For some reason, it is easier to genuflect in reverence to the presence of Christ in the tabernacle of a church, than to genuflect in reverence to the same presence of Christ in another person’s soul. We wrongly believe that God divides himself, placing himself in one place in preference to another. It doesn’t work that way. Love of God and love of neighbor are intimately and inseparably connected because the essence and spark of God’s very presence is in all creation. God’s presence is just as real in the one who is good, as in the one who is bad, and the one who is just, and the one who is unjust.
Our brains get in the way of truly contemplating the awesomeness of this truth. We like to separate things into boxes, the sheep from the goats and the deserving from the undeserving. But, with God there are no distinctions such as this. Our human classifications, subdivisions, and definitions hold no power or have any weight in God’s eyes. Sadly, we relate to God and to each other as if they do.READ MORE
Last week we introduced the topic of the domestic church which each Catholic home is called to be. We are to be a microcosm of the Church.
Each domestic church is also to become a living catechism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is made up of four parts or pillars and Catholic families are called to give life to the Church’s teachings found in each part of the Catechism by putting them into practice, first at home and then in the parish and the larger community.
The first pillar is The Profession of Faith. Parents help children learn the faith we believe by teaching them to say the words of the Creed and by sharing with them the great story of God’s love for us which is found in Sacred Scripture. As they help each child find his/her own place in the great love story between God and his people, their children will be able to answer the questions, “Who am I?” and “What am I called to do?” They will know how to answer, “I am a child of God, called to love God above all things and love my neighbor as myself.”READ MORE
Maybe you have heard that the Catholic family is the domestic church. But what does this mean? It literally means household or home church. It is the place where each member is welcomed with great joy, just like each new member in the parish Church is welcomed with the Sacrament of Baptism. Each one belongs and is loved not for what they can produce, but for the unique and irreplaceable person they are. It’s the place where God is honored and praised, where meals are shared, just like the Eucharist is shared and we worship God at Mass.
Just like at Mass, it is from the domestic church that each family member is strengthened to share the love they have received at home with the whole world.READ MORE
Nobody enjoys paying taxes. Despite our displeasure in being forced to do so, we also realize that the monies generated from taxes allows governments to provide essential services for its people. Corruption really gets our goat, however. When we witness malfeasance, overspending, irresponsibility, and dishonesty in governmental spending, the grave injustices make an already unpleasant and arduous task even more difficult. The inappropriate distribution and use of hardearned monies can leave a person quite angry and disconnected. It’s bad enough the government wants something from me, now God does, too? God is not concerned necessarily with our money, although its proper use does factor into our faith life. As the payment of secular taxes speaks of our allegiance to the government, our return to God speaks of our allegiance to God. All of creation, even the entire universe, is fashioned in the image and likeness of God. What speaks to God and has meaning and relevance to him? All of creation and indeed our very selves! God delights in us and when we present ourselves back to him, he delights even more! As the payment of secular taxes is designed to secure the equitable distribution of goods and services to all people, so is our return of ourselves to God in gratitude meant to advance God’s kingdom here on earth.READ MORE
God gives us an invitation to have an abundant life. The banquet is ready, and the tables are set. Come! There is so much to attend to in the everydayness of our lives. We have plans, after all. There is never enough time and so much that needs to be done. There is work, children, and grandchildren, paying the bills, planning for retirement, figuring out the details of our next vacation, making sure we are on top of our game with work, planning social engagements, answering emails, texts, and getting our latest pictures on Facebook. There is always something. What is this about some banquet?
I need another party and commitment like a hole in the head. I can’t manage what I already have, and someone is asking me to do more! Seriously? I saw the invitation; I think it came in the mail the other day. Did I leave it on the table? Oh wait, it may have gotten thrown away. I can’t remember. In any case, I’m managing things pretty well on my own, I think. Thanks for thinking of me, but no thanks. My life is only as good as I make it and I have to be sure that all is in order! Oh, another invitation came today! This guy’s being persistent. Now, I’m getting angry. I wish he would just leave me alone and stop with this invitation nonsense.READ MORE
Some time ago, after leaving a church parking lot and stopping at a light, a complete stranger pulled his car alongside mine and motioned for me to open the window. Thinking he had something important to tell me about my vehicle, I complied.
The man began ranting about how he knew I thought I was better than everyone else because I went to church, then cursed and swore at me, calling me names and telling me that I had endangered his life with my bad driving. I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. My brain was so busy trying to process the angry barrage of words that I had no response except, “I’m sorry”. The light changed and we went our separate ways. But I have thought of that man a few times since, and when I remember, I pray for him and the woman who was in the truck with him, that God would deliver him from anger and heal any wounds caused by people who were Christian in name only, that God will keep the woman safe.READ MORE
One thing that helps parents pass on their faith and values to their children is eating meals together.
Children who eat family dinner with their parents each day are much more likely to continue practicing their faith when they are grown. Eating meals together also helps establish human connection, which is crucial to maintaining happiness and a sense of belonging.
As you gather, all phones, tablets and screens ought to be turned off and/or put away in another room to show respect for each other.
Here are a few ideas for conversing with your kids when you’re gathered around the table. Pick just one and try it out next time you have a meal together.
1. Parent(s) can share a story about the kids when they were babies or toddlers.READ MORE
May the peace of Christ be with you.
It is my prayer that you are doing great. I would like to begin this update by thanking you for your commitment to the parish, your support and contributions. Your commitment to our parish has encouraged us to bring hope to our parishioners. As I am aware that many of us cannot come back yet, allow me to update you on our ongoing projects.
For the second straight year, we haven’t stopped making necessary improvements to our parish. Can you imagine what our parish will look like 20 years from now? Just to give you an example. Please thank our maintenance team because they have been working diligently to continue with the beautification of the church. As you can see in the picture below, you can identify refinished pews. They look like new. The beautification of the restrooms and vestibule, will most likely begin the first two weeks of November. We’ll keep you updated.READ MORE