This verse, and the song written based upon it, have been a favorite since I chose to become Catholic, back in 1983. It has been a long and very winding road. It certainly is not a popular faith to espouse in public. Neither is it popular to say which denomination of the 1000s out there you are. Why is that? There are so many, and varied, reasons!
In the milieu that is social media, there is a growing sound coming from corners we’ve sort of made fun of – there are those discussing the flat earth theory; the lost books of the bible theory; the lost histories; the erroneous histories; the outright false histories; lost cures and health solutions that have nothing to do with big pharma and so on and so on!! Many areas that are popping up more and more. Some of the loud voices lump all these together under “conspiracy theories,” but these are but a few of the things popping up out there. And these are the ones that have been assaulting my brain!
And the more I delve into all these rabbit holes, sometimes the more depressed I get. Because if all this stuff is true – and I have only barely touched the surface of it all here – our entire lives we have been lied to, and told stories to keep us compliant and in line with no one even thinking of stepping out of bounds. Plus!! And this is a big one – all those hours of studying were just spent memorizing things the powers that be wanted us to know – they are not the truth. On so much of it – I want a refund! And today, I still did not use Algebra. LOL.
I had a lengthy, and deep discussion with a good friend the other day, and that conversation is what enticed me to write this post. I was lamenting all these things that were coming at me, from all these different sources, about sp many, many, things. And she asked pointed questions: (1) Does knowing this stuff make your life less stressed? (2) Do these facts help your walk with God? (3) Does is change your faith? And she made me think. She believes the Bible is the “inspired word of God,” and she accepts that the Council of Nicea was inspired by the Holy Spirit to include the books God wanted in the Bible (and she is so not Catholic). She told me that she believes that God gave us the blueprint for living in His inspired Word. Anything else is just extra, dross, superfluous. And mostly unnecessary. She also told me that she refuses to let all this stuff in this crazy world make her miserable. She works in her yard, helps with community things, spends time with friends, and lives her life. She asked me what I was going to do. And this is what I came up with:
I am a woman of faith. I love attending Divine Liturgy and soaking up the Word of God. I love praying. I love being a Christian woman who attends Church. And I love incense, and beeswax candles, and icons, and hearing a chanted liturgy. Why deny myself the style of worship I love? Why pretend I am just a believer in Christ and not a church-affiliated person? Yes, there are things I think should change about the Church. Yes, I do believe the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and evil is everywhere. Everywhere. In every Church. In every belief system. In all aspects of government and public life. Because we have been suppressing ourselves, under the tutelage of public opinion. We need to take it back.
One of my favorite depictions of the Blessed Mother is the one above – the Madonna of the Streets. I have a 3-d bust of this hanging in the master bathroom. She just reminds me of being a mother, caring adoringly for her Child. And She leads by example. The consummate Mother. I have religious art over my entire house, in literally every room. And it comforts me. So why fight it? Why not continue living it, living my faith?
So perhaps the flat earthers have some legit points. Maybe NASA is all smoke and mirrors and that massive budget they have has nothing to do with outer space but are a way to influence the public… some sort of undercover alphabet agency. *Sigh* I suppose I can let all that slide. I can, instead, stop going to those sites. I can, instead, binge on Magnolia TV (Not gonna lie – mildly obsessed). I can wake up and pray, instead of checking social media. I can work to lose hours of phone time every week instead of spending so much time monitoring the moment-by-moment goings on of the DC swamp/establishment. Basically, I can take a breath. Settle my mind. Ease the stress.
“Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The Jesus prayer, recited every moment you think of it can help center your day. It leads me into deeper prayer with Christ. It can offset the chaos around me. It can help me enter into a deeper walk with Christ. And I can regain my foothold in this world, working on my garden, my family, my life. God is good. And after all is said and done, God wins.