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To What Shall I Compare the People of This Generation?

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In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks “to what shall I compare the people of this generation” (Luke 7:31)? Jesus compares the people of His time to John the Baptist, considering John to be the greatest of the prophets on earth, with the caveat that the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist. Something to think about! Remember, at this moment in time, Jesus had not yet opened the gates of Heaven. That would not happen until after Jesus died on the cross, and prior to the Resurrection. So, who were the members of the Kingdom of God at that moment? The Father Almighty, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the angels, were the only members. John the Baptist represents the greatest of the Old Testament prophets, and Jesus represents the greatest of the New Testament, as He is God. It is at Jesus’ Baptism, that Jesus ushers in his ministry and brings the Kingdom of God to earth. Thus, now allowing us to participate in the Kingdom of God. Every time we attend Mass, God invites us to p…

Strange Origins of Expressions and Customs

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I’ve always been fascinated by words—a useful trait for a writer. A friend emailed the following roots of common sayings that you might enjoy knowing as I did. Next week I plan to write about sayings that originated in Scripture.
There is an old hotel/pub in Marble Arch, London, which used to have a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were taken to the gallows to be hanged. The horse-drawn dray carting the prisoner, was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the  prisoner if he would  like ”ONE LAST DRINK.”  If he said YES, it was referred to as ONE FOR THE ROAD.  If he declined, that Prisoner was ON THE WAGON. Click to continue

St Francis of Assisi – Part 14 – Welcome Sister Death

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Two years before his death St Francis received the stigmata which we celebrate on the 17th September. It is fitting therefore to conclude this series on the feast day of Francis receiving the stigmata.
As the end drew near St Francis asked to be taken to the Portiuncula that he might die in the poverty to which he had been accustomed all his life, surrounded by the brothers who loved it as he did.
Read on.....

Forgiving, in an Unforgiving World

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I don’t know about you, but lately, I am finding it difficult in forgiving others for egregious deeds. My head is swimming with all the guilty pleas/convictions from the Mueller investigation within our government. I’m appalled with the news of the priestly sex abuse scandal and cover-up. I’m disappointed with the people in power, both in government and in the Church, who stand by idly and do nothing to bring about justice. With every great sin, the sinful do not want to see the disinfectant of transparency and accountability come knocking on their doors. When it does, it is like a proverbial “bomb” explodes around us, covering us in the sinner’s filth. That’s how I am feeling lately. The Mueller investigation is racking up one guilty plea after another, with multiple indictments and convictions. Everyone who is guilty is looking for a plea agreement and immunity from prosecution. The “bomb” has exploded, and I feel the filth of corruption, and it makes me sick. With the alarming new…

FORGIVE FORGET RECONCILE

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FORGIVE FORGET RECONCILE HOW? CLICK HERE

NO REGRETS

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NO REGRETS? CLICK HERE

'Jesus was facing a decisive turning-point in his life.' Sunday Reflections, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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St Peter in Prison, Rembrandt [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Mark 8:27-35 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his…

Kindness Is Contagious

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Three times this week kindness has been the topic of a homily I heard or a reflection I read. I'm taking this as a sign that I should write about it. Besides, the world sorely needs this virtue today. My community has created the decal pictured here to promote kindness. Aristotle defined kindness: "Helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped." The first step in being kind is to be aware of someone who needs help. For example, we see a woman burdened with packages approaching the door we just passed through. Then we can be prompted to hold it open for her. Or we notice that a friend has a troubled look. Then we can inquire, "Is something bothering you?" Click to continue

Assault on the Objective Truth

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Lately, I feel like there has been a major assault on the objective truth. We hear phrases like “alternative facts,” or “truth isn’t truth!” Politicians and the media put so much spin on the truth, that we feel like we are spiraling out of orbit! No longer do we know who, or what, to believe. Whatever happened to everyone having a clear understanding of objective truth based upon facts? The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth…Since God is ‘true,’ the members of his people are called to live in the truth. 1 Subjective Truth vs. Objective Truth Apparently, we are living in some sort of truth. It’s subjective truth, rather than objective truth. Subjective truth is when we choose to believe what we want to believe because it is convenient for us. We discard some facts, because they don’t fit our preconceived notions. When we embrace subjective truth, we... Read more...

An Interview With Kendra Von Esh: Looking for Something More

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Kendra Von Esh, author of Am I Catholic?: A Struggle with Faith, Humility, and Surrendering to God, has written a humorous, frank account about her own journey back to the Catholic Church. Her audience includes clueless/ uncatechized Catholics as well as faithful Catholics at a loss about how to evangelize. Kendra has a passion for people who don’t know where to turn for answers but keep looking for “something more”. Surprised by a conversion experience, Kendra, in turn, shocked her family and associates a few years later by leaving a high powered executive career to work full time for God. Melanie:  Kendra, describe your career before God intervened in your life. continue

Is It Lawful to Do Good on the Sabbath?

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In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks. “is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than destroy it” (Luke 6:9)?  In the Theology course that I teach, on the Fundamentals of Catholic Moral Theology, I specifically address this question with my students. The scenario goes something like this: A doctor and her family are on their way to Sunday Mass when they come upon a serious car accident. The doctor stopped her car to give comfort and aid to the victims of the crash, until the paramedics arrived. As a result, she and her family missed the last Mass of the day. What I ask of my students is to tell me whether missing Mass is a sin, in this case. What do you think is the correct answer? Do Good in the Spirit of the Law In today’s passage from Luke, Jesus is asking a similar question of the Pharisees. In Jesus’ questioning, He debates the Pharisees on the strictness of the law, versus the spirit of the law. What Jesus tried to convey is... Read more... 

Let your legacy be more than just a testament. (Spanish) Testamento: que tu herencia sea el bien.

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Es frecuente que nos pongamos a pensar, si algo tenemos, en cómo serán repartidos esos bienes cuando dejemos este mundo. Bien sabemos que nada nos vamos a llevar, aunque haya personas que lo deben de poner en duda por el empeño y la obsesión en acumular fortunas, objetos, joyas, propiedades, etcétera, pero...aunque no sea mayor cosa lo que poseemos siempre hay una inquietud sobre el destino de lo que hoy y ahora es nuestro.
Naturalmente que, como cosa normal, será el cónyuge o los hijos los que recibirán ese beneficio. Y pensando en estas cosas es que hacemos Testamento. Hay personas que les da miedo hacerlo, pues les parece que es como rozar un poco la mano fría de la muerte, como un mal presagio, como soltar las ataduras de esos bienes y sentir que ya no son tan nuestros, ... en fin, conceptos totalmente equivocados, pues el tomar la decisión de hacer Testamento es, bien podría decirse, una obligación para que a nuestra partida no dejemos enredos y disgustos.  Pero he aquí que pensando e…

Lessons from Trees

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I said to the almond tree, “Sister, speak to me of God.”
And the almond tree blossomed.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis
My new home, an apartment on Pine Grove Trail, faces east, and the view is the lovely pine forest—a place I've always considered sacred. Lately I've been hearing a great deal about trees: how they support one another through their root systems, how they even "speak."  A Facebook post last week was Advice from a Tree:  Stand tall and proud, go out on a limb, remember your roots, drink plenty of water, be content with your natural beauty, and don’t forget to enjoy the view!
Here is my chapter on trees from my book "Voices ~ God Speaking in Creation." Click to continue

Feast Day of Saint Teresa of Calcutta

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Today is the feast day of Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She is one of my heroines! Never a woman of noble wealth, Saint Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, through the grace of God. This organization, established in 1950, with a handful of followers, now has more than 5,000 Sisters, in over 750 houses, in 139 countries! Starting with nothing more than a command from Jesus to satiate His thirst for souls, Saint Teresa set to work serving the poorest of the poor. Through her witness to the love of God, Saint Teresa drew those souls to Christ, thus fulfilling God’s plan for her. Saint Teresa of Calcutta – Our Example Saint Teresa laid the groundwork for us to follow in her footsteps. It is now our job to satiate Christ’s thirst for souls. How might we accomplish that? Read more...

‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Mark 7:31-37 in Filipino Sign Language

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelMark 7:31-37 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Then Jesus returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done ev…

Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray - Book Review

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Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray, is a delightful children’s book for ages 3-5, written and illustrated by Kimberly Cook. In this little gem of a book, children learn about the virtue of gratitude. Mommy is thankful to God for all He blesses her with, and she shares those thoughts with her children. The illustrations are colorful and engaging; surely to capture your child’s attention and interest. This little story will open up dialogue between you and your child; for the two of you share what you are thankful for, and why. Kimberly Cook has a knack for capturing the everyday occurrences of life and highlighting them as special – worthy of thanks! Cook has a lot of love packed into 24 pages. As you traverse through each page/scene, you will quickly see... Read more...

RESCUE DRIVE

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A TRUE STORY BASED ON MY POST YESTERDAY "IN DEFENCE OF DIVORCE" WHAT DO YOU THINK? CLICK HERE

In Defence Of Divorce

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IS DIVORCE ALWAYS WRONG? WHAT ABOUT RE-MARRIAGE? SHOULD MARRIAGES ALWAYS BE NULLIFIED BEFORE RE-MARRIAGE? WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT OUR CHURCH'S TEACHINGS? JOIN THE DISCUSSION CLICK HERE

Gilbert ... Gone

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DID YOU KNOW GILBERT? YOU SHOULD HAVE CLICK HERE

'Keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you.' Sunday Reflections, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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The Scullery Maid, Giuseppe Maria Crespi [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelMark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.)So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them,…