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Weekly Message from our Pastor – 5/13/2018

Dear Parishioners,

Last week I pointed out that God created us with a religious nature and a deep longing for Him. I also demonstrated that when we deny this deep intrinsic part of our nature, we provoke internal chaos which can have very detrimental consequences to our mental health and general state of being. Now I know that many of you are thinking that you know many people who say that they are “Not Religious”, but who don’t seem to be suffering these consequences. Well, there are various reasons. Firstly, these consequences take time to build up; God is merciful and He allows us time to figure out our mistakes before we have to suffer too much. Secondly, many of these people become superstitious, which is a very frivolous, superficial, illogical and even crazy way to try to bring harmony back within ourselves and ease our religious longings. Many who claim to be “Not Religious” usually take something very worldly and superficial and become intensely religious about it. It could be a sports team, and so they buy the jersey and hats, sometimes even complete uniforms (could we say vestments?), and they always want to invite others to watch the games with them (gathering as a community to worship together—like Mass?). Also, they have a special place to watch these games, a “Man Cave” or a particular bar (like a church or chapel?). They sometimes make special trips to the stadiums to see the games live, and of course with the precursory tailgate party (like a pilgrimage?), it is a huge honor to get signed jerseys or photo cards of the great athletes (like relics and holy cards?). For others, it is not a professional or college team that supplants proper religion, but their children’s sports. So the parallel process I pointed out above takes place with the children’s sporting events and the progress of the child rather than the pro team. Even if my team wins the ultimate championship or my child becomes the best player of his/her age group in the nation, with mounds of college scholarship offers, does that give me true and lasting happiness, or is it just a fleeting sense of temporary accomplishment? Others, “Non Religious” folk, get very devoted to their hobbies: whether it is gardening, motorcycling, boating, hiking, extreme adventures, etc. In those cases, we see the same behavior, all of the practices that we should do in our proper religion are somehow mimicked or shadowed in the hobby. Even though the hobbies and sports are different, the behavior pattern is the same, as it belongs to our religious nature as human beings. I am not saying that being a sports fan or hobbyist is bad; what I am saying is that when we no longer practice the one true religion of the One, True God; we easily supplant it with something else. It is our practice of our true religion that helps us to even enjoy sporting events and hobbies more.