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Too Heavy

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What is Your Golden Calf?

  "At Horeb they fashioned a calf, worshiped a metal statue.           They exchanged their glorious God for the image of a grass-                          eating bull." (Exodus 32+) Moses came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments only to discover Aaron had allowed the people to give up all of their gold jewelry and put it in a fire.  The outcome was a golden calf which the people were worshiping as their god. They wanted a leader and they were afraid they had lost Moses, so they made their own.   Moses got so mad, he threw down the tablets with the Ten Commandments that God himself had engraved, and smashed them to smithereens. My point to bringing all of this up is for us to explore what image we have created in exchange for our "glorious God." There is only one God, the one who created each of us out of love, but rather than rejoicing in him, have we replaced him with a lesser "god"? It's different for each of us, but the surest way to figure

The Real Presence

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Drought, Air Quality Alert: Living in the Upper Midwest

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CANADA BURNS AS SMOKE SHROUDS MINNESOTA!!! Well, no. Not really. Although that'd make a dandy headline. On the other hand, maybe it's too obviously overblown. Maybe there's a fine line between headlines that grab attention without inspiring thought and those destined for supermarket checkout lines. Or maybe it's more a matter of style and content. And that's another topic, for another day. At any rate, wildfires in two Canadian provinces, Ontario and Manitoba, triggered an Air Quality Alert for my part of Minnesota. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Thank you

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Awareness of Sins Leads to Gratitude

  In the Gospel of John (Chapter 20) we read about Mary Magdalene weeping at the tomb of Jesus when she discovered he is gone. I was reading a description in Laudate that described what Jesus had healed in her.  In the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 8), you can find the list which includes evil spirits, infirmities and seven demons. You  may also remember her from Chapter 7 of Luke's Gospel as the woman who bathed the feet of Jesus with her tears, wiping them with her hair.  She anointed his feet with oil. We can even read about Jesus forgiving her sins, acknowledging that she had many sins in need of forgiveness, which prompted her great love for him.  Put all of this together and it sends a message loud and clear--the depth of your love of Jesus is directly related to your awareness of your sins and your gratitude for his forgiveness, in addition to your desire for eternal life. Think of all he did for Mary of Magdala.  Can you imagine how grateful she was that she was f

'With a little bread you provided for the multitude.' Sunday Reflections, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes Lambert Lombard [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   John 6:1-15   (English Standard Version, Anglicised: India) After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.   And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.   Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.   Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.   Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip,  “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”   He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.   Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”   One of his disciples, Andrew

Meeting Satan

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Bellies Stuffed, They Wanted More

(My apologies to my subscribers if you have been receiving the same blog twice.  I am working to resolve the problem, which I am hoping I have accomplished with this issue.  If not, rest assured, I will stay on it!  Thank you for your patience!) In Psalm 78 we read about the manna (bread) that God rained down from heaven for the struggling Israelites in the desert.   Verses 29-30 say, in part: "They ate and were well filled; he gave them what they had craved.  But while they still wanted more, and the food was still in their mouths . . ." While the food was still in their mouth, they were not satisfied!  Their bellies were stuffed because God provided what they wanted, but in their eyes, it was still not enough. Look around.  God provides such beauty for us in this world.  Even in our most difficult times, he is there to comfort and sustain us.  How many of us, in the midst of all his blessings, continue to cry out, "More! More! We want more!"? Apparently, accordin

They Preferred to Die

  (Thank you to my new subscribers!  For those of you who have not yet subscribed, it's easy!  Just fill in the subscribe box at janetcassidy.blogspot.com) Has life ever handed you so many challenges that you've felt like it would be easier to die than to have to deal with what's in front of you? Well, that's what it was like for the Israelites who were grumbling to Moses.  They had just been through so much--too much.  Then they followed Moses into the desert where things got worse. This led them to ask: " Were there no burial places in Egypt that you had to bring us out here to die in the desert? Why did you do this to us?" They had simply had enough.  Sometimes it is not so different for us today.  It is easy to get fed up with all of the difficulties life can throw at us.  Like the Israelites, it can feel a bit hopeless. But there is great news! When the Israelites reached this point, Moses told them confidently: “Fear not! Stand your ground, an

New Traditional mass restrictions. (Spanish) Condiciones para la misa tradicional.

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  En los últimos días ha habido reacciones encontradas y confusión ante la decisión del Papa Francisco de dar nuevas condiciones para poder celebrar la misa de rito tradicional del misal romano de 1962 conocida como “Misa Tradicional”. Sin prohibir ni revertir su uso autorizado por Benedicto XVI hace 14 años, estableció algunas medidas para prevenir algo alarmante que se ha venido gestando en los ambientes que frecuentan este Rito latino y que fue confirmado en su consulta a obispos de todo el mundo. Mucha gente no ha entendido lo que trata de prevenir el Santo Padre a pesar de que explica claramente en su carta las razones colegiadas por las que TUVO QUE INTERVENIR:     "…por un uso instrumental del Missale Romanum de 1962, cada vez más caracterizado por un creciente rechazo no sólo de la reforma litúrgica, sino del Concilio Vaticano II, con la afirmación infundada e insostenible de que traicionaba la Tradición y la 'verdadera Iglesia'". Dudar del Concilio, exp
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(Drought conditions in Minnesota. (July 13, 2021)) There's more to life than drought and disease, but that's mostly what I'll talk about today. Partly because discussing what I've seen in headlines would mean more research and effort than I have time for this week. Besides, apart from a Hubble update and the Pope's liturgical fine-tuning, 1 it's mostly routine. Take this sample from yesterday and today, for example.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

The Pain of Knowing Yourself

(I invite you to subscribe to this blog so you do not miss a post!  Just put your email in the subscribe box at janetcassidy.blogspot.com) Here's what I'm thinking about today, which is kind of frustrating. Have you ever become so aware of your imperfections that you wonder how God has any use for you?  Sometimes we are so good, and other times our faults and failings are right there, in front of our face, where they simply cannot be pushed aside. The beauty of this painful opportunity to see ourselves--blemishes and all--is that God can, really, finally, work with us!  If we are honest, seeing where we lack in character or behavior can push us to a place of humility, and it is only when we are humble and recognize our need for God, that we can serve him, and others, well. I strongly encourage you to be honest with yourself.  Do not dismiss your uncharitable words or deeds, or rationalize away your unkind thoughts.  Come face to face with them so that God--who lov

'He had compassion on them.' Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  Prophet Jeremiah and Christ Master of the Aix Annunciation [ Web Gallery of Art ] I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the  Lord (Jeremiah 23:4; First Reading) . Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 6:30-34   (English Standard Version, Anglicised: India) The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.   And he said to them,  “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”  For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.   And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.   Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.   When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because

Laugh N Pray - Really?

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Heaton's Important Ritual

  (Please subscribe to my blog so you don't miss a post!  If you are reading this on your phone, you may have to scroll down to the web version to see the subscribe box.) In an article about Patricia Heaton (of Everybody Loves Raymond fame) celebrating her three years of sobriety, the writer said: " The actress told Parade Magazine last year she stopped drinking after it became too important of a ritual for her." Wow.  What a great line. It's a simple metric for deciding whether a habit you have developed is unhealthy for you ~ "Has it become too important of a ritual for you?" Have you slipped into a habit that may have seemed innocent at one time, but has since gained a new level of importance? Maybe it is alcohol, but it could also be food, dangerous living, gambling, or even--ignoring God! Yes, it is dangerous to develop a habit of living without God.  Like everything else, it can be built on a myriad of excuses, and easily slipped into, but

What is Paul Talking About?

  I got stuck at the beginning of Paul's Letter to the Ephesians (1:13-14) as I opened my bible for morning prayer. Paul tells the Ephesians that they have heard the gospel, have believed in Jesus and "were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of his glory." A mouthful for sure. Well, being sealed by God is a reference to baptism, but what about the idea of "first installment?"  If baptism is a first installment, doesn't that mean there's more to come? Now that seems confusing to me since in baptism, we receive the full Trinity--God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. There is no parceling out. As I pondered this, I read in my bible's footnote that "first installment" refers to "down payment by God on full salvation." Down payment? It seems to me that full salvation is achieved upon our death so perhap

I'll thump you first then seek forgiveness

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Minnesota, July, 2021: Drier and Deeper in Drought

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(Drought conditions in Minnesota. (July 6, 2021)) My part of Stearns County, Minnesota, had moderate drought back in mid-June. This week's map promoted us to severe drought. Maybe the map's drought data included the 38 hundredths of an inch we got on Tuesday. But I doubt it. More at A Catholic Citizen in America — Annual average temperatures, 1895-2016; trends — and a silly suggestion: linking Starbucks and global warming. (Nota bene — It's a joke!)

Forgiving you is easy

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'You have the message of eternal life.' Sunday Reflections, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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  St Bartholomew and St Thomas Unknown Bohemian Master [ Web Gallery of Art ] Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two. Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 6:7-13   (English Standard Version, Anglicised) Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.   He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts   but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.   And he said to them,  “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there.   And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”   So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.   And they cast out many demons and anoint