“Nobody can fight properly and boldly for the faith if he clings to a fear of being stripped of earthly possessions.” ~ St. Peter Damian
Last week I introduced you to Deirdre. A few days after our skype conversation, she sent me a photograph of her mother Bridie’s grave. My eyes went straight to the modest epitaph in the lower right hand corner of the stone;
Generous of Heart, Constant in Faith, Brave in Adversity.
I shared with you how Bridie and her family opened their home to me, an American tourist and complete stranger, 33 years ago. What I did not share, is that Bridie’s husband was killed by an American tourist and complete stranger driving on the wrong side of the road, years earlier when the children were still babies. She herself shared this with me as I was driving us from Shannon Airport to her home in Bishopstown, Cork…I’ve never driven as carefully since.
To “suffer as a Christian” is to suffer because there is an essential difference between you and the world which rouses the contempt of the world, and the disgust and hatred of the spirit that is in the world. To “suffer as a Christian” is to have no answer when the world’s satire is turned on you, as it was turned on Jesus Christ when He hung upon the cross, when they turned His word into jest and jeer; they will do the same to you. He gave no answer, neither can you. ~ Oswald Chambers, Suffering as a Christian
Generous, Constant, Brave…I have to say, in retrospect, that my time with the Murphy’s in that spring of ’84 was perhaps the greatest blessing God has ever granted me. What He gave me then, as I can see so clearly now, was a valuable lesson in the gorgeous beauty of plain-simple living. If you recall your life in the mid-eighties, we were in the early stages of what I like to call, our techno-gadget-seduction. Trust me when I tell you, the one-two combination punch of Vatican II followed by the “fruits’ of the Silicon Valley Toy Company drove us to the mat, and nearly cost us our Republic on November 8th! Our knees are still wobbly…don’t you dare imagine us out of the woods of this globalist snare of a nightmare yet. But landing in Ireland 33 years ago, for me, was as stark a contrast as Kansas to Oz. They still talked to each other on rotary-dial phones that seldom worked, conversed with each other face-to-face, sang to each other spontaneously in pubs that were designed for family gatherings after mass, rather than pick-up joints before sex. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so welcome, so alive, and so grateful.
OK, snap out of it! That was a lovely dream wasn’t it? You (baby-boomers) could actually touch, taste and feel your recall of what I just described couldn’t you? If you would have described our world today in any detail at all to any one of us back then, we would have thought you crazy…because not a single one of us in our right mind would have ever accepted such a place. Truth is not what we want it to be my friends. Truth is the bloody hard wood of the globalist wheel that we are all pressed upon…exactly like the Turkish prison wheel in the movie Midnight Express. Whether we’re just unpacking our bags from a lovely vacation in Aruba, or opening the mail to find our eviction notice, we are ALL but the very select few of us, on the very same wheel!
Generous of Heart…giving without expectation. Constant in Faith…imagine if we prayed as constantly as we exercise at Gold’s. Brave in Adversity…get off the wheel! Better yet, turn their clockwise game counter-clockwise just as Billy Hayes found his turning-point in the Turkish prison…perhaps the most powerful scene in the movie. Nothing left to fear. Are we there yet?
RIP Chief Robert Rabbitt ~ I love you Bridie.