Showing posts from June, 2021

Where Can I Find Jesus?

  (If you subscribe to this blog, please note that beginning in July, you will no longer be receiving this blog automatically by email due to internal changes by blogger.  I hope you will continue to visit my blog and share it with your friends though!) ******* Scripture tells us that by the touch of Jesus, the leper was cleansed and Peter's mother-in-law was healed.  By his word alone, the servant of the centurion was healed. Why would we ever doubt, then, that Jesus can be made present in the Eucharist through the power of God? If you read the bible and believe it is the inspired Word of God and hold to the truths within it, why is it hard to embrace the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion? Doesn't believing in one lead to the other without question? Perhaps man is willing to only go so far when it comes to fully believing what God has revealed.  Perhaps we are the greatest obstacle to faith. I don't know, but it seems to me that if the Eucharist is just

Health and Surfside Condo Collapse: Siloam Scenarios

Sunday's rain dampened Sauk Centre's streets, but delivered under four tenths of an inch. That's been good for our weeds, and for grass next to sidewalks. But it's nowhere near the two or three inches we need to get back to adequate soil moisture in these parts. Medical issues have been distracting me. I took one of the kids to an unscheduled clinic checkup with follow-up lab work. Then another enjoyed, if that's the word, a day or so in the hospital. Not Sauk Centre's hospital. One up in North Dakota, near where she lives. On the 'up' side, I've been okay this week, which left me free for chauffeur duty. I'm hoping the next week here will be less eventful. But, quoting an old Minnesota saying, it could be worse. I woke up Thursday morning. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Lion Food? Oh My!

  In the first century, around 110 A.D., St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote seven letters on his way to martyrdom.  He would be eaten by lions in Circus Maximus, which was a stadium where chariot races were held, among other things, obviously. In his letter to the Romans, as he willingly made the journey to his death, he said: "Only pray for me that I may have strength both inward and outward; that I may not merely speak but have also the will; that I may not only be called a Christian but may also be found to be one.  For if I be found to be one, then I can also be called one and be deemed faithful even when I am no longer visible in the world." Striking in this excerpt from his letter is the distinction between being called a Christian and being found to be one. I would suspect there are many among us who call themselves Christians, but are identified as such in name only.  For if there were evidence that they were actually a Christian, perhaps through their actions,

Do not worry about tomorrow ...


The Faith of Our Fathers

  Years ago I bought The Faith of the Early Fathers by William A. Jurgens.  As we have been redecorating and moving books around, I rediscovered it this week. It is a big collection of writings of the early Fathers (I only have the first of three volumes) and I suspect many of us have never read them, nor likely even knew they existed. As I started to read them, it was hard to miss the fact that they are loaded with scripture references.  So much so, in fact, that the voice of Christ begins to emerge. For instance, as Clement was writing to the people of Corinth, maybe only 70 years after the death of Jesus, he talks about Peter and Paul and what they went through as if it were very fresh in his mind. He talks about the resurrection and how Jesus was the first raised from the dead, and likewise, how God has given us daily reminders of the resurrection in nature--night/day, dying seeds springing to life, etc. It is no wonder that the Good News of Jesus spread.  Not far remov

'The child is not dead but sleeping.' Sunday Reflections. 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Raising of the Daughter of Jairus Paolo Veronese [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 5:21-43   [or 5:21-24, 35b-43]  (English Standard Version, Anglicised) When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea.   Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet   and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”   And he went with him. [And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.   And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,   and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.   She had heard

Blue Sky, Tan Grass, Second COVID-19 Shot and Fever

I've been enjoying this week's bright blue skies and sunshine. I'd have been enjoying them more, if I hadn't been recovering from my second COVID-19 shot. And if our skies hadn't been quite so consistently clear. Sunshine's fine, but we need rain. On the 'up' side, my body's response to the mRNA vaccine could have been much worse. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

'The love of Christ overwhelms us.' Sunday Reflections, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

  Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee Rembrandt [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 4:35-41   (English Standard Version, Anglicised) On that day, when evening had come, he said to them,  “Let us go across to the other side.”    And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.   And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.   But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”   And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea,  “Peace! Be still!”  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.   He said to them,  “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”   And they were filled with great fear and

Walk in the Light

  When we camped in our pop-up trailer, there were times that we would have to make a trek to the campground bathrooms at night.  It was always helpful to take our flashlights so we could see where we were going, lest we trip over something in the road or the little path through the woods.  Without our flashlight, it was hard to see where we were going. Psalm 119:105 says:  "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path." How can we know the way, or avoid getting tripped up in life, if we do not have the Word of God in front of us?  Without scripture, it is as though we are simply walking down a dark path--only we are risking much more than a twisted ankle. There are many resources to help us learn how to approach scripture, from podcasts to daily prompts, but aside from all of these, the easiest way to begin is to just begin. Sit quietly with a passage that is familiar to you, or read a few verses in a book of the bible that is understandable to you.  Th

Need Liberating?

    From a letter written to the Corinthians around 80 A.D. by Clement of Rome (Pope), we read: "Let our glorying and our confidence be in Him.  Let us be subject to His will.  Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels, how they stand waiting to minister to his will." This picture of waiting to minister to God's will and being subject to it, gives a perspective we, today, would be wise to take on.  Just imagine your whole life being centered around doing what God wills for you! How different your own worries might look.  How small your indignation over being slighted in any way might become.  How much joy might fill your life! Clement wrote:  "Brethren, be contentious and zealous for the things which lead to salvation!" How often do we think of salvation today?  How zealous are we to practice and preach those things which lead to it?  Do we even realize what salvation means? Salvation is liberating!  It brings us freedom as we step away from

The Unmasked Minnesotan's Second COVID-19 Shot

I haven't been wearing a face mask when I go to Mass, the Adoration chapel or Walmart. But I do carry one in my pocket when I go out, just in case the rules have changed. Again. Most folks I've been seeing stopped wearing face masks when pandemic-related restrictions eased up. If I see someone with a face mask in Walmart, the odds are that the person works there. As a rule, non-employee mask wearers seem to be young, old, somewhere between, and either men or women. I figure it depends on the individual's general health and willingness to put up with slightly-used air. And maybe willingness to believe that face masks make sense. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Barron on Conversion

  A friend gifted me with the Word on Fire Bible/The Gospels which I have found to be very nice.  As I was reading a reflection in it ("Unpacking Jesus' Greatest Sermon") by Bishop Robert Barron, I was caught in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).  In describing the people of Israel, Bishop Barron said that "Israel knew itself to be the people with the definite mission to become holy and thereby to render the world holy.  But instead, Israel fell into greater and greater sins; and instead of being the catalyst for the conversion of the world, the world was continually overwhelming and enslaving Israel." Oh my.   How many similarities can you find in this excerpt from his reflection on Israel, to the Church and her people (us!) today? We, as disciples of Jesus, are also called to holiness, and through God's grace, we have the potential to have an impact on the world around us. Of course, like Israel, we are quite imperfect in fu

'To Christ the seed, to Christ the crop.' Sunday Reflections, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

  The Sower  November 1888, Arles Vincent van Gogh [ Web Gallery of Art ] The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground .   Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 4:26-34   (English Standard Version, Anglicised) Jesus said to the crowds:  “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.   He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.   The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.   But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and become

Are You Suffering?

 A couple of things . . . It is very clear in today's reading (2 Corinthians, Chapter 1) that Paul saw the need to share with the people of Corinth, whatever he received from the Lord. Paul understood that he could encourage others in their afflictions. He said,  "so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God." That's not insignificant. Whatever we receive from God, we are expected to give away.  Do you feel hope?  Give it to someone who needs it.  Do you realize God's love for you?  Love someone. Are you suffering?  Help someone else who is suffering through your endurance and your understanding of the sufferings of Christ. To put it another way, Paul said: "Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement." Here's the point: If you are suffering in any way today, know that you can find

Hubris, Stories, and That Which Might Exist

I'm intrigued by that which: Exists within this universe Exists beyond Might exist I've talked about "that which exists within this universe," what we've been learning about it, and why science doesn't upset me. I've talked about it a lot. Basically, I'm a Christian and a Catholic. I think truth matters. Faith is in part a pursuit of truth. Science is a pursuit of truth. As Pope Leo XIII said, "truth cannot contradict truth." Sometimes we learn something new, but I really don't see that as a problem. I've talked about what the Nicene Creed calls 'invisible,' too. Which isn't church-speak for electromagnetic phenomena outside visible spectrum. And that's not quite another topic. But I've written precious little about stuff that might exist. And why I don't see a problem with being a Christian and enjoying stories. Or writing them. So that's what I'll be talking about today: along with hubris

'The men simply stood silently and reverently round the little improvised altar of ammunition boxes.' Sunday Reflections, Corpus Christi, Year B

Supper at Emmaus Caravaggio [ Web Gallery of Art ] Corpus Christi, Year B The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Year B   In most countries, including the Vatican, this solemnity, formerly celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, is now celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday, this year replacing the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Mark 14:12-16, 22-26   (English Standard Version, Anglicised) And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to Jesus, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”   And he sent two of his disciples and said to them,  “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him,     and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest