Pope Francis invites us to read Ezekiel chapter 37 which describes the Spirit of God breathing life into a Valley ofDry Bones. Francis always emphasizes that God is in charge and in control of the Church, not man. In Ezekiel, it is God who, through the prophet, sends the Spirit upon the skeletons. Ezekiel humbly admits he doesn’t know what God’s plan is. Similarly, it is God Himself who breathes His life into the Body, the Church.
Francis explained that”the vision of Prophet Ezechiel, in which God’s Spirit gives flesh and life to a field of dry bones, is a foreshadowing of the Church, filled with the Spirit’s gift of new life in Christ and united in fellowship and love.”
In addition, it is important to notice God sends Ezekiel in the midst of a rebellious house of the exiled Israelites. The dry bones are Israel, cut off from the of life God. By zeroing in on this scene of the Valley of Dry Bones, the pope makes a parallel connection with individual members of the modern Church who act like the rebellious house of Israel,
One day a new demon was asking questions of his demonic mentor, the elder demon assigned to show him the ropes so to speak. "Why does the illustrious evil one hate humans so?" asked the new demon. "You don't know?" TO HEAR THE REST OF THE CONVERSATION...CLICK HERE!
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the greatest and first commandment.And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
In preparation for the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines in January 2015 Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, reflects on today's gospel.
The first of the three videos in this series has the theme The Works of Mercy. In the second Cardinal Tagle looks at The Beatitudes.
I'm in Korea at the moment, partly because of the ordination to the priesthood on 1 November of revered Lee Jehoon Augustine, a Columban who spent two years working in the Manila area as part of his preparation for the priesthood.
Yesterday, Friday, I went with two Columban priests, Fr Liam O'Keeffe, a classmate from County Clare, Ireland,
After I wrote a post with tips for your choleric child, a readers asked if I would write one for phlegmatics as well. I’ve been thinking hard about how to motivate phlegmatics, as I work with C, age 8, who is phlegmatic/sanguine. Since I am phlegmatic/melancholic, I have also looked closely at what works for me.
The training of phlegmatic children is very difficult, because external influence has little effect upon them and internal personal motives are lacking. .....
Not very encouraging for parents, is it? Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.
1. How many years have you been married and how many kids do you have?
Bill & Jean: We have been married 22 years and have no biological children. Bill has an adult son from a previous marriage, which was formally annulled by the Catholic Church prior to our marriage in the Church in 1992.
2. Name 3 things that have helped you to stay married this long.
Jean: Our strong Catholic faith bonded us from the beginning and has kept us together over the years. We are “equally yoked” as the Protestants say. We were both actively involved in leadership roles in various ministries prior to our marriage (and continue to be) and saw eye to eye on the important issues that face engaged couples: openness to life, putting God first in our lives, serving others, stewardship, our roles as husband and wife. We were highly compatible from the beginning and continue to remain that way. ...
I am in awe of incredible architecture of the past, created without modern machinery or even power tools. The results are stunning testaments to faith and dedication to God. They inspire praise and prayer.The experience must be even more powerful in person if mere images can move us.
St. Denis Basilica in Paris, has sheer columns, arches and exceptional stained glass. It is the first monumental masterpiece of Gothic art. The Basilica of St Denis marked the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture. The French Gothic was then spread across Europe as the Middle Ages international style. Then after, workshops at cathedral building sites propagated the new way through the training of master builders. continue>
Do not covet another man’s house, do not covet his wife,
his slaves, his cattle, his ass, or anything else that he owns.
All right, with some difficulty, most of us can go along with that. We may be a little envious of someone else’s house or car or whatever; but that’s as far as it goes. (We hope).
I know I don’t envy my neighbour’s ass because he hasn’t
got one. As for his wife … well … let’s say she is so frightening that he is
most welcome to her. I know my cat is so terrified whenever he sees her that he
dashes up a tree to hide. Even the birds are so scared that they’ve returned
all the seeds they took last year.
But what about coveting our neighbours’ Blogs, or
Facebook or Google accounts, or such other social media?
Why should they have more hits than me? Or more comments
and followers and friends? Some people have more friends on their website than the
number of real people that I have met in a lifetime.
Is that not as serious a sin as the 10nth Commandment
Perhaps we should instead focus on the content of our
Blog posts rather than the number of people reading them.
Let our Blog be the one which Jesus would want to read.
Today the church celebrates the first official feast day of Saint Pope John Paul II. His heroism and total devotion to his prayer time, even during times of illness, injury and suffering, that propelled him to the heights of holiness and made him a compelling witness to the world of a life lived in complete surrender to the Lord.
Once when I was in charge of the songs for a retreat Mass, things went
very wrong. I came too late to begin the opening song, I started one
song too high, and so on. After that fiasco, I sat in the chapel feeling
ashamed and miserable. As the other sisters filed out, one of them gave
my shoulder a little squeeze. Suddenly things weren’t so bad . . .
because of that little gesture. Click to continue
My least favorite time of year is when the political ads on TV and phone calls incessantly fill my life. Facebook is filled with everyone's opinion on politics and my head starts to hurt and then explode.
There were two Mary's who went to the empty tomb to finish the burial
work of Jesus. One was Mary Magdalene and the other was Mary, the
mother of James and Joseph. Both of these women had been at the cross
with Jesus, Mary, His Mother, and John, and Joanna.
Mary Magdalene is the woman who was weeping in the garden who spoke to Jesus and didn't recognize Him at first in all His Glory.
When I meet her at His Tomb, I would like to ask her so many questions about her meeting with Jesus.
Of course, you were distraught over your Master's death. How did you
feel when you went to His tomb to finish His anointing for burial?
Did you leave the home of Mary early to spare her the duty of finishing the burial rituals?
What are your memories of the cross? You must have wept with the other courageous women there?
Read More Here at:: His Unending Love
Crypt of the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux (Wikipedia).
In the thinking of St. Therese, what does it take to be a saint?
grew up in a culture influenced by Jansenism. Jansenism was a heresy
from the seventeenth century that over-emphasized the role of grace in
man’s salvation. It had a long-lasting effect on the Church in France.
In the late nineteenth century, during Therese’s life, the French clergy
often preached “fire and brimstone” sermons. They focused on man’s
sinfulness and the horrors of Hell.
During the school retreat before the first anniversary of her reception of first Communion, Therese was greatly frightened by the priest’s warnings against mortal sin. She was suddenly overcome by scruples. How could she be sure she was on the road to salvation? How could she be sure she was in God’s graces? Maybe she was guilty of mortal sin without acknowledging it. How could she ever be good enough to please God? Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.
Come! Let us sing to the Lord and shout with joy to the rock who saves us. Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving and sing joyful songs to the Lord.
"Americans spend more money on music than on sex or prescription drugs." "There is no known culture now or anytime in the past that lacks [music], and some of the oldest human-made artifacts found at archaeological sites are musical instruments."
Both of these provocative lines come from books written by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin. The first is from his 2006 best seller This Is Your Brain on Music: the Science of a Human Obsession, and the second is from his more recent book (2008), The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature. Once a professional musician, sound engineer, and record producer, Levitin is now a neuroscientist who runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University.
In The World in Six Songs, Levitin explains that when people sing together, the brain releases oxytocin, what Levitin calls a “trust-inducing hormone.” Oxytocin is the same chemical released when a man and a woman create life together, Levitin reminds us. Singing is that dramatic.
What God wants is for us to say
“yes” to him and “no” to everything else. Of the millions of good things
available to us, he wants us to have the best. That’s because he loves us so
much. He loved us, even while we were yet sinners.
Every one of us doubts that we are loved. After all, each
one of us knows who “we” are. It surprises us when someone loves us completely
and thoroughly. But the Lord is after us to believe it. He wants us to know
that he loves us inside and out.
We can begin by saying “yes” to believing that we are worthy of God’s love. We can say “yes” to believing deep within our being, that God, our Creator and Savior, loves us. We belong to him. He loves and cherishes us. He wants to protect us with his gift of faith and trust in him. Before we can serve him and love him fully we must first say “yes”’ to letting him love us.
How does he convince us that he loves us? That’s up to us. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince us, but not against our free will. When we can believe it, then we can try it on. Act like he loves us by loving others the same way he love us. By sharing his love we prove to ourselves and to them how much he loves us.
'.....I'm sweeping my
kitchen floor and my back is starting to ache a tad more than usual. ('O God,
come to my aid; O Lord make haste to help me!')
Help me to sweep
without grumbling today. Help me to be grateful for dust and kitchen
crumbs, and a few extra twinges. ('Lord, I
offer these pains up for our dear friend who is battling cancer and who
loves You so much!')
Help me choose to
do this monotonous housework with a light heart, even though I'd rather be
reading a book or gardening. Help me to be
careful not to put too much stress on my old broom today...
As I write this at 07:45 GMT/UTC, Sunday 19 October, the above is the main story on the website of the BBC. It was also the lead story on BBC World when I watched the news there at 22:00 Saturday and again at 04:00 today. Both bulletins featured two men in Rome living together, one of them speaking fluent English and telling of his desire to raise the three young children that they have as Catholics. The 04:00 bulletin also included an interview with a representative of The New Ways Ministry, described on the BBC website report as 'a US Catholic gay rights group'.
James Reynolds' report on the BBC website begins with this sentence: Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected a call for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope's backing.
…to “take the next good step” (as Fr. Groeschel dearly liked
in moving forward towards a much better place of health
to where I’ve been called to go,
still with the help of some very good friends.
[Thank God for friends in high places!]
And now that I’m getting back on Route again (after being held up in bit of a jam this summer!), I’ve become quite alert these days to the important connection between Route “66” [The Route 66 Challenge™ ] and that of Teleios [that's Greek to me :) ...Greek, that is, for “perfect”]—to take the next good step in answering the call by Jesus to “be perfect” [Mt.5:48]—because we are not on a 'road to nowhere'! But, Lord, this really sounds like the type of call I’d normally hang up
on! …Thankfully, though, I’ve held on for it instead—because this call by Jesus
isn’t being made to lead us to discouragement or to a state of hopelessness …
…Let’s go ahead—Let’s take the next good step on
our road of life!
St. Pope John Paul II, pray for us! … St. John of Kanty, pray for us!
Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said.So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality.Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?Show me the coin used for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius.Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’
A denarius from 44 BC showing the head of Julius Caesar and the goddess Venus [Wikipedia]
In the time of Jesus a denarius was a day's wage for an ordinary working man.
I spent three months in the latter part of 1982 working in a hospital in Minneapolis as a chaplain. I was one of seven doing a 'quarter' of Clinical Pastoral Education. One day I had to go to a bank and got chatting with an employee at the information desk. When he heard I was based in the Philippines he told me that in the previous elections in the USA he had considered, among other things, what impact his vote would have on the lives of Filipinos and others outside the USA.
Sometime ago I wrote a blog on what I called ‘mystical premonitions’ or ‘touches of God’, nevertheless I would like to write something further to make myself a little clearer. In that blog I used St Augustine to make my point, this time however I would like to make my point by describing common experiences that we have all had particularly in our youth. Here are a few examples to show you what I mean. You may be at a party, having a good time with your friends. There’s plenty of fun and games, plenty of food and drink. There’s music and dancing and everything is in full swing when suddenly it happens – ‘A touch of God.’ It’s not a physical, but a spiritual touch, that amidst all the merriment makes you suddenly feel alone. It makes you feel that you don’t belong, makes you want something further, something higher, something nobler, though you’d be hard put to give a name to what you really do want if someone pressed you. But if you were pressed you’d probably say, ‘God’. read on.....
to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the
sky, and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full
of love, of praise of God, and how they invite you to glorify the
sublimity of that sovereign Artist who has given them being.'