by Herman Salazar Jr
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I don't understand, Father.
I really don't.
Is it me that doesn't understand?
Do I have this all wrong?
Look, this is what is sent out to Catholics.
Which I am.
But I've only been to Catholic Church
a couple of times.
And being born into a family of Catholic heritage
I was also introduced to the way
funerals are held.
This psalm is speaking of a Catholic pamphlet that came in the mail.
Inside is a key chain medal to carry around.
Around the woman on the cover, are the words:
O Mary conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.
What does recourse mean?
I looked it up and it is defined as:
1.a. turning to someone for help or protection.
b. a source of help or strength: resort
And on the bottom it says,
"All who carry this medal will receive great favors.....
favors will abound IF it is worn with devotion."
Words of Our Lady to St. Catherine Labouré
delivered on the 27th of November, 1830.
So when I pick this up and read it
as someone who has not been introduced
to all Catholic practices
I ask for forgiveness as I try to figure this out.
When I read this it tell me
if I wear this with devotion.
What does devotion mean?
Looking it up, it is defined as:
a. love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.
b.religious worship or observance.
c. prayers or religious observances.
After finding the meaning of devotion.
I as someone who is unfamiliar with Catholic beliefs
determine the cover is telling me to carry this medal
and give my love, prayers and religious observance and worship to this medal that I may receive great favors.
If I devote myself to it favors will abound.
Having studied Your Word, Father,
for coming up on ten years now this summer
I cannot devote myself to this medal.
If I were to devote myself to this medal
wouldn't that become an idol to me.
the very thing you warn against?
Isn't it written:
They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, “You are our gods.”
Wouldn't showing 'devotion' to this medal
then make it a portable household god?
And why am I secretly hated
for bringing this truth to Light?
Does this misled people prefer to die
rather than saying, "I might be wrong,"
to themselves in private.
If it is Your will, Father,
I ask that they not be a people:
Who despise The Word and brings destruction
May they be a people who revere Your commandment
and be rewarded. (Proverbs 13:13)
Am I not allowed to bring this before people I love?
Will they truly scorn the truth in this message
and seek my life for examining the practices
taught in the church of my family?
Am I to just ignore my findings
and let destruction suddenly come upon them?
Not saying anything would make me a careless person
for I knew and said nothing.
That's not who I am.
Is this not gentle, Father?
Has my tone not improved here?
The only thing to me that isn't nice about this
would be unkindness returned to me
for presenting the truth out of love
in a kind manner.
I can go further.
isn't it written:
And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction. (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)
None of the devoted things shall stick to your hand, that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger and show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers. (Deuteronomy 13:16-18)
And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.’” (Joshua 7:14-16)
Did not Achan the son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity.’” (Joshua 22:19-21)
And isn't it said:
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:23-25)
All I can do, Father, aside from presenting my findings
with kind words is pray for them.
I know it isn't Your will that anyone die.
Your will cares for us and loves us.
Am I doing a bad job of imbuing Your will here, Father?
Is this not loving?
If it is Your will,
give us the ability to examine ourselves
in Your truth that we may be with You
and those we love in eternity.
I ask this in Jesus' name,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,
Who was, and is, and is to come.
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