May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way

I’ve been in this Church now for 13 years. Over that long period I’ve had many a conversational battle with theologian, priest and laity. People have said to me they’re all unfriending you both in life and on social media because you’re irritating them. It’s true. The liberal lefties and the right wing latin mass goers have a great dislike for me. To top that off the whole town that are anti-Catholic and very much of secular upbringing can’t stand the sight of me either. This tends to leave me a bit isolated from the rest, but I have to say I’m enjoying the solitude and it’s not alien to me.

The reason for this is because as a teenager and in my early 20’s I was an irritating person. Brimming over with egoism and pride I burned my bridges with society because nobody liked to deal with that kind of person. I burned my bridges, yes, and for all the wrong reasons. But then Jesus came along and he said, “Stephen, how would you like to burn bridges, but for all the right reasons? The light from these bridges you burn will act as a guide for you on your journey towards Me and your salvation.”

I remember thinking, “Ohhhh, so I still get to be an irritable person, but in a way that will get me a place in your eternal courts? O.K. then, LET’S DO IT!!!.” And so here I am, and I’ve had those days where I wished I’d never said Yes, but believe me they don’t last long. The truth is I enjoy being on the side of truth and if that means burning bridges with the world, local priests and laity who think they know better than Pope Francis and the Church, then I’m O.K With that.

I’m not like the rest of them. I have absolutely nothing to lose. In my old life I had no regard for the approval of others, and so I burned every bridge imaginable and couldn’t get any work in the town. But now I get to burn every bridge imaginable for a good cause, for the salvation of my soul and that of the whole Church. Things have not changed, I’m still not able to find work (at least not inside the town with locals) and I’m hated even more than I was before. I’m still that irritable formidable person. I was worried about the formidable bit until my good friend St.John Chrysostom put my mind at ease by saying, “One priest is chosen because he is kind and gentle, another because he is formidable and daring.”

I remember thinking, “O.K I like the sound of that. Thanks St.John.” He’s my favourite Saint. I love him because he’s theologically well balanced. Kind and gentle, yet formidable in a Divine way that is not insulting and ends up scattering the sheep rather than gathering them. I suppose you could call him a theological ambivert.

Therefore don’t come to me and think you can buy me for yourself. That message is to the worldly politicians, the theologians, the priests, the religious and the laity. You can’t buy me either with your money or your flattery or with a desire to raise me above the ranks of your little groups and den of sinful behavior. I’m a very modern person, but I’m also a very traditional one that enjoys walking the ancient paths every now and again. Why? Because some things like mercy, love and respect for the Body of Christ never get old, that’s why. I belong to the Church that is more modern than the modernist and more traditional than the traditionalist.

Another thing is, in a strange way, I don’t really want to be here either, but the Lord has given me no choice but to run back into the burning city of Sodom to help you. I’m not pleased about it but it’s an unpleasant feeling mingled with joy which is why I can’t avoid it altogether. Truth is I love Jesus and I view Him as the most modern and at the same time most traditional theologian among you. So when I come in to your Churches and I hear really crappy 1980s folk music on some cheap amazon guitar I’m going to let you know that it’s horrible and show you a more “Ancient way” and feed you with some classic Church music the youth actually appreciate more.

When I come among you and I hear you talk about how you’d love to live in the 4th century I’m going to drag you kicking and screaming by the ankles into the 21st century. Yes, it’s time to burn those bridges and may they light the way not just onto my salvation, but yours also. Every baptized person has been given the task to go out and prophecy. If you are baptized, you are a prophet, did you know that? Yes, you too are called by the Lord to go out and burn those bridges, to sever the ties with the world and live in complete isolation and squalor if you must.

Like Andy Dufrane in the movie Shawshank Redemption you are called to crawl through the sewers of this prison of a world. Like Andy, the smell will at times become unbearable and you will vomit every step of the way, but believe me, if you would only stick to it, you will come out the other side clean and FREE.

Burn those bridges and walk through the flames and let the whole world see you get burned. Those flames will be of the immaterial fire. It will envelop your soul and purge you even more from the dirt of the sinful snakes that nestle deep inside you. At one touch of these Divine flames gotten through persecutions of priests and the world, the snake will immediately slither its way to safety but not before it suffocates in the smoke of virtue that rises like incense tickling the nostrils of your Lord.

He will breath it in and say, “Yes, that’s what I need. Now this is the kind of sacrifice pleasing to Me.”

Don’t be worried about severing your ties with people for the truth. Remember that if you put God first, the jobs, the money, and everything else will come. Even if it doesn’t, be thankful for that too. Be thankful for every state you find yourself in. Know that the Lord has good reason for it for His ways are not our ways. His will is often never revealed to us and so we need only to blindly trust in Him.

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