Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tehom Bible Study and St. Leonard of Port Maurice

I'm not sure if it's ever been brought up that quite a few Sodality members have invaded the same Bible study, affectionally called the "Tehom" Bible Study, and associated with the predominantly post-undergraduate group sponsored by FOCUS missionaries at St. Mark's University parish in Goleta.  If you're the sort of person to look up what "Tehom" means, you'll fit right in with half the people here, who can be found with multiple texts in hand or backpack.  If you're the kind who hears "Tehom" and says "Gesundheit" with a grin, you can come sit right next to me.  We're currently meeting on Mondays at 8 pm [EDIT: now meeting Tuesdays at 8pm], usually at someone's house in or near Goleta.  Let us know in the comments or by contacting the blog administrators, if you're interested in joining us.  Expect a riot of Catholic non sequiturs that'll leave you eager to open your Bible and curious what in Heaven's name is going on.  These discussions can be intense and hilarious and inspire reflective (reflexive?) spiritual reading for the (cheap?) thrill of baiting Dominicans (... mmm... not cheap.  They make you pay for that.)

I missed Bible Study the other night, so I read through a recent sermon in spiritual solidarity (yes, the 1700s count as recent, and yes, that does come up more often than you think).  The sermon, however, was not at all as light-hearted as our discussions, though it was actually shorter.  Having said that, if you read it, prepare for a Catholic punch in the face.  It's pretty intense, and a couple of parts can stop you cold:

"For mercy's sake... Either you understand what it means to be saved and to be damned for all eternity, or you do not. If you understand and in spite of that, you do not decide to change your life today, make a good confession and trample upon the world, in a word, make your every effort to be counted among the littler number of those who are saved, I say that you do not have the faith. You are more excusable if you do not understand it... To be saved for all eternity, to be damned for all eternity, and to not make your every effort to avoid the one and make sure of the other, is something inconceivable."

  "... You know how many others I set back on the right path to give you the good example.  ...  Remember that sermon that touched your heart?  I am the One that led you there.  And what has happened between you and Me in the secret of your heart, ... that you can never forget.  Those interior inspirations, that clear knowledge, that constant remorse of conscience, would you dare to deny them? All of these were so many aids of My grace, because I wanted to save you. .... And you... you turn your back on Me..."

".... it shows that you do not care very much for your salvation!"

I've joked that I'm just hoping to claw my way into purgatory.  Not exactly a winning strategy, and setting such a low bar is probably pretty close to presumption.  But I'm afraid I'm quite comfortable in my little rat race of ambition, gluttony, sloth, and luxury.  

And for that, I am now actually afraid.  And also curious - what does repentance actually entail? 

1 comment:

  1. A punch in the face is an apt description. The private revelations are what frightened me. With odds like that purgatory as a goal doesn't seem like a low bar after all.

    To answer your question, I propose that the Act of Contrition expresses repentance perfectly.