Sunday, December 9, 2018

Thoughts on Advent

Advent is a great liturgical season of waiting—but not a passive waiting. We yearn, we search, and we reach out for the God who will come to us in human flesh. In short, we prepare the way of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This preparation has a penitential dimension, because it is the season in which we prepare for the coming of a savior, and we don’t need a savior unless we’re deeply convinced there is something to be saved from. When we have become deeply aware of our sin, we know that we can cling to nothing in ourselves, that everything we offer is, to some degree, tainted and impure. We can’t show our cultural, professional, and personal accomplishments to God as though they are enough to save us. But the moment we realize that fact, we move into the Advent spirit, desperately craving a savior.

In the book of Isaiah, we read: "Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work of your hands." Today, let us prepare ourselves for the potter to come. 


Bishop Robert Barron
 

2nd Sunday of Advent



















As we begin the second week of Advent this year, we hear the call of John the Baptist to turn our lives around, to let go of those things that keep us too far away from God’s presence. He preached a fierce and compelling message to people who had lost their way. But he also brought the message home to them in ways that spoke to the uniqueness of their way of life.
And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
We have a tendency to live “all-or-nothing” lives, especially when we’re trying to make changes and become better people. We swing from one extreme to the other and forget that temperance, too, is a virtue.

Diane Houdek

Friday, December 7, 2018

Thoughts on faith

To have faith is—to use the current jargon—to live outside the box, risking, venturing, believing the impossible. When we remain in the narrow confines of our perceptions, our thoughts, or our hopes, we live in a very cramped way. We become closed off to the possibility that sometimes, the power of faith is manifested in spectacular and immediately obvious ways. When someone consciously and confidently opens himself to God, acting as a kind of conduit, the divine energy can flow.

Faith allows someone to live in detachment from all of the ups and downs of life. In the language of St. Ignatius of Loyola: "Lord, I don’t care whether I have a long life or a short life, whether I am rich or poor, whether I am healthy or sick." Someone that lives in that kind of detachment is free, and because they are free, they are powerful. They are beyond the threats that arise in the context of this world. This is the source of dynamis, of real power.


Bishop Robert Barron

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thoughts on death

There is no “after” after death. Words like after and before belong to our mortal life, our life in time and space. Death frees us from the boundaries of chronology and brings us into God’s “time,” which is timeless. Speculations about the afterlife, therefore, are little more than just that: speculations. Beyond death there is no “first” and “later,” no “here” and “there,” no “past,” “present,” or “future.” God is all in all. The end of time, the resurrection of the body, and the glorious coming again of Jesus are no longer separated by time for those who are no longer in time.
For us who still live in time, it is important not to act as if the new life in Christ is something we can comprehend or explain. God’s heart and mind are greater than ours. All that is asked of us is trust.

Henri Nouwen

Sunday, December 2, 2018

1st Sunday of Advent



















Today marks the beginning of Advent, the great liturgical season of vigilance, of waiting and watching.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thoughts on security and peace

We should not trust in any of the powers of the world to give us security and peace. Such peace will come only with the arrival of God’s kingdom.

One of the most enduring convictions of human beings—you can see it up and down the centuries and across the cultures—is that we can make things right if only we find the correct political, economic, or cultural configuration. But you should never put your ultimate faith in any of the kingdoms, social arrangements, or political programs of the world. They are all, in one way or another, attractive, and they are all destined to fall. They all lead to tribulations.

What you should look to is the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. Now, is this meant in an ultimate sense? Yes, the second coming signals the end of the world as we know it. But the Son of Man is coming on the clouds of heaven even now in the life of the Church. Think of the clouds of incense that accompany the manifestations of Christ in the high liturgy. Even now the true king, the successor of David, is in our midst. 


Bishop Robert Barron

Wednesday, November 28, 2018