Thursday, December 31, 2009
Read 2 Corinthians 13:5
It's the end of 2009. I think it would be a good idea to spend some quiet time with God contemplating 2009, much like the friar in Brother Lew's photo.
How did you do with your Resolutions from last year? Let's examine your conscience. You can go through the Ten Commandments like Catholics do before the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But look at your relationship with the Lord in 2009.
When were you close and when were you far? Why?
I bet you were close during the Arise Together in Christ sessions. What does that tell you?
Spending some time alone with God should be part of your daily life. Schedule some time every day; that should be your New Year's Resolution for 2010. Pray for the grace to do just this in the year ahead. I'll pray for you and you pray for me.
BTW, the reference for the Ten Commandments is Exodus 20: 1-17.
Have a blessed New Year.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The piety of us people depends, to a great extent, on the holiness of our clergy. We get what we deserve! The Bible tells us in Acts that the most terrible chastisement which almighty God inflicts upon perverse nations is to give them priests of their own kind. The formation of priests is then,of the utmost importance to all Catholics. We need to pray for them daily and support them in any way we can.
The above painting is by Blessed Fra Angelico (1400-1455). I think it is beautiful when you consider what and whom you're seeing. Saint Peter is ordaining Stephen to the diaconate while Saint John the Beloved (whose feast is today, December 27), holding his Gospel, looks on. The composition is remarkable: the three heads of Peter, John and Stephen form a triangle, a symbol of communion in the Three Divine Persons. Peter is handing over the chalice and paten; they are very large. Fra Angelico makes the Most Holy Eucharist central; he paints what Saint Thomas Aquinas taught, i.e. that the unity of the Church is constituted and held together by participation in the adorable Body and Blood of Christ.
Read: 1 Tim 4: 1-10
Amen! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
All the previous pictures of Advent wreaths are drawn. This picture is real. It's too real. It's my Advent wreath. :-(
Life isn't perfect; that's for sure. This Advent wreath tells a tale of woe. The original wreath was a metal circle with four candle holders attached to it. When I took it out of the attic. It was broken. One of the candle holders was broken off.
Read Proverbs 16: 1.
So my plans for the wreath were sidelined. I had to do something. So I found 4 candle holders and put them around a little green wreath. Some of the candle holders are tall, some not.
It's an Advent Wreath. :-p
Read Psalm 33:11 (32)
Usually, the candles last all four weeks. But these candles are real, unlike the ones I've used for pictures in the previous postings. They're too real--they're burnt down to stubs. There's nothing left for Christmas.
Read Matt 7: 1-2.
I tried. Besides, appearances aren't important. It's the intention that counts.
We pray the Advent Wreath prayers. We are waiting for the birth of Christ.
It's Christmas time. People seem to be in a good mood despite the economy, the weather, the news, and the cares of the day. So far. Why? I think because they're in the true Christmas spirit. People hear stories of Mary visiting Elizabeth, the innkeeper having compassion on a traveling pregnant woman, the Magi visiting the Holy Child. We seem to be more hospitable than usual.
Read: Luke 1:39-45
What a wonderful world this would be if we treated everyone as if they were angels, or pregnant with Jesus.
Why don't we?
Why can't we?
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Again I say Rejoice! It's almost Christmas. My Christmas cactus is about ready to bloom. Christ is coming. The baby Jesus is due any time. All reasons to rejoice.
Read Psalm 145 (146)
You know the best reasons for rejoicing? Because we are Catholics. We rejoice because we have hope. Hope for Catholics is based upon God and God alone. We put all our hope and trust in God.
What do we hope for? The object of Catholic hope is the coming of God's Kingdom. Our hope is that God's Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God's Will is what's best for everybody. He has the big picture and we need to trust that what God wants is whatever is best for all of us together.
Catholics, because of our Faith, act with hope and in that way give example to the rest of the world. This is a valuable contribution. Teachers, theologians, politicians, etc. talk, but ordinary Catholic Christians living their daily lives preach in their reality to help people to appreciate God and His Work in our lives.
Do I hear an AMEN?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Second week of Advent. It's about Hope. You need Faith to have Hope. Why would you hope if you didn't believe something would happen?
Read Romans 8:38-39
Don't ever forget that there is no sin that can ever separate you from God. No sin. Think about the thief on the cross beside Jesus. Jesus told him that he was saved because of his faith. Imagine, someone judged so evil to suffer capital punishment, he was the only one promised instant salvation. Jesus never told anyone else that.
There is always Hope. Have Faith