Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Why Are You Terrified?"

Being in the path of Hurricane this weekend, we're taking precautions just in case the worst happens. Of course, we leave it in God's hand since on He has the power to affect the storm's outcome. All we can do is prepare as best we can and be vigilant. Of course, it is this way with all the "storms" in our lives. We can do everything in our earthly power to get through, but ultimately, God is in charge!
On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side. Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”. Mark 4:35-41
I'm sure Peter, Andrew, and James, as experienced fishermen, tried everything they could to get the boat to safety ahead of that storm. It was only when they realized that they were not in control and asked the Lord for help, that they were saved. Keep all us us in the path of the storm in your prayers ove the next few days. I expect to lose electricity and internet tomorrow, so I plan on taking advantage of the quite time to enjoy my family. Who knows, being "unplugged" may be a blessing in disguise. Stay safe and be blessed!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The "Big Deal."

Just in case you question what the big deal is about the "Birth Control Mandate," here is another perspective. Yes, this is real science. * *

Your Beliefs Are Fine As Long As You Agree With Us.

Everyone should be concerned about this, no matter what their beliefs. The government should not require anyone to provide something to which they are deeply morally opposed.
Resistance , however, is not futile!

Please take a minute to sign the petition and pass this on to others. St. Gianna, Pray for us!

Stop the Birth Control Mandate Petition

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Quick Whatever."

Add this to list of annoyances: People making a weak, halfhearted, couldn't care less Sign of the Cross that looks like they are merely shaking water off their hands. I came across the following article from Fr. Larry Rice, CSP at For Your Marriage  today and it reminded me of a conversation I had with my oldest daughter last night. Thank you to my wife, Sarah for the title of this post and my daughter Sonja for giving me the example.

Why Do Catholics Make The Sign of the Cross?

Now that I am 2 days from being the parent of a nine-year old girl, the eye-rolls and the "but Dad's" are getting a bit more common. Yesterday, I commented to Sonja about her Sign of the Cross after saying Grace and told her I thought it looked rushed, lie a "quick whatever.". Then, I politely asked her to redo it which of course she rolled her eyes. Well, I wasn't going to let her get away with it, so after she did it to my satisfaction (it took a few tries), I made it clear to her how I felt about this practice and how important a sign of faith it is to Catholics.

After a few "but Dad's," I think she got the point.

I always understood the Sign of the Cross to be a blessing, an outward sign of faith, a representation of the Trinity, and a beginning and ending for our prayers. However, something I have never considered, is how by the Sign of the Cross "we are united to Christ's passion, death and ressurection." 

St. Paul talks about in his Letter to the Romans:
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.    For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. (Rom. 6:4-5)

By making the Sign of the Cross, we are putting on Christ "We take the sign of His cross to our own bodies" (emphasis added) as Fr. Rice points out. We "recognize that all we are and all we do is connected to the mystery of the Trinity."  The sign of the cross is one of our basic acts as Catholics. It is both a simple but powerful sign, yet so many of us just rush through it to get it done. Maybe we don't think enough about the simple things...and don't roll your eyes at me.

Be blessed!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Is Anyone Paying Attenton?

Listening to the second reading yesterday, (Romans 11:33-36 ), reminded me of a post I wrote last August on understanding that God does things His Way  and in His Time.

Not My Will, But Yours Be Done, Part 2.

It also touched on the fear and apprehension we seem to have discussing our faith outside the walls of our parish and in the "real world" just as the Apostles were afraid to leave the upper room before Pentecost. In Sunday's Gospel (Mt 16:13-20), we see Simon's bold profession of faith that Jesus is "the Christ." Jesus then names him "Peter"- the "Rock on which he will build His Church." Yet this same "rock" ran away  at the first sign of danger, denied Him three times, and hid behind a locked door.

 In his homily at the Closing Mass for World Youth Day, the Holy Father encouraged the pilgrims to no be afraid and to draw strength from our friendship with Jesus and from each other.

Dear young friends, as the Successor of Peter, let me urge you to strengthen this faith which has been handed down to us from the time of the Apostles. Make Christ, the Son of God, the centre of your life. But let me also remind you that following Jesus in faith means walking at his side in the communion of the Church. We cannot follow Jesus on our own. Anyone who would be tempted to do so “on his own”, or to approach the life of faith with kind of individualism so prevalent today, will risk never truly encountering Jesus, or will end up following a counterfeit Jesus.

Having faith means drawing support from the faith of your brothers and sisters, even as your own faith serves as a support for the faith of others. I ask you, dear friends, to love the Church which brought you to birth in the faith, which helped you to grow in the knowledge of Christ and which led you to discover the beauty of his love. Growing in friendship with Christ necessarily means recognizing the importance of joyful participation in the life of your parishes, communities and movements, as well as the celebration of Sunday Mass, frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the cultivation of personal prayer and meditation on God’s word.Friendship with Jesus will also lead you to bear witness to the faith wherever you are, even when it meets with rejection or indifference. We cannot encounter Christ and not want to make him known to others. So do not keep Christ to yourselves! Share with others the joy of your faith. The world needs the witness of your faith, it surely needs God. I think that the presence here of so many young people, coming from all over the world, is a wonderful proof of the fruitfulness of Christ’s command to the Church: “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15).

Pope Benedict's homily can be found here: WYD Homily. I encourage you to read it, and if you have (or were blessed enough to hear it in person), to read it again. Here's praying that we all are paying attention to the words of the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

Be blessed!

Monday, August 15, 2011

There's hope yet...

Having 4 children and expecting a 5th, I definately feel like the odd man out at times- ok most of the time. In today's 2.3 children per family culture (if even), you really feel the stares, hear the comments, and see the reaction of so many others. Today, in a refreshing change of pace we were, not once, but 3 times applauded for our family size and the example we set.

We attended a different parish for today's (non-holy-day-of- obligation) Mass of the Asumption because of timing. Two different women came up to us, one in near tears, to say how much thy loved seeing us today and were really encouraging for them. Another compliment came from our waitress when we we out to dinner with some out of town family. This young woman was one of six and thought it was great to see another "big" family. She told us how much she enjoyed growing up the way she did and could see it in our children.

We don't look for compliments or approval from anyone as to our family size or how they act. We also are not out to shock anyone. We say yes to what God has planned for us and hope to do his will a best we can. Mary in today's Gospel travels to visit and help Elizabeth, despite the social stigma she must have faced. It was her "fiat" or "yes" that gave hope for all of us.

After thinking about the events of today, I told my wife that maybe the women we encountered today thought that no matter how the family has been marginalized today that there may just be hope yet for our domestic church and that we may see more couples saying "yes" to God, no matter what the call may be. Have you been listening?

Be blessed!