Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Sunday's reading of Isaiah Chapter 40 is perhaps the definitive passage on what Advent should mean to us. Handel's Messiah brings it so beautifuly "Every Valley Shall be Exalted..." In looking at Sacred Scripture, there are many levels whereupon God speaks to us. Isaiah is speaking to the people of his time, exhorting them to prepare for the return from exile. St. Mark brings to light that this "Voice that cries out in the desert" is John the Baptist, who in turn is preparing the people of his time to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.
Isaiah wrote "A voice cries out:In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!Every valley shall be filled in,every mountain and hill shall be made low;the rugged land shall be made a plain,the rough country, a broad valley."
In 2011, today, this very day the message to God's people, those baptised in Christ, His Mystical Body, is this: Prepare yourselves for the Incarnation, the birth of the God-Man, Jesus, which we celebate in our liturgical season of Advent. We celebrate this not in just a historical remembrance of an event thatn took place some 2000+ years ago, but here and now, for Jesus is always being born, in the hearts of those who wish to recieve Him. The message can also be understood this way. If we are lacking or have "pot holes," maybe even "valleys" in our virtuous life, we can prepare to "fill them in," how? by perhaps the Sacrament of Penance is a good, place top start, seeking repair and healing, rebuilding what does mesure up to what God desires of us. Another problem could be the hill of our prideful and puffed uo existence, where we are too self-absorbed, not seeing God from the proper perspective of a humble servant, not recognizing Him for who He is. Finally, are our "landscapes" filled with junk, rocks, obstacles, from our sinful lives that we lead? Is our soul"littered"? Can we "smooth" things out and make paths to Christ direct. That is what we can take from Isaiah as we proceed this Advent, towards the day when the infant Jesus arrives.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 8:29 AM
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I watched as the night moved towards day. My thoughts were in a quiet space where light so gently and sweetly enters. Not in a flash but with each second turning the night to a lighter shade. Then it struck me, the message in the morning was clear. Each breaking of dawn is a visible sign of the coming of Christ. In that sense Christ is always coming, always presenting himself in a renewal of life. Each day marks both His arrival and His presence. Like the birth of a new day He too comes gently and sweetly. He warms our chilled hearts, He softens the harsh landscape, He penetrates the darkness. He is both ever moving and anchored simultaneously. As Advent approaches, please focus in on this idea of Christ coming like the Morning Star. His presence was visible by the Star in the East, we most make ut long journey towards Him,watch the night turn to day, growing our hearts and making room for Him. Advent should become the adventure of a lifetime, the New Dawn that awakens us to the life.John wrote: "All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.What came to be through him was life,and this life was the light of the human race" We can be fully alive in the light of a new day.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 6:45 AM
Sunday, November 20, 2011
|Christ the King|
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17).
"Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.'" (Luke 9:60)
"And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14).
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his kingdom stand? (Matthew 12:26)
Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered," You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice."(John 18:37)
"The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17)
Let Jesus be the Lord over your life and work daily for the Kingdom.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 7:54 AM
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
One thing that I have discovered in teaching over the past couple of years is the misconceptions and misunderstanding of who God is. The better one understands God and his attributes the better one can discern their relationship to him.
He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God. He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him. God is summum bonum, the chiefest good
God is faithful
God is faithful, totally trustworthy
Infinity of GodWhen we say that God is infinite, we mean that He is unlimited in every kind of perfection or that every conceivable perfection belongs to Him in the highest conceivable way. We must admit, in conclusion, that our knowledge of the Infinite is inadequate, and necessarily so since our minds are only finite.
Unity or unicity of GodObviously there can be only one infinite being, only one God. If several were to exist, none of them would really be infinite, for, to have plurality of natures at all, each should have some perfection not possessed by the others. This will be readily granted by every one who admits the infinity of God, and there is no need to delay in developing what is perfectly clear.
God has life within Himself; His existence is not dependent on any other. Man is a contingent being, God is a necessary being
Simplicity of GodGod is a simple being or substance excluding every kind of composition, physical or metaphysical. Physical or real composition is either substantial or accidental — substantial, if the being in question consists of two or more substantial principles, forming parts of a composite whole, as man for example, consists of body and soul; accidental, if the being in question, although simple in its substance (as is the human soul), is capable of possessing accidental perfections (like the actual thoughts and volition of man's soul) not necessarily identical with its substance. Now it is clear that an infinite being cannot be substantially composite, for this would mean that infinity is made up of the union or addition of finite parts — a plain contradiction in terms. Nor can accidental composition be attributed to the infinite since even this would imply a capacity for increased perfection, which the very notion of the infinite excludes. There is not, therefore, and cannot be any physical or real composition in God.
Divine personalityWhen we say that God is a personal being we mean that He is intelligent and free and distinct from the created universe.
EternityBy saying that God is eternal we mean that in essence, life, and action He is altogether beyond temporal limits and relations. He has neither beginning, nor end, nor duration by way of sequence or succession of moments. There is no past or future for God — but only an eternal present.
Immensity and ubiquity, or omnipresenceSpace, like time, is one of the measures of the finite, and as by the attribute of eternity, we describe God's transcendence of all temporal limitations, so by the attribute of immensity we express His transcendent relation to space.
Divine knowledgeThat God is omniscient or possesses the most perfect knowledge of all things, follows from His infinite perfection. In the first place He knows and comprehends Himself fully and adequately, and in the next place He knows all created objects and comprehends their finite and contingent mode of being. Hence He knows them individually or singularly in their finite multiplicity, knows everything possible as well as actual; knows what is bad as well as what is good
ImmutabilityIn God "there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. Changeableness implies the capacity for increase or diminution of perfection, that is, it implies finiteness and imperfection. But God is infinitely perfect and is necessarily what He is.
God is love
God's very essence is love. God in a way doesn't love but rather is Himself love.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 8:15 PM