++++++++++++++++++++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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Focus

In Matthew 15, there is the story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter trying to join Him. The night was windy and the waves were high. Peter jumped out of the boat and walked on the water when Jesus said, ‘come.” Peter, however, lost his focus on Jesus and began to notice the wind and the waves, and became frightened and started to sink. Jesus needed to rescue him. We too need to keep our focus on Jesus. Our problems can otherwise overwhelm us and we can feel like we are sinking. We need to have faith and focus on our goal to be with Jesus, now and for eternity, that faith will help us endure and persevere through trouble.

Corpus Christi

The Catholic Church celebrates in Scripture and liturgy the feast of Corpus Christi, the belief that our Savior, Jesus, is truly and wholly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the consecrated bread and wine. This was His gift to us at the Last Supper and was celebrated and revered by the earliest of Christians. It is, if we chose, our daily Bread. Those Catholics, whom the world has called holy, are also ones who have centered their lives around the Eucharist both in their devotion at daily Mass and in private adoration. The eye looks upon the Host, and the mind says that it is impossible that it is Jesus. The soul looks upon the Host in faith and proclaims that as with the Incarnation, if God wills, it is indeed possible and it is indeed real. We are called to look upon Jesus in the Eucharist with eyes of faith so that the mind accepts what the soul embraces. The devil may tell us still it cannot be so, as he told some disciples in John 6; but Jesus told us it is the source of eternal life. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:54 Then He said in John 6:56, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in Him.” That is why it is so important to approach the altar with repentant hearts. To do otherwise would be to invite our Savior into a filthy, sinful soul, which is why the Church considers it sacrilege to receive the Eucharist in a state of soul deadening, mortal sin and urges frequent confession of sins for all. The cleaner our souls and hearts the more open we will be to His transforming grace as He abides within us.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Teaching Authority of the Church

Jesus told us that “thou are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” The Church will until the end of time be made up of saints and sinners and often, as currently, the sinners will seem to be predominate. But, sin will not conquer. The Church and its teachings are safe from Satan. If the Church fell into error in its teachings, then Satan would have prevailed. But, we have Jesus’ promise. Therefore, I must believe in its rightness because of Jesus’ promise. The Church’s members may fall into sin, but the Church will never fall into error in its teachings. Jesus taught his disciples. The Holy Spirit guides the Church in understanding His teachings. The Church has been directed to teach all people about Jesus and entrusted to safeguard His teachings against all falsehoods. I can be secure in my beliefs. I do need to research and test a doctrine, maybe for my own understanding, not for its rightness. Anyone can look to the Church’s teachings and be secure in the belief that that’s what Jesus wanted us to understand about Him, because Jesus promised.

Transformation

“We are what we eat,” is a well-known phrase from this health conscious world. The food we eat is transformed into us. Bread, peppers, meat or cheese becomes part of our body. But in another sense we become what the food is. If we eat a lot of fatty foods, it is no surprise if we become fat. If we eat the healthy foods, most likely we’ll be healthy. Jesus gave us Himself in the Eucharist as our spiritual food. When we eat His Body, He does not become us; it is we who are transformed. As a person whose diet consists mainly of milk shakes and Twinkies is transformed into a walking advertisement for summa wrestling, so we are to be transformed by the Eucharist into a walking advertisement of Christianity by the love that we show others. We eat the Word, the Word transforms us. We are transformed into Jesus, who is Love Incarnate. The more we participate in the Eucharist, the greater the transformation. By Baptism, we become part of the Body of Christ. But just how much do we participate in the Body? Are we like a strand of hair that begins alive but has grown away until some day we fall off? Or are we like the hair follicle which is alive and continues to grow more hair? By eating Jesus in the Eucharist we are to be transformed by His Love into a vibrant member of his Body. We are what we eat.