The Sheep of Kephas

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For the Sheep in Exile – 2016-03-06

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Here is Bulletin_2016-03-06

Spiritual Coping Skills: Last Friday, my wife and I were separated and the events of that day highlighted the pain of our separation. (See Chester Gap.) Today was far different. We started the day with Mass at St. John the Evangelist. Routine shopping was followed by household chores. In the early afternoon, we went to St. Peter’s for our own private Stations of the Cross. It was quiet and our reflections on the Crucifixion brought us to a reality more relevant than our petty concerns and worries.

And there it was. A day of healing and a day of coping with our problems. In our days in the crazy Diocese of Boise we learned Spiritual Coping Skills. The Idaho State hero of folklore, Napoleon Dynamite, stated the need for developing important skills in a very succinct way:

“You know, like numchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!”

If we wanted to retain our faith and our sanity, we had to develop Spiritual Coping Skills. Mass, Communion, the Stations of the Cross – this is where you learn those skills.

Others at St. Peter’s have learned how to develop the skills needed to survive this period of “the orthodoxy interregnum”. Here are excerpts from a comment we received this week from a person we highly respect. These excerpts show that, despite the frustration and personal discomfort we have all encountered, he does his best to keep his spiritual life growing and maturing:

…. I am now retired, and presently just “retired”, without commitments on [most of] my time. I face the daily decisions of whether to commute to MY parish, St. Peter’s, and perhaps then read my Wanderer at the Country Cafe over my Farm Breakfast; or to go to Warrenton, where rooted Catholic priests would celebrate a dogmatic, thoughtful Mass, and I could buy a Washington Times (Safeway only gets 3 copies; you have to be early), and read my Wanderer at Chick-fil-A [supporting a brother Knight]. The only daily Mass options offered at St. Peter’s are M-W-F (this gets me to a Warrenton gym at least a few times per week): Tuesday has been the Priest’s Day off for several pastors, Saturday was cancelled by Fr. Murphy because he had to also do the vigil Hispanic Mass at St. John the Apostle on Saturday, and now our present pastor feels his contributions on Thursday evening should be all that is required of him for that day, so he cancelled the Thursday morning Mass (and he has not restored Saturday morning, despite losing the excuse of the previous pastor). I know he has other calls on his time than scheduled celebrations, but isn’t celebrating Mass [a BIG] part of his salary? He’s too busy on his “social justice” ministry, I guess.

On Wednesday, 2/24, I checked our bulletin and saw nothing untoward, and decided to attend Mass at my Parish in order to pursue some more Parish maintenance chores I am working. With NO prejudice to Deacon Benyo’s excellent celebration of a Communion Service, I did not get to Mass on Wednesday. I arrived and was surprised to find that there was no Mass offered at St. Peter’s that day; our pastor was “otherwise engaged”, and we had the Deacon instead of the scheduled Mass.

I want to support the Country Cafe, but I fear more of my decisions will be to Warrenton, instead of the unreliable services at St. Peter’s. What a sorry commentary on what was once one of the most notorious orthodox bastions in the diocese. I pray the “lost sheep”, and I, can hold out until our Pastor retires, and we can perhaps restore our lost Parish soul. ….

There it is. Daily Mass, reading from orthodox Catholic news sources, placing spiritual well being before convenience – these are now the necessary Spiritual Coping Skills needed by the sheep in exile and the sheep in residence and resistance at St. Peter’s. When a new pastor is finally assigned to St. Peter’s, these faithful ones who have developed their Spiritual Coping Skills will be the people who will help in restoring “what was once one of the most notorious orthodox bastions in the diocese.

Spiritual Justice: Another commentator recently made note of our expression “Spiritual Justice”. If we look through this week’s bulletin, you will find many phrases and expressions reflecting on the Corporal Works of Mercy, but it is hard to find one about the spirit of a man or the salvation of souls. I attended a Catholic grade school in the 50’s and I learned there that a man is more than his belly and his gut. Sr. Mary Lucienne, a beautiful woman of God who helped me overcome my grief when my sister died, would want me always to remember a lesson from Baltimore Catechism No. 1:

3. Q. What is man?
A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

In the end, there are the four last things: Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell. Perhaps the greatest expression of justice is to attend to the spiritual life and well being of those around you – Spiritual Justice.

Join the Conversation – The Epicenter: Of course, without question and without fail, once again the drum of Social Justicism is beating in our weekly bulletin. The flyer, the flyer with the color photo of Pope Francis, the flyer with the deceptive statement that there will be a conversation “On Care for Our Common Home”, you will find the flyer that cannot be missed. You are invited to the second in a series of five monthly conversations. There is so much to say that we will have to write a separate post. Until we can publish the post, take some time to consider, Where did this county-wide movement begin? How was this array of “inter-faith” and liberal conservation entities/personalities drawn together? Who was the organizing force?

The answer is simple. No matter which source you consult, whether it be RappFLOW or our own bulletin, only one name is at the epicenter of this community organizer’s dream. And that would be our own Pastor. No matter who acts as the front man, the person behind all this is the man whose “only daily Mass options offered at St. Peter’s are M-W-F.” To quote our first commentator, “… but isn’t celebrating Mass [a BIG] part of his salary? He’s too busy on his “social justice” ministry, I guess.

 

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