Saturday, August 18, 2007

Don't you just wanted to pull a beard

Afew years ago I was with a young Eastern European girl and her husband, she is a Catholic and he is a Muslim. Actully he was intending to be kind and gracious, but I wanted to pull his beard, like the legend of St Nicholas at Nicea.

He kept telling me that Muslims had a great love for Ysa and Miarrim, Jesus and Mary, what a great prophet he was, I just felt he was insulting the Lord, and I am afraid I ended up after twenty minutes of this by saying, "Look he is not a prophet! He is Allah. Allah loves us so much that He took on flesh, and a human nature, in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and became Man for us and our Salvation. He showed even greater love by taking on even suffering and death for love of us. He loved us so much that He transcended even his divinity. Allah is not merely merciful he is loving".

My Muslim host decided to go and do something in the attic, I chatted a bit with his wife, gave their sleeping son, who I had baptised, a blessing, and left.

Not my best pastoral moment, and maybe I wont end up on the Brighton and Hove Interfaith Forum.

thanks to Lawrence


Mac McLernon said...

OK, I'll bite... what exactly is the legend of St Nicholas at Nicea (he of the beard pulling tendencies... or was it his beard that was pulled??)

Fr Ray Blake said...

Just pulled the beards of Arians, well he beat them up, accusing them of blasphemy. For which he was degraded. Our Lady appeared and restored his Episcopal dignity.

Terry Nelson said...

You were certainly St. Nicholas in this situation. :)

Ma Beck said...

As CS Lewis said, the "Jesus was a great prophet" thing is the biggest pile of manure that is passed around.
Here was a man who claimed to be the Son of God.
Either he was a stark raving lunatic, such as I would be if I went around claiming to be the Messiah, or he was who he said he was. There is no room for an alternative. He did not leave us any.
Great prophets do not LIE and claim to be God - lunatics are the only people (besides the true Son of God) who do that.
Yeah, I've had some Not-So-Great-Moments-in-Ecumenism lately myself.
Mea culpa.

gemoftheocean said...

Well, but if you had said nothing....


fr from up north said...

I remember whilst at Seminary some lay person attending classes suggesting that if the Orthodox Churches had difficulty accepting Papal Infallibility we should just keep quiet about it; the response from a prof was to the effect that she was scourging the back of Christ with her lies;well done Fr.Ray good manners can never allow us to deny the truth that Jesus Christ is the WAy, Truth & the Life,and he alone.(PS feel free not to publish this if it lacks discretion)

White Stone Name Seeker said...

Didn't St Nick give Arias agood punch at the Council of Nicea? My son drew a picture of it all for Christmas. yeah, well, teenage boys...he liked the smack down on heresy idea.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr from up..
I don't think it lacks discretion at all.
I remember these words from the great Dr Broomfield.

Philip Andrews said...

A much misused verse from S John I know, but truly, the Truth will set him free. We must all pray.

Fr Ray Blake said...

White Stone Seeker,
What a splendid person your son must be - pass on my congratulations.
However, the heresiarch himself did not attend Nicea, where the incident took place.
I used the word legend because it seems likely the saintly bishop of Smyrna was also absent.
But pulling the the beards of heretics seems to be a very good thing to do, and a very good thing to teach the young to do!