Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The Ordination of Women
A Step Towards the Diaconate
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
St. Michael, the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him,
we humbly pray:and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Margaret with this prayer to St. Michael for police officers. Thank you, Margaret.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunny Days are Here Again
Friday, September 25, 2009
Living for the Here-And-Now: A Reflection on the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thursday, September 24, 2009
My Mocking of Vatican II
Vatican II opened in 1962 under the leadership of Pope John XXIII and closed in 1965 under the leadership of Pope Paul VI. Some people think that Vatican II brought great changes to the church. They thought it would bring about women's ordination, a stronger laity, birth control and a new enlightenment along with mass said in the common vernacular (the common language of the region). Some people think that Vatican II brought about horrible changes to the church and basically destroyed it. They think it brought in communion in the hand as opposed to the tongue, got rid of alter rails, brought in girl alter servers and the laity being used as Eucharistic Ministers in the ordinary from (like that little tongue in cheek comments ;-) ) as well as got rid of the mass in Latin.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
From the Heart.com
Excuse Me, Brother--Have You Been Saved?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A Father-Son Weekend
While we were eating, my oldest daughter, Emma called and said that Max had been throwing a total temper tantrum because we had left him at home. I felt bad but at the same time I was upset. He had made his choice and besides--didn't he remember everything that we did just the day before?? Just him and I?? What a short memory he has.
I learned something else that morning. If I could backtrack--that morning when I woke Max up it was early. Mass started at 730 and we had to be there by 7:10. So to get Max up and going I had promised him that we would go to breakfast--just the two of us. Of course, two hours later I had a change of heart when I realized that I had not been spending time with Molly and invited her. Max was angry because he didn't want Molly to come (they have a sibling rivalry) but he was more upset because I had broken my promise to him. God doesn't break his promises. He has never promised us a rose garden but he has promised us that if we believe and follow Jesus we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
I would like to point out that God is omnipresent and doesn't have to cause conflict by having a brother and sister together at breakfast. Lucky dog!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Confession Poll Results
- Less than two weeks: 125 or 35%
- 2 weeks to a month: 93 or 26%
- 1 to 3 months: 56 or 15%
- 3 to 6 months: 33 or 9%
- 6 months to 1 year: 14 or 3%
- More than 1 year: 28 or 7%
- Not since my first reconciliation: 3 or 0%
- Not Catholic: 5 or 1%
In a week or so, I may repost the survey to see what types of results I get so stay tuned!
Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice: A Guide for Spirtual Survival--A Book Review
Friday, September 18, 2009
Ima Let You Finish But: A Reflection on the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Love is All You Need
Charity, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is "the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God." (1822 CCC) Loving God above all others and loving our neighbors as ourselves. What an amazing world this world would be if we did let love rule the world. I know it's very idealistic but it really is what we are called to do.
Charity is what being a Christian is all about. We don't need government intervention--we need love. We need to take care of each other and not have Big Brother meddling in. Again, I realize that may seem idealistic but that's what we are supposed to do--to love. "So faith, hope, charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity." Let's love each other and take care of each other.
There is so much hatred and anger in the world. I see it every day in people killing and beating each other. But it's not just on the streets. It's not just in the hood. It's everywhere. There is anger in our churches, in our schools, in our places of work. It permeates the television and radio. We need to treat each other with love. It doesn't mean we have to agree with each other. We can debate and still love. Heck. We don't even have to like someone--there are plenty of jerks out there-myself included. I'm sure there are times Jesus looks and me and says, "Dude, you're being a jerk." But he still loves me and we are still supposed to love those who act like jerks to us.
St. Augustine said, "Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall fine rest." It's a simple equation really. If what Pope Benedict says is correct in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est and God is Love and All We Need is Love then all we need is God. Sing with me . . . All we need is God! (All together now!) All we need is God (EVERYBODY!) All we need is God, God, God. God is all we need. God is all we need . . .
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Hope is More Than A Campaign Slogan
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The question I pose to you is if you claim to have faith are you allowing it to die by not letting it cooperate with hope and love and are you bearing witness to your faith?
Alas, the file is not there. So I have faith that it must have not been as good as I hoped and God wants me to start again. Right now it is bed time (I've been up all night fighting crime and/or evil) Please check back later today for a much better blog than I had intended. :-)
Monday, September 14, 2009
The Road of Life
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Christianity is Not Easy: A Reflection on the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The Fullness of the Faith
Monday, September 7, 2009
Offering Our Labor to God: A Labor Day Reflection.
Work is important. Obviously, without work we would go hungry, would not be able to have a place to stay or put clothes on our back. But more importantly, as St. Josemaria Escriva says, "Work is man's original vocation. It is a blessing from God, and those who consider it a punishment are sadly mistaken. The Lord, who is the best of fathers, placed the first man in Paradise ut operaretur, so that he could work." It is also important that we take time to rest. God rested on the seventh day and ordered us to rest on the Sabbath.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Obamacare and The Bishops: A Reflection of the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our
glorious Lord Jesus Christ.For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes comes
into your assembly,and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in,and you pay
attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please, ”while
you say to the poor one, “Stand there, ” or “Sit at my feet, ”have you not made
distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?
Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who
- The Principle of Subsidiarity--respecting the freedom and dignity of the individual by never doing for others what they can do for themselves thereby letting the individual have the most say in what happens in their lives.
- Principle in the Life and Dignity of the Human Person--federal tax money should not go to pay for abortions, the rights of health care providers should be protection by a conscience clause, no mandatory end of life counseling.
- The Principle of Solidarity--we must take care of those who need protecting. We must take care of those weaker and less fortunate than ourselves.
The statement concluded by saying that "a hasty or unprincipled change could cause us, in fact, to lose some of the significant benefits that Americans now enjoy, while creating a future tax burden which is both unjust and unsustainable." It also said that change” for change’s sake; change which expands the reach of government beyond its competence would do more harm than good." In essence, the statement is saying that improvements are needed but that the proposals are off the mark and could be dangerous.
It was very lifting to see my spiritual concerns addressed by my bishop. Yes, we must take care of the poor and ill but we cannot rush into a plan that raises more issues that it answers or that. No, no one should die because cannot afford health insurance and no one should die because they are sick. The dignity of human kind must be protected and we can't afford to pass a plan that does not address these issues. I'm relieve to see that there are a number of bishops that have these same concerns as The American Papist site shows there are currently 30 US bishops who are against it.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
- less than two weeks
- 2+ weeks to 1 month
- 1+ month to 3 months
- 3+ months to 6 months
- 6+ months to 1 year
- More than a year
- Since your first reconciliation
- Not Catholic
The polls is anonymous and is posted on the side bar so it will stay visible. It's going to be up until September 17th at midnight Central time.
The Church encourages us to go to confession at least once a year but more importantly, if we are in a state of mortal sin we MUST go confession immediately!!! Dying in a state of moral sin will suck! Mark my words! If it's been over a year definitely go but even if it's only been a couple of months I would encourage you. If it's been awhile and you are nervous or not sure of what to say or do then review my post 7 Simple Step for Confession.
As for my answer to the poll: it's been 1-3 months since my last confession. So to set a good example, I am going to go this Friday at Our Lady of Good Counsel at 40th and Washington. Monsignor Blacet is an amazing confessor. You are all invited to join me and then for mass afterwords. Confession starts at 11:30 and mass at noon but I recommend getting there at least by 11:20 if not sooner because there is always a line!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Ten Reasons for Going to Confession
- We are confessing in a way that Jesus wants us to confess. In the Gospel of John, the first thing he did when he met his disciples after his resurrection was say, "Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you." He then breathed on the disciples filling them with the Holy Spirit. He then told them, "whose sin's you forgive are forgiven them. And whose sins you retain are retained." Jesus gave his disciples the ability to forgive or not forgive people for their sins. In order to decide whether to forgive or not to forgive, the disciples had to have to listen to them or have the person confess their sins to them. This ability to forgive sins has been passed down to the priests of today through the laying on of hands in ordained priests through Holy Orders.
- We are getting guilt and worries lifted off our shoulders. When we go to confession, we are actually able to say our sins out loud. There is something releasing about speaking something out loud. We do this when we are frustrated about something don't we? Don't we find someone to vent to? It's the same way with our sins. By saying them out loud and bringing them to light we are freed of them.
- It is a ministry that Jesus has given our priests and a gift for us. In the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians, Paul says that old things have passed away and new things have come. He continues and says that this is all from God who has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ and "given us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Cor 5:18) The priests are able to heal us from our sins which will kill us just as a sword will--if not more.
- Our sins are cast away as a rock to the bottom of the ocean. We are forgiven from God and do not have to worry about those sins any more. It's not as if the priest can tell anyone. He is bound by the seal of the confessional and cannot tell a soul or else he will suffer the pains of excommunication. You can confess murder, stealing, adultery and he cannot tell anyone.
- Spiritual Guidance. The priest is able to talk to you about your sins or about your spiritual life. He is able to offer guidance or advice on how to avoid sin or the near occasion of sin in the future.
- We are confessing in a way that Jesus wants us to confess! In James, we are asked if any among us is ill. If there are, the leaders of the church should be called and the ill will be prayed over and anointed with oil. Any sins they have will be forgiven. He then says that we are to confess our sins so that we might be healed. (Jas 5:14-16)
- An examination of conscience. Any person, or even any organization, that wants to get better needs to look at himself honestly. They need to figure out what they are doing right but more importantly they need to figure out what they are doing wrong. Prior to going to confession, we are to do an examination of conscience to discover or recall our sins. Otherwise, we may go through life and not realize our fault and therefore not correct them. Through an examination of conscience, we may realize we have a problem with pride for example and do what we need to correct it.
- It's humbling. Nothing helps us out more in our spiritual life than a little humble pie. St Josemaria says in The Way "Humility is another good way to arrive at interior peace. He has said so: ‘Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart: and you will find rest for your souls.'" (607) Through humility we recall that we are nothing if it were not for God and the gifts that He has given us.
- Hearing those words of forgiveness. One of the most powerful phrases uttered by man, "God the Father of mercies has reconciled the world to Himself through the death and resurrection of His Son, and has poured forth the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. May He grant you pardon and peace through the ministry of the Church. And I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Hearing those words will knock you on your butt. They'll bring a grown man to tears. There is no doubt left in your mind that you are forgiven.
- You ARE confessing directly to God--in the way that Jesus wants you to. In the scripture verses provided (Especially John 20) we have shown that Jesus have given his priests the facilities to forgive us for our sins. When we confess to a priest, we ARE confession to God. The priest is in persona Christi or in the person of Christ. Through the priest, we are able to confess directly to God and hear directly from God that we are absolved for our sins.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Our Relationship with God
God desires to have a relationship with us. That is the whole reason we were created was to enter into relationship with Him. My relatives are happy with our relationship--they only have to deal with me once a year. Not God though. He wants to have a most intimate relationship with us.
How often do we reject God though? Yet we expect Him to give everything for us and are upset when he does not provide as if He were a wishing well. It is good that people feel that they can always go to God not matter what their relationship is. If fact, I believe God works in ways we may not understand and that He can bring good out of bad. Maybe a tough situation is what a person needs in order to get right with God. It is certainly not for me to say how God is using certain people or where He is in their lives. That type of attitude is what causes me to become judgemental.
I'll be honest that I really did not get serious with my faith until nine years ago. In fact for probably ten years I was a CEO Christian. That's not Chief Executive Officers. It's CChristmas, Easter, and Other occasion Christian. These are the Christians who obviously, only go to church on those occasions. I really did not start going back to church until after my kids were born. Then, because I wanted my kids to be raised Catholic and not *gasp* protestant (ewwwww :-)) I started going back to mass.
I'm sorry for those ten years I missed. I wonder how much closer to God would I be today if I did not constantly reject Him then. It really breaks my heart to see those who do reject God every Sunday. It hurts me to see people treat religion as a social event and only step foot in church when it's time to get married, when it's time to get their kids baptised, when it's time for their kid's first communion, or when it's time for their kids confirmation and then start the cycle again when it's time for their kids to get married.
For those of us who do go to mass weekly, life is only made more difficult. You see, God doesn't want just our Sundays. He wants everyday. What have we done to strengthen our relationship with God today? Have we gone to daily mass? When was the last time we went to confession? How is that prayer life?
Jesus said that the most important commandment is to love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. If you are a CEO or if you are a daily communicant (someone who goes to mass daily) we should do whatever we need to do to became even closer to God. We are all called to be saints. We are all called to push ourselves and through God's grace become closer to God. The more comfortable we are talking with God and the closer our relationship is the more comfortable we will be to go to Him for help and the more comfortable we will be accepting His will.