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Showing posts with the label faith

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 this?” (John…

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 inform Jesus o…

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 inspired Word of…

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 come …

Waiting for a Miracle - Book Review

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Waiting for a Miracle, by Cyndi Peterson, M.D. is a story of faith, conversion of heart and a mother’s love, all wrapped up in one page-turning true story. Cyndi Peterson is a dermatologist, married to a pediatrician. She is a lukewarm Catholic, going through the motions. Too busy with the demands of the world, Cyndi paid little attention to faith and a relationship with Jesus. That is, until one day when that nagging emptiness became a bit much to take. To squelch the nagging feeling, Cyndi begins to sneak around trying to learn more about Jesus. She attends events at her Church, reads books and does some soul-searching. As Cyndi’s faith begins to blossom, we see a conversion of heart. She begins to place more trust in Jesus. Cyndi learns that she is pregnant and looks forward to the birth of her fourth child. However, when her little girl Kelly is born, we learn of Kelly’s debilitating situation that would break any mother’s heart. Yet, Cyndi finds hope and trust as a result of a tr…

Jesus Didn’t Stay Dead

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We relive events from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday in close to real time.

Our Lord was arrested Thursday night. The Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod had questioned Jesus by Friday morning....

...By Friday evening, Jesus was dead....

(More at A Catholic Citizen in America)
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Lent starts March 6 this year. It's a time for abstinence, prayer and penance, among other things, which is why we've got rules about Fridays and fish.

Following "fish" rules to the letter, I could splurge on lobster thermidor each Friday. I won't. The household can't afford it, for one thing. For another, gourmet dining isn't what Lent is about.

I'll talk about fish, fasting and my goals for Lent. Briefly.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Jesus Asks: What are You Thinking in Your Hearts?

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In Luke 5:22, Jesus asks the Pharisees, “What are you thinking in your hearts?” It is a rhetorical question, as Jesus knew quite well what the Pharisees were thinking; what the Pharisees believed. It is here, in the Gospel of Luke where we read of the historical event of Jesus physically healing the paralytic, and spiritually healing his friends. The room, in which Jesus was teaching, was so crowded that the paralytic’s friends could not get him inside. Yet, they knew that if they could somehow get their paralytic friend in front of Jesus that Jesus would heal him. Their faith in Jesus was great. So, the friends dropped the man into the room from the roof! “When He saw their faith, He said, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven’”(Luke 5:20). Jesus knew that the Pharisees did not recognize Jesus as God, and that they believed only God can forgive sins. But, for the friends and the paralytic, they knew otherwise... Read more...

What Do You Want Jesus to Do For You?

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In today’s Gospel, we hear from the blind beggar, who begs Jesus to hear his plea. Jesus asks in response: What do you want me to do for you? (Luke 18:41) The beggar asks Jesus to cure him of his blindness. Jesus responds, “have sight; your faith has saved you” (Luke 18:42). So, the blind man now sees, and he sees through the eyes of faith. It is because of the man’s faith that he not only sees physically, but he also comes to understand spiritually that Jesus is Our Savior and Redeemer. Jesus Asks You This Question, Too! This is a hefty question to consider. If Jesus sat across from you today, and asked you the same question, how would you respond? Would you ask for money, power and/or fame? Would you want Him to solve your transient problems of the day? Perhaps you would ask for a physical cure of your own illness. Or maybe you would seek understanding, wisdom and knowledge of God. Whatever your need, God is ready to listen. However, I think... read more...

All Things Worked for the Good

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We all know the quote from St. Paul which assures us that everything works out for the good for those who trust in God. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Well, our family has seen this truth dramatized over and over again.
My sixth child discovered she had gestational diabetes. (This disappears immediately after you give birth.) After living on a strict cleansing diet for six months to try to cure her migraines before pregnancy, she was devastated but resigned to another two months of eliminating anything that tastes good from her diet, constantly eating small measured meals, and jabbing herself with a needle twice a day to test her blood sugar.
Gestational Diabetes Worked Out for the Goodcontinue reading

Keiko Uemura, a spring flower in the desert. Sunday Reflections, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Keiko Uemura on her First Communion Day, December 1971 Keiko died 27 April 1972, aged 14
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelMark 6:1-6 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except…

The Beatitudes: Jesus' Way Requires Virtue

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In today’s Gospel reading from Matt 5:1-12, we hear Jesus teach about the Beatitudes. I am quite partial to the Beatitudes, as they embody virtue. As you all know, virtue is my “thing.” When we look at each one of the Beatitudes, we see that they are actually God’s gift of grace. That is because, to master the Beatitudes, we must embrace virtue. To embrace virtue, we need God’s grace. The Beatitudes – Jesus’ Way!To be poor in spirit, one must embrace and exemplifyhumilityIf you are one who mourns, you arecompassionateMeekness is obvious. Yet to bemeek, one requires great strength (fortitude).If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you embodyjusticeMerciful is obvious, like meekness. However, to bemerciful,to the extent necessary, one must be ready to alsoforgive... Read more... 

Jesus Asks: “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?”

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In today’s Gospel reading Jesus asks: “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you?(Mark 9:19). On face value, it seems like a couple of strange questions, coming from Jesus, given that He has promised to be with us always, even until the end of the age (Matt 28:20). To the average reader, this would seem like a contradiction. So, what exactly is Jesus saying when He asks these questions? “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? Jesus never answers this question. He only poses it, as a rhetorical question, to a group of people gathered around Him seeking Jesus’ assistance in curing a young boy of seizures.  By His statement, He recognizes the weakness of human faith, as we are imperfect beings. We all have our doubts from time to time. His reaction is to cure the boy of seizures; to demonstrate to each of us that we can place our full faith and trust in Him. Therefore, He is calling us to be a faith-filled generation. How long will I e…

The Grace of Faith

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Faith is the bedrock of Christian living. Without a strong faith, we would easily lose our way. But, the grace of Faith guides us, and aides us in getting to know God intimately. It is through the grace of faith that we come to know God, our Father, Creator of all that is good. Faith is a gift from God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. ‘Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.’1 The Grace of Faith leads us to God Faith, combined with the use of reason, leads us to determine what is true. So, rather than believing in “alternative facts,” we apply our faith, and use our reason, to determine objective truth. With the knowledge of objective truth, we choose to follow God’s way. We know this is the right thing to do because... Read more...

Christian’s Calling: To Preach the Gospel

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As Christians, we are all called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can do this in several ways. You don’t need to be a Catholic blogger/author/public speaker like myself. You can preach the Gospel, without ever saying a word; by the mere witness of your charitable actions. Most people will never remember eloquent words spoken to them. But, they will remember a kindness done for them.

Deeds speak volumes!
A police officer who runs toward danger, when others run away. The witness of his or her bravery and courage speaks volumes.A man or woman who volunteers at the local soup kitchen to serve the needy. The witness of his or her generosity and love speaks volumes.A child who... Read more...

Materialism, Robots and Attitudes

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Robots are starting to look and act a lot like humans.

Wondering if robots can be people, or if humans are merely biological robots, involves assumptions about reality. I'll look at one of those assumptions in this post and why I believe there's more to me than chemicals.

Whether a robot could be a person is more of a philosophical question than a legal issue. So far. The question would be particularly interesting if a robot asked to be recognized as a person. Or disturbing, depending on how you look at it.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Dream

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She was a young mother when she had the dream, just thirty, with four little boys between the ages of one and five.  She would not give birth to her fifth, and last, son for several years.

She was normally not a dreamer.  Always an exceptionally deep sleeper (the alarm had not yet been invented that would easily wake her--except, of course, for the middle-of-the-night cries and calls of her children), she rarely dreamed--and even when she did, she even more rarely remembered the details of her dreams, which would grow hazy as soon as she opened her eyes and then quickly evaporate, like a misty fog being chased off by the sun.  "I was having the strangest dream," she might tell her husband.  But when he asked her what it was about, she could almost never clearly recall the particulars.
This dream was different.
THIS one the heavy-sleeping young mother remembered vividly upon waking--every excruciatingly painful detail of it.
If you'd like to read the whole post, it's he…

The Annunciation: Mary’s Fiat, Faith and Courage

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Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, the day when Mary gave her “fiat,” her yes, to becoming the Mother of God. Because of her fiat, she plays a pivotal role in God’s plan for salvation. Can you imagine where we would all be, if she had declined? I shudder to think! Yet, it was because of her fiat, that she conceived, without sin, her Son, Jesus; Our Lord and Redeemer. Her simple, yes, to God, set God’s plan in motion for His Son, Jesus, to be our Messiah; Our Savior.

Mary’s Fiat Took Faith and Courage
Agreeing to become the Mother of Our Lord was not an easy thing to agree to at this point in human history. You see, women who became pregnant outside of marriage were subject to being stoned to death. In addition, Mary had pledged her virginity to God. Therefore, conceiving a son, albeit the Son of God, would be seen by others as sinning against God and her betrothed, Saint Joseph. Mary’s fiat, placed her in danger. Yet her faith, and trust, in God gave her the courage t…

Early Birds, Unisex Fish

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We still don't know exactly how birds got their wings. Literally and figuratively. But we're learning more about when and how they started.

Scientists in Europe and China found fossils of birds that lived roughly 120,000,000 years ago.

Other scientists found genes with some 'feather' instructions in alligators. That's old news. What's new is that one team coaxed alligator embryo scales into growing as something like very simple feathers. Part of a simple feather, anyway.

I'll be talking about those birds, alligator feathers, and why discovering something new doesn't upset me. Also a chimp, the French Revolution something Benjamin Franklin said and evolution....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.