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Friday, 4 April 2014

Forget Religion, Do what you feel is right!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments on Popular Facebook Post








Its not the first time I have seen this post appear on my facebook news feed but I would certainly like it to be the last. I am unsurprised that this quote is anonymous, as for me it carries no weight whatsoever except confirming a secular societies uninformed belief that religion is a negative thing.
First of all this is a complete contradiction through the intolerance it preaches. If whoever posts or re posts it had any empathy, they surely wouldn't post it in the first place. If we really break it down we can see that they (Whoever Posts) are just having a pop at what they believe is a group of people who believe they have a higher moral standing than everyone else in society. This is obviously a misunderstanding of the aspiration that Christians, in particular, have towards following the examples of Christ. The post can be translated as 'we can make our own moral code up' which is complete nonsense. Do these people really understand what would happen if we completely left it up to our own consciences to decide what is right and wrong. We can make ourselves believe that anything is right if we really want to. We reason and reason until the unreasonable becomes reasonable at least to us, and if there is no concrete guide we are doing no more than urinating into the wind (excuse me).
To a certain extent we are following the law of each individual land that governs us and creates our laws. We have to rely on law makers who may believe in the murder of innocent unborn children, so how can we trust that following these man made laws can lead us into a deeper sense of being. Do not get me wrong, we have to abide by the Law of the land so long as it abides with our conscience but even more important is the Law of God, the unchanging law's that were given in divine revelation and throughout salvation history. These laws permeate our societies and we can still see the good that remains through these laws even in our secular society. We do not use a little red book to determine right from wrong but do so from the laws/rules/guidance that God gave us and if we choose to ignore this we enter the realm of selfishness, picking what pleases us and what gives us instant unfulfilled gratification.
On a final note, to indirectly say that some of the great Catholic Saints have lacked empathy is ludicrous. These fine examples of humanity no what it takes to decide what is right and wrong and they do so under God's guidance and in a religious context.
In God's Love
 
 
 
 
 
SSG

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Courageous Bishop Egan and his not so Courageous Colleagues

 
Bishop Egan and Catholic Teaching
 
 
 
 
 
It's been a few days since I first heard of Bishop Egan's explanation about why MP's, who voted for the same-sex marriage bill, shouldn't receive communion. I have to say from the outset that I fully agree with his comments which also fully adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church. I thought there was no more to be said on the subject but then heard that the Bishops Conference had publicly stated that this is not the case and that nobody will be introducing a ban. Many people I am sure will be in a state of mortal sin when receiving communion but for an MP to actively and publicly be in opposition to the Church's teaching demands action from the Bishop's Conference and indeed, their local parish priest under guidance from their Bishop. To allow the MP's to continue receiving communion in a state of mortal sin could really be a grave sin itself and so a great responsibility lies on the Bishops conference of England and Wales which I feel they have now shirked.
 
 
Bishop Egan initially said; “When people are not in communion with the Catholic Church … in terms of the teachings of the Church on marriage and family life – they are voting in favour of same-sex marriage – then they shouldn’t be receiving Holy Communion.” The comments were further clarified as being an act of charity when Bishop Egan stated; “We’re called by Christ and He’s chosen us, it’s a free choice. We live under the word of God. It’s not my truth, it’s God’s truth. One would hope that in that case it would encourage someone to come back to seek communion with the Lord with the truth and say I’m sorry I got lost.”
 
 
Church teaching is clear and it certainly seems clear that Bishop Egan knows this but does the Bishops Conference? I would encourage everyone that has my concern to write to the President of the Bishops conference to voice their concern.
 
 
 
In God's Love
 
SSG
 
 
 
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Archbishop’s House
Ambrosden Ave.
London, UK
SW1P 1QJ

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Selective Hearing of The Young

First of all let me assert from/the outset that it is not my intention to be a patronising adult that says 'in my day.........' My day wasn't long ago but unfortunately has just about passed. The Young Catholic is approaching 30 this year and feels the age gap more than ever between teenagers and those like myself who went through it in recent history.

specifically it is my intention to make some observations about recent experiences with young people. Having been young very recently I understand that with this age comes a certain amount of a care free attitude. Some things become more important with experience. Its hard to communicate without being accused of being patronising but sometimes you really do just feel like slapping someone with an extremely wet fish to drive the message home. Worryingly I have this to come with my children, which should present a challenge which I can imagine is frustrating. The worrying thing that I have observed lately is that the young ears I have surrounding me do seem to be extremely deaf to any sort of wisdom. I am far from wise myself but knowing the all wise creator enables me to give advice which I know for sure is sound and most importantly, truth.

I am not in the habit of handing out copious amounts of advice but it sometimes leaves me speechless at how much young people do not care to ask themselves the more important questions in life. The culture of drink seems to have a strong hold over the young. As the weekend comes near its all about going out and getting intoxicated as I also did in my younger days. It seems in this way that people seem to make the same mistakes without listening to the advice of their elders. No doubt drinking too much is not a positive thing, but everyone does it so why would people want to stay in when there friends are out clubbing. This is one example but the deafness of the young is frightening. Not only do they fail to heed advice or ask themselves questions which may deepen their knowledge of their existence, but they are numb to any kind of conversation which challenges their minds.

I am concerned that my children are to grow up in this/pleasure seeking society where money is more important than building/nurturing virtue. We are weak human beings and so its no surprise, really, that people make the same mistakes, but as someone who has started to learn, its highly frustrating to see.

Let us pray for the young, that they may remain pure and learn the wisdom of God, hopefully before they make mistakes, but if not, quite soon after. May God guide them closely and wrap them more and more in the spiritual cotton wool needed today.

In Gods Love

SSG

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Conclave Thoughts

Thoughts on the Conclave

For anyone wondering, yes I do still exist in the world of blogging.

Before I begin my thoughts on the conclave I would like to update you on my current situation. Having started the course at Maryvale in October, I really thought there was no time in my life for anything else. My wife and I had another child just to make things a little more challenging. The time to do essays is hard to find but I am just about managing to study philosophy during the five minutes when everyone else is sleeping.

Now to the conclave. My overwhelming feeling is one of excitement as the chimney is erected over the sistine chapel. The historical moment we are about to witness is immense and it's a privilidge to be able to watch it unfold and be a part of this Holy tradition. Seeing the cardinals gather together gives me hope, not for a failing Church, but for one that can grow under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the hands of the next Pope. Pope Benedict, was a wonderful Pope and such an excellent example to the younger generation of how to live a prayerful and faithful life. The former Pope certainly had his effect on me and enabled me to have the confidence to study theology when I thought I just was not the right person for it (I may still not be the right person, the Holy Spirit makes anything possible).

It really strikes me at this time how much the media know about the Church. They report on each Cardinal to see if, in their eyes, he will be good enough or if the people love him. The fact is that in the secular dominated media nobody will like the new Pope if he is a witness to the truth and if they did like him, I for one would be worried. Take Cardinal Oullet as an example. I have read so many negative articles where his witness to the truth is reported as his downfall and weekness. It also seems as if his Bishops have no support for him either as some among them look for ways in which to ride the tide of seculrism.

This is a time for truth, not just for the new Pope but for all Catholics. The truth is not easy when it speaks out against injustice and sin. Bishops, Priests and my fellow lay men, let us be strong and courageous in telling the truth that comes from God. When popular demands push us to agree with sinful ways let us tell satan to get behind us, for he has seeped into the fabric of society and has pitted our fellow brothers against us.

In God's Love with enormous Hope

SSG



















Friday, 2 November 2012

Gods Revelation

I am currently working on my first essay for the Divinity degree and reading into how God reveals himself and Why.

God Reveals himself in the following ways:

  • Natural Religion (In the Human person and Creation)
  • Salvation History - Old testament, New Testament in the Divine revelation

The transmission of God's revelation falls to the Catholic Church. (ok maybe my essay has to be a little longer than that but I will pad a little!!)


Studying God's revelation is slowly opening my eyes to how absolutely perfect God's plan for us is.

I seem to have no time for anything but study and family, what better to spend my time. It's a huge challenge as I am not academically minded but for the glory of God I am willing to take it on. An essay is due every month now, 8 per year and I will be doing this (God willing) for 5 years. Even after 5 years I will still know just a snippet about our faith. I could study it for a long lifetime and I would still be left with answers.

God is a wonderful mystery. I was in a pit of darkness with my soul on the brink and Jesus is always there with his hands stretched out just waiting for me to open my eyes and hold on tight so he can pull me up to light of his truth.

All glory and honour and power and victory to you almighty Father, forever and ever!!!!


In God's Love

SSG

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Maryvale course

Good News!!!!

I have been accepted by Maryvale to undertake the degree in divinity. I am very excited about this as well as nervous as it's by far the largest academic challenge I have ever taken on. I hope it will lead to a future that can be based on glorifying God. My idea at the moment is to move into Catholic teaching which is a long way off but hopefully I can get there. I hope also later in life to become a deacon in my local parish and will find this course invaluable in the ministry I hope to undertake. I start the course on Friday at Maryvale and will definitely be making the most of my visit there by spending some much needed quiet time in front of the blessed sacrament. I ask for prayers from everybody that I may be able to complete this degree in order to work for God.

On a side note, I have just been to spend a little time in front of the blessed sacrament on my lunch hour and learnt that we have a confessional at church which is used as a storage cupboard. A very sad sight to see and I really hope that it can be dusted down and used once again. Confession is available but only in the sacristy and how wonderful it would be to have this confessional back in use.

In God's Love

SSG

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Last Month

It may seem a little strange but before now I have lacked the spiritual energy needed to blog.

After comitting a sin that I have had issues with for a while now, I just needed to retreat. So I did, I retreated not from God but from the world and it has benfited me alot. In sin there should be no retreating from God as he is the only remedy but it always, as previously mentioned, produces a humility that makes me quiet and pulls me away from general affairs.

A couple of things have come to light over the last month in my life:

Work - I am a little fed up at work so I have taken the decision, after consulting the Lord and my family, to look into undertaking a degree in Divinity through Maryvale institute with the long term idea of being a Catholic RE teacher (again as previously mentioned) Work is not giving me anything I need (satisfaction) but more importantly I don't believe it's giving God anything that he needs from me anymore.

Prayer - I have got into a better routine with prayer and have been able to find quiet times throughout the day that I never knew existed (that devil of a TV tricking me) So I feel God is near to me at the moment.

Drinking - I have decided to take 3 months off a very bad habit of mine in order to offer this sacrifice for the soul of my friend who died a while ago 'Sean Aitkens'. May he be welcomed into your eternal Kingdom Lord.

These are a couple of very positive things that are happening and I feel a great sense of peace. I have to remember though that this is all for God and not for my own happiness (note to self : must have obedience and humility).

All Glory to God

In God's Love

SSG

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A Testing Month

It has been just over a month since I last blogged.

My wife and I are expecting our second child and my wife has been very unwell and even had to stay in hospital for a few days with dehydration. The time that she was away and the last few weeks have really been a testing time for the family. I have had to have a small taste of what it's like to be a single parent and it was very difficult for me. This test sent by God is one that has brought fruit to our lives in a few ways. I appreciate now what my wife does and think she is the most amazing hero and mother in my eyes. Amy (my wife) is such a selfless person and so are all mothers who undertake this vocation with the sense of responsibility it deserves.

During this time I watched a film called courageous that has an emotional story line to it about being a good father and this film has had a big impact on me. To be a 'good father' is such a challenge in today's society and we need more good fathers who will teach their children about God, look after their wives and ...... well I could go on but I would just be repeating the film. Have a watch of it if you can.

I am so blessed to have a second child on the way and will give my two children and my wife, every ounce of strength that I have (sometimes with a few moans, unfortunately) in order to bring them closer to God and glorify his name through our family.

Lets hope that my wife improves but I continue to appreciate the things she does for this family when she is well.

In God's Love

SSG

Thursday, 21 June 2012

My Friend The Athiest

I have a friend who is an atheist and it's a great pain to me that he continues to see this way of life as superior to that of following Jesus and glorifying God.

Although I don't see him as often as I like, when I do actually see him, religion is often the topic of conversation. I have always tried to find the best method of trying to convert him and put the good news into his heart but some people are just so stubborn. I would definitely go so far as to describe him as a militant atheist. Being a fairly new militant atheist, I find it simple to answer his verbal punches about my religion. There are, however, some answers that he will just not understand. Is there any point in going in to the supernatural when he won't even entertain the idea? God is all around us and when you recognise this fact, its really obvious that God is the orchestrator of everything.

Richard Dawkins is a really big guy in his life as well as the late Christopher Hitchins. Richard Hawkins, in particular has allot to answer for in my mind. I am not the supreme judge, thankfully, but he has led so many people down the wrong road and stirred up a hatred for Christianity and in particular, Catholicism. His flawed arguments are built on this hatred and sometimes it seems like he will say anything to win an argument. This has rubbed off on my friend who has this arrogant and extremely rude way of talking about religion. He is highly disrespectful to the truth that I know and lacks an enormous amount of trust in my judgement which really does hurt.

Recently my friend said to me 'Sam, you are one of the best people I know, why must you put this down to your God, why can't you just admit that it is all your own doing and that you are good because you make yourself good'. Now, the sneaky compliment didn't do allot to sooth the blow of my friend saying there is no God. I explained to him that without God I am nothing, without God I would be in a really bad place. God is constantly dragging me out of the depths of Hell and only with his mercy and intervention can I hope to stay out of this dark place.

My friend the Atheist is simply missing out and I will continue to be a good example whenever I have the opportunity. Whether he realises or not, the goodness that comes from Jesus shines through his heart on many occasions and he just needs to recognise this. My answer to him always is 'My friend, don't fret, Jesus loves you'.

Please pray for my friend and all atheist's conversions, wouldn't it be great if Dawkin's converted, what a witness to God he would be with truth and reason on his side.

In God's Love

SSG

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

How to profit from your faults




The latest book I have been reading is a really positive book regarding sin and God's mercy.

Jospeh Tissot goes into depth on the teachings of St Francis de Sales who is a truly inspiring character. Sin doesn't have to and indeed shouldn't weigh us down so much. The sinful man is the one being called by God to holiness and Tissot explains this using some great quotes which not only comfort but motivate me highly to be who God wants me to be even after offending him very much.

I have committed many faults in my short life and it's easy to feel that 'surley God can not forgive me for these'. This thought comes from the devil and really doesn't respect God's infinite mercy for us (which in turn offends God more) We must remember how merciful he is and how wide his arms are ready to embrace us after each fall. His arms open wider to us than before and he is ready to embrace us more tightly when we repent and run back to him.

The temptation to wallow in self pity is always there after committing sin. We can retreat into ourselves and hide in a corner away from our creator. This is wrong. If we commit a sin we are to confess sincerely and move on, God will not hold it against us if we repent and running back into his light, burns off the stain caused by this sin.

If there is one thing I have taken from this book it is not to be discouraged. Yes, sin halt's our call to holiness but we can still continue on the same path and glorify his name if we trust in him and remember his mercy which knows no bounds.

In God's Love

SSG