being intolerant as a group, especially of sexually active homosexuals, the divorced and remarried without annulments, and other people who are in less than fortunate circumstances. I reject this as patently untrue. We love the person, but we find the sin objectionable. For those seeking participation in the sacraments, we will provide whatever help we can to help them resolve their impediments. For some, that is helping find an annulment workshop, for others it is healing broken marriages, and for others providing loving support as they work to make a break from their sinful activities or attractions. Those who come to us are broken and contrite – they are seeking His Love and forgiveness. They know that to receive Him they must be free of mortal sin. I have a brother who struggles with homosexuality whom I love very deeply, and even now he struggles to be worthy of the sacraments. It is his certain knowledge of God’s real presence in the Eucharist that both pains him for his sins, and motivates him to be worthy to receive Him.

My own return to the Church necessitated deep personal change before I could be admitted to the sacraments. This process included months of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament for me to fully accept and comply with the teachings of the church, even if I could not fully understand. This was a painful  journey, whose value to the faithful should not be diminished just because it is so difficult. True love and compassion are shown by the support of penitents through the process of reconciliation for admission to sacraments.

Here in America the new evangelization is giving many people the impression that the Church is advocating that being free of mortal sin is no longer necessary to receive the sacraments. It has encouraged a revolution by the sheep against their shepherds, demanding change in infallible doctrine. I believe that God is everlasting and unchanging. His Church has survived the rise and fall of states, empires, anthropological regression, and has endured according to to the promise of Christ for over 2000 years. I am convinced that it our loyal devotion to the beautiful teachings of our Church that has brought unparalleled grace and joy into our family.

The curtailment of the Tridentine Mass or the devaluing of sacramental marriage would be devastating to the faithful. After many years of poor catechesis, I often wonder if many see the Church for what she truly is. I wonder if many Catholics are left unsure or, worse yet, in obstinate disobedience to the faith. It seems that a growing number of people want us to resemble the world rather than Jesus Christ. Whether it is Gay Marriage, Ordaining Women, allowing artificial birth control, or allowing abortion, they want God to “get with times.”. In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” Please, Holy Father, help us to strive for a holiness that “sets us apart.” Lead us to our heavenly reward! I am praying for your strong leadership each and every day!

Pax Christi,

Colin

PS: I hope everyone who reads this takes a moment to pray for the Pope.

 

Has Religion Fallen from Grace or Have You?

13 Jul

Today I read an article in the Wall Street Journal here which expressed the idea that religion is in trouble, that people are turning away in droves from organized religions which they view as rule based and corrupt. More importantly, the article says that people are fed up with religion which does not change with the times. It says in brief, that they are seeking their own path and finding happiness in spirituality and their own self-defined morality instead. The article even claims that very word religion has fallen from grace.

One thing we know – people in today’s society, they don’t seem to be willing to accept any moral or religious truth that does not conform to their expectations, wants, and desires. They will blindly follow any theology that preaches what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

People have become all too comfortable and selfish, they know that what is right but it’s not what they want – so they look to charlatans or each other for affirmation. The natural law is written on the hearts of mankind by God. We are endowed with an innate knowledge of God’s existence and his expectations of us through it. It’s why the belief in God in some or another form pervades every culture on earth.

I disagree with the article however, on one critical point. While I agree that many are seeking affirmation of their beliefs and leaving the Catholic Church and religion in general – the author failed to mention the ever growing traditionalist movement which you can read about here.

Just as many are fleeing to the truth, hard is it may be for them to accept. They are seeking the truth. Seeking to hold themselves and be held by their communities to a higher moral standard. Moral truth does not change, only social whim. Many see the unchanging Catholic Church as a solid foundation, and take comfort in the teachings of Christ as handed down from Peter and the other popes in unbroken succession since the crucifixion of Jesus.

When you are traveling to a distant destination, you must stay the course if you are to ever arrive. if you wander aimlessly, not only will you not arrive, but you will become hopelessly lost. Many now see clearly the benefits not only to themselves but society, but most importantly it is filling the void in their hearts and souls which agnosticism has failed to do for so many.

Colin

What Does Marriage Feel Like after 20+ Years

11 Jun

Cutting the Wedding Cake as one

Like all of Marriage, How symbolic is the act of cutting the cake together. Showing that everything we do going forward will done by two working as one in purpose.

So this question was asked to me some time ago. You know, I didn’t know what to say at the time. Catching me speechless was more of a rarity than the person who posed the query realized. I realized that trying to explain it was beyond me on the spur of the moment so I honestly replied “Good, very good”, flashed a smile and quickly changed the subject.

Now, after some introspection, I think I can put it into words. At the very least, I can create pale analogies and simplistic and obtuse parables. We’ve been married for what some would consider a very long time, in fact we’ve been married for all of our adult lives and over half of our current ages. When you get so close, and so comfortable, you tend to loose your perspective. The human mind has an infinite ability to interpret input the way it wants – and it has a general tendency to do so. In marriage, this is a good thing which works to your advantage. It allows your wife to overlook that paunch you’ve developed and the grey hair and wrinkles. I know when I look at her I see the same girl I married, mind you if I look too closely I can see the changes – but it’s like an overlay and I literally see her as if she was frozen in time. The twinkle in her eyes nor her smile has ever changed. My heart still races when she returns after even a short absence, and her touch and kiss still put butterflies in my stomach. Love can be funny that way…

Truth be told, it was not always that way. We had our ups and downs, some of which would have benefitted from inertial dampening. The flame between us started off like and angry charcoal grill with lots of Coleman fuel used as fire-starter – blazing, scorching, unpredictable, and hard to harness. It took some time before things calmed down and we learned how to properly bank and feed the fire to keep it blazingly hot but under control – with no more no more flare-ups or cool downs that took a good bit of work to rekindle. We both married for love, and took that commitment very seriously at the time, but not because of religion – and we had no idea just how much our commitment and resolve would be tested along the way. On the other hand, there have been too many small miracles along the way for me to believe the the Lord had not sent angels to watch over and protect us. We had started as good friends who became inseparable best friends. She was so far out of my league, I repressed my feelings and just focused on being a good friend. Then, one day – a day I will never forget, we realized that we were in love. I also dare say that our lives turned out far differently than we had planned out originally – but instead of being a source of conflict we tended to draw closer. She is my still my best friend – not just my wife, and we find that we still love doing things together. That said, we still have interests apart as well.

However, after over 20 years I wouldn’t change a thing – even the ups and downs. It was from the adversities that I learned some of my most valuable lessons, and because they were traumatic I was encouraged to stay the path and not make those mistakes again (not that I was entirely successful here either). Through it all there was always love – and love really is enough if it’s not the superficial kind. The “I didn’t sign up for this” kind of love isn’t what we had – we made a commitment and managed to keep it and stick together through the ride through the rapids and into the main stream. We saw both better and worse, and continue to see them as life buffets us like a raging storm. We also see each other as the one stable thing in this earthly life outside of God. She is the rock I cling to through the storms, while to her I am the rock that she clings to as well and by clinging together we see each other safely through the maelstrom.

How does it feel? Good, Very Good. Like your favorite pair of jeans that only seems to get better with time, more comfortable and better fitting with each passing year. Am I bored? Never. You might think that the martial embrace would get monotonous over time, and I could see that if it was just sex – but sex takes 45 mins, making love can take hours. When things become deeper there is a whole new infinite realm, the more you learn about each other the better the sex will be too. Once your eliminate the artificial barriers to truly joining together in the very messy way our creator intended, you will find that it changes you greatly to be open to the creation of life. It will keep adding both a spark and spirituality to making love, and it will keep you from falling into the trap of using her as a depository for your sexual angst. I often wish that we could have known then what we know now about it each other – but if we did we would have lost all the joy of exploration and discovery along the way. We still talk, about the day, the kids, the pets, the ham radios, about everything – but the conversations are deeper and as much is said through our eyes and body language as passes through our lips. Neither of us sleeps well without the other present., and while separation creates a feeling of being rent in two – being reunited creates a feeling of elation that lasts for hours. There is a since of well being and security that pervades things – conflicts decrease dramatically just because you understand each other and each other’s moods and feelings. I have dedicated over 20 years of my life to serving her, and I would do it all over again without hesitation. She gave me her love, her heart, her companionship, her service, and 4 beautiful children. She has been the one person who was never afraid to tell me the uncomfortable truths I needed to hear, and to whom I have been able to tell my deepest secrets without fearing ridicule.

If you do not have this then you can only imagine, it’s very hard to walk this path – especially at first – but it gets wider and more pleasant as time passes. The load is always lighter when shared, the trip more pleasant with a loyal companion, and when you stumble and fall or loose your way it can be a lifesaver to have a partner who you can trust – not just with your life, but with your heart. I see in my marriage a deeply spiritually moving experience, a sanctuary and refuge – not a prison. It is a condition where you are both a servant and the served. It is in that service that I finally found peace. Most importantly it is a symbiosis, and the most amazing things can happen when we open our hearts – for it was by my wife’s love for me that I learned to love, and be loved, by her and by God as well.

Sincerely,

Colin Corcoran
cc70458@gmail.com

**Please feel free to write or comment on this post, I’d really like to hear from those that are able to have this experience and how it is changing their marriage, their wives, and their lives.

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