Disregarding The Bread of Life – Secular Humanism Series

The Dangers of Nonbelief!

Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time

48-51 “I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.” ~ John 6:48-51  The Message (MSG)

Convenient Absentmindedness pt. 2

Last week I wrote, “We have become unmindful of the one who bore us, the one who gave us life, and forgot where we have come from.” (Brother Brian Disregarding God, August 21, 2018) I took aim at what I feel is a great and terrible evil we are fighting in our everyday lives. I gave examples of how humanity is guilty of being collectively unmindful. I asked, “Is anyone listening?” This week I give more examples of how Secular Humanism pulls us away from God and makes us blind to God’s offer of everlasting life and instead living your life on a ledge of disaster!

Secular Humanism says, “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”, just as the Jews had begun asking in, (John 6:52 MSG). This rhetoric sowed disbelief because man inherently fears what he does not understand but that is only a small part of what drove the mass disbelief. Even the disciples had a hard time with this one, proclaiming, 60 ” this teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” (John 6:60 NRSVACE).

Thinking Deeper: “Why is it that this specific teaching sowed so much disbelief?”

Perhaps, my brothers and sisters, we like children take things too literally! Maybe, we think so basically as to misunderstand what Jesus said? Surely it is easy to hear one thing and interpret it in a completely different way than what it was meant to mean. On this point how many times have you intently listened to the rhetoric other people say? How many times do you take them at face value or doze off not really hearing their overall message?  Worse yet picking and choosing the parts you like and discarding the rest? (We will circle back around for more on this point.) Notice that those who left John calls them disciples indicating that they all had once believed and followed but had lost their way or maybe simply had grown tired and so they simply wandered off to take up their old lives. Maybe, the idea of being the bread of life; the most staple food source at that time period referencing the bread (manna) that fell from heaven when the Jews were escaping Egypt was simply too much for those one-time disciples of Jesus to bear? Whatever the reason, modern secular humanism supports the falling away from Christ, enforces the disbelief in God, blurs our vision so much so we do not know where then to look for salvation. Jesus made many hard to understand and follow statements but in each one of them at the root, He was calling us to Himself so that we would have the hope of everlasting life. Secular Humanism, however empowering will not and can not save your immortal soul because man cannot save himself apart from God.

On the other hand, maybe those lost disciples did indeed get Jesus’s “I AM” proclamation of everlasting life! Maybe they had also heard Jesus’s teaching on marriage, his view of both husband and wife needing to be equal partners; which flies in the face of both Mid-Eastern culture and practices going back thousands of years. I have to admit this scripture found in (Ephesians 5:21-32), is a blow to the male ego in almost every culture around the world. But simply put that is our Lord and Savoir, He was not afraid to say it as it was or needed to be. Maybe His message was too harsh for some, but whoever said everlasting life was going to be easy to attain?

Thinking Deeper: “How does being subordinate to another person in marriage mix with the message of disregarding the bread of life?”

21 “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” Ephesians 5:21 The Message (MSG)

Many of Jesus’s “I AM” proclamations were intended to shock, to stir up, to challenge the way we see this secular world. But mainly to wake us up to what is coming upon His return. But more to the point we will not be awake if we as a human race do not first get with the program of submission and being subordinate to each other first. Oh yes… I said the words that our own egos can’t stand to hear or even confront, (submission and subordinate), without saying the word love. Truth be told many people in their marriages treat their spouses horribly and try to assume the role of the boss in the relationship! After all our secular world is all about the wants of the individual right? How then can you possibly be submissive to your spouse if your mentality is all about the preservation of ‘SELF’ wants? In this listening and communicating becomes the last priority then lies and deceit creeps in to fill the gap of being submissive and subordinate i.e. loyal to your spouse! If then love is not associated to any of this then marriage is not rewarding and thus tiresome and labor intensive. You will my brothers and sisters lose the love you so crave from the world, blinded so severely that you do not know where to look for salvation! Therefore, to love and honor your spouse and children is both the greatest gift and redeeming qualities that emulate God! Think of it this way, submissive love is being God-like! So Yes… “He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28 NABRE) For Jesus so loved the Church and sacrificed Himself for her – (the collective of mankind as His Holy Church!) 

Putting It All Together: In short my brothers and sisters, to be loyal, faithful, living your life honoring your relationships with fidelity and love is one of the best ways any human-being has available to honor and emulate God.  To live for your own selfish means then is the same as being that group of disciples who got bored and wandered off and consciously or unconsciously ended up emulating secular humanist. When we fall into this secular mold we become lost and blind not knowing or seeing where to turn for salvation and/ or redemption. Sadly in that state, we become the property of Satan and headed for damnation. But when we honor our relationships we emulate the Christian Family Jesus had wanted us to live. We, in turn, serve God and are headed for His everlasting grace and mercy. Believing in Jesus, honoring your personal relationship with Him is, in turn, mastering the concept of eating and drinking his body and blood which is traditionally in the Church known as the Eucharist. For spiritually Jesus lives within each one of us and loves all of the human race. He is always calling to us to be that better person, He is always reaching out to intervene and protect us which is something this secular world cannot do. In the end my brothers and sisters, the choice is yours to make. Which interpretation of living in this secular world will you choose? Who do you want to emulate?

LET US PRAY

PRAYER FOR LOVING OTHERS

From: Catholic Doors.com

Lord, Make me an instrument of your love. 
May I see each circumstance in my life 
as an opportunity to grow in your love.
May I see my environment 
as a place to grow in your love.

May I then take this love to other people…

When I am tempted to become impatient, 
help me to be patient. 

When I am tempted to become unkind, 
help me to be kind. 

When I am tempted to become jealous, 
help me to be tolerant. 

When I am tempted to become boastful or proud, 
help me to give you the glory. 

When I am tempted to be rude or selfish, 
give me the gift of gentleness. 

When I am tempted to take offense, 
help me to let go. 

When I am tempted to become angry with someone, 
give me the gift of forgiveness. 

When I am tempted to become resentful, 
give me your power to love. 

Lord, grant that I may take no pleasure in criticizing others, 
but that I may see good in them, as you do.

When I begin to concentrate on the faults and failures of others, 
give me the courage to praise their accomplishments. 

Help me be loyal to those you give me to love. 

Help me to believe in them, 
even when they do not believe in themselves. 
To expect the best from them, 
but accept the best they can give. 
May I always defend them, 
as you always defend me. 

All gifts and powers come from you. 
All will come to an end. 
With one important exception, the gift of love!!! 
Lord, when I was a child, 
I thought like a child, 
I acted like a child, 
and I reasoned like a child. 
Now that I have become an adult,
I release my childish ways.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

A Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome! Come and be part a of the discussion!

LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

Powered by Podbean

Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

photo

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Disregarding God – Secular Humanism Series

The Consequences of Conscious Decision

Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

18 “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:18 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) 

Convenient Absentmindedness

We have become unmindful of the one who bore us, the one who gave us life, and forgot where we have come from. A strong statement right? But is anyone in this secular world hearing this message? This question I think is a deeper question which is even more impactful. Free will, my brothers, and sisters is a two-edged sword that leads to two completely different versions of humanity.  On one hand, we could be in compliance with God at every turn, worship Him and praise Him every day of our lives and be given everlasting life for doing so. Practicing our faith in Him with fidelity and joyful obedience! But that world of worship is not what we are living today. Instead, we are living in a secular world filled with sin at every turn, where we are tempted by Satan within every thought we think, and our hearts have been soiled because of our own corrupt decisions and absolute compliance to sin itself. So I ask again, is anyone listening?

On a global scale, we see the needless deaths of children in the United States, according to a January 2018 Health Affairs report, “The United States has the worst child mortality rate among a group of 20 wealthy democracies…” Furthermore, the report states, “And despite an overall improvement in the child mortality rate in the U.S. and those 19 other countries, the U.S. has persistently outpaced those nations in that grim metric for decades.” Reported by Dan Mangan – CNBC Health and Science.

Reported by BBC on August 13, 2018, in Yemen, “Local authorities say, 51 people including 40 children were killed in the air strike on a bus traveling in Dahyan, in Saada province, last Thursday. Most of the children were aged between 10 and 13.” This airstrike came from the Saudi-led Coalition rebel-held north. There are pictures online where the friends of these victims literally are digging the physical graves for those who had died.

Also reported by BBC this past April 2018, “At least 70 people have died in a suspected chemical attack in Douma, the last rebel-held town in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, rescuers and medics say. Volunteer rescue force the White Helmets tweeted graphic images showing several bodies in basements. It said the deaths were likely to rise.”

More Than 300 ‘Predator Priests’ In Pennsylvania Accused Of Abuse | Video Link – NBC Nightly News

Once again in the United States, a probe led by Attorney General Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania found, “There were hundreds of “predator priests” sexually abusing more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania for decades — all while being shielded by Roman Catholic Church leaders, according to a scathing grand jury report released Tuesday. The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal,” the report states, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing: They hid it all.”  Reported by Tamar Lapin of the New York Post, (August 14, 2018)

Effects of Secular Humanism

21 “They made me jealous with what is no god, provoked me with their idols. So I will make them jealous with what is no people, provoke them with a foolish nation.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:21 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) 

It would be easy to say that the devil made this all happen, but the truth of it is what is reported on the nightly news is more damning and more human. In a secular age, God is replaced by our own desires, humanity is guilty of making a morally horrifying collective conscious decision to replace God with the ego-driven “Self”! Driven by the need to function as an individual satisfying our own “Self-interest”. The definition of secular humanism plan and simple, “Secular Humanism is an attempt to function as a civilized society with the exclusion of God and His moral principles.” found online at AllAboutPhilosophy.org

Again, it would be to easy to blame the founders of the Secular Movement because each person has free will, the ability to make up one’s own mind and beliefs and thus to face one’s own consequences for those actions. With that said, to abandon God is a “Self – damning” conscious decision. In that sense when we hear the snake oil salesman say, “What if I told you that you could be completely in control of your own life without being shackled by any religion, law, realm or beings imagined to transcend ordinary experience?” I ask you my brothers, and sisters, doesn’t that sound like a modern version of what Lucifer said to Eve in the garden of Eden?1′Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ ~ Genesis 3:1-5 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Is anyone listening, seeing, hearing, or feeling the world is not right? I presume this was much like how the world was during Noah’s age before the flood! In both instances, God punished mankind for lapsing into ungodliness. In each case in history where a group of people has forgotten God things don’t pan out well for those humans! Remember this if nothing else – we are all guilty of forgetting God and yet God has never forgotten about us! Jesus from day one has been calling out to each one of us saying, “Come and follow me.” The real question is… will you?

Let Us Pray

Prayer by: Kimberly J. Edwards – Catholic Online

May I Remember

God,
I find myself heartbroken by
the hatred I see all around me. 
So I ask that I may never forget :

That behind every brown, yellow, red, black or white face, there is a family like mine, and souls trying to live in a world that often tells them they are less than or unworthy, aliens that are not wanted. May I never lose sight of the soul behind each face, the souls of Your children.

That behind every homeless person there is a story that may be so familiar to me as to be uncomfortable. May I never be comfortable until there are no more homeless faces seeking a kind word, or an opportunity, or just a smile and a little love.

That I never forget the truth of Your gospel, that storing up riches here, withholding from others out of some misguided sense of superiority or right to judge, that treating any one of Your children as unworthy to come to Your table is not the Christian love You came to teach us.

That I count as treasures the friends who stand beside me, encouraging, loving, supporting and accepting me, through word and deed. Sometimes just being available, sometimes through prayer, sometimes through the sacrifice of their own. Let me never take them for granted, and always see them as the blessing You meant them to be, and do my very best to love them as well as they have loved me.

That when I see actions or hear words that mean harm to the ‘other’, to never stand still or be quiet in the face of injustice, cruelty, racism, to call out behavior that seeks to harm my neighbor. To always see in each face the potential of a child of God no matter how I might disagree with their manner or actions. To protect those who are being shunned, criticized, or even threatened because they are considered different.

That I appreciate the love and devotion shown to me by my pets. The unconditional adoration that radiates from the soul of our animal friends is surely sent from heaven, through souls that speak a different language, one of complete acceptance. It is no small thing for an animal to love a person. May I always remember those gone on to You to await our reunion.

That I see and cherish each small blessing, from a spontaneous hug given by a grandchild, to a moment of clarity when I realize that my grown children love and understand me despite my obvious imperfections, a gesture or look from a husband who shows devotion and commitment each day, an unexpected phone call or card from someone reminding me that I matter, to the sunset, birdsong, moonlight, joyous bark or laugh that sweeten my life.

That I never find myself so blinded by my illness or difficulties that I forget those around me, and around the world, who hurt, hunger, shiver, grieve and strive for rights denied them by oppression and greed.

That I take every opportunity to let the wonders of Your creation heal and uplift me. Knowing that something as simple as sunshine on my face, sand, and waves under my feet, regal treetop canopies, a bird in flight or the beauty of horses galloping across a field can be proof of Your love for Your world.

That I always, always remember that color, creed, faith or none, accent, sex, age, language, dress, orientation, hairstyle, home, or financial status has not one thing to do with the worth of anyone to You and to follow your example.

That above all the chaos and upset in this world, You gave us the greatest Gift the world has ever known. You loved us then, and love us now, that much. May we all continue to grow and journey toward the greatest we can be for You, and because of You.

That I do all I can to give my children an grandchildren an example of the power and light of Your love in my life. That I always do my very best to be a light for Your world, to honor and respect each individual I meet, no matter our differences. That I grow into the person You wish me to be. 

Amen.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

A Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome! Come and be part a of the discussion!

Listening Faithfully Podcast w/Brother Brian

powered by Podbean

Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

photo

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018