Our local Priest runs evening talks after the Mass on Monday nights and the proposed theme was ‘There gives only one Father God’. With great glee, Linda and I decided to go as the radical Protestants and see what he was going to say. We went to the Mass before as a mark of respect – although not all did.
I sat as usual somewhat bemused but felt the Love of God all around me and a touch of naughtiness and what we were going to be talking about- would I put a silly point of view over? I really began to feel how silly the ritual all was, the bowing and not drinking the wine, and as I’ve thought before, but all this doesn’t really matter to God? What does matter is our hearts and our desire for relationship with him. If we are loving Jesus all these fripperies I don’t think really matter! I also remembered my childhood and always being sat in the front row during Mass with my grandmother, and the utter boredom of it! Some of the words I could remember too, although in English. All perfectly lovely words to praise God!
So into the Parish rooms to sit around the table and chat. There was no Mrs Doyle bullying us into tea which was a shame…..There was 10 of us, with three men besides the Priest. My heart fell a bit as one of the men I know. Although Catholic he is dead against what the church does and is trying to change it from within. Maybe a noble sentiment. However this has led to an antagonistic attitude and I knew he would try to dominate the discussion from his point of view and so it was. I felt my love disappearing.
The Priest did a historical resume of both churches and we got tied down in the history of the schism and then Bruno pitched in about the Saints. I agree, if people have led a great life, maybe died for their belief they are great way finders, but when we go to them rather than Jesus, it aint good. You can’t pray to dead people its unbiblical, talk to the living one!
Then the discussion got beyond me, and when Bruno had shut up, the Priest tried to take the reins again and move on. So of course we got into the difference in the sacraments. I was getting wound up by Bruno now, fed up with him and had things to say myself, which I feel were the prompting of the Holy Spirit. So I let rip. Explaining I come from another culture and we have huge churches where the sacraments are not in the services as a rule, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are very much there. That what matters is love. For one Church or ideology to think its better than the other is arrogant. When we have Jesus at heart all the ritual is unimportant. We have the truth in the Bible (that didn’t go down so well). The talk went on and I again said we must be together. That the devil laughs when we tie ourselves up with condemning theology . together we could do so much for the world in these times, but he keeps us divided. Time was up, all were tired. The Priest finished on the rod of power being passed on down through Peter to the current Pope- I can see that. And why is the Bible not added to – well the Catholics would say it was. Then we got the Bride for Christ bit – yes, ok, but first we need to tell the people the truth about Jesus. The last bit made me giggle again when the Priest said that he believes that when Jesus comes, he’s going to be Catholic! He hadn’t studied all these years and got these conclusions to change his mind.
So a discussion that wasn’t held together – and I saw Bruno cornering the poor Priest as we left, but Linda said I spoke OK. So at last, I’m a bit usable in little things. Life us regaining its integrity for me. Yippee! I hope that I can make contact more with the ladies that were there and we can show this love.