Showing posts from October, 2018

Celibacy and Sexual Deviancy – Mystical Theology has the answer

It is said that those who have been uncovering the truth about  the corruption in the Church, most particularly in high places, are the instruments of the devil because they scandalize the faithful. But the devil is the purveyor of lies not the truth. It is the Holy Spirit who is the purveyor of the truth, and those who speak the truth are acting in his  name, and those who refuse to listen are committing the sin against the Holy Spirit.

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The Distortion of All Hallowed Eve

Halloween is my least favorite holiday. I believe that it is a holiday that has become completely distorted from its original intent. Halloween comes from the phrase, All Hallowed Eve, denoting the eve of All Saints Day; a day where we honor those who have journeyed before us, who won the crown of Heaven. In the 21st century, we now view October 31st as a day to trick or treat; to wear costumes hiding our real appearance and watch horror movies. I don’t like any of those things, as the root of how we spend the day is in glorifying evil. We do so by wearing fake blood with a fake hatchet sitting on top of our heads. We send our children out asking for candy from complete strangers; from the very people that we tell our children, on the remaining 364 days, to stay away from. Then we come home and turn on a horror movie like Nightmare on Elm Street. Why do we do such things? Because evil is more understandable than the Divine. We can so easily relate to evil, as we are all sinners. The …

So does God exist?

In Stephen Hawking’s last book, which will be published posthumously, he answers questions that he was asked most frequently. Among these is “Do you think God exists?” Hawking’s answer was essentially no, it is impossible that there is a god. This opinion of a renowned scientist contradicts what people of different cultures have believed down through the centuries. Humans have an innate sense that there is some high Being who created the world and has power over it. Primitive people worshiped spirits in trees and rivers, and some of them made their own gods out of wood and metal. The Romans and Greeks believed in a whole community of gods created in our likeness with Zeus Jupiter at the head. The Native Americans spoke to the Great Spirit. The Hindus have hundreds of “deities,” but these are only manifestations of the one God Brahmin. We Catholics, along with our Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers, believe in one God. Click to continue

The Great Adventure Catholic Bible

Discover that the Bible is not a collection of unrelated books, but one story. When I was asked to review The Great Adventure Catholic Bible, I had no idea what I could possibly say about yet another version of Sacred Scripture. However, Ascension press managed to surprise me from the moment I received my copy. I had to laugh as I worked my through the weatherproof outer layer, not one but two boxes, and bubble wrap before I could lift the lid off a third box, a protective dust cover. Ascension Press ships this Revised Standard Version/Second Catholic Edition as if it is a precious gem, as they should.
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Jesus' Mercy Abounds - Even on the Sabbath

In today’s Gospel from Luke 13:10-17, we see Jesus confronting synagogue leaders. They accuse Jesus of curing the sick on the Sabbath, as if that was a bad thing. Why? Because the leaders of the synagogue believe that such activity constitutes work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. Therefore, they think Jesus violated Jewish law. They did not correlate Jesus’ action to Jesus’ mercy. Jesus’ Mercy Abounds With great hindsight, and two thousand years of scriptural interpretation, we can look at this passage, and quickly come to judgment that the synagogue leaders were wrong in their thought process. The mercy that Jesus bestowed upon the woman that day was an act of love for neighbor on Jesus’ part. Through Jesus’ teachings, we have been trained to “love our neighbor” and to perform acts of charity. In today’s Gospel passage Jesus teaches us how to treat others. In verses 15-16 Jesus attempts to address the synagogue leader’s concerns by asking: Does not each one of you on the sabb…





Time for a ‘Year of Truth and Transparency’

I heard few complaints when it was decided to have a 'Year of Mercy'. How could anyone complain about a year dedicated to asking God's mercy on us and on others. After all we are all sinners and Jesus himself was the first to be merciful to sinners - remember the story of the woman taken in adultery. However, I was not so happy with the idea when the editor of the international magazine for which I had been writing for the last fifteen years decided to begin this year of mercy by sacking me!
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Columban Fr Gerard Dunn RIP

Fr Gerard Dunn 15 December 1937 - 24 September 2018
With the passing of Fr Gerard (Gerry) Dunn on 24 September 2018 the Region of Britain of the Columbans lost one of its most memorable characters.
Father Gerry was born on 15 December 1937 to a well-known Catholic family in Glasgow which had a mineral water business. He very much remained a Glaswegian at heart and in later years delighted in showing his fellow Columbans around his native city.
St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow[Wikipedia]

After his early education, Father Gerry followed his father into the medical profession.
Having qualified and practiced as a doctor in Glasgow for a relatively short time, he decided to embark on a different kind of healing ministry – as a Columban missionary priest.
He went to St Columban's, Dalgan Park, County Meath, Ireland, in 1962 and was ordained on 21 December 1967.  Because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Britain that year, ordinations did not take place in Dalgan Park, which has a f…

Jesus asks, 'What do you want me to do for you?' Sunday Reflections, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Christ Healing the Blind (detail), Lucas van Leyden [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 10:46-52 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My tea…

Columban Fr Thomas J. Vaughan RIP

Fr Thomas J. Vaughan 20 February 1928 - 13 September 2018
Fr Thomas J. Vaughan died peacefully on 13 September 2018 at St. Elizabeth Manor, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA.
Cathedral of St Paul, Saint Paul, MN [Wikipedia]
Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was the son the late Patrick and Kathleen (Fuller) Vaughan. He is survived his sister Loretta Gallagher as well as many nieces, nephews, friends and brother priests. He was also the brother of the late Patrick Vaughan, Muriel Vaughan, Donna Marie Smith, Richard Vaughan, Jerome Vaughan, Mary Alice Vaughan,and Delores Gibbons.
Cretin-Derham High School, Saint Paul[Wikipedia] [Cretin High School and Derham Hall amalgamated in 1987]
Fr Vaughan was a graduate of Cretin High School, Saint Paul, and then served in the US Army. He went on to graduate from the College of St Thomas before joining the Society of Saint Columban and was ordained in 1956. He served mainly in the Philippines but also in Belize, Chicago and Saint Paul.
National Shrine of Our Lad…

Jesus Asks: Are You the Faithful and Prudent Steward?

In today’s Gospel, from Luke 12:39-48, we learn of the parable of the faithful and prudent steward. When the master is away, some stewards fulfill their responsibilities. The master deems such people as trustworthy and capable of performing more important tasks. Other servants use the opportunity to take advantage of their positions and treat the staff cruelly. We can apply this parable to how we act in the workplace when the boss is away on business. How trustworthy are we to faithfully fulfill our responsibilities? If Jesus were standing in front of you now, would He be able to declare you as a faithful and prudent steward of the gifts He has given to you? He has blessed you with prudence, courtesy, kindness and many other virtues. Do you make use of these gifts by always treating others fairly? Even when the boss is away? Or do you place little value on what God has blessed you with to do your job? Instead, you deem it too burdensome to care for, and cultivate God’s gifts. Being d…

Halloween or the Hallowed?

In the excitement of creating elaborate Halloween displays, designing costumes, carving pumpkins, and buying enough candy to last the night, the original meaning of Halloween might be forgotten or overlooked—except at schools where children dress up as saints! Halloween is the eve before the feast of All Saints. Hallowed means holy, as in the Our Father’s “hallowed be Thy name.” Halloween = Hallowed eve. November 1 is the day we celebrate all of the saints from the oldest to the youngest, the most popular to the forgotten, the powerful to the meek and humble, those canonized centuries ago, and those canonized this month like St. Pope Paul VI and St. Oscar Romero. We Catholics regard those who have shown the way to be holy on earth as models and inspirations but also as friends. We ask them to pray for us for trivial things such as losing our key for the umpteenth time and for serious matters like conquering cancer. Click to continue

You are Not the Sum of Your Possessions

We have all asked that proverbial question: Who am I? The answer can be telling. Do we describe ourselves by our profession (doctor, lawyer, banker, professor, etc.)? Perhaps we describe ourselves by our possessions, or lack thereof (rich, poor, educated, uneducated, etc.). Or, might we describe ourselves as a child of God, a loving spouse and parent, etc.? The answer you give to this question, and the basis upon which you draw your answer, shines a light on what you value. In today’s Gospel from Luke 12:13-21, Jesus wants to impart upon those listening that it is not the sum of your possessions that matter, but whether you value what matters to God. Read more...

Catholic Conference 4 Moms: Forgiveness

I really wish Celeste Behe’s talk on Forgiveness for the Catholic Conference 4 Moms existed a long time ago. Before listening to her presentation, if a young mother came to me wondering how to teach her children how to forgive and how to be forgiven, I would be left scrambling for an answer with my mind blank for a more than a few minutes. However, Celeste makes it seem easy by presenting practical tips to help mothers teach even the youngest child about forgiveness.

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If you were stopped in the street by Opinion Survey people and they asked you, "Who is Jesus?"
What would you reply?

'Whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.' Sunday Reflections, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Call of the Sons of Zebedee, Marco Basaiti [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 10:35-45 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to …