Stephanie, our choir Director, is in Europe for the next three weeks, so choir at 4PM is negligible and I didn’t go yesterday, but did attend 7 AM Mass this morning.  Think I know why it worked out this way because the priest gave a sermon that turned out to be one of those confirmation things that reinforce something for me.  It’s about not keeping your mouth shut about your beliefs, even in the face of being accused of being stupid, backwards, a far right jihadist.  Something I went through yesterday.  The priest said when we don’t cower and speak up for our beliefs, we are being true disciples of Christ.  You know, this filled my heart with so much gratitude that I bowed my head in a oh, hate to say it, but in this instance, it so applies…a rush of joy that I had been given this gift of religion.  And on that subject, I have to bring up something I don’t think I have before, but maybe it’s time, for you can somehow tell me if I’ve been laboring under a misconception, and/or causing myself pain when it wasn’t never necessary to do so.

I think you’ve been punishing me for my beliefs.  I think it’s a major problem for you and caused rejection.  I think you’ve punished me by doing the exact opposite of everything that I would have wanted, even if, you wanted the same thing too.  I haven’t been able to shake that feeling all these years, and it has always saddened me.  But I have to tell you truthfully as sad as this makes me you would never be able to make me give up Jesus, God, my belief in Them.  Maybe that’s part of the problem?  If all of this is true, I would emphasize that you still don’t quite understand the entire picture of it.  Want to retell a story here.  But I’ll work into it an episode of, “The West Wing.”  A show I used to like very much.  The President was given the option to commute the death sentence to life on a convicted killer.  He was wrestling with his decision about what to do, interwoven throughout the show.  A Catholic priest, a government official who was a Quaker, and a rabbi all came to see him at different times and he asked each one what he should do and all three said to commute the sentence.  He didn’t take their advice and the man was executed and he found he couldn’t live with it.   so, an Episcopalian minister came to see him, played by Karl Malden and the president confided how unhappy he was about it.  So Karl, told him a story I always loved:

There was a woman  who lived on the outskirts of town and there was a terrible storm.  The water was rising and she was sure to be flooded.  She prayed, “Oh, God, please come and save me.”  Soon, a neighbor drove by in a car and said, “come with me before the water rises.”  “Oh, no, ” said the woman, “God’s coming to save me.”  The neighbor left.  The water rose and rose and her house was filled with water.  Someone came by with a boar and said, “Get in I’ll save you.”  “Oh, No,” she replied, “God is coming to save me.”  The water rose higher and higher and she was soon up to her neck.  A helicopter came and hovered overhead and said, “We’ll save you.”  “Oh, no,” she replied, “God is coming to save me.”  So the chopper left and the waters rose and the woman drowned and went straight to heaven.  When she saw God, she said, “why didn’t you save me? ”  He replied, “I sent you a car; I sent you a boat; I sent you a helicopter to save you, why couldn’t you make up your mind?”

Well, Karl told this to Martin Sheen as the prez and said, “God sent you a Catholic priests, God sent you a Quaker, God sent you a Rabbi?  Why couldn’t you see the handwriting on the wall?”  That story reminds me of you so much when it comes to me.