Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lost sheep

All are invited to:
1. Adoration this Friday, 7-8 pm, SAA Church.
2. The new 6 pm Sunday night Mass, starting this Sunday, Sept. 10.
Recently, Kiwi Nomad wrote the following:
"I am not from your parish but I am a bit of a stray sheep in catholic terms. But over the past year or so I have been going to Mass a bit and trying to pray. Over the last five months I have been backpacking in Europe. I cycled for five weeks in the Loire and it seemed like the history of Christianity was in the landscape almost. I also surprised myself by spending sx days at Lourdes in May. But I have still not got to the stage of going to Confession or Communion. I am nearly ready to head home and don't know what I am going to do re faith. I tried to have a talk to the local priest before I left. I think he is a very holy and good man, but he didn't seem to be able to understand that I was struggling with a faith that to him there is no doubt about. Yet I feel there are issues I want to talk about. Not sure what I am going to do about it."

Kiwi, thanks very much for what you wrote; I truly hope that you find your way. I don't know where your home is, but you're always welcome to come here. I would be happy to sit down with you, and discuss your issues. One of the most attractive parts of priesthood for me has always been the outreach to "lost sheep". Having been a lost sheep myself, I feel a special connection and identification with those who have strayed from Christ.

Also, I look back on the time when I met Christ for the first time. I was raised Catholic and went to Church on Sundays, but never really knew Christ until I was about 21. That is when I met Happiness! I had looked far and wide for it (for Him), and have completely treasured it ever since. Jesus talks about the joy that comes with finding that which has been lost in Luke 15. He speaks of great "rejoicing" in the return of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the Prodigal Son.

The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of my favorites, and one that the Church uses predominantly in welcoming back those who have strayed (particularly with Confession). The son left his father and squandered his inheritance on a "life of dissipation". He realized how much he had messed up, and went back to his father, asking for forgiveness. As the son got near his home, "his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion" (v.20). He said, "let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found" (v.23-24).

Kiwi, I will offer the same compassion and joy to you or any prodigal sons or daughters who come back to the Father through me.


At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so moved to hear someone talk about doubt. So often we hear the success stories -- falling into debauchery, apathy, darkness and coming back. But does everyone who wants to get back actually get back? I don't think it's in me. I deeply feel that God picks and chooses and I resent it. I'm sorry to add negative comments in such an inspring blogsite (that was not sarcastic), but it's what I have to say and I'm dying to say it.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey this is kind of a random question but i thought it was pretty interesting. WHY SHOULD WE AS CATHOLICS WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE IF THEY WERE ABOUT TO PUSH THE BUTTON TO BLOW UP THE WORLD? pretty crazy question what do u think

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Searching For Holiness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CHrist is in everything good and bad he never leaves you orphan never. Turn to him no matter what cry out to him go to a church and sit and look at the cross spend time there .It helps ! We are not perfect Christ knows that. He loves us in everything!

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anony #1: We all have crosses to bear, lessons to learn, sins that we do over and over again. You asked does everyone who wants to get back actually get back? God gives each and every person FREE WILL. He will never take that from you or me or any one of us. Don't worry that it's not in you to come back because it is in Christ. Instead of trying to hold Him in you, let Him hold you. We are all on this journey hopefully headed for eternal life. We all have days of blah...same old ...same old...or falling into some old bad habit! No one wants to share that! LOL. THat's why confession is so important! If your soul is full of sin, how can Christ fill it?
Pray for grace in your life. I will pray for you.

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anony #2,

what would i say if someone were about to blow up the world..........LOrd have mercy, Christ have mercy, An act of contrition for forgiveness of sins. Catholics are called to follow the 2 most important commandments: Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and soul and Love thy neigbor. So we are called to love those who are in our world (work,school,family,friends,enemies). No man is an island.

At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the difference between sin and mistake? I don't think most of us intentionally sin so couldn't that be making mistakes?

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said...

Anon #2, I would say. "Don't do it. There are six billion children of God in the world. And, He has said not to kill any of them."

At 4:52 AM, Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Fr Greg,
Oops, it has taken me a while to realise you replied to me. Thanks for the compasssion in your reply: I appreciate it. I also appreciate the offer that I could come and talk, but the Kiwi part of my name refers to the fact I am from New Zealand!
I met a Kiwi priest in Lourdes who treated me with compassion. He convinced me I actually am Catholic: I was seriously doubting this. He was able to see the parts of me that are still very Catholic despite my distance. That meant a lot to me.
I am home and not sure what to do about faith. But I will try and grab hold of the bits I can and have faith it will lead me somewhere.


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