I woke up this morning from a dream where I was supposed to fly out with some bigshots to view the wildlife (was it in Africa or the midwest US? both...it was a dream) and I missed the meeting because I went to the wrong car and fell asleep waiting for them. At the same time I was working in a hospital but kept getting lost and not able to do the work, and knew I would have to drop out of the training.
Jumbled up stuff from the past...right now I'm feeling my life was a failure.
So I appreciated this article, from the Catholic exchange:
many (modern liberal priests) do preach the same way and it often goes something like this:
The only way that you can really know that God exists is from the wonderful, deep down experience of love. That’s all you need… because God IS love and that feeling is God. We know He is with us because of that experience. Don’t worry about trying to prove He exists because you can’t; you just know He’s there when people love you and you love other people. Now, go be nice to each other in the parking lot and experience God.
The practical problem with this kind of preaching is that there are plenty of people warming the pews who do not have that feeling. And they may not have had that feeling in a really, really long time. But they know pain rather well. And blinding grief. Or the dead zone of indifference, depression and Prozac. Even if we feed them, build them a house, eat donuts with them and hug them, they may still remain lost in that pain. Most of us who have reached adulthood (and many of us as children) have know that kind of grief.
Father smiles warmly at us and announces that God is love. Period. And we know this because we have that experience of it deep within us. And that is all we can know and all we need to know. That is all, brothers and sisters. We need nothing more. And our silent screaming broken hearts and deadened people look at him, hear him, and understand that God is irrelevant. He is not to be found in our pain. Because we cannot find “love” there....
Regardless of whether it is intentional, the effect is still bad because it narrows our view of God by covering up the Cross with smiley face stickers. ...
Without the suffering Christ.
The Catholics of old remembered the cross of christ because they were (in the US) poor immigrants. Their yuppie grandchildren embrace "happy" churches of liberal or superchurches with easy answers, or they seek for Jesus in the "all the answers in the bible" evangelical churches, where they may or may not learn more depth than the pastor's own interpretation of the Bible.
The worst stay "catholic" and claim they are the "new" church, and actively ridicule or oppose the bishops...they become anti catholic with a new age spirituality and they rarely go to church.
It's not that I'm depressed, it's that after 35 years of working with the suffering, I rarely can take that kind of superficial preaching.
Father Groeschel on EWTN is one preacher who touches my heart.
Another is Pastor Wilkerson's preaching:
for at one point when he was offered fame, he withdrew and prayed instead, and became a prophet of God:
Numerous Christians, including pastors, have told me they are continually harassed by former sins. They say, “Brother Dave, if you only knew what I once did, how I sinned, you would understand why I’m so down. My sin still hangs over my head, and I battle constant guilt over it. I believe the Lord has forgiven me, that his blood is sufficient to cover my iniquity, but I don’t have the peace that comes from that knowledge.”...
All who take up the cross and fight the good fight of faith are in a constant battle. We all face evil thoughts—thoughts that come because of our past, or because of a sense of rejection, or simply because we live in wicked, sensual times. Yet when we apply Christ’s blood to these roots of doubt, it reaches into every cell of our being, including our minds, and thoroughly cleanses us. And that brings freedom and true rejoicing.
You are not alone in your struggle. He has sent you the Holy Spirit, who knows how to deal with the enemy and free you from all bondage. He is the still, small voice that will guide you and empower you through all your battles. Pray with me: “Holy Spirit, I want to grow in spiritual fruitfulness. I want to be rid of all hypocrisy, and I want gentleness, patience and love. I know you still love me, in spite of my lack of these things. So, stand by me and help me. Amen.”