Thursday, July 29, 2010


Arise Together in Christ
We're looking ahead to the fall
To begin Season 5 for us all
Get ready to sign on the dotted line
For we hope that you'll answer the call.

Arise Season 5 is open to anyone, even if you never participated before.  You are welcome.  Faith sharing groups will begin the week of Oct. 3rd.  You may sign up for a group on the weekend of Sept. 18 - 19, or anytime on the parish website.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Do you like parables?  Do you like poetry?  Fables?  

You either do, or you don't.  If you like allegory, allusions with multiple interpretations, and metaphors, then I bet you do like parables.  I admit, most of the time I do.  I find the agrarian parables frustrating though, because I can't relate.  And..

(Read Matthew 20: 1-16) is downright infuriating to me, as a Union member.  In fact, what Jesus does is against our law.  A Union steward would slap Jesus with an unfair labor practice grievance faster than he can hire those union busting 11th hour workers.  Just imagine, they don't know what the job is, no training, nor time to train them, no experience whatsoever, and they get paid the same as the first hires.  Ask Jesus to define "seniority."

But that's not the point, is it?  Jesus is speaking allegorically.  This parable is to give us hope.  Jesus is all merciful and will take even 11th hour conversions into His Kingdom.  I won't question my Lord.

We have the vineyard representing our world, and the labors are Jesus followers.  Unfortunately, it's a non-union shop.    God is our benevolent employer.  He choses because He is generous to pay everybody the same.  Doesn't it occur to you, to not be so anxious to be one of the first hires, next time?  Yeah, slack off.  Take a nap, and on the 11th hour go apply for the job.

The trouble is, you don't know if God is going to offer the same deal, again.  So you're stuck being good all the time.

Mmmmmm.  I think I'll apply for the job of being an union organizer in heaven.  Equal pay for equal work.  No discrimination.  Affirmative action.  Collective bargaining.

What do you think of Amalgamated Workers in Eternity---AWE?

Awesome, no?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mutual Indwelling

  Let’s look at the ideal of Fatherhood: loving, protecting, supporting, kind, generous, advising, strong, etc.  Now read about our Father in heaven, Jas 1:7.

How’s that for divine Fatherhood?  Think of the parables.  For example, the friend waking his neighbor in the middle of the night, the father who feeds his children, and the father who welcomes his prodigal son.  Wowza.  Some of this is maybe out of reach for us mere humans.  We try. 

 If we try to imagine this ideal, we see a powerful relationship between a father and his child.  Remember Jesus saying “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father?”  Wrap your mind around that concept.  Can you see that the relationship between God the Father and God the Son is so intimate, so loving, so incredibly self-giving that they are “…in each other?”   This is called the doctrine of the mutual indwelling.  The mutual indwelling means that the Father has given Himself completely from all eternity to His Son, and the Son has from all eternity, reciprocated. 
Now pray the Our Father.  We have nothing to worry about.  Our Father will handle everything; and the proof is that He sent His only Son to suffer and die, for us.  What more could you want?    
h/t Brother Augustine Reisenhauer, O.P.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Catholics Come Home

The Boston Globe had an article on this new archdiocesan initiative, called "Catholics Come Home."  The Church recognizes that in the not so distant past, with the priest sex scandal, the closing of  parishes, and just the general feeling of distrust with any authority, that there are a number of unhappy and unsettled people out there, who have left the Catholic Church.  This program is an outreach to them.  The sheep are lost.

I think the time is right for these lost sheep.  Aquinas tells us that we are born with a desire for God.  Man will always search for God.  Often we think money, power, sex, etc., will fulfill this yearning.  It doesn't.  We remain unsatisfied.  We try more, and more.  We never find satisfaction until we find God.  He's there.

Yes, right here--in the Catholic Church, in the Eucharist.  The sheep are meandering here and there and trying to find satisfaction.  Let us pray, they come home.  

Read Matt. 16: 18.

Jesus left the care of His Church to His apostle, Peter.  From the first century to today, all the popes have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority and responsibility that Jesus first gave to Peter.
That is why we say that Pope Benedict XVI is the Vicar of Christ.

One reason I love being Catholic is this source of the authority exercised by a hierarchical priesthood based in Rome.  It makes sense.  It's historical fact.  It still exists after 2010 years.

My prayer, my promise, my creed:
I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ upon the Apostle Peter, and today I fully accept Pope Benedict XVI as the Vicar of Christ.  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Martha and Mary

The story of Martha and Mary is a familiar one.  Read Luke 10:38-42.

Everyone I know identifies with Martha and jokes about this story.  Everyone except me.  That's because I'm Mary.  I identify with Mary.  I love to read theology and philosophy and religion.  I also never have enough time to pray.  To hell with the housework.  A clean house is a sign of a broken computer.

I sit in the kitchen reading the Word
husband treads the path from stove to table

his quick eyes check out my coffee cup--
down enough to warm up

he's buttered my toast and flipped my eggs
to greet the morning and me

praise God for good cooks and thoughtful lovers
thank you I pray with a full mouth

Hhrrmmpphh! he snaps the Globe open
looking over the paper and

into my heart with laughing eyes
and no words spoken.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Spiritual Renewal - ARISE: Together in Christ

“We believe you are doing something new,
calling us to arise together in Christ
to celebrate the fullness of life. Amen.”
From The ARISE Prayer
Renew International1.
Renewing our faith life—as individuals and as Church—is an ongoing part of what it means to be Catholic. In 2008, our Bicentennial year, we began a three-year program designed to help renew parish life and to help parishioners strengthen their spirituality. Called ARISE: Together in Christ, the program is designed around the concept of bringing parishioners together in small groups. Members of the groups meet weekly over a six-week period. They share their faith experiences with one another, reflect upon how they are encountering God in everyday life, and look for ways to connect faith to action.
“You call us to holiness
and we trust you to lead us together
on our journey to be a renewed Church,
for with you all things are possible.”
The first ARISE session took place in the fall of 2008 and was a tremendous success. Approximately 30,000 people participated, and 3,000 volunteers signed up to be group leaders, taking a two-hour training program in preparation. The program was offered in English, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Lithuanian and American Sign Language. Versions of the program for children and teens took place in Catholic Schools and religious education classes.
“Enliven our parishes; reunite our families.
May your Holy Spirit empower us
to live as a community of love”
Two important objectives of ARISE are community building and evangelization Feedback from the first session revealed those objectives were met in a variety of ways. Parishioners were surprised and delighted with the renewed sense of community that resulted. Some took advantage of opportunities to invite family members or friends to accompany them to ARISE. One of the most exciting developments was that ARISE spread beyond the parish. The Invitation to Act portion of the program, where participants look for ways to put their faith into action, spurred people to reach out to others, offering friendship, comfort and support. But even beyond that, participants brought the program with them to other aspects of their lives. Examples include parishioners who volunteer in a nursing home starting a program there and others who brought the ARISE books with them to Florida for the winter, leading a program there.
Renew International, a Catholic organization based in Plainfield, NJ, created ARISE and customized the Boston program to meet our Archdiocese’s needs. ARISE will continue through 2011, and parishes are welcome to join at any time. For more information, contact Mary Ann McLaughlin or Ann Cussen, 617-779-3640,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You've Got a Friend

Today's Gospel was the familiar Good Samaritan story.  Read Luke 10: 25-37.

I've heard the excuses for the passers-by.  That a lawyer is a busy man.  He probably was rushing to court, or some other  time sensitive appointment.  That the Levite can't touch blood.  If he's on his way to services, he'd be unclean.

They both could have intended to get help when they got to town.

That's probably how they assuage their consciences.  But those excuses won't wash.

You're still putting yourself in front of your neighbor's needs.  But...but...but--they don't even know the guy!  So, who's your neighbor?

That question was originally asked in  Genesis Chapter 4 Verse 9.   Read it.  The answer is Luke 10: 25-37.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Last Session of Arise

A Parish-Centered Process of Spiritual Renewal 
for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

 ARISE: Dates to Remember
Season 5We Are the Good News!
Sign-up Weekends:

September 18-19

Faith Sharing begins October 3

Small Group Leaders follow this
Link to view the Training Sessions.
May God bless you for your commitment.