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GOOD FRIDAY

A STORY FOR GOOD FRIDAY BY PAT

The Need for the Spiritual

In the early 1980’s when I was a curate at St. Peter’s Cathedral on Belfast’s Falls Road I paid an evening visit to friends. The wife was a GP and the husband a music teacher.

They happened to be babysitting their four year old nephew whose parents were both actors and taking part in a play in Belfast for a few evenings. The parents were atheists and had not told their little boy much about God nor spirituality.

The little boy was intrigued by my black suit and my clerical collar and immefiately asked me” What are you”?

I told him I was a priest.

He asked: “What do priesters do”?

I told him that we worked for God and said prayers to God and helped people.

He asked me if the key to my church was huge and I told him it was big.

We then went on to discuss Mass and Holy Communion.

After listening to my explanation he suddenly said:

“That doesn’t make sense. The bread becomes his body and the wine becomes his blood. But what do you do with his bones”?

We chatted on for a long time and then his parents arrived home. They were hostile atheists and were not happy to see a priest in the room.

The brought their little boy in his usual treat – a can of Coke and a Mars Bar.

To their amazement he refused his favourite treats.

They ask him why?

He answered: “Because I have been talking to the priester and you always give me food for my body, but you never give me food for my soul”.

There was a very hostile silence and some very hostile stares.

“Out of the mouth of babes….”.

76 replies on “GOOD FRIDAY”

We who are Catholic Christians appreciate the deep truth and meaning of the Eucharist. What others think doesn’t really matter. The Eucharist is our nourishment in our connection with Christ. It is our life line, our spiritual food, our moment of closeness with God in Christ. In tese days we are unable to participate fully in the Mass and it is a huge loss for us but thankfully we can join spiritually through parish webcams and radios, whuch is wonderful. I joined with our local parish for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and felt very united with hundreds of others. I also felt hope-filled with the beautiful Watch and Pray afterwards…Good Friday is sombre but a very reflective day. We can empathise with all who are suffering their crosses. Christ IS truly with us. I wish you well, Pat.

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And this, folks, is an example of how indoctrination works: catch them young!
+Pat: I find it difficult to believe this story as you tell it. Perhaps you mean it in an allegorical sense. That wouldn’t surprise me since the bible is full of such “stories,” especially the new testament.
MMM

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12.45: Pat, ban that smug atheist, MMM. Auld Maisie get apoplectic about GOD…His silliness reaches its zenith at the mention of GOD. Poor misguided Moanie Minnie from the Mournes…Stay in the mountain hedges…

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I believe you, Pat, and I hope you will believe my side of the story when I tell you that I spent the first three and a half years of my life in a Dublin orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity and during that time, as the kindly lady who rescued me from their clutches often told me that I didn’t know any prayers or nursery rhymes and that I was near death’s door with malnutrition and they did not even teach me now to stop wetting the bed at night, so they provided neither for my soul, nor my body, after having removed my mother as a protector, and as an honourable man I believe you will.
I was destined for a short life, since in my medical condition I could not be sold to a Catholic American, nor my body used to test the drug producers for which there were handsomely paid, (perhaps I had, for they never handed over my medical records) nor sold me as a cadaver to one of the Dublin teaching hospitals. They had already gotten money from my biological father to pay for my upkeep for six months until it ran out and they replaced it with Irish taxpayer from Mr de Valera’s government.
If Im able to get back to Ireland again when this lockdown is over, I can bring you the documentary evidence for all of the above and I would be quite willingly do.
The “Irish commission for Mothers and Babies homes restorative recognition” contacted me last week for my story, with tens of thousands of others, to find out what would I accept in money terms for the loss of my mother through the neglect of the state to stop such criminality. I did not know what to say. Should I have said: ‘Thirty pieces of silver,’ as that is what it felt in cost benefit analysis, for our mother is everything to each of us. Without her we have no identity and are nobodies and I never saw her again in life and I doubt that there is any where else t see her..
Could you please put up the St Patricks day broadcast of the Abbey theatre of a selection of the statement of sad separated mothers and children’s evidence to that commission:
https://www.abbey theatre.ie/what’s-on/home-part-one/. (Hope I got this right – im not an expert on the net)

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MMM is now doubting Thomas. Please don’t refer to Bishop Pat as a liar or fantasist. I find this offensive. He is good enough to facilitate this blog and your commentary, please don’t degrade him by doubting his account of an event that he was ACTUALLY present at and you WEREN’T !

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MMM is an essential contributor to this blog to counter-balance the superstitious nonsense peddled by the Romanists. In particular, the absolute drivel that these wasters, spongers, and moochers actually serve Love (I shan’t say ‘God’) rather than their mammon-adoring selves.

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I disagree. I find him neither boring nor life-draining even though I disagree with him on many issues.

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DU@12:52 Where did he refer to Pat as a liar or fantasist?
He said he found it difficult to believe as Pat told it and wondered if it was intended as allegorical. Do you understand the difference?

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John @7:19pm That was a deeply moving read and I hope in some small way it was healing to you as it should be engaging for the authorities of church and state, but particularly the church, as they claim to represent a higher authority. To those who much is given, much is expected and they failed woefully. Take any money if it can ease you materially, the shame is not yours. If you don’t need it then endow your favourite charity. I don’t for one moment underestimate the challenges you met at the start of your life or how that will have inevitably shaped future experiences but I do hope there has been times of happiness to remember and indeed to still enjoy. Thank you for sharing. With every good wish….

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12.23: MMM: Get lost. We’ve heard your tripe before. Look at your flawed philosophy of atheism. The only thing it urges you to do is hop down from your bar stool to make smarmy, sneering comments. Stay in bed. Leave Christians enjoy their chosen beliefs. You are repetitively boring…find new narratives that inspire.

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10:09 am Are you trying to start an argument? You’re going about it the right way! 😅

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10.09: MC, your brain us drowning in hatred.. So much for your Good Friday sentiments….you’d probably place thorns and nails on the pathway of Jesus to Calvary..And then throw sharp arrows…

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“If God is all yo have, you have all you need” – John 14:8

℟. Attende, Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Ad te Rex summe, omnium redemptor,
oculos nostros sublevamus flentes:
exaudi, Christe, supplicantum preces. ℟.
Dextera Patris, lapis angularis,
via salutis, ianua caelestis,
ablue nostri maculas delicti. ℟.
Rogamus, Deus, tuam maiestatem:
auribus sacris gemitus exaudi:
crimina nostra placidus indulge. ℟.
Tibi fatemur crimina admissa:
contrito corde pandimus occulta:
tua Redemptor, pietas ignoscat. ℟.
Innocens captus, nec repugnans ductus,
testibus falsis pro impiis damnatus:
quos redemisti, tu conserva, Christe. ℟.

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HOLY WEEK AT THE ORATORY

THURS 1ST APRIL LORDS SUPPER MASS. 7 PM
FRIDAY 2 ND APRIL PASSION OF THE LORD. 7 PM
SATURDAY 3RD APRIL EASTER
VIGIL. 7 PM

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Grace.
Father forgive Grace and give her healing while she condones clergy to live in double lives with boyfriends and girlfriends a double standard.
Father forgive Grace for allowing the cover ups of Clergy who abuse.
Father forgive Grace for her failing to understand poor leadership from many Bishops.
God Bless Grace.

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1.24: What are you mouthing about? Grace never said those things you attribute to her. Imbecile, stop imagining. She is right: Pat iften doesn’t realise the consequences of his judgmental attacks in people. Indeed, Grace’s prayer is a kindly one…she is asking God to have mercy on Pat!

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Thank you, + Pat. As the old saying goes, ” you can’t give what you haven’t got”. After the cross, there’s Always the resurrection. Easter Blessings!

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The story sounds a bit contrived; the picture of Jesus and the little child is just yuk making. I guess they are both designed to humanise Christ and make him more like us. Whoever he was, Jesus definitely did not look like that ! You know. all that sweet, gentle, meek and mild saccharine nonsense that is so often at the heart of Catholic Christianity make me want to gag. I am a cradle Catholic, and I have kept in close touch with the Church over my years, but as I get older I find myself distilling down to the essential values and message of Christianity, indeed of any religion. I simply don’t buy all the literal take on Christianity, be it biblical / scriptural, theological, sacramental, etc. These are just handy and convenient contrivances that have been erected over the millennia in order to bolster whatever agenda is going on at the time. It is quite clear to me that the scriptures, in particular the Old Testament, are only part rooted in fact and history, and particularly in that of a rather insignificant band of goat herders in the Middle East, and for the most part is a contrivance of myth and story that is used as a vehicle to put over a few truths, which in themselves are of value, but which are underpinned only by this contrived and fabricated story. I guess in part you can say the same about the New Testament, with perhaps a bit more rooting in discernible historical fact. As to the Church, it has done a good job in fabricating all sorts of unsubstantiated stuff in its theology and sacramentality, which might appeal to the more sentimental side of humanity, but which does not stand the test of fact, physics, reality etc. So, + Pat’s story, heart touching as it might be to some, is really the stuff of nonsense, and confuses the truth of what Christianity is trying to say. We should concentrate on the core values, which are reflected in some of what the Church does and says, and in some of the scriptures, but which without doubt come from somewhere and something of which we have little clue. That attracts and interest me more than twee saccharine stories about miracles, transubstantiation, Mariology, saints, heaven, angels, indulgences, priests, moral theology – I could go on….!

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Thank you @9:24. Your comments go to the heart of it.
Our common human need to express wonder at the mysteries of our existence, our mutuality and interdependence, and the worrying reality of our eventual demise, has been hi-jacked by religion worldwide in myriad manifestations. Throughout history, numerous gods have come and gone, because belief in them, and their imaginary powers and interest in us, provides a paramount role for their self selected acolytes, the priestly caste. It is entirely in their interests to promote religious adherence.

I regularly criticise the negative effects of religion.
While I accept some good comes from it, on balance, I believe it has overall negative impact. It demeans our personal responsibility to behave considerately to each other and our planet. As I’ve said before, I believe it better to be ‘good without God.’
The central Christian idea of Christ’s vicarious redemption of mankind is abhorrent. So too is the concept that only after at least 100,000+ years of homo sapiens existence, and demise of other hominids worldwide, this alleged monotheistic God decided to “intervene” through Christs vicarious redemption in the Middle East among primitive illiterates unable to reliably record his alleged activities. So God “sat on his hands” for all that time idly watching the alleged murdering and pillaging the Old Testament “records”. You couldn’t make up a more ridiculous story, or one less likely to be believed. And I choose to focus on the redemptive sacrifice mythology with today being Good Friday. But the “faithful ” continue to swallow religious mythology largely through the proselytising and indoctrination activities of the priestly caste.

There are many other aspects of religious belief one could focus on. But sufficient for now.
The underlying aspect of it all is the lack of proof for the central propositions of religious belief. It is evident that those disagreeing with me simply give vent to ad hominem attacks but rarely offer any convincing argument in support of their beliefs. And I’m well aware that their deeply embedded indoctrinated beliefs are impervious to reasoned debate, so I simply smile at their comments.
Thank you @10:09: appropriately said.
MMM

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10.32: MMM: ing with other atheists and heathens you pop up in Holy Week to remonstrate with religious believers. Nothing new. You somehow ferl threatened by the billions who have religious/spiritual beliefs. I don’t feel indoctrinated. Through my art and music studies and my philosophy and theology degrees, I feel my faith challenged but deeply enriched. I am open to a myriad of interpretations of human existence and never feel my faith diminished in any way. I marvel at the continuum of thought, theories and life principles that seek to understand the beginning of human life. When I look at the trees and grass in my garden, every little particle matters. No two blades of grass are the same, yet the entirety of each blade together is a masterful piece of beauty. It just unfolds. Tomrrow I will see all things differently but that doesn’t void or destroy my experience of today. It doesn’t relegate it to nothingness. The newness of everything each day, including human beings, deepens my awareness of a “greater other”: I call this GOD as revealed by JESUS. Wonderful mystery. Now, let me invite you to listen to Vivaldi’s Glorias!! Or Handel’s Good Friday motets…

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Anon 2:10: Me, Me, Me. I…..I….I…..
OK, it makes you feel good. I get that. But have you any other point to make?
With al those academic qualifications surely you can do better than tell us about your faith and feelings? Or can you?

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10.32 Mourneman, there were revelations earlier but details are dim. (In the days of Enosh for example, also surely several times before Adam.) * Also, hermeneutics reveal that part of the style of parts of the OT is distorted towards an uncomprehending, materialist approach. That is why the better churches taught from meanings handed down, which were to be associated with passages of the Scriptures like visual aids, coat hooks or bullet points. Fundamentalists don’t think Scripture has meanings. And churches are supposed to teach about Holy Spirit who whose gifts will help us. They haven’t been doing so though. God doesn’t intend belief to be combined with bossiness / viciousness, that was the idea of bad authorities.

{ * Adam, and the floods described by a number of peoples, and much else, represents the furthest back that could be remembered after series of circumstances making preservation of memory difficult. }

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2.57: Poor simplistic Kieran tries to be sarcastic again…Pretty poor job you make of it!! What other pronoun should be used when talking about personal beliefs, experiences etc?? We, you, they?? Tell me. Somehow, as before, you are expressing silly begrudgery and lack of insight. My comment is very clear for those who are intelligent. Perhaps a humanities course might improve your insights!!

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At Bishop Pat 10:36

I have no issue with mystery. As a spiritual person I get the concept of letting the mystery be.

I can go as far as saying that I believe in the real presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements – but the doctrine that the bread and wine are the actual body and blood of Christ is a concept worth of a grizzly, Hollywood horror.

This is not mystery it’s barbarity and a gross misinterpretation of what Jesus actually said and meant at the last supper.

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I actually agree with you.

Transubstantiation was a middle ages attempt to try and understand the non-understandable.

Let us glory in mystery.

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This, +Pat, is the default “explanation” for religion: a comfort blanket in the absence of reason, evidence, or any semblance of coherence.
MMM
I too like the Iris de Ment song

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The real Real Presence is in our trading our Holy Spirit gifts with each other. I think turning it into matter of sacrament in the current circumstances is becoming something no longer well founded, though I don’t begrudge it between you and your parishioners as it doesn’t connote major organisational baggage for you.

Jesus would respect the nature of bread alongside Himself (consubstantiation): the politician Aquinas in promoting the newfangled (unsubstantiated) transubstantiation reinforced trends introduced by “neo-Pythagoreans” through Abu Sina: Aquinas contradicted much of the rest of his own thinking thereby.

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That’s an amazing anecdote, Pat.

Your life so far seems to have been made exceptional by these near-incredible events.

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MMM, There is nothing wrong with confort blankets per se – your Guinness or my Hennessey.

Theres more to life tgan “reason’ surely? How can the love between two people or a moving piece of music be subjected to reason?

My faith does give me comfort but it also challenges me to be and to do.

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Indeed +Pat: nothing wrong “per se.” But if a mythology of humanly created belief creates an institutionalised vast powerful network propogating such unsubstantiated religious “truths” I have to wonder at the true value of such comforts.
Your blog constantly focuses on the evils and hypocrisy of the RCC. These are the “fruits” of the supposed clerical exemplars of just one religion, the RCC. Jihadis murdering in the name of Allah is another.
“By their fruits you will know them.”
No doubt the usual ‘ad hominem’ cast will now refer to atheist regimes ignoring what I have said previously. Such evils were not done to promulgate atheism. (Atheism is NOT a cogent system of set beliefs or practices.) The same cannot be said of the religious promotional evils of the Inquisition or Bloody Queen Mary for example. Religious fanatics regularly kill because their God tells them to! Individuals who are atheists and such regimes do evil usually for personal or political gain and because they are evil, not to promote disbelief. Atheists simply say “I see no convincing evidence for God: show me some.”
Comfort blankets may be reassuring, but provide no evidential proof.
I take mor comfort in understanding and acknowledging that the gobbledygook jiggery pokery religion I was spoon-fed as an impressionable naive child was, and is, just that: unsubstantiated mythology.
Have a peaceful weekend.
MMM

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A compelling indicator of the fact that we’re God’s creation is the phenomenon within each of us which we call conscience.

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Anon@4:12. How do you explain the actions of those with no conscience? Is that a god’s faulty workmanship?
Plato’s Euthypro Dilemma debates whether things are moral simply because God says so, in which case morality is simply arbitrary and just dependent on the whimsy of the divine which we humans must abide by. And if God determines morality BECAUSE it is good then surely moral behaviour is so and independent of God.
What is referred to as conscience is described as the cumulative effect of our genetic evolution into social, usually cooperative, human animals. It is moulded and reinforced by familial and social conventions. As with all aspects of evolution however, there are extremes, such as, for example, the amoral narcissist or the social psychopath.
MMM

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7:36
I’m afraid you are getting the wrong end of the stick.
I didn’t say God/religion determines morality. Morality is arrived at by use of our God-given power of reason. Belong to a religious group may aid the moral project by, for example, providing role models and illuminating insights such as Jesus’ urging to forgive enemies or go the extra mile.
The main point which you appear to miss is the existence of conscience within human beings is an indication of God’s role in creating us. Why else should we be drawn to do what is right and good.
The apparent eradication of conscience in some people is not the result of God’s faulty design. Rather it is a function of that other divine quality with which we are endowed: freedom.

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@9:50: The whole essence of your comment @ 9:50 relies on the pre supposition of the existence of God. It seems you either can’t see that, or are unwilling to accept it.
MMM

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11.33
You say my post assumes the existence of God and is based on that assumption. That is not the case.
The empirical phenomenon of conscience within human beings points to the existence of a creator who chooses good over evil and right over wrong.
How, otherwise, can you explain why human beings are drawn to what is good and what is right, when their natural freedom is not impaired?
God is not the presummposition of this argument, but rather its outcome.

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Out of the mouth of precocious 4 year olds.

It’s only when you start explaining communion from a Roman Catholic point of view that you start to realise how distasteful and barbaric a concept it is.

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Yes, + Pat, but God doesn’t do silly things, does he ? All the nonsense the Church has accreted over the centuries comes from the Church for its own purposes rather than God. I know the Church. and its priests and bishops have assumed unto themselves the power of God, telling us that what the Church and they deem, then it must be from God. Surely, you don’t believe that anymore ? I admire your independence from the institution, and some aspects of its moral teaching (which I think is very wise of you !), but I’ve gone even further and divested myself of the inconsequential additional nonsense that the Church has seen fit to foist upon us. Liberation at last….!

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I agree that God does not do silky things.

I agree about all the nonsense men have added on over the years to suit their own agenda.

I like to think I’ve thrown out the dirty water and kept the baby – Jesus – pure and simple.

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That God can work miracles, I can accept – that he/she or it would require us to do something so gruesome is unacceptable. That particular doctrine just doesn’t make sense at any level.

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In the Anglican Rite of marriage, each party says: “with my body I thee worship”.

In the Eucharist there is a coming together and a bonding of God and the person.

This is a mystery. It is a mistake, I believe, to try and philosophise or theologise a mystery.

As Iris de Ment sings: Let the mystery be.

I will place the song above in the blog text.

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10.30
The Father did NOT require Jesus to suffer, but to love to the end…despite the suffering his nature would bring.

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@10:37 Don’t be ridiculous. Of course he required him to suffer to free people he would impose on people for the sins they have committed. Incidentally he decided what were sins, could have forbidden slavery but chose foreskin instead and there is no record in Genesis of Eve actually being told the apple was forbidden.
The triduum exposes the Judaeo-Christian god as a monster.

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1.03

As the New Testament says, Jesus was obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Which means that Jesus remained loyal to God the Father EVEN THOUGH that loyalty would bring him suffering and death.

You miss the point of Jesus’ incarnation : it was NOT to suffer and die; it was to be obedient.

It is the loony Romanists who peddle this lie about Christ , causing generations of Catholics to run after penance rather than loving obedience.

The Romanists have led countless people in serious error and away from Christ’s example.

How many people are in Hell because of the heresies of these priest-parasites?

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4:41
How many people are in hell?

The church has, wisely, never ruled definitively that even one single person is in hell. No one knows the conscience of another unless they have been privileged to have heard it from the person themselves.

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10.22
When you say that you are not presenting RC teaching on the eucharist but a version of realism that is at odds with the sacramentality at the heart of the doctrine.

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@10:37am. Amen…. and for us to follow his example. Living a sacrificial life, dying to ourselves and living for the harmony of his mystical body, that is, all that is manifest. Most of the time that will mean simply loving consideration of its needs and in the case of sentient beings, their feelings as well, but sometimes, in standing up for this truth, it may mean the ultimate sacrifice. “Those who seek to save their life will lose it. Those who lose their life for my sake will find it!” May we rise with Christ. ~Happy Easter!”

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HOLY WEEK AT THE ORATORY
THURS 1ST APRIL LORDS SUPPER MASS. 7 PM
FRIDAY 2 ND APRIL PASSION OF THE LORD. 7 PM
SATURDAY 3RD APRIL EASTER
VIGIL. 7 PM
WATCH IT ON FACEBOOK

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It can be celebrated at either time. At 7 people are home from work and available.

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Some parishes are having to celebrate the Passion more than once. 3pm and then in the evening too.

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that’s good Pat. you still didn’t deny having a little tipple! wine or spirits?

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I have a tipple every night. I’ll keep you guessing on its true nature 😊

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7PM because I suspect that Pat had a little drink last night. Sure it was the Lord’s supper after all

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Pat did his private Stations of the Cross at 3 pm and will celebrate the Passion at 7 pm.

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Please Pat, do not subject us to Iris de Ment on Good Friday. Look to Vivaldi: Mozart: Handel: Montserrat Caballe: Cecelia Baetoli: Judi te Kanawa.. Please…not de Ment!! It’s Good Friday, not mardi gras…

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5.59: Pat did his stations… Do you always speak in the 3rd person in conversations? Pat did this, Pat did that, Pat said this, Pat said that….a bit annoying…

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8.00: Go on, go on, go on, go onnnnnn…go on, go on Patsie…arrah, go on, go on, go on…Fr. Pattie…

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