Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Can't Handle the Truth

Some people who heard Jack Nicholson exclaim this sentence in 2005, in "A Few Good Men", "You can't handle the truth!" have no idea what this implies. I do, and so does Jesus.

Read John 16: 12-15.

When Jack screamed this out, I thought of my oldest daughter, who couldn't handle the truth when she was 8 years old.

Although hubby and I had thought we had prepared our daughter for the birth of her sibling, as it turned out, she wasn't ready for it. Jesus could have explained everything to his disciples but they weren't ready for it.

I went into labor, one afternoon. My water broke as I was dialing the doctor's phone number. The baby was coming. Hubby phoned 911. My daughter went to get a neighbor. The baby didn't wait. He just slipped out. Hubby delivered a divine gift, along with a lot of amniotic fluid, blood, and umbilical cord. I was a little preoccupied with the birth, to notice my daughter. Hubby was busy "catching." The neighbor was greeting the EMT's. While my daughter watched.

We were the talk of the neighborhood, that day. I was wheeled out to an ovation; the neighborhood had all gathered outside and greeted us as baby and I went into the ambulance. What can I say?

A few days later, we went home and life went on. My neighbor told me that my daughter had told everyone that I had a baby. That daddy pulled out my belly button and out popped her new baby brother. She was eight years old.

Isn't eight years, the age of reason? We had explained the facts to her. She was there and saw with her own eyes. Hmmmpphh. I guess she preferred her version to the truth.

So Jesus tried to explain to his disciples. Luckily Jesus had the Holy Spirit to enlighten them, or they'd be spreading their versions of what happened. Imagine. Jesus pulled out his belly button and was whoossshhhed up to heaven. The Trinity consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all connected by strings attached to their belly buttons.

What does the 'the truth about God,' mean to you? You do know that the Holy Spirit still works on us, even today. Pray for wisdom and understanding, the next time you don't understand a scripture passage, or a church teaching. Trust, that when you are ready for the truth, you will receive it.

via the belly button.

(just kidding)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Perservering in Prayer

Have you ever had the experience of the police showing up at your front door with your teenager? I hope not. But even if you were lucky enough not to ever experience this, I think you can still imagine how the parent would feel. The parent would not be thinking cute, endearing, loving thoughts about this wayward child.

But I don't want you to think like a parent. No. I want you to try to think what the teenager is thinking.

Oh boy........yeah. When you feel least loved, is when you need it the most. Read that sentence again!

The same is true of Prayer. Read Colossians 4:2.

When we don't feel like praying is when we most need to pray. We could ask God to bring us to prayer. The more focused on God we become, the easier it is to talk to Him. Sometimes we do have to push ourselves. Well, what of it? Just do it.

Love your children, that includes teens, and continue praying.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Voice of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit exploded on Pentecost.

Read John 14:15-16, 23-26.

Great! But that was then. This is now.

Well, I'm talking about now. The Holy Spirit still talks to us. Ask anyone who has participated in the Arise Together With Christ program.

Sometimes it's obvious. I experienced a phenomena that I have to ask friends if it really did happen, or did I dream it.

St. Mary's has a Wednesday night prayer group, Our Lady of Hope Charismatic Prayer Group; that's over 25 year's old. It use to be where the action was. Today, there's only a remnant. I was not a member of this group, but a friend heard that they were having a healing priest come to celebrate Mass for them, Father Aniello Salicone, sx. She asked me to go with her. It was there where I met the Holy Spirit.

Weather wise, it was a nice night. Many people had gathered for prayer. It was obvious that some of them were sick. Most of the people, I had never seen before.
Father celebrated Mass as usual. I zoned as usual. During the consecration, it was extraordinary still. When the priest elevated the host, suddenly, people began singing in tongues. I had never heard of this. I couldn't have told you what it was. But when I heard it, I knew it. A holy hush, and then, suddenly, people began singing in tongues.

I had never experienced anything like that before. It was beautiful and everyone, joined in. The sound was like angels flooding the church with different melodies and rhythms, yet harmonizing perfectly. Then things began to quieten down, and after another time of silence, Mass continued.

It was a profound experience and one that I have never encountered again. I still wonder if it were real. The only explanation I can give is that the Holy Spirit descended upon all of us, and gave us a great gift of angelic song that evening. Someday, I hope to sing like that again.

WOWZA huh?

That's not the only way, God speaks. Remember he can come in a whisper. (1Kings 19)
Participants in Arise learn to read and listen. They meditate on the scripture they've read, because God can speak:

1. Directly in the passage we are reading.
2. Through the thoughts that come to us during meditation.
3. Through friends, spiritual directors, and others close to you, whom you share your thoughts with.
4. Sometimes by giving us general uneasiness or the opposite--peace.

If you don't believe that God still speaks to us, then you need to join Arise Together With Christ. You will learn differently.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

B16 is talking about us!!!!!

In Portugal this week, the Holy Father is talking about the work the Laity is doing.

Think "Arise Together with Christ."

...In this regard, I confess to you the pleasant surprise that I had in making contact with the movements and the new ecclesial communities. Watching them, I had the joy and the grace to see how, at a moment of weariness in the Church, at a time when we were hearing about "the winter of the Church", the Holy Spirit was creating a new springtime, awakening in young people and adults alike the joy of being Christian, of living in the Church, which is the living Body of Christ. Thanks to their charisms, the radicality of the Gospel, the objective contents of the faith, the living flow of her tradition, are all being communicated in a persuasive way and welcomed as a personal experience, as adherence in freedom to the present event of Christ.

The necessary condition, naturally, is that these new realities desire to live in the one Church, albeit with spaces in some way set aside for their own life, in such a way that this life becomes fruitful for all the others. The bearers of a particular charism must feel themselves fundamentally responsible for communion, for the common faith of the Church, and submit themselves to the leadership of their Bishops. It is they who must ensure the ecclesial nature of the movements. Bishops are not only those who hold an office, but those who themselves are bearers of charisms, and responsible for the openness of the Church to the working of the Holy Spirit.

All for the glory of God.

Friday, May 14, 2010


This is a very important reading. John 17: 20-26. I've heard it called the priestly prayer, probably because he was speaking to the apostles, directly.

Did you read it?

I bet you're scratching your head. Seems like double speak to me. Sorry, it does. But we get the point. Jesus and the Father are One. We are to be One with them.

It is a nice thought. Imagine being in unity with God.

Are you on Face Book? If so, look me up, I'll "friend" you. But look in the relationship status and see what some people wrote. Many priests, in fact
responded, in this manner. "In a relationship." I like that. We should all be in a relationship, especially with Our Lord. That means we have God's unconditional love in us.

Why do you think unity is so important to Jesus?

Think about how much God the Father loves Jesus. Consider what it means to have God's unconditional love inside you. His love should fill you up. In fact, it should overflow out of you, onto others. God is God and His love is overflowing.

God's overflowing love should affect your relationship with others. You will want to bring them to experience this overflowing love. You will want them to be One with Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit.

I think when you pray you will find yourself looking to heal a relationship. This is the idea. We all need to become One with God.

Pray about a relationship that needs reconciliation, or for someone to believe in Jesus and know that God loves them.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Paul advises his protege Timothy to not bother with controversy.

Read 2Timothy 2:23.

Ha! You might as well tell the sun not to shine. It just can't be avoided. Think of Jesus. The immediate cause of his death was controversy: the sabbath, the Temple, dietary laws, balance of power, and who is THE authority. Think of the early Church. Isn't controversy one of the reasons for councils? The Holy Fathers argued in Nicea over "same as" and "similar to". History goes on.

I'm not sure why Paul told Timothy to avoid controversy. Maybe Timothy wasn't learned enough to defend the faith. Maybe, Timothy's assignment was to "introduce," not convert. Who knows? I do know that the Church grows in, and with, and in spite of controversy. The history of the Church shows that what was important at one time, is trivial in another. The Church grows, defines itself more clearly, in hard times.

Read 1Cor. 11:19.

Most people don't like to argue. People get hurt. Rigid Conservatism can come down hard. Sometime it seems that "orthodoxy" is just a fancy word to snap like a whip on the other person. But the Church thrives. It survives. And not always as its orthodox defenders think it should. Yesterday's heresies sometimes are the current orthodoxy.

We wouldn't be here if the Circumcision Party had won the election.

The Spirit moves where it wills. Don't be upset by controversy. Trust in God.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Come Holy Spirit

Jesus seems to give these cryptic answers to his disciples. What do you think of this answer He gives to Judas?

Read John 14:23-29.

What is Jesus talking about? And even if you understand what Jesus teaches sometimes, what does it have to do with you? That's your meditation for the day?

With the help of the Holy Spirit you will be able to understand. Jesus talks about His relationship with the Father because the disciples understand this. Jesus knows they don't understand completely, and tells them so. But they will get it. The Holy Spirit will touch them and they'll receive all that they need to carry on the mission entrusted to them by Jesus.

Before you read, say a prayer to the Holy Spirit to open your mind.