Showing posts from August, 2020

Intolerance is the Devi's Handiwork

  We experience much division and disagreement in society today. The resulting intolerance is the work of the devil. He relishes in sowing division, because through this division, we collapse as a society. And Satan’s goal is to destroy us all. We see the intolerance in the political, religious, and racial arguments on the internet, television, and in the public square. Everyone chooses a camp and settles in, disregarding anything stated by anyone from the other camp. Here is my problem: I am a pro-life Democrat who believes in racial equality, as well as marriage between a man and a woman. So, I do not fit into any single political camp! I could say, I am divided within myself! Why? Because I espouse following God’s moral laws. No political camp, regardless of the issue, aligns totally with God’s moral laws. Even some religious camps do not always see things as God sees them. Why? Because we are all sinners. Intolerance is Intolerable I go back 30+ years to the Rodney King quote, “Can

New Beginnings

  I was sitting on the step of our deck the other day just getting some fresh air.   An ant was scurrying around where I was sitting, so I brushed him off into the grass. A minute later, looking down, I saw what I assumed to be the ant I brushed away, working his way through the grass.   I started wondering, “Is this the same ant?   Will he try to work his way back to the step?   Are ants that aware of their surroundings?   Do they even have eyes, or just feelers?” Yes, that’s the way my brain works.   So, as I am sure you are already aware, I had to look up ants on the Internet.   I swear there is not a rabbit hole I won’t go down. So let’s get this out of the way.   My question about whether they have eyes is not as stupid as you might have thought.   Some don’t, but most do.   But the dumbest question I found online that I thought surely topped my eyes question, was this: “Do ants count their steps?” Huh? (I’ll bet you are picturing an ant with a tiny fit bit on its leg

Choose Wisely

  When the gospels give a parable, sometimes it is helpful to look beyond the individual(s) involved and step back to see what we can learn from the situation. Like in today’s parable about the ten virgins in the 25 th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. A parable is basically a story with a message.   In today’s parable we get a very important warning that we do not want to miss. Here it is: Be prepared.   The kingdom of heaven is open for us now, but some day it will not be. Yikes!   That’s a dose of good news/bad news! The reality is—and this should be of no surprise to any of us—someday our earthly life will end.   Maybe you believe in the kingdom of God, maybe you don’t.   Regardless what you believe , the facts don’t change.   It exists. The situation the virgins find themselves in is a perfect example of how our choices on earth can affect our opportunity to enjoy eternal life, in heaven, with God. Through this parable, here’s what scripture tells us the kingdom

'There is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones . . .' Sunday Reflections, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Landscape with Christ and St Peter Goffried Wals [ 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   Matthew 16:21-27 ( English Standard Version Anglicised) From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.   And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”   But he turned and said to Peter,  “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples,  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.   For whoever would save his life will los

How will YOU get THERE?

  Whenever there is good news to be shared, what do you do? Do you call your best friend, a family member, or post it online? We all love to share good news.   There’s just something inside us that needs to tell other people whenever something wonderful is happening in our life.   The same is true for every generation.   In Psalm 145, David speaks of praising God.   “One generation praises your deeds to the next and proclaims your mighty works.” In the New Testament in Acts Chapter 4 (Verse 20), the elders were scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do with Peter and John.   Those two rascals, filled with the Holy Spirit, could not be controlled. So the elders, the Sanhedrin, had a great idea.   They would just tell Peter and John to stop talking about Jesus and teaching in his name.   Problem solved! Well, not exactly. Peter and John told them, “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” From the Old Testament to the New, p

Shadow in the Dark - Book Review

  Shadow in the Dark ,  Harwood Mysteries Book 1 , by Antony Kolenc, promises to be an exciting new series of books about 12 th  century life in England. This inaugural mystery begins at Hardonbury Manor, ruined by bandits; thus, forcing those still alive to traverse to the nearest manor to seek work and shelter. Amid the destruction of Hardonbury Manor, we meet a young man, fleeing from one of the bandits. Yet, he was not lucky enough to escape. As a result, the bludgeoned young man wakes up from a long slumber with a massive head injury. Upon awakening, he cannot remember his name, his parents, or where he was from, let alone where he is now. He looks around and sees men in long robes caring for him, only to find out that they are Benedictine Monks! He is at the neighboring Harwood Abbey. Brother Andrew, the young man’s caretaker, decides to give the young man a name, at least until his memory returns. He needs to be called something, so Brother Andrew chooses the name, Alexander, af

In lockdown times, love is still the answer.(Spanish) El amor gana en tiempos de encierro.

                 Por Blanca Ahumada Otero        

Under the Fig Tree, Jesus Asks a Question

  In today’s Gospel (John 1:45-51), Jesus is in the process of recruiting his twelve Apostles. Jesus called Philip to follow, who in turn went to Nathanael to tell him about Jesus. Nathanael, the skeptic, doubted anything good could come from Nazareth. Yet, Philip persuaded Nathanael to come and meet Jesus. When the two met, Jesus commented about something that no one else would know.  “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree .” (John 1:48) Nathanael’s response to this comment is revelatory:  “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.”  (John 1:49) I have always wondered how Nathanael came to such a conclusion, such a leap of faith. It can only be explained as a revelation of Truth. Jesus retorts back to Nathanael.  “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?”  (John 1:50) Under the Fig Tree “Under the Fig Tree” is a sign of messianic peace. Therefore, Nathanael comes from a place of peace. He finds his Peace in the Messiah, Jes

The Changing Church? Doctrine & Dogma

  I learned a fundamental teaching point a few years ago; I have been trying to correct myself of my mistake ever since. When I was teaching, I used to use the phrase “The Church teaches” until someone pointed out that a more accurate way to describe what the Church teaches is to say, “What God has revealed.” This is a significant clarification. In The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth it says, “Catholic doctrine expresses the Church’s understanding of God’s Revelation through Jesus.” I could go into some detail about doctrine and dogma, but I will keep it simple. Continuing from the Handbook , it explains that doctrine can change over time as the Church grows in her understanding of revelation, but “doctrines most fundamental to Catholic belief are authoritatively defined by the * Magisterium and are called dogmas , and they do not change.” Frequently when people get into discussions about the church, the debate gets wittled down to this fundamental question:   “Why doesn’

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'So that, faithful to Christ, we may proclaim and bear witness together to his presence in our time.' Sunday Reflections, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Peter El Greco [ 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   Matthew 16:13-20 ( English Standard Version Anglicised) Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”   And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”   He said to them,  “But who do you say that I am?”   Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”   And Jesus answered him,  “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.   And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.   I will give you the keys of the kingdom of