The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament!
Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
150Trip End May 16, 2008
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I grew up Catholic and going to Church every Sunday. Went to Catholic School and took catechism every week. I went to Church every Sunday until about 4 years ago. 17 years ago my first wife passed away. Katrine was 5 and Nick wasn't 1 until the end of that month. After she passed away I started volunteering at church, on the Finance Committee. I was the youngest there by quite a few years. I had 2 young children to take care of but I still knew it was my duty to use my talents to help others. I did that at that Parish in Winnipeg until we moved to Calgary. We were in Calgary a few months when I was approached to join the Finance Committee there. Shortly after that I was approached to join the Knights of Columbus. I was their Financial-Treasurer for 3 years. I was on that Parish's Finance Committee for 7 years. The last 2 years I was the Committee's President
Anyone who has worked with Volunteer Committees knows the majority of the work is done by a minority of the people. Some people join because they want to help and they do in their small way, but don't have the abilities required to make decisions, or don't want to make the decisions. I had a full time job and was doing almost a full time job keeping the Parish running. We had to hire a new secretary and janitor during the period we had no Priest. With a new secretary who knew little about the operations of the Parish I was often there trying to figure things out. I had to pay all the bills, though we did have a bookkeeper to actually do the accounting. I would receive a phone call most days to solve problems. All the administrative duties that a Priest usually did was on my shoulders. I would consult with the other members of the committee but in the end they would tell me to make the decisions. Running a Parish is like running a small business...without the earthly rewards. (I was going to write "without the rewards" but I knew an email would be coming from my mom saying that I would get my rewards in Heaven for that work.)
After 2 years of this I was burnt out
My Faith! I have a lot of Faith. There is something "out there" that makes things work the way they do. It is a great mystery. Lately I've been reading "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong. I've read about ¼ of the book and am at the 4th Century CE (common era). The Christian community is working in harmony and emperor Constantine has become a Christian and legalized Christianity. There is now peace in the Church, though one of the first problems that had to be solved was the doctrine of God. This problem splits the Church into warring factions. I must read on to find out what really happened.
The problem with all organizations is the human component. Ego and self-interest. When you start thinking about spirituality and the fact that concrete evidence does not exist, things can get distorted. The God concept has been in constant evolution since man has walked the earth. For thousands of years prior to Jesus Christ and until the 6th century CE the pagan belief of numerous Gods was the dominant force. The monotheist Christianity that we know today has been in existence for a much shorter period.
My Faith is an inner feeling. All Faith is and should be. I believe Jesus Christ knew this and that was what he preached. The Church acknowledges that very little is known about the life of Christ. He didn't document his thoughts. Others did. Often centuries later. I believe my life is following the path that I must follow. I am at peace with the pains that I suffer. I know that my first wife, Barbara, passed away for a reason. I know she's out there in Spirit taking care of her kids...guiding them along their paths. I don't use the crutches that others seem to fall to when life hands them some hardship. I don't try finding peace or happiness in drugs or alcohol. My Faith is there just as much as Mother Angelica's Faith in God to provide the means for her to build her TV and Radio Stations and her Shrine
It is the Feeling that we all have inside of us that directs us to which path we must follow. No path is better than the other. They will all lead us to the same place if we live our lives in the service of others. Jesus Christ knew that. The Christian Churches, the Eastern Religions, the Mysticisms have complicated this basic message due to their own human egos. They have forgotten that humility is required.
I am in the Bible Belt...as they say. The primary religion is Baptist. Though pretty well every religion is represented. Mother Angelica had a lot of Faith to build her Monastery in the South where only 2% of the population is Catholic. She has succeeded in the path that she must take as her message is Global and the obstacles she had to overcome makes the success all the better. It is a lesson for all paths that we must take.
I've been listening mostly to country music on the radio lately. One of the early morning shows is called the Rick & Bubba Show. Last Saturday Rick's 2 year old son drowned in the family swimming pool. The radio stations that carry this show have continued to host the show with Bubba doing the commentary and having various guests and call-ins talk about this tragedy
I visited the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I prayed to God like I have never done... the way I was brought up to. I was there visiting one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. I have been in a lot of old churches and, though this one was built in the late 20th century, it has all the beauty and majesty of those built in the 13th century. Coincidently I was at the Vatican in St. Peter's Basilica exactly one year ago. I listened to the nuns chant their prayers for over an hour. It did sound like the Angels singing. I read all the scriptures at the Stations of the Holy Eucharist. I read the prayer books. Tuesday night I watched the taping of a program with Father Mitch Pacwa discussing the teachings of Pope John Paul II.
I had no visions. I wasn't miraculously healed. That's not why I visited the Shrine. Like my visit to the Vatican last year, this visit reinforced my belief that the Catholic Church isn't the path that I must follow...at this time(I am hedging my bet). For many it is their path. The visit was part of the Journey that I had to follow
You are all my disciples. Preach the gospel of Paul...Think It! Feel It! Live It! I may be the New Prophet sent from above. It has been foretold that 2000 years after the Messiah that a new messenger would be sent. Maybe I am...but I doubt it. I have a Purpose. What is it? Only the mysterious force around us knows.
I won't write about the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament as you can read all about it on their website. Shrine Website My photos will be my story of my visit there. The Shrine is a sacred place and so no photos were taken inside.
I am off to visit Nashville...Music City. The temperature is below normal. The sun is shining bright.