Tuesday, 26 June 2012

For whom the cock crows


Sunday Mass was over and everyone had left. Father Ignatius was clearing up in the Sacristy when Arthur, a young Altar Boy, came in sheepishly.

“Are you still here?” asked the priest.

“Yes Father … can I ask you something please?” replied the young teenager.

“Fire away …” encouraged the priest as he sat down.

“I think I committed a sin yesterday … and I took Communion today.”

“You think … are you not sure? What did you do?” asked Father Ignatius gently.

“I was at the Karate Club yesterday. I go every Saturday. During break some of the boys were talking about Jesus and they were mocking and laughing. They were telling jokes about Him and saying bad things!”

“I see … and what did you do?”

“That’s it …” hesitated the young lad, “I did nothing. I didn’t want to tell them about Jesus in case they laughed at me. I just kept quiet and smiled.”

“I understand …” said Father Ignatius pausing slightly, “have you told Peter about this?”

“Peter Marsden?”

“No … not Peter Marsden! Who is he anyway?” asked the priest frowning a little.

“He is our Karate Instructor … we call him Sensei …” replied young Arthur.

Father Ignatius smiled.

“I meant St Peter …” he continued, “you know him? We have a large statue of him at the back of the church.”

The boy nodded.

“What do you know about him?”

“He was a disciple of Jesus,” said Arthur.

“That’s right … and like you he was a little hesitant when asked about Jesus. When Jesus was arrested Peter denied knowing Him three times. And then the cock crew and reminded Peter of what Jesus had said … do you know the story?” asked Father Ignatius.

Arthur nodded again.

“The important thing to remember Arthur,” continued Father Ignatius gently, “is that Peter was sorry at what he had done; and Jesus forgave him. And Peter went on to become head of the Church.

“I quite understand that you felt a little intimidated yesterday. Jesus understands it too, and He forgives you just as He forgave Peter.

“But remember this Arthur … as you grow up there will be other occasions when you’ll be faced with the same situation. People will mock Jesus, God or your religion. This is the way of the world I’m afraid. Jesus has many enemies in this world, despite all He has done for us.

“It’s at those times when I pray and hope that you’ll have the courage to stand up for Jesus and for your beliefs.

“What happened yesterday is understandable in the life of someone so young as yourself.

“The sad tragedy Arthur is that grown-ups often deny knowing and loving Jesus for fear of what others might say. In a free society as we enjoy these days, compared to the times of Peter, grown-ups still shy away from knowing and loving the Lord. They keep their heads down in embarrassment.”

Father Ignatius looked at the child in the eye and asked.

“You’re learning Karate you say?”

Arthur nodded.

“Good …” said the priest, “that’s a defensive martial art. Isn’t it?

“You should remember always to defend the Lord, Arthur. Not with your fighting skills, but with your wisdom, your pure soul and by the way you live.

“The Good Lord will help you to know what to say and when to say it.

“You’re the Karate Altar Boy … defending the Lord with your soul!”

Arthur smiled broadly.

“Now you’d better hurry home before your parents start worrying about you.”

As the young boy turned to leave Father Ignatius added, “and don’t forget to pray for me … I need prayers too you know!”

13 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful, Victor:-)

    As I read it, I felt that warm love that happens when Jesus is close and my heart flowed over with love for Him, too. You're a wonderful story-teller:-)

    Thank you, Victor!
    God bless:-)

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  2. Hi Victor. This is a great post. I have been absent from the blogsphere since life has been so busy. This post is one of the first ones I have read and I am sure glad I didn't miss it.

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  3. Thank you Vicky.

    It's so sad that these days many Christians still feel embarrassed and shy to admit they are Christians in case they are mocked by friends and colleagues at work. I've seen it in business often. Somehow it's not "in" to say you believe in "an old man who lives up in the sky!"

    God bless you Vicky.

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  4. Hello Therese,

    It's really nice of you to visit me again. It's much appreciated. I'm glad you're well and back in Blogland.

    Thank you for your kind words and your support and encouragement for my writing.

    God bless you Therese.

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  5. Great article. Thank you! God bless.

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  6. Thank you Colleen for your kind support.

    God bless.

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  7. Victor, I used to come across this at uni and when I was working, years ago. At uni, I used to debate but I have to admit I was intimidated at work. I was younger than everyone else, at the time.

    These days, I come across people who comment on our family's faith and the fact that we homeschool, instead. It worries the children more than me but the thought of really being tested is still a worry - especially, for a weak person like me:-/

    How do you handle it?
    God bless:-)

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  8. Victor,

    Your blogging is keeping me up! Write something boring, next time, so that I can put my iPad down and get some sleep!

    ;-D

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  9. Hi Vicky,

    How do I handle it!

    Years ago a man I respect told me how he became a Christian. When he was a young boy he trained as a boxer; and someone said to him "Be a fighter for God, not with your hands but with your heart". This was only the first spurt into action which slowly led him to God. He then added, "It's pointless being a Christian and keeping it to yourself. Share it with others".

    This gave me the courage to speak up, at times, when I felt something had to be said in debate or conversation.

    Sadly, these days children face a lot of peer pressure from friends and it is very difficult to stand out as a Christian. I find parental example helps ... a lot.

    God bless.

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  10. I can easily picture this happening to a child here in the US, Victor. Kids are afraid to speak up much here (at least in my state - God seems to be off limits as a subject). There's a major battle going on for religious freedom right now - our rights are being taken away slowly but surely.

    Great story!

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  11. Sadly Mary Christianity is under attack here too.

    The Government want to change the law to re-define the meaning of marriage to include gays and lesbians.

    We already have legal civil partnerships giving gays and lesbians equal rights under the law as married couples. But the Government now want to include gays and lesbians in proper male/female marriages.

    The Church has protested about it (both Catholic and Anglican); and there's a petition gathering many signatures asking the Government not to do this.

    The Government seems determined though.

    Can you imagine gay couples and lesbians going to a Catholic priest asking to be married? If he refuses he'd end up in Court.

    God bless.

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  12. At confirmation we received fortitude as one of the seven gifts. I'm sure all of us are going to run into times when God is mocked and the Catholic faith is mocked. If we keep up a strong prayer life, God will give us the words we need to say. Right now the best thing to do if we can't do anything else is to pray for deliverance for our countries from the hands of Satan who seems to have taken over. We know who wins in the end, though.

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  13. You're right Barb. Christianity is under attack in many countries.

    Prayers help as you say. Especially when we are put to the test.

    God bless.

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I PRAY FOR ALL WHO COMMENT HERE.

God bless you.

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