A C A T H O L I C N O M O R E
I N T R O D U C T I O N
Yesterday was the last day of August, 2008, and I was walking in a park.
Not much of a park, this park, a ten minute walk-around at a slow pace. I leave my van on the north side, across from Coopers groceries and close to Rutland Health Center, and walk the perimeter counterclockwise, just like thirty years ago.
Thirty years. My youngest grandchild is now about the same age as was my eldest child. Seen so much in these thirty years. Been to hell and back more than once.
There are some changes. The walk-on concrete slabs bearing donors’ names stretched much farther into the park. The tall swings are gone, and the graffiti-laden washrooms are locked up – I guess they just tired of the vandalism. And there’s a new child’s playground at the far end.
The war memorial kiosk is still there, of course, and the same small groups lying on the grass smoking whatever. And the pines, dozens of them, stretching high, screens around the trunks to protect from pine beetles. Lots of grass, lots of shade, lots of pine needles and pine cones.
It was here, thirty years ago, A Catholic No More was birthed.
The Lord had recently spoken three words to me, “Write a book.” That’s it, three words. I instantly sat up from my horizontal position on the couch. Write a book? I had never written a book. Never wrote much of anything.
For two or three months I spoke in tongues, asking the Lord to give me the interpretation in the form of the book He instructed me to write. Around and around (and around and around) this park I walked, praying in the Spirit. Mornings, afternoons, after work, after church – I paced and prayed, prayed and paced, not allowing myself to begin the book, not even in my thinker, until I sensed the pray season had elapsed.
It’s hard to pray in tongues hour after hour, day after day. But this was my first real assignment and I wanted it to be good. I had no idea the book would be based on the words of Jesus, Matthew 7:24 – 27.
Today I begin the task of putting my typewritten A Catholic No More unto my computer (soon to be on my website, larryjones.ca) making changes as I go, adding insight to insight, rewording, deleting, rearranging. Interesting to see how I was back then, the way I perceived, the history I lived.
Since, I have been into and out of evangelicalism. Fortunately, having been burnt sufficiently, I did not entirely leave my skepticism behind and still had eyes to see what most evangelicals were, and are, blind to. There is nothing in A Catholic No More that is not equally relevant to the evangelical, and this book could just as well be titled An Evangelical No More.
From then to now He took me through the storms. I was wounded often, most wounds self-inflicted, and always He applied healing ointment. When my well ran dry He replenished. Always there, always patient, always the faithful and true witness.
To Him – my loving Christ, my hero, my captain, my object of worship – I rededicated this very small work in the hopes He will make much of little.