Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
- On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
- Indeed we ought to hear the Word, but for many we turn a deaf ear. Christ teachings about morals and the beatitudes are really about what we already know, thus we ought to hear. Recently an insurance company has been running a commercial, in it a young boy describes these various life crisis scenarios , for instance Johnny is going off to college but his dad just lost his job what should he do. In it the boy basically announces that people want to do the right thing but are not sure what that is. The reality is that most people will not subject their life decisions to any moral scrutiny. The things Christ talked about we already know...help those less fortunate....treat others fairly as you would want to be treated...be merciful...fight for righteousness...The Laws of God are not contrary to the Natural Law. I guarantee that in most situations that comprise the majority of moral decisions, we know what the right thing to do is. If it is a complex, ethical decision then we have to determine from some kind of order what is the right thing to do. Most people make a choice and the choice is based on how they will feel as a consequence of a certain behavior or decision. This is how the moral game is played. The secular mindset taught is that how you feel is what is really important. For those who do hear the Word and choose to develop their spiritual being, they are extending an invitation to the Holy Spirit to work with them. He will begin to teach them everything, an understanding beyond human capacity. Thus their lives become like fire consuming everything that leads them to the love of God. In that they feel not what they have inside themselves but rather they feel the love and the power of the Almighty. It starts with the Word.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
If we juxtapose the angels' words to what Jesus had told his disciples in Matthew's Gospel in what we call "the Great Commission", we can conclude that what the angels were saying to the disciples; holds for us to this day. In essence "stop standing around and do something". Christianity is not a passive philosophy or live style. Jesus did not live up on a mountain parsing out philosophical concepts. Too often today we stand around looking at this immoral, decadent society that chooses evil over good and expect God to do something about it. We stand around, say nothing, side with evildoers and complain that world is not right. Standing around is not living as Christ lived. Standing around is not Christianity. By the power of the Holy Spirit and by the authority of the Church we have the moral obligation to do good and renounce evil. We have the moral obligation to change hearts and minds, not by being argumentative or by name calling, or by ignoring evil. We have the Truth in Christ Jesus, a truth that cannot be refuted, a Truth that brings Light to darkness. We have a moral obligation to lift the Light to the highest place and not hide it. This cannot be accomplished by standing around. Last Sunday I heard an excellent sermon. The priest was talking about Pope John XXIII, during the Second Vatican Council. The Pope was asked the question "what is the meaning to life?" That question could be discussed and debated by moral theologians and philosophers to the end of time. Pope John XXIII answered the question with the same response that I learned from the old Baltimore Catechism. "to know, love and serve God in this lifetime so that I may be happy and spend eternity with Him in the next." Pope John XXIII went further on to say and to "show others how to know, love and serve God..." This can't be accomplished if we just stand around. Pray today on the Feast of the Ascension that the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, The Advocate, bring to each of us the grace to live as Christ lived, to be passionate, active, faithful, and obedient servants of God the Father, so as to bring glory to His name.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
And the heavens shall declare his justice: for God is judge. Hear, O my people, and I will speak: O Israel, and I will testify to thee: I am God, thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices: and thy burnt offerings are always in my sight. I will not take calves out of thy house: nor he goats out of thy flocks. For all the beasts of the woods are mine: the cattle on the hills, and the oxen.
I know all the fowls of the air: and with me is the beauty of the field. If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Shall I eat the flesh of bullocks? or shall I drink the blood of goats? Offer to God the sacrifice of praise: and pay thy vows to the most High. And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
But to the sinner God hath said: Why dost thou declare my justices, and take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hast hated discipline: and hast cast my words behind thee. If thou didst see a thief thou didst run with him: and with adulterers thou hast been a partaker. Thy mouth hath abounded with evil, and thy tongue framed deceits. Sitting thou didst speak against thy brother, and didst lay a scandal against thy mother's son:
These things hast thou done, and I was silent. Thou thoughtest unjustly that I should be like to thee: but I will reprove thee, and set before thy face. Understand these things, you that forget God; lest he snatch you away, and there be none to deliver you. The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me: and there is the way by which I will shew him the salvation of God.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saint Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
We are saved because of Jesus, and we live as heirs to the Father if and only if we abide in Him. Thus the idea that we could have a singular isolated relationship with the Father, detached from Christ, is of course untrue. A vine weaves its way attaching itself to all that strengthens it and aids in its growth, dead branches are of no use and must be pruned. Jesus said "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him." It is through the sacraments and in particular the Eucharist in which we are sanctified to participate in becoming incorporated into Christ, the Vine. During this Easter time as we we experience the beauty and splendor of Spring, reminded of the the Risen Lord let us do all to prune off those things that are a part of our life that do not produce fruit and be renewed in the fact that in abiding with Christ we are redeemed, unity with holiness and mercy.
Friday, May 8, 2009
The pope was met at the airport by Jordan's King Abdullah and praised the moderate Arab country as a leader in efforts to promote peace in the region and dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
The pope rankled many in the Muslim world with a 2006 speech in which he quoted a Medieval text that characterized some of the Prophet Muhammad's teachings as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."
The pope has already said he was "deeply sorry" over the reaction to his speech and that the passage he quoted did not reflect his own opinion.
"My visit to Jordan gives me a welcome opportunity to speak of my deep respect for the Muslim community, and to pay tribute to the leadership shown by his majesty the king in promoting a better understanding of the virtues proclaimed by Islam," Benedict said shortly after landing in Amman.
But his past comments continue to fuel criticism by some Muslims.
Jordan's hard-line Muslim Brotherhood said Friday before the pope arrived that its members would boycott his visit because he did not issue a public apology ahead of time as they demanded.
Brotherhood spokesman Jamil Abu-Bakr said the absence of a public apology meant "obstacles and boundaries will remain and will overshadow any possible understanding between the pope and the Muslim world."
The Brotherhood is Jordan's largest opposition group. Although it commands a small bloc in parliament, it wields considerable sway, especially among poor Jordanians.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the Vatican has made all possible clarifications, telling Associated Press Television News that "we cannot continue until the end of the world to repeat the same clarifications."
Despite the controversy, Benedict expressed hope his visit and the power of the Catholic church could help further peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.
"We are not a political power but a spiritual power that can contribute," Benedict told reporters on the plane before he landed in Amman.
The pope will also visit Israel and the Palestinian territories during his weeklong tour.
Jordan's king praised the pope and said the world must reject "ambitious ideologies of division."
"We welcome your commitment to dispel the misconceptions and divisions that have harmed relations between Christians and Muslims," said Abdullah.
Christians make up 3 percent of Jordan's 5.8 million people.
The pope was also met at the airport by diplomats and Muslim and Christian leaders. A Jordanian army band equipped with bagpipes and drums played the Vatican and Jordanian national anthems before the pope and the king inspected the honor guard.
Benedict's three-day stay in Jordan is his first visit to an Arab country as pope. During his time in the country, Benedict is scheduled to meet with Muslim religious leaders at Amman's largest mosque — his second visit to a Muslim place of worship since becoming pope in 2005. He prayed in Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque, a gesture that helped calm the outcry over his remarks.
The pope is also expected to meet Iraqi Christians driven from their homeland by violence. About 40 young Iraqi refugees crowded into a tiny Catholic church in Amman on Friday, nervously practicing their last lesson before Benedict administers their first communion on Sunday.
"I really want to meet the pope," said Cecile Adam, an 11-year-old whose family fled Baghdad. "I think he can do something to help Iraq because Jesus gave him a good position and Jesus wants us to be happy."
Associated Press Writers Jamal Halaby and Dale Gavlak contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
O Lord, behold me a suppliant praying before Thee.
and the contempt of men.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?”
As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.