Did you notice something different at your church today? Did you remember to veil your crosses at home? Today is Passion Sunday (the 5th Sunday of Lent) and the beginning of Passiontide. It is said that:
“Crosses and statues are veiled now and will remained veiled for two full weeks. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes this custom as follows: “Before Vespers of Saturday preceding Passion Sunday (i.e. the 5th Sunday of Lent) the crosses, statues, and pictures of our Lord and of the saints on the altar and throughout the church, with the sole exception of the crosses and pictures of the Way of the Cross, are to be covered with a violet veil, not translucent, nor in any way ornamented. The crosses remain covered until the solemn denudation of the principal crucifix on Good Friday. The statues and pictures remain their covering, no matter what feast may occur, until the Gloria in Excelsis of Holy Saturday”.
Modern Christianity seems to have many problems that boil down to one fact—that we have convinced ourselves we don’t personally need to change. Others may need to change—if their behaviors go against what we dislike—but not us and not those who think like we do. All we have to do is convince ourselves that we’re not as bad as those people who we deem worse than us and convince ourselves that because God loves us He won’t send us to Hell, and we can just rest comfortably with no need to change ourselves. Anybody who says we must change, or that there are things that are always wrong, are obviously judgmental bigots who can be safely ignored. Any Scriptures that tell us that God condemns the things we do as evil are labeled the products of an “unenlightened time” and can also be safely ignored.
The problem with this view is it has nothing to do with what God the Father has taught, and nothing to do what His Son has taught. What has been taught is the call to repent and turn back to God. We are called to take up our cross and follow Him. We are told to obey His commandments. We are not told that we can go back to behaving like we did before we were called.
I’m a tremendous fan of Stephanie Mann’s. I have my own copy of Supremacy and Survival, her book about the English Reformation and the English Catholic martyrs.
Stephanie reviewed my novel The Tapestry, and here is just a snippet:
“Throughout this trilogy, Bilyeau provides excellent character studies of the historical figures from Henry VIII, so sad at the end, through the Princess Mary and of course Stephen Gardiner, the bishop of Winchester. She also demonstrates the effects the English Reformation was having on the common people, with whom Joanna lives in Dartford. They are experiencing–and will continue to experience–the changes in religion after the break from Rome…”
To read my blog post on the review, and the review itself, go here.
Is selfish behavior harming you? The answer is yes, of course. But, do you know why it harms you? Selfish behavior robs you of becoming your true self, the person that God wants you to be. When we listen only to ourselves and do only what we want, we close ourselves off to blessings and lessons of life. Father Romano Guardini explains it well in his book, Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God:
“As soon as the person fixes his eye upon himself, he fills the mental space, so to speak, in which a portion of life is to take place; he gets in the way of his own realization” (p. 154).
Imagine what it would be like to meet Jesus at your own personal judgment, and hear Him say…Read more…
17 Son of man, I have appointed you a sentinel for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, you shall warn them for me.
18 If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die—and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade the wicked from their evil conduct in order to save their lives—then they shall die for their sin, but I will hold you responsible for their blood. 19 If, however, you warn the wicked and they still do not turn from their wickedness and evil conduct, they shall die for their sin, but you shall save your life.
20 But if the just turn away from their right conduct and do evil when I place a stumbling block before them, then they shall die. Even if you warned them about their sin, they shall still die, and the just deeds that they performed will not be remembered on their behalf. I will, however, hold you responsible for their blood. 21 If, on the other hand, you warn the just to avoid sin, and they do not sin, they will surely live because of the warning, and you in turn shall save your own life. (Ezekiel 3:17-21)
The Catholic Church tends to be viewed by certain influential factions the West today as a group which is hostile to everything which is perceived as desirable. If you look on Facebook, or in the comboxes of news sites and blogs, the odds are that you’ll see somebody lambasting the Church as being motivated by hatred when she takes a stand on issues of morality.
I am so blessed to have grown up knowing the companionship of a dog. In our home, there was always a dog (or two) under foot. We’ve fostered dogs, took a free puppy that was being given away in front of the local department store, and brought home countless rescues, although back then they were “pound puppies.” No matter their name, they had a good home and were deeply, deeply loved. It could have been different though. When my father was very young, one afternoon he walked home from school. He saw a well-known neighborhood dog and went to pet it, only to have it bite his face. The dog bit right through his cheek and even took out a tooth. From that day on, my dad had two scars along his cheek. But he healed from the experience – both physically and mentally – because he never lost his love for those precious animals. Not even that traumatic attack kept him away from “man’s best friend.”
How many of the AWESOME talks were you able to watch last weekend from the 2015 Catholic Conference 4 Moms? I managed to only see about 6 of the 27 awesome talks…but my FAVORITE was “The Culprits that Steal a Mom’s Joy and How to Avoid them” by Stephanie Wood Weinart.
Many years ago when I used to run courses for school leavers, I used to begin by asking the boys and girls to tell me when they were last really happy. I remember one boy said that it was when he was fishing with his father, another when watching one of his favorite films, and yet another when he was playing football with his friends. One of the girls loved a day of retail therapy with her mother, another loved playing the piano, not for her exams, but for the sheer pleasure of it. Finally one girls said her happiest moments were spent on holiday with her boyfriend. Strangely enough it always used to take them a long time to see the common denominator – the reason why doing all these different things had given them all so much pleasure. For a greater or less period of time they had been so absorbed in something, or someone else, that they simply forgot about themselves. In the discussions that followed they usually came to the same conclusion, namely that, this happiness could be found and perpetuated more in loving someone else than in anything else. read on
I’m David Torkington, a Spiritual Theologian, Author and Speaker. I specialize in Prayer, Christian Spirituality and Mystical Theology. I write and speak predominantly about Prayer which I believe transforms us into Christ in this life, and enables us to share in something of the life and love that continually flows between Christ and his Father.
As I sit in my window seat, gazing at the newly fallen snow, its color so white, so pure, so beautiful. The way it covers the ground, the wires, the trees in simplicity creating a one of a kind masterpiece. It’s profoundly peaceful.Your Read More Link Text