Showing posts with label Confession. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Confession. Show all posts

12 Apr 2017

Forgiveness: A Lenten Message


Who Do You Have to Forgive

truth is, we all have someone to forgive(1)," writes R. Scott Hurd, in the very beginning of his life-changing book Forgiveness: The Catholic Approach ("Forgiveness").

The following is Scott's list of people we may need to forgive; the comments in the parentheses are my two cents.

1. Rude drivers (very appropriate for those of us who live in Massachusetts)
2. Spouses (thank goodness for Sacramental Grace - that is all I have to say!)
3. Friends (they can hurt or betray us, or over time may become our "frenemies")
4. Bosses (those who steal our ideas, treat us unjustly, or are just plain grumpy)
5. Bullies (even as adults we can find ourselves faced with cruel people)

But Wait, There's More!

I would add:
1. Ourselves (often the hardest person to forgive)
2. God (It is okay to admit this, He will not send down lightning to smote you for being honest.
Furthermore, let's face it: He already knows you are angry. If He created your brain, don't you think He can also read it!?)

We cannot begin the healing process if we do not first acknowledge that we need to forgive, and then identify who that person is. I have encountered people at my retreats and presentations on forgiveness who admit they really can't think of anyone they are angry with. 

Read My Response HERE ...

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras

17 Nov 2016

'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.' Sunday Reflections, Christ the King, Year C

CrucifixionPedro de Campaña, c.1550
Musée du Louvre, Paris [Web Gallery of Art]
Gospel Luke 23:35-43 (NRSV,Catholic Ed) 
The people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at Jesus, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’  The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’
Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom Taizé chant
About six years ago Dominican friar in Dublin told me about one of his confreres who was to celebrate Mass one morning in a nearby Sisters' convent. Since it was only a short walk he decided to wear his habit. (It was the Dominican habit that first caught my imagination about the priesthood when I was six or seven, though later on I never considered joining the Dominicans.) Along the way the friar met a Sister from another convent who chided him for being so 'old-fashioned' or 'pre-Vatican 2' or words to that effect. A little further on a young man stopped him. This was the conversation that followed:
You're a priest, right?
Yes.
Well I'm getting married tomorrow and I need to go to confession.
So Father heard the young man's confession on the street and went on his 'pre-Vatican 2' way to celebrate Mass.
Continue here.

5 Oct 2016

Wear your crown of thorns

" Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved. "
- Saint John Chrysostom

For a very long time, despite reading and hearing wisdom to the contrary, in the depth of my being, i equated holiness with the lack of discomfort. You know that state with the absence of those disconcerting moments when you know deep down you have done wrong/are doing wrong yet continue to banish the thought. When you don't want to deal with, nay even acknowledge,  your own weakness. When you think having being a renewed Christian means having only pure and holy thoughts.
From experience i tell you, thats a load of bladderdash. No one can ever hope to become saint overnight. It truly is a long winding journey acknowledging and being fully aware of the grossness of one's sinful soul. All through the Christian journey, one has to wear the crown of thorns, the thorns of the flesh.
Read the complete post at J.A.M.

11 Jun 2016

'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.' Sunday Reflections, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C


Feast in the House of Simon (detail), Paolo Veronese, 1567-70

Gospel Luke 7:36 – 8:3 or 7:36-50 NRSV, Catholic Ed,

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “speak.”
“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
[Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.


When I was parish priest of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, on the east coast of Mindanao for eleven months in 1993-94, there was no telephone in the town. The mayor's big promise was, 'By next year we will have a telephone'. It would be in the town hall. However, modern technology has since flourished and now almost everyone in Lianga has a mobile phone and some have access at home to the internet.

Full post here.

13 May 2016

'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them.' Sunday Reflections, Pentecost, Year C



Pentecost, El Greco, 1596-160

Gospel John 20:19-23 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.)

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Or
Gospel John 14:15-16, 23b-26(NRSV,Catholic Ed., Can)
Jesus said to his disciples:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.

“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

More than 20 years ago I was asked to celebrate Mass for a group of girls aged around 14 from a Catholic school in Cebu City in the central Philippines. They were having a recollection day in a retreat house. I made myself available for confession about 30 minutes before Mass. It soon became clear to me that many wanted to go to confession and after half an hour I went to the teacher and suggested we wait a while before starting Mass.
Full post here.

1 Apr 2016

'If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them.' Sunday Reflections, Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy)



The Incredulity of St Thomas, Rembrandt, 1634 Pushkin Museum, Moscow [Web Gallery of Art]

Gospel John 20:19-31 (NRSV, Catholic Ed,Can)

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

The Gospel of John (2003) Directed by Philip Saville
Narrator: Christopher Plummer


To embrace, to embrace – we all have to learn to embrace the one in need, as Saint Francis did. There are so many situations in Brazil, and throughout the world, that require attention, care and love, like the fight against chemical dependency. (PopeFrancis, St Francis of the Providence of God Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 24 July 2103).[Photo: Wikipedia]
Full post here

11 Mar 2016

'From now on do not sin again.' Sunday Reflections, 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C


From The Gospel of John (2003) directed by Philip Saville
Gospel John 8:1-11 (NRSV, Catholic Edition, Canada) 

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery,  Rembrandt, c.1644

More than 33 years ago I did a number of brief supplies in parishes in one of the western states in the USA. In one parish, where I stayed only from Saturday till Monday morning, the Sunday gospel was one showing the mercy of Jesus. I forget which one, but know it wasn't today's. In my homily I emphasised God's love for us as sinners and how he wants to welcome us back when we turn away from him, partly or fully, by sinning.

Full post here.

3 Jan 2016

Mathematics and Mysticism

St. Francis Adoring the Crucifix
The Catholic Church calls those that have extra-ordinary revelation, "mystics." 

I do not like this term, The mystical is shunned and looked down on in our society because some people look on the mystic as someone unbalanced, or if their revelations are believed, then they are looked upon as a person who has attained a friendship with God to which no one else can attain. There is nothing farther from the truth...

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE.

7 Dec 2015

"They Fear You."


Recently I was contacted by a young man who said he was very scared because he was experiencing demonic oppression.  He sounded terrified and didn't understand what was happening or what to do about it.   Now, normally we are called to be sceptical and not see the devil under every bush, but something about this young man's genuine fear pulled me more to belief than not.  I know that he could have had mental issues, or been just someone craving attention, but what he told me he was experiencing would dispel both of those theories. 

TO READ MORE...CLICK HERE!

31 Aug 2015

The Last Age Before the Messiah Comes: The Age of WAR.


In all history of God there have been three ages and we are in the last of the three ages.

The first age was the Age of the Prophets,  ....to find out what the other two ages are...CLICK HERE!

14 Jun 2015

Connecting To Heaven


As a Mathematician I have a great hunger for knowledge.  I seek knowledge in Mathematics like a bulldog would, I dig in, latch on, and don't let go until I have what I want.  Because this is the method I have used to acquire knowledge, it was no surprise that I would employ these same techniques when it came to seeking after God.    

It is written, "there is no one who seeks God", well I did.  I went after God, and sought Him diligently and by God's grace I will tell what I found.  .....


TO READ MORE...CLICK HERE!

6 Apr 2015

The Art of War. (Part I)

Virgin with Jesus giving Holy Rosary to St. Dominic
The most treacherous path you will ever take is the Warrior's Path

You do not choose to be a Warrior, God chooses you, and His choice is quite terrifying.  

When God chooses the Warrior, there is no false humility.  When God says to you, "You ARE a Warrior," you don't say, "Oh no God...not me."  On the contrary, you say, "Yes sir!" and then youtremble at what being a Warrior for God could truly mean.   The fear at being called as a Warrior, is to shake so violently before the Lord that you think every bone in your body will break.  The fear comes on the realization that a warrior will be given souls to fight for, and will be asked to account for them.


When you are called to the path of the Warrior, it is a responsibility to be pure, obey, and seek only the good of the othernever thinking that you are doing anything for God.
TO READ MORE...CLICK HERE!

21 Mar 2015

The Purgatory Trap

St. Michael the Archangel and the Souls in Purgatory

 The trap of Purgatory is too many souls rely on Purgatory as the destination of their soul after death, and slap God in the face by not trusting in His mercy, and do not seek Heaven.  They use Purgatory as their "backup plan" and as a result lead lukewarm lives, saying to themselves that in an exchange for just doing the "minimum" faith requirement, thinking that when they die they will just have to spend a few years in Purgatory and then eventually end up in Heaven.

Whether we spend time in Purgatory is at God's discretion, not ours.  

The greatest misuse of Purgatory is that many Catholics do not fear God because of Purgatory.

Those that hang their hopes on Purgatory are already among the lukewarm and possibly among those heading to the second death. Jesus will spit those out of His mouth that have failed to make every effort to follow Jesus and heaven, NOT Purgatory.


To READ MORE: CLICK HERE!

24 Feb 2015

14 Oct 2014

Do you go to confession?

Do you go to confession?  Do you still go to a priest one on one?  Or do you just do the Communal Confession at Mass?


To read the rest of the article and to respond to my very scientific poll (!), go to Being Catholic ... Really.

10 Oct 2014

‘Go . . . and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.' Sunday Reflections, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A


Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome [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 22:1-14 [or 22:1-10] (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition: Canada) 
Jesus said to the chief priest and the elders of the people: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. continue gospel >


Antiphona ad introitum     Entrance Antiphon  Ps 129 [130]:3-4
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you is found forgiveness, O God of Israel.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice!Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?But with you is found forgiveness, O God of Israel
swing made from tyres in East Timor [Wikipedia]
A friend of mine who has three young daughters and a fourth child on the way and who now lives in California posted on her Facebook the other day that the authorities in some school are removing the swings from its playground because they are 'dangerous' for children. continue>

18 Sep 2014

Preparing for Eternity



One of the greatest gifts that God gives us in the Holy Mass, and the Holy Eucharist is to prepare us for Eternity.  There is no where you can go on the planet and prepare for your own Judgement and Eternity like you can by going to Holy Mass, Holy Confession and taking the Blessed Sacrament.  

There is no Preacher or Church service in the world that prepares you for heaven like what happens every day at Holy Mass.  

18 Jul 2014

"Are Their Souls Not Worth $200?"


Some time ago on Facebook, I got a message from (what I thought was...) my Bishop.  He was very kind and ministering to me, asking about my walk, quoting scripture, and even giving me the link to his blog to read.  These messages happened over several days, and I was rather enjoying our little private conversations....  CLICK HERE FOR MORE

17 Jul 2014

'Let both of them grow together until the harvest . . .' Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Sower, November 1888, Arles; Vincent van Gogh Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam [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) [This link is to the readings for the Vigil Mass and for the Mass on Sunday]
Gospel Matthew 13:24-43 (or 13:24-30)  (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 

Jesus put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’  But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
read more of the Gospel
BurningWeeds, July 1883, The Hague; Vincent van Gogh
Bibliothèque de l'Institut national d'histoire de l'art, Paris [Web Gallery of Art]


In 1997 while on a visit to Toronto I read in a newspaper about a woman from the Philippines  who had been found guilty of embezzling about Can$250,000 over a period of time from the company for which she worked. The judge had no alternative but to send her to prison. However he was a very compassionate man. 
Full post here.

14 Jul 2014

"Don't Turn Around."




Another time praying the Stations....

I was at the 6th Station, offering the Station to God, asking the Father that one drop of blood that just one drop of our Lord's precious blood cover what I was praying for. 

At this station, I am all the way at the back of the Church, with my back to the Altar.  I hear the Lord say to me, "Don't Turn Around."  ....  To find out why I was told that...CLICK HERE

Mindsets are Powerful but Mercy is More Powerful!

So, I have 6 kids - not because I have good pregnancies, but because Tom and I believed that to be God's will for our life. I actually h...