Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Help in Converting

The Novena to Saint Dominic should start today.  Saint Dominic converted many heretics.  His story always begins with his staying up all night talking to his innkeeper.  The innkeeper was his first convert.  Saint Dominic also started his Order with converted Albigensians.  He had to do something with them; so his first act was to start a convent in Prouille, France, in 1206.  So it is a very good idea to pray for Saint Dominic's intercession when you want to convert someone.

A NOVENA
TO SAINT DOMINIC


O renowned champion of the faith of Christ,
most holy saint Dominic,
who didst renounce the honour and dignity 
of an earthly principality to embrace the poor,
laborious, and mortified life 
which should distinguish a disciple of Him Who has said:
"If any man will come after Me,
let him take up his cross and follow Me."
O burning torch,
who being thyself consumed with the fire of divine love,
didst incessantly labour 
to enkindle that sacred flame 
in the hearts of others,
look down upon me from that throne of glory 
where thou enjoyest the reward of all thy labours,
and obtain that some sparks of that blessed fire
may be lighted in my soul,
to animate and encourage me under any crosses or trials
with which it shall please the divine goodness to visit me.
Thou, O great Saint,
regardest as nothing all the afflictions thou didst endure,
and all the toils thou didst undergo 
for the promotion of God's holy cause;
obtain, I beseech Thee, that the same
ardent love which strengthened thee, 
may make sweet to me labours, humiliations, disgraces, 
or whatever other mortifications 
I may have to suffer for the Name of Jesus.
May I ever bear in mind that nothing can happen to me 
but by the particular dispensation of a God 
Who is infinitely wise,
and therefore knows what is best for my welfare;
infinitely powerful,
and consequently able to effect it;
and above all,
infinitely merciful and loving,
Who has laid down His life for my redemption,
and continues daily to give new proofs of His love and bounty.
O tender Father of the poor who,
when all other resources were exhausted,
didst offer thyself for their relief,
obtain for me that true spirit of compassion 
for the suffering members of Jesus Christ,
which shone forth so conspicuously in thy holy life.
May I, by charity to those whom Jesus so dearly loves,
lay up for myself treasures in heaven,
where thou now enjoyest that which the eye hath not seen,
nor the ear heard, 
nor the heart of man conceived,
but which God has prepared for those who love Him,
and who prove themselves His Disciples 
by the observance of His Divine precept 
- love one another.
I praise and thank God for the high degree of sanctity 
to which He had raised thee, 
and the special privileges 
by which He has distinguished thee.  
I conjure thee, 
by that gratitude with which thou shalt for all eternity 
be penetrated for thy Divine Benefactor,
implore for me the grace to root out of my heart 
whatever is not agreeable in His sight,
especially that evil habit 
by which I most frequently offend Him.
Obtain likewise the favours I request in this Novena,
through thy powerful intercession.

(Here specify your intentions)

O glorious Mother of God, 
Queen of the most sacred Rosary, 
thou who didst love Dominic with the affection of a mother, 
and were most tenderly loved and honoured by him, 
look upon me, for his sake, 
with an eye of pity, 
deign to join with him in presenting these petitions 
to thy most Blessed Jesus.  
I sincerely desire from this moment 
to love Him with all my heart, 
and serve Him with all my strength, 
and now place myself under thy powerful protection, 
as a sure means of obtaining all the graces necessary 
to serve Him faithfully here, 
that I may eternally rejoice with Him hereafter.

Amen.

h/t Catholic Doors

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Weeds


Thinking about today's Gospel, Matt. 13: 36-43, gave me pause.  I was using the words as advice as how to handle evildoers.  Just leave them to God.  Let them live and go.  "The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.  They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grind of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father."

However, just like weeds, they don't go away.  They try to choke the good.  They're ugly aren't they?  They're unwanted.  They spoil the garden.

They're methods to use.  I cover the ground.  Sometimes I use wood chips.  Sometimes cheese cloth, or plastic.  Weeds won't grow through these substances.  Likewise, people have to take precautions not to be overcome by evil.  It's work no matter which way you take it.

Let's let the love of God burn in our hearts, and that fire will keep the weeds at bay.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ghostly Summons

Ghostly Summons by John A. Karr is a paranormal mystery.  The main character, Lars Kelsen sees dead people.  Let me clarify that statement.  Murdered people appear to him, and continue to appear to him, until he solves their case. 

The novel begins in the Outer Banks.  Lars has moved there to start a new life.  He was a crime reporter and thought that the job was getting to him.  He attributed his visions to his job, his personal life’s tragedies, and he thought a change would do him some good.

His new job was computer programming.  One of his coworkers talked him into helping her husband, who owned a local newspaper.  Lars wrote about his latest vision’s case.  He helped the newspaper and he solves the case.

How he solves the case will leave you guessing.  I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s not who you think it is.  It’s not your second guess, either.  If you like mysteries, you’ll like Ghostly Summons.

John A. Karr is a prolific writer.  He’s very versatile.  He writes  science fiction, historical novels, horror, and space opera.  Visit his website: http://www.johnakarr.com/



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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Spiritual Triathlon

Last Sunday, I watched my daughter compete in a triathlon.  She did very well.  She is a very competent swimmer, and an efficient bicyclist, and runner.  She's in excellent physical shape.

You may think this is an odd confluence, but I connected this triathlon of physical events to a different kind of spiritual event--praying.  It is an odd confluence, because there are many ways of praying as there are people.  Just look at last week's Gospel (Luke 10:38-42) about Martha and Mary.  There's two different ways of praying (active and contemplative).  Now look at this week's Gospel (Luke 11: 1-13) where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray to their Father in heaven.  And even in the beginning of this Gospel, the disciples mention that John taught his followers to pray: Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.

So maybe competing in a spiritual triathlon isn't such a reach.  In fact, when I was thinking over all the different methods of praying, I realized that I compete in a spiritual triathlon every day.  Yes!  I do.

Every morning I pray using Lectio Divina with Liturgy of the Hours with my cup of coffee.  Then I go to Mass.  Before Mass, I pray a rosary.  There, one--two--three.

Lectio Divina

Rosary

Mass

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Warp World


Warpworld is listed as Science Fiction Adventure.  So it is and more. I would add “thriller and suspense.”  Kristene Perron and Joshua Simpson, are the authors.  They will bring the reader  into the two worlds of the two major characters, Seg and Ama.  Seg is Segkel Erarant, who has just graduated from cultural theorist school.  He is sent to look for fuel for his world.  He is warped to Ama Kalder’s world.  She is the captain of the boat Seg hires.  Their adventures, eventual partnership, and I’m not going into spoilers, etc. 

The novel is long, but worth it.  In fact, you will wish it would never end.  You’ll want more.  You’ll love Ama’s family.  In fact, Seg falls in love with their family life, and in particular their culture.  It seems that loyalty, faithfulness, and compassion are not common in Seg’s world.  Seg saw these virtues and not only does he want them for himself, he foresees how useful they are.  He uses these virtues to win over his enemies in his own world.

I wish I had a medpack.  I wish I had Ama’s lathe.  I wish I had Seg’s confidence, imagination, and luck.  I’m hooked and want more.  You will too.  You’ll see.  Can’t wait for the next installment of Seg and Ama’s adventures.

Read other reviews on Goodreads: Warpworld Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16107908-warpworld

Buy the book on Amazon: Amazon paperback buy link ($17.99):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1551200503?tag=tributebooks-20

Kindle ebook buy link ($7.99):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009QRXHXK?tag=tributebooks-20

Nook ebook buy link ($7.99):



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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Gift of the Priesthood


Watch this vocation video.  Learn that the seminary is full of young men discerning a vocation.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Snippets

It’s time once again for Sunday Snippets. We are Catholic bloggers sharing weekly our best posts with one another.  Join us to read and/or contribute. To participate, go to your blog and create a post titled Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival. Make sure that the post links back to here, and leave a link to your  snippets post on our host, RAnn’s, site, This, That and the Other Thing.This Sunday I'm calling attention to the Novena for the Spiritual Welfare of the Black Community.  Please pray with us.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Novena for the Spiritual Welfare of the Black American Community

A little explanation for non-Catholics, a novena is a prayer said for nine days. Catholics tend to have different expressions that are shortcuts for longer explanations.  For example, when I say that this prayer is to Father Augustine John Tolton, I don't mean that I am worshipping him.  NO Catholic worships anybody, or thing, except God.  Praying to Father Augustine John Tolton, means asking his intercession.  Since Catholics believe in the Communion of Saints, we pray (talk) to those who have gone before us.  We are in communion with them and talk (pray) to them.  We pray and Father Tolton will pray.  So that's constant praying.  Get it?

Why Father Augustine John Tolton?  Father Tolton was the first black priest in America (ordained 1886)  The diocese of Chicago is promoting him for sainthood. Since the country is in turmoil over the Zimmerman trial, and we people seem divided by race, I think it is a good idea to appeal to Father Tolton for help.

Father Augustine John Tolton
First Black American Priest
Ordained 1886

                     NOVENA for the Spiritual Welfare of the Black American Community

 (This Novena was approved and Blessed by Bishop Joseph Perry on October 22, 2012) 

 Begin each Prayer with: - One ‘Our Father’ - One ‘Apostle’s Creed’, and - Three ‘Hail Mary’s’

 FIRST PRAYER: FOR THE SPIRITUAL ANCHORING OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, whose faith was grounded in Christ Jesus at an early age, pray the same for all of the Black community in America, so that together they might be unified in one faith, one Lord, one Baptism, and God. Pray Father Tolton for the Black community to find and to love that same fullness of their faith that you found through the Catholic Church, and that Church would find a deeper fullness of itself in that community. Pray Father Tolton for the Holy Eucharist to become the source and summit of Christian life in the Black community and for that unique Presence of Christ Jesus to work to conform all peoples into His image before God the Father. Amen. 

SECOND PRAYER: FOR THE MORAL FORMATION OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY 
Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton, teacher of truth, for the moral formation of the youth in the Black community in America. Pray for their moral grounding in the teachings of Christ our Lord, so that they might be living witnesses of the Beatitudes. Pray Father Tolton for a strengthening and fortification of the Holy Spirit in the Black community so that it might be guided and protected in all Truth, and thereby able withstand all assaults by the Evil One. Amen.

 THIRD PRAYER: FOR THE STABILITY AND STRENGTH OF MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY 
Strong families and marriages are the woven threads that have always proved to be most beneficial for all healthy societies. Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton that all husbands will love their wives as Christ loved the Church and love their wives as their own bodies. Pray that each wife will embrace her role as a type of Church in the household and embrace her husband and children as members of her body. Pray Father Tolton for the sanctity and dignity of marriages in the Black community in America and to the end of the sexual impurity and promiscuity that has led to far too many fatherless homes. Pray for the restoration of true Christ-like masculinity for Black men, and for women to look upon our Blessed Mother as a beckon of faithfulness and womanhood. Amen.

FOURTH PRAYER: FOR PEACE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY 
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, servant of Peace, pray for an end of all forms of violence and for an everlasting peace in the Black community in America. Dear servant of the King of Peace, violence against each other betrays our progress and robs us of our future. Pray then Father Tolton that we all might know Christ Jesus enough so that we will see Him in each other. Pray then O’ Father Tolton that in the pursuit of peace we might go from seeing Jesus in each other, to loving each other through Him, and cooperating with all that grace empowers us to bring the in-dwelling of Christ more fully out of each other. Pray Father Tolton for the reign of Peace throughout the world, and even more especially in communities that are harmed by persistent violence. Amen.

 FIFTH PRAYER: FOR GOOD EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY 
The doors of opportunity in the world are open to all, and are open even more fully to those who have been educated. Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton, teacher of children, for the Holy Spirit’s gifts of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to pour out abundantly over the Black community in America, and that the schools and universities that service these communities will be blessed with the resources, staff, and faculty they need to achieve their goals. Pray for Catholic schools and universities’ fidelity to the teachings of the Church, and that they might open their doors to all, especially to the poor and to the disadvantaged. Amen.
 SIXTH PRAYER: FOR GAINFUL ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY 
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, as we seek your intercession for the spiritual needs of the Black community in America, we also come to you dear servant of God to ask for your prayers for their material needs. Pray Father Tolton for those in the Black community to have good economic opportunities in their community to find gainful employment or to start a business, so that all might have the resources they need to provide for themselves, their family, and their Church. Pray Father Tolton that God might fill in all of us the spirit of a cheerful giver so that we might remember that all that has been given to us we will, in-return, give back. Amen

SEVENTH PRAYER: FOR THE END OF ABORTION IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Far too much treasure of the Black community in America has been lost through the tragedy of abortion. Pray O’ Father Augustus Tolton, for a quickening of the Holy Spirit in the Black community so that its conscience will be awakened to know that each child conceived belongs to God, and that God has given each child a plan and purpose for its life. Pray for an end of sexual objectification, adultery, and pre marital sex that paves the way to compounded bad decisions. Pray that medical professionals will learn to see and recognize the beauty of all pre-natal children, even those that may be born different than us. Pray Father Tolton for all women and men who have in some way participated in abortions for their forgiveness and healing. Pray for all pregnant women to have all of the help and support that they need to bring their child safely into the world, so that it might have the opportunity to know, love, and serve God in this life and in the next. Amen. 

EIGHTH PRAYER: FOR MORE CATHOLIC EVANGELISTS TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY
O’ Father Augustus Tolton, who always sought out new opportunities to reach out to the community, pray O’ faithful servant of God for the Lord to send more faithful evangelists of the Gospel into the Black communities in America. Pray Father Tolton that the Lord might send us more like you to point God’s children to the light and love of Christ Jesus through the lenses of the Catholic Church. And pray Father Tolton that wherever the faithful evangelist might go that he or she will have the courage to speak only what God has given them to say, and that their words will fall upon fertile soil. Amen.

NINTH PRAYER: FOR MORE VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD, DIACONATE, AND CONSECRATED LIFE FROM THE BLACK COMMUNITY 
O’ Father Augustus Tolton intercede for us and pray that as the Eternal Father sent you that He will send more from the Black community in America to serve God’s people as Priests, Deacons, and consecrated Religious. Pray Father Tolton for the Church’s cup to overflow with blessings from vocations of men and women responding to their call to serve God’s children in love. Amen.

Read more at: http://www.toltonnovena.org/novena/ | Father Augustus Tolton Novena

Friday, July 19, 2013

Why Adoration?


While treading water at Menauhant Beach, my friend and I were discussing Eucharist Adoration. (Doesn't everybody do that at the beach?)  Our parish has stopped Adoration, for the summer.  My friend expressed the opinion that she doesn't see, nor understand the reason for Adoration.  Why is it even needed, when Jesus is everywhere, and especially present, in the Tabernacle?

At the time, I couldn't think of a response.  (Getting sunstroke is as good a reason as any.)  However, I've been thinking and praying about an answer, ever since.  I even solicited help from my Facebook friends.  And their posts kept me thinking.

This is what I'm going to explain to her.  Appealing to the magisterium of the Church doesn't reach everybody.  Many find it difficult and are not inclined that way.  What does appeal to everybody is attaining a personal relationship with God.  A good teacher will use visual, auditory, and tactile means to get a lesson across.  Hence, to give the people a personal relationship with Jesus, visual, audio, and tactile means will work well.

Although anybody and everyone may enter a Catholic Church and pray before the Tabernacle, it isn't the same as a beautiful visual aid, known as Eucharistic Adoration.  That is obvious.  The Host in the monstrance is drawing all eyes to adore It.  Add benediction and the smell of incense will appeal to the senses.  Chant and song, and people are really participating in communal praise and glory to God.

What more could the people need?

Ah...a loving feminine touch would complete the devotion.  Praying the rosary  (fingering prayer beads) is a long established method of relating to Jesus, through His Mother.

I therefore conclude that Eucharistic Adoration is not more important than spending prayer time before the Tabernacle, but it is one very powerful devotion that has a unique importance all on its own. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Litany to the Saints of Bethany




Litany to the Saints of Bethany

Martha, always willing to
welcome Jesus at your home    
                                                                                                           - teach us confidence
you have stuck to Jesus,
when your brother had died                                                                   - teach us confidence

you have tamed the dragon                  
                                                                                                           - teach us confidence
Mary, friend of understanding                                                                - teach us devotion

Mary, regardless of the talk of the others                                                 - teach us devotion

Mary, tender and lavish                                                                         - teach us devotion

Lazarus, friend of the Lord                                                                      - teach us friendship

Lazarus, having come alive through Jesus                                                  - teach us friendship

Lazarus, generous and inviting                                                               - teach us friendship

Siblings of Bethany                                                                                - teach us how to love

Mary, mother, who sticks by her child                                              - teach us how to believe

Mary, sister of all who are powerless,
who believe and struggle                                                                             - teach us how to believe

Mary, who loves chastely                                                                             - teach us how to believe

Magdalene, freed to love by
the Lord                                                                                    - teach us not to give up on anyone

Magdalene, who has followed
Jesus to the cross                                                                       - teach us not to give up on anyone

Magdalene, herald of
the risen Christ                                                                        - teach us not to give up on anyone

John, the Lord’s favorite disciple                                                                     - teach us reliability

John, who has stuck with Jesus,
when all others fled                                                                                       -teach us reliability

John, to whom the Lord could
entrust His mother                                                                                       - teach us reliability

You women and men under the cross                                                          - teach us how to love
Joseph, you protected Mary and her
child from all suspicions                                                                                - teach us loyalty

Joseph, you followed the hints of God,
even if they thwarted your plans                                                                - teach us loyalty

Joseph, full of concern to the vulnerable                                                 - teach us loyalty

Fr. Lataste, converted converter                                                           - teach us inner freedom

Fr. Lataste, you returned their dignity
to the prisoners                                                                              - teach us inner freedom

Despite so much resistance, you have
defended Bethany as God’s deed                                                         - teach us inner freedom

Fr. Boulanger and all friends and
benefactors of Bethany                                                                      - teach us solidarity

You have helped Bethany out of so
many difficulties                                                                                     - teach us solidarity

You have taken an interest by sharing                                                    - teach us solidarity

You, whom Bethany owes its existence to                                               - teach us how to love

M. Henri Dominique, mother and sister
of all who have been entrusted to you                                                    - teach us mercy

M. Henri Dominique, you have led
Bethany with much courage and
knowledge of human nature                                                                        -teach us mercy

M. Henri Dominique, you have trusted
in God in all difficulties                                                                              - teach us mercy

Sr. Noel, you have nearly despaired
in your powerlessness                                                                   - teach us, not to predefine anyone

Sr. Noel, justified, because you
were willing to forgive                                                       - teach us, not to predefine anyone

Sr. Noel, you symbol that a
new start is really possible                                                              -teach us, not to predefine anyone


You sisters, who have built up
Bethany, you committed yourself
for it with heart and soul                                                                               - teach us perseverance

You have suffered so much and
experienced so much joy                                                                                - teach us perseverance

You lived together and for each
other in the enthusiasm of Jesus                                                                       - teach us perseverance

You founders and sisters of Bethany                                                                 - teach us how to love

Jesus, God, who became a human
being, in order to live with us                                                                             - love in us

Jesus, human being, who became
bread so as we may live                                                                                     - love in us


Jesus, center of our community                                                                          - love in us

*  Credit to Sister Hannah Rita Laue, O.P., a Dominican Sister of Bethany, for her drawing used with this Litany.

Sunstroke


The sun got to me.  Yesterday, my friend and I swam, tread water, and just floated for over an hour, at Menauhant Beach.  I think I got sunstroke.

I was wearing a hat, when I was just sitting on the beach.  But I took it off, when I went into the water.  I thought I'd just dunk my head in the water, when I got hot.  I did.  However, the sun reflects off the water, so the sunlight was doubly burning my head.  Since my hair was thin, it was burning my scalp.  Dunking my head, made it worse, because then my wet hair was plastered together in places, and other places bare scalp was exposed.

I felt nauseous all day.  I had a head ache.  My skin felt tight.  The ends of my fingers tinkled.

I couldn't sleep all night, so I'm too tired to see how I feel.

Lord, have mercy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Suspicious Samaritan

My "cloistered brothers" and I were doing group Lectio Divina.  We were reading Luke 10: 25-37.  This is the parable of the Good Samaritan.  We shared our thoughts.

Most of the "cloistered brothers" identified with the robbers--at least for a part of their lives.  Some identified with the innkeeper, who probably wrestled with his conscience, regarding whether or not he could take advantage of the Samaritan.

Personally?  No matter how many times I read the story, I always identified with the Samaritan.  I could see myself coming across someone who needed help.  Upon my first reading, my thoughts were confused and rushed:

How can I help?
He's a Jew.
He may be repulsed by my being a Samaritan.
I can't take him home.
I can't take him to an inn, I have no money.
Who knows how much this will cost?
I have no other means to help him.

Then I listened to my "cloistered brothers" share their thoughts. This time, some said they were the priests; they never would have noticed the man in the ditch.  Custody of the eyes, you know.

I read it again.  This time I identified what my problem was.  Again, I was the Samaritan.  Again, I thought of excuses why I couldn't help the man.  I concluded that I couldn't take a chance that this entire scene wasn't a "set up."  If I went to help him, I would immediately be set upon by the robbers.  The wounded man was a trap.  And even if it wasn't, the wounded man might sue me for causing more damage to him than the original violence.

See, I was AFRAID to get involved.

And I justified my passing by the wounded man, by saying that I'd go for help.  I'd look for some Jewish people who could help a fellow Jew.  This is what I determined the intelligent answer.

Although my cloistered brothers and I, shared our thoughts, regarding the different roles we were playing, I don't think anyone identified with the wounded man, who needed help.

Isn't that odd?  We are all wounded.  We all have needed help, at one time, or another.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Love Before You Preach

I'm reading a lesson Pere Lataste was teaching to his student brothers.  He was their Novice Master.

The Lord ordered
us to do what he himself did;
he began loving before teaching
about it. He gave us the greatest
proof of his friendship he could by
having died for us. We have to love
each other, because we are brothers.
We have to love each other, because
we are members of the same
body. Brothers in Adam, brothers
in Jesus Christ2, members of one
body, which is humanity, the one
humanity regenerated in Jesus
Christ, our head. We have to love
even more deeply due to the close
bounds that unite us. It is neither
the hazard of birth nor the hazard
of the same country that makes
us brothers, but the choice of God

and our own choice.

Of course you can teach or preach without that love.  That's what 99% of them do.  But it's this empathetic love that makes you one of the best.  Love the people.  Open yourself up to them.  Is that so hard?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

It's that time again, Sunday Snippets. We are a group of Catholic bloggers, who share our posts with one another, on Sundays.

Why don't you join us?  Follow the links and read some different bloggers.  If you have your own blog, create a post entitled Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival.  Link your post back to here, and also to RAnn's site, This, That, and the Other Thing.

My favorite posts this week were two: Fairweather Catholics, and The Most Cordial Intimacy Possible.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Contraception and the Coming Violence

Life Site interviews the papal theologian, Fr. Wojciech Giertych, op, on contraception and the coming violence, through the rejection of Humanae Vitae

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Lawyer's Summation

Prison Packages

The readings to the 15th Sunday in Ordinary time, remind me of a lawyer's summation.  The first one, which I am proclaiming, especially.

Deuteronomy 30: 10-14 is pleading to the jury.  If only you would heed the voice of the Lord...and keep His commandments and statutes...For this command that I enjoin...

I'm memorizing the last sentence, so I can look everyone in the eyes, when I say,

No, it is something very near to you,
already in your mouths and in your hearts;
you have only to carry it out.

I know.  I'm such a drama queen.  I don't care.  I'm proclaiming something important, and it's necessary that everyone understands.

Since I can't trust the second reader to be there, I'm also preparing the reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians 1:15-20.  I'll read it as a polemic.  I'll emphasize God and just rattle away very quickly: thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers, because I need to get across the concept that only God is important.  These titles are inferior.  Because

He is before all things...
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning...

I'm really slowing down when I say preeminent.  I'll say it slowly and carefully, because it's the context of the verse that must come across.  Jesus is first in history, first in the universe, and I want everyone to realize that He must be first in their hearts.

Then there's the Gospel, which is the story of the Good Samaritan.  I hope certain people are listening to this lesson.  They'll know who they are.  They're my friends who are always worried about "liability."  Listen up!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fairweather Catholics

My Lay Dominican Study Group is reading Catherine of Siena--the Dialogue, translation by Suzanne Noffke, O.P.  We're at the part where Catherine is talking about the steps to holiness.  We're on the first step, but this step is where quite a few quit.  They don't ascend any further.

This image brought to mind, a friend of mind.  She thought that she would whip her body and soul into shape, by attending daily Mass, and walking to work.  She had her husband drop her off at the church.  She started attending daily Mass.  Afterwards, she walked to work.

She never persevered.  She quit.

When I asked her why, she blamed the priests.  She said the priests were too weird; they got to her.  I asked her what that had to do with the Eucharist. She just gave me a quizzical look, but no verbal reply.   

St. Catherine says the following about people like my friend, But there are many who begin their climb so sluggishly and pay what they owe me (God) in such bits and pieces, so indifferently and ignorantly, that they quickly fall by the way.  The smallest wind makes them hoist their sails and turn back.  They had climbed only imperfectly to the first stair of Christ crucified, and so they never reach the second, which is that of his (Jesus') heart.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Most Cordial Intimacy Possible

                                                         Vie du pere Lataste

I'm reading pere Laste's Sermon 90 at Cadillac Prison, Septembre 15, 1864.  His words are so poignantly touching.  I so wish I could have known him, personally.

In talking about the Sacrament of Reconciliation to the women prisoners at Cadillac Prison, he tells them that if they wish, he will be their soul mate.  He urges them to call him "father," and he will call them, "my children."  How more loving can you get?  He continues, "If you desire, there will exist between us the most candid, the most sincere, and the most cordial intimacy possible."

Be still my heart!  Does God make spiritual directors and confessors like this, any more?