The Cross: A Sign of Love

When my niece Lisa was baptized, I gave her a cross necklace. It was a lovely cloisonné cross with a pink rose in the center, but it was still a cross. How curious that an instrument of execution is now a worn as jewelry! (Can you imagine wearing a guillotine or an electric chair?) Moreover, many Christian houses have a cross displayed somewhere, with the body of a nearly naked man nailed to it. The cross is so common around necks, atop church steeples, and in cemeteries that we have become immune to the shocking horror of it as well as the glory associated with it. That is why Lent is so important. During Lent we have six weeks to ponder and pray over the mystery and the message of the cross. As we eat our hot cross buns, pray the stations of the cross, and venerate the cross on Good Friday, we realize once more what it symbolizes.  Click to continue
From Death to Life

'If it bears fruit next year, well and good.' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year C

Moses Before the Burning Bush, Domenico Fetti [Web Gallery of Art]
Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15, First Reading
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelLuke 13:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
At that very time there were some present who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’ Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and …

Seek Piety During Lent

Many people overlook the virtue of piety, as if it is a virtue out of their grasp. Such folks believe that only the Saints can claim a right to piety. But that’s not true. Every Saint in Heaven was once a sinner, just like you and me. Yet, every Saint, once living on earth, would seek piety – there’s the difference! There is nothing wrong, or odd, with: Living a holy life in accordance with Divine RevelationHaving a reverence for all things holy, especially God, family and countryKeeping God’s Commandments and following His BeatitudesWorshiping God and doing good for others out of reverence for God This is piety! Seek Piety Lent is the perfect time to embrace the virtue of Piety, because Lent is a time that we typically look for ways to draw ourselves closer to God. Here are some ways that you can embrace Piety during this Lenten season, and beyond: Read more...

A High Standard

Three folks on a streetcar in Utrecht, Netherlands, didn't get off. Not alive.

Someone, maybe the man in that picture, killed them.

He's been caught, apparently no more bodies have been found, and that's as much as I know so far. know for sure, anyway.

This incident grabbed my attention, partly because it's been happening in the Netherlands: one of my wife's ancestral homelands. Instead of trying to focus on something else, I decided to share what I've been reading — and some odd speculation.

(More at A Catholic Citizen in America)

Seeking and Giving Forgiveness

Lent is a great time to not only seek God’s forgiveness, but to grant forgiveness to others, as well. When we seek God’s forgiveness, we make right our relationships with God. When we seek or give forgiveness to others, we make right our relationships with our neighbor. Seeking forgiveness from God seems much easier than seeking or giving forgiveness to others. Wouldn’t you agree? When we seek forgiveness from God, we know that He hears us and is quick to forgive. For that, we express gratitude. Yet, we humans tend not to be so quick to seek and give forgiveness when it come to our fellow men. Sometimes, we hold back from seeking forgiveness from others because we fear rejection. That seems understandable, as no one likes rejection. However, we may never know if we are forgiven unless we ask. Giving Forgiveness Now, what’s our excuse for withholding forgiveness? Is the hurt too deep? The offense too great? Hmm…Did God have any qualifiers on His forgiveness of you when you sought it f…

Christchurch: Headcam at the Mosques

You've almost certainly seen the news by now. Someone killed more than four dozen folks at a Friday afternoon prayer meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand.

One attack was east of the city's center, the other west. Both were about a mile from Cathedral Square....

I noticed familiar angles in today's news and op-eds covering the attacks....

...That's understandable. Even if some outfit managed to get all the facts and discussed how they'd affect — or might affect — everyone, I doubt that anyone would read the result. Maybe a few news wonks, with entirely too much time on their hands.

I've got an angle or two, myself....

(More at A Catholic Citizen in America)

Problems of life, like knots on a rope, bring you closer to God. (Spanish) Los nudos de la vida acortan tu distancia a Dios.

Así lo definiste Marisela cuando comparabas tu vida con una cuerda que, como un puente, te unía a Dios. Al sufrir una pena esta cuerda se rompía y tú tenías que unirla nuevamente, haciendo un nudo. Al hacerlo la cuerda se acortaba, y así también se acortaba la distancia que te separaba de Dios.
Nos platicabas de los pasos que habías dado en tu vida, en ese camino de la fe.

El primero lo habías dado de niña con esa fe infantil llena de candorosas palabras queriendo cantarle a Dios todos tus juegos, besando la medalla de tu Primera Comunión. Era una fe pequeña, como tú, que necesitaba de signos externos, pero ya desde entonces, creo Marisela, que a Diosle gustaba mucho ir tu voz. Y tomaste en tus manitas esa cuerda que empezaba a unirte a Él.

El segundo paso lo diste siendo una linda jovencita. En la adolescencia contagiabas alegría y como es lógico a esa edad, le hablabas a Dios atropelladamente, pero no te detenías a escucharlo todavía. A esa fe, la llamabas, la FE DE LA RADIO, porq…

'This is my Son, my Chosen.' Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year C

Transfiguration, Blessed Fra Angelico [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)
GospelLuke 9:28b-36 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not knowing what he …