Thursday, August 28, 2008
I've been extremely busy catching up with work this week, this was just my quick thought I wanted to share.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday's Daily Mass
Knights of Columbus/Catholic Daughters provided Dinner and talked about service activities
Praying the Rosary
Cooking Breakfast with Each Other
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour
A short talk on service and discussion of our service activities in the past
Cooking Lunch for the Homeless
Journaling about Our Experiences over the Weekend
Each member of the retreat prayed over each other individual who attended
Our Priest laid his hands on us and prayed over us and blessed us.
We ended with the Vigil Mass.
What an experience!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I was also somewhat disappointed in Pope Benedict's comments leading up to the Olympics and felt he really should have taken a much harder line stand on it, but he probably knows better than I do.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
My offenses truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.
That you may be justified when you give sentence
and be without reproach when you judge.
O see, in guilt I was born,
a sinner was I conceived.
Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness
that the bones you have crushed may thrill.
From my sins turn away your face
and blot out all my guilt.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.
O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse;
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit,
a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.
In your goodness, show favor to Zion;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
(burnt offerings wholly consumed),
then you will be offered young bulls on your altar.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen
Monday, August 18, 2008
Perhaps most disturbing is the quote
"Sise, a Catholic doctor working in a Catholic hospital, said miracles don't happen when medical evidence shows death is near.
"That's just not a realistic situation," he said."
First of all, I agree with the premise that doctors should lay the scientific cards on the table and tell family when something is very, very unlikely. But, to say that miracles don't happen AT ALL? That's obviously not true. Check out this story for instance. I'm kind of disturbed that a "Catholic doctor" said this.
At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.Reflecting on this gospel, it made me think about the relationship between Catholics and Protestants. While the Catholic/Orthodox Church has all seven sacraments to receive God's Grace through, our Protestant brothers and sisters only have 2 (Baptism and Marriage). They do not get the "full feast" that we receive in the sacraments. At the same time, many of them have great faith, and as such, like the woman Jesus talks to here, they get part of that grace through the sacraments and other religious experiences (prayer, worship services, Bible Reading, etc.). Likewise, we should not limit what God would do for these individuals or belittle them as less than ourselves. As Christ said, "Let it be done for you as you wish".
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Well, looking at the Scriptures, we noticed that many times God isn't condemning the fact that they don't know him as much as he is the fruits of that religion. In other words, what was so wrong with Paganism? As Romans 1 describes, it led to rampant immorality, something that God really hated.
Looking at other religions around the world, we can see that some (take Buddhism for instance) will have many elements that actually push people to do good and show love to their fellow man. These are the elements of religion that come from God. He does not condemn them for their good works. Ignorance in and of itself may not be the fault of the individual either. God's grace may be able to reach these individuals because they find God through Creation and see the inherent wrongness of immorality. Will they come into fullness with Christ? We can pray, but leave the judgment up to God himself. The wickedness of false religion comes in the downfall of morals that can so easily happen with it, but we shouldn't overlook the positives of other religions as well...
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Alleluia, Alleluia. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits for his word. Alleluia, alleluia.
As the Deacon holds up the Gospels in preparation for reading, I was just holding my breath, waiting for him to proclaim the living Word of God. Think about the acclamation. We wait for Christ in his Second coming, but even more immediately his presence in the Eucharist, but our souls are dying to hear him proclaimed through the Gospel, which is the Word of God, which is Him!
"Who else shall we go to? We know you have the words of Life!"
Saturday, August 9, 2008
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
This is the ultimate of what we can do as Christians. Our praise and worship are really why we were created and why we have such wonderful blessings that will follow in the prayer. We should remember to keep this in our minds always and always be thankful for everything that happens to us, even when we don't think it is for the best. Christ's sacrifice and becoming our savior is so wonderful that we should constantly be thinking about the Invitatory to the hours: "Lord, Open my Lips and My Mouth Will Proclaim Your Praise".
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
Indeed, how low are we without Christ?
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Like the Mother of God, won't we always be called blessed by future generations of people for being chosen as his sanctified and priestly people?
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
The sacrifice he has done for us clearly shows his mercy towards us, and is the source of why we will always be his blessed people.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
Think about what he did to the Roman Empire as prophesied in Daniel! And, he takes someone like humble fisherman and turns them into his Apostles. Note how they were spoken of by the educated Jews of the time. It's fascinating that a simple fisherman could be given the position to lead the early Church like Peter was. Likewise, he will lift us up if we humble ourselves before him. Pride goes before a fall, and as a Church we should remember to always seek out his mercy and grace, especially through the sacraments.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Friday, August 8, 2008
Peace be with you!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Before I was Catholic, this story seemed incredulous to me. How could they claim that the Virgin Mary really showed up in Fatima? If you aren't familiar with the story, I highly recommend you go read about it.
I set out to quickly prove that this could never have happened. I mean, it didn't sync with anything in my faith at the time. Of course, the best option for me was to turn to scientific skeptics - the same people who refute things like the resurrection of Christ. I knew, doctrinally, that Mary could never have appeared to these people nor could they have seen what they supposedly did. 70,000 people witnessed something incredible there, not an easy thing to explain.
Unfortunately, I could not come to a good conclusion. I finally concluded that the best explanation for Fatima was "mass hallucination'. I publicly told people that's what I believed happened at Fatima. People were so in tune to wanting to see it that they actually did. The prophecies that were fulfilled (such as one sister dying after all the rest) were merely coincidental.
Now I look back on this and wonder why I could come to this conclusion. I so desperately wanted to believe that it was all fake, but couldn't do it in a logical fashion. Maybe you can, but I will forever be a true believer in Fatima.
Monday, August 4, 2008
At the same time, my prayer life was pretty pathetic. As a Protestant, one of my worst habits was my lack of a real, substantial prayer life. It wasn't because I didn't want to have one. I really did. I prayed in the morning, before meals, before bed, during Church services, etc. The real problem was that my prayers were vain and repetitious. I couldn't think of anything except the standard prayer and I would pray the same ones all the time! Even if I had a special intention, I'd just stick it obtusely into my form prayer.
Then I became Catholic. WHAM! It hit me up side the head like a 2X4. The prayers had so much depth, there were so many thousands of them, and they were all so beautiful when you paid attention to the words, focusing you on Christ. I realized that the very Catholic prayers that I thought were so vain actually turned out to kick me out of my own dry repetitious prayer. I especially think about this when I pray the Liturgy of the Hours.
Please Note: I am not taking up the doctrinal question of vain and repetitious here. Thus, I won't go into detail about how the Psalms were prayers of the Faithful, how songs that we sing are prayers, how scripture reading is a form of prayer, how Christ was specifically targeting a Pagan practice when he referred to Vain and Repetitious prayers, etc. All that is for another time I guess.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
As I stated earlier, I am a fan of short homilies (sermons). I love how Catholics keep them relatively short because it helps focus my mind on the two important parts of the Mass (the way it is divided) - the Liturgy of the Word (3 Bible readings, usually one Old Testament, one New Testament, and the most important - The Gospel!) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (where we make the Eucharistic Sacrifice and consume Christ's body and blood!).
The wonderful thing about this mass is that within about 3 years (if you go to daily mass, at least) you will hear the entire Bible. You hear all of one gospel every year (Matthew, Mark, or Luke) and also parts of John during each year.
Since it is a liturgical form of worship, there are strict rules on the worship that help to maintain at least basic consistency from time to time, to focus our minds on the most important things (The Holy Trinity, and especially Christ).
I'm absolutely beaming each time I leave!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
With that in mind, I'm slightly overweight (not obese) and Seraphina was nearing the max of her healthy weight. We decided to shed some pounds and eat healthier foods. Please pray for us and keep us in your hearts.
Being a good steward of your body is important to God!
Edit by Seraphina:
If you're curious about what Joseph and I are eating, I'm keeping track of it on my other blog.
1) When I take the Body of Christ by hand, I feel like I have particles stuck on my hand, so I always have to take it by mouth.
2) I love kneeling and think we should kneel through the entire service.
3) I only like to worship in older style architectural buildings.
4) Organ music makes me giddy.
5) I want to slap everyone who talks during mass.
6) I like mass to be as long as possible, while I prefer the Homily to be as short and to the point as possible. I think that keeps our focus on the Gospel and the Eucharist.