Faith & Life

I have always believed that faith and life are connected. When I returned from Iraq and suffered a major spiritual crisis that left me for all intents and purpose an agnostic it was frightening.  In the nearly three years since I returned I have experienced the depths of spiritual despair as well as a slow recovery of faith.  The faith that I have now is similar in the essentials to what I have believed but I have become more tuned to the suffering of others as well as some of the injustices committed by fellow believers in the name of their faith.  Since my return I have been appalled at the level of hatred shown by people that claim the name of God towards those that they find repugnant.  While all of us saw how Muslim Extremists killed in the name of God and attempt to subject those not like them to their laws there are such people in every religion, even some of my brother and sister Christians.  That was one of the more disconcerting things that I experienced and was a factor in my psychological and spiritual crash.

As a result of this I have attempted to integrate the practice of faith with life in more than simply religious ways.  It has been difficult and I have to say that I still have a lot of rough edges and room for growth.  These essays deal with my spiritual journey and I hope that they are helpful to those that suffer from a loss of faith, a faith crisis or suffered spiritual, emotional and even physical abuse by religious authority figures or religious organizations. I know that they are many because I meet them every day and because I have been through what I have been through I have a hard time criticizing or finding fault because I know the pain that goes with this loss.

In addition to the personal journey there are the theological, philosophical and social justice issues that became real for me after my return from Iraq.  As I became more reflective as I looked at faith and how I saw the Church and individual Christians say and do some pretty un-Christian thins I began to write about those issues. Some of these articles are very serious and others thank God are full of my irreverent humor as could not ignore the irony or dark humor of the events or behaviors that I chronicled. As I re-read some of these posts I notice that even in the darkest times that humor was a saving grace especially back in early 2009.

I have organized these essays into a number of broad categories but there may be some overlap. I Looking back at these articles I found that I had written a lot more about faith and life than I remembered.  I do hope that the God will use these writings in the lives of others.

May the Most Holy Trinity be your defense in darkness, the love of the Father enfold you, the love of the Son save you and the love of the Spirit fill you with every grace.  Peace my friends,

Padre Steve+

My Journey

God in the Empty Places…Padre Steve Remembers the Beginnings of Padre Steve’s World

Faith Journey’s: Why I am Still a Christian

Star Trek, God and Me 1966 to 2009

 

The Church Maintained in Love: Maintaining Integrity and Preserving Relationships When Asked to Leave a Church

Advent 2010: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Raw Edges: Are there other Chaplains out there Like Me?

Rehab Assignments

Thoughts on the Occasion of getting ready to Transfer

A Tangled Mass of Emotions: Dad, the Boss, an ICU Death and the All-Star Game

How Baseball Helps Padre Steve Make Sense of the World

She knew that it was Time….Padre Steve’s Reflections on Pastoral Care Residency

A Sea of Contradictions: My Life and Faith since returning from Iraq

Jousting at Windmills: The Quixotesque Life of Padre Steve

Blowouts…The Days (or years) you want to forget…But Need to Learn From

Sometimes You Wanna go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Baseball Beyond Life and Death in the ICU

Yes Friends, God Really Does Speak to Me Through Baseball

Doubt and Faith: My Crisis in Faith and Why I am Still a Christian an Advent Meditation

Reformation Day: How Martin Luther and Hans Kung Brought Me to an Anglo-Catholic Perspective, a Book and Bible Burning Reaches Ludicrous Speed and Yankees take Game Three 8-5

Back in Commission: Padre Steve’s Long Journey Back

Dad’s Gift of Baseball to Me…a New Season Begins

The Call

Bull Durham- Crash Davis and Journeymen Like Me

My Lenten Journey: Community

Journey’s

A Melancholy Christmas Eve 2010


Thoughts on the Church and Contemporary Controversies

Christian Grinch’s: How the Puritans nearly stole Christmas

That they may be one…

Reforming the Church Today Part One: By their Budgets Ye Shall know Them

So God gets the Blame for Dropped Passes….the Prosperity Gospel strikes again

Padre Steve’s Flashback to Early Contemporary Christian Music

How to Make an Incredibly Difficult War Unwinnable: The Crass Hatred of “Pastor” Terry Jones for Moslems Endangers Americans

Anne Rice and the Exodus

Flickering Flames: Clergy Burnout in America in 2010

High Crimes and “Miss” Demeanors: The Catholic Church Equates Women’s Ordination with Pedophilia

More Thoughts on Religious Freedom: By Job I think that Christians might actually be Under Attack, but not like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity say that they are

Religious Freedom…Do We Really Want or Believe in It?

God Loves the Real World

Thoughts on the National Day of Prayer Controversy

Glenn Beck Attacks the Churches and Threatens Religious Liberty

Gordon Klingenschmitt Calls Admiral Mullen a “Liar”

Vindictive Angry Christians: When Faith is subordinated to a Political Agenda Redemption Dies

The Heretic: Padre Steve Critiques the Christian Sub-Culture

Pat Robertson the Devil and Haiti

Halloween Book Burning Update: Bring the Marshmallows Please!

Give me that Old Time Religion: Book & Bible Burnings that Warm Your Heart…Can We Make Smores? Witch Children…Shall we Duck Them? And Can VDOT ever Clear the Crap off the Road?

I Won’t Eat Tripe…Especially the Religious Kind: An Encounter on a Social Networking site

This is Nuts…The “Conservative Bible Project”

The Battlefield of Jabez’s Mind: The Prayerfully Purpose Driven Five Love Languages for the Late Great Planet Earth

Oh Lord Stuck in Lodi Again….Gordon Klingenschmitt does Lodi

I Think I Feel a Sermon coming on…How Some Churches Stopped Caring and the Neglect of Pastoral Care

Love Poverty and War…Suffering and Death… Christian Theology meets Reality in the Intersections of Life

Revisting the Political Captivity of the Church

You Arrogant Ass, You have Killed Us! Randall Terry and the Destruction of the Pro-Life Movement

Randall Terry and the Death of the Pro-Life Movement

Oral Passes, Tiger Crashes, Baseball Dances and Odd Thoughts

The Manhattan Transfer: Why I Cannot Sign the Manhattan Declaration

A Christian Defense of the Rights of Moslems and Others in a Democracy (or Constitutional Republic)

Crossing the Rubicon- The Killing of Dr Tiller and the End of the Pro-Life Movement

Life’s Tough…It’s Tougher When You’re Stupid- The Peril of Misusing Principles, Attributes and Quotations Out of Context

How Pro-Life People Make Themselves Look Like Idiots

Winning Well and a Good Christian Death

The Wacky World of Televangelists Part One: The Networks

Christians are not above the Law: Dangers of Civil Disobedience

The Meeting Jesus and the Team Series

Meeting Jesus and the Team at 7-11

A Ball Game with Saint Pete

A Death, a Rain Delay and a Visit from Saint Pete

Thoughts on the Liturgical Year

Advent 2010: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Struggling with Faith and God at Easter

Musings on Lent and Holy Week…The Recovery of Joy in Doing Theology and Living

Alleluia Christ is Risen!

Holy Saturday….Living in the Uncomfortable Middle

It is Finished

Good Friday…Ecce Homo! Behold the Man

Palm or Passion Sunday…the Paradox of the Triumphant Entry and the Cross

Holy Week Superstitions

Lenten Journal: Passion Sunday

Survivng Lent: Take advantage of the Feast Days

Holy or Maundy Thursday….Pausing to Reflect on Communion

Lenten Joy

Difficult Days: A Lenten Meditation

Giving Up Ideology for the Cross…Entering Into Lent

Faith, Hope and Identity a Mid-Lent Meditation

Ash Wednesday…Padre Steve’s Lenten Survival Tips to Make this a Happy Lent

The Last Week of Lent: Mediation on Life, Love and Public Witness

The Long Good Friday

Lenten Math: Lent is not as long as you think

One Week Warning: Lent Begins Next Wednesday

The Feast of Stephen the Second Day of Christmas and the Octave of Christmas et al

Alleluia! Memories of Easter…Past and Present

Odd thoughts on Faith

Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Heck and Helven…Choices for Eternity

Visiting the Super Holy International Temple: The Ten Pretty Good Suggestions

Discerning the Second Coming: The Cubs are the Key

Comebacks in Baseball and Life: 27 Outs- the Baltimore Orioles teach us a Lesson in Life

I like Jesus very much, but He no help with Curveball

The “Eyes” have it; they’ve got Sammy Davis Eyes….an Experience from My Clinical Pastoral Education Residency

Padre Steve’s World Series Prediction and Book and Bible Burning Update

So this is it what it feels like to be the Anti-Christ…Cool

Saturday Morning Distractions-Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Door

 

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