Cut it Out

Cut it Out

      I wish it were as easy as this–cutting out chocolate….or putting chocolate to death in my life. Cutting out what causes me to sin is a great deal more challenging, but here’s the clear choice offered by Jesus in the gospel today, some of His strongest words in Scripture:   Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.   And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into...

Michaelmas and Us

Michaelmas and Us

    Today, being the feast of the Archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, I think of those I often come in contact with, whether through teaching faith formation, RCIA or just having a conversation with a curious observer of the faith. This is one of the questions you often hear:   Who are the angels and what do they do?   There is a great curiosity about these awesome and powerful, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture calls angels. They are a truth of our faith (CCC 328) that unfortunately some in the New Age have made out out to be gods, rather than understand their real mission and purpose. Christ is the center of the angelic world (CCC 331). They are His angels, present since creation and throughout the history of salvation,...

Valley of Dry Bones

Valley of Dry Bones

    Sounds like the name of a rock group. Not to to worry; I’m not going there.   Actually, it’s a scene out of Ezekiel 37:1-14, the great Old Testament prophet who had the job of warning, exhorting and comforting the people of God exiled in Babylon. It was a thankless job to say the least. His contemporary was Jeremiah; yes, the one who was warning the citizens of Jerusalem of coming destruction. He didn’t have too many friends either. Scholars say Ezekiel was given this vision around 586 BC, after the destruction of Jerusalem when the Jewish people exiled in Babylon had become disheartened, depressed and utterly despaired of hope.   This is what I’ve learned over the years as a serious student of the Scriptures; God never leaves His...

Multitudes on Monday

Multitudes on Monday

Now brethren, we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other when we say,  Alleluia.   —St Augustine                   Linking with the lovely ladies from Suscipio   My Multitudes on Monday is late today, but the reason I’m late encompasses all my thanks for this entry:   :: I had a medical test this morning. One that, had they found what they were looking for, required a surgical procedure that would have severely set us back financially and called for a long recuperation.   :: As I lay on the table, needles and tubes scattered everywhere, The Blessed Mother and her rosary in one hand and Jesus’s hand in the other; I prayed through the pain and the fear– asking for mercy.   :: And mercy was...

When Mary Enters In

When Mary Enters In

  Inmaculada Concepción Francisco de Zurbarán 1630   Things change. How do I know this? From the witness of history, the testimonies of others and the teaching of the Church. In itself that should be enough, but it’s not. Why? Because we are humbly human and we need to know it… personally. At least I do. This past week I spoke to person after person who expressed their profound fear for the condition of our culture, the nation and the world. They spoke with a passion I never knew they had, a concern that seemed to consume their thoughts, as if it were an angst hidden beneath a protective shield that has suddenly been torn away. And it gave me pause. It made me think about how things are rapidly changing right before our eyes and how we can...

Korean Martyrs: Revisited

Korean Martyrs: Revisited

Korean Martyrs, Sts. Andrew, Paul and Companions     This is one of the greatest missionary stories of all time because the faith was planted not by foreign missionaires, but as the result of one layman. From the Roman Missal: From the very beginning these Christian suffered terrible persecutions that over the course of the 19th century gave the church many martyrs. Outstanding among these were the first Korean priest and devoted pastor Andrew Kim of Taegu, and the lay apostle, Paul Chong of Hasang.   Among the Korean martyrs who struggled valiantly for Christ were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were laity, men and women, married and single, young and old. ————-   The 103 Korean Martyrs were canonized in 1984 by Pope John Paul...

Can’t Win

Can’t Win

  The Child Jesus and John the Baptist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo 1600’s   To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?   They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.’     For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, ‘He has a demon.’   The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” —Luke 7:31-35 No matter what, some people will never be satisfied with whatever evidence of faith is...

Multitudes on Monday

Multitudes on Monday

Now brethren, we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other when we say,  Alleluia.   —St Augustine   Joining the ladies at Suscipio   Moments of Gratitude   :: the best tiramisu I’ve ever had {329} :: Father A’s direction in confession {330} :: a book my cousin’s wife gave me {331} :: it’s about the history of authentic Genovese ravioli, yes, it’s almost that time {332} :: a night out with my husband, just the two of us {333}     The Ordinary Can Become Extroidinary   Saturday night my husband, the x hair pastor, said; I have a project to work on tomorrow, I can’t play with you. Can you find something to do? In other words, stay out of his hair and don’t chatter...

How to Cope With Sorrow

How to Cope With Sorrow

  Today the church remembers the Seven Sorrows of Mary, who stood beneath the cross of Christ, her Son and Lord, teaching us not only how to suffer, but that none of our suffering will ever be wasted.   The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows dates back to the Middle Ages, but it gained new popularity following the Marian apparitions in Kibeho, which have been approved by the Catholic Church. During Mary’s apparitions to Marie-Claire Mukangango, she assigned the young visionary a mission to reintroduce this special rosary to the world. Before her untimely death, Marie Claire did just that, traveling widely to teach it to thousands of people, who then taught it to thousands of others. (Marie-Claire was killed in the genocide of over a million people in...

The Triumph of the Cross and My Leprosy

The Triumph of the Cross and My Leprosy

  The cross has set free all who were slaves of sin. It has redeemed all humanity. —St Cyril of Jeruselem   He bore my leprosy upon the cross, that instrument of torture, enduring the shame, tossed outside the camp like a criminal, alone except for His mother who stood beneath Him, a sword piercing her heart.   Had I been alive in those days, hearing of His healing power, I might have run to Jesus as the leper did, (Mark 1:40-45) begging;   If You will, You can make me clean.   I would have known…..I had leprosy, an incurable penchant for sin that penetrates soul deep, making me unfit for the presence of God, shouting to anyone who passed by — unclean!   Would He have healed me?  Would He, moved with pity, have...

Dominus Flevit

Dominus Flevit

  A view from the Dominus Flevit Church , translated, The Lord wept. It is here in the old city of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives where Jesus cried as He arrived and predicted the destruction of the Temple, which was destroyed in the year 70 AD (Luke 19, 37-42) I thought of this verse in morning prayer, for I think He still weeps for her today as many turn their back on Jerusalem.     Psalm 87:1-3 On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob, Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.   Psalm 122:6-7 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they prosper who love you! Peace be within you walls and security within your towers.   Galatians 4:26 The...