Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
While we face tempations from the outside, sin comes from the inside. Yes, the Devil may whisper into our ears and try to get us to do things we know we should not. In the end though, we have free will. Sin boils up from the inside and we cannot blame anyone else when we falter.
"Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;but the things
that come out from within are what defile. From within people, from their
hearts,come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice,
deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come
from within and they defile.”
The good news is that we have access to God's grace that will quash those urges and vices we only need to turn to Him. If we don't take advantage of the graces that God tries to give us, especially those available in the sacraments, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so
unlike your Christ"
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
but this time as I returned to my spot something different happened.
Instead of the same routine, the world I knew was there in theory transformed in front of me into reality.
Jesus was there
Mary was hugging me
The question that must have been haunting me came to mind:
"How can I get here? I fear making a mistake and failing."
Jesus says to me, "How can you fail when you have all of these people behind you."
Suddenly around me were my loved ones who have passed.
Grandparents, uncles among others looking at me with a smile, love in their eyes.
Past them I saw a swarms of saints as if they were fans in a stadum cheering me on.
Jesus then put my arm around his neck and his arm around my body and lifted me off of my knees.
He started carrying me and I realized that the only thing that can stop me from reaching the finish line is me.
I didn't want to leave but the song was over
I opened my eyes and sat back down
Monday, August 24, 2009
Who said that?? I did.
It seems all too often that death is a time for pain, anguish and sorrow. It should be. It should also be a time for celebration and remembrance.
Sometime in our life, someone we all love, a brother, a father, and an uncle, will leave us and we will miss them. There is nothing that is going to take away the pain and sadness of missing our loved one.
If you were given the chance to spend those last moments with your loved one, to watch their pulse go to zero and their body give away then you were witness to some truly wonderful actually happening. You were able to see your loved one freed. They are free for the first time in years. They are free from sin, free from worry and free from suffering. We imagine them being greeted on the other side by friends, family and loved ones who have gone before them. They are able to feast, able to eat without their teeth hurting him or choking. They are pain free and worry free and having the time of their life--er-should I say the time of their death?
Well, the future is here. It is young and vibrant. There are young people who are full of zeal and passion for the Lord. They are excited about their faith and they are bringing that excitement to Kansas City, Missouri this November during the National Catholic Youth Conference.
On November 19-21st, nearly 25,000 catholic youth are going to be taking over downtown Kanss City. The theme is Christ Reigns and the general sessions will be held at Sprint Arena with other sessions at Bartle Hall.
If you have never been NCYC then you are missing out. I attended the one in 2001 in Indianapolis and it is truly breathtaking. As someone who assists with confirmation classes it is truly refreshing to see teens with such passion and love for God.
I was able to get a glimpse of NCYC at a youth rally this weekend here in Kansas City and had a really good time. There was a band composed of several young singers from area parishes and we got a sampling of the songs that will be sung at this fall. There were only a few hundred kids from around the KC Metro area there but it was enough to get a person excited if they already weren't.
One of the things I am eager to see it Eucharistic Adoration in the Sprint Arena. The same place that has held concerts for Garth Brooks and the Jonas Brothers will now have 25000 kids showing love and respect for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This will be followed by a Eucharistic Procession through the Power and Light District to Bartle Hall. I seriously want video.
If you are a parent or just an adult in the Kansas City area who wants to help I know they are looking for volunteers. Go to the website for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas to sign up.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
"The appropriate word you left unsaid; the joke you didn't tell; the
cheerful smile for those who bother you; that silence when you're unjustly
accused; your kind conversation with people you find boring and tactless; the
daily effort to overlook one irritating detail or another in those who live with
you . . . this, with perseverance, is indeed solid interior mortification." The Way, #173
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
"unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his
blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my
blood has eternal life,and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is
true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life
because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of
me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate
and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
- If you do not you will not have life in you. If you do not have life in you then you are dead. You are physically and spiritually dead.
- Whoever does has eternal life. Eternal--you know--today and tomorrow and forever and ever. Isn't that what we all want??
- Whoever does remains in Christ and He in us. Even if we live for eternity but it's not with Jesus then it's not worth it. A day without Jesus in you is a day wasted. I know for me those days where I have not made Jesus a part of my life just seem blah.
- God, the Father, had God the Son become incarnate and gave Him life. Jesus reiterates that whoever eats and drinks will, like Him, have life.
- All of our nourishment on Earth, even though it's provided by God, still only leads to death. It is through the Eucharist that we are given life.
We will get into more of the apologetics next week but one thing is interesting. Jesus is not being symbolic here. He is speaking of flesh--actually meat. When he says "eat" the actual word he is using means "gnaw" or "chew" like one would do when we eat meat and not eat as in when we eat bread.
In this passage, Jesus is pleading with us. He is repeatedly saying whoever eats His body and drinks His blood will have eternal life and whoever doesn't shall die. He's not saying do something that is LIKE eating and drinking. He is saying we must actually eat and drink.
And yet people fail to partake in the gift Jesus gives us. People belittle it and say it's only a symbol. People who take every other Bible passage in a literal sense seem to gloss this passage over and say that Jesus does not mean eat his flesh and drink his blood when that is exactly what He is saying. Or sadly, people demean the Eucharist and let the opportunity pass by and miss mass choosing to sleep in. Worse yet, they partake in the Eucharist when they are in a state of mortal sin.
Wake up, people! Jesus is saying we must eat and drink His flesh and blood. Let yourself be nourished by Christ. Let Jesus live in you and you in Him.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
"whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors
ate the manna in the desert, but they died;this is the bread that comes down
from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came
down from heaven;whoever eats this bread will live forever;and the bread that I
will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
- Make an examination of conscience. You may think you only have one thing to say but examine your conscience and think of other sins. There are plenty of places, resources you can go to find. Personally, I always listen to Fr. Larry's CD on Confession that can be found here at catholicity.com. Fr. Larry talks about confession (hence the name of the CD) and give a quick list of things that you may have done and not realized it such as have you ever
- Go into the confessional. Don't know where or when to go?? Go to masstimes.org and find someplace. You can go face to face or with a screen.
- The priest may say a few words and you simply start off by saying, "Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It's been (amount of time) since my last confession. Don't be embarrassed. If it's been 12 years then fantastic!! You are here now--that's the important part.
- Say your sins. In however order you choose. I usually like to get the big ones out of the way first. That way I don't forgive them and besides--you are there to confession them not try to hide them. I usually finish off with "and for other sins that I may have forgotten. You are forgiven anyway for things you may have forgotten anyway but I just like to finish off.
- The priest then may say some words--give you guidance and finally, the best part--the words of absolution.
- He will finally ask you to say an Act of Contrition. You can find this simple prayer on line or say what you wish out of your heart. I usually say something along the lines of, "Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I fear the fires of Hell but most of all because it offends Thee my God who art all good and deserving of all my love. And I firmly resolve to go forth and sin no more. I know it's wordy and sounds stupid with the thee's and stuff--but that's what I learned when I was a teenager and it's stuck
- Penance. The priest will give you some sort of penance. It's nothing that big--normally like 10 Our Father's and 10 Hail Mary's. My biggest penance was "read the book of Genesis." What the heck!?!?! (It was my first one by the way)
There you are done!!! There is nothing like a clean slate.
That brings me to my second request. This is to all the priests out there. Actually--there are two things: PUSH CONFESSION!!!! Encourage it!! The second request is: have confession more regularly. The second Saturday of the month from 3:30-4:30 isn't going to encourage anyone to go!!
Confession--ahhhhh, what a feeling. It's a great gift that Jesus and every time I go I want to say to all my Protestant brothers and sisters---na na na na booooo booo!!!