Some times I think Catholics miss the easiest most important reason for being Catholic. Why am I Catholic? Because Jesus wills me to be Catholic. Why did God pour out His most fierce wrath on those Israelites who wished to break away from the true Mosaic Church? Because God wills the earth to have One Church. God cannot lead His Church through the desert of life if they keep wandering off like Korah (Numbers 16, Jude 1:11). Now through the power and authority of His resurrected Son, Catholicism is God's One Universal Church. Ten thousand schismed churches is not God's will. Even if you think Peter, the pope, is wrong this is no reason in God's eyes to fracture His Church. The true sons of Aaron and Moses, who sat in Moses seat, condemned Jesus to death. Still Jesus, in the flesh, respected their God given authority as the leaders of the Israelite Church and he was an obedient Jew.
When I was seven years old my cousin Johnny died in the American Vietnam War. At his funeral I looked up at my mother and asked, "If an army man kills someone does he go to hell?" From that day forward the question on killing in war weighed heavily on my shoulders. At age sixteen I asked my priest about killing in war. He made me out as a coward yet he always spoke of war as evil in his homilies. I am and will always be Catholic. However, from my youth till this day I wish that Church homilists would be more helpful to those youths who must make such a difficult decision as to killing in war.
I turned to my God and begged Him. Heavenly Father if it is your will I will stand by idle with my weapon at my side while my own mother is raped, beaten and her body torn to pieces. Or Father if it is your will I will travel ten thousand miles and fight to my death to protect a strangers mother from persecution. But please Father, do not abandon me on this question.
When I was 26 I applied for the Catholic seminary. Six months later I received a rejection letter. I was angry. I got on my motorcycle and road like a hurricane. Slamming gears and leaving rubber at every stop sign. "Just who do they think they are! Well I will just become a protestant minister!" I came across the last stop sign, screeched to a halt and then poured it on power shifting (continuous full throttle shifting letting the clutch absorb the engine rpm spike) on every gear. Within seconds I was up to 80 or 90 mph. For no reason the rear tire slipped out from under me. The avid motorcyclist that I am I instantly reflexed bringing my low side leg up and pivoting my body onto the high side of the motorcycle even before it hit the ground. Within a split second I was now uninjured sliding down the road on the side of my motorcycle.
Slowed to a mere 50 mph or so I was riding down the road on the side of my motorcycle with sparks flying. After a brief thought of what I was doing I returned to my anger. "Just who do they think they are! Well I will just get married and be a protestant minister!" I screamed out. All of a sudden, for no reason, the tire caught on the pavement. I was pole vaulted into the air. During my flight, my imminent disaster became clear. I prayed hard. Forgive me Lord for I do not mean what I say. I wish no harm to your Church. Please rescue me Lord. I hit hard on my full faced helmet tumbled a few times and then was caught on my backpack which carried me the rest of the way down the road. Within my backpack was my St. Joseph's Catholic bible. I was very soar and beat up but no broken bones. I was in a state of pure repentance.
I went on to apply at several other Catholic seminaries but was rejected. I turned to my original desire to know God's will and began to spend my full focus on prayer, scriptural study and contemplation of God's will. I began to write my "I Love You, God". I quite my job and spent four scrimping years devoted to my "I Love You, God" After self publishing, and spending $25000 of borrowed money on her I had only distributed but a handful. A fellow parishioner came up to me and said, "I suppose after the failure of your book, you probably wish you had never wasted so much of your life on it." I looked back at him and replied, "Never! She is the light of my life and my gift to my God and my fellow man. Though not a single other soul on earth cares for her she will always be the treasure of my heart. I will always consider it a great honor to have written her out of love and service to my God.
Five years latter I realized the power of the internet. One year after that http://www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com was on line. I invite you all to visit.
Peace in Christ, Steven Merten
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