Showing posts from June, 2021

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