Yesterday I was able to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes, debating my faith. I love to challenge people, be challenged and to talk my Catholic Faith, with anyone willing to listen. Yesterdays debate was lively yet no harsh words or bad feelings followed.
This friend was not my normal debate partner, normally when I talk about one of my debates it is with a friend of mine named Theresa, who is herself a Catholic, but this time I was having the debate with an old friend of mine, who is not Catholic he is a born again Christian. To tell the truth he was, when I first meet him, a Lutheran than he converted to Judaism and now a born again… I don’t add this to belittle him but to lay the groundwork. I think it is important that we understand where he is coming from.
I should also add that at one time this person was like a brother to me and was considered part of our family, but as sometimes happens our friendship fell in to disrepair, and for the last year or so, after a 11 year time period of not talking to each other, we have been trying to piece back some sort of friendship. And to tell the truth the hold up has been me, I am unable to truly let it all go, to forgive him and to look past what happened and look forward to what once again could be. So in a way this debate was a huge step for me, I had to call him and keep my feelings in check, and truth be told, it was not that hard to do, so that is a good thing.
The debate was over the Catholic teaching that Peter is the rock, meaning that he (Peter) is the first Pope and all other Popes come from him. It actually start out as a different question, but that was the majority of the debate. We talked about “Bible alone” “Once Saved always saved” and a few others tossed in for good measure. So we covered the basics, all we needed to add in was Mary…
The debate was fun and as I said not one harsh word was spoken, but to me what really mattered was the fact that I was able to enjoy the conversation with out any bad feelings. That I was able to remember how it use to be with remembering why we stopped being friends. (A little back ground is needed here for clarification, when my father passed away my friend failed to attend the services, not because he was sick or out of town, but because he did not have the strength to stand up for himself to his wife (he now has a new wife) as I stated before he was considered family not only by me, but also by my mother and father). So to me it was a great step towards forgiveness, he has offered his sincere apologies to me, and I have yet been able to full except them.
This is one of my main issues, I love to hold grudges… Well not really love to hold the, but It seems I am unable to let them go, it takes me a very, very, very, very long time. So yesterday was a major set for me, who knows I may be able to let this one go…
I knew I was going to blog about this conversation, but in truth I did not know the direction I wanted to take it in. At first I figured I would just use it as a starting point to teach what the Catholic faith teaches about the Popes, you know give the biblical proofs and all that, but as you can see that didn’t happen. That was my intent when I started typing, I was just going to give the back ground and than launch in to the teachings… But some how God has changed my mind… Now this blog is more about my inability to let go than it is about the Pope. And to me that is just perfect!
I have often prayed for counsel in my grudge holding abilities, I would venture that I would win any contest when it comes to holding grudges, the heaver they are the more I hold on to them. But we all know that is not very biblical or Christ like, yet I find it hard to move past them. I have asked for the prayers of St. Francis and Mother Mary I have looked to Father Solans Casey and others for guidance. I have read books and studied theology yet am unable to do it.
My sin is my pride and I know this, yet anyone who reads my blogs also know that I understand the power of EGO and it’s evil ways, yet I sill succumb to it. Like a little child tempted by the cookie jar, I to will get caught with my hand in the Jar of Temptation.
So yesterdays conversation gave me hope. Hope that I can overcome this hurtle that I can forgive my friend. The power of forgiveness is overpowering… It is truly the grace of God, yet I seem to never be able to find that grace, I know God has offered it to me, I just choose not to accept it, and for that I am a sinner…. And I am sorry, I need to learn humility and forgiveness….
So please pray for me my brothers and sisters that I may, by the grace of God, forgive my friend.