|Knock RC Shrine to Mary|
EVANGELISTIC UPDATE: Back home this weekend again from Knock in Co. Mayo where I evangelised at the RC Shrine to the BVM. All the official details here of the Knock Shrine with usual Protestant protests taken for granted.
Highlight of the trip was a time of witness to a visiting “Monsignor” from the USA. We had some coffee together. He was certainly a bit of a firebrand and very enthusiastic about his faith in Mary, but that was the problem! The discussion never got heated, but (boys!) we both gave as good as we got. For about every time he mentioned Christ, he must’ve mentioned Mary about 15 times and never mentioned Jesus apart from Mary. (I pointed that out to him.) He tried his level best to evangelise me into the RC Church, but (by the grace of God) I’m not giving up all that I have in Christ to join his treadmill religion. He told me that he needs to come to Knock every year to get recharged.
Folk kept stopping him to be prayed over and “blessed.” He would pray for them and then take a bottle of “holy” water from his pocket and sprinkle it on their brow and then gave them some cheap, plastic rosary beads. One young, unmarried couple, sought his blessing and he tackled them over their living in sin together. That was pretty a rare approach. But he still gave them the “holy” water all the same. The lad wanted him to bless his tattoo (of Jesus!) but he declined. I bumped into the young couple after I left the priest and they said that they got blessed by another priest and thought that the monsignor was “staunch”. I witnessed to them of the need of Christ.
Before we headed for coffee, he spent time in the Bascilica Bookshop where he bought a few books. He wanted to buy me a devotional book to Mary, but the one he had in mind was out of stock. I told him that I already owned, read (although did not believe) Ligouri's large volume entitled "The Glories of Mary". He introduced me to an Indian priest (secretary to a Bishop) while he was browsing and I was able to witness to him while waiting. Later on when he was buying rosary beads in one of the several shops outside the Bascilica, I was able to point out that none of these shops selling RC goods actually sold Bibles. (The only exception being the Bascilica bookshop). No wonder such darkness prevails at Knock. It is all beads and idols.
He got on to the need of eating the flesh of the Son of God (as in John 6:53) which he interpreted in a Eucharistic sense i.e. the Mass. I reminded him that St. Augustine denied a literal interpretation, but he wouldn’t hear of it. I will email the following quote from Augustine to him:
"If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man," says Christ, "and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." [John 6:53] This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us." From: Christian Doctrine (3:16)
We parted on a friendly enough note. It was certainly an interesting encounter. Another Luther perhaps? Not much sign of it at the moment, but I pray that the seed sown will yet bring forth fruit.
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