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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Practicing Catholic

I didn't realize until recently, when a relative used the term "practicing Catholic", how much I dislike the term.  The term is used commonly, even in the Church, to describe those people who normally go to Mass on Sundays and adhere to the Church's teachings.  The term seems to be more of a description of what I do, much like my job title.  The job title indicates to others what functions I have and what expectations they can have of me.

I do not see myself as a "practicing Catholic."  I am Catholic.  Being Catholic is part of who I am, not what I do.  Being Catholic is a unique relationship with Jesus and His Body of followers, the Church.  What I do as a Catholic flows out of this relationship with Jesus and the Church.  In much the same way one can view a parent.  This label can bring to mind all of the things one needs to do as a parent.  But the term "parent" speaks also of the love/bond with the child which transcends the doing and is a part of being.

I could do all sorts of parenting things for my children, but if I didn't love them, I wouldn't really be a parent.  Going to Mass, fasting, even saying prayers doesn't make me Catholic either.  My relationship with Jesus, the Eucharist, is what makes me Catholic; and through Jesus, the Eucharist, is my relationship with His Church.  The depth of being a parent or being a Catholic depends on the bond, the relationship. The stronger the bond, the relationship, the more one is a parent - or a Catholic.

I do Catholic things because I am Catholic; I am not Catholic because I do Catholic things.

Grudges

"If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."  Matthew 6:14-15

It is easy to hold on to a grudge from someone else's perceived transgression.  A grudge can be nurtured through bringing back memories of the perceived transgression, magnifying it and giving it holding power over us.  a nurtured grudge can lead to bitterness towards the other person.  a grudge has only as much power over us as we give it.  Satan is always willing to whisper thoughts to us to encourage the grudge.

God commands us to forgive.  His grace can empower us to forgive and break the hold of the grudge on us.  We can then in turn bless the other person whenever Satan tries to get us to pick up the grudge again.  All we need to do is to ask God for the grace.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Seconds - I Am Second

Seconds - I Am Second

Scott Hamilton Gold Medal winner. Cancer survivor. Brain Tumor victor. God’s trophy.

"Olympic Gold Medalist and figure skating commentator Scott Hamilton knows a thing or two about preparation and dedication. His sport demands that a competitor come as close to perfect as possible. No break or fault goes unpunished by the judges. Scott mastered the sport and its nuances to become the world’s best.Yet as good as he was, he could not on his own handle some of life’s biggest challenges to his health. Cancer. A re-occuring brain tumor. In the times that he needed someone by his side, there was always Someone there. Someone he has grown to know, to love,. The one who introduced him to his wife and who has made having children possible. In this film he recalls a journey that many others are also traveling, and its telling never gets old."