Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chasing the wrong carrot

All of us at some point in our lives have had dreams and goals. We have set them as the dangling carrot in front of our face to encourage us what we are working towards. For some of us though, it may seem like that carrot is a mile away and never getting closer. Every time you believe you have just finished that final step and think of your sweet reward, you look up to see the carrot further away from you.

Life can is chaotic this way. We never really know when or why but we do know how. How can I get the love of my life? How can I get that promotion? How can I land that job? These are questions where it seems the answers land in our lap like a dog or cat wanting attention. Why is it though that when we take the time ask the harder questions we never receive an answer. When will I get that promotion? When will I land that job I wanted? When will I find the love of my life?

Patience. We are always told to have patience. "Good things come to those who wait" after all. So why not be willing to wait? That is the real issue here. We are not a very patient society. We are a society that has become dependent on the now mentality. Everyone at some point in their life has heard the word "Now" being demanded of them, more so if you have children.

So how do we break this "Now mentality" and replace it with patience as one of the virtues all over again? The answer is simple. Remember that all things happen in God's time and not our own. Remember that goals are dreams that we like to achieve however, sometimes God has a different plan for us.

I have had a calling to the Priesthood since I was about 9 years old. My dreams were to be a Priest, even more so a Roman Priest. God called me over and over again, each time louder than the previous. I would ignore this because I had a passion for music. Through high school I kept insisting that I was going to be a music teacher. Next though is where I had my first experience. Immediately following my high school graduation, my family moved to Davenport, IA and I didn't know the area and moved with them. I didn't look at any colleges in Iowa prior to the move. The person we lived with worked for the local college, St. Ambrose University. She told me about them and I went to the school and was immediately accepted into their music education program. It was there that I met a father who helped shape my life. I was only at St. Ambrose for a semester, but it was an important step.

My family came back to Ohio and I with them. I struggled in my jobs because my heart wasn't there. I would get promotions but never the promotions I wanted, always the assistant manager. I attempted a few times to go back to college for music education but each time something would come up and I would have to back out. The story of life right? We all have had this happen to us. Family issues, time issues, transportation issues, you name it. That was sign number two that I ignored.

Eventually my relationship went to hell that I was in. We fought and had issues every day. I wasn't happy and I knew why but still denied to accept it. It was in 2001 when I finally had a therapist I was seeing tell me that I was struggling because I wasn't answering my calling. After all, she should know because although she was great at counseling her heart wasn't their. This was sign number three. With her assistance she helped me reconnect with people who I had rode off. At this point I was a priest but not Roman. I obtained my full ordination, but again not Roman.

I had a church and everything was going great. We were large. We provided services. We were compassionate and merciful to all. We supported the neighborhood. Everything was going great, except for one thing, my calling was still knocking. Next thing I knew I was attending Catholic Mass again different days while attempting to serve my church. Here we have sign number four.

That carrot that I placed in front of my face as my goals was only going further away because I was chasing the wrong carrot. I was chasing what I wanted and not answering what God wanted. If only I would have been patient and actually do what I felt was right I never would have suffered through what I believed to be my own sorrow. I would have been a happier person the entire time.

It works a lot like walking into and windstorm. We are fighting against 35MPH winds when really we should be using the wind to our advantage. Usually after fighting the winds we get where we thought we wanted to go and usually find the item is sold out, it wasn't what we wanted, or no one was there. Take this as a simple sign that if we had patience and waited another time things would have gone differently.

So the next time you say when or why, let the question be why aren't I using my patience right now? The phrase "let go and let God" is not only beautiful but also true.

Yours in Faith,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Burning a Qur'an

Radical thinking to extremes causes such chaos, hatred, and disorder that it disturbs everyone around them. This is my instant thoughts about Rev. Jones in Gainesville, FL.

The Muslim faith was not to blame for 9/11, specific thinking and people were to blame.

As we are approaching the nine year anniversary of 9/11 many people are living a life of fear still to this day. There are people who believe that something will happen again. There are others who will not let go and insist on blaming a race or religious group. The actions were caused by humans. The actions were caused by people who held radical thinking far more extreme than we usually care for. Radical thinking similar to those of Rev. Jones of Gainesville, FL.

Sadly these people have caused a great deal of injustice to their own lands. Today we are still fighting over placing a mosque close to ground zero.

Let us take a moment to really think about the name "Ground Zero". With a name as that shouldn't it mean something to all of us. Zero means back to the very beginning or end of something. Zero holds no real value. If we are calling it Ground Zero then perhaps the best way forward is a new beginning about healing, love, and humanity. We should allow any organization that is about healing and love, which benefits humanity as a whole, to be there.

Rev. Jones I have a special message for you. Keep your hatred. Keep your chaos and distrust. You should recheck your calling from God because I'm pretty sure Satan is the only one controlling your vocation. May God bless you, feed you, clothe you, love you, and teach you what HE is really about.

To those out there considering this extreme action, stop and pray. Think about what will really come of it. What will actually happen to our troops, to our land, and to our family and friends around us. This action will only lead to a war on American soil started by our own actions. Find self-responsibility for your actions and words. Take a moment and really read the Qur'an. While your at it, read other religious texts and you will find parallels to your own New Testament.

May God bless you and assist you in your actions.

Yours in Faith,

Archbishop Isaac L. Kramer

Friday, August 20, 2010

When there is no tomorrow

We must all take action today, because there could be no tomorrow to take action in. Each of us must open our eyes and look around us. Several countries are fighting the same battle, discrimination by color of skin.

Here in the U.S. we see a battle ground taking place in Arizona and New York. In Arizona the state has taken up arms against the very people who help stabilize their state, the Hispanic community. The Hispanic community in Arizona has existed for years. They have increased profit through the creation of new jobs, working while paying taxes, and spending their hard earned cash locally. There is no reason for Arizona to take such harsh actions against their longtime brothers and sisters, yet they do.

In New York the discrimination of skin is towards the Muslim community. There are good people wanting to help heal the 9/11 aftermath by building a house to GOD there. Though their house isn’t Christian, many view it as a sin or another possible terror plot. Here in the U.S. we are permitted freedom of religion, however there are many who believe that that freedom is only for Christians. I say this to them, cast your stones and see if Christ still stands beside you.

This is a prime example of what Christ was fighting for some 1,980 years ago. The Jewish High Priest were telling others that they were wrong if they didn’t believe in their GOD, their dogma, and their laws. Christ was teaching it doesn’t matter what name or how you worship as long as your intentions were pure and you followed the honor written. Where did those teachings go today? Instead we have Christians saying Christ said this and that but are misinterpreting his words for their own power and corruption.

If we are truly about freedom of religion, then we should allow a mosque to be built at ground zero. We should look past the color of their skin and say, welcome brother and sister.

In France we find for the second day them turning gypsies away and flying them out of their country. They are rounding them up and placing them on planes back to Romania. At least some of the people of France are willing to admit to discrimination due to skin color unlike the United States.

Has history taught us nothing? Was World War II fought and won in vain? Have we come to a point again where we believe that the actions Hilter took were okay, since it isn’t “me”?

Time and time again we have oppressed one another. Today we need to stand united and bravely say, “don’t treat my brother and sister that way again”. We need to acknowledge that everyone has equal rights and freedoms in this world, not just the privileged. Remember that those who are in power now could find themselves in the opposite position at any moment. We must unite and live today for one another.

Let us believe that there is no tomorrow to “try again”. Let us believe that right now is the “end of the world”. Let us believe that when we go to sleep that we will not wake up and have another chance. I believe that only then will we truly love one another and truly want to see each other benefit from all that we have around us. That is the greatest gift that we can give our fellow brothers and sisters. Our moment of success. Our moment of equal rights. Our love for this life. Be brave and live today because there is no tomorrow.

Friday, July 30, 2010

If you don't believe, then why ask.

If you don't believe in GOD, how and why do you expect GOD to believe in you?

When you pray asking for miracles and they aren't answered you get discouraged. You begin to question GOD's existence. You even deny GOD any attention. But why should GOD help you? GOD doesn't truly know you.

Imagine it this way. A stranger comes up to you and says, "I need $50.00 for my family, please help me." You may have the money, hell you may even have enough to spare right now, but you don't know the stranger. Would you give them $50.00 not knowing if they really have a family? Most of us would say no or give them something much smaller as a consolation prize.

Why then do we expect GOD to give us our large miracles if we in exchange do not give worship?
It is through worship that GOD gets to truly know us and know our hearts, our dreams, and our intentions. All of this just like how through interaction that stranger becomes our friend. We learn about their spouse and children. We learn about their goals, their dreams, and their intentions. We then long to see them achieved and go as far to help them. That is because there is a small form of worship in all friendships.

Worship goes beyond chanting, singing, and waiving about of censors and wearing of articles of clothing. It is about prayer and conversations. Worship is the placing of a value on an item or aspect of our lives. If we value a friendship then we worship that friendship. If we value GOD, then we worship GOD.

So what is the moral?

-GOD is like a friend. Don't expect miracles from GOD if you don't know each other. You wouldn't expect miracles from strangers and you aren't likely to provide them to a stranger either.

Start your friendship now and have a small heart to heart conversation with GOD daily.

Yours in Faith,
Archbishop Isaac L. Kramer

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The wrong doings of "Religious" men

The vocational world today is faced with a myriad of issues. When you take the time to actually read an article on Yahoo News, AP, or any other internet news source, regarding religion, the same issue seems to be reoccurring, homosexuality. Homosexuality by no means is a sin. It isn't stated anywhere, that is truly written or spoke by GOD, that homosexuals are wrong and should perish. It is written by the hands of man claiming to have inherit truth that GOD wants such a law, to propagate their own hidden agendas.

We have seen in the last ten years alone the number of people speaking out irreverently about homosexuality being caught in their own traps. These confused and misled men and women caught on tape and photo performing same-sex acts. Their own disgrace is only exalted because of their hatred they first spewed.

The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican church, and many others today are fighting this age old battle. I recently read an article about Pope Benedict XVI calling homosexuals to come out of the priesthood. Let me be clear, no human has a right to determine and force another's vocation. When did these so called religious leaders become GOD? What allowed these religious leaders to take such actions against the words of GOD?

We have been instructed time and time again to love each other; to treat each other as ourselves; and to understand the equality that all of us share. Where has these words gone in our current religious structures? All I seem to see is two large religious leaders dictating their way or get out. The messages of hatred that they share with their members is no better than the words Hitler shared to the Nazis.

Hitler shared a message of hatred towards different groups, but specifically the Jews. Pope Benedict XVI and his Anglican counterpart, are calling for hatred towards the homosexual community. Pope Benedict XVI has even gone one step further and continued to spread the hatred against women's vocation even. All I can say is, GOD must be so proud to have a bigot sitting on a man made throne, in a man made palace, telling HIS people who to hate.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blind & Deaf

God help the blind and deaf, for they do not fully see nor hear your glory.

For the record, I do not mean the actual handicapped blind and deaf. I mean those who can see and hear but don't fully. They only see what they want and hear what they want. The Lord said, "Let those who have ears to hear, hear".

Today we have several people running around deaf and blind. They are blinded by hatred and long for injustice. They seek revenge instead of peace. They believe that their way is the only way and do not hear the advice of those around them.

I was reading a yahoo article about a recent Supreme Court case. The case disturbed me greatly. It is a case about a religious group picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers. Not just any fallen soldiers but ones who are not Christian and heterosexual. Isn't it bad enough for a parent, loved one, or child to have to see their family member dead? Now we have religious groups flashing signs that say stuff like, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "You're Going to Hell".

This religious group has lost all sanctity for life, both living and dead. Funerals are just as much about the living as the dead. If they truly are believers of God shouldn't they be consoling the family instead of condemning their loved one?

Their website is filled with hatred and spews fragmented bible verses. I always love how if you take a few verses and only use a few words from each, that you can edit and destroy precious scriptures. Doing this twist doctrine to shape it to fit anything you want. I have noticed though it is always the people with messages of hate doing this, never a legitimate religious organization.

So if you "have ears to hear" and "eyes to see" be aware of how you are portrayed by your peers. We may not be God, but we too have a habit of judging.

I intentionally did not mention the name of the religious organization. I do not wish to promote them or add to their rage. I simply hope to allow others to see and hear what they personally could be doing to society as a whole.

Yours in Faith!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Feast of Union

The month of July is always a special time of year. When we look around us we are reminded that we are truly in the full of summer. The sun is fuller, the days are longer, the trees are greener, and life is a bustle everywhere you turn. This is when we find ourselves longing to be outdoors and with friends and family the most.

Let there be no surprise that July to us is marked as the Feast of Union. Union of family and friends; Union of life in general, and Union of the Earth. July is known to be filled with weddings, celebrations, family reunions, fun picnics, and of course here in the United States, Independence Day.

We always encourage togetherness of family and friends, no matter the feast. July is one of those special months where no real pushing is needed. We as humans long to be among others when compelled by the Spirit to do so, and July has always been filled with that Spirit.

With that I say, back your bags with towels, swim wear, and good food. Then call all of your friends and family and have a day of Union with the full sun in the sky. Answer God's call to be with one another because you never know what tomorrow actually brings.