This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
The last ceremonial act
of the Time after Epiphany is the bittersweet farewell, or depositio, to
the word "Alleluia," which is suppressed for seventy days in the
traditional Roman rite from Septuagesima Sunday until Holy Saturday night. This
ceremony usually takes after the office of none (i.e., around 3 p.m.) on the
Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday
I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears.6 Look
to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame. 7This poor one cried out and the
LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. 8The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and he
saves them. 9
Taste and see that the LORD is
good; blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him. 10Fear the LORD, you his holy ones;
nothing is lacking to those who fear
him. Come, children,listen to me; I will teach you fear of the LORD. 11The rich grow poor and go hungry
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.12Come, children, listen to me; I
will teach you fear of the LORD.
taking a prayer filled hike in the Round Lake, New York area; I asked our Lord
on the hike to communicate to me as we walked along the way. The Lord spoke to
my heart and said that in this world there are two kinds of people those that
give and those that get. He said amazingly those that get never get enough and
those who give always get enough.
As we walked Christ pointed out to me the
things that I should be giving to others.
started the hike, I noticed the sign with the map of the hike was reversed and
if I did not study it closely, I would be lost. Christ urged me to:
along I met others walking or riding bikes coming from the opposite direction
that looked rather glum and miserable. Christ urged me to greet them. As I did,
I noticed their expression changed from glum to happy.
along I heard music from a tavern near the trail. Christ urged me to:
music and song to gladden other hearts.
along I met a small turtle that on seeing me tucked into his shell. Christ
urged me to:
others respect and privacy.
Walking along I
passed a stream and notice the path was shady. Christ urged me to:
refreshment to others.
as I was walking along as the Lord answered me, I noticed He had delivered me
from all my fears.
I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured
me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not
be a Christian and Religious today... The Lord has loved me so much: we must
love everyone... we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of
these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to
pay him homage." ~ Josephine Bakhita
Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone...we must be
compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your goodness at the top of
my voice, oh how many souls would be won!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
Do not be afraid of holiness. It
will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will
become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be
faithful to your deepest self. To depend on God, sets us free from every form
of enslavement and leads us to recognize our great dignity. We see this in
Saint Josephine Bakhita: “Abducted and sold into slavery at the tender age of
seven, she suffered much at the hands of cruel masters. But she came to
understand the profound truth that God, and not man, is the true Master of
every human being, of every human life. This experience became a source of
great wisdom for this humble daughter of Africa”. To the extent that each
Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world.
The bishops of West Africa have observed that “we are being called in the
spirit of the New Evangelization to be evangelized and to evangelize through the
empowering of all you, the baptized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth
and light of the world wherever you find yourselves”. Do not be afraid to set
your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not
be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make
you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of
God’s grace. For in the words of León Bloy, when all is said and done, “the
only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint”.
Simon Peter and the other fishermen
are astonished at the catch that reveals Jesus as Lord. Jesus’ response to
Simon Peter is reassuring: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching
men”. Once again, the fisherman of Galilee places his trust in the words of
Jesus and leaves everything to follow Him. James and John also do the same;
from now on, they will be ‘fishers of men’. Jesus invites them to share in His
mission, the mission of the Church. As baptized, we all partake in the mission
of Jesus Christ, priest, prophet, and king. As married men and women, the
calling is lived out in a concrete home and family. How does your life as a
couple, as parents, as godparents, or in another way, touch the lives of your
family? How are you witnesses and bearers of the Gospel?
is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life, of mutual and exclusive
fidelity, established by mutual consent between a man and a woman, and ordered
towards the good of the spouses and the procreation of offspring. As the Second
Vatican Council reminds us, marriage is not a purely human institution: the
intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state
has been established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.
. .. For God himself is the author of marriage. Moreover, God has endowed
marriage with certain essential attributes, without which marriage cannot exist
as he intends. The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an
exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. This union, once validly
entered and consummated, gives rise to a bond that cannot be dissolved by the
will of the spouses. Marriage thus created is a faithful, privileged sphere of
intimacy between the spouses that lasts until death. Marriage is not merely a
private institution, however. It is the foundation for the family, where
children learn the values and virtues that will make good Christians as well as
good citizens. The importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing
of the next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all society.
Conjugal love, the love proper to marriage, is present in the commitment to the
complete and total gift of self between husband and wife. Conjugal love
establishes a unique communion of persons through the relationship of mutual
self-giving and receiving between husband and wife, a relationship by which ―a
man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them
become one body [flesh]‖(Gn 2:24).The Second Vatican Council speaks about
conjugal love in words of great beauty: The Lord, wishing to bestow special
gifts of grace and divine love on married love, has restored, perfected, and
elevated it. A love like that, bringing together the human and the divine,
leads the partners to a free and mutual self-giving, experienced in tenderness
and action, and permeating their entire lives; this love is actually developed
and increased by its generous exercise in conjugal love one can see something
of how Christ loves his Church (Eph 5:25).
➢On marriages in
crisis –For Your Marriage list of ministries that help married couples in
difficulty or crisis
sexuality within marriage –Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae,1968.
➢On divorce –USCCB,
Divorce and the Church’s Healing Ministry, 2010.
➢On lust and
pornography –USCCB: Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography,
2015 and Clean Heart series of pamphlets, 2016.
Catechesis on the Family, January 7, 2015 –November 18, 2015.
Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, 2009.
➢USCCB, For Your
Marriage website: foryourmarriage.org.
➢USCCB, Por Tu
Matrimonio website: portumatrimonio.org.
Celebrate man’s best friend at the Westminster Kennel
Club Dog Show. The two-day event at New York City's Madison Square Garden
features more than 2,700 pooches going tail to tail to win the coveted Best in
evening in October 1995, John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at
Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day that began with
a Mass at Oriole Park in Camden Yards, a parade through downtown streets, a
visit to the Basilica of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the country,
lunch at a local soup kitchen run by Catholic Charities; a prayer service at
the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in North Baltimore; and finally, a quick stop
at Saint Mary’s Seminary. The schedule was tight, so the plan was simply to
greet the seminarians while they stood outside on the steps. But the Pope made
his way through their ranks and into the building. His plan was to first make a
visit to the Blessed Sacrament. When his wishes were made known, security flew
into action. They swept the building paying close attention to the chapel where
the Pope would be praying. For this purpose, highly, trained dogs were used to
detect any person who might be present. The dogs are trained to locate
survivors in collapsed buildings after earthquakes and other disasters. These
highly intelligent and eager dogs quickly went through the halls, offices and
classrooms and were then sent to the chapel. They went up and down the aisle,
past the pews and finally into the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is
reserved. Upon reaching the tabernacle, the dogs sniffed, whined, pointed, and
refused to leave, their attention riveted on the tabernacle, until called by
their handlers. They were convinced that they discovered someone there. We
Catholics know they were right — they found a real, living Person in the
·Smell the Flowers at Tulipmania
to San Francisco’s iconic Pier 39 for Tulipmania. You’ll
see over 39,000 blooming tulips and other garden favorites. Guided tours and
gardening tips are provided by Pier 39’s landscaping experts. The tours start
at 10 a.m. daily at the Crab Statue in the Entrance Plaza and end with a
special treat from Trish’s Mini Donuts. The tulips typically begin blooming in
early February and last through mid-March.
·Party at Carnival in Venice, Italy
Probably one of
the longest running festivals, the Carnival of Venice (Carnevale di Venezia) is said to date back to 1162. The
festival is world famous for its amazing and unique masks that people wear
during this event. Venetians adorn their boats with colorful decor and parade
up and down the Grand Canal. There are also competitions for the best masks and
costumes, plus all sorts of entertainment and music.
“Venice’s hedonistic Carnevale, a season of unbridled and licentious
festivities, expired along with the rest of the Republic with the arrival of
Napoleon in 1797. It was enthusiastically resuscitated in 1980, complete with
rich damasks, cascades of lace, and powdered wigs, elaborate costumes, and
everywhere the characters and masks from Italy’s Commedia dell’Arte. Carnevale
takes place 2 weeks before Ash Wednesday”.
Why Does the Church Teach About Issues
Affecting Public Policy?
The Church's teachings
concerning contingent situations are subject to new and further developments
and can be open to discussion, yet we cannot help but be concrete-without
presuming to enter into details-lest the great social principles remain mere
generalities which challenge no one. . . . The Church's pastors, taking into
account the contributions of the different sciences, have the right to offer
opinions in all that affects people's lives, since the task of evangelization
implies and demands the integral promotion of each human being. (Pope Francis,
Evangelii Gaudium, no. 182)
Church's obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is
a requirement of our faith. It is a basic part of the mission we have received
from Jesus Christ, who offers a vision of life revealed to us in Sacred
Scripture and Tradition. To echo the teaching of the Second Vatican Council:
Christ, the Word made flesh, in showing us the Father's love, also shows us
what it truly means to be human (seeGaudium et Spes, no. 22). Christ's
love for us lets us see our human dignity in full clarity and compels us to love
our neighbors as he has loved us. Christ, the Teacher, shows us what is true
and good, that is, what is in accord with our human nature as free, intelligent
beings created in God's image and likeness and endowed by the Creator with
dignity and rights as well as duties.
also reveals to us the weaknesses that are part of all human endeavors. In the
language of revelation, we are confronted with sin, both personal and
structural. "The Church's wisdom," according to Pope Benedict XVI,
"has always pointed to the presence of original sin in social conditions
and in the structure of society" (Caritas in Veritate, no. 34). All
"structures of sin," as St. John Paul II calls them, "are rooted
in personal sin, and thus always linked to the concrete acts of individuals who
introduce these structures, consolidate them and make them difficult to
remove" (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, no. 36). Thus, our faith helps us
understand that the pursuit of a civilization of love must address our own
failures and the ways in which these failures distort the broader ordering of
the society in which we live. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic
Church, "Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature
inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education,
politics, social action and morals" (no. 407). As Pope Francis, quoting
Pope Benedict XVI, reaffirmed in Evangelii Gaudium, "We need
to be convinced that charity 'is the principle not only of micro-relationships
(with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of
macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones)'" (no. 205).