On this Feast of St Raphael the Healer, I share my reply to an email that came from my old Buddhist community (sangha) after several years of silence:
St Raphael the Archangel
Thanks for letting me know about the retreat places. I’ve been on a lot of retreats with [my old Buddhist sangha]. I’m very grateful for everything I learned and experienced there. However, I would like to remove my name from your lists because I am no longer Buddhist. I have found my true sangha with God and all His angels and saints and saints-in-the-making. I can no longer kneel in front of statues of the Buddha: a man who never claimed to be a god, who died like any other man no matter how enlightened he was. I no longer meditate like a lump, trying to detach myself from suffering. I embrace suffering and am glad to offer it up for souls. Prayer can be difficult but I’m never alone. I can talk with my Maker or any number of my friends in Heaven, or I can just rest in their company. I can kneel in contemplation resting in the peace that only Our Lord can give – like a baby in its mother’s arms. I write all this not to condemn Buddhism but to be a signpost for you and for anybody else you wish to share this with. Those of you who live near to Galway and Limerick have a great treasure at your disposal. I urge you, if you have fallen away from the Faith, to attend traditional Latin Masses with the Institute of Christ the King or to speak with their wonderful priests. Their church in Limerick is the Sacred Heart church on The Crescent (http://institute-christ-king.ie/
), and they also celebrate Mass every Sunday at the Claddagh Church (Dominican Priory), Galway, at 2:30.
Yours in Christ,