Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Thoughts on preparedness

Everything that comes from God asks for an open and faithful heart. We cannot live with hope and joy in the end-time unless we are living in a state of preparedness. We have to be careful because, as the Apostle Peter says: "Your enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5.8). Therefore Jesus says: "Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life. ... Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to hold your ground before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:34-36). That's what living in the Spirit of Jesus calls us to. 

Henri Nouwen

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thoughts on listening

Listening is unselfish. That’s why there always seem to be more people waiting to talk than those who are waiting to listen. We are all more selfish than not; we want people to care about what we have to say. But if we learn to think about listening as something sacred, we might be able to change that.
It starts with putting a significant value on what people have to say. Their words eventually provide a pathway to the soul, so we want to know about that path and be careful on it.
It is also true that listening is not passive. Listening involves being engaged, locked-in, locked-on, alert and awake to what is being said, and able to rephrase it to be sure you heard it right. Believe me, I’m speaking of what I know, but don’t do most of the time. If I ask someone to rephrase something, it’s not to clarify; it’s because I didn’t listen the first time. It takes a good deal of effort to do this right, but it will make a world of difference if you do. Listening is not easy.
John Fischer

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A prayer for peace

A Cry for Peace
By Henri Nouwen

Out of the depths;
Not from the top of our lungs;
Not out of the need just to do something;
Not out of pure frustration, anger, desire for revenge;
Not out of the superficiality of our restlessness.
Out of the very depths of our being we cry to God for peace.
Out of that fearful place where we have to confess that we too are part of the destruction against which we are protesting.
Out of that center where we discover that we too are so high up in the air that we have become numb and no longer see, feel and hear the agony of thousands who are struck by the seeds of destruction…
Out of that empty spot of silence,where we feel helpless, embarrassed, and powerless, where we suffer from our own impotence to stop the reign of death in our world.
Out of those depths we cry to the Lord and say:
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Thoughts on blessings

To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly. Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings. We forget so quickly that we are God's beloved children and allow the many curses of our world to darken our hearts. Therefore we have to be reminded of our belovedness and remind others of theirs. Whether the blessing is given in words or with gestures, in a solemn or an informal way, our lives need to be blessed lives. 

Henri Nouwen

Monday, September 3, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thoughts on responding to scandal

Responding to Scandal in the Church

Like many of you, we were deeply disturbed to read news reports about the grand jury report out of Pennsylvania last week and the evil that has been running rampant throughout the Church.
Does this report mean that we give up hope or stop evangelizing? Does it mean that we have been abandoned by leadership in the Church? No.
Scandals will be with us until that Second Coming.
As evangelists we can:
1. Pray for healing for the victims, fast, offer reparation for the sins of the perpetrators, seek justice, and work towards our own holiness.
2. When we speak to someone about the scandal, we can agree that what took place was horrifically evil and there is no excuse for it. It is terrible and it makes us angry. Matthew 18:6-7 reminds us to beware the millstone.
3. We can explain that we shouldn't leave Jesus because of Judas. There are good priests and bishops who are just as angry as we are. We need to make sure that righteous anger does not devolve into unrighteous anger, but is directed towards positive change in the Church.
4. We can explain that it is not people who are following the teachings of Jesus who perpetrate these offenses but those who do not follow Jesus as His disciple who do are committing these acts. Just as Judas, who was counted among the twelve, betrayed Jesus so too have some of our Catholic leaders betrayed Him.
5. We can explain that we still need to forgive those who sin against us. "It is not in our power not to feel or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession. Christian prayer extends to the forgiveness of enemies...Forgiveness is a high-point of Christian prayer." (CCC 2843-44) We can ask for the intercession of St. Maria Goretti, St. John Vianney, Our Lady, and St. Michael.
We don't stop evangelizing and bringing people to Jesus and the Sacraments because the church is filled with weeds and wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). As Jesus said, both will grow up together. In the end, the wheat goes into the barn an the weeds into the fire. Let's keep working towards the conversion of the whole world.

St. Paul Street Evangelization

St. Paul Street Evangelization is a grassroots, non-profit Catholic evangelization organization, dedicated to responding to the mandate of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all nations by taking our Catholic Faith to the streets. We do this in a non-confrontational way, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of those who witness our public Catholic presence. St. Paul Street Evangelization provides an avenue for you to share the Person of Jesus Christ and the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith with a hungry culture.
In order to build a civilization of love, we must first create a culture of evangelization.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Thoughts on omniscience

An idea that we now take for granted used to be the stuff of science fiction. Technology now allows us to track the movements of cars, phones, and people with digital devices. We can pull up maps to that effect on our computer screens. This is not actually omniscience since there are limits.

 True omniscience is one of God’s attributes; because He is love, His exhaustive knowledge is used for our benefit. The psalmist David wrote eloquently about God’s all-knowing awareness of his life (Psalm 139:2-11). The phrase “misery loves company” comes to mind: When we are suffering, the knowledge that God knows about our pain is comforting. He is with us (Hebrews 13:5) and, even before we tell or ask Him, He knows what we need (Matthew 6:8). Whether in good times or bad, God is with us, never more than a prayer away.

Dr. David Jeremiah