Monday Night at the Movies
Feast of St. Mark
Chapter 42, Verse 11-16
11 Do not FEAR the king of Babylon, as you do now. Do not fear him—oracle of the LORD—for I am
with you to save you, to rescue you from his power. 12 I
will take pity on you, so that he will have pity on you and let you return to
your land. 13 But if you keep
saying, “We will not stay in this land,” thus disobeying the voice of the LORD,
your God, 14 and
saying, “No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we will not see war, nor
hear the trumpet alarm, nor hunger for bread. There we will live!” 15 then
listen to the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts,
the God of Israel: If you are set on going to Egypt and settling down there
once you arrive, 16 the
sword you fear shall overtake you in
the land of Egypt; the hunger you dread shall pursue you to Egypt and there you
is always a great multiplier in overcoming odds take the story of Glen
Cunningham who beat the odds to go on to compete at the Olympics.
Glenn Verniss Cunningham (August 4, 1909 – March 10, 1988)
was an American distance runner and athlete considered by many the greatest
American miler of all time. Cunningham was nicknamed the "Kansas
Flyer", the "Elkhart Express" and the "Iron Horse of
Cunningham's legs were very badly
burned in an explosion caused when someone accidentally put gasoline instead of
kerosene in the can at his schoolhouse when he was eight and his brother Floyd
was thirteen. Floyd died in the fire. When the doctors recommended amputating Glenn's legs, he was so
distressed his parents would not allow it. The doctors predicted he might never
walk normally again. He had lost all the flesh on his knees and shins and all
the toes on his left foot. Also, his transverse arch was practically destroyed.
However, his great determination, coupled with hours upon hours of a new type
of therapy, enabled him to gradually regain the ability to walk and to proceed
to run. It was in the early summer of 1919 when he first tried to walk again,
roughly two years after the accident. He had a positive attitude as well as a
strong religious faith. His favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 40:31: "But
those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with
wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not
He competed in both the 1932 Summer
Olympics as well as the 1936 Summer Olympics. While on the ship traveling from
the U.S. to Germany, he was voted "Most Popular Athlete" by his
In 1934, he set the world record
for the mile run at 4:06.8, which stood for three years.
Mental prayer according to St. Teresa of Avila is nothing more than, “A close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.” Mental prayer is the raising of our mind to God in a quiet intimate conversation. We acquire the “mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16) by spending time in his company, in quiet, intimate conversation. We need to set time aside for mental prayer (20 minutes should be the minimum) Most of that time we should be listening for God’s word in our soul. The best place for our conversations is before the Blessed Sacrament but any quiet place with few distractions will do. It is best to begin by making an “act of the presence of God” which is a short prayer addressing God and acknowledging his presence. During our time with the Lord we should tell him about the things of our heart, what we think we are doing well and not so well and what are our concerns. We may bring along a Bible or spiritual book to discuss with our Lord. It is always a good idea to invite the Mother of Christ into the conversation. Mental Prayer can be a one-shot deal, but it is always better when we set aside time every day for our conversation with God.
was the premise of my book, “Coffee
with Christ” here is an excerpt from the book.
The idea of this book is to seek
friendship with God through Christ, the Holy Spirit and His mother-Mary. Prayer is, in its purest sense, a personal
journey or intimacy with Our Lord. There is no greater help in our life’s
journey in this world than through friendship with Jesus Christ and His mother.
The imaginary premise of this book is to
have a regular “Coffee Clutch” with Christ and gather for coffee and
conversation through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ideally this book will
serve as encouragement for you to enter into your own “coffee clutch” with
Christ. Having a regular or daily set time or appointment to meet and discuss
with Him your hopes, dreams, plans and goals. To bear your heart to Him: To
just sit down with Christ and talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company, over
a cup of coffee and to make the common Holy and grow in the love and likeness
to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The plan of the journal is to talk with
Christ over the next 30 days and enjoy a cup of coffee with Him and contains my
personal reflections with Him. Ideally this little saga of mine will inspire
you to have the habit of talking intimately with our Lord yourself and I will
at the end of my reflections in this book include 10 days of questions for your
own “Coffee Clutch” with Christ. The
forty days (30 + 10) in this journal are ideally suited for reflection during
the season of Lent; however, it is also suitable for anytime during the year.
Note: This journal is merely my own reflections on
spiritual matters and may or may not be in accord with the magisterium of the
Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Feast of St. Mark
John Mark, later known
simply as Mark, was a Jew by birth. He was the son of that Mary who was
proprietress of the Cenacle or "upper room" which served as the
meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). He was still
a youth at the time of the Savior's death. In his description of the young man
who was present when Jesus was seized and who fled from the rabble leaving
behind his "linen cloth," the second Evangelist might possibly have
stamped the mark of his own identity. During the years that followed, the
rapidly maturing youth witnessed the growth of the infant Church in his
mother's Upper Room and became acquainted with its traditions. This knowledge
he put to excellent use when compiling his Gospel. Later, we find Mark acting
as a companion to his cousin Barnabas and Saul on their return journey to
Antioch and on their first missionary journey. But Mark was too immature for
the hardships of this type of work and therefore left them at Perge in
Pamphylia to return home. As the two apostles were preparing for their second
missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take his cousin with him. Paul, however,
objected. Thereupon the two cousins undertook a missionary journey to Cyprus.
Time healed the strained relations between Paul and Mark, and during the
former's first Roman captivity (61-63), Mark rendered Paul valuable service
(Col. 4:10; Philem. 24), and the Apostle learned to appreciate him. When in
chains the second time Paul requested Mark's presence (2 Tim. 4:11). An
intimate friendship existed between Mark and Peter; he played the role of
Peter's companion, disciple, and interpreter. According to the common patristic
opinion, Mark was present at Peter's preaching in Rome and wrote his Gospel
under the influence of the prince of the apostles. This explains why incidents
which involve Peter are described with telling detail (e.g., the great day at
Capharnaum, 1:14f)). Little is known of Mark's later life. It is certain that
he died a martyr's death as bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. His relics were
transferred from Alexandria to Venice, where a worthy tomb was erected in St.
Mark's Cathedral. The Gospel of St. Mark, the shortest of the four, is, above
all, a Roman Gospel. It originated in Rome and is addressed to Roman, or shall
we say, to Western Christianity. Another high merit is its chronological
presentation of the life of Christ. For we should be deeply interested in the
historical sequence of the events in our blessed Savior's life. Furthermore,
Mark was a skilled painter of word pictures. With one stroke he frequently
enhances a familiar scene, shedding upon it new light. His Gospel is the
"Gospel of Peter," for he wrote it under the direction and with the
aid of the prince of the apostles. "The Evangelist Mark is represented as
a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness, `The voice of one crying
in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord,' or because he presents the Lord
as the unconquered King."
Against impenitence; attorneys; barristers; captives; Egypt; glaziers;
imprisoned people; insect bites; lions; notaries; prisoners; scrofulous
diseases; stained glass workers; struma; Diocese of Venice, Florida; Venice,
Winged lion; fig tree; pen; book and scroll; club; barren fig tree; scroll with
words Pax Tibi; winged and nimbed lion; lion.
Often Pictured as: Man writing or holding his gospel; man with a halter around his neck; lion in the desert; man with a book or scroll accompanied by a winged lion; holding a palm and book; holding a book with pax tibi Marce written on it; bishop on a throne decorated with lions; helping Venetian sailors; rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens.
of St. Mark, the Patron Saint of Venice
In Italy April 25th is
Liberation Day, a national holiday commemorating the end of World War II in
1945 and the Nazi occupation of Italy. But for Venetians April 25th is an even
older holiday, Festa di San Marco, or The Feast of St Mark. April 25th is the
anniversary of St Mark’s death in 68 A.D. and in Venice is a lively
celebration. Mass is held in the morning at Saint Mark’s Basilica, and there is
music, dancing, concerts and carnivals throughout the day. Of course it
wouldn’t be a festival in Venice without a Gondola Race! The "Regata di
Traghetti" starts at the island of Sant’Elena and ends at the Punta della
Dogana, at the entrance of the Grand Canal. One look at Saint Mark’s Square
with Saint Mark’s Basilica is proof enough that the city is anything but subtle
about their pride in their patron saint. The winged lion, which represents St
Mark and is the famous symbol of the city of Venice, can also be found in
Piazza San Marco, and all over Venice for that matter. Saint Mark may be a
ubiquitous symbol in Venice today, but before the year 828 Saint Mark's remains
were in Alexandria. Being an important maritime power, Venice needed equally
important relics, a status symbol at the time. Venetian merchants Buono da
Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello were up for the job, and smuggled Saint
Mark’s remains from Alexandria into Venice. They accomplished the difficult
task by hiding the relics in shipments of pork meat, which were understandably
off-putting to the Islamic inspectors. Perhaps it’s because of the great effort
taken to "import" Saint Mark’s remains that Venetians have always
been so proud of their patron saint.
of the Blooming Rose
The celebration is also
known as the "Festival of the Blooming Rose,” and it is tradition for men
to give the woman they love a "bocolo," a red rose bud to symbolize
their love. The legend surrounding the tradition of the rosebud centers on two
star-crossed lovers, Maria Partecipazio, the Doge’s daughter, and Tancredi the
troubadour. Maria was a beautiful noblewoman, whose father forbid her romance
with Tancredi because of his lower social class. Tancredi enrolls in the army,
seeking fame and glory through battle that would elevate his social status,
making him able to return home worthy of Maria. He fought valiantly, but was
ultimately killed in battle in Spain. Tancredi fell mortally wounded onto a
rosebush, and with the last of his strength picked a rosebud and asked his
friend Orlando the Paladin to take it back to Maria. Orlando returned to Venice
on April 24th, and true to his word gave Maria the rosebud, still stained with
Tancredi’s blood. The next day, on April 25th, Maria was found dead with the
rose over her broken heart. So, while flowers are always a welcome gesture, if
you’re in Venice for April 25th, be sure to symbolize your eternal love with a
of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER ONE-I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER
Article 1 "I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER
ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH"
Paragraph 1. I BELIEVE IN GOD
"I believe in God": this first affirmation of the Apostles' Creed is
also the most fundamental. the whole Creed speaks of God, and when it also
speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God. the other
articles of the Creed all depend on the first, just as the remaining
Commandments make the first explicit. the other articles help us to know God
better as he revealed himself progressively to men. "The faithful first
profess their belief in God."
I. "I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD"
These are the words with which the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed begins. the
confession of God's oneness, which has its roots in the divine revelation of
the Old Covenant, is inseparable from the profession of God's existence and is
equally fundamental. God is unique; there is only one God: "The Christian
faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence."
To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One: "Hear, O
Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with
all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." Through
the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only
God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God,
and there is no other.. . To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
'Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and
Jesus himself affirms that God is "the one Lord" whom you must love
"with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and
with all your strength". At the same time Jesus gives us to
understand that he himself is "the Lord". To confess that Jesus
is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in
the One God. Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as "Lord and giver of
life" introduce any division into the One God:
We firmly believe and confess
without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal infinite
(immensus) and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty and ineffable, the
Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence,
substance or nature entirely simple.
II. GOD REVEALS HIS NAME
God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. A
name expresses a person's essence and identity and the meaning of this person's
life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one's name is
to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by
becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed
God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people, but
the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the
New Covenants was the revelation of the divine name to Moses in the theophany
of the burning bush, on the threshold of the Exodus and of the covenant on
The living God
God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that bums without being consumed:
"I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob." God is the God of the fathers, the One who had
called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and
compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their
descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do
this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for
"I Am who I Am"
Moses said to God, "If I come
to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me
to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?"
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." and he said, "Say this to
the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'. . . this is my name for ever,
and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."
In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM
WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name
he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It
is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence
it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can
understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and
he is the God who makes himself close to men.
By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is
from everlasting to everlasting, valid for the past ("I am the God of your
father"), as for the future ("I will be with you"). God,
who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is
always there, present to his people in order to save them.
Faced with God's fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own
insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils
his face in the presence of God's holiness. Before the glory of the
thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: "Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man
of unclean lips." Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter
exclaims: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." But
because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner
before him: "I will not execute my fierce anger. . . for I am God and not
man, the Holy One in your midst." The apostle John says likewise:
"We shall. . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn
us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."
Out of respect for the holiness of God, the people of Israel do not pronounce
his name. In the reading of Sacred Scripture, the revealed name (YHWH) is
replaced by the divine title "LORD" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek
Kyrios). It is under this title that the divinity of Jesus will be acclaimed:
"Jesus is LORD."
"A God merciful and gracious"
After Israel's sin, when the people had turned away from God to worship the golden
calf, God hears Moses' prayer of intercession and agrees to walk in the midst
of an unfaithful people, thus demonstrating his love. When Moses asks to
see his glory, God responds "I will make all my goodness pass before you,
and will proclaim before you my name "the LORD" [YHWH]." Then
the LORD passes before Moses and proclaims, "YHWH,
YHWH, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness"; Moses then confesses that the LORD is a forgiving God.
The divine name, "I Am" or "He Is", expresses God's
faithfulness: despite the faithlessness of men's sin and the punishment it
deserves, he keeps "steadfast love for thousands". By going so
far as to give up his own Son for us, God reveals that he is "rich in
mercy". By giving his life to free us from sin, Jesus reveals that he
himself bears the divine name: "When you have lifted up the Son of man,
then you will realize that "I AM"."
God alone IS
Over the centuries, Israel's faith was able to manifest and deepen realization
of the riches contained in the revelation of the divine name. God is unique;
there are no other gods besides him.
transcends the world and history. He made heaven and earth: "They will
perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment.... but you are
the same, and your years have no end."
God "there is no variation or shadow due to change." God is
"HE WHO IS", from everlasting to everlasting, and as such remains
ever faithful to himself and to his promises.
The revelation of the ineffable name "I AM WHO AM" contains then the
truth that God alone IS. the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew
Scriptures, and following it the Church's Tradition, understood the divine name
in this sense: God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without
origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from
him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he
GOD, "HE WHO IS", IS TRUTH AND LOVE
God, "HE WHO IS", revealed himself to Israel as the one
"abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness". These two terms
express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays,
not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his
trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. "I give thanks to your
name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness." He is the Truth,
for "God is light and in him there is no darkness"; "God is
love", as the apostle John teaches.
God is Truth
"The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances
endures forever." "and now, O LORD God, you are God, and your
words are true"; this is why God's promises always come true. God
is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon
oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things.
the beginning of sin and of man's fall was due to a lie of the tempter who
induced doubt of God's word, kindness and faithfulness.
God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs
the world. God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true
knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.
God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God
is "true instruction". When he sends his Son into the world it
will be "to bear witness to the truth": "We know that the
Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is
God is Love
In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one
reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among
all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love. and
thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God
never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.
God's love for Israel is compared to a father's love for his son. His love for
his people is stronger than a mothers for her children. God loves his people
more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the
worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: "God so
loved the world that he gave his only Son."
God's love is "everlasting": "For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from
you." Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, "I have
loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness
But St. John goes even further when he affirms that "God is love": God's
very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the
fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an
eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us
to share in that exchange.
IV. THE IMPLICATIONS OF FAITH IN ONE GOD
Believing in God, the only One, and loving him with all our being has enormous
consequences for our whole life.
It means coming to know God's greatness and majesty: "Behold, God is
great, and we know him not." Therefore, we must "serve God
It means living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and
have comes from him: "What have you that you did not receive?" "What
shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?"
It means knowing the unity and true dignity of all men: everyone is made in the
image and likeness of God.
It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads
us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to
him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him:
My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.
It means trusting God in every circumstance, even in adversity. A prayer of St.
Teresa of Jesus wonderfully expresses this trust:
Let nothing trouble you / Let nothing frighten you
Everything passes / God never changes Patience / Obtains all Whoever has God /
Wants for nothing God alone is enough.
"Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD..." (Dt 6:4; Mk 12:29).
"The supreme being must be unique, without equal. . . If God is not one,
he is not God" (Tertullian, Adv. Marc., 1, 3, 5: PL 2, 274).
Faith in God leads us to turn to him alone as our first origin and our ultimate
goal, and neither to prefer anything to him nor to substitute anything for him.
Even when he reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words: "If you
understood him, it would not be God" (St. Augustine, Sermo 52, 6, 16: PL
38, 360 and Sermo 117, 3, 5: PL 38, 663).
The God of our faith has revealed himself as HE WHO IS; and he has made himself
known as "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Ex 34:6).
God's very being is Truth and Love.
· Eat waffles
and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
Litany of the Most Precious
Blood of Jesus
· Monday: Litany of
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40
Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 37. Mental Prayer.