Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Preaching the End Times

 As I've mentioned before, sometimes I pray and also attend Bible Study with Protestant groups. I find them very welcoming and knowledgable about the Bible. I've recently made an observation which I have discussed with friends in these groups. According to them and what I"ve heard myself on Youtube sermons, most Protestant preachers are saying we are living in the end times.  Now I understand why "Doomsday Prepping or Preppers" have gone mainstream.  (Apparently, one third of the American population are "preppers.") It is big business.  It does feel like we are living in precarious and uncertain times. Wars, terrorism, crime, volcanic eruptions etc. But there have always been wars, terrorists, crime and volcanic eruptions. 

I mentioned that in Catholic churches (for the most part), we are not hearing homilies about the end times or that we are living in the end times. No, we believe the Scripture verse that "No one knows the day or hour..." They agree, that no one knows the day or hour, but they nonetheless believe that we are indeed in the end times and the clock is ticking.....

I made them all laugh. I said, of course we have to trust in Jesus, but it wouldn't hurt to have extra canned foods on hand and a manual can opener....they thought that was funny.....I always like to have a back up plan....

"Jesus I trust in you"


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Bold, Courageous and Persevering Catholics Needed for Evangelization in 2024

I often go to a bible study with Protestant women. I also attend Catholic Mass, of course, and am a parishioner of the nearby Catholic Church and go to Scripture/bible study with Catholic women, who do a great job as well. But I also find Protestant women extremely supportive, knowledgable about the Bible and welcoming to me as a Catholic woman. Also, I can learn a lot from them and like to learn from different perspectives. As you might have guessed some of the Protestant women were baptized Catholic and were members of the Catholic Church until they left. Why did they leave the Catholic Church? Reasons we have all heard before......... not enough emphasis on Bible Study, not enough emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, scandals, etc. So here I am in the midst of them, listening, learning and trying to share my perspective in a gentle way. 

In the book we are presently reading and discussing,  NT Commentary on St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians, some ideas for evangelization come across very clearly...Christians (whether they be Catholic or Protestant) must be bold, courageous and persevere, if they want to be successful evangelizers. We must have attitudes similar to St. Paul who remained focused on Christ, even in the midst of trials and imprisonment. Paul remains joyful, even in difficult situations and proclaims, "Christ is proclaimed. And in this I rejoice (Phil. 1:18). 

Remaining joyful, even in the midst of trials is not easy. But always staying focused on Jesus and His valuable and important message for humankind is the way to proclaim the gospel message in good times and bad, in this extremely challenging modern time, with boldness, perserverence and courage.


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

A Vision For Peace-Worldwide Peace in 2024

 I can only think of peace, in this beautiful season of Christian joy. I think of the coming year 2024 and pray that it can somehow, miraculously, be a year of peace around the globe. It seems improbable, nearly impossible but it can be achieved through prayer and negotiation. And only if leaders would seek peace, seek a path that leads away from war and destruction to a path of reconciliation, deliberations, compromise and seeking the will of God. God wills that all humankind live in peace and instead of wasting money on weapons of war, money is better spent on building up, rebuilding and helping those who have lost so much from war. And of course feeding the hungry.

All the world religions should make an effort in the coming year, to put aside their differences and pray for peace and exhort leaders to find a path to peace. There are solutions, but thoughtful negotiations and compromise is needed.

The Prince of Peace, Jesus, calls us to be peacemakers and calls leaders of all faiths to strive for peace and to stay the course until it is accomplished.

"For a child is born to us, a son is given to us, upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful. Upon David's throne and over his kingdom which he confirms and sustains..." (Isaiah 9:5-6)

Merry Christmas! Happy Peaceful New Year!


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Advent 2023 and Imagining A Peaceful World

 In parts of the world this Advent 2023 there is war, there are missiles and bombs dropping causing pain, destruction and death. This is far from God's will for humankind. And yet here we are still praying for peace, longing for peace, wanting the Prince of Peace to bring peace to a broken world.  The Christian liturgical Season of Advent which began today is a time of waiting, expectation and prayer. The word Advent comes from the Latin word, "Adventus," which means coming. Christ should come into our hearts anew this Advent as we wait for Christ to come at Christmas and at the end of the world in glory. 

But here we are, living with tensions in the world, as the Prince of Peace cannot definitively establish His Kingdom on Earth because people are flawed and conjure up evil deeds and carry it out.  We live in a fallen world where children continue to suffer needlessly.  Yet, so many people are good and want what God wants and strive for goodness, truth and peace and yet it is still so elusive.  And so God weeps......and God's Kingdom cannot be fully realized, in the here and now.  

People of good will, will pray for peace this Advent, as I will, we will pray for negotiation over destruction, compromise and peace-making in parts of the world where suffering continues. 

The children of this world deserve better. 

Let us pray this Advent brings lasting peace and solutions that work and endure, in war torn parts of the world.  


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Bishop Brennan of Brooklyn Dealing With Upset Donors

I met Bishop Robert Brennan a few times when I lived on Long Island and I volunteered at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington.  I thought he was very gracious. So I was sad to hear that he has a few different problems, he's dealing with at the moment. For one, apparently he mentioned to the media and it was repeated by Raymond Arroyo on his EWTN show, that Mass attendance in the Diocese of Brooklyn is down considerably. That's a big enough problem. And then there is this..... My dear friend, has a good friend who is a big donor in the Diocese of Brooklyn. And she has many friends who are big donors too. And they are very upset and apparently they have let the Bishop know.  The cause of their concern is that they don't feel that Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello was treated fairly when he was removed as Vicar for Development on November 3rd. The cause of the sudden and shocking removal was a mistake that Msgr. Jamie made by allowing a controversial music video to be filmed in the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brooklyn, where he is pastor. (He apologized to parishioners for his lack of judgment and mistake).  

In his defense, he is a very busy pastor of two churches, in addition to the job he held as Vicar and he must have assumed that the video would not have been as controversial or in such bad taste as it was. The music video which was very provocative, very quickly went viral and many Catholics were upset and felt the Church was desecrated by the actions of the singer and crew. Bishop Brennan responded by "cleansing" the Church in a ritual action, after the video was made there. Then Msgr. Jamie lost his important job as Vicar of Development. 

The unfortunate story doesn't end there. According to my friend, who has first hand knowledge, some very influential donors are not happy and are coming to the defense of Msgr. Jamie. He has some very loyal friends. They think he should not have been removed for making an unintentional mistake. They are not happy and when donors are not happy....well you can imagine what is going to happen......So this story continues.......I hope it gets resolved and the good charitable works of the Diocese are not affected.

I hope the story ends well for all involved. 


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

 So much to be thankful for.....but mostly for believing in God, for trusting in God and having strength and courage from belief and a relationship with God. Without trust and belief my life would lack meaning and depth.

Sharing my faith and belief with my granddaughters. I have a little bottle of holy water, several in fact and my granddaughters and me take turns blessing each other with the water. Simple acts of faith that can be shared and have meaning. 

 My granddaughters lost their other grandmother this Fall. It was the saddest of deaths. A faith-filled woman who loved Jesus and her faith, has been taken from us. A short illness with no hope for a cure.  Now she is with God, a big loss for all of us.

So a reminder this Thanksgiving and each day, to savor each day of life and be grateful for the good we have. To be grateful we live in peace where we are, but thinking and praying for those poor, unfortunate people surrounded by war, pain and death. Praying for peace between Russia and Ukraine, praying for peace in the land called holy, praying for solutions that work, solutions that will have staying power so that the world can live in peace, as God wills.

Happy Thanksgiving 2023


Thursday, October 12, 2023

God Weeps at the Death of Children in War

 God weeps when children die from war. God weeps when innocents are targeted and killed. God weeps when believers cannot live in peace and try to destroy all that is good. God weeps because humankind cannot stay at peace. It's so sad. So many lives lost, lost in fear and violence. So many destructive weapons of war. So much hate and evil. Instead of building peace, understanding and peaceful co-existence, enemies train for war, train to carry out evil deeds and acts. Believers who don't understand God's desire that we all live in peace and build each other up, instead of trying to destroy what is innocent and good. Evil doesn't build up- it tears down, it destroys and it leaves dying children, who did nothing to deserve all this ugliness, pain and suffering. And in the land that is called holy, and believed to be holy ground by Christians, Jewish people and Muslims, there is tension and a lack of peace and so I believe that God weeps.....