Who can be His disciple?

Who can be His disciple?

  Can you imagine being among those in the crowd following Jesus only to hear Him turn and address them saying: If anyone comes to me, without hating his father and mother, wife, and children, brothers and sisters, yes and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. After recovering from the shock of His words, I might slowly have slid to the back of the crowd and wondered if– perhaps–I needed to take a second look at this ‘prophet’ I was following. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Lord, I am carrying it because You say I have to…but, if it means that to be a saint like Mother Theresa, who said we should “accept suffering with a smile because it’s the greatest gift that...

‘They are warning us’

‘They are warning us’

I think they are. The question is: are Catholics and Christians everywhere listening?   From Catholic Vote     Dear Frances,   One of the most arresting lines in the Gospel is the shout of the crowd before Pontius Pilate:   “Crucify him!”   An echo of that chilling moment happened this week at the Democratic convention.   Ilyse Hogue, president of the radical pro-abortion group NARAL, told the convention: “I made the decision that was best for me: to have an abortion…”   And the Democratic delegates roared with approval.     Gone are the days when Democratic candidates spoke softly about the “A” word. Not long ago, their platform aimed to make abortion ‘safe, legal, and rare.’ Today, their radical agenda has been...

Tender mercies, not terror

In light of the tragic scenes of trauma everywhere in the world, I just want to write something, anything to help make people feel better instead of analyze the unfolding calamities. It’s revealing to talk with people now days who’ve not had much experience with trauma, who suddenly find themselves embroiled in unimaginable daily news events which are deeply affecting their hearts and minds. If one has an ear to hear, the fear is becoming an unmistakable stronghold for many. How do I know this? I have two very old friends: fear and trauma. Yes, they have become my friends, but that’s a story for another day. Trauma is difficult trial/cross..It can send your emotions into shock, freeze your affections, make your thoughts not sync well, have you...

God doesn’t send us into ‘reverse arks’

It’s as close to my heart as if it were yesterday; a warm summer Atlanta day, an overcast sky, a forecast for rain, yet no threats of any tornado’s on the horizon for which our area was prone, though as a young mother, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t praying  a ‘scar’t prayer’… or two. We didn’t have a basement in that precious house; just an underground kind of…. ark in reverse.  Under the house and adjacent to the deck was a large crawl space accessible only through a wooden latch door. It did have concrete walls, but the ground was left unfinished and always became muddy after a soaking rain. Why the builder chose not to finish it I’ll never know. It was as if he forgot to complete a portion of...

Not, no – just like the devil- but, yes and Amen

Bad mothering..Every mother’s nightmare whether Christian or not. In the latest Church Militant Vortex, we learn of a mother who, writing in a public newspaper column, celebrates her son’s leaving the faith. Normally, I back off mom’s decisions they make with their children keeping my opinions to myself, especially since through my 15 years of homeschooling everyone and their Aunt Tillie as they say, had one. For many years, I thought I owed everyone an explanation for God’s calling on my family and everyone who tried to hide their disapproval behind a twisted expression; but they only gave me great grief. However, I will admit there is a point to be made here on how the faith is being destroyed generationally, owing to the poor catechesis...

Christ’s way is for the strong

Stole this quote from a comment over at Church Militant :   “We’re so worried about our image. We’re so concerned about human respect that we smother the Spirit. We don’t want to be considered fanatics, or too pious.     But the pious might not necessarily make it, because the pious are so often scandalized by the ridiculous. Christ’s way is for the strong, the gutsy.     In Our Lord’s time there were an enormous amount of good people but they did not accept Him because He was not comfortable! He did not easily fit into their way of life.     Jesus is giving you such an opportunity to be holy, holier than all the saints that have ever been, because the world is in such need of shining lives,...

Inkblots and missing puzzle pieces

Inkblots and missing puzzle pieces

So, how’s it going? There’s a loaded question. When someone asks that I review my options. Let’s see– do I say fine and be done with it? No, they know enough about things to know they’re not fine. Do I say what I say to some friends who sort of know me but I’m not sure need any more information than they already have? Something like, Oh, I pick up my cross daily and pray I can surrender to His will. That’s the cover answer for “I actually feel that life, especially in the church, looks like an inkblot on some psych doctor’s card that should be a pretty floral arrangement or something, but to me resembles a splattered mess.” Nope..can’t say that. I could say what I would say to my sister, who knows...

From desert to orchard to forest

How thankful I am for the Easter season which calls our attention to the hidden work of the Holy Spirit, the breath of life which comes upon us in wind and fire. What is born of the Spirit is spirit. ( John 3:7-8) Jesus says to Nicodemus, we must be born from above. The wind of the Spirit blows where it wills. You can hear the sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it’s going:   After Baptism, the Spirit leads the believer wherever he chooses, (like the wind blowing).   Nicodemus is confused because these Christian truths go far beyond the Jewish faith.   The early Church easily understands them and gladly explains them to the world.  Jesus’ heavenly role as Son of Man goes beyond Baptism and the Spirit’s indwelling.  ...

A toleration that is treachery

A toleration that is treachery

  As we journey into Holy Week, knowing our Savior loved His Church and gave Himself up for her, here is a fitting quote we may well consider:   There is a toleration which is treachery; there is a peace which issues paralysis. There are hours when the Church must say no to those who ask communion with her and in the doing of her work on the basis of compromise.    Such standing aloof may produce ostracism and persecution, but it will maintain power and influence.   If the churches of God in the cities today were aloof from the maxims of the age, separated from the materialistic philosophies of the schools, bearing witness alone to the all sufficiency of Christ and the perfection of His salvation, even though persecuted ostracized and bruised,...

A mother’s kind of broken

A mother’s kind of broken

  Recently, I had a close encounter with a woman in the narthex of my parish. After Mass some stayed as always to pray, say the rosary and light candles in the chapel while making silent appeals to the Holy family. It was all very usual until the silence was broken by muffled cries. There in the back row, was a woman not much younger than I whom one might have mistaken for Hannah since, “in her deep anguish this woman  prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. ” 1 Samuel 1:10 People turned to look at her, then looked at one another with an unspoken question in their eyes: Should we do something? But, before anyone could make a move she stood up to leave. I would have sat with the rest and continued praying except for a strong prompt in my spirit...

Confidence in prayer

Confidence in prayer

  What about confidence in prayer? Coming into the Lenten season and processing through some personally challenging times, it was a question I had, finding wisdom from my reading in Cassian’s Conferences, the book mentioned in Chapter 73 of the Rule of St Benedict. First, St Benedict mentions that if you are hastening on to the perfection of monastic life then; What page, what passage of the Old and New Testament is not the truest guides for human life? But also, he says, what book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator,   Whereby he mentions the Conferences and Institutes. You can access several formats of this work here, as well as a good introduction to this mystic, theologian and...