++++++++++++++++++++God's timing is not our timing, but He is never late.++++++++++++++++++++

Layers - in the knowledge of God and the path to holiness

Learning about God is like unwrapping a head of lettuce, pealing back one leaf at a time. Always there is another leaf below. We will eventually reach the center of the head of lettuce; but we will never unwrap everthing there is to know about God.

The path to holiness is like pealing an onion. God shows us what is sinful and convicts us that we have sinned. No matter how sweet the onion, there are always tears in the peeling. No matter how sweet the grace of repentence, there are always the pain of letting go of the sin. As the peeling of the onion reveals another layer, so God shows us what we lack in holiness, drawing us ever closer to "be(ing) perfect even just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48

What I Believe

Why I am and always will be a Catholic. "So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Tthe living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." John 6:53-58 The words and actions of man cannot sanctify. Only the priest, empowered by his ordination, can invoke the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine into Jesus so we can receive Him - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity into our bodies and souls. This is the core of the Catholic Church; without this there is no purpose or meaning to the Catholic Church. There are other ways to holiness, to grow in grace; there is no better way than union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Visitation Catholic Church

Visitation Catholic Church

Friday, November 30, 2007

God’s Forgiveness

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John writes of the assurance of our forgiveness if we confess our sins to God. In the same manner, in confession we have the assurance of our forgiveness when the priest, in the place of Jesus, says “I absolve you…” We need this assurance because the devil takes every opportunity open to him to tell us that we are unworthy of God’s forgiveness and love. If he can convince us that we can never be worthy of God, then the devil has won. Judas believed (unless as he was dying he called out to God) that he was unworthy of forgiveness. Peter accepted forgiveness. How do we know that we are worthy of God’s love? First of all, God created us. He created us not as a whole, but individually. Each one of us at the time of conception was created by God who knew from all time the unique persons we would be. “He knew me before I was formed, in my mother’s womb.” Jeremiah 1:5 We are worthy of God’s love because we have been created out of God’s love. Not only that but the Redemption is not only for the world but for each one individually. “For God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Not only that but He gives us the means to grow in holiness. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day…He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.” John 6:54,56 God did not make us to be unworthy of forgiveness. This is the great lie of Satan.

What to Believe

If I don’t like what my Church teaches, what do I do? The prevailing thinking in this country, at least, is to change to a church which teaches what I am willing to believe. So, who decides what ought to be believed? Ultimately, God decides. What He wants us to believe is expressed in Sacred Tradition, passed to us in the written word of the Bible and the oral Traditions of the Church, passed from the Apostles through the bishops. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guided the writers of Scripture and safe-guards the truth through the teachings of the Church. So, do we have the right to pick and choose what we want to believe? Or must we believe even if that belief is contrary to logic and our own desires? If we say we believe in Jesus, then we must believe in what He said. He said that He would send the Holy Spirit to teach us. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is among us, then we must believe that He has been guiding the Church since Pentecost. If we believe that the Holy Spirit has been guiding the Church, then we must believe that the Church cannot fall into error in its teaching of faith. If we believe that the Church cannot fall into error in its teaching on faith, then we must believe what the Church teaches, since those teachings come from God. If God wants us to believe, then faith is not a matter of understanding but of obedience. Faith calls us to believe without understanding. Faith calls us to believe in obedience. Faith calls us to surrender control to God and to His Church which He established.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lessons from Grandpa

If you do your job, whether you are a ditch digger or a bank president, to the best of your ability, you can be proud of yourself; if you don’t, you are nothing.

Look to God for strength, not solutions.

Lessons from Grandma

Believe the best of your fellow man.

If someone hurts you, he may not have intended to do it. Look for their goodness and try to find understanding.

When someone else in angry, try to smooth things over. If that doesn’t work, back off until the other person is acting sanely again.

Life is short. Don’t hold grudges. Your reasons may end up making you look foolish anyway.

Treat everyone as a person. Don’t lump them into a group and/or knock them down because of race or ethnicity.

Don’t speak ill of others.

Do not swear or use foul language.

Save for a rainy day. If it is raining, don’t use the savings because it may rain harder tomorrow.

If you can’t decide, just say, “I don’t know.” If you don’t want to make a decision, just say, “I don’t know.” The problem may resolve itself by tomorrow. (Scarlett O’Hara law)
Don’t be impulsive. If you don’t admit that there is a problem, there isn’t. (Ostrich corollary)

Always take an afternoon nap. No reason needed.

Trust in God always. Simple faith is enough.