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Showing posts from 2015
Philippians 4:6  "Be Anxious About Nothing"

I read Philippians 4:6 this morning as I sipped my coffee.  I had already caught up on the daily news, flipping between the various offerings on television.  I was feeling a bit hopeless, not in God mind you, but in humanity.  So I decided to play a little Bible Roulette.  You know, where you hold the Bible in both hands, let it fall open to a particular page, and with eyes closed drop your finger on a verse or two.
I got Philippians. Two passages in Scripture haunt me.  One is "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."  Yikes.  The other is, "Be anxious about nothing."  The homepage of my life is anxiety, so I was not surprised that God would torture, I mean bless me with that verse for today. It beats getting that other verse again.  By the way, I typed that with a smile... 
Why am I anxious?  For me it is a psychological disposition.  I am by nature friendly, usually smiley, always looking for the humor in…

This "connection" came to me this morning as I was praying.  The connection is between the Jubilee Year and the Visitation.  Just as Elizabeth stood before Mary before the birth of their children, our Holy Father Pope Francis stood before the Holy Door and prayed before opening it.

How his heart must have been leaping for joy!  There would have been the immediate anticipation of the moment, couple with the hopes for the year.  He must have felt the weight of the door somehow reflected the weight of his responsibility.  He must have been aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit as the Mercy of God in Christ Jesus was being proclaimed and celebrated in this simple act of opening a door.

I know I feel like Elizabeth as I watched that historic moment on Dec. 8th.

Here is what Pope Francis had to say:

In a few moments I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door of Mercy. We carry out this act – as I did in Bangui – so simple yet so highly symbolic, in the light o…
Dec. 14, 2015

Catholics throughout the world celebrate the third Sunday in Advent as Gaudete Sunday.  It is especially joyful in the context of our Jubilee Year of Mercy.  The word gaudete comes from our second reading this week from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians--"Rejoice!  Rejoice in the Lord always.” (Phil 4:4).  We are exhorted to rejoice in the reality of Christ already present to us as we prepare to celebrate His birth.  We rejoice as we await His second coming even though it seems to be long delayed.  We rejoice, faithfully, in the triumph of Jesus Christ even though we are in the midst of an intense battle for our souls.

How does anyone get away with exhorting others to rejoice? If you are feeling down, does it really help for someone to come along and say, “Cheer up”?   And yet, without pausing to assess the mood and attitude of assembled worshipers, the Church makes bold to exhort people on the Third Sunday of Advent, ready or not, to rejoice. The tradition has …
I really like the IDEA of blogging...

I have not be very consistent with this blogging thing.  Maybe it is almost not really a "thing" anymore.  However, here I go with another try.

I have a few wonderful friends who are always finding what they call "connections" in their lives.  An example of a connection would be one of those serendipitous moments when a thought or action coincides with a specific Saint or Saint's day.

The conversation might be something like, "I woke up this morning with a picture of St. Wigbert in my brain.  I seldom think of him.  I really don't know much about him or have a devotion to him  So I was really surprised when I saw on the Saint of the Day website that it was his feast day."

Now...these particular friends are especially adept at finding connections.  I sometimes make lite of it.  I will say something like,  "Look, I found a one dollar bill in my wallet.  I didn't even remember that today was our Green …
St. Michael the Archangel stands before us with his glorious sword raised.
The Battle Cry has been sounded:  "Who is Like God?"   We, the faithful followers of Christ Jesus are assembled with the Host of Heaven.   A beautiful brigh light emminates from the tip of that glorious sword.   It is nearly blinding.   In that light there is no fear nor doubt.   The troops have been assembled.   The time is now for us to battle evil.

St. Michael, himself, tells us that the light of his sword is the refelction of the very Glory of God.   In all that you do for God This very same Light is reflected to the world through Your sacrifices, prayers, and deeds.

What has one eye, one hand and one foot? Sounds like a joke until you read the 9th chapter of the Gospel of Mark where it is written: If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. How does this principle apply to the life of discipleship? Is Jesus really advocating cutting off hand or foot or plucking out the eye? Nothing in His healing ministry suggests this. But there is a workable principle here: be decisive, even radical, in your choices, when it comes to your journey toward the reign of God. For example, in the context of t…