Friday, November 23, 2007

A Great Book

Hello again!

Dh and I were recently at the VV Boutique...also known as Value Village. It has not been in our community a long time, but we've already learned to scour the bookshelves.

On my last visit, I picked up, along with a copy of "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" and a book on understanding the St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, a copy of Matthew Lickona's "Swimming with Scapulars" (Loyola Press).

I liked the title, and I think I'd actually heard of it before.

It was definitely a book worth bringing home.

Matthew Lickona is a young man writing about his living out his Catholic faith in a country where society is not very encouraging to this process. Matthew would probably be referred to as "conservative" or maybe "orthodox" in his beliefs.

I found the book honest, humourous, somewhat educational, and quite accurate as he describes various aspects of his life and faith. Although he is ten years younger than I am, I could relate to much of what he writes.

I recommend it.

God Bless

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Life, and all that

Here I am, too pooped today to attend Mass for All Saints Day. I think the fatigue is mental to a large degree.

I had my long awaited appointment with the reumatologist yesterday. I wasn't going to get too excited. A friend of mine who lives near a much larger centre than I do waited three months only to be disappointed severely.

I can't say I was disappointed. Non-plussed might do. That's the old non-plussed, meaning puzzled or confused or something like that.

He seemed like a thorough, serious man. The examination might have been a bit gentler, but I was pleased that he was willing to share his resources.

My bonescan was on whatever computer program they have at the hospital. The scan had not been analyzed, and this doctor was not capable of doing that, but we looked at the pictures.

He later suggested a prescription medication but his palm pilot program had no information on fetal risks. I am not pregnant, but he wanted to ensure that would not change.

I told him that if he was requiring me to consent to some form of artificial birth control, he was wasting his breath.

He stated that he was not Catholic, but he was Christian...

Half an hour later, through a poorly disguised anti-Catholic rant, I had been told that the Church teachings on birth control were completely non-scriptural. Did I want to follow a Church, or did I want to follow the Bible? He did not buy my suggestion that the two are not mutually exclusive. He went on about poor babies in the Philippines, Mary (The Blessed Virgin, and our over-blown teachings on her), righteousness (which is apparently incompatible with following rules), and his niece who converted to Catholicism and treats her mother, his sister, badly. Sigh. All this for a medication that MIGHT have helped.

I did some research. Well, no. I contacted a friend who is a Pharm D and asked him. Turns out, this same med has been given to pregnant women with Lupus. They had no higher a rate of fetal abnormality than average, although they were a small group.

My "terrier brain", as a good friend calls it, kicked in and I've been tearing this event to pieces all day.

The doctor tells me he was a pastor for 14 years. He also told me he could not see the difference between using fertility awareness to avoid pregnancy, and using contraception.

Several puzzling things have come to mind. I am fairly certain that if I asked this man if God was the creator of life, he would say yes. I am also certain that he would agree that God knows what is best for humanity.

Why then, can he not see that using birth control is deny God our permission to use His knowledge? We are telling God that we are willing to actively deny Him the opportunity to create a soul, but we are not willing to forgo the pleasure of the unitive act. Fertility awareness is simply choosing not to have sex at a given time. Christopher West says that Birth Control is to Natural Family Planning what "therapeutic" abortion is to a miscarriage.

As far as the doctor's understanding (or lack thereof) of the difference, I'm reminded of a speech by Peter Kreeft in which he asks if we would destroy a building we find, simply because we are not aware of its purpose. Would it not be better to find out before destroying it?

Are the souls of those babies in the Philippines less deserving of existence because they are poor? Is their existence the cause of the poverty?

As for my dilemma...well, there is no dilemma. Catholicism does not consider itself bound by the parameters of the Bible. We worship God, not the Bible. Besides, no where in the Bible does it say we must use only the Bible as our rule of faith. So the Catholic teaching on birth control does not, by that measure, qualify as "manmade" as the good doctor stated. God gave us his Church as the pillar and bulwark of faith.

No doctor. I will not deny my faith in order to increase my comfort. Life is short. Humanity is long.

God Bless

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Agey People

Good Afternoon

As I look at another season of assisting people to enter the Catholic Church, I begin to ponder many things.

One thing that will always come up is New Age teaching. Usually, the vehicles for starting such a discussion are the exclusivity of the Christian message, and Angels.

Once upon a time, I was falling quickly under spell of 'New Age' beliefs. Astrology, Eastern Religion, Tarot cards...

Of course, none of this is new at all. In fact Hinduism, one of the oft sited Eastern religions, may well be, with Judaism being the other contender, the oldest religion in the world. From Hinduism springs some meditation techniques and yoga. Astrology has been around for a very, very long time. Tarot Cards have been around for a fair while, gaining popularity, along with seances and channelling, in the Spiritist Movement of the early 20th century.

So what does all this mean for the Catholic Christian? Well, both Old Testament scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) speak against trying to predict future events. That is for God alone to know.

As I've grown in my own faith, I've wondered more and more why people find this attractive. We know that Christ died to give us the way to Heaven. If we continue along the path He paved for us, we can be reasonably sure of what the afterlife holds for us: Perfect happiness for eternity, gazing on the face of God.

If we desire some sort of contact with those who have died before us, we can call upon the Saints, and ask them to pray for us. Barring that, we know that we can ask them all the questions we want when we meet them in heaven.

Meditation and Contemplation are certainly well known in Catholic circles. A big difference between Christian meditation and other forms is that Christians should focus outside themselves...on Jesus, not inside themselves. We are to emulate Christ. We do not wish to become one with the Universe, but one with Christ.

As far as I've been able to discover, there is no uniquely Christian form of physical exercise. Many will use their exercise time as a time to pray the rosary, or the Jesus prayer. Catholicism certainly has no problem using prayer to sanctify something that is not intrinsically holy!

One thing about Christianity is that it can sanctify our daily existence. It does not need special formula. God created the world, and He saw that it was good. Why should we think otherwise?

God created humanity in His image and likeness. It does not get much better than that! Adam messed things up by being disobedient, but we know that we are to seek the perfection that Adam lost for us. The process of seeking God's perfection sanctifies us.

I think that while Adam was probably not familiar with the New Age movement, he used his God-given free will to become one of its first adherents, along with Eve. His pride and the serpent's temptation got him wanting to be like have his eyes opened.

Is this so different than meditation to find enlightenment as we seek to become one with the universe or to know the future using cards or astrology? It's gnosticism; wanting to have inside knowledge of things that should not be ours.

There is nothing good to be found in any other religions, philosophies or any other modes of thought which is not present more fully in Christianity. This is shown best in the Church Jesus founded...the Catholic Church!

God Bless

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Doom and Gloom

For some reason, of late I've been thinking a lot about the over kill of the media with regards to what they judge to be pending disasters.

Throughout my life, I have heard many. I suspect they will ring bells with many.

Remember the "Swine Flu" epidemic? I'm pretty sure I remember being told it would be as bad as the Spanish Flu pandemic of the 1918-1919. The Spanish Flu killed millions of people throughout the world.

Do you know anyone who even caught Swine Flu?

When AIDS was first detected, we were told it would be pandemic. It isn't. It does create many casualties in certain areas, but this does not match the dire warnings of the early years.

There's also Asian Flu, and Avian Flu, SARS, Purple Loosestrife...

While driving this summer, I noticed the loosestrife. It's rather pretty. But I was also seeing lots of tansy, mullein, bulrushes and other wild plants. It's been 12 years since we were warned that Purple Loosetrife would take over our wetland.

The list goes on. Global warming is the one that gets me now. Early predictions should have had us all resorting to air conditioning by now. Hasn't happened. More and more is being said by scientists who do not hold to the "party line" we've been fed. The brainwashing our kids have received at school is sickening. While in grade seven, one of my children was told, along with other blue eyed children, that she would contract skin cancer. Not may contract. Another child of ours was shown, at school by a substitute teacher, Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth". Those on the other side of the issue (and there is another side!) do not get the air time. What fear mongering!

I think the real inconvenient truth is the fact that some predictions have proven accurate, and yet have been ignored. They have not come from a politically correct source.

Early in the 20th Century, GK Chesterton, notable convert to Catholicism predicted that we would see attacks on morality.

Pope Pius XI wrote an encyclical in 1937 called "Mit Brennender Sorge" (With Burning Sorrow). In a world where, even more than today, documents from Rome were nearly always in Latin, the fact that this one was in German indicates the urgency of the topic. The document was written in an attempt to warn the German people of the dangers of the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. We all know what happened after that!

Pope Paul VI wrote an encyclical called "Humanae Vitae" in 1968. This much scoffed at document reiterated the teaching of the Catholic Church with regards to human life and its creation. He reminded the world that there were dangers inherent in the adoption of artificial birth control. He warned that widespread use would lead to a culture where life was not highly valued, where women would be more likely to be disrespected and promiscuity would arise.

Well? Now, one night stands are not unusual at all. The news is just starting to surface that women in particular are not benefitting from "friends with benefits"-type arrangements. That women who are celibate can feel very good about themselves is just counterintuitive in this society. And men who are celibate? Utterly preposterous that they can be normal individuals! That couples who do not contracept do not necessarily have a dozen kids, is not believed. Sadly, what seems to be harder to believe is that couples who DO have a dozen kids wanted, or even planned, every single one of them!

And this does not even touch on the abortion issue.

The Catholic Church, and even notable members thereof foresaw all of this. And more. Popes have foreseen the errors of modern life. Pope Benedict recently reminded us to be good stewards of the gifts God has given us. Funny, this is far from being a new teaching for the Church.

Who needs ecologists?

God Bless

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Where did the Summer go?

Well, here we are. It's September already and evenings are becoming cool. Apples and tomatoes are ripening, and we are discovering that our attempt at growing carrots in our new garden was a failure. Such is soil in this area.

It's been an eventful Summer. Dh, the kids, and I went West for the first time in twelve years. It was nice to see friends and family after so long, but it was really nice to be home.

The Holy Father finally released the long awaited (by some of us, anyway) motu proprio freeing up priests to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass. This would be known by many as the Tridentine Mass. This came into effect on the fourteenth of September. It will be very interesting to see what happens. Already, a good friend of mine has arranged to be trained in the "old" style Mass. I expect he is not alone.

It will be VERY interesting to see what new priests bring from the seminaries.

I was able to read some good books this season, too. In July, I read a novel called "The Kiterunner". It is a novel about two young boys growing up in war-torn Afghanistan. It was heart-wrenching in spots, but a very interesting read.

A real surprise was a book called "A Song for Nagasaki" by Father Paul Glynn. This book is the true story of Takashi Nagai, a man who came to Catholicism from Shintoism through atheism. The book ties together Catholic history, Japanese history and culture, and a touching (can you imagine?) account of the bombing of Nagasaki. It is a pity this book is out of print. I will be spending some time finding a copy for us, as dad made it clear he wanted his copy back!

I was given a copy of a book called "Plain Reasons Against Joining the Church of Rome" by a man named Littledale. It was published in the 1880s and did not escape the notice of John Henry Cardinal Newman, who accused the book of falsehood.

Alas, attacks against the Church have not changed much. So many of the arguments in this book are still lobbed in our direction. They show ignorance of our doctrine, misunderstanding, sometimes I'm sure, malice. Some are not untrue, but show that the Catholic Church is being held to a different standard than the denominations.

I have to admit it was a bit breathtaking to read a paragraph on priests and Bishops who have committed some impropriety being moved around, rather than being dealt with. Sadly, this has been said far more recently. Fortunately, it now seems that we have finally learned our lesson and face up to the problems rather than masking them.

Now it is time for us to think about our callings for the coming year. Music, catechetics, organization...the choices are many. And as has become usual the past couple of years, the labourers are few. As usual there is a balancing act. Family commitments should have priority, or course. Ministry is also a way of sharing ones gifts with others. It allows for the development of a particular spirituality characteristic of the ministry itself, or to the person called to that ministry.

An example of this would be the ministry of lector (or reader). Such a person is tasked with proclaiming scripture to the assembled congregation. Ideally such a person would be particularly called to develop their love and knowledge of scripture. A person in music ministry would logically see the prayer in the music they produce, as well as striving to deliver it in the best way that they are able.

It looks like Dh and I will be coordinating RCIA, which is the group which helps those who wish to join the Church. It has proven very exciting in the past, and this group looks every bit as interesting.

God Bless!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The One-Two Punch

Hi Folks

Well, this past week, the Vatican has given us what I promptly dubbed a one-two punch. (I know Fr. Eutenauer also used this, but I used it before I read his letter...honestly!).

First, last Saturday, the long-awaited motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum was issued by the Pope. The motu proprio is essentially a memo from the Pope's office. In this case we were informed that the Tridentine Latin Mass (TLM) as it is called by some, may be celebrated by any priest, with or without permission of the local Bishop.

This Mass is now to be referred to as the Extraordinary form of the Mass, with the New, or Novus Ordo, or Mass of Paul VI, being the Ordinary form.

While I am not on the front lines of liturgical comings and goings, I know how I, and many of my friends, felt about this announcement.

I was pleased, and I know many of my friends were, too, although a couple wondered what all the fuss was about!

Do I hanker for an extraordinary form of the Mass in my neighbourhood? It would probably surprise many of my friends to hear me say "not particularly". If a priest in this vicinity cares to celebrate such once in a while, I will likely come and see what it's like. If it becomes a regular weekday Mass, I would attend whenever possible.

I am too young to have any real experience with what I will call, for expediency, the TLM . I've been to one and it disappointed me. That said, I can find my way around the TLM reasonably well, due to my study of liturgical music and its historical forms. And I was fortunate enough to have taken two years of Latin in High School.

What I am hoping for is a greater exposure to Latin and to more classic forms of liturgical music. It is news to many that even we of the post-Vatican II, 'new Mass', era are supposed to (according to the SC, Sacrosanctum Concilium, a Vatican II document) be able to recite the prayers of the Mass in Latin. I can do a little. Most people I know can do less.

And don't get me started on liturgical music. THAT is for another day.

Another thing I hope for is that those who ache for the Mass they grew up with will once again have the comfort of the unchanging Church. And for the young folk who are willing to take the step of familiarizing themselves with the TLM, go for it! It was a sad thing that Vatican II was seen to create such a breach in Church history. The TLM leaves little room for liturgical abuse, as it has few, if any, options. THAT alone is a reason for many to hanker for it.

The fallacy that congregations of the TLM didn't know what was going on during Mass continues to be perpetrated by those against the use of Latin. First, missals with both Latin and the vernacular (local language) have been available for a long time. Secondly, many people in the time of the TLM were taught about liturgy in school! Thirdly, if we think exclusive use of the vernacular for the celebration of Mass has automatically boosted people's understanding of what is happening during Mass, we would be mistaken. I've been in catechetics too long to believe Latin was the only obstacle for understanding Mass. And finally, is understanding Mass a requirement for anything? There are many aspects to our faith the are and will remain a mystery, regardless of the language of presentation.

The other 'punch' was delivered a few days later from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF). Pope Benedict, as Cardinal Ratzinger, was head of this congregation before his election to Pope.

We Catholics have been told, on no uncertain terms, what our relationship with Protestants is. We have been told that their denominations are "defective". Ouch! That is a harsh word. But really, we have been told repeatedly in encyclicals, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in other places and times that the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Christ, and the only Church that contains the fullness of Truth. Perhaps the strong language was used because all the kinder, gentler more politically correct words had been used up...and we weren't getting the message being extended.

Does this change the drive for Ecumenism? Not at all. It just reminds us of what we should have known all along. In the "ecumania", as an email friend of mine labelled it, started after Vatican II, most have lost sight of the goal, which is leading all to the complete Truth. What we had instead was a seeking of the lowest common denominator. Sure, we all know Jesus is Lord, and the God Loves Us. Most of us can recite the Lord's Prayer together. Some of us can recite the Liturgy of the Hours together. A very few of us can pray the Rosary together.

Many believe that 'real' ecumenism (and I believed this myself at one time) included ALL faiths, even those outside the umbrella of Christianity.

At the same time as all are gushing about ecumenism, many denominations (and by this I mean only Reformation churches and other Protestant groups. Catholicism is not a denomination) are gleefully scooping poorly formed Catholics into their folds, to feed on their ignorance and grow fat on their need to feel good.

There are many poorly formed Catholics. Changing Mass to vernacular languages didn't help that at all. Since Vatican II, few Catholics have been well formed in the basic tenets and requirements of the Faith. This has made us sitting ducks for congregations and denominations that make us feel good, and tell us what we want to hear. This happens within both Catholic and Protestant circles.

My personal feeling is that there is a very cozy place in Hell for Catholic teachers, be they priests, catechists, liturgists, parents or anyone else, who deliberately misrepresents Catholicism to make something relevant or to simply make someone feel good. How is endangering someone's immortal soul by lying to them a loving thing to do? Short term comfort could lead to long term, nay eternal, agony.

So, is pretending that ecumenism extends no farther than shared bowling matches and potlucks and singing Kumbaya a loving thing to do? Is telling members of the denominations that as long as they love Jesus and are good people they'll go to heaven, love? I do not see how it could be. We could be hanging a millstone around our own necks while we manage to tickle each others' ears with words of comfort alone, when what is needed is words of Truth.

I will add a word about our Jewish brethren. There has been a fear that increased use of the 'old' Mass, with its prayer for the conversion of the Jews will set back Jewish/Christian relations. Much of what I've said about applies to this situation as well.

A few years back, a group of American Bishops issued a document stating that the conversion of the Jews is not necessary for their salvation. This group rejected any further efforts on behalf of Christians to work toward this conversion.

This document was criticized from some high places. It is not considered representative of Church teaching.

So why are Jews surprised that prayers for their conversion should re-appear in the Mass?

It will be interesting to see the result of these two documents. There are already Catholics apologizing for the Church. They'd be the poorly formed ones who thought that the Church ever said anything different than what has been strongly stated this week.

I pray that wisdom and charity and God's will prevail.

God Bless

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reply to Coren/Blizzard Debate

Happy Pentecost

Recently, my attention was brought to a debate in the Ottawa Sun between Christina Blizzard and Michael Coren, both columnists with the Sun. Christina is Anglican and Michael, Roman Catholic.

The debate was over the treatment of "gay unions" by the Catholic Church and by the Anglican denomination. The debate itself I have not figured out how to import to this blog, but I would like to share my husband's response to the article. Thus:

Interesting debate... only so much as it epitomizes the complete lack of clarity within the Anglican position.

As M Coren says, the Anglican Church is a church that is in complete decline. God tends to excuse himself from institutions that become completely "man-centric" - and without God, religions tend towards despondancy and irrelevance.

And that tends to illuminate precisely the problem with this debate on a global scale. The Catholic Church (others as well, but really the Catholic Church's position is the most clear) continuously precepts this debate from the perspective of a sovereign God, and illuminates the debate with its understanding of God's dominion over all of creation (man proposes - God disposes). The Anglican Church presents the argument from a man centric position... Man being, unfortunately, the only thing it believes in any more.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just forget about the Word of God and just reinvent ourselves in our own image? Pretend that God does not exist and recreate the world as we see fit. But, and I say this as someone who has known and quite liked several gay people, we are not God. God does exist and God does, in fact, consider homosexuality a sin. God will not tolerate sin to be condoned and the Church as God's witness to the world must therefore not condone it.

And so they rejoinder with those very tired attacks on the "Church"... "blah blah blah, pedophile priests..blah blah blah". M. Coren's response was very precise here as well. As an institution (a corporate entity) the Church did not respond very well to individual cases. But as he said, neither did any of the other institutions of man when confronted with the same problem (school boards were just as bad at simply reassigning the "problem").

To be fair, maybe one should have expected better from churches but we weren't. So what!?! That a thousand sins might be committed or one sin committed a thousand times does not make the sin any less a sin. In fact, the fact that even priests can succumb to sin only emphasizes why the Church must stand so firmly in its resolve to "admonish the sinner" with love but "flee from sin" itself.

Anglicans (and others in this frame of mind) love to quote Jesus from John 15:17. They forget, however, that this is the culmination of a discourse that starts back in John 13:34 where Jesus clarifies the statement "a new commandment that I give you, that you love one another, EVEN AS I HAVE LOVED YOU...". So how did Jesus love them? Did he "just accept them as they were"? Did he leave them where he found them? Jesus Christ, the very Word of God himself... let people continue in their sin because he loved them? No!! His words to the prostitute in the temple resound down through the centuries... "neither do I condemn you (exclude you, hate you etc.), GO AND SIN NO MORE". Why "go and sin no more"? Because in our sin we condemn ourselves!!! The message of love in its proper context is "stop doing that which condemns you to an eternity separated from God". And that is the love that Jesus commanded his followers to pursue. And it is that love that the Church (the one, holy and apostolic Church) voices even today.

Faith liberates reason from its blind spots - Pope Benedict XVI

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Great Books

Happy Easter!

This Easter, I am re-reading a favourite book. It's called "Father Elijah", and it's written by Michael D. O'brien.

This book is unique in my library in that I've read it several times. I cannot think of another book I have read as I've read this one! I think this reading is the fifth for me.

Fr. Elijah is a large book. It is subtitled "An Apocalypse". It is the artist's vision of the end of the world.

Having read this book as often as I have, I'm quite familiar with the plot. This is allowing me to pick up deeper meanings, I think.

It has struck me a bit funny that there are things I'm noticing now that did not have the same impact before. When O'brien talks about Jakov "the giant" I can form a much better picture now that I've been to the Balkans and have seen what men in the area tend to look like.

Reading the description, early on in the book, of the prior of Elijah's monastery, I think he's somehow talking about Pope Benedict!

Mr. O'brien is a very descriptive writer. Mental images abound. I have been told by those who have been there, that his descriptions of the Vatican are those of one who has experienced it and observed keenly.

This is a book entirely influenced by Roman Catholicism. The view of the end times, the importance of prayer and religious events to the plot, as well as the majority of characters being can't help but learn something about the Church and its functioning.

It is a hopeful book. We see tribulation but we also see the strength of those who believe in a life beyond it all.

It is highly recommended!

God Bless

Wednesday, April 04, 2007



Here we are, nearly at the end of Lent and I'm just getting to writing something on it. Definitely a missed opportunity.

We have moved during this Lent. Not too far, but after so long in our last place it was quite a process.

Catholics like to talk about giving something up for Lent. I'll bet we beat you all. We gave up a ton of stuff! Literally...a dumpster full of collected junk, which weighed in at very near one metric tonne. Wow.

And as we settle into our new, smaller, place, we are still finding things that could have been tossed. Mind you, there really was no more room in that dumpster!

Over the years, I've noticed that Lent has gotten more challenging as I became more serious about and involved in my Faith. As Lent arrives, I have frequently wondered what earth-shattering occurrence or revelation would show up. One year it was a sudden call to end my association with a particular ministry in which I'd been deeply involved. Another year, a distant memory surfaced and demanded my attention.

This year? Simply the uprooting of nearly a decade of 'stuff'...some boxes hadn't even been unpacked from when we moved in! It is, in a way, a time to examine our lives now. Do we still need this ___ (fill in the blank with book, appliance, blanket, piece of furniture...). We decided that a tonne of stuff we'd collected was not worth moving on.

So we're travelling a bit lighter these days. Lent is good for that. Whether we are uprooting bad habits, old sins, new sins, or just examining our lives, we can all come out of Lent a bit lighter and with less to interfere with our spiritual journey.


As we were unpacking in our new residence, I found a book loaned to me by a friend who is currently working away from home.

The book is by Catherine Doherty and is called "The Season of Mercy". It is the author's reflections on Lent and Easter as given in many talks she had delivered to residents of Madonna House over the years.

What a blessing this book has been! Yesterday, her treating of the word 'compassion' really impacted on me.

My kids don't like it when I break down words and translate the parts in order to define them. In truth, the word compassion had never really given me a reason to do that...until last night.

The prefix 'com' means "with". Passion means...well...passion. In this case it is not passion in the sense of wild emotion, but passion in the sense of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus.

When we have compassion on someone, we are sharing their suffering. I'd never thought of that before. What really brought this home was that I'd just had a chat with a priest a couple of days earlier in which I'd asked how to deal with some painful recollections I was having about an event (which didn't directly effect me at all) from several years ago. His advice was very good, but I think it was topped off very well by my re-thinking of the word compassion. I think perhaps I have been sharing someone's suffering.

Mar, thanks for leaving your books with me!

Blessed Triduum to you all!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Matter of Time

Hi Again

Wow. It's been a while. Things have been busy to be sure.

Lent is nearly done and I haven't even mentioned it! And I won't today, either.

Recently, I picked up a book belonging to one of my girls. It was a story of a young girl who discovered a way to travel back in time, in this case to the time of her mother's adolescence.

It was a nice little book to read. And I realized that I have read books with this theme several times as I grew up.

What is our fascination with time travel? I remember reading War of the Worlds by HG Wells many years ago and my strong interest in it.

More recently, I discovered a time travel of sorts. It was in the process of listening to a talk during RCIA given by our priest at the time. I was also an instructor, but this time I was definitely among the instructed!

I believe I've mentioned in a previous blog entry kairos and chronos time.

In our society, as well as European society, we live with chronos time. Time goes in a line and when it passes, it will not come by again. Kairos time is the time that God lives. Everything is there, past, present and future, all at once.

When we celebrate Mass, we are brushing up with kairos time. We are present in the death of Christ on the cross and at His resurrection. This is not a play. We have the real thing, right now and until the time when Christ returns to us in glory.

The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being celebrated in the world somewhere at virtually every moment of every day. And yet it's all the same Mass. It's been going on now for about 2000 years, since it was instituted by Christ Himself just before He was crucified.

So, how 'bout some REAL time travel?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Everyday Miracles

Happy New Year!

As the new year gets under way, I have been thinking deep thoughts...well, maybe not so deep. As I review last year, I see that problems which seemed insoluble were not.

I believe prayer had an awful lot to do with getting these problems under control. Thing is, I knew that prayer would do this, even though I had no idea how this would come about. I expected miracles, and I got them.

God is good. He can do whatever He wants, but I know that because He is Love, He will always do what is best for us.

Some people, even some Christians, do not believe in miracles. As a group, Catholics do believe that miracles can still happen.

I realize that Catholics expect miracles. So many of us talk about miracles like they were regular occurrences.

I was talking to a friend some time ago. She was talking about a trip she took with her family to a pilgrimmage site. She said they enjoyed the trip, their rosaries turned gold, they had a picnic...yes. She said in the middle of another sentence that their rosaries turned gold. Yawn. Just another day.

I've already written about the Catholic approach to family planning. Believe it or not, I think this has to do with miracles.

We hear about the miracle of life, but do we think about what we're saying when we say this?

"Yah, sure. Life is a miracle...but I only want one or two miracles." Does anyone actually make that decision?

Children are everyday miracles. They are a part of life as is every person we come in contact with. Does not scripture tell us that we are made in the image and likeness of God? That goes for all of us. Yet the psalmist asks "When shall I see you (God) face to face?"

Think about this. When we see our children and each other, we are seeing God face to face!

So why are people so very reluctant to allow God to plan their families? This doesn't mean that we'll all have fourteen children. I know of a couple very willing to allow God to plan their family...and the plan for them seems to be one child. I know other families that have welcomed ten or more images of God.

What a privilege it is to be able to be a co-creator with God and to have the opportunity to see Him face to face.

What miracles we live with.