Podcasts/Sacred Tension-Catholic Satanic DialogueMASTERED9zet8
Catholic_Satanic_DialogueMASTERED9zet8 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, catholic, biden, pope, life, trump, gay, person, ratzinger, pope francis, talk, joy, satanist, human, election, god, mysticism, rock candy, world, feel SPEAKERS Brother Castello, Stephen Bradford Long, Matt Langston
Matt Langston 00:00 You're listening to a rock candy podcast. Hey guys, my name is Matt Langston. I am a music producer, a mix engineer and an avid unicorn enthusiast and I would like to invite you over to my podcast 11 D live on eleventy life we get to talk to your favorite artists, producers and creators about what makes them tick. We take deep dives into where they get their juiciest inspirations from and how they keep from being cynical about all of it. We even get to pull back the curtain on my band eleventy seven and share some fun insider tips and tricks for our fellow bandmates and creators out there. So be sure to check out eleventy life right here on the rock candy Podcast Network and wherever you get your favorite shows.
Stephen Bradford Long 00:40 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long, and we are here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com. In this episode, I speak with my really good friend brother Castillo. Now this episode was originally intended to be on my patrons only podcast house of heretics. But about halfway through, we decided that it would be better on the main show. So it is a slightly different format. But I hope you enjoy this conversation. Brother Costello is an old Catholic and he and I come from two very different perspectives on God, the supernatural the nature of the world. And yet we have somehow managed to forge this fantastic friendship. I think part of the reason why is because we have the same goals. We both want to see. Other people flourish, we both want to see humanity and prove. We both want the best for each other and for the world. And we are often maligned by people on the Religious Right. And so even though brother Castel and I disagree on a lot, I feel like we are united on the most important things. So in this episode, we talk about the upcoming election and how we can get through it, and how we can maintain peace through difficult times. We also discuss Pope Francis and his recent statements about homosexuality, and we discuss rituals that help to center us. But before we get to my conversation with Costello, I have to thank my patrons. As always, my patrons are my personal lords and saviors. And I really couldn't do this without them, especially now, because I'm working considerably less and making less money. So this week, I have to thank Donald champ, Lou, Anya, Bethany, and Brock. Thank you so much, and I so appreciate it. For those of you who might want to join their number, please go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long for $1 A month or $5 a month, you will get extra content every week, especially my house of heretics podcast with Timothy, the pastor. Now there are other ways to support this show. If you're unable to financially give right now don't worry, I completely understand times are really rough right now. So one of the best ways to support this show is to just leave a five star review on Apple podcasts. Another great way to support this show, is to just subscribe wherever you are on whatever app you're listening to please subscribe that tells our digital overlords to recommend it to others. And finally, this show is sponsored by the satanic temple.tv. Go to the satanic temple.tv. And at checkout use my promo code sacred tension all caps, no space for one month free. All right, well, with all of that out of the way. I now give you my conversation with Brother Castillo. All right, well, welcome to the house of heretics podcast The show where normally Timothy and I drink coffee and talk about bullshit for your listening pleasure. But this time I have a very special guest Brother Castello. Long, old friend of mine, he is a Catholic clergy person. We come from different religious backgrounds. Of course, he's a Satanist or No, let me rephrase. I'm a Satanist. He's the Catholic, but we continue to be great friends. He was just passing through town and wanted to come by for a conversation. So here we are. Hello. It's great to have you here. We've been talking about doing this for eons.
Brother Castello 05:29 I feel like all my dispensationalists rapture theory friends would appreciate this. But I feel like well don't know what that means. Right? People aren't going to know it. Look it up on Wikipedia. But basically, I feel like that this is going to be done after Christ's return that we were putting on it. We put it off like eight times
Stephen Bradford Long 05:48 we put it off eight times. And we just kept having to like reschedule over the course of two years almost.
Brother Castello 05:54 But some so much has said this is this is the year this is the year to do it. Because so much has happened.
Stephen Bradford Long 06:00 Yep, I just saw a meme the other day. It was like reptilian overlords apologize. Resetting the the simulation back to 2015 just wanted to see how you would react. Right? Anyway. Um, so first, I have to thank my patrons as always, you're all so amazing to be supporting me through this pandemic, because my finances are pretty fucked right now. I am working less I'm not teaching yoga. And so truly every little bit helps. And so I am enormous ly grateful like for real the money for my patrons is going to really practical stuff like paying the electric bill and and feeding my cats essentials girl. Yeah, it really is. For your your power bill is an essential worker. Yes, exactly. And, you know, it really is like all the money from Patreon right now really is just going to like getting groceries, feeding my cats, paying the bills, paying the mortgage. And so I just have to start this by thanking all of you again, you're amazing, my own personal Lord and Savior's and I couldn't do this without you. All right, so Castillo we. So several weeks ago, you came by my store and you had a moment we had a moment and my mother bless her heart. So I've made this rule to never talk about my family in public. But this is behind a paywall. We're among friends so we can have this conversation.
Brother Castello 07:31 It's something that really, I think will help frame where we're going to head in this discussion. But it you know, I think it'll, it'll help a lot of people. It we're gonna use it as kind of a quasi a parable. Yep. For reflection.
Stephen Bradford Long 07:46 Yep. Exactly. And so you were you and your boyfriend were just blowing through town. And we're like, Hey, can we drop by your store and chat for a bit? And I was like, Yes, of course. So you come by and we're in the office, you, me and your boyfriend and we're just chatting for a bit. And then like a specter, my mother appears in the doorway. Right? And my mother is a very conservative pastor, and Castillo is there with his with his boyfriend and his color. Just to clarify, you might be confused. Cast ello is of a particular brand of Catholicism, but we're not going to talk about that right now.
Brother Castello 08:25 Yeah, you can It's not wrong to call me an old Catholic. I just am not representing specifically my denomination because I may say something a little exactly obscure during this interview.
Stephen Bradford Long 08:36 That's totally fine. And so, yeah, so. So he has an old Catholic, which is different from Roman Catholic, right. liturgically very conservative, socially, very progressive. Basically sober. Yeah, it's true. So there are many myths for people who are confused. There are many, many different ways of being Catholic and, and Castelo is just one embodying one of many different ways of being a Catholic. So yeah, so Castel, who is sitting there in my office with like, his Roman collar with or with his with his round one? Yeah, he with the collar on and his boyfriend is there, and my mother is just progressively getting, like more triggered as this conversation progresses, and is getting visibly more and more and more comfortable as it dawns on her like, what's going on? Like, oh, Castillo is gay? This is his trans boyfriend, his trans black boyfriend. She was like putting two and two together not Not that anyone can tell that your boyfriend is trans actually, but Right. But I think that she was just picking up that, that this is a den of sodomy right now in the office. Yeah. And she in then it ends with her holding out her hand and very aggressively saying a blessing in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Slayer,
Brother Castello 09:58 which was so interesting. thing to me because in that moment, I didn't catch it until later that that was a particular shot at me being Catholic. Yes
Stephen Bradford Long 10:09 it was. It was a particular shot at you. Yeah. And and honestly she was so triggered because you're wearing the color. That's why she was so that's why she was so upset. And then she held out her hand during this blessing and she made hard eye contact with each one of us and said on you
Brother Castello 10:29 and you and it was very like you get a car you get a car you get a car, you get a blessing, you get a but it was very like it was like your mother met the whole Oprah manic, charismatic, but car giveaway moment, but incredibly aggressive in and I think what we need to talk about is how I don't I didn't view that moment, like I would have five years ago when I first came out.
Stephen Bradford Long 10:51 Yeah, yeah. And well, so there's a part two to this story.
Brother Castello 10:56 Oh, yeah, there is, which is quite, which is even
Stephen Bradford Long 10:59 worse. Were emphatic, you know, about 45 minutes later, you and your boyfriend had gone shopping. And then you were out in front of the store having lunch. And I just went out there to chat a bit more. So I was sitting out there with you guys. And again, like, like a Wraith like a specter. She appears in the parking lot. She had come back. And she was walking directly towards us. And I was like, okay, hold on, let me deal with this. I go up to her. And she looks like she had legit seen a ghost. She was so upset. And she says, I need to tell you that you're spiritual director. And I was like, He's not my spiritual director. He's a friend god. Yeah, thank God, you would not want to handle and handle this. I was like, He's not my spiritual director. And she's ahead. Well, I need to tell you that he has a snake inside of him. Yeah. And is very dangerous. Let
Brother Castello 11:56 me talk about how I felt about that. Yes, please. First of all, I obviously felt I used to feel angry. But I felt defensive of the truth in that moment. And then, you know, just a few minutes ago, I was trying to re frame and to relive what happened with your mom. And I would say that, what's beautiful about it is that, in a sense, she she was right. For her. Something in me, bothered her. So to her it was a snake that inside of me. And that's where I'm in this whole place of where's the line of self care for me? Where is the whole, I'm going to be hospitable to my enemies to my persecutors, which I never thought that I would be talking about. This is what people were persecuting me for, you know, you being you being a gay clergy for who I love. I mean, it's bigger than that. It's bigger than my own sexual identity or preference or romantic identity. It's about the fact that my whole life it was people will persecute you for following Christ, which was they were going to persecute me if I went and knocked on their door like an evangelical asshole. And the first thing I say when they answer the door is, do you know where you're going to be when you die? Now I'm being persecuted for who I love.
Stephen Bradford Long 13:16 Yeah, definitely. And, you know, I think that this actually, that this story actually, like, reveals why we have so much in common because we're both. Even though we are of different religious traditions that on its face seem like they would be at odds with one another. We're actually both outsiders. And we're actually both fighting the same fight. You know, we're both maybe we have different methods, and we have different beliefs and whatnot. But that's fine. We're both on the same side. And we're both fighting for equality for the outsider. You know, and I feel like that's why, like when when people get demonized, we are both demonized. At the same time, like we we are both condemned by the theocrats, you know,
Brother Castello 14:00 well, what's interesting is that, because I don't want to let this pass by because I think it's significant because one of the first things that you said to me during or after the interaction with your wonderful Holy Mother,
Stephen Bradford Long 14:12 and just to clarify, yeah, I, the way that conversation ended was, I was like, Thanks for telling me. I was just like, What the What else would you say am I supposed to say and then, and then she starts crying, and she says, Please listen to me. And I was like, yeah, thanks for telling me and then walked away. And I come back and I tell you what just happened. There's
Brother Castello 14:33 there's this sense of, can we reason with truly, genuinely unreasonable people? Yeah. Is it worth it? Yeah, Ben, you know, that goes back to the whole the snake in me was her reality. Her perception. It wasn't ours. But it was hers. And is it? Is it possible to be hospitable and loving to her? Yeah, because she is genuine The oppressed by her Yes. world,
Stephen Bradford Long 15:03 you know, I'm really glad that you bring that up actually. Because my, I am at the point in my life where I really do see, you know, whenever someone, say on Twitter or social media or whatever comes after me and it happens more often now where they're like Steven, you're you're going to hell you're leading 1000s of people astray, et cetera, et cetera. I, I believe that they believe that they're telling the truth, right. I believe that they believe
Brother Castello 15:30 well, and they, they've redefined hell for me. Because if I accept their version of hell, which is where you will be where I will be, yeah. Where the LGBT community will be, where the Black Lives Matter people will be where all of these great warriors of a greater humanity will be. I think that I think that if we really define hell that way, then then they've they've really inverted and switched everything. I think that I think God's in that hell. Yeah, I think they Christ as
Stephen Bradford Long 16:03 Christ is their grace would be there, because I may I may I adjust your mic real fast. As long as you don't adjust anything else.
Brother Castello 16:11 There you go. Yeah. So it's for this. It's like this for me. You know, it's like, it's like, let's just take Pope Francis, who was quite a controversial. Yeah, I mean, there were we are at a time in life, in our society in a global and in a global context where there are probably faithful, good, genuine Catholics who think that the Pope is probably going to end up in hell. Oh, for sure. Because of who he loves
Stephen Bradford Long 16:37 group, right? Unspoken. Do you think he's gay? No. Okay. No, I do you mean, because of the kind of people who he is willing to accept? Right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So. So let's talk about that. Let's talk about Pope Francis, because there was some really big news.
Brother Castello 16:55 Yeah, you're right.
Stephen Bradford Long 16:59 But here's the thing. I am not personally in the thrall of this poem. I think that he, I think that we've had this tendency over the past decade or however long it's been now that he's been Pope, that where he will say something that sounds super progressive, but in actuality, it's just kind of a softer reframing of of the catechism of Roman of the Roman catechism. It's kind of a softer reframing, but it's not actually a radical departure from from the Roman Catholic teaching. And and I think that people tend to misunderstand that.
Brother Castello 17:42 There's a sense to that. There's a sense, it depends on who you ask, because certainly, there are people who view it the way that you do. Yeah, the way that I do, which is that this is kind of a soft pseudo affirmation of exactly. But yeah, there's, there's a sense that, that that wouldn't be how a conservative Roman Catholic like a Ratzinger move it, which was the previous Pope, who was, you know, if you've seen the two Pope's, you, you understand, and that I don't, I don't care who you are, whether you're a Satanist, a Buddhist, or Muslim or a Catholic, to see a movie that doesn't necessarily historically, historically, present in a flawless manner, the identity of Pope Francis and the previous Pope Benedict, but if you want to see a movie that really illustrates the war between two types of ideologies and one organization. So imagine this, imagine that you are on a boat with a bunch of sailors, and literally half those sailors are
Stephen Bradford Long 18:54 I'm I'm, I'm, I'm hard already.
Brother Castello 19:00 I will not disclose how I how I feel. And half of those sailors are you have you have 100 sailors headed toward an island. 50 of them want to go to the island to the left, that is a mile apart from the island on the right. Yeah. That's what it feels like in Roman Catholicism. And there's such a such a uniformity to who they are in many ways, but some of them want to head to the island on the left. Yeah, and some on the right. And that's this. That's an illustration of the staunch divide between conservative and liberal Catholics. So a conservative Catholic would say that Pope Francis has absolutely doctrinal ly offended the church, huh? Yeah, we are as a liberal Catholic would say this is not enough. So what that's really amazing. That is interesting and I feel I actually feel sorry for Francis because he He is right now unable to satisfy either Craney
Stephen Bradford Long 20:06 one. Yeah, no, that's, I think you're probably right about that. And, also, I mean, they're just limits to what he can say. I mean, there, there are just, he cannot, as Pope come out against established Catholic teaching,
Brother Castello 20:25 it's that and I will also want you to know, a lot of people won't know this. And since this is a small, niche crowd that I'm speaking to with, because this is your Patreon podcast, yeah. It's a matter of life and death. I really believe that if the Pope came out today and said that there is no sinful nature to homosexual acts or relationships, that it could get threaten his life, get him killed and others, you know, like, look at look at Father James Martin, as wonderful as he is. Yeah, his he would be such a target. And it's okay. I think it's okay, as large and as ancient is the Roman churches. It's okay to say, we're not going to rush into this because people are not ready for this.
Stephen Bradford Long 21:12 Yeah. And it could. I mean, that's an interesting perspective that it could actually endanger people's lives. I mean, it makes me think of Bishop Jean Robinson, who's who is part of the Episcopal Church. And
Brother Castello 21:26 here's the thing. You talked earlier about different Catholic expressions. Episcopalians are Catholic, yes, they are just not Roman. They're just
Stephen Bradford Long 21:33 not Roman. Exactly. And, you know, Bishop Jean Robinson, he had to he was the first publicly gay and gay affirming bishop in the Episcopal Church. And he had to wear a bulletproof vest at his confirmation, really, because there were so many death threats. I mean, this was, this was, I mean, this was pretty early on. I mean, this was I think, back in the 90s. And so it was gay, gay acceptance in the church was nowhere near where it is now. Well, and even then, I'm back then he had so many death threats 1000s of death threats against his life. He had a bullet proof vest under his vestments.
Brother Castello 22:15 Yeah. Yeah, let's, let's go. Let's kind of bookmark that. And let's, I'm gonna go back. I'm gonna backtrack just a little bit, rewind. Just, of course, for a second, I want to tell a story. My spiritual director who I will not close disclose her name is a Roman Catholic nun. And she is a great icon of immigration rights. She lives in an apartment that is not far from the convent that she ministers to. Because you know, not not all nuns live in the convent. Some of them live in their own apartments, and they have their own lives. She and one of the most beautiful things about this Roman Catholic nuns convent is that they have retreats for lesbian sisters, that's amazing, which is great that Well, here's the deal. Here's what's crazy about that, and beautiful at the same time, is that none of the sisters are going to be sexually involved because of their vow of celibacy. So she went to the sisters one day and said, you know, if you're not sexually involved, if you have a vow of celibacy, why do you desire for there to be even conversations about your LGBT identity, your lesbian identity, or whatever their identity may be? They may be as pansexual or bisexual. And what Pope Francis has done ties into this, what Pope Francis has done when you to use a Biden term, when you get past all the malarkey. And you let all the noise settle. Here's what it's really about what Pope Francis has done for Christians who are gay and Christians who are distinctly Catholic, the answer that the sisters gave was, we want to be seen. Yeah. We want to be visible. Yeah. We want to be heard. So right now, what Pope Francis has done at this level of affirming legal, civil unions, which is what he's done. He's not comment on on church teaching.
Stephen Bradford Long 24:33 Yes, exactly. He has civil it's purely in the purely in terms of the law.
Brother Castello 24:38 Yeah, he has said, I see you. I hear you. I'm listening. You're not invisible. Yeah, I mean, look at the invisibility cloak with Harry Potter. That's what so many gay people do. Or they try to shove them back their selves back in the tomb. Like Lazarus did, you know in the scriptures, which may be a reference people don't understand Like I said, look it up. It's so visibility is not is so valuable. It was so valuable to me. If one person before I died, when I was in the closet looked at me and said, I see you, I hear you. I love you.
Stephen Bradford Long 25:17 That's it not I love you. Still or I love you, however, but I love you. That's, that's what's valuable to me. Is that visibility, yeah. And still to this day. And it being seen like that can really be a matter of life and death for people. It really is. And just to clarify, for listeners who don't know, I don't think we actually clarify what we're talking about, which is Pope Francis, made a statement in a recent documentary that is coming out or has come out or whatever, in which he's he basically gave his approval for gay civil unions, and that, and that gave a legal level at the legal level and that gay people deserve
Brother Castello 26:00 to have family and hold on, hold on. Right. So here's what a lot of people don't understand about the Pope. The Pope has a magnetizing force to his words that can actually pull particular countries in a certain direction, because of their Catholic prominence. So he was not just the pope doesn't have an individual identity. It's like even me, I'm connected to a community. So when I speak, I affect that community. Well, but Pope just happens to affect over a billion people right in the world. Right. So when he said he was not just speaking, saying, you know, this is how I feel. That's not how it works. When you're the Pope. He was calling for safety in this regard, you know, because he sees if he's effectively saying, legalize it, stop killing people. Yeah, yeah. Because that's happening. Look at Poland. Poland has this atrocious, dark rise of no LGBTs zone. Yeah, kind of freaky thing going on. And he's saying, like, I'm not he's not just saying I want the courtrooms to honor gay people. He's saying I want the bloodshed to end and that that's so important to talk about.
Stephen Bradford Long 27:23 I agree, I privilege
Brother Castello 27:24 United States citizen homosexual, I have to say that
Stephen Bradford Long 27:28 we have to acknowledge that. And, you know, there's also I think that there is this element where even the because I remember back when he was first what's the what's the proper word for being made Pope? What's the word for that? Oh, God, I mean, backwards. I know there's a Catholic word for that. Well, there probably is.
Brother Castello 27:51 But I would just say that he's when he was given papal authority
Stephen Bradford Long 27:55 when he was given papal authority. I remember him making these these kind statements to gay people, and about gay people. And, and it was international news. And, and what's interesting to me about that is even though he didn't go far enough for me, he didn't. He didn't. But here's the thing. I think it was news because the the bar for kindness from the Catholic Church towards gay people was so low, him just being kind, him just being like, you're human. And I acknowledge you coming from Catholic leadership from Roman Catholic leadership. It's like, the bar for kindness was so low, that him just being like, yeah, you're human. And I love you. That was international news. Yeah, I
Brother Castello 28:43 think that's fair, but a little bit unfair. And here's why I agree with your principle. And I want to to Amen. You're the principle of what you're saying. But the issue is, is that what really happened was this. You had Pope John Paul the second who was, in many ways, very love centered. Absolutely. And then you had this bridge between JP to John Paul the second and Cardinal Ratzinger which became Pope Benedict. That's really what pushed it to the next level. It's this reaction from Francis, I believe, to going from John Paul the second to this reactionary election of Pope Ratzinger de gras. Yeah, regressive Ratzinger.
Stephen Bradford Long 29:30 So you really see Pope Francis then as a, as a reaction, again, as a loving reaction against kind of the the, the extremities of Ratzinger
Brother Castello 29:42 well, especially in this space speaking to public airwaves. Sure. I cannot be in the minds of the Cardinals of court have to be very careful. Sure, but I can only say that the effect was reactionary. Yeah. Like go to the streets of Rome when Ratzinger was elected to be pope Bennett. If, I mean, you had reactions from everything from, you know, this is the worst thing that's ever happened to the church, to literally, this is the best thing that has happened to the church. But most Catholics I talked to didn't want to fall into the social way of being that Ratzinger was. And and these are, you know, these are my equal brothers and sisters, but I'm not, you know, I'm not affiliated with Rome, but it does. It's very important to me, the direction Rome goes, because no matter how much I tell people, I'm not Roman, they will all they will often associate me with Rome.
Stephen Bradford Long 30:38 I mean, also, it's just, it's, it's the flagship. I mean, Rome is what Rome does and says, affects all of us, even if we are, even if we're anti Catholic, like even if we are anti Catholic humanists, like, for example, Pope Francis's encyclical about climate change Laudato Si, yes, exactly. I mean, I haven't read it. But my understanding is that it was just an extraordinary defense of the science of climate change and, and a rallying cry for us to globally do something about it. Well, that has an extraordinary impact on the entire world.
Brother Castello 31:27 Well, what's one of the most fascinating things that's different about the election of a pope is this okay, let like let's just kind of like be theoretical here. Theoretically, in any election that you have at the civil level at the at the legal level, at the political level. You can have like, freakin circus clown running against dumbass. Oh, no, you don't have that.
Stephen Bradford Long 31:56 That feels eerily similar to our current political climate in the United States Anyway, go on.
Brother Castello 32:01 Yeah. So I mean, Pope's whether conservative or liberal are massively intellectually vetted people. Yeah, they are you don't you have had bad Pope's immoral Pope's obviously. But in modern times, we've had great
Stephen Bradford Long 32:18 we've never had a stupid Poland lecture. We've never had a stupid Pope because No, we haven't. I mean, and Ratzinger you know, I'm, I'm not Catholic, and I'm not a clergy person. So I will just go ahead and I will give my opinion that I think Ratzinger was a dumpster fire, but I
Brother Castello 32:34 find dumpster fire.
Stephen Bradford Long 32:37 But the man was a brilliant scholar. Brilliant. Oh, really. And really,
Brother Castello 32:43 if you slide away, I'm reading a Ratzinger book right now. If you take away rat singers, rat singers, social tantrum, which is really what it is.
Stephen Bradford Long 32:54 Oh, yeah. His his, his reactionary elements. There's a great mind behind that. It's
Brother Castello 33:01 more than that. It's one of the greatest theological minds in the history of the church. You know, I've heard that. Yeah, it's very true. And as somebody one of the things you have to know about me, because I hope I come back, I can come back. Oh, absolutely. You can come back anytime that well. I'm not going to come back once a week. But sure. But no, you're you're welcome back anytime. That when you go, I want all listeners to watch the two popes and I will give Steven primo Netflix. Yeah. Okay. Permission to I will give Steven permission to put out my email and everything and we can we can have conversations about what what you what you need to know about me is my theological convictions as an old Catholic are right in between Ratzinger and Francis, I'm a combination of the two of them. One of the
Stephen Bradford Long 33:47 reasons why I wanted to have you on honestly, is because I got a call. I got a question on my q&a episode. Several this was several weeks ago now. Basically, from a Satanist who was like, I didn't realize I had an anti Christian bias until my a friend of mine came out as Christian to me, and I responded really badly. And and I and he said, I am ashamed of this. I am ashamed. For the first time as a Satanist, I feel ashamed because I, I feel ashamed that I responded so negatively to a person's religious identity. And the question was, how do you deal with this? How do you deal with anti Christian bias to me? And my answer was, you just have to get to know the good ones. You really do you I mean, there are many different ways of being Catholic and I and I was honest and said, You know, I have personally struggled with an anti Catholic bias, especially because I was so hurt by the Catholic Church but but the answer is to just lean in the answer if you're able to not everyone is able to and I understand that and we really need to heal in our own ways from from religious abuse, but for me, the best First way that I've been able to heal is to just lean into how into being friends with the good ones, you know and that's the best way to overcome religious bias to to lean in and and get to know the awesome evangelicals the awesome Catholics here.
Brother Castello 35:16 Here's here's something that I think your viewers will listeners. I guess they could view maybe if they have some kind of mystical
Stephen Bradford Long 35:23 that's my fans only. Yeah, yeah, they have to sign up for my fans only to view. Good. Sorry, go on.
Brother Castello 35:33 So basically, Oh, I get it only fans, you had it backwards. That's
Stephen Bradford Long 35:37 fun. God dammit, I'm such a fucking Boomer. Okay, go on.
Brother Castello 35:42 So basically, one of the beauties of this is that all Catholics are good and bad people because we all have that light. And that darkness that shifts and rotates within us that we have a difficult time dealing with. And I think that's one of the values of some pagan ways of thinking that this there's the shadow and the shining, and all of us.
Stephen Bradford Long 36:10 Yes, the shadow and the light, the gold, the golden and the shout, I said the shining just because we have a common just because we have a liking of the shining of The Shining. So I've been meditating on a quote lately, and I would like to share this quote with you. Great, because I'll have to read it to Yes. And I'll send this to you so that you can actually sit down and read it, but I'll I'll read it on the show right now. And it is after this. Let's go into the election. Yeah. So So after this, we'll move on to the election. So this is from a Solzhenitsyn. Who's that Alexander Solzhenitsyn, he was one of the great critics of the Soviet Union. I mean, he wrote the Gulag Archipelago, he wrote a day in the life of Simon or of life to keep some Russian name, I mean, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant critic of a fascism or not fascism, but but of authoritarianism. And he was really one of the intellectuals just a towering intellectual who brought down the Soviet Union. And here's what he says. And just in this political climate, in this political time, I am finding that this quote gives me helps me return to center solace. Yes, he says, gradually, it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, either. But right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts inside us it oscillates with the years, and even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts. There remains an on uprooted, small corner of evil. That hold on my cat is wanting in.
Brother Castello 38:08 Yeah, bring her in. Good boy.
Stephen Bradford Long 38:11 This is Eli. He, he comes and hangs out with me every morning to get work done. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, that quote, just it really emphasizes that, that we're individuals above and beyond being members of groups, and that the the difference between good and evil is not whether you're part of this group or that group, but the line between good and evil runs through every single human heart. And this, this encourages me to see people as individuals encourages me to not judge them based on their group affiliation. Say they're part of a group that I think is absolutely reprehensible Well, guess what, they still have a bit of good in them and I can it is my job, it is my responsibility to seek out that good like, like a, like a honing missile, and try to cultivate it and try to appeal to that. That's my job.
Brother Castello 39:03 I think. And I think that no matter who you are on the spectrum from, you know, non theist all the way to what I am embodying in the share right now. Yeah, clergy. I think there is a spiritual discipline. to that. I think that's one of the greatest spiritual disciplines is to relearn the language of love inside of our own hearts, toward our neighbor. I mean, Mr. Rogers,
Stephen Bradford Long 39:30 always the great spiritual Prophet Mr. Rogers,
Brother Castello 39:33 that I always tell Bishop, I say two things I say, number one, the church should honor rarely canonize him as a saint. And the second thing is I say, I say Bishop, you know, he really was like a unofficial priest to children. He was two people. He absolutely he talked about, there's this divine spark within us. Yes. And it's true. I believe it to be true. You don't have to believe it to be true. But I do believe that everyone listening to this, and both people sitting in this room genuinely believe that there is a sense of longing for home a home. Yes. And for a space and for love and affirmation, that I mean it, it defies it defies this divide that we have, which is what I want to talk about. Yeah, to talk about now, which is here, hit let me let me just like, just vent one of my pet peeves about this, please last four years, even into 2015 Trumpism and all that. This is what I I'm so frustrated about this one thing right here. I hear constantly. We are more divided than we have ever been. That's a lie. And I know you want to ask questions about
Stephen Bradford Long 40:55 I am holding my questions and okay and letting you you. Yeah, letting you talk
Brother Castello 41:00 when you have a Empire like Nebuchadnezzar, like look it up.
Stephen Bradford Long 41:08 That's the one thing about the illogical people you're I'm always had for me to like look it up, girl, look it up.
Brother Castello 41:14 We we have a Empire Empire like Nebuchadnezzar, like leader in our land that has not successfully divided us, but people want us to believe that. And let me let's just point to the Lincoln project really quickly. Yes, lifelong Republicans, who literally said on a video recently, we would have endorsed Bernie Sanders. Wow. Why? Because they believe that Bernie Sanders actually gives a damn about this country. Yeah. So when you have black and white and LGBT and straight, and Republicans and Democrats, and like, demographics that I can't even think of coming together, to take down and to take down an empire like a Nebuchadnezzar like leader. Like Trump, it's not fair to say that we're more divided than we ever have been. factions of us are. But as a whole, I can sit down with a Republican who I used to not have anything in common with and say, We don't like this guy.
Stephen Bradford Long 42:24 Yeah, that's beautiful. I think I really need right now, that kind of positive reframing. So I appreciate that because things just feel so pessimistic. And honestly, like, the closer we the closer we get to the election, by the way, this is going to be the pre election episode on Patreon. I mean, this is coming out, I think the day before the election.
Brother Castello 42:54 Yeah, I also give you permission if you want to put it to the other one, too. Okay. On the other side, on on the sacred tension side, okay, this is fine. It is
Stephen Bradford Long 43:05 1141. And how about if I stopped the recording, we can take a break, and then we can just come back and keep recording. Okay, so we're going to bring this specific recording to a real fast, close, and we'll be right back. Check. Check, check, check, check. Yep, yep. All right.
Brother Castello 43:22 Okay, here we are. We're back.
Stephen Bradford Long 43:23 Here we are. We are back from our break. We had to eat bananas and take a piss and drink some coffees but and we are here.
Brother Castello 43:32 We drink coffee so we can pee more. Exactly. I get kicked out of the cauldron.
Stephen Bradford Long 43:37 Yes. You're you're drinking out of my cauldron mug. Do you know who? Baba Vanga is? I don't Eastern looks like a guru. Yeah, Eastern. So she's on my coffee mug right here. She was a blind, Eastern Orthodox or Russian Orthodox Prophet prophetess. And I just and like folk prophetess and I just love her look. I just Yeah, I no
Brother Castello 44:03 doubt i
Stephen Bradford Long 44:04 She's She's metal as fuck. And she's
Brother Castello 44:07 that and she's entranced. All the way. All the way I gotta learn about her. Was she canonically orthodox? I have no I bet I have no clue those Eastern people get it. I don't know what that means that they like get it they're really they really have such a such a broader mind to like mysticism and thing. Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 44:28 no, that's true. Western people are lame. I agree with that. That yeah, you know, trying to you know, I'm a non theistic mystic. That rhymes non theistic mystic.
Brother Castello 44:40 Anytime he says that I just get tickled. Anytime you can pull that off a non theistic mysticism. You can pull off anything and I'm impressed. I'm very impressed.
Stephen Bradford Long 44:49 Well, you know, I just had a long conversation with Shiva honey. A week or two ago on the show about it and and she's you know, I would say she's pretty spooky. and mystical too. And she's she's a Satanist. She's a non theist. And and we are really working hard to normalize non non theism and mysticism and trance states, etc. and Western atheists just aren't having it.
Brother Castello 45:14 Be it. Here's, here's what's interesting here, here's what I will say, then this is not a definitive, but it's close. You can have an organization without mysticism. You can't have a movement without it. It's just the way that it is. Even the Civil Rights Movement had kind of this mystical undergirding of,
Stephen Bradford Long 45:32 yeah, and you know, each movement has to have its poets, doesn't it?
Brother Castello 45:36 Yeah, that's what I was getting ready to hit on your whole idea that rising out of the human soul? Is this sound, this vibration, this melody? And I mean, just look at the song like, I'm not gonna let anybody turn me around. Yeah, like the songs of the civil rights movement, rising, rising out of the soil of, of the wearer of soil that was trod by slaves. You don't get you don't get flat emotionless, non spiritual, non mystics. Mystical reality from that kind of oppression. Yeah, it presses out of us that
Stephen Bradford Long 46:15 Yeah, yeah. And you know, every movement you're right, every movement needs its mistakes. And
Brother Castello 46:21 it's mysticism is the about the ability to keep singing about the ability to keep monitoring to keep posting to keep the vibration going,
Stephen Bradford Long 46:31 even even when shit is real fucking dark. Yeah, yeah. Especially when shit is real dark.
Brother Castello 46:37 Speaking of dark, we're gonna where you are we have been in like one big valley of the shadow of death kind of situation with for the last four and a half years. Yeah, five years.
Stephen Bradford Long 46:50 Yeah, I mean, for real. And Alright, so let's talk about the election. This is um, so we have decided that this is not just going to be a house of heretics episode, we are airing this publicly on the main show on sacred tension on unless I unless we decide otherwise. But because I think that this conversation is important and needs to get out there. And so Castillo, you are a Catholic clergy person. And while you may not be able to, to have what's the word while you can't endorse a candidate, you can UNendorsed the candidate.
Brother Castello 47:29 Here's the thing, you know, I look at Aquinas look him up. Most people would know how do you say his name? Aquinas,
Stephen Bradford Long 47:36 is it Aquinas or Aquinas? I've always said Aquinas, Aquinas, Aquinas, okay.
Brother Castello 47:41 We're saying the same thing. How are we not? Aquinas? Aquinas? That's how I say it. Aquinas. Okay. queerness.
Stephen Bradford Long 47:49 We're talking about the same. We're Thomas Aquinas, yes. Look at him. Look at
Brother Castello 47:53 his desire to commentate on the moral and ethical direction of the world. It is so appropriate for faith and spiritual leaders to recognize when things are going wrong. And they are way wrong. And that's why I say I've been using kind of the Twitter a bowl phrase of I'm not endorsing by endorsing Biden. I'm an endorsing Trump. Yep. Let's talk about that.
Stephen Bradford Long 48:24 So you are an endorsing Trump and honestly a vote for Biden right now is a vote against Trump. We are we are as you said it, I did vote against Biden or a vote for Biden is an UNendorsed mint of Trump because Biden, you know, he is not he is he is not the mighty hero. We need to carry us through this dark season.
Brother Castello 48:46 What were those weird guys on Winnie the Pooh?
Stephen Bradford Long 48:50 The weird guys on Winnie the dark i
Brother Castello 48:51 Scrump a lump atlases?
Stephen Bradford Long 48:53 I have no idea.
Brother Castello 48:54 There was some weird, let me just put it to you this way. I don't care if you vote for Winnie the Pooh.
Stephen Bradford Long 49:00 I am definitely writing in Winnie the Pooh,
Brother Castello 49:02 it is better than what we're dealing with. Because it's not
Stephen Bradford Long 49:06 my cat would make a better president than Trump. Yeah. And cats are serial.
Brother Castello 49:12 There's reasons. There's reasons for that. Let's unfold that. Ask me questions. Yeah.
Stephen Bradford Long 49:16 So okay, ethical questions. Okay. So
Brother Castello 49:19 morally more, let's talk about let's try to go the direction of moral theology here. Okay.
Stephen Bradford Long 49:25 Oh, where do I want to go with this? In what ways do you feel like Trump is not just anti human but actually anti Christian? How is he antichrist?
Brother Castello 49:36 Well, the it's that's an interesting question, because the first thing we it's what is that is beautiful about Jesus is that Jesus was human. Right? The humanity and Divinity of Jesus coming together co mingling is what? Like, the great tenet of Christianity. So being anti human, is anti Christian. Yeah, so we have to fuse those together, however, to talk about distinctives. The first thing is, is that the sowing of quarreling and division between people is not what Jesus did. I mean, Jesus, when Jesus came and had his arch nemesis in the narrative, which were the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were very oppressive of people, and very law centered and didn't understand the spirit of things. It was a Jesus came and an already divisive society. And he was against that.
Stephen Bradford Long 50:39 Yeah. So what, what are you going to do? If Trump wins the same
Brother Castello 50:44 thing I have been doing the same thing you have been doing, which is to continue to love people one person at a time and try to live non violently and try to. And that's important. Oh, gosh, you know, I'm getting like a, I just got like, intellectual Steven Bradford long induced brain freeze when you said that. Please like it. Please ask that last question again, because it just,
Stephen Bradford Long 51:14 like shook me. Yeah. What are you going to do if Trump wins?
Brother Castello 51:17 Oh, yeah. Okay, so here's the deal. Here's what I want to encourage everyone to do. You do it, I do it. People do it in many different ways. Many different different colors and shades of expression when it comes to this. Don't be routine, less in this hour.
Stephen Bradford Long 51:32 What does that mean? Have have your ritual? Have a ritual? Yeah, so
Brother Castello 51:35 ever the BLEEP you are? Can you got one of those customer believers? No
Stephen Bradford Long 51:40 clergy, customer believer? Nope.
Brother Castello 51:42 Whoever you are. Wake up with some sense of good news. It's so tempting right now to get up and run to CNN. Yeah. And to start the panic. Yes. I'm saying before the panic, break out the ritual. Yeah, you know, I don't I don't care what your tradition is. Whether you're like I do the Divine Office, morning and evening that can be looked up to I do the same prayer rhythm that monks do. Yeah. wrote in, in the Roman tradition, and in the Eastern tradition, wonderful. We have. So like, I would say bookshelf your day, begin with that. Begin breathing that refreshing breath of I'm human. I'm loved. I affirm myself. I would say that wake up, knowing that God loves you. You don't have to say that. But in the morning and evening, wake up with that sense of hope and of humanity and direction and direction. Yeah. And go go to bed with it. But I, I think that, you know, I think this brings me to the whole to the whole, what do I you know, how has Trump affected? Me?
Stephen Bradford Long 52:54 Yeah. So you and I are both gay. And I feel like the gains that I experienced just as a gay person, you know, collectively that we that we experienced as gay people under Obama and Obama was not perfect. Obama was was far from perfect, but he did under his presidency, we did make some incredible gains. Right? That is just true. How has your mental health been?
Brother Castello 53:28 It's, it's been really interesting. This for the first time in my life, because I'm almost 28 I'll be 28 in less than a month.
Stephen Bradford Long 53:35 Happy birthday. Happy early birthday.
Brother Castello 53:38 That's creepy. Now I'm kidding. Basically, this I mean, it's really weird. And it's scary. But I have never thought about the temporary nature of my life so much.
Stephen Bradford Long 53:53 It's really weird that you say that, actually. And I know that we're kind of getting far afield from Trump, but I find myself going to bed every night, intensely aware of my mortality, not in a depressive way, not in a morbid way. But just intensely aware of the fact that someday I will die.
Brother Castello 54:12 So here's the deal. Okay. Any theology or philosophy of death, that doesn't include resurrection is not Christian. So you ask about Donald Trump being Christian or not. He leads our mind to a place of death. And there's there's not resurrection, the only hope. If you are a Trump supporter, is if you have this resurrecting nature of money, you have to be of a certain class and what's really been sad for me is to see the poor and the downtrodden by into I'm just going to call it out. It's a lie. The whole thing has been a lie.
Stephen Bradford Long 54:56 Yes, the whole thing is one big con the entire as
Brother Castello 55:00 he calls it, he it's like he kept saying during the impeachment and he still talks about it a sham. Talk about a sham.
Stephen Bradford Long 55:08 Yes. It talks about a from the very beginning, this idea that Trump was somehow the going to, quote unquote, drain the swamp and the reality is he is the swamp. There is no one more swampy than Trump. There's no one more insider than Trump. Well,
Brother Castello 55:25 in from a, from a Christian perspective, Catholic perspective. I want to say that anyone who claims that they're the Savior when there's only one is vehemently heretical. And it's just too i It's really strange to label Trump has as heretical when he is not an authority
Stephen Bradford Long 55:48 I as I think he is, as a Satanist, I will go ahead and call him heretical and not in the good way. Because I don't even think he's a theist, right.
Brother Castello 55:57 I don't think there's our first atheist president. So he told
Stephen Bradford Long 56:00 me, and I wish that he and I, and I wish that we actually had a good atheist president, because I personally would love to see more atheists in leadership, but, but he really might be like our first truly atheist president, he doesn't give a fuck about religion, he doesn't give a fuck about God. There's an end this pandering to the evangelical base and to the religious base is, is a completely cynical and destructive manipulation.
Brother Castello 56:31 Well, and I mean, Jesus, Jesus was the opposite of manipulation. He was there he was upfront, he was vulnerable. And people are hungering for vulnerability and truth right now. And that's one of the reasons that I wanted to come on, because I want to, even though it's not enough, I want to at least begin the process of healing by verbally apologizing to everyone who has encountered clergy who's not willing to be vulnerable. It's massively damaging, we represent the most vulnerable God, the most vulnerable expression of God, Jesus, Jesus was vulnerable enough to come and die. Poor people. That's my theology. So for a representative of Christ, literally, my face says that I embody the persona Christi, the person of Jesus, that's what Catholic priests are supposed to do. And vulnerability is one of the first embodiments of Jesus. So a person who's not vulnerable and truthful, like Donald Trump, is antichrist is anti Jesus.
Stephen Bradford Long 57:34 So and I want to go back to this question, how has How has your how has How has your mental health been under Trump?
Brother Castello 57:44 Well, I've had my moments of, and I'm in that now. That's why I'm in Nashville. That's why the story is that my partner and I came just to spend the night and I just told him, I said, I need you to go back home to work. You do your thing, your life, and I'm going to stay in the mountains. And I'm going to contemplate, I'm going to dream, I'm going to experience peace, because I have had to say to myself timeout, like three or four times in the last year, because it's so scary that not only that, we would go toward greater damage, but that we would have a true eradication of all that we have built. Yeah. All the the Justice people all the all the love centered people during the Obama years have built. I mean, it there's nothing worse than a beautiful bridge that sturdy and uniting people being torn down by evil.
Stephen Bradford Long 58:46 So I have not. So we are recording this on Wednesday, the 28th. The week before the election, and we just don't know what's going to happen. I mean, if someone were to put a gun to my head, and asked me, Where is this going to go? i All I can say is, I have I can say with a certain measure of confidence that Biden is going to wear when the majority vote. That's it. We don't know where the electoral college is going to go. We don't know what the Supreme Court is going to do if if something is contested, especially with Amy Kony Barrett now nominated, we, we just we just don't know and the level of insert uncertainty that I am living with right now. The only thing that I can handle listening to right now are vapid, British women's mystery novels because that is the only thing that doesn't stress me out right now. And so you know, like I I'm audio booking a British mystery novel about a a woman who's going on a vacation In a cruise ship and the the the woman in the room next to her dies, and she has to figure out what happened is like, this is the extent of my mental capacity right now. Because the stress is making me go crazy. And yeah,
Brother Castello 1:00:15 so let's just do like our, our own. In general spiritual This is one of the things that I teach people in spiritual direction. Because we get so caught up in the dark, imaginative world of what we don't know.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:00:31 Yes, which is the what ifs and there's no resolve there like there's no escaping.
Brother Castello 1:00:34 So let's focus on a couple things that we know and like, kind of pull back the layers of the onions. Of what we what we know. Okay, so here's, here's what we know. I am an individual in a collective society who has one vote? Yes, I cannot force this moral arc to bend towards justice in this country. And move I cannot elect Joe Biden myself to be a resident of the White House. Yeah. Right. The second thing we know, is that, that in in the history of America, there has never been a greater broader, more diverse coalition around a candidate than his around Joe Biden, which sounds tempting to disagree with because of Obama. But here's the thing. Biden has what Obama had plus, it's true. Some you have Republicans, Democrats, independents, people of all shapes and colors. The P there are people who are supposed to vote for Biden that will, yeah, people who are not supposed to vote for Biden, who will? Yeah, so I think until election day, we have to rest in the beauty of that coalition.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:01:48 I really like that positive reframing like this is this, this fight really is bringing people together. It's bringing a lot of conservatives and progressives and liberals and minorities together, all to overcome the great enemy. You know, it really is like an alien invasion. And like all the countries of the world joining together, getting over their disagreements to defeat this monster, the place
Brother Castello 1:02:16 that I'm in is that I recognize that Trumpism if it lasted 100 years cannot erase the ability for humans to come together and to fight together, which is not really the word, the Civil Rights word would be struggle, because fight sounds violent. Yeah. Struggle. So what we that's what we do know, we know, three, thanks. Biden has the greatest coalition around him. I only have one vote. And the last thing that we know, is that that which that Trumpism cannot Trump Trumpism doesn't have the capability to deconstruct the humanity that is present in the world. Yeah, it's not possible. Yeah, he can't he can't do it. Eat the human spirit, you know, so But back to the fear part. The fear for me is not will Biden win on paper? Not? I believe he will. Okay, first of all, look at Georgia. Texas, right. The our I read, read two articles last night. One was that Democrats are beginning to be optimistic, despite the 2016 score, right. And the other thing that I read was, hey, Biden could win Texas and Georgia and North Carolina, but he doesn't have to. If he wins one of those Texas, Georgia or North Carolina, we can party.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:03:47 Yeah, we can drink. I hope you're right.
Brother Castello 1:03:49 I really hope you're right. Just don't drink one shot for every electoral college vote because then you will.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:03:55 I'm not I'm not even going to do one shot for Biden because I that will kill me because of the meds I'm on. Yeah, okay. So so basically what I'm hearing is this, I mean, I personally need this and I think other people need it to just this positive reframing because in and let's go ahead and go to the worst case scenario. Trump wins. He can't defeat the human spirit. He can't defeat this this incredible coalition that has been built up. And you know, when when Trump first won in 2016, Nadia bolts Weber tweeted something which I thought was just so powerful, and I love Nadia bolts, whoever and, and she said, we just have to love harder. That's what we're gonna do. We're just going to we just have to love her
Brother Castello 1:04:42 And to piggyback on her who whom I really love, I think Nadia possesses or I should say, occupies a certain space that very few people do, living in between this ancient and modern expression of faith. So it's piggyback on her, I think what Nadia is really saying is, say what?
Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:05 Say what she said, again, we just have to love harder.
Brother Castello 1:05:08 I think what Nadia is saying is we need to just keep increasing what we were born to do. And that's what people need to know that love is what you were born to do and be. Yeah, that's, that's what you're, I mean, we, the goal of all this is that we would not just love one another, like in this kind of nonchalant, ideological, warm feeling between one other, but we would actually become love, which includes the sacrifice and the suffering of, and that's when I think it's encouraging for me that what I want people to know is there's two things right now, in this moment, you are not going to enter into this next season of life these next 90 days, these next four years, whether Biden or Trump gets elected without suffering. But you can live it with joy. And I mean, look at the life of Mother Teresa, very joyful woman, very hard to get along with tremendous amount of suffering, a lot of anxiety. And that's where I am right now. Our anxieties, collectively and our anxiety individually does not have to be the enemy of our joy. Yeah. And what it what a shoot, let's talk about what joy means to second, the Steven, turn the tables a little on being a queen here. What does Joy mean to you? Because I want I kind of want to hear from Joe because, sure, there's, I don't want the Christian triumphalism to bleed too much through in this interview, even though I am like, yeah, I have the superior opinion here. Now,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:06:46 of course, you do know. What does Joy mean? To me joy means? Joy means being centered. And it doesn't mean highs and lows of emotion. There's a difference to me between joy and mania. And as someone who I love that because I'm as a bipolar person. Exactly. And I'm all in you know exactly what I'm talking about. And, and I think for us, you know, I live with mental health issues as well. And I think for many years, I mistook joy for mania. And I now understand, especially as I have fallen into the rhythm of a, of a religious practice and into the Revo, important, so beautiful and into the rhythm of ritual. That joy for me is actually this, this, this stillness, and this centeredness, and this well being that doesn't really have much to do with emotion. It's, it's deeper than that. And I don't know how to describe it, other than other than that, that to me is joy. Yeah,
Brother Castello 1:07:55 I mean, such a similar definition. What I would say is that joy is us being rooted in that which is unchanging. Yes, actually, I think that there's such a beauty in that it's one of the one of the things that you know, distinguishing joy and happiness is such a, such a beautiful, it really is and distinguishing joy and maybe more joyful, the more I've suffered in this past four years, it's a very Catholic thing for you to say, right? Doesn't mean that I am chasing suffering down. But I'm accepting an understanding that no matter what I, who I am, cannot be taken from me. So what
Stephen Bradford Long 1:08:36 do your so the practices that that center you the practices that, that get you, you know, at the very beginning of the section we were talking about, you were encouraging people to find their spiritual practices and their religious practices? What are your practices?
Brother Castello 1:08:54 Well, I mean, first of all, silence one of the things that's so interesting to me about silence is that it's the one thing that is literally the same, it has never changed. When you sit in silence, it's the same silence that Francis of Assisi satin, same silence that St. T con, which is an Eastern, Eastern St. I mean, it's the same silence that Mahatma Gandhi sat in. It's something that we can share. intergenerationally and it's like silence is like the one thing that has figured out how to time travel.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:09:34 That's beautiful. Yeah.
Brother Castello 1:09:35 So silence begin there. I think anyone who wants to meditate or do the silence thing, contemplation or whatever, what I tell people is five minutes and build, you can literally say, okay, you can say, you can start with five minutes of silence and build by one minute every day for a month. Yeah, five minutes. First day, six minutes the second, then all of a sudden, at the end of the month, you're meditating more than you ever have in your life. Some great, great people. Richard Rohr meditates. 20 minutes in silence. And every morning, that's it. That's the first thing he does. It's nothing special. I do the Divine Office, which is a rhythm. That's a little bit hard to explain. We pray the
Stephen Bradford Long 1:10:24 Psalms. Yeah, talk, talk some about the Divine Office for people who don't know there's,
Brother Castello 1:10:28 there's there's Hebrew poetry, ancient Hebrew poetry, that it's called Psalms. And many of them are written by David they written written by many people. So we have this rotation of the Psalms. And we have response call and response surrounding that, and Scripture surrounding that, where you go through that in the morning and in the evening. We call them lots and Vespers. Lots is just morning prayer. Best verse is just evening prayer. And you go through this structured prayer rhythm, preferably with other people, I do it alone, because I don't have the luxury of doing it with other people right now. But it's just it's the prayer rhythm that the monks do. Praying out the ancient Hebrew poet, poetry in the Bible, the Psalms, I do the Jesus Prayer with the Jesus rope, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. The first part with an inner breath, the second part with an outer breath, people don't care who you are, or where you come from, please utilize your breath. Yes, and your spiritual universal, that is the universal and the Old Testament. It's the Ruach HaKodesh. The breath of God. In the New Testament, it's Panera, Atma, or Numa, where we get like the word pneumonia. So there's this identity to God and my tradition that God is breath, he's alive. And so just breathing and using your breath inside of your, and of course, I pray the rosary. I really think that all people from all different walks of spirituality, theist or not should study Mary. The reason is, is because Mary is the greatest example of an individual who built her life around the promotion of another person. Her life was centered on her son and promoting him and she's kind of this silent yet loud figure. She's hidden but she's so not hidden. Yeah, so she's, it's beautiful pick up books about Mary. I mean, Mary, Mary's great. And anybody who has a theistic or non theistic mysticism to her will recognize her as one of the great mystics of all time Kierkegaard
Stephen Bradford Long 1:12:55 called her one of the great nights one of the few great knights of
Brother Castello 1:12:59 faith, Knights of a knights of faith. Hey, and I GNK. Yes,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:13:03 he talks about I think it's an it's either in sickness unto death or fear and trembling. He. Yeah, her Abraham and I think one other players they
Brother Castello 1:13:15 deal. Here's what's really, really fascinating to me. Most spiritual people are just trying to be okay. Yes, instead of being transformed. None enough folks. And even if even if you suffered greatly, which I don't claim to, but sometimes I wonder because of my health, my mental health. Do I suffer greatly? I do. I don't know. But here's the thing. I'm not walking around trying to be okay. I'm really trying to walk around and become a better human every year to
Stephen Bradford Long 1:13:44 be transfigured. Yes. And so, I guess to to bring this in for a landing I guess what I'm hearing you say and what I'm what I think the theme of this episode is, is to just encourage people to go to go go to their quiet places, go to their rituals, the things the rituals that give them life, the stillness, the silence, go up the mountain. And we can get through this election together no matter where it goes. We
Brother Castello 1:14:17 can but I do want to preface that the silent places very loud and tell us cancel out the noise. Oh, yeah. And it's your job. It's real fucking hard. It's it's hard and but I really like one of it's not Merton, but who's the other contemplative centering prayer guy?
Stephen Bradford Long 1:14:35 Merton. Nowlan. Nope. Catholic
Brother Castello 1:14:41 skin thin guy. Oh,
Stephen Bradford Long 1:14:43 I have his. I have one of his books. I know exactly. Your Jesuit. No. I'm not thinking of the same person that
Brother Castello 1:14:53 Thomas Keating Yes, that's him.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:14:56 Wasn't he? He was what I thought he was possible. I mean, he okay, go Okay,
Brother Castello 1:15:01 one of my favorite things that Keaton had is a woman came to him and said, Father, Keaton, when I meditate, I get distracted 1000 times. He said, Oh, wonderful. She looked at him like, What in the hell? He goes 1000 times to return to God.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:15:21 You know, I that that kind of reminds me of what I used to teach my yoga class back when I had yoga classes, which is I compared meditation to driving, or I compared the yoga practice to driving and it's like, you're constantly making these micro adjustments back onto the road, you're, you start to get distracted and veer off just a bit, and then you just make a micro adjustment back onto the road. So that's the way it is. That means you're meditating.
Brother Castello 1:15:45 My my illustration of it is this. So there's a story in the New Testament called the story of the prodigal son. Basically, you have a father, who's wealthy. And one of the sons says, I want you to give my me my inheritance early. So he leaves. And he lives a crazy life. And he ends up in a pigsty and he's in a mess. When he turns back to the Father's house, there's this kind of the lights are on for him. He's re received, he's got a ring and a robe. So when I talk to people, I say, okay, when you're distracted in meditation, or contemplation or prayer, it's like you veered off into the pigsty. When you turn back, you will not meet a disappointed God. But you will meet a God who embraces you and throws a party for your return. So there's a party waiting on you, when you return from the place of distraction. And even God is even able to live and bring HOLINESS TO OUR distractions. So in this, I love
Stephen Bradford Long 1:16:56 that as a metaphor for meditation. I think that's awesome.
Brother Castello 1:16:59 Yeah, yeah, in this time, my final encouragement is to, don't be afraid to be you to know that you can make a decision to be that unchanging, solid force. And no matter what happens in the next few days, they cannot change this struggling, nonviolent army of people who have come together, and to say, like they did during the Civil Rights Movement. Before I be a slave, I'll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be free. Keep focused on what you know, and who you are, and who you love. And don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. Remember the words of Julian of Norwich, all shall be well, and all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:17:59 I think that's a great note to end on. Costello, thank you so much for joining me this has been grant Q
Brother Castello 1:18:04 is such a long time. Coming I hope Steven can include at the end my email, and I want to hear from you. I want to hear from you. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Don't be afraid to be hurt or offended or to struggle with my faith. Because I do too.
Stephen Bradford Long 1:18:23 Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I will. I will include his email in the show notes. And that is it for this show. The music is by the jelly rocks and eleventy seven, you can find them on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to music. This is a production of rock candy recordings and it is written by me Steven Bradford long. And as always, I have to thank my patrons this is only possible because of them. This show is also sponsored by the satanic temple.tv It is a streaming platform by and for the Satanic Temple and for anyone who is interested in the in the occult and new religious movements and ritual. They have all kinds of amazing stuff on there. And you can get one month free by using my promo code sacred tension all caps no space. All right, that is it for this show. As always hail satan. We'll see you next week
1:19:21 God bless you laugh and we cry too. We run out of the same truth Time flies if you let it free life is turning into work rinse, repeat. untangle what we've learned in wedding rings you feel like the same way I feel you just you feel like oh, you've been my truth. Every plan I've made us change