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Showing posts with the label mercy

If You Want to Receive Mercy, Give Mercy!

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We live in a “what’s in it for me?” society. We are very quick to receive goodness and gifts from God. At the same time, we are slow to give the same to others. What makes us think that we corner the market on any specific gift from God, like mercy? We welcome God’s mercy on our own souls, but we fail to give mercy to others. Mercy and forgiveness go hand in hand. We must express mercy to forgive others, as we receive God’s mercy to forgive our own sins. Jesus taught us how to give mercy and forgive sins when He taught us the Our Father: Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive others who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen. Based upon what is stated in the Our Father, mercy and forgiveness will be granted to us to the extent that we grant it to others! Think on that for a moment. Jes…

Seeking and Giving Mercy

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Many of us are quick to seek mercy. But how about giving mercy? I doubt we are as quick to give mercy as we are to seek mercy. That’s human nature at work. We run to Our Lord and ask for His mercy every time we sin. In His graciousness, He is quick to grant our request.  So, why don’t we run to grant mercy when someone hurts our feelings? Unlike God, who knows everything, we need time to assess the situation, determine the extent of the offense, and evaluate the depth of hurt. Only then can we mete out the necessary amount of mercy warranted. I recently had an exchange with someone on Facebook Messenger for which I took offense. My immediate reaction was one of indignation. I was not in the mood to grant mercy. However, after assessing the situation, I was able to put things in perspective. I was able to determine the amount of hurt this person caused me by her snarky comments. Taking into consideration where this person was coming from, and not knowing her true intentions (as only G…

Jesus' Mercy Abounds - Even on the Sabbath

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In today’s Gospel from Luke 13:10-17, we see Jesus confronting synagogue leaders. They accuse Jesus of curing the sick on the Sabbath, as if that was a bad thing. Why? Because the leaders of the synagogue believe that such activity constitutes work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. Therefore, they think Jesus violated Jewish law. They did not correlate Jesus’ action to Jesus’ mercy. Jesus’ Mercy Abounds With great hindsight, and two thousand years of scriptural interpretation, we can look at this passage, and quickly come to judgment that the synagogue leaders were wrong in their thought process. The mercy that Jesus bestowed upon the woman that day was an act of love for neighbor on Jesus’ part. Through Jesus’ teachings, we have been trained to “love our neighbor” and to perform acts of charity. In today’s Gospel passage Jesus teaches us how to treat others. In verses 15-16 Jesus attempts to address the synagogue leader’s concerns by asking: Does not each one of you on the sabb…

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... 

Trust and Mercy

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Divine Mercy Sunday:
Acts 4:32-351 John 5:1-6John 20:19-31 (April 8, 2018; this homily is from April 7, 2002)
Divine Mercy Sunday, 2018 By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas April 8, 2018 (originally April 7, 2002)

20 years ago we wanted to dedicate our community to the Mercy of God. The story of which is far too long to share with you this morning. But you need to know that we asked our Bishop Speltz to conduct the dedication but were told, 'no he can't come because of confirmations.. Just days before the dedication, he personally called and said that it was too important for him not to be here and so changed appointments to be with us. At one point he said, he saw this as a way to get the Sacred Heart enthroned in every home and saw this was a means to fulfill that because The Divine Mercy image fits perfectly with the Sacred Heart - as well it should. Now what does he do? Not only does he dedicate our community, but dedicates the whole Diocese to The Mercy of God: to the great joy of a…

Celebrating the Easter Octave; Remembering Christ's Sacrifice, Mercy and Power

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For my first time as a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator, I attended the Easter Vigil. We welcomed four, fine women into the Church, where they received the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. We also witnessed the baptism of 17 people!!! Yes, it was a long evening, but a wonderful experience to witness, as well. Our celebration at the Easter Vigil, began the Easter Octave; an eight-day celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection. Easter is so important, so vital to the essence of the Catholic faith, that we need eight days to soak in the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice, mercy, and salvific power.

Remember Christ’s Sacrifice During the Easter Octave
Easter is the most important day on the Christian calendar, as it marks the fulfillment of God’s plan for redemption of His people. Christ conquered death and sin with His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Think about that for a moment. Without the Resurrection, we have... Read more...

Seeking Mercy This Lenten Season

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For approximately one year, I have been reading the Diary of Saint Faustina. It started out as a Lenten practice to learn more about Christ’s mercy. Usually, I can read a book within a few days. However, in this instance, it’s taking me quite a long time to work my way through this book. It is so jam-packed with information concerning Christ’s mercy. I read a few pages, at a time, on Mondays, when I attend Adoration. Then I reflect on what Saint Faustina is trying to convey regarding how Christ’s mercy works, and why we should all be seeking mercy.

Seeking Mercy – A Few Tips as to Why We Should
From what I have read to date, here is what I want to share with you:

Christ’s mercy is readily accessible to everyone willing to seek it from Our Lord.Jesus wants... Read more...

Hearts and Ashes; Love and Mercy For the Taking

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Wow! Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Day on the same day! Hearts and Ashes in one fell swoop! Today is the day when we show our love for our spouses and loved ones, with valentines. It is also a day that we show our love for Christ, with ashes on our foreheads; marking ourselves as belonging to Christ. Today, we can consider the ashes on our foreheads as our own personal valentine to God, acknowledging Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because of His love for us.

Talk about bittersweet days! No hearts filled with assorted chocolates this year! Considering that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence, there is no going out to dinner tonight either. Yet, the love of Christ is ever-present on this day, and we soak it up. I’ll give up a candy heart, and a steak dinner, knowing that Jesus loves me. There is no better Valentine than that! My fasting and abstinence is a small sacrifice of self-giving love back to Jesus for His sacrifice on the Cross.

Read more...

Would Jesus Eat With Harvey Weinstein?

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If you want to get inside my head, my title question is the type of stuff I think about. I don't really know for sure the answer. Even though Weinstein's actions were deplorable, it does seem like he has become a type of scapegoat. I say this even though I could easily say, "Me Too!" because I have also been the recipient of sexual harassment. Once, I even reported it at the job I was at and nothing was done about it. I remember the way it made me feel...completely belittled and ashamed. I remember not wanting to wear skirts anymore to work...but I digress.  
Continue Reading @ beautifulthorns>

Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Eternal Life

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In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us the parable of the rich fool who wishes to tear down his smaller barns to build bigger ones, to store his massive harvest; a harvest, expected to last for years to come (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus refers to this man as a fool, because the man is clueless to the fact that the man will lose his life that very night. What good is all of those earthly possessions, if one is dead the next day? If the man had focused more on eternal life, the man would have been better prepared to meet his Maker.

Jesus gives us this parable to alert us to the fact that earthly possessions cannot save us from death. Only Jesus’ salvific power and mercy can save us from our impending death; to give us eternal life, with Him, in Heaven. Therefore, our goal in life is not to accumulate as much wealth as possible, but to participate in the salvation of our own souls. How do we do that? Read more...

3 Steps to Mercy for You - Guest Blogger, Kaitlyn Mason

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There’s a lot of mercy talk these days in the Church. Why?  Because it’s the time of mercy!

Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday. If you’re not familiar with this message and devotion, take a moment to learn a little more here.

We should strive to show mercy to everyone we meet. Mercy is a great virtue, no doubt.  But today I want to ask you, how often do you show mercy to yourself?

Are you your own worst critic? Are you hyperaware of your faults and not sure how to actually improve?  Do you ever beat yourself up at the end of the day for not doing a better job at keeping it all together?

I’ve been working on kicking these bad attitudes for a while now, with great success. How?  Divine Mercy! Read more...

Divine Mercy

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I care about God's mercy because I'm a sinner. What that means depends on who says it.

I think and hope Jonathan Edwards meant well, and wish some of his imitators would be less enthusiastic. Or at least think about what he said.

Hollywood theology — I'd like to believe that many folks don't get their religious education from the movies, and that's another topic.

Basically, Americans have lots of options for what we think "sin" and "sinners" mean.

I'm a Catholic, so my view is 'none of the above.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Seeking Mercy This Lenten Season: A "See" Change

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I’ve been slowly reading the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska; a little each week during my time in Adoration. I read a few pages and then stop to meditate on what she and Christ are communicating to me. You see, it is a story of Saint Faustina’s visions of the Lord, who instructed her on His mercy. It’s packed with a lot of great information; digestible in small bits. At this point, maybe I’ll finish the book by the end of this year! I started this book prior to the end of the Year of Mercy, because I wanted to learn more about Christ’s mercy. My Lenten mission is one of seeking mercy from Christ. Oh, am I learning a lot about His mercy!

Seeking Mercy: A “See” Change
This Lenten season has been fruitful in that I see a change occurring within me because of reading this book. I find myself seeking mercy a lot more than I had ever done in the past, and not just for myself. I find myself saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for our country, my family and friends. And, to be honest, I m…

Sin, Awareness, Repentance

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Today's reading from the Gospels, Matthew 3:1-12, doesn't seem particularly Christmassy. Not in the 'presents wrapped under the tree' sense.
"12 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea. "(and) saying, 'Repent, 3 for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!' ...

"...When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees 7 coming to his baptism, he said to them, 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
"Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance....."
(Matthew 3:1-2, 7-8) More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Celebrating Mercy

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Here we go again. The headlines are accurate, as far as they go.
"Pope Francis Extends Priests' Ability to Forgive Abortion"
Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times (November 21, 2016)"Pope Francis extends Catholic priests' right to forgive abortion"
Tim Hume, Cristiana Moisescu, Lindsay Isaac; CNN (November 21, 2016) I'm pretty sure we'll see a replay of last year's sound and fury over the Pope's 'changing stand on abortion,' expressed in a letter dated September 1, 2015.1

The reality was nowhere near as horrific or hopeful as many folks apparently thought....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Mercy of Christ Flows Like an Ocean, Grace Abounds

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If I have learned anything during this past year, it is that the mercy of Christ is limitless and flows like an ocean. Christ’s mercy abounds; filled with love and compassion. Now that this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy has come to a close, I also realize how accessible Christ’s mercy remains. Christ’s door to mercy never closes!

Jesus waits patiently for each of us to face up to our sins; to come back to Him, through the sacrament of Reconciliation. Therefore, it is in the confessional that Christ forgives us our sins and graces us with His mercy. Although, we enter feeling shamed, we exit feeling joyous!
As we approach the season of Advent, a time of repenting, preparation and joy... Read more...

Mercy: Still Practicing

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The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy ends today. Some Catholics celebrated the year's start in Rome. I didn't. Like most of us, I've been participating in my own way, where I live.

The biggest change in routine for me has been during Mass. We've been receiving the Eucharist under both forms: our Lord's body and blood.

If you think that's sounds gory and repulsive, you're not alone....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Year of Mercy Comes to a Close: Christ's Mercy Flows

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This coming Sunday, on the feast of Christ the King, Pope Francis will officially close the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. During this past year, what efforts did you undertake to learn more about Christ’s Mercy? Did you seek it for yourself and your loved ones over the past year? I would love to hear about your endeavors. Please share in the comments section. For me, it has been an extraordinary year learning more about the gift itself, as well as Christ’s expectation that we share it with our neighbor through our own willingness to grant it to others.

Over this past year, I devoted one post per month to describe, define and show practical ways of incorporating the various corporal and spiritual works. In case you joined this journey mid-stream, and might have missed a post or two, here’s a recap; with direct links to the associated posts.
Read more...

Praying for the Living and the Dead - Spiritual Work of Mercy

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Why is it so important to pray for others, especially the dead, given that they have already received their particular judgment at the time of their passing? Here’s the skinny on the answer, coming directly from Jesus:

“I say to you, if two or three of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father” (Matt 18:19). Prayer is a powerful tool, used to communicate with God. When we use our prayer time to pray for others, both the living and dead, we demonstrate... Read more...

All Souls Day; Time for Prayer and Celebration

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Today we celebrate All Souls Day. Yes, I said “celebrate.” This day is set aside for us to remember and celebrate God’s mercy. This day is meant for remembering all souls who have departed this life and now reside in Purgatory, where they are in the process of having their venial sins cleansed, as well as experience the temporal punishment for confessed mortal sins. As Catholics, we know that to see the face of God, we must first be purified by the fires of Purgatory, where we are cleansed of our sins; refined like fine gold – Only then may we enter the gates of Heaven and see the face of God.

Praying for all souls, on this dedicated day, can only help them. Need some proof that your prayers actually help those in Purgatory? Okay, here is an excerpt from... Read more...