Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
" I fell in love with Jesus. When this happened, everything changed, and I wanted my whole life to be about Jesus. I am not saying that at that moment I became perfect! It's just that at a certain point, I realized that nothing matters without Him. ... There is no meaning, no purpose in life without God. ..."
And as for deciding to become a nun of her order at all, she says
"I saw their love for Jesus in the Eucharist, their dedication to service of the church, their devotion to the Blessed Mother, the centrality of Scripture, and the fact that the religious habit is still a reality in the community. As a young person of the current generation, signs and symbols are a necessity to me. I need to know and see the difference between one lifestyle and another, and I understand the importance of a visible witness."
Sister Clare should all the more be in our prayers, for perseverance on her part and so that the Holy Spirit will continue the good work that's been started in her.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
What on earth are those educators up to? Are they so driven to conform to the post-Christian world? Why are they ashamed of Jesus Christ, who was ever radical for his faithfulness to the will of God?
Do they forget that we are called to be prophets of God, sharing the light of Christ with the world?
"As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him.
To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God, who visits us like the dawn from on high.
He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace." -- from The Benedictus
Friday, December 09, 2005
Yes, and Mark Shea briefly explains why it has to be.
While many Church Fathers referred to the sinlessness of Mary in life, there were differences about when her sinlessness begins -- yes, begins, because we all know that she was also saved by the merits of Christ (she said so herself in her canticles, and the Church says so in the dogma itself). For example, St. Thomas Aquinas apparently preferred the moment of birth (or before birth) instead of at conception. Here's a piece from (I think) James Akin, and another one from Mark Bonocore.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
It worries me that many non-Catholics (and non-Lutherans) disbelieve the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist for "enlightened" or anti-superstitious reasons, i.e., that it is beyond reason to think that Christ's flesh and blood become bread and wine. One with such a mindset is a short step away from disbelieving the mystery of the Incarnation, that the same Jesus Christ who was crucified and rose from the dead was God. And here again are truths that run in parallel: the Real Presence of Jesus Christ -- body, blood, soul and divinity -- in the Eucharist, and the Incarnation of the Son of God as a human being. Being in parallel, rejecting one puts an individual at risk of rejecting the other. A warped view of one, i.e., that Christ is only spiritually or symbolically in the Eucharist, risks having a warped view of the other, i.e., that Jesus Christ was only a man with the spirit of God, or was only a man annointed by God to be the archtype of sonship, a symbol or pattern for us to follow. There have been many objections to both mysteries, and they run in parallels, too, which is what makes a right understanding of the Eucharist so important.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
When I think about it, parenthood scares me spitless, but it also humbles me to think that God would grant me this awesome responsibility -- to raise up children. But there is no need for despair, because God is reasonable and wise. Looking at my physical surroundings and even my own body, one has to admit that we who are given life are given the means to maintain it and to thrive in it. So, too, does he provide us with the means to maintain and thrive in a moral life. In the first place, we have our conscience and our reason. Second, he gives us his Son, by whose grace we are justified and made partakers of his divine life -- what we call a state of sanctifying grace. And this state of grace is of itself nourishing, the means by which we can grow in holiness, provided we do nothing to compromise it. As for that, if we think of sanctifying grace as oxygen, we compromise it by refusing to breathe, or by strangling ourselves or by wrapping our heads with a plastic bag.
So there is reason to hope, too, because the grace of God is more than sufficient, always. But it still scares me spitless, sometimes. But it's a good thing to be in-between those two: the hope and the fear and trembling.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
|Lord, I will give you all praise, for you have rescued me and not let my foes triumph over me. My Lord God, I cried to you and you healed me. Lord, you led my soul out from the underworld, gave me life so that I would not sink into the abyss. Sing to the Lord, his holy ones, and proclaim the truth of his holiness. His anger lasts a moment, but his favour for a lifetime. At night there are tears, but in the morning, joy. Once I was secure. I said, “I will never be shaken”. Lord, by your favour you had given me strength, set me high; but then you turned your face from me and I was shaken. I cried to you, Lord, and prayed to my God. “What use is my life, when I sink into decay? Will dust proclaim you, or make known your faithfulness?” The Lord heard and took pity on me. The Lord became my helper. You have turned my weeping into dancing, torn off my sackcloth and clothed me in joy, It is my glory to sing to you and never cease: Lord, my God, I will proclaim your goodness for ever. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.|
Monday, November 28, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Jesus said: ‘Before all this happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.’
and the notion of endurance comes up again. When I was looking at Hab 2:4, Heb 10:38, Rom 1:17 and Gal 5:6 in an earlier post, the notion of endurance also seemed to be relevant. The original context in Hab 2:4 was when God was reassuring the prophet Habakkuk and his people of Israel to endure the suffering they were undergoing at the hands of foreign oppressors. 'He will not delay' and the prophet was referring to the Messiah who was coming to save his people. In the meantime, the upright, through faith, shall live.
I get uncomfortable when someone preaches a nice, no-suffering, no-hardship gospel. I agree that the tribulations we must endure for the gospel do not give glory to God simply because they are painful, and it is no cause for pride on our part. But I'd be very careful myself not to give the impression that following the Lord is burden-free. The Lord said "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt 11:25-30).He did not say that there was no yoke, that there was no burden. I am reminded instead of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Pio of Petrelcina, and perhaps every martyr whose tribulations and martyrdom were endured with great hope, faith and above all, love. There is a burden involved in following Christ, but the one thing that makes that burden easy and light is love, and it is love which gives glory to God because it is exactly that which our God wishes us to learn and live in our lives. St. Francis found out the paradox of absolute freedom and joy when he embraced Sister Poverty as he called her, not because being absolutely without material possessions was pleasurable but because it was liberating to be in total abandonment to God's providence.
Endurance. Because love endures.
Here is an English translation of the epistle by Charles H. Hoole in 1885. Note that there are other translations as well. It's a good read because it shows signs of early developments in the doctrine of the Trinity, Apostolic succession and the structure of the Church. I found an amusing summary or abstract of the epistle someplace which said that the church in Corinth hadn't changed much since St. Paul's day. How so? Schisms, infidelity to orthodoxy, the sort of things that probably gave St. Paul and Pope St. Clement a "this-stiff-necked-people" sort of headache.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
This is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church thus:
1814 Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God." For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living faith "work[s] through charity."
The theme of the original words of the prophet Habakkuk (Hab 2:1-4) is persevering by faith (or faithfulness). Romans 1:17 uses these words to explain why the gospel is so important for faithful living: because the gospels reveal God's righteousness which encourages us (Rom 1:11-12) to be faithful. The righteous by faith in God naturally seek to know God's will, and this, the gospel reveals. But the word used in Hab 2:4 also means faithfulness, which extends faith into a faith that is lived. This necessarily places the faithful among those to whom the promise extends. Hab 2:3 tells us: 'For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.' Hebrews 10:37 phrases this wondrously: 'For yet "in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay"' -- linking the enduring confidence or trust of the faithful to the promised reward of salvation through Jesus Christ. And this saving faith is summed up in Gal 5:6 when St. Paul addresses the Christians who are reverting to Judaism and is emphasis on the Law, e.g., circumcision: 'For in Christ Jesus neiher circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working (or made effective) through love.'
Citations from Scripture:
|Gal 3:11 It is plainly written that no one becomes righteous, in God's way, by the Law: by faith the righteous shall live.|
|In the surrounding text (Gal 3:1-14), St. Paul is pointing out to Jewish converts, reverting to Judaism away from Christianity, that life is no longer to be had by observance of the Law, but through faith. Gal 3:12 says: 'Yet the Law gives no place to faith, for according to it: the one who fulfills the commandments shall have life through them.' Instead of trusting in what we do, we ought to have faith in God, and persevere in faithfulness.|
|Rom 1:17 This Good News shows us how God makes people upright through faith for the life of faith, as the Scripture says: The upright one shall live by faith.|
|In he surrounding text (Rom 1:16-17), St. Paul points out how the gospel, received by those who have faith, reveals the righteousness of God. He cites the faith (or faithfulness) of the righteous, as spoken of in Hab 2:4, perhaps to support the context of what he is preaching the gospel for: to strengthen the faith (and/or faithfulness) of the righteous. In both Romans 1:1-17 and Hab 2:1-4, note that the theme is encouraging us (Rom 1:11-12) to trust, patience and hope (Hab 2:3). It certainly is logical to view the gospel, the power of God for salvation, as crucial in encouraging the righteous, for in revealing to us God's righteousness, the gospel strengthens our faith. The theme of God's righteousness is prominent in the whole epistle to the Romans.|
|Hab 2:4 "I don't look with favor on the one who gives way; the upright, on the other hand, will live by faithfulness."|
|In the surrounding text (Hab 1:12-17, 2:1-5), the prophet Habakkuk complains to God about the oppression of his people. God replies that the oppression will end, with the upright persevering in a life of faithfulness.|
|Heb 10:38 Be patient in doing the will of God, and the promise will be yours. A little longer, a little longer -- says Scripture -- and he who is coming will come; he will not delay. My righteous one will live if he believes; but if he distrusts, I will no longer look kindly on him.|
|In the surrounding text (Heb 10:19-39), the message is an encouragement to trust in God and to persevere. Distrust is not an option (Heb 10:38, Hab 2:4 "the one who gives way")!|
Sunday, November 20, 2005
We can lay this out gently, knowing how full of love and mercy our king is. The bottom line remains: those pronnounced guilty will reap eternal misery, and that is a tragedy we must avert for ourselves, our family and for those whose lives we may touch. Better still, there is a great surprise awaiting those who do sow in faith, hope and love: '“Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world...”'
Update: Suggested reading on this topic:
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes, a man of advanced age and noble appearance, was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork. But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement, he spat out the meat, and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture, as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life. Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately, because of their long acquaintance with him, and urged him to bring meat of his own providing, such as he could legitimately eat, and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice prescribed by the king; in this way he would escape the death penalty, and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him. But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner, worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age, the merited distinction of his gray hair, and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood; and so he declared that above all he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.
He told them to send him at once to the abode of the dead, explaining: “At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense; many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar had gone over to an alien religion. Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life, they would be led astray by me, while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age. Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men, I shall never, whether alive or dead, escape the hands of the Almighty. Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.”
Eleazar spoke thus, and went immediately to the instrument of torture. Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed, now became hostile toward him because what he had said seemed to them utter madness. When he was about to die under the blows,
he groaned and said: “The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that, although I could have escaped death, I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging, but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him.” This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation.
The state of many post-Christian societies today came to mind when I came across 1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63, which was read at the celebration of the Eucharist last 14th November:
[From the descendants of Alexander’s officers] there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome. He became king in the year one hundred and thirty.seven of the kingdom of the Greeks.
In those days there appeared in Israel men who were breakers of the law, and they seduced many people, saying: “Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us; since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us.” The proposal was agreeable; some from among the people promptly went to the king, and he authorized them to introduce the way of living of the Gentiles. Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to the Gentile custom. They covered over the mark of their circumcision and abandoned the holy covenant; they allied themselves with the Gentiles and sold themselves to wrongdoing.
Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many children of Israel were in favor of his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.
On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five, the king erected the horrible abomination upon the altar of burnt offerings and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars. They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt. Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant, and whoever observed the law, was condemned to death by royal decree. But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. Terrible affliction was upon Israel.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Somewhere below, Lito from extranos has been asking me to give my two cents on his two cents on Gerry Matatics' sedevacantism, i.e., he declares that the seat of Peter has actually been vacant for a while on the grounds that a string of popes including the present one are heretical and therefore are not valid popes.
I'm not sure what to say. Perhaps Lito should had given me some specific questions to answer. I've never come across Gerry Matatics before, but this is not the first I've heard of sedevacantists and I've come across cases where people go further and declare themselves (or have a small group of "Catholics" declare them) as the valid bishop of Rome holding office in.. the porch of some house in some town in the United States, for example.
Dave Armstrong's comment boxes as well as Mark Shea's provide great clues as to why I won't be changing my Sunday plans anytime in this lifetime or the next. Moreover, Gerry's views are not as simple as they can be made out to be. Compare what Gerry says about his own beliefs in the institution of the papacy:
'By invoking the Old Testament testimony of Isaias, by borrowing his language and concept of the chief steward, or prime minister, Jesus, in effect, is saying to Peter: "The Church I will build is the Kingdom of God. I, the Son of David the King, will be its King. But I must have My officers, My ministers, My stewards. You are going to be My chief steward. So, I'm going to give you the keys the chief steward carries." And, since the chief steward's office is one of dynastic succession, Our Lord intended Peter's office and authority to be transmitted to successors.
And so we come to the final consideration: historically, who, in fact, inherited Peter's office and authority? There's only one candidate -the Bishop of Rome! I saw from early Church history that all Church Fathers who talked about where Peter went, talked about his going to Rome. It's as historically documented as any fact we know about the early Church - that Peter went to Rome, that he died in Rome, and that the next bishop of Rome acted confidently as the possessor of his authority, which the early Church sought and accepted.'
with this statement from extranos:
'There are some things that Mr. Matatics agree with the Protestants, the papacy is the seat of the anti-Christ so says their confessions of faith.'
It appears that Gerry will disagree that the papacy is the seat of the anti-Christ.
So what is Gerry's problem? I am still trying to discover that. From what I can tell thus far, he has a falling out with the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and the popes who held the See of Peter from then until now. I agree with him that liturgical abuses are deplorable. However, I don't see that as somethng that was dogmatically perpetrated by Vatican II, nor by the popes of the last 40 years or so. If anything, it is due to laxity on the part of the Church Magisterium to enforce faithful adherence to the Catholic faith, in both liturgy and in catechism.
I sympathize with Gerry, but off-hand I think he's made a similar mistake that many have made when they went up against past or present popes: he is, in effect, arrogating for himself, good intentions and all, an authority higher than that of the Church Magisterium. When he wrote these words,
'This would include, not only the manifest heretics John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, but also the manifest heretic and present illicit and invalid occupant of the See of Peter, Benedict XVI'
I was prompted to ask myself "manifest to whom?" I am also obliged now to consider a few key questions: What is heresy, and how have the popes mentioned promulgated heresy? Were they considered heretics before or after being elected as popes? Were they even confronted about their alleged heresy? Was their election invalid due to procedural lapses in the election process? And perhaps ultimately, how does a sedevacantist foresee an end to the vacancy of the seat of Peter?
I am reminded of the paradox that was the choice of Peter. He truly is blessed, because nothing of what was to be the papacy belongs nor originates from the man who is chosen. It is not flesh and blood that reveals truths to him, nor is he the builder of the Church. He is of practical use, a rock upon which to build. He is to hold the keys that are not of his kingdom but of Christ's. He is given the authority to bind and to loose on earth as in Heaven, but since the latter is the greater, it is the former that bends to the source of his authority: Christ. Sedevacantists and Protestants alike dash their teeth against this or that pope without realizing that they have probably fallen into a cynicism that does nto admit the possibility that Christ shepherds His Church exactly as he said he would, through Peter and in spite of Peter's falls. (Matt 16:17-19, John 21:15-17, Luke 22:31)
I also got to thinking that perhaps there is no small amount of pessimism among people who wish to use Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus without any qualifications. Perhaps it is the vehemence of a man who wakes up to a new day convinced that his past life was horrible to the utmost. Unfortunately, that can often be carried too far.
UPDATE: Robert Sungenis makes some good points about this.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Take and Receive
Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty.
Take all my will, my mind, and memory.
All things I hold, and all I own are thine.
Thine was the gift, to thee, I all resign.
Do thou direct and govern all and sway,
Do what thou wilt command, and I obey.
Only thy grace, thy love on me bestow,
These make me rich, all else will I forego.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
|After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.|
Jesus, Peter and the Keys: The Papacy in Scripture
Your gift for housing will transform a family's despair into hope
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
|'To best understand where protestants are coming from, please take time to read their confessions - Augsburg & Concord also Heidelberg Cathechism/ Belgic Confession or the London Baptist/Westminster Confessions of faith. Interacting with modern day evangelical may be fruitless because most evangelicals are non-confessional. I know they are anti-catholic but one of their weakness is that they are non-confessional. I noticed that you a comfortable with evangelical protestants who became RC, however, my observation is that they are mostly non-confessional in background. That is, their upbringing did not include systematic cathechising and their churches did not conform to a confessional standard( by enlarge). As a test, ask a modern evangelical if they know the difference between Law and Gospel. Ask them what is justification and sanctification as understood by Lutheran & Reformed. If they tell you they are born-again that is good, that is the result of the gospel but I am sorry being born again is NOT the gospel we are called to preach. Most non-confessing evangelicals have a lot in common with RC except that they do not have the sacraments and no bells and incenses as well as saints. For example their view of man is the same as RC, man has a free will that can at any moment can turn to God if man so pleases. That free-will according to most evangelicals is sovereign , that is, God will never alter that will and will hold it in respect for the rest of eternity. For them man can create faith at any moment in time, it can decide to believe. This is quite intuitive but confessional protestant view it different that is why for them the preaching of the Law and Gospel is very important because that is how God creates faith.'|
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Thursday, September 15, 2005
St. Bonaventure tells us that our Lady suffered her childbirth pains at the foot of the cross "from compassion and love." What was it like for her at the foot of the cross? We shall never know, for we did not give birth to our Lord, nor did we raise him up, knowing Him intimately as only a mother would. But Mary is the archetype of all Christians, she who was the first recipient of grace in Christ, the first to love and serve Christ. It is in such pain as hers that one comprehends the horror of sin -- not just our personal unrighteousness, past or present, but those of others. Then comes an understanding of the great price and love by which our salvation was purchased by Christ. St. Catherine of Genoa tells us that God may purify a soul by imparting upon him:
|'a mind occupied with great suffering; for that makes him know himself, and how abject and vile he is. This vision of his own misery keeps him in great poverty, and deprives him of all things which could afford him any savor of good; thus his self-love is not able to nourish itself, and from lack of nourishment it wastes away until at last man understands that if God did not hold his hand, giving him his being, and removing from him this hateful vision, he could never issue from this hell. And when God is pleased to take away this vision of his utter hopelessness in himself, afterwards he remains in great peace and consolation.'|
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
|"Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).|
|Paul said he rejoiced "in my sufferings for you, and [I] fill up those things that are wanting in the suffering of Christ" (Col. 1:24). Ronald Knox explained this passage by noting that "the obvious meaning is that Christ's sufferings, although fully satisfactory on behalf of our sins, leave us under a debt of honour, as it were, to repay them by sufferings of our own." Paul did not imply there was something lacking in the Redemption, that Christ could not pull it off on his own, and no Fundamentalist misreads Col. 1:24 that way. Analogously, it is not contrary to the Redemption to say we must suffer for our sins; it is a matter of justice. -- Karl Keating|
|Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life. (from the Southern Baptist Convention)|
|Would it not beak the heart if God said to us, 'It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy'? Should we not reply, 'With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I'd rather be cleansed first.' 'It may hurt, you know.' 'Even so, sir.' - C.S.Lewis|
- Does the doctrine of Purgatory claim a second chance for sinners? The answer is a resounding NO. Purgatory pertains only to those who die in God's grace and friendship.
- Does the doctrine claim that Christ's sacrifice on the cross is insufficient? The answer is also a resounding NO. The purification we undergo to mature in holiness, in justification, has as its source the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. To become Christ-like is our goal. When St. Paul tells us to conform, it is to conform to Christ: his righteousness, his holiness. We already know this concerning the cross that we must take up, the obedience that is due to God, the love that we must manifest in our actions.
Monday, August 29, 2005
|First Reading: "Then there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones. The effort to restrain it wearied me, I could not bear it." (Jer 20:7-9) Psalm: My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.(Ps 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-90) Second Reading: ".. offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship." (Rom 12:1-2) Gospel: "'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.'" (Matthew 16:21 - 27) Commentary, from DailyGospel.org: St. Augustine warns, "You are not judging by God’s standards but by man’s.".|
Friday, August 26, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
|First Reading: "May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you." (1 Thessalonians 3:7 - 13) Psalm: Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!(Psalm 90) Gospel: "'Stay awake,' .. 'What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time?'" (Matthew 24:42 - 51) Commentary, from DailyGospel.org: Pope John Paul II says "You must be prepared in the same way." Today's Saint: St. Louis of France, a dutiful king of the 13th century who established courts of law to dispense justice. He was known to be unusually prayerful and charitable even to the destitute in France.|
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
|I was in a discussion between several college students and a Nazarene Missionary to Korea. We had just heard a lecture that spoke of the light and grace that God has made available to those who have never heard the Gospel. One student asked why we would bother sending missionaries to non-Christian countries, because they have their own culture, and if they hear the Gospel that will only increase their responsibility on the day of judgment. Why not just leave them be, and let them be judged based on the light that they already have? The Missionary responded roughly thus: “You tell me that people can be saved without hearing the Gospel, and I accept that as a possibility… and likewise I can believe that a man might be able to sail a kayak across the Pacific Ocean… but if I am in an Ocean liner, I am going to encourage the guy in the kayak to get on board the Ocean liner.|