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Showing posts with the label faith

Religion and Science: Different Paths to Reality

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Scientific discoveries haven't threatened my faith. I don't see how they could, since I think that reality and truth exist. And that they're real. In other words, I think I'm not a figment of your imagination and that we live in the same universe. We see it from different angles, since no two people occupy exactly the same slice of space-time. Our metaphorical points of view may not match, either. Here's what started me thinking about science, religion, and making sense.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Waiting on a Dead World: Science and Being Human

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Instead of writing about Halloween, I'll share a seasonally-appropriate story and talk about science, death being human: Waiting on a Dead World Inspiration and Stellar Evolution Still Seeking a Solar System Analog Metaphors and the Lives of Stars Sirius, Procyon and Weighing Stars "Vastness" and Questions Embracing Truth Philosophers and Models Earth, Eons and New Puzzles Faith, Reason and Me Life, Death and Dante's Wood of the Suicides Neuroimaging and Pickled Brains, Altruists and Lab Rats Dante's Hell: Seventh Circle, Second Ring "Here Shall They Hang" — Wood of the Suicides and Clueless Critics Being Human: Body and Soul Avoiding Suicide: Help is Available Art and Being Able to Smell Roses "In the Image of God:" Creativity Included Science Fiction and Attitudes It's Alive! — Oh, ICK!! Kidnapping and Murder, Rules and Principles

Election-Year Weirdness: An American Tradition

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A presidential election is looming in my country. We have one every four years. Maybe I'd get more attention by demonizing or deifying a candidate. Or saying that nobody should vote, because "they" put subliminal messages in ballots. Oddly enough, I haven't heard that claim. Or I could express deep despair over the demonizing, deifying and drivel that dominates news and social media. I could do any or all of the above. But my heart wouldn't be in it. I am quite sure that no candidate is a fascist, the antichrist or a pawn of the Illuminati-pixie cabal. I don't even think the Illuminati-pixie cabal exists. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Back from the Hospital: The Masked Minnesotan Rides Again

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I didn't feel all that sick Friday evening. That was August 21, 2020: 45 days ago. Online self-assessment guides from the Minnesota Department of Health and Mayo Clinic put me on the threshold of needing to call a doctor. My wife said calling the local hospital was a good idea. As it turns out, she was right.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America . Living in Room 20 Staph, Strep and Cellulitis Conspicuous by Their Absence A Century of Antibiotics Mice and a Man More Than You Need, Or Maybe Want, to Know About Penicillin Pandemic Precautions, Piety — and Prudence The "Source and Summit of the Christian Life" The Common Good Uncertainty Weirdness and Worship San Francisco's Rules It Could have been Worse Seating Capacity North Carolina in Cahoots with China?! New Lyrics, Old Song Sound, Fury and Making Sense Fear Appeal: Communist Agents, Tiny Cows and More Per

Under the Fig Tree, Jesus Asks a Question

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  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

Jesus Asks: Why Did You Doubt?

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Today we hear the famous Gospel reading of Jesus walking on water (Matt 14:22-36). When Peter hears Jesus telling them not to be afraid, that it is Him, Peter replies, “ Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water ” (Matt 14:28). Jesus tells Peter to come out to meet Him and Peter does just that. However, Peter sees how strong the wind is blowing, and he begins to sink in the water. What does Jesus say in response to that? “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” What was Peter’s Problem? Why do you think Peter made such a comment, if he did not have the faith needed to follow through on Jesus’ command? Sometimes, we think we have enough faith to weather a storm, only to learn, when faced with adversity, that we are weak. We doubt the efficacy of the saving power of God. Faith is a mysterious thing. We do not know how much faith we have until it is put to the test. Why did you doubt? When was the last time your faith was put to the test? How did you do? I

Memorial of Saint Martha

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Today is the memorial of Saint Martha, a saint that I can easily relate to, as we are much alike. Now, you cannot call me a saint. However, we both share the same desire to complete our chores. We have priorities. And yet, like Martha, I tend to let those priorities get in the way of the better part; that of listening to Jesus. Martha, the Worry Wart As we read in the Gospel passage from Luke, Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, was always concerned with the chores and serving: Martha “had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha burdened with much serving, came to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.’ The Lord said to her in reply, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her’”  (Luke 10:39-42). Like Martha, I fixate on the daily to

How God Called Me in the Confessional

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Three years ago, this past weekend, I went to confession and experienced something I never thought would happen. As I finished my confession, I told the Pastor that my husband and I were transferring to his Parish. I said that I would call him the following week to see where I might best fit from a volunteer perspective. And — that is the moment when God called me! God Called Me So, with a long line waiting outside of the Confessional, the Pastor proceeded to ask me about myself. I told him what I did in the past as a volunteer, and what I do now, as an adjunct professor of Theology, and then it came – boom! “You know, I just had my RCIA Coordinator tell me that he is moving, and I’ll need a new RCIA Coordinator. Would you like to do that?” Here I am sitting in the Confessional, technically talking to Christ (along with the pastor). How could I say no? Up to that point, my only participation with the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) was as a sponsor (for about t

The Beatitudes Serve Us Well

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Where the Ten Commandments tell us, for the most part, what not to do, the Beatitudes tell us how to live in a Christ-like manner. They highlight all the good virtues that we should possess. The Beatitudes serve us well. Virtues Associated with the Beatitudes Humility : “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:3). Caring/Compassion : “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matt 5:4). Meekness : “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land” (Matt 5:5). Justice : “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” (Matt 5:6). Mercy : “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matt 5:7). Piety :  “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God (Matt 5:8). Peace : “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Matt 5:9). Faith : “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom o

Keep the Faith! Have Hope!

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With only being able to attend Church services online, does this weakens one’s faith? Or, does this cause us to look deeper to keep the faith? Perhaps you might like to chime in, by using the comments section to share the impact of online services on you and your loved ones. I know for myself, that I crave the Eucharist, and will no longer take it for granted. I truly miss receiving Jesus weekly. Since I cannot receive the Real Presence in the Eucharist, I now look for other ways to keep the faith, in addition to attending Mass via online services. Keep the Faith: Read Scripture Although I cannot currently receive the Eucharist, God can nourish me with His Word. Reading scripture, more often, engages me in deep discussions with God.  And that is a good thing! Pray More Often I find myself praying more often, since there are so many people and causes that need prayers. Again, this engages me in... Read more...

A Packet Of Faith Please

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A PACKET OF FAITH PLEASE AVAILABLE IN SMALL, REGULAR OR LARGE SIZE CLICK HERE

Changing My Daily Prayers

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I read David Torkington's " The Resolution to end all Resolutions " and started a new prayer routine three years ago. My starting point was Lauds and Vespers from Liturgy of the hours. Don't be too impressed. Lauds was recognizable after my adaptation. But I reduce Vespers to something I could reliably remember, late in the day. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Why Does This Generation Seek a Sign?

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In today’s Gospel reading, the Pharisees test Jesus, by asking for signs from Heaven. With exasperation, Jesus retorts, “ Why does this generation seek a sign? ” (Mark 8:12). The Pharisees found Jesus’ previous miraculous acts insufficient proof of His divinity. In fact, they find Jesus to be suspiciously fraudulent.  Therefore, they seek human signs from someone who is both human and divine. They cannot understand the God-Man in their midst. The Pharisees can only see with their humanity and cannot fathom God in the flesh. Do You Seek a Sign? How often do you doubt the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of God in your life? Do you seek a sign of God’s power when all seems lost? Or perhaps you question whether God could really know everything happening in everyone’s life, at every moment. Or maybe you find it unfathomable that God can be everywhere at once. When these doubts and questions come to mind, we act very much like the Pharisees and we seek a sign – a human sign

'In giving us faith, the Lord has given us what is most precious in life.' Sunday Reflections, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Syro-Malabar Catholic Wedding  [ Wikipedia ] Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel   Luke 13:22-30 ( New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, Canada)     Jesus [  went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.  Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ He said to them,  ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.  When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, “Lord, open to us”, then in reply he will say to you, “I do not know where you come from.”    Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.”    But he will say, “I do not know where you come from; go away

The Rich Young Man - A Story About Trust

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In today’s Gospel from Matthew, we hear the story about the rich young man. It starts with the rich young man asking Jesus, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” (Matt 19:16) Jesus quips in reply, “Why do you ask me about the good?” (Matt 19:17) What are we to make of this quip of Jesus? Especially when Jesus follows up with, “There is only One who is good.” (Matt 19: 17). It’s almost as if Jesus is telling the rich young man, “Don’t ask me, because only God is good.” Is Jesus saying that only the Father is good, and that He is not? On the contrary! This is a glint of insight into the mystery of the Trinity, where One God consists of Three Persons. It is true that only God is all good. For the rest of us, we all have flaws, except for Jesus. He is perfect in both His Divine and human natures. Jesus is good, because Jesus is God. The Rich Young Man Just Doesn’t Get It So, what does it take to be good? Jesus tells us to follow the Ten Commandments, and beyond tha

Feast of Saint Martha

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Today is the Feast of Saint Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary, and friend of Jesus. Martha always gets compared to her sister, Mary, for Martha was the diligent sister who attended to the household chores. Mary, on the other hand, cast those chores aside to sit at the feet of Jesus, whenever He spoke. From today’s passage, however, both women cast aside their chores to grieve the death of their brother, Lazarus. When Jesus arrives to visit with Martha and Mary, Jesus conducts an interchange with Martha that should enlighten the faith within us all. Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:23-26). Saint Martha and the Testimony of Faith On the heels of this major declaration, Jesus asks this piercing question: “Do you believe t

Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle

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With today being the Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle, we read from the Gospel of John, regarding Jesus’ appearance to the Apostles, post His resurrection. It is Easter Sunday evening, and the Apostles tell Thomas, (who had not been present) that Jesus appeared to them. Thomas tells them in oh, so many words, “you’re nuts.” He refuses to believe their audacious comment. Fast forward one week later, when all the Apostles were present behind locked doors, and Jesus appears to them. Revelation I find this Gospel passage quite revealing of God’s omnipresence. One week earlier, when Saint Thomas heard the audacious comments from his fellow Apostles, he responded to them, “ Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into his side, I will not believe ” (John 20:25). When Saint Thomas made this comment, Jesus was not physically present. There had been no interaction between the Apostles and Jesus since Easter Sunday night, for any of the other Apostles to infor

Feeling Lost? Find Faith!

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As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator, I work with people who search for a deeper relationship with Christ.  Some come from other faiths, and others come to my program having never been baptized. When I hear their stories, I hear a common theme; a search for truth. Those that come from the Protestant denominations, come with questions that their former pastors/preachers cannot answer. The unbaptized appear like a clean slate; open to learning how to develop a relationship with Jesus. What is everyone’s goal? To find faith! If you are feeling lost, then look for the gift of faith in your own heart. God infused within you, at birth, the capability to believe in Him, along with a desire to know and love Him.  He also gifted you with reason and an intellect that He expects you to use to come to know the Truth. Where can you find the Truth? You will find it in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Faith in Sacred Scripture Sacred Scripture is the inspire

Jesus Asks: Do You Believe Me Now?

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In today’s Gospel, from John 16:29-33, we witness Jesus having a discussion with His Apostles. I love this passage because of the Apostle’s presumption of understanding. They think that they know all there is to know. What they do know is that Jesus came from God, and they think that is all there is to know. Yet, Jesus tries to tell them otherwise, by first asking a question:  Do you believe me now?  (John 16:31). For it is through faith, that we find full understanding of God. Oh, how I can relate to the Apostles! I can’t tell you the number of times that I think I have it all figured out, only to learn later that God thinks otherwise. As with the Apostles in their day, we, too, need to come to grips with the fact that we don’t know everything. Only God is omniscient. Only God can see the future. Yet, even with the Apostle’s inadequate, or incomplete understanding, Jesus is patient.  He enlightens the Apostles by ... Read more...

Trusting in God Can Be a Challenge

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Trusting in God can be a challenge. I know, I’m living proof! I’ve been struggling with living up to a vow that I made to God to allow Him to do with me as He pleases. As I retired from a career in banking, back in 2011, to pursue education and work related to evangelization, I gave my life to God. Yet, the bills need to be paid. So how does one ascertain how to live up to the vow and pay the bills? During Lent, I sought solace to this conundrum in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. For my penance, the priest asked me to read anything from the Gospel of Luke. Since we were near Holy Week, I thought I would read the Passion Narrative. My Challenge to Trusting in God Before I started to read, I chatted with God, letting Him know that I was having difficulty ascertaining His will for me. How am I supposed to know for certain that I am pursuing my career path in accordance with His will? I struggle in knowing that what I do each day is what He wants from me, given the challenges that