Posture in Church - January 21, 2024

Posture in Church

“Oh Lord, you have searched me, and know me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.” (Ps 139:1-2)

In the words of Romano Guardini, ‘every part of the body is an expressive instrument of the soul.’ The Bible speaks of several postures of prayer; standing, kneeling, bowing, and prostration.

*Standing (side of vigilance and action... like a soldier on duty): Mt 24:15 ... ‘by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place...’

*Kneeling (side of worship in rest and quietness): Mt 8:2, 9:18, 15:25 ... ‘a leper came to Him and knelt before Him’ ... ‘behold, a ruler came in and knelt before Him’ ... ‘But she came and knelt before Him, saying, ‘Lord help me.’’

*Bowing Jn 19:30 ... ‘it is finished, and HE bowed HIS head...’

*Prostration Mt 26:39 ... ‘fell on his face and prayed’ ; Rev 4:10 ... ‘fall down before the one who sits on the throne and worship him, who lives forever and ever.’

When a knight puts his hands together, for example, he renders himself vulnerable. He could not reach for his weapon. So he stood when he approached a king or a judge. We too, are vulnerable when we are in God’s presence; for none of our weapons can harm him, and none of our defenses can repel him.

Hands pressed together, palm to palm, resemble a flame pointed heavenward -- an appropriate image as we heed St. Paul’s counsel to ‘present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship’ (Romans 12:1)

*Signs of Life by Scott Hahn / Catholic Doctorine by Gregory Oatis

Just Stay - January 14, 2024

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

“Your son is here,” she said to the old man.

She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

“Who was that man?” he asked.

The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.

“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”

“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here.

When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”

I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this gentleman’s name?

The Nurse with tears in her eyes answered, Mr. William Grey.

The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.

WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

Let us follow the Magi to Bethlehem - January 7, 2024

...Let us now follow the Magi to Bethlehem: it is there that we shall especially see the manifestation of the depth of their faith.

The marvellous star leads them to the place where they were at last to find Him Whom they had so long sought. And what do they find ? A palace, a royal cradle, a long train of attentive servants ? No, but a poor dwelling. They seek a king, a God, and they see only a Babe on His Mother’s knee; not a Babe transfigured by Divine rays as the Apostles were later to see the God-Man, but a little Child, a poor weak little Child.

However, from this Little One so frail in appearance, invisibly went forth a divine power : Virtus de illo exibat. He, Who had made the star arise to lead the Magi to His cradle, now Himself enlightened them. He inwardly filled their minds with light and their hearts with love. And so it was that in this Child, they recognised their God.

The Gospel tells us nothing of their words, but it makes known to us the sublime act of their perfect faith: “And falling down they adored Him”: Et procidentes adoraverunt eum (Ibid. 2:2).

The Church would have us associate ourselves with this adoration of the Magi. When, during the Mass, she gives us these words of the Gospel narrative to read, she causes us to kneel down, to show that we, too, believe in the Divinity of the Babe of Bethlehem.

Let us adore Him with deep faith. God requires of us that, as long as we are here below, all the activity of our inner life should lead to union with Him by faith. Faith is the light which enables us to see God in the Virgin’s Child, to hear God’s voice in the words of the Incarnate Word, to follow the example of a God in the actions of Jesus, to appropriate to ourselves the infinite merits of a God in the sorrows and satisfactions of a Man suffering like ourselves.

Through the veil of a humble and passible Humanity, the soul enlightened by a living faith ever discovers God; whereever she encounters this Humanity-whether it be in the humiliations of Bethlehem, upon the roads of Judea, on the gibbet of Calvary, or under the Eucharistic species- the faithful soul falls in adoration because it is the Humanity of a God. At the feet of Jesus she listens to Him, in order to obey and follow Him until it shall please Him to reveal Himself in the beauty of His Infinite Majesty, in the holy splendours of the Beatific Vision.

The attitude of adoration in the Magi translates in eloquent language the depth of their faith; the presents that they offer are likewise full of signification. The Fathers of the Church have laid stress on the symbolism of the gifts brought to Christ by the Magi. In ending this conference, let us stay to consider the depth of this symbolism: it will be a joy for our souls and food for our devotion.

As you know, the Gospel tells us that having found the Child with Mary His Mother, “opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:2). It is evident that, in the intentions of the Magi, these gifts were meant to express the feelings of their hearts as well as to honour Him to Whom they were brought.


EWTN: The Ephiphany, Authored by Dom Columba Marmion

What the Holy Family can teach us... - DECEMBER 31, 2023

There are three things the Holy Family can teach us about our own yes to God.

1. The Holy Family actively participated in their response to God’s invitation.
In Luke’s Gospel, we see Mary responding with both a verbal response, “Let it be to me according to your word,” (1:38) and then living out her response through her actions of carrying and birthing her Son. In Matthew’s Gospel, we do not get to hear Joseph’s response, but we read the line of Scripture that shows his response through action, “He did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” (1:24) Jesus’ yes we see happening throughout Scripture as He grew into His ministry. All three members of the Holy Family actively participated in God’s invitation to bring about God’s Kingdom through their words and actions. We, too, are invited to actively participate in God’s invitation to us. Is God inviting us to a verbal response and/or a response of action right now?

2. The Holy Family’s yes to God was not just one time, but an ongoing yes.
As a parent, I know that raising a child requires an ongoing commitment to God’s invitation to be a co-creator in nurturing and parenting a child. Mary and Joseph did not just say yes once, but they continued their response to God’s invitation to raise and nurture Jesus. Their response to God’s invitation deepened in their lives. Jesus’ response to God’s invitation occurred over and over again as He fully entered into His public ministry and later His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

3. The Holy Family rooted their lives in God.
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were able to say yes to God because they had a relationship with God. While we only get a short glimpse into Mary’s and Joseph’s relationship with God, I can only imagine that it must have been strong and continuously nurtured. How else did they say yes to both birthing and raising the Messiah? The Gospels offer us many examples of Jesus turning to God the Father in prayer to help Him continue to say yes to His mission. -Loyola Press

Pink, The Color For Joy - DECEMBER 17, 2023

The Color For Joy

A pink candle that signifies joy makes sense since it is lit on Gaudete Sunday-names for the entrance antiphon for that Sunday’s Masss: “Rejoice (gaudete) in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice.” The joy is subdued, however, as the penitential violet of the other weeks lessens to rose as we move closer to Christmas.

As Advent is patterned in part after Lent, Gaudete Sunday is similar to the Lenten Laetare Sunday, which also represents joy and falls at the midpoint of Lent.

And that finally leads to the explanation for the pink candle. In the ancient Church on Laetare Sunday in Lent, the Pope gave a citizen a pink rose. The tradition has contined, as Popes bestowed golden roses on Catholic rulers and now more commonly, on places of devotion.

Following the papal rose custom, bishops and priests began wearing rose-colored vesments on Laetare Sunday. The Church then brought the Lenten practice of rose vestments to Advent on Gaudette Sunday. As a result, the pink candle gained a place in the Advent wreath.

Although the culture tells us it’s already Christmas, the Church reminds us through the pink candle of Advent that there is an appointed time for everything (Eccl. 3:1). The time now is for rejoicing-because the Lord is coming soon!

 The Origins of Bambinelli Sunday - DECEMBER 10, 2023

 The Origins of Bambinelli Sunday


Pope St. John Paul II began the tradition of Bambinelli Sunday early in his papacy by inviting all the children in Rome to bring the baby Jesus figurines from their family’s Nativity scenes to St. Peter’s Square on the Third Sunday of Advent. Following the Noon Angelus, the Holy Father gave a special blessing to the bambinelli statues. The children then brought them home, where their parents gift wrapped them and put them gently under the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning, families unwrapped the infant Jesus figurine first and, with great joy, laid Him gently in the manger of their waiting Nativity scenes. Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis continued the tradition, and over the last 40 years, the tradition has grown beyond the Vatican and is now a treasured Advent tradition in parishes worldwide.

What do the Saints teach us about Adoration? - DECEMBER 3, 2023

What do the Saints teach us about Adoration?

“Every Holy Hour we do pleases the Heart of Jesus so much that it is recorded in Heaven and repeated for all eternity!” - Mother Teresa

“A thousand years enjoying human glory are not worth even one hour spent in sweet communion with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.” - Padre Pio

“Even a quarter of an hour of prayer before the Eucharist perhaps obtains more graces than all the other spiritual exercises of the day outside of Mass.” - Saint Alphonsus Liguori

“The best, safest and most effective way to establish peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament…” - Pope John Paul II

“Do you want the Lord to give you many blessings? Visit frequently. Do you want the Lord to give you few blessings? Visit it rarely. Do you want the devil to attack you? Visit Jesus rarely in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want the devil to flee from you? Visit Jesus often!” - Saint John Bosco

“When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Blessed Sacrament you understand how much Jesus loves you now.” - Mother Teresa

Consider Registering for Perpetual Adoration.
We have Perpetual Adoration from Monday to Saturday from 6 am to 6 pm. There are open spots available every day.
Contact Diane Murphy at 985-320-7123 for more information about this important commitment.

Incense - November 26, 2023

altar servers incense rendered

 

Catholicism is sometimes called the religion of ‘bells & smells’. The Tradition of Mother Church engages the whole person. God created us a unity of body and soul and as such, our worship includes our bodily and spiritual senses. We hear it, see it, feel it, taste it, and smell it as well. We ring bells to HEARLD the Lord’s appearance and we burn fragrant incense before His Altar.

The prophet Malachi (1:11) foretold a day when ‘from the rising of the sun to its setting... in every place incense is offered to My name, a pure offering’. In the exodus, the high priest Aaron states that God said, ‘I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense’ (1 Sam. 2:28). And as such, the priest from the time of Moses to the time of Jesus and beyond, Jesus; kinsman Zechariah was performing his priestly duty of burning incense in the Temple, when the angel Gabriel appeared to him. It was apparently customary for a ‘whole multitude of the people’ to pray nearby ‘at the hour of incense’ every day (Luke 1:9-11).

Psalm 141:2 ... ‘let my prayer be counted as incense before you’

Jeremiah 1:16 ... ‘I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.’

May all of our prayers be much like that of the saints...

Rev 8:3-4 ... ‘The prayers of the saints on earth, he says, rise as incense to heaven.’
*Signs of Life, by Scott Hahn (incense)

Washed Out - November 19, 2023

baby with bubbles
 
If you took the same excuses that people use for not going to Church and apply them to other important areas of life you’d realize how inconsistent we can be in our logic.  
 
For example: Reasons Not to Wash.
 
 1. I was forced to as a child.
 
 2. People who make soap are only after your money.
 
 3. I wash on special occasions like Christmas and Easter.
 
 4. People who wash are hypocrites — they think they are cleaner than everyone  
     else.
 
 5. There are so many different kinds of soap, I can’t decide which one is best.
 
 6. I used to wash, but it got boring so I stopped.
 
 7. None of my friends wash.
 
 8. The bathroom is never warm enough in the winter                     or cool enough in the summer.
 
 9. I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier.
 
10. I can’t spare the time.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village - November 12, 2023

flip flops border

 

An American tourist complimented a Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked him how long it took him to catch them.
“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.”
The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?” asked the Mexican.
“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.
“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.
“And after that?”
“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the Mexican.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking with your friends.”
Know where you’re going in life... You may already be there.

Better than Biscuits - November 5, 2023

 Buttermilk Biscuits

 

A pastor was attending a men’s breakfast. He asked one of the older farmers in attendance to say the prayer that morning.

The farmer began, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.” The pastor opened one eye and wondered to himself where this was going. Then the farmer said, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now the pastor was worried. But the farmer prayed on, “And Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw flour.”

As the pastor was about to stop everything the farmer continued, “But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bakes ‘em up, I do love me those fresh biscuits. So Lord, when things come up we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we just don’t understand what You are saying to us, we just need to relax and wait ‘til You are done fixin’ and probably it will be something even better than biscuits.” Amen.

When the world reacts... October 29, 2023

man praying

When the world reacts to us with opposition or persecution, we are to react back with kindness, which is the light of Jesus, and that kindness will help save the world. As the world distances itself from God and opposes or persecutes those who remain faithful to God, ironically the world is persecuting those who are most able to help the world. What happened in the life of Jesus, is happening now in the lives of Jesus’ followers. Yet when we are kind to others, we never know what good effects our kindness will have on others or how it may help them to come closer to Jesus. The lady responsible for the law case in the United States that legalized abortion (1973), was later influenced by pro-lifers who moved into an office next to her in Dallas (1995) and that paved the way for her conversion. She became pro-life herself, and three years later in 1998 she was received into the Catholic Church. So letting the light of Jesus shine, even in the midst of opposition or persecution, is helping to save the world. As Jesus said in the Gospel, “your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matt 5:16)

Wearing Lipstick in a Catholic School - October 22, 2023

lipstick on mirror 1

 

According to a news report, a certain private Catholic school was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine provided it was of a natural or neutral skin tone, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night the maintenance man would remove them; and the next day the girls would put them back. Finally, the principal, Sister Mary, decided that something had to be done.

She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian, who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses).

To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, Sister Mary asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. There are teachers...... And then there are educators!

Don’t mess with nuns... they are wicked smart!!

Prolife Speech - October 15, 2023

prolife 11

 

“With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.” - James Wilson, one of just six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Old to New: The Fulfillment of Scripture - October 8, 2023

The Ark of the
Old covenant

The glory of the Lord and the cloud covered the Tabernacle (containing the Ark) and “overshadowed” (episkiazen) them. (Exodus 40:34-35)

David “arose and went” to the hill country of Judah to bring up “the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:2)

David admits his unworthiness to recieve the Ark by exclaiming: “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9)

 David “leaped” before the Ark as it was brought in “with shouting”
(2 Samuel 6:15-16)

 The Ark remained in the hill country, in the house of Obed-Edom, for “three months” (2 Samuel 6:11)

 

The Ark of the
New covenant

The Holy Spirit comes upon Mary and the power of the Most High “overshadows” (episkiasei) her.
(Luke 1:35)

 Mary “arose and went” into the hill country of Judah to visit Elizabeth (Luke 1:39)

 Elizabeth admits her unworthiness to receive Mary by exclaiming: “And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
(Luke 1:43)

John “leapt” in Elizabeth’s womb at the sound of Mary’s voice and Elizabeth cried “with a loud shout”: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:41-42)

Mary remained in the hill country, in Elizabeth’s house, for “three months”
(Luke 1:56)

Prolife Speech - October 15, 2023

prolife 11

 

“With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.” - James Wilson, one of just six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Why Dogs Live Less Than Humans - October 1, 2023

puppies in louisiana

 

Here's the surprising answer of a 6 year old child.
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that dogs' lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.
He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued,
"Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay for as long as we do."
SO: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
• When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them. • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
• Take naps. • Stretch before rising. • Run, romp, and play daily. • Thrive on attention and let people touch you. • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree. • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. • Be faithful. • Never pretend to be something you're not. • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
That's the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog!!

Pray Like Paul - September 24, 2023

Front of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls - Roma - Italy
 
The great preacher gave us the words to get unstuck from our own prayer loop.
 
Pray like Paul? I tend to think of Paul as the great preacher, bringing the good news to the Gentiles from Galatia to Thessaloniki to Corinth to Rome. After all, his epistles make up a massive chunk of the New Testament, the earliest documents we have of the church.
 
But recently, as I’ve been reading Paul–and sometimes I can’t get enough of him–I keep stumbling over prayers in his writing. He frequently exhorts others to pray, exclaims how he prays for the people he’s writing to, and his very words form prayers. Here are a few:
 
Don’t be anxious about anything; rather bring up all of your requests to God in your payers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. 
(Philippians 4:6-7)
 
May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of you Lord Jesus Christ. 
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)
 
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. 
(Philemon 25)
 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 
(Romans 15:13)
 
If you cannot preach like Peter, you can pray like Paul.
 
By Rick Hamlin

 

The Carpenter - September 17, 2023

Carpenter
 
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire.  He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.  He would miss the pay check, but he needed to retire.  They could get by.  The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.  The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.  He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials.  It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
 
When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter.  “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
 
What a shock!  What a shame!  If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.  Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
 
So it is with us.  We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best.  At important points we do not give the job our best effort.  Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built.  If we had realized that, we would have done it differently.
 
Think of yourself as the carpenter.  Think about your house.  Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.  Build wisely.  It is the only life you will ever build.  Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.
 
The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”
 
Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.  

 

Forgiveness: A Lovely Idea - September 10, 2023

front of church aisle with doors no light copy

 

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Everyone says that forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”

The act of forgiveness is not a born trait. It is an acquired virtue. When you have been hurt, and sometimes far more deeply than words can explain, forgiving the person who hurt you is absolutely the last thing you want to do. Because to say, “I forgive you,” is just not enough. You want, no, you demand that the offenders experience the same pain with perhaps a bit more intensity than you experienced. You see simply forgiving the person as some sort of indirect acceptance for their behavior. However, forgiveness doesn’t remove any of the iniquities of the offender. It is the act of forgiveness that releases you from the bondage of pain, and places you on the road to healing. God will take care of the rest.

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengence is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(Romans 12: 19-21)

In the book entitled Forgiveness, a Catholic Approach by Fr. Scott Hurd (Archdiocese of Washington, DC) reminds us that forgiveness is a gift. “The forgiveness we are called to offer is a decision, a process, and a gift. It is a decision, because by forgiving we choose to let go of any desire for revenge or retaliation, and we free ourselves of the bitterness and resentment that hardens our hearts. Forgiveness is a process, because letting go of resentment takes time; we may need to make the decision to forgive over and over again. Finally, forgiveness is a gift of love that we give freely, without expectations, exceptions, or limitations. It is neither earned nor deserved. When we love the ones we forgive, we wish them happiness, not harm; well, not woe; heaven, not hell.”

Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta said it best,
“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”

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We, at St. Helena Catholic Church, are concerned with educating, directing, and sustaining all who visit. 

In particular those who draw near to the teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church. 

We strive to achieve this by utilizing the Cardinal Virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude.