Monday, November 10, 2008

Daily Mass

Joseph once vocalized to me when we had waited until a Sunday to attend again "It feels like I haven't been to Mass in forever!"

Unfortunately, do to my more tumultuous schedule this semester, my Daily Mass goings have been much less frequent. However, I do make the time to still try to go at least once in the week, and whenever I do I can't help but feel so much more in harmony with the rest of my life. It allows me to take just a half an hour and completely focus on spiritual things.

I am digressing. Perhaps a post on this at a later time.

What I wanted to post for everyone is a homily spoken by one of our parish priests. It was in reference to the readings on Thursday, November 6th, 2008.

Today's parables include the theme of repentance, but they change the way repentance sounds. We often think of repentance as a change of direction in our lives - and that's a good picture of what it means. But, we lose a deeper sense of this change if we begin to badger ourselves, or others, with the notion that sinners must abandon their sins before God will forgive them; and the lost must figure out a way to get themselves found before a heavenly search and rescue effort begins. As St. Augustine pointed out, that's like waiting to get healthy before you go to the doctor and deal with what ails you. Today, our Lord shows us that repentance is the deep trust that our Good Shepherd has already come to us and gathered us in his arms; that God, pictured as a searching woman, has sought us out and found us. After all, a lost sheep doesn't have to prove it's the one with the wooliest coat before the shepherd goes after it, and a lost coin can't make sincere prayers to get the woman of the house looking for it. But, because the sheep is precious, the shepherd searches; because the coin is valuable, the woman picks up the broom and won't rest until it's found. Repentance is the joy of being found and refusing to wander away, the deep trust that we are sought after by God and brought home safely in the life of Jesus Christ.

Even as I type this out I can't help but heave a sigh of relief. Perhaps so much time in a Fundamentalist Protestant Church made me doubt the ability God's grace and occasionally, I need to be reminded of its far reach.

Glory to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - Amen!


Greg said...

Very beautiful post! Thank you!

From my understanding, many "fundamentalist" Protestant churches do focus a lot on the "fear of God." I think many Catholic Churches, for the most part, do a good job talking about the "love of God," which is very, very important. However, it seems that they don't focus much on the "fear of God" (well, except during Lent).

Marcus Grodi has pointed this out as well on some of his shows. He discussed the importance of a healthy balance between the love of God and the fear of God. Many Catholics today don't seem to get the "fear of God" piece, and tend to be desensitzed to sin, IMHO.

But you're right, God's grace and mercy are always there for us, no matter what our sin, if we simply turn to him and allow his grace to fill our lives.


Seraphina said...

I think one of the reasons the Catholic church focuses on the "fear of God" during Lent is due to the desensitization one goes through when getting it on a too regular basis.

Take into consideration the use of Ordinary time to break up seasons such as Lent or Advent. These "ordinary" seasons allows us to recognize more powerfully the special seasons.

My struggle has really lied in accepting God's love sometimes. There are times where I've felt that there are only two ways I will ever be with God: 1)Become a Nun or 2)Become a Martyr. This is obviously a silly notion, but one that has kind of held me back I think.

~Joseph the Worker said...

Very nice post. I am missing daily mass right now. Have not been there since Friday.

The Catholic Journeyman said...

I love analogies and parables, that one nails it in a pragmatic way... thanks for the post.

I agree with "greg" above and going one further, Protestants eyes glaze over when I describe Fileal Fear as Love of God, as result of the Father-Child relationship. Marcus nails that one often as well.


Greg said...

Seraphina, very good point about the seasons and liturgicaly year. But what we learn during Lent should not be confined to that season. We still need to always be aware of our sinfulness, and aknowlege our need for God's help.

The priest did a wonderful job explaining God's love, but I didn't see anything about our need to respond. Yes, God's mercy and grace flow like a river, no, an ocean! But if we do our "prodical son" thing and turn from that grace, then we do not have access to it. Only in returning to the father with intentions of seeking his forgiveness for our transgressions can we truly experience the fullness of this grace.

This is what I was meaning by the fear of God. Not fire and brimstone fear. But a knowledge that our sins have consequences that can separate us from His grace.

It seems that many Catholics think that God's love alone will save them. It can (God can do anything He wants), but for the most part, we need to respond and accept His love.

Thanks again for the post! Very good stuff!

God Fanboy said...

Sweet post.
Even the great saints made it known to us that they feared for their souls. So you aren't the only one who wonders about being with God.