I was thinking about a personal incident I heard a former bishop present. The bishop made a strong formative mark upon me through a severe one-on-one reprimand he inflicted upon me. The stout stern bishop’s kindness will never be mistaken for weakness. He does not tolerate fools, nor is he unafraid to unabashedly declare himself. Religion is a serious game. Personal agendas, the exercising of masquerading and delusional self-will is to be staunched. Nonsense standing in the way of Godly pursuits must be slapped aside.
The Bishop’s story involves landing at an airport. Walking through the terminal, an evangelical crowd confronted him, demanding introspection, declaratively, accusingly, asking the Bishop if he truly had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Asking the question in the manner they already knew the answer to be a ‘no’. Instantly, the Bishop clearly and loudly resounded with a ‘NO!’ ‘Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?’ ‘NO!’ Holding the moment, meeting eyes with each individual, he allowed his negation to settle. Continuing with words, he spoke to the bold spiritually immature inquisitive crowd: ‘I have a personal relationship, through prayer, with Our Holy Mother and the Saints. With Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I demand more. With Christ, through humility, surrender and service, through faith, hope, and charity, I work toward unification’.