Our guest blog today is from Terence Butcher. Terence has been a friend of mine for a long time now and I ma blessed to know him. He has been married to Angela for 30 years. They have one daughter Ailish, married to Graham and two grandsons, Theo & Arthur.
Terence was born and raised in Coleraine and now lives in Portstewart where he is a Permanent Deacon in The Parish of St Mary’s Star of the Sea, since his Ordination in October 2018. Terence tells people the fact that he was ordained is the only evidence required to know that God likes a laugh!
Terence writes to us today about spiritual blindness and the quest to move out of our heads and into our hearts. Terence says…
My faith Journey was not planned!
At thirteen I experienced a horrific burn to my right leg and then lost my father at sixteen. Great physical and mental suffering has traveled with me and those I loved through my life. I now relate my story to that of the story of Job. Although he suffers confusion at the events in his life, in chapters 38-42, God speaks to Job and restores him and Job answers God by saying, “I have declared that which I did not understand”. God then blessed Job with twice as much as he had before his trials began.
It was when I came to know the Word of God through scripture that my faith dynamic changed. Until then my faith journey was mainly ritual without much -if any-spiritual awareness. Through Scripture God has guided my footsteps, calling and giving me the strength to be ordained with a burning desire to pass on the faith.
At some point in our lives we all experience some form of spiritual activity; maybe as simple as an intuition about someone or something and soon after having an encounter with either. We can choose to dismiss such activity as coincidence or decide to trust that this is a gift of the Spirit that can be explored and strengthened.
Theology is the study of things relating to God, who is Spirit. In the Gospels Jesus on 4 occasions heals the blind. These stories of healing are there to help us recognise our own blindness, specifically our inability to see things in a spiritual way. Jesus tell us that God does not see as man sees, because “man looks at what he sees but God looks at the heart”. Jesus is telling us that to see as God sees we must learn to look at things from the heart. Moving it from our head to our heart has been described as the longest journey that we will ever make.
When we see things through the lens of our minds, (head) it processes them in a fundamental fashion. When we move it to our hearts then it completely transforms our view of the world. Emotional activity in the heart gives us the eyes of the Holy Trinity- eyes that look at the world through love and compassion. Jesus had love and compassion for everyone he encountered, especially those who could not see who He was. “Forgive them Father for they no not what they do”! Our world’s greatest pandemic is Spiritual Blindness.
“Be not afraid”, “ask and you shall receive”!