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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Church in China

So this is what I was writing to a friend who was living in China. I wrote this to him 3 years ago.
I'm putting this on this blog so I can read it later when I get a chance because my writing is not doing so hot right now. Plus, I thought all of you would dig it. :) Enjoy!

  The majority of persons will not stand up for what they believe in if it contradicts the government (if the government indeed has right to control their lives or demean them in any way). Therefore, why take that risk and make life less desirable? It's unreasonable! But one of the difficulties in the Catholic Church in China (from what I was taught) is that most of the bishops and priests aren't in line with the Holy Father (they weren't ordained by the Roman Catholic Church), therefore they are unable to give the right sacraments and are unable to preach the teachings correctly. I think this is the main concern of the Holy Father and the Holy See. There are few clerigy in China that are actually in line with the Pope and this is the problem.

So to give them a higher level of formation (a more integral formation) --the ones who are actually in line with the Holy Father--would allow them to better direct the lay members they are involved with. To better educate the lay members means to live Christ's love more fully and correctly outside the Church. It's a domino effect I think. Get to the priests first and they'll get to the faithful and the faithful will get to the non-Catholics and the "fallen-away Catholics".

But really, I totally see what you mean. Why give them better formation, more rounded formation, if they are already doing the best they can do?? I guess it's wanting to give them more options of spreading the Word of God. I don't think Rome is okay with sitting back and thinking they couldn't do better...which is understandable and creditable.

And you're absolutely right. Everyone SHOULD have the right to voice their opinion...but that's not how it is in some countries; which makes it hard to follow Christ and His Church because you're being forced to follow the government instead and keep shut about anything other than. I think the Catholic Church just wants to make things a little easier for people to believe and follow...but ultimately will never get there in this life. ;) I guess the Holy Father just wants to tend to his sheep as a loving shepard should do. [He also writes to the Chinese Catholics. There's one letter he wrote to the Chinese Catholics on the Vatican website:
I haven't read it since then ('07) so I can't comment on it.]

And that's why we are still having martyrs to this day because there are a few that will stand up for what they believe in and are killed because they will not denounce their faith (in extreme situations.) I wish I had that kind of courage and conviction but I fail many times--and I'm not even in a country that would make me denounce my faith in order to live!!! It's definitely easier said than done. I can talk about how we should do this and that all day long but will turn around and do the opposite. We're weak but we should at least try to be strong as Christ did when he took the crucifixion...and as all the martyrs do when they will not denounce Christ as their Saviour and Lord. (Or as the nuns who were raped and murdered in India just for being nuns this last semester.) It's a cruel world which gives us all the more reason to stand up and give testimony for what is love and right--for what is God.

Bet you weren't expecting an essay on what I thought. :) Haha!! But I wasn't expecting such a great response! I love the way you think! And it's so nice to talk to you about these kinds of things. And of course I can say what I have but I'm not the one living in China. I've got it extremely easy--overly easy--here in TX. Don't know if I'd be able to stand my ground in any other country...especially China. Can you even wear a crucifix around your neck? I'm clueless to how the reality is over there. So because of this my little essay has no ground or credible thought. But it was fun anyway! ;) There's not a lot of people that would speak to me about this...and definitely nobody I know could educate me on the Catholic Church in China but you...not that I need to know, but you're fun to talk to, ol' buddy!


Aha, well said. But a martyr isn't named by the Church if they are flaunting their beliefs or faith...or even the name of their faith. A martyr is someone who by chance was in a situation where they would have to denounce God as their Lord to please another sinner. It goes back to when Jesus wouldn't denounce Himself for the sake of others' gratification. (I'm really not saying anything you don't already know--just trying to enlighten what a true martyr is so you can see the glory in it) He was crucified because He didn't lie about the Truth. No body sane wants to die especially if it's by a word from our own mouth. We would be inclined to lie in order to save our lives. That's what makes martyrs extraordinary.

The Church wouldn't name someone a martyr if they flaunted their faith and was killed this, not at all. Those people must have some screws lose or be mentally ill because that's not sane or normal behavior by any means. But if a person lived as faithful as they could daily and strived to be like Christ and were humble...and they so happened to be murdered by -not PROnouncing as a crazy person would- but by not DEnouncing it, then they most likely will be named a martyr of Christ by the Church.

I hope that the economy crisis will open the hearts, minds, and eyes of North America to live like they do in China--as content and happy with little; to not live comfortably (the dream of America) but to live simply so that others may simply live. Wouldn't that be a dream? ;) I don't blame you if you find that pleasing because it's how we should live. Eat it up. We don't learn and grow if we don't experience and we don't experience if we don't live, right? ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Territory of Human Existence: Casual Cruelty

It happens way more often than we want it to. We go about our business and as soon as we turn around we're stabbed in the back. Not everyone intentionally does this to us but sometimes it's the indifferent attitude that forces their actions.

There's a song by St Vincent called Cruel. After watching it the other day it's been coming back up in my memory throughout my days.

I know some people may think it's too dark and depressing but if you look into what is being portrayed you'll see something that goes beyond the hurt and betrayal. I believe this song is about something more than what I'm touching on here but it would turn this post into a short story which I don't feel like doing. So there.

I can definitely relate to this video and song in so many ways. I also often wonder how could we all be so casually cruel. Not just down right cruel but casually cruel. Softly. Nonchalantly. Like it's not a big deal. Like it goes with the territory of human existence.

Beyond this hurt and betrayal of others' actions is the cause, the breaking point that makes another act. I believe it to be indifference in the case of casual cruelty. My co-worker threw me under the bus with a smile on his face earlier this evening and I was shocked. Not because he did what he did but because he did it with a smile on his face and a twitch in his heart.

In the song she says "they could take or leave they took you and they left you". I meditated on this for quite some time after the fact and it felt so good to dissect it. I've had this done to me way more often than not. People are given two options: take you (your friendship, love, charity, generosity, time) or leave you (pass you by like you weren't worth their time). People who take both options think they have authority over a person's kindness and do not care if they cause a tare in your flesh. Their hearts are made of stone and indifference runs deep in their blood. I'd rather someone hate me because at least then they'll have some passion towards me, but indifference? Is cold. Why do so many people act this way? Do I do this to them??? This treatment causes so much pain I would absolutely die instead of putting someone through this. But then I go back to the beginning and as I said before, "it's the indifferent attitude that forces their actions." If I'm indifferent, could care less about anything, I need to focus on changing that because it's the root of being casually cruel. And I think we all have the tendency in us.

Footnote: indifference=lukewarm
"But because you are lukewarm and are neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit you out of my mouth." -Revelation 3:16
Apparently God hates this too. He knew we would be like this. And it's not like He's just like, "oh yeah, try not to be lukewarm because then you'll hurt your neighbor." NO. He'll flippin' puke us out of His mouth!!! This is clearly a huge red flag for God! Wish I could've picked up on it sooner.

Go and change everything you're indifferent about. (except for the color of your bed sheet or type of pen you want to write in today....that won't hurt anyone's feelings) Let's make this world something to live in rather than something to be hurt from.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Women Finding God in Secular Places

Women finding God in secular places. Single women. Professional women. Married women. Housewifes, mothers, grandmothers. This is for you.

I don't believe that in order to find God you need to be in a certain physical location. God is found in bars, brothels and Churches. But I do believe that your heart needs to be in a certain location.

I am a single women in her 20's and I roam the city of Houston quite frequently alone. Thrift stores, downtown dining areas, Churches, and even backroad down in "unsafe" neighborhoods of the third and fifth ward. I find many attractions and not so good things.

Recently I've been frequenting Buffalo Exchange, which I know isn't all that "thrifty" considering it's a chain but I go for the bargains and interesting staff. Some people snicker at me for going to such places because a white female apparently isn't supposed to be seen in such an area. But I have a question: why do females have to live a safe and secure life? Why do we have to live on the highest story of a building and let only our hair hit the floor? What gave society the authority to give us this stigma? Society might live in fear but we don't have to. If we succumb to society's mentality we aren't following our hearts. We aren't following our deepest desires. We aren't being the women God made us to be. Furthermore, not living life to the full is not feminine. I think these fairytales men have made up along the way for children and daydreamers have twisted true femininity into a delusional idea: fear and weakness.

If we look into what fear is we find it is for the cowardly, the unsurity of something or someone. I believe it is for the weak. God doesn't want us to be weak. How could we live such a courageous life as Christian women if we fear what society thinks of us or our lifestyle? What about all those female martyrs in India just a few years ago being killed for being nuns! The killers asked them if they believed in God, they gave their fiat and were dead. That takes conviction, love and courage. If you are a Christian woman and you don't pray outside your Church or home for fear others may find it disturbing, you're not following God. If you are not holding men accountable for their actions and words, you're not a feminine Christian female. If you are wearing those stylish short shorts because that's all you could find, you are not being a woman of Christ. Men need strong women who know their virtues and which virtues they need. Men need women with TRUE femininity: chaste, nuturing, loving, forgiving, strong, convicted, knowledgable. What they don't need is what society is feeding our little girls: immodesty, damsel in distress, fear, bubbled, unintelligent, weak, materialistic, plastic. If the men fall, it's because the women might have pushed them with their twisted mentality. You don't want men to treat you like an object? Dress modestly and act modestly. Do not give into temptation as sweet as he may be.

Fear isn't for us, ladies. Stand on the head of the evil as Mary, the Mother of God does. We have the power to do so, given to us by God Himself. So live your life concuring the deepest desires of your heart and you'll be living in prayer with God because He is the one who put those desires in your heart. That's where we'll find God. In the midst of the city streets roaming around is a woman just like you and in her heart she knows what's true: it's God within her. Find the location in your heart for God.