Posts tagged ‘articles’

Have A Busy Schedule?

We live in a very fast-paced world and it seems like we can never keep up with all the demands of this speed. We try harder and work faster and stay busy longer, yet it seems like the people who demand a piece of our time are more numerous than we can handle.

How does this make you feel? Frustrated? Worried? Angry? Tired? These feelings are warning signs that we need to schedule more time for ourselves, alone with God. But we feel guilty if we slow down for our own sake!

In the Gospel reading (Luke 5:12-16), Jesus shows us that we should not feel guilty. It’s good spiritual medicine to go away from the busy world and, for a little while, forget the hectic demands of normal life. It’s the principle of the Sabbath, the biblical day of rest that God himself took. Did the Creator need to restore lost energy after making the universe? Of course not. It’s an example set for our benefit. Read more…

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Excluded or Empowered?

I believe that a stranger is just a friend whom I haven’t yet met. This idea is based on what Jesus says in the Gospel reading: “Anyone who is not against you is on your side.”

How many unknown friends has God given to you and me? They are surprise gifts: the strangers we sit next to in Mass, the neighbors we bump into at the grocery store, the co-workers who disagree with our Church’s teachings but are willing to help us do a difficult job, and the odd lady in the church parking lot who doesn’t fit our idea of friendship but who greets us with a smile.

These are unexpected partners in community, sent by God.

The disciples were blinded by pride. They thought they were special because they were Jesus’ closest buddies, his chosen ones. In the first part of this scripture, they want to know which among them is the greatest! It was that old attitude of exclusivity — if you’re not one of us, you’re not as important, you can’t get the same special treatment that I enjoy; you’re inferior. Read more…

Who Are Catholic Saints

As Catholics celebrate All Saints Day on 1st November, some non-Catholics probably are curious who are these holy people, why does the Church include All Saints’ Day in their calendar of solemn feasts and why does the Apostles’ Creed include “the communion of saints” as one of the 12 essential articles of our faith.

Catholics do not worship saints, but the saints are near and dear to Catholic hearts. Catholics respect and honor the saints and consider them to be the heroes of the Church. The Church emphasizes that they were ordinary people from ordinary families, and they were totally human.

A saint (also historically known as a hallow) is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. Depending on the context and denomination, the term also retains its original Christian meaning, as any believer who is “in Christ” and in whom Christ dwells, whether in Heaven or on Earth. Broadly speaking, are all people who follow Jesus Christ and live their lives according to His teaching. Catholics, however, also use the term more narrowly to refer to especially holy men and women who, by persevering in the Christian Faith and living extraordinary lives of virtue, have already entered Heaven. Read more…

Blessed Are The Eyes That See

In the Gospel passage (Luke 10:21-24), Jesus tells his disciples: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” It would seem that today we are not so blessed, because we were born two thousand years too late to see Jesus in the flesh, face to face. But let’s consider what we have seen with our own eyes.

Every day, if we’re able to celebrate Mass, we see Jesus in the Eucharist. Well, no, we don’t see him with our physical vision. It requires faith — and belief in the supernatural power of God — to recognize that the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus during the consecration prayers. The eyes of our souls see him.

Every day, we see Jesus in others if we look past the garbage of sinfulness and unhealthy behaviors that they carry around like prized possessions. Jesus is not plainly visible; true vision requires faith. True faith opens the eyes of our souls to find the presence of Christ within each person. Read more…

The Gift of True Friendship

Imagine the scene depicted in the Gospel story (John 12: 1-11). It takes place exactly one week before the crucifixion of Jesus. He knows what’s going to happen; he knows his time is short. So how does he spend this day? Fretting and worrying and fearing the pain that he’ll soon suffer? Is he depressed perhaps?

No, he’s enjoying a party!

Jesus chose to spend his last peaceful day with his dearest and closest friends. He can relax around them. He knows they’re not going to pick a fight with him. If he wants to rest, they will minister to his needs and desires.

What a great example of friendship!

Look at how they dined. It was no simple meal of pita bread and dates, but a banquet! Jesus taught by his own example that we should live in humble simplicity, and yet he also enjoyed a fancy meal with lots of trimmings and gourmet dishes. Read more…

Unfailing Joys

By Dr. James R. Miller
“The wine failed.” – John 2:3

This incident is a very fitting illustration of the failure of all this world’s joys. The wine gave out at a wedding-feast. There was not enough of it to last through to the end of the feast. It is just so with all earth’s pleasure. It comes in cups, not in fountains, and the supply is limited and soon exhausted. It is so especially with sin’s pleasures. The prodigal son runs through with his abundance and begins to be in want. A poet compared the pleasures of sin to a snowflake on the river — “a moment white, then gone forever.” But it is true in a sense also of pure pleasures. Even the sweetness of human love is but a cupful which will not last forever. The joy which so fills us today, tomorrow is changed to sorrow. Amid the gladness of the marriage altar there is the knell of the end in the words “till death us do part.” One of every two friends must hold the other’s hand in farewell at the edge of the valley — must stand by the other’s grave and walk alone part of the way.

The best wine of life and of love will fail. If there were nothing better in this world, how sad it would be! But it is here that we see the glory of Christ’s gospel. Jesus comes when earth’s wine fails and gives heaven’s wine to supply the lack. How beautiful and how true is the picture here — the failing wine, and then Jesus coming with power and supplying the want! That is what he is doing continually. He takes lives which have drained their last drop of earthly gladness and he satisfies them with spiritual good and blessing, so that they want nothing more. When human, joy fails, if we have Jesus with us, he gives new joy, better than the world’s, and in unfailing abundance. How sad it is for those who have not taken Christ into their lives, and who have nothing but the empty cup when earth’s wine gives out!

Offering Up Our Suffering

by Friar Jim Van Vurst, O.F.M.

I suspect that most of my readers have heard of the expression “offering it up.” Someone asked me just what it means. It was a good question. There is a fundamental truth that helps us understand this expression. In all of God’s creation, there is a single word that describes who and how we are: relationship. The whole of creation: the universe, all the galaxies, stars, and planets (including our own), are in relationship with each other.

The basic laws of the universe, such as gravity, tell us that we all affect one another. But when it comes to God’s creation of humankind, the idea of relationship takes on unimaginable proportions. We are all created out of love: we are made in God’s image and likeness. And we are related to one another in ways we cannot comprehend. We are more deeply linked together in an interpersonal relationship with God and with each other.

That interpersonal relationship can be seen in the lives of moms and dads who feel hurt when their children are injured or experience rejection: their children’s pain becomes their own. That’s why the word interpersonal describes such a powerful aspect of our human experience—in times of joy and sadness.

Offering it up means … Read more…