Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
This attitude has been developing for some time in our world. The fight against the unborn is following the same trend, as contraception and abortion are not being seen as a way to control climate change and make the world "a better place". We have probably all heard of the monstrous abuses conducted in China in the name of population control, but as Catholic online reports, it seems to be spreading. It's time for us as Catholics to stand up to this kind of nonsense.
Sometimes Catholics will say that they don't need to hear about abortion because it isn't applicable to their lives, so it should be kept out of homilies. They ignore the fact that all of us, even if we aren't having abortions personally, have a responsibility to use our money, time, writing,prayer, and other resources to fight against abortion, contraception, and population control.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I thought it was a very good homily. Now if only we could figure out one spelling for grey (gray) in English...
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Advent, is a time of waiting for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ - not only in the sense of commemoration of His physical birth on Earth in Bethlehem, but also symbolically of his Second Coming. Thus, it is a time of anxiety, of restlessness, of awaiting hope to come.
I feel that the Advent Wreath does a very good job of personifying this in the candles we light each week. Slowly the darkness peels away, until the crescendo builds to Christmas Day, when our Lord and Savior was born.
My second thought was regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, we were read the Nativity Story, and told to attempt to personify ourselves as something present (I chose the perspective of the straw in the barn - but that's irrelevant). Our priest was remarking how all mothers could identify with Mary as a mother. This got me thinking about the anxiety our Blessed Mother must have felt throughout her pregnancy! I began to reflect on my own anxiety when preparing for my first baby - all of the shopping, decorating, and doctor appointments. However, I did not have to even consider, or try to understand, that I would be giving birth to the Savior of the World! How brave Mary was, and how much strength she must have embodied. Can you imagine if you were told that the child in your womb was destined to be the President of the United States? Now consider the task and responsibility of Mary the Mother of God!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
vs 1-4: Here we see a lot of focus on "what we have heard" - the oral tradition of the Early Church. Note the progression, Christ taught the Apostles (those who witnessed him) and they founded the "Apostolic Tradition", the oral tradition that by the time Hebrews is written the entire Church understands as the teaching of God.
vs 8: I can't help but notice this verse in light of the coming "Solemnity of Christ the King" towards the end of November, the last Sunday of Ordinary time. At the end of the Church calendar, we have celebrated the entire spiritual history of God's people, and how could we end in a more fitting manner than recognizing Christ as King, he whom the Father has "subjected all things and put them under his feet". This is especially important as we recognize Advent season coming up where we look not only for the coming of Christ's birth in the Church calendar, but also of his real second coming at the end of time.
vs 10,18: These two verses are some of those in the New Testament that reveal the Catholic idea of suffering and how we are perfected through that suffering. Not just Christ suffers for us, but as we suffer (except of course in punishment for wrongdoing), we share in the suffering of Christ in some deep and mysterious way.
vs. 14-15: I like to use these verses to reflect on the "mystery of faith" that we proclaim as a parish during each mass. Specifically, one of these four responses is "Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life, Lord Jesus come in Glory". Very similar to the message in the latter part of vs. 14 and vs 15
vs 17: Christ is "Our High Priest". This makes me think quite a bit about our priesthood as individuals, but also those called to separate themselves from the world and become our pastors, bishops, and other clergy. Thinking about how we all serve and offer sacrifice in some way as priests (again with that distinction between what clergy do and what the laity do, but remembering that we are all priests and that is because we all offer sacrifice at mass of the Body and Blood of Christ to God the Father) but that Christ is our High Priest, at our head and obviously strongly involved in offering his own body and blood to the Father.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This reminds me of a few Catholic practices and prayers that I want to share with you, because I believe they fit so well with the theme of Hebrews 1:
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
One of the things that struck me after becoming Catholic, since I believed I was part of the one true Church of Christ, was that Catholics actually had diversity among their ranks. There is a Catholic Church (even some underground) in every country in the world, and we are filled with tons of minorities. Worshipping next to Asians, Hispanics, American Indians, and Blacks was a very moving experience to me. Yesterday's Saint, Peter Claver, is very moving in this regard, especially how he followed slaves to their plantations in order to convince their masters to treat them fairly. The follwoing is from Catholic Online:
St. Peter Claver was born at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain, in 1580, of impoverished parents descended from ancient and distinguished families. He studied at the Jesuit college of Barcelona, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tarragona in 1602 and took his final vows on August 8th, 1604. While studying philosophy at Majorca, the young religious was influenced by St. Alphonsus Rodriguez to go to the Indies and save "millions of perishing souls."
In 1610, he landed at Cartagena (modern Colombia), the principle slave market of the New World, where a thousand slaves were landed every month. After his ordination in 1616, he dedicated himself by special vow to the service of the Negro slaves-a work that was to last for thirty-three years. He labored unceasingly for the salvation of the Africanslaves and the abolition of the Negro slave trade, and the love he lavished on them was something that transcended the natural order.
Boarding the slave ships as they entered the harbor, he would hurry to the revolting inferno of the hold, and offer whatever poor refreshments he could afford; he would care for the sick and dying, and instruct the slaves through Negro catechists before administering the Sacraments. Through his efforts three hundred thousand souls entered the Church. Furthermore, he did not lose sight of his converts when they left the ships, but followed them to the plantations to which they were sent, encouraged them to live as Christians, and prevailed on their masters to treat them humanely. He died in 1654.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
From the Godmother
Welcome to the family of the Catholic Church, a family that will give you the love, support, and courage you need on your earthy journey to Heaven. As your Godmother, I'm here to help you and your parents in any ay as part of that journey. Remember to stay strong in your faith and always diligent in your prayers to lead you on the path to Heaven. Know that you are in my prayers.
From the Godfather:
Dear Xavier Thomas,
My dear Godson, it's such a pleasure tha tyou are finally here!! I was thrilled ten months ago to hear of your expected arrival, as I am thrilled on the eve of your baptism. I wish for you a life filled with a great faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. Please know that you will be in my daily thoughts and prayers and know that if there is any way I can help you, get in touch whenever. Always honor your parents and your Lord and our Lady and you will enjoy a life of fulfillment! With prayers, I remain yours ever, with much , much love. C
So those two were indeed beautiful. Here are some pictures now (you might have to click on some of them to get them to show up full size without cutting some of the picture off, depending on your resolution):
Dad and Son:
Mom and Son:
Godparents (click to enlarge):
Fr. Andrew begins the actual Baptism:
A closeup shot:
Can't tell who is happier me or Father Andrew (click to enlarge)!
All of us with the Lord Jesus present in the tabernacle behind us (click to enlarge)!
The best part?! He STILL smells like incense from the oil of baptism! It's awesome.
An Addition from Seraphina:
I posted some additional notes and pictures over on my personal blog!
Also, today's Gospel matched beautifully. If I may share:
Mark 7:31-37The bold emphasis (which I added), is one of the parts of a Catholic Baptism, called the Ephphatha.
Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
The priest takes a little spittle and touches the ears and nostrils of the candidate with it. For health reasons, the use of spittle may be omitted. This rite comes from Mark 7:33-35, when Jesus healed the deaf-mute:
Priest: Ephpheta, that is to say, Be opened, for an odour of sweetness. Be thou, devil, begone; for the judgement of God shall draw near.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thus, I am going to blog about each section - a summary if you will of morsels I find particularly interesting and/or helpful (and I hope you all will feel the same).
Also, tomorrow is our son's Baptism...we are so excited!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I wanted to share a bit about St. Cecilia (a beautiful name that we might name a daughter some day), who was the first incorruptable, and I am borrowing heavily and citing her book.
St. Cecilia was one of the early martyrs of the Church. She died in 177 A.D (maybe even early enough to get in Foxe's Book of Martyr's - before the "evil Roman Catholic Church" took over and there were no saints until 1500 A.D.) Anyhow, she was a wealthy Roman who converted to Christianity. The emperor ordered her death because she would not sacrifice to the Roman Gods and they had to do it in private since a public death of a noble person would cause quite a stir. So, they sealed her up in her sauna room in her house and tried to gas her to death in a way. This didn't work, and she lived through it, so they sent in an Axe-man to chop off her head. He saw how beautiful and young she was and lost his gusto, so he tried to chop three times, and ended up not killing her...she slowly bled to death over the next few days in prayer and he ran as quickly as possible out of the house.
Of course, all this seems like such a legendary story, one that many would say was rediculous. Then, about 822 A.D., Pope Pascal I had a vision where the saint led him to her body. He moved it and had it placed in a Church. In 1599, her coffin was discovered during the remodeling of the Church. They opened it up, and there was St. Cecilia, preserved without any evidence of decomposition and EXACTLY how this 'legend' describes her death - with the axe marks and all. It was VERY heavily documented and several medical experts examined the body and wrote about it. You can read all about it in the book. So, (and despite the fact that many relics were taken of her blood soaked clothe and fragments of bone that were shattered onto her clothing by the axeman), they put her back in the tomb where it still is today, but beforehand they got a famous sculptor Stfano Maderno to come and sculpt her body. How beautiful she was!
The most amazing thing: St. Cecilia died in a position with one finger outstretched on her left hand and three on the right hand. Any clue? She was praying about the unity of God in the Trinity! (click on the picture for the full view)
I especially enjoyed this paragraph:
"Cherie. Take as an example of 'progress' the Blessed Mother of God, the Virgin Mary. After all, like all 'devout' Catholics you pray to her at Mass every Sunday. If Motherhood was good enough for the Blessed Virgin Mary, who accepted graciously the honour of being the Mother of God, when asked by the Archangel Gabriel, then why is the vocation to Motherhood now being presented by you, as something that undermines a woman's career. Believe me, lady, if the Blessed Virgin had responded to the question posed by the Archangel Gabriel by saying, "Oh blast. This has come at a really bad time! You see, I really had my heart set on being a lawyer and earning a fat pile of cash out of litigation and surrounding myself with houses and the odd yacht. Could you come back in 10 years time after I've done my law training? I am the handmaid of the Lord but the Lord will understand my personal ambitions, won't he?"...then you would not have been given the great Grace of being a Catholic, and neither would I."
really pop? congratulations to the growing family? i think it's criminal having this many children w/ global population where it is ~ who thinks these kids are going to have access to their parents with 19 of them? plus really... this is the only fulfilling thing this woman can do w/ her life? to just keep reproducing? how about nurturing the ones you have already?!?I was really pleased to see them later run this article (Does a Woman's Right to Choose Apply to Michelle Duggar?) which opens a valid point to a lot of liberal feminists.
I still say this woman is addicted to being pregnant and the attention it gets her and the breastfeeding. I just can't imagine living in a family where the only path in life you're expected to take as a female is to constantly screw and pop out babies.
And there goes the planet earth... there's absolutely no need to give birth to this many kids.
I really don't understand why feminists work against themselves. They say that their bodies are their own, to do what they want, and yet, when women do this, but not in light of their agenda, they get mad and throw stones.
Back when I was pregnant, I had to deal with a woman who attacked me joking about having a large family even. Here's an excerpt from my original post.
Related, but not directly, is a true story that occurred last (last) Thursday. I was doing a photo shoot with a ten year old girl and her parents. The girl, who was curious about my pregnancy, proceeded to ask me genuine questions such as "When are you going to have the baby?" and "Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?". She then asked (innocently enough) "How many children do you want to have?". I responded with "Oh, I don't know. Maybe two or three...who knows, maybe eight?" with the "maybe eight" bit in a quite joking tone of voice. Her mother then gave me quite the discriminating glare and responded with "Have you not considered the world's population?".By the way, don't even get me started on the sustainability issue of having a lot of children...if the United States didn't consume to the point of gluttony, it would fix our problems. Population control isn't the answer - it's living a more reasonable life that doesn't consist of disposable, instantaneous, culture.
I don't think all the peculiar glares in the world could have infuriated me any more. To begin with, this is a person who doesn't know me from a stranger down the street (perhaps that's why it was so easy to be such a rude individual to me?). Additionally, what kind of point is she trying to make? That we should regulate how many children people are allowed to have like the Republic of China? Force abortions on individuals for the "good of the nation"? To top it all off, what kind of example is she setting for her daughter?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I got a good kick out of that.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Secondly, in today's gospel, we see those following Christ reject him because they could not understand his teaching on the Eucharist (John 6). They reject him and leave because these teachings are hard. I was thinking about this in terms of Protestants who can't accept that they must eat of his body and blood.....Father Andrew as usual stole thoughts out of my mind for his homily. Remember Peter's great words:
- Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;
- and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
I want to thank especially God but also the intercession of all the Saints. I probably could never remember everyone who I asked for prayers, but especially thankful to the prayers of
Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin
St. Maximillian Kolbe
St. Francis Xavier
Also thanks to all of you who prayed for us! Say a prayer to God and to St. Maximillian (patron Saint of Pro-Life movement) about the pro-life movement and prayers that more children will be born and less killed in the womb.
Pictures maybe soon (at least from the baptism!)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed." He replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."
Commentary on Gospel from the workbook:
"The two verses that compose the Gospel reading on the Vigil of the solemnity of the Assumption are found in the section of Luke that narrates the journey of Jesus and his disciples to Jerusalem. Immediately prior to these verses, Jesus casts out a demon, speaks about Satan, and teaches about the effects of unclean spirits. In the midst of his teaching, an unidentified woman in the crowd interrupts Jesus, raising her voice to say "Blessed is the womb". Jesus's response is not necessarily meant as a rebuke or denial of her words. Instead his teaching is appropriately understood as completing the woman's words. As relates to Mary, the woman's statement praises and honors Mary for her role as his mother. Jesus's statement makes it clear that Mary is also blessed because she heard the word of God and responded obediently to it.
Because we all will not physically carry Jesus in the womb, Mary stands as a model of holiness for us; her hearing of the word stands in stark contrast to the evil disobedience of the demons and unclean spirits. Through her obedience she has shown she is with Jesus, not against him; she gathers others with Jesus to be one with God (verses 22-23), thus making her the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Ex 16:2-4, 12-15
The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!”
Then the LORD said to Moses,
“I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.
“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.”
In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
“This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”
Ps 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Eph 4:17, 20-24
Brothers and sisters:
I declare and testify in the Lord
that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their minds;
that is not how you learned Christ,
assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him,
as truth is in Jesus,
that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires,
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self,
created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”
So they said to him,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
So in thinking about these readings, I was trying to piece them together in my head at Mass. It is interesting that when the people murmured in the Old Testament, God gave them bread from Heaven, Manna. Later, as people's sins piled up, God gave them another bread from Heaven, Christ, in order that they might be saved from their sins. Instead of treating us like we deserve in both cases, God turns around and gives us the most wonderful gift he can, in our case Christ really present in the Eucharist as the Bread of Life. So, St. Paul writes in the 2nd reading, we should really think about how to live and what we should be doing. Turn away from sin and do so no more, because of the great gift we received from God. Through his graces (largely imparted to us by the sacraments), we can overcome sin and be with him forever.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Oh brother. They never get tired of trying to find the ONE reason you left to say, "Aha!! THAT's the real reason!" because, you know, it couldn't be for any sound doctrinal reasons.
It's interesting to me how she has to emphasize the fact that she had "genuine curiosity" about your blog, as if to convince you, and perhaps herself, that she wasn't really snooping or looking for something to point her finger at. And who knows, maybe she wasn't, but it's so odd how CoC people can't say something normal like, "Hey I was reading your blog and i saw xyz." They have to set it up with defensive claims about their sincerity or their genuine concern, etc. Blech! Of course, what makes it worse is I know so many times they really believe themselves, they don't know any other way but guilt and manipulation and so they think this is what is normal. They still know to start with defensive action, because you tend to think other people will think about you the way you think about them, and they are so used to thinking the worst about others that they put up a defense before you even say anything assuming you will be thinking the worst about them. *shudder* It's such a depressing and joyless way of looking at the world and people around them.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I must say, I don't question the intentions of the person who contacted her, but I do question the reasoning. I think we must have mentioned a million times the doctrinal and serious reasons why we left to a multitude of people, but yet they refuse to listen and actually hear why we left. It basically comes down to either 1) we were lazy, 2) We were mad at people, 3) we listened to someone's family, or 4) we had some sort of dark sin in our life that made us leave. I guess it is a defense mechanism.
Open your ears people!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I responded to his post by saying:
Unfortunately, you are missing a large part of the issue. While Cheney and Bush would not be my first choices to speak at Catholic Universities, and maybe they should not, that in no way makes it acceptable for Obama to speak at Notre Dame.
Also, you are missing the point that the Church has taught consistently and often from many venues that while Capital Punishment and torture and just war theory are wrong, that Catholics are free to disagree, while Abortion and Euthanasia remain the highest priority. Your balancing act simply does not work.
Excerpt from “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion - General Principles” L’espresso, June 2004 by Joseph Ratzinger:
“. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
Many of these people (not him specifically) have mentioned to me that it is great to have a black president and how much that will bring the country together. Where were these people, pray tell, when Alan Keyes ran for President? Of course, a black Catholic, anti-abortion, third degree Knight of Columbus wasn't so heavily supported was he?
Also, we blew a lot of money in the Gift Shop for St. Patricks! Such awesome stuff and it also fed my addiction to Holy Cards. Hopefully pictures to come soon!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The first experience I really want to share though is that on the train to New York we had the wonderful experience of having a woman and her son in front of us reading the Bible and to the right of us was another traveling family one of whom was reading the Bible and the other was working through her daily prayer book! Wonderful indeed and uplifting to see such spirituality in public. Combine that with my wife and I doing the rosary and we indeed had a spiritual train car and that made me want to blog about one of the positive things I saw in humanity today!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Of course, we have been married for 4 years and both have wedding rings on constantly, but that doesn't mean anything. It is more acceptable to insult a married woman and assume she is committing fornication and became pregnant than it is to assume that a pregnant woman is married - what does that say about the state and meaning of the sacrament of marriage in our society?
Now, I must just put one little note here and state that I do not believe it is a good idea to make unmarried girls feel bad who are going through with their pregnancies. Quite the contrary, they need the most encouragement and hope and nothing negative at all said to them. Why couldn't the nurse just say "partner"? Or, does that fall into another level of demeaning the sacrament, since it has tonage of the gay "marriage" issue?
This was always taught to me as a Protestant to mean that we had to listen to God's word in the New Testament and that through those we could enter Heaven. That is true, but it also avoids the immediate context of these words. What specific words did Jesus say that were the "words of everlasting life"?
"Unless you eat my body and drink my blood you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven"
"Amen Amen I say to you, Unless you eat my body and drink my blood you cannot enter into Heaven"
I think it's pretty self explanatory.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Well, I've enjoyed reading about the debates about how the Eucharist should be received, and I must say that I come down on the side of taking it on the tongue, and perhaps even kneeling. Altar servers used to hold plates under the chin to make sure none of the precious Body was lost as well. I think this at least reminds us of the importance of the Eucharist and what we are doing.
I bring all of this up because a fellow convert from the Church of Christ recently blogged about another unintended consequence of receiving in the hand. Check out his post.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
|I wanted to share the Office of Readings from yesterday's Liturgy of the Hours. I thought it was so telling about our relationship to our brothers and sisters who are Fundamentalists and deny our baptism is valid or that we are truly Christians (Catholics that is). It reminds me so much of how I used to feel when I was Protestant and reminds me that no matter what I think we have to reach out in ecumenical dialogue at all times and love our brothers and sisters in Christ even when they err from Church teaching. To think that this was written 1700 years or so ago and in a time where fundamentalism didn't even exist is somewhat mind boggling. He also brings out some Church teaching that we should note is ancient - that there is only one baptism and that non-Catholics are still our Brothers and Sisters.|
|From a discourse on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop|
|Whether they like it or not, those who are outside the church are our brothers|
We entreat you, brothers, as earnestly as we are able, to have charity, not only for one another, but also for those who are outside the Church. Of these some are still pagans, who have not yet made an act of faith in Christ. Others are separated, insofar as they are joined with us in professing faith in Christ, our head, but are yet divided from the unity of his body. My friends, we must grieve over these as over our brothers; and they will only cease to be so when they no longer say "our Father".
The prophet refers to some men saying: When they say to you: You are not our brothers, you are to tell them: You are our brothers. Consider whom he intended by these words. Were they the pagans? Hardly; for nowhere either in Scripture or in our traditional manner of speaking do we find them called our brothers. Nor could it refer to the Jews, who do not believe in Christ. Read Saint Paul and you will see that when he speaks of “brothers,” without any qualification, he refers always to Christians. For example, he says: Why do you judge your brother or why do you despise your brother? And again: You perform iniquity and common fraud, and this against your brothers.
Those then who tell us: You are not our brothers, are saying that we are pagans. That is why they want to baptise us again, claiming that we do not have what they can give. Hence their error of denying that we are their brothers. Why then did the prophet tell us: Say to them: You are our brothers? It is because we acknowledge in them that which we do not repeat. By not recognising our baptism, they deny that we are their brothers; on the other hand, when we do not repeat their baptism but acknowledge it to be our own, we are saying to them: You are our brothers.
If they say, “Why do you seek us? What do you want of us?” we should reply: You are our brothers. They may say, “Leave us alone. We have nothing to do with you.” But we have everything to do with you, for we are one in our belief in Christ; and so we should be in one body, under one head.
And so, dear brothers, we entreat you on their behalf, in the name of the very source of our love, by whose milk we are nourished, and whose bread is our strength, in the name of Christ our Lord and his gentle love. For it is time now for us to show them great love and abundant compassion by praying to God for them. May he one day give them a clear mind to repent and to realise that they have nothing now but the sickness of their hatred, and the stronger they think they are, the weaker they become. We entreat you then to pray for them, for they are weak, given to the wisdom of the flesh, to fleshly and carnal things, but yet they are our brothers. They celebrate the same sacraments as we, not indeed with us, but still the same. They respond with the same Amen, not with us, but still the same. And so pour out your hearts for them in prayer to God
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
- 8 On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, "Let us cross to the other side."
- Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.
- A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.
- Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"
- He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" 9 The wind ceased and there was great calm.
- Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"
- 10 They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"
I think the practical lesson that I took from this story is that we should never be distressed and afraid. Whenever terrible things happen in our life, we should turn to Christ and say, "Yes, I know you are here with me, I should not be afraid of anything." This is the mindframe that all the martyrs from the earliest Christians down to those being martyred in India and China today have had. Why be afriad of anything when Christ dwells with us?
As Catholics this point comes home even harder because we know we have Christ with us present in the tabernacle in every Church in the world. We also know that every time we go to mass we have an opportunity to receive Christ into our bodies in a real way. Shouldn't that make us go out into the world and realize that nothing can truly harm us and that all setbacks are just temporary? If only our faith could grow to that level, evangelism, catechisis, and other important roles of the laity would be easy to perform.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
I wanted to share with everyone a prayer that I do after I receive Holy Communion every day. I think it's absolutely beautiful, especially when you consider that we have become united with Christ in a real way when we receive him the the Holy Eucharist:
help me to remove from my mind every thought
or opinion which You would not sanction,
every feeling form my heart which You would not approve.
Grant that I may spend the hours of the day
gladly working with You according to Your will.
Help me just for today and be with me in it.
In the long hours of work,
that I may not grow weary or slack in serving You.
that they may not be to me occasions of uncharitableness.
In the day's worries and disappointments,
that I may be patient with myself and with those around me.
In moments of fatigue and illness,
that I may be mindful of others rather than of myself.
In temptations, that I may be generous and loyal,
so that when the day is over I may lay it at Your feet,
with its successes which are all Yours,
and its failures which are all my own,
and feel that life is real and peaceful,
and blessed when spent with You as the Guest of my soul.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Gianna Beretta was born in Magenta (Milan) October 4, 1922. Already as a youth she willingly accepted the gift of faith and the clearly Christian education that she received from her excellent parents. As a result, she experienced life as a marvellous gift from God, had a strong faith in Providence and was convinced of the necessity and effectiveness of prayer.
She diligently dedicated herself to studies during the years of her secondary and university education, while, at the same time, applying her faith through generous apostolic service among the youth of Catholic Action and charitable work among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. After earning degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and there after gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and poor.
While working in the field of medicine-which she considered a “mission” and practiced as such-she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the “very young” and, at the same time, expressed her joie de vivre and love of creation through skiing and mountaineering. Through her prayers and those of others, she reflected upon her vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Having chosen the vocation of marriage, she embraced it with complete enthusiasm and wholly dedicated herself “to forming a truly Christian family”.
She became engaged to Pietro Molla and was radiant with joy and happiness during the time of their engagement, for which she thanked and praised the Lord. They were married on September 24, 1955, in the Basilica of St. Martin in Magenta, and she became a happy wife. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi, in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.
In September 1961 towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she was touched by suffering and the mystery of pain; she had developed a fibroma in her uterus. Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying, and entrusted herself to prayer and Providence. The life was saved, for which she thanked the Lord. She spent the seven months remaining until the birth of the child in incomparable strength of spirit and unrelenting dedication to her tasks as mother and doctor. She worried that the baby in her womb might be born in pain, and she asked God to prevent that.
A few days before the child was due, although trusting as always in Providence, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: “If you must decided between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child - I insist on it. Save him”. On the morning of April 21, 1962, Gianna Emanuela was born. Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of April 28, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you», the mother died. She was 39 years old. Her funeral was an occasion of profound grief, faith and prayer. The Servant of God lies in the cemetery of Mesero (4 km from Magenta).
“Conscious immolation», was the phrase used by Pope Paul VI to define the act of Blessed Gianna, remembering her at the Sunday Angelus of September 23, 1973, as: “A young mother from the diocese of Milan, who, to give life to her daughter, sacrificed her own, with conscious immolation”. The Holy Father in these words clearly refers to Christ on Calvary and in the Eucharist.
Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, during the international Year of the Family.
St. Gianna, pray for us!