Journey to Christendom - Chapter 9
The Dance of Freedom - “C’est pour cela que je fus nais”
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One day I was walking Through a forest In an open field I saw an Unusual scene There, a group of bright, Smiling people were, Dancing I should say they were Travelling For they were dancing and Moving toward A destination I could not see They were happy and danced With freedom You could sense the grace in Their movements I had never seen such beauty A young girl noticed me She danced to me and Took my hand She was not afraid that I was Filthy I balked but she insisted “Come join us.” “Are you free?” she queried “Of course,” I walked along, “I Have lived the way I wanted” “I have travelled where I wish” “But are you free?” she Danced with happiness I stared “But I am free” “Freedom is doing what you wish Following no creed but the creed of Self” I insisted She merely danced with me some more I could not help but to follow With wonder Foolish and awkward-like I Moved to the group’s rhythm I kind of liked it I ran to catch up with The young woman and Her friends “But how are you so free?” I Cried over her shoulder She turned, her eyes were filled With grace “Obedience” she smiled “To God” she continued She swirled and danced “Impossible! God is not one Path-but many!” I cried back “We follow this single path – called The dogmatic creed” she was firm “This way we travel together with Certain knowledge Of the path of our Fathers – who Have arrived to our destination” “Through light and darkness” she Went on “In safety and in danger In joy and in heartache – we Stay on the dogmatic path” “You are a slave to your path!” I Was in disbelief “That is not freedom” “It is not rational to follow a Dogmatic path – I make my own Path” “Are you not free to consent to Believe?” she pulled me along the Path “Are you not free to choose obedience?” “Is your freedom only freedom to rebel?” “You are free to choose” she Continued “And only you can do that” “For your will is yours, and it is Free” The group continued dancing Joyfully through the day And into the evening As they journeyed through the Land Confused, I could not help but Follow along For truth be told I had been lost when I stumbled Across these saints I stood alone in a broad field I looked back into the dark forest Like from where I had come I remembered how it was I was lost Individualism, rebellion, relativism Believing everything can be Believed, therefore, believing nothing I cried as I had to make a Decision Yes, I was free Free to make a choice As I struggled and watched my new Friends dance on Another young woman, a warrior Approached me “C’est pour cela que je fus nais” she Whispered to me Yes! “C’est pour cela que je fus nais!” I turned toward my friends I ran fast, stumbling through the Grass To join them on their path I made my decision In total freedom And now I dance with them – Seeing now the destination Those at the front Who are getting close Break their rhythm – and run Toward it with joy
What happened after this Great Event, this moment of receiving the magnificent gift of faith, is that I walked through a door into a land I had never imagined did or even could exist. This is a land of castles and kingdoms and marvelous vistas. But there are no fairies or anything fanciful and made-up. Everything here is genuine; it is more real than our material world. Or, even more accurately put, and this I say with great confidence, that this world is more alive than our suffering and miserable material world! This world encompasses ours and makes ours seem small and very dull, and colorless. The world of Catholicism is the real world, with color and life splashing everywhere yet always in complete order.
I was on course to meet new friends, strong souls of virtue and kindness, charity, and wisdom, just the kind of folks you would really like to know! I am still fragile and living with my sinfully inclined nature and battling the evil that wants to come forth from my broken spirit, but these souls have won the battle and are sent to us by God Himself to give us courage and light on our journey. So many poor souls on this earth, including many Catholics, have no idea of the beauty, freedom, and solid ground of wisdom that lies right in their grasp with Catholic orthodoxy and Dogma. We are often conditioned into a sense of powerlessness, like beaten dogs sitting in an open cage but unable to draw the courage to come out. That is the terrible prison that closes in on us in the world of the modern mind. That is a world of determinism and depression. We are told that everything can be determined scientifically, including our very personality, our sicknesses, and even our tendencies to commit evil acts. We are programmed the way we are, the modern mind tells us. We have no power or joy of life in this world but for that which we can muster out of our pills to help us deal with the unconquerable forces of nature, like patients might in an old Soviet-style mental ward. A few of the technocrats rule many of the depressed masses. We thought communism to be dead, but communism has taken over the West through the spirit of the Revolution. What do you call it when orthodox religion is blasphemed and forcibly taken out of public life while a few wealthy humanists try to force a tempting but inauthentic spiritual unity on the world?
Those who would rebuff these statements are, in my experience, the ones who are rich enough to buy the pills. Often, the rich and famous feel no need for Christian salvation, for they believe they have all they could desire here, which can easily damper the spiritual longing for the vital part of our lives, our eternity. Was it not the media magnate Ted Turner who criticized Christianity for being a “religion for losers”? And that is precisely why I have no desire to be rich and famous. The rich are often satisfied in their wealth within the city of man. But “There is no permanent city for us here; we are looking for the one which is yet to be.” The poor, at least in spirit, know they need salvation and seem more likely to reach out to grab hold of the City of God. I now understand the Lord’s commentary that it is easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! The reason is not that God is against wealthy people; it is because, often, wealthy people are against God. No wonder St. Francis of Assisi purposely rejected all of his family’s wealth to live with Lady Poverty. Out with the spiritual chains of the secularists and New Agers, I say, because there is a world of magnificent friendships, peace, freedom, and happiness on the path of the Freedom Dance through Catholic Dogma! This is the path of the saints.
Now that I was wholly convinced of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the true Presence of the Divine Christ, his actual Body and Blood, I began enthusiastically making routine visits to the Church. What a phenomenal blessing to be able to sit in the real presence of Christ! Cars would drive by outside the church building filled with weary passengers worried about this and that, wondering perhaps where God was. And there he was! I felt like flagging them down. The Catholic Churches have a box with a royal appearance called a tabernacle where all remaining Eucharistic hosts from the Masses are held for us to adore. When we enter the Church, we know that Christ is present in that tabernacle, and we kneel down in genuflection to our almighty Lord. Of course, Christ is present to me in spirit wherever I go, whether at the grocery store, school, or work. But in the tabernacle containing the True Presence in the Eucharist, Christ is substantially there. I kneel before my God. This is why the whole concept of the Eucharist is so central to our faith and why so many non-believers hate and curse this sacred host. Stop and think about the Real Presence for a moment. If you wish to deny Christ, as many do with their lives even while proclaiming him with their mouths, you cannot deal with this concept. If you are an Eastern New Ager, this is impossible for you to get around. And many of you, who are so lost in ancient heresies, call yourselves gods! Heaven help us. You dare to call yourselves gods while Christ sits really and substantially in the tabernacle? Can Christ be God to me because that really “works in my life” but not be God to you when he lives in a real, flesh and blood presence in the Eucharist? This is why so much hatred toward the Church is expressed as hatred toward God in the flesh and blood of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a contradiction to all other supposed reason.
Now, I had not yet made a conscious decision that I would join the Church. I was still grappling with the revelation I had received and was contemplating it almost every day before the tabernacle. But something else began to happen, affecting my life as nothing in the universe could except the Eucharist. This effect that I will describe would ultimately form the core and essence of my Catholic spirituality. It has defined who I am; it is the reason that I was created. This effect is the personal fulfillment in me of the shared, objective Truth of Catholic Dogma. This may not be the same experience you will have if you are contemplating this journey, but this authentic path of Catholic Dogma will similarly bring to you the reason for which you were created. Is that not a lovely thought! It is, in my mind, but I am biased here, the most beautiful effect in the Church other than the Holy and Sacred Eucharist Himself. It was the second major event flowing out of the life-giving waters of Catholic Dogma. Here is what happened.
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