Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Beauty of Christ

As we enter into this most holy time of the Church year, it is good to think about the goodness and beauty of Christ. It has been said that you have to "catch Christianity" and I've repeated that often. I certainly "caught it," as a young child. There was something happening in the Church, at Mass, that captured my religious imagination and gave me the desire to search my whole life and try to respond to God's initiative, God's call.  So this journey that I have been on, is because I felt something very good, when I received the sacraments, whenever I was in Church and it touched my soul and gave me the desire to respond to what I felt. I think of all the Church documents that state that evangelizers and teachers of the faith must put children and adults "in communion with Jesus Christ." That is what is necessary for ongoing conversion and transformation.
As I watch "The Bible" miniseries on the History Channel, Christ's goodness, beauty and compassion can be seen and Jesus is a compelling figure in the show, as He has remained for over 2,000 years.
We try to get it right, we try to live good, holy Christian lives and yet Jesus kept focused on doing the will of the Father, each and every day of his life on earth.
The saints say that is true holiness, finding out what God's will is for you and fulfilling it.
Jesus did it. We keep trying.
May these days of prayer, lift you up to Jesus and give you inner strength and courage. May you feel the love and fulfillment of knowing Christ and being Christian.

Holy Triduum! Happy, Blessed Easter!

I have come that they might have life and have it to the full. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Interesting Readership From Around the Globe

My son played a joke on me, he's quite a character. Knowing I have a lot of Russian readers of my blog (why that is, is a mystery to me), he pretended to be a Russian Christian blogger who wrote to me. He made up the name Igor and he had Igor write saying,  that I was taking too many Russian readers away from him and he wanted me to teach him how to blog better. It was really hysterical and he went so far as to make up a gmail e-mail account,  so it was quite believable. I was suspicious of the email and didn't respond to it, and eventually my son admitted his practical joke.
But anyhow my friends and I got a big laugh out of it. Igor and his brother Vladimir also sent me flowers for Valentine's Day, the flowers were very nice, the message was also funny.
I'm flattered that anyone in Russia would read my blog, and the reality is after my U.S. readers (the largest amount of readers, which is expected) the next highest amount of readers of my blog come from Russia.
This is very ironic to me, since I grew up during the Cold War.  Now it's evident how close the world has become through the internet. It really can be a tool for promoting understanding, tolerance and world peace if it was used for that purpose and intentionally used for good.
Since my son taught me how to look at stats on my blog and see how many people read my blog and from which countries, I find it fascinating to see readers connect from all over the world. I certainly do not have a huge following but it's enough to keep me blogging and besides I also blog to prevent Alzheimer's, that dreaded disease. Also, past blog entries are read a lot which is nice too.
So as I mentally prepare for Holy Week, the Passion account is difficult for me to hear, I will enter into this sacred time, this most holiest of weeks, hoping and praying I grow spiritually from it.
I hope God is pleased with my attempts to evangelize, to stay faithful and to write about how enriching a faith life is.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Proof of God's Existence-Jesus' Life

After watching an episode last night of the hit miniseries, "The Bible," on the History Channel I wasn't thinking (as a lot of people were) that the actor who played satan resembled President Obama. I would say it's just a coincidence, which is exactly what the producers are saying. Their explanation is that they most often used Moroccan actors as it was filmed in Morocco and they saved money doing it that way. So the actor is Moroccan and he just happens to look like President Obama. A strange coincidence.
Though I think the miniseries is very good, I think the episodes are too violent and graphic and I often have to look away. I am just too sensitive to view all that insensitivity, hatred and killing.
What amazed me after watching the brutality of Herod and the Romans, as it was portrayed last night, is that Jesus managed to survive for 33 years. Yes, Joseph and Mary fled into Egypt with the baby Jesus, and that probably saved the infant Jesus' life. But what about when he started preaching and teaching.  He was creating a stir, the authorities were not happy with him, and yet he was able to go on preaching for 3 years, long enough to give us enough material from which the New Testament was created. Just one more proof of God's existence, in my opinion. If God didn't exist he would have been killed by the Romans a couple of weeks after he started preaching and drawing crowds. They were ruthless, they wouldn't have given him time to expound on his views, philosophy and his teachings.  They would have done away with him much sooner. But God was with him. He somehow managed to survive and slip though their hands a number of times.
We are greatly blessed by his words and teachings and the New Testament which is rich in beauty, knowledge of God and the Spirit.
God exists and Jesus' life is proof of that.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis I-Humble, Holy With A Huge Task Ahead

What a surprise! A new Pope from Argentina with a lot of firsts. The first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from South America and the first non-European Pope in 1,200 years.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the new Pope Franics I, is a voice for the voiceless- the poor and for the poor in spirit as well.  The 266th Pope of the Church will have a lot of work cut out for him. He's 76 years old with a heavy weight on his shoulders. Let's hope and pray that he is up to the challenge.
Like St. Francis of Assisi, whose name he took, Pope Francis has to "rebuild" and heal the Church, with God's guidance and grace. Wise leadership, holy leadership and all in accordance with God's will is needed at this time in history. God's church is in need of repair, renewal and common sense thinking and action. Please God let Pope Francis do your will in each moment of his papacy and bring renewal that is needed.
St. Francis of Assisi, that remarkable and much loved saint, heard the voice of the Lord, coming from the crucifix in the small chapel of San Damiano. The chapel was in need of repair and so St. Francis began the work of restoring it, but God meant more than that. And so the name taken by the new Pope is highly significant and meaningful.
Repair and rebuild my Church Francis and give it new life and new direction, guided by the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The people of God, the faithful people of God, deserve no less.
I join the world in thanking God for giving us a new Pope, one who is a friend to the poor and understands their challenges. Thank God the new Pope has shown humility and austerity and will bring a breath of fresh air to the Vatican.

When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly......
Pope Francis

He who commands humility will lead safely to the truth......Yes, the way of humility is a good way.
It seeks for truth, it wins charity, it shares the fruits of wisdom....."
St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Papabili-Jesus- The Next Pope-I Vote For That!

I've given it a lot of thought, read a lot and watched a lot of coverage about the interregnum on EWTN and I think it would be a good idea for Jesus to show up at the Sistine Chapel during the Conclave and tell the Cardinals he's ready to be a Divine Pope. He's already the invisible Divine head of the Church, he needs to step up and take control of the Church. He's already mighty Savior, Prince of Peace, Christ the King, Great High Priest, Lord of Lords, Pre-existent One, Word of God, Cosmic Christ, Son of God and God-one more title is needed at this historic time in Church history-Pope Jesus Divine Incarnate.
I think it's a great idea. Let Christ return in glory. It's time. We need him. The Church needs a supernatural event. Let him descend from Heaven and show up at the Sistine Chapel. (No Armageddon, or end- time catastrophes,  just Jesus coming in glory!) Think of the media frenzy that would occur....Cardinals will tell afterwards of dropping to their knees, crying and praising God. Imagine the King of Kings in the house. Imagine the beauty and holiness of Christ filling the Sistine Chapel. Such a beautiful thought.
The Church needs Jesus or someone just like him. The world needs Jesus or a religious leader just like him. I would love to see Jesus return in glory, at this time in history and set the world right. To stamp out evil and injustice, He could bring along a legion of angels, led by St. Michael the Archangel. I can dream, can't I?
And that would set the atheists straight once and for all. Then they could use all the money they spend on their absurd and disrespectful anti-God billboards, to do some good in the world by helping the poor, with that money.
Jesus, only you can turn this world around, evangelize the world according to Gospel values, only you can bring back the youth, purify the Church and turn back the tide on the lure of secularism. Give it some thought and I'll give it some prayer time. And if it's not God's will, then please send the power of the Holy Spirit to guide the Cardinals to make the right choice. Amen.

What the electors are really looking for is, 'Jesus Christ with an MBA'".......
Rev. Thomas Reese

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Sede Vacante"-Yet Christ Is Still Present/Teilhard's Prayers

During this historic time in Church history, when Pope Benedict has retired and is in residence at Castel Gondolfo and there is no reigning pope, ("sede vacante"- the seat being vacant) each Catholic is dealing with this unusual situation in their own way. One poor priest who must be overly stressed and depressed, is reported to have set fire to a photo of Pope Benedict during Sunday Mass. (He felt abandoned.)Obviously, this is a rare and strange incident, since Catholics throughout the world are praying for the ailing Pope and for the College of Cardinals, during this transition period.  I think it's best to keep focused on Jesus, since Jesus is the Divine head of the Church. In preparation for a workshop today, I was reading Teilhard de Chardin's book, "Hymn of the Universe." Teilhard who was a controversial priest/scientist in his own time, has been vindicated by the last two Popes and his writings about the sacredness of matter and the Cosmic Christ resonate in the modern world. There are some beautiful prayers in "Hymn of the Universe" and the one below struck me today and helped me to center myself on Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and into the future. This prayer is a reminder that God is in charge and "all will be well." Staying close to Jesus is the only way to live and stay focused and centered through tumultuous times.

Lord Jesus Christ, you truly contain within your gentleness, within your humanity, all the unyielding immensity and grandeur of the world. And it is because of this, it is because there exists in you this ineffable synthesis of what our human thought and experience would never have dared join together in order to adore them-element and totality, the one and the many, mind and matter, the infinite and the personal; it is because of the indefinable contours which this complexity gives to your appearance and to your activity, that my heart, enamoured of cosmic reality, gives itself passionately to you. I love you, Lord Jesus, because of the multitude who shelter within you and whom, if one clings closely to you, one can hear with all the other beings murmuring, praying, weeping........."  (Teilhard- "The Presence of God in the world")

I live at the heart of a single, unique Element, the Centre of the Universe and present in each part of it: personal love and cosmic Power.  ("Christ in the world of matter")