The Pope’s visit to America confirms what I long knew—the media and the politicians don’t understand the meaning of religion, treating it as one more political viewpoint. It also confirmed what I long suspected but hoped was actually false—that a large portion of American Catholics view religion in the same sense as the media and politicians. The result of this mindset is that the average person praises or laments what the Pope says or does in light of his or her political convictions and not on the basis of the Christian faith.
St. Paul wrote about this way of thinking in his letter to the Philippians:
17 Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. 18 For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself. (Philippians 3:17-21)
We could all use some. So here is my little list to share with you. Perhaps you have additional ones to add to this list. If so, please share with the group:
Have reverence for God by worshiping Him
By reverence, I mean to hold God in awe, recognizing His omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all present) Being. Have respect for God, and all that He is, when worshipping Him. Be on time for church services. Dress modestly in church. Actively participate in church services (be fully present in mind and body). Revere the silence of… Read more…
The declining sun lit up her sweet-sad smile, the folds of her blue mantle glowed softly. Below, the stone-flagged nave was dappled with multi-coloured shadows. For over a thousand years her delicate, fragile eyes had looked benignly on the people who passed backward and forward through her Son’s cathedral.
Many of these had scurried across the shaded space ignoring her. Others, half-aware of her presence and of her beauty had snatched hasty glances at her. Occasionally one or two individuals had stopped as if transfixed and had drunk their fill of the gifts of light which flowed through her and into the hearts of each woman or man who would accept them.
There was no one upon whom she did not smile; the empty headed and the wise, the ambitious and the contented, children of the pharisees, heirs of the Apostles. If the smile did not benefit each equally the fault lay not with the giver but with the recipient. People who will not be smiled upon will walk in a gloom of their own making.
Over that same thousand years too she had gazed upon the altar at the Eastern end of the nave. There the life, death and resurrection of her beloved Son had daily been made present in the midst of a mostly indifferent world. A spiritual truth become visible, like herself, under the veil of material forms. She did not weep at the sight, her weeping was done. Now her eyes were forever fixed on Him and would be though altar, window and cathedral should pass away into destruction….click here to read more
Pious – What’s it all about?
Pious must mean somebody else, and not you or me, right? Hmm…No, I’m talking to you and to myself. We all have the capability of being pious, because we have each been gifted with piety at our Confirmations, when the Holy Spirit descended upon each of us and bestowed His seven gifts, of which Piety is one of them. You say, “all well and good, but what’s in it for me to be holy, a.k.a. pious? How is being pious any fun?” Let me share with you Pope Francis’ brief catechesis on piety, and… Read more…
With the Pope’s visit to the US, people—including Catholics—are scrutinizing his words to use them in order to justify their political positions. If the individual agrees with his words, he is a great Pope, while if they don’t, he is not. Unfortunately this mindset seeks to take the Pope’s words and cram them into a dualistic political mindset: “Either the Pope is conservative or liberal.”
On one hand, we get Nancy Pelosi’s reprehensible statement of “I actually agree with the pope on more issues than many Catholics who agree with him on one issue” where that “one issue” is abortion and St. John Paul II spoke of “Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death.” [John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae #18]—a pretty big disconnect. On the other hand, we get the accusation that the Pope is a liberal-leftist-marxist-who-should-stick-to-religion-and-not-get-into-politics (whew!) whenever he speaks on a topic they dislike.
How often do you think about it? Do you ever wonder what it is going to be like? Mansions in the sky? A feast to top all feasts? Whatever your concept of Heaven might be, there is something that you need to be working on right now if you ever want to see it: developing the virtue of Piety, in the here and now. Piety is both a gift from the Holy Spirit and a virtue. To be pious, or in other words, to possess piety, means that you are holy, or saintly, in your thoughts words and deeds.
Do you think of others’ needs and address them before your own? Do you speak well of others, and of God, or… Read more…
Bias serves no good purpose. To be biased means to have preconceived notions, or prejudices; in essence to pre-judge someone based upon their looks, words and/or actions. Therefore, bias is the opposite of disinterestedness. We are all guilty of some degree of bias. Sometimes, to remove bias from our lives, we need to step outside of our comfort zones, and open our minds and hearts to others.
How often do you avoid talking to someone that you don’t know well, just because of their looks, assuming that you have nothing in common? Ever hear the phrase, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover?’ Well, here’s a great example… Read more…
God remains watching over His Church even in the worst of times—which this time certainly is not. Yes individual bishops and even the bishops of entire regions have gone astray in the past, but those events have not changed the official teaching of the Church. Instead, those bishops have simply exceeded their authority and done wrong. We need to remember that whatever the failings of individuals in the magisterium, that has never led to teaching error by the magisterium.
So when we pray for the Church, let us do so with faith that God looks out for her and will not let her lead us astray. (See HERE for full article)
We tend to forget how young Mary actually was, perhaps thirteen or fourteen years old. Yes, she was a young unwed mother, the perfect, powerful intercessor for the vulnerable, the unborn.
She, more than any of us understands the mystery, the sanctity of life.
You mean that I can’t hold onto my ulterior motives? I can’t remain partisan? I can’t retain my prejudices? I can’t be self-righteous and pass judgment upon all those who cross my path? The answer is “no:” Plain and simple! When you do these things you stunt your own growth. In our humanity, we are all quick to judge others by how a person looks, speaks and acts. It is very difficult to stay objective and refrain from passing judgment. Yet that is exactly what we are all called to do.
When our actions are based on ulterior motives… Read more…