Thursday, March 25, 2010

WOW WOW WOW Christians and Muslims celebrate the Annuciation together

Good news for a change! Click on good news to read about the holiday celebrated by Christians and Muslims.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Great Prayer Need

I am directing you to another blog by Da Mihi Animas.
Click here to read about the Senate Health Bill including taxpayer funding of abortion.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Some Early Church Fathers' teachings on the Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ Confession

Ignatius of Antioch

"For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of penance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ" (Letter to the Philadelphians 3 [A.D. 110]).

"For where there is division and wrath, God does not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop" (ibid., 8).


"[The Gnostic disciples of Marcus] have deluded many women. . . . Their consciences have been branded as with a hot iron. Some of these women make a public confession, but others are ashamed to do this, and in silence, as if withdrawing from themselves the hope of the life of God, they either apostatize entirely or hesitate between the two courses" (Against Heresies 1:22 [A.D. 189]).


"[Regarding confession, some] flee from this work as being an exposure of themselves, or they put it off from day to day. I presume they are more mindful of modesty than of salvation, like those who contract a disease in the more shameful parts of the body and shun making themselves known to the physicians; and thus they perish along with their own bashfulness" (Repentance 10:1 [A.D. 203]).


"[The bishop conducting the ordination of the new bishop shall pray:] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Pour forth now that power which comes from you, from your royal Spirit, which you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and which he bestowed upon his holy apostles . . . and grant this your servant, whom you have chosen for the episcopate, [the power] to feed your holy flock and to serve without blame as your high priest, ministering night and day to propitiate unceasingly before your face and to offer to you the gifts of your holy Church, and by the Spirit of the high priesthood to have the authority to forgive sins, in accord with your command" (Apostolic Tradition 3 [A.D. 215]).

Cyprian of Carthage

"The apostle [Paul] likewise bears witness and says: ‘ . . . Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27]. But [the impenitent] spurn and despise all these warnings; before their sins are expiated, before they have made a confession of their crime, before their conscience has been purged in the ceremony and at the hand of the priest . . . they do violence to [the Lord’s] body and blood, and with their hands and mouth they sin against the Lord more than when they denied him" (The Lapsed 15:1–3 (A.D. 251]).

"Of how much greater faith and salutary fear are they who . . . confess their sins to the priests of God in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of conscience. . . . I beseech you, brethren, let everyone who has sinned confess his sin while he is still in this world, while his confession is still admissible, while the satisfaction and remission made through the priests are still pleasing before the Lord" (ibid., 28).

"[S]inners may do penance for a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of Communion. [But now some] with their time [of penance] still unfulfilled . . . they are admitted to Communion, and their name is presented; and while the penitence is not yet performed, confession is not yet made, the hands of the bishop and clergy are not yet laid upon them, the Eucharist is given to them; although it is written, ‘Whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27]" (Letters 9:2 [A.D. 253]).

"And do not think, dearest brother, that either the courage of the brethren will be lessened, or that martyrdoms will fail for this cause, that penance is relaxed to the lapsed, and that the hope of peace [i.e., absolution] is offered to the penitent. . . . For to adulterers even a time of repentance is granted by us, and peace is given" (ibid., 51[55]:20).

"But I wonder that some are so obstinate as to think that repentance is not to be granted to the lapsed, or to suppose that pardon is to be denied to the penitent, when it is written, ‘Remember whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works’ [Rev. 2:5], which certainly is said to him who evidently has fallen, and whom the Lord exhorts to rise up again by his deeds [of penance], because it is written, ‘Alms deliver from death’ [Tob. 12:9]" (ibid., 51[55]:22).


Basil the Great

"It is necessary to confess our sins to those to whom the dispensation of God’s mysteries is entrusted. Those doing penance of old are found to have done it before the saints. It is written in the Gospel that they confessed their sins to John the Baptist [Matt. 3:6], but in Acts [19:18] they confessed to the apostles" (Rules Briefly Treated 288 [A.D. 374]).

John Chrysostom

"Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? ‘Whose sins you shall forgive,’ he says, ‘they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.’ What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men [Matt. 10:40; John 20:21–23]. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven" (The Priesthood 3:5 [A.D. 387]).

Ambrose of Milan

"For those to whom [the right of binding and loosing] has been given, it is plain that either both are allowed, or it is clear that neither is allowed. Both are allowed to the Church, neither is allowed to heresy. For this right has been granted to priests only" (Penance 1:1 [A.D. 388]).


"If the serpent, the devil, bites someone secretly, he infects that person with the venom of sin. And if the one who has been bitten keeps silence and does not do penance, and does not want to confess his wound . . . then his brother and his master, who have the word [of absolution] that will cure him, cannot very well assist him" (Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10:11 [A.D. 388]).


"When you shall have been baptized, keep to a good life in the commandments of God so that you may preserve your baptism to the very end. I do not tell you that you will live here without sin, but they are venial sins which this life is never without. Baptism was instituted for all sins. For light sins, without which we cannot live, prayer was instituted. . . . But do not commit those sins on account of which you would have to be separated from the body of Christ. Perish the thought! For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities. That is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice to blot them out. . . . In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptisms, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance" (Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed 7:15, 8:16 [A.D. 395]).


Click here for my latest examiner article on the Sacrament of Reconciliation!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Time Change is a Good Time to Change

For this part of the country and many others, we will experience "spring forward" this evening or in the morning. As much as I wish we didn't go through this every Fall and Spring, I guess it is a good time for reflection.

Throw me in the pile with everyone else who doesn't like change! The reason, I suspect, is because there is security in staying the same. We know what to expect in our little world. However, nothing stays the same. Eventually we grow older, our circle of friends may change or grow, our families change, and our view of life changes. The reflection in the mirror may change, our understanding of God's love may change, but He remains the same. Maybe the lesson He is trying to teach, is even if our changing world causes the seas of our life to be choppy or calm, He is our stability. He is our security, our anchor, and our light. If we keep our eyes on Him, the time of our life ~ will be an eternity spent in heaven!

Lord, help me to accept the inevitable changes in life. Help me to make good use of the time you've given me, and help me to relish that time ~ with those I share it with! Amen

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stay with me, Lord ~ St. Padre Pio

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You I am in darkness.

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

When I was a small child, I was afraid of the dark. A night light stayed on all night, but my mother stayed with me every night, until I fell asleep. If I waked up, and she wasn’t there, I’d call for her. It’s funny how things change. Now I cannot stand any light when trying to sleep at night.

My previous posts on Padre Pio’s prayer touched on the first three lines. Each begins with, Stay with me, Lord... This fourth line seems so simple, but like so many times we find the profound in the simple.

How odd it seems to ask Our Lord to stay with us. It is us that walk away. For me, these four words mean don’t let me stray from You, and I want to add EVER!!! Because when I turn away from Him for even just a second, I’m headed in the wrong direction. And no matter how bright the day, I’m blind. I am blind even in good actions. My motive has to be questioned.

How many times during the day do I turn from Him? I don’t want know the answer. I just want to know that like the single flame of a candle in the night, He will be there when I’m in darkness, and He will answer when I call.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Missing when missing daily Mass

This week, I made it to Mass three times. That's up from one time last week. Well technically I guess it was two times this week, because today was a Communion service. Anyway, missing this special time with Our Lord may or may not show up to others, but I can certainly feel it.

Today I was asked to do the readings, and the reading on Joseph and his brothers seemed appropriate! How much he must have missed his family, especially his father. We know the story of how he was sold into slavery and eventually was the reason his family survived famine. This is another example of God taking something really bad and turning it into something really good! But Joseph's heart had to be heavy as he longed for his father.

The separation is what stands out to me today. When I'm away, the day seems so different. It may not be something I can put my finger on, but it is a feeling of having missed out on what is the best part of my day.

Unlike Joseph, we don't have to wait years to be with God our Father, but it's not like that for everyone. In some parts of the world people are not free to attend Mass, and others don't have Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Eucharist is thanksgiving, and I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to participate. More importantly, I don't want to miss out on Communion with Our Lord. And I suspect that "something missing" is a heart longing for the Love of it's life, a longing sometimes hard to define. It's a longing only He can calm with a love only He can give!

Lord, thank you for being the Lamb of God. Thank you for loving us, and thank you for calling us. Amen!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quilting and love!

The photo of the quilt on this blog was made for me by Mrs. LaNelle Renfroe Johnson.

I met LaNelle through facebook. We found out she and my mother worked together many years ago at a department store called Kenningtons. Then imagine my surprise when I found out, that many years ago, she lived near my mother-in-law and had visited her not that long before our meeting.

Though I've never met LaNelle in person (she lives on the west coast, and I in the south), I have learned a valuable lesson of the love of God from her. She told me each stitch was stitched with love. Isn't that something? Here she sends me a blanket to wrap around myself, and in doing so, her love wraps around me. It's like getting a hug from her. She's shown me God reaches out to us from places we've never dreamed of!

Through these months, I've learned a lot about LaNelle. She's shared stories of her life, photos and stories of her family and friends. I can tell she is enthusiastic about life and loved by many. I am so blessed to be in that crowd.

Dear Lord, thank you for all the friends you send our way. Thank you for LaNelle, and please keep her and her family safe in your Heart! And when her quilt wraps those through the coming years, help us remember the warmth of your love too! Amen