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

Thursday, November 22, 2018

More thoughts on Thanksgiving

Gratitude is a choice we make. It’s a command to obey, for the Bible tells us: “Be thankful.” Remembering and reflecting on God’s goodness is one of the blessings of thanksgiving. Take a moment and think about a situation that’s causing you distress. Somewhere among the feelings of hurt, fear, anger, or anxiety—somewhere—there are some things for which to be thankful. What are they? List them, thank God for them, and let the peace of God rule in your heart.

David Jeremiah

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Spirit of the Harvest
By Gary Kowalski

Each of us will be grateful this Thanksgiving in differing ways,
Gathered in our separate families,
Each with our own distinct recipes, customs and traditions;
For some will have pies of mince,
And others of pumpkin or apple;
And some will dine early
And some sit down late to the meal,
Passing on the wisdom of the elders.
As to the question of whether the stuffing
Should have raisins or currants,
And whether to add sage to the gravy.

For such differences of opinion,
Make us truly appreciative,
Realizing that as there is no one right way
To celebrate the gifts of life,
So there is no wrong way
To share in love or friendship.

But amid our diversity,
Let us also be united
In our gratitude
For a world in which there are many faiths,
A nation in which there is freedom of worship,
A community in which people of many backgrounds
Can gather in mutual care and respect.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Thoughts on saints

Belonging to the communion of saints means being connected with all people transformed by the Spirit of Jesus. This connection is deep and intimate. Those who have lived as brothers and sisters of Jesus continue to live within us, even though they have died, just as Jesus continues to live within us, even though he has died.

We live our lives in memory of Jesus and the saints, and this memory is a real presence. Jesus and his saints are part of our most intimate and spiritual knowledge of God. They inspire us, guide us, encourage us, and give us hope. They are the source of our constant transformation. Yes, we carry them in our bodies and thus keep them alive for all with whom we live and work.
Henri Nouwen

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thoughts on Veteran's Day

This is an edited rerun of a blog post first written in 2008:

Today is Veteran's Day, a national holiday that has been observed since 1954 (before that it was called Armistice Day). It is a day set aside to honor the country's living veterans who served in wartime or peacetime. Some people confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, which also honors veterans, but is actually to honor those that have died serving our country. Still others confuse both holidays as a day to have a sale! Usually it's the furniture stores, car dealerships, and most any other retail store that chooses to do so. Why? What does honoring a veteran of war have to do with getting 50% off a new couch or end table? If they really wanted to honor veterans, they would close their store like most banks do, and go to a parade or museum with their family. Better yet, call a veteran or go by a local VFW hall, and thank him (or her) in person! I have uncles and cousins who served our country in the military. My nephew is a paralegal in the Army and is also serving with the Army Rangers. The closest I got to serving was when I was in the Air Force ROTC while in college. I had a pilot slot but dropped out after I failed my vision exam before my junior year. Nevertheless, I honor the many living veterans today who served our country with honor, to give us the freedom that we enjoy today! Thank you for your service to our Nation. May God bless you all the rest of your days!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Thoughts on prudence

In the Middle Ages, prudence was called "the queen of the virtues" because it was the virtue that enabled one to do the right thing in a particular situation. Prudence is a feel for the moral situation, something like the feel a quarterback has for the playing field, or a politician for the voters in his district.

Courage, justice, and temperance are wonderful virtues, but without prudence they are blind and, finally, useless. For a person can be as courageous as possible, but if he doesn’t know when, where, and how to play out his courage, that virtue is useless.

Bishop Robert Barron

Friday, November 9, 2018

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Thoughts on the Good News

The Church is called to announce the Good News of Jesus to all people and all nations. Besides the many works of mercy by which the Church must make Jesus' love visible, it must also joyfully announce the great mystery of God's salvation through the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The story of Jesus is to be proclaimed and celebrated. Some will hear and rejoice, some will remain indifferent, some will become hostile. The story of Jesus will not always be accepted, but it must be told.

We who know the story and try to live it out, have the joyful task of telling it to others. When our words rise from hearts full of love and gratitude, they will bear fruit, whether we can see this or not.
Henri Nouwen

Monday, November 5, 2018

Even more thoughts on the poor

Luke 14:12-14

Jesus gives us this extraordinary command to consider the weakest and most vulnerable in our society: "When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind." This is one of his central concerns throughout the Gospels. Aliens, strangers, foreigners, widows, orphans, the poor—if these weak people are ignored, God will become angry.

God’s passion not only runs right through the biblical tradition, but it comes roaring up into the social teaching of the Catholic Church: "If you have two coats in your closet, one belongs to you; the other belongs to the man who has no coat."

Let us not forget the poor and marginalized today.

Bishop Robert Barron


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018

More thoughts on the poor

The poor are the center of the Church. But who are the poor? At first we might think of people who are not like us: people who live in slums, people who go to soup kitchens, people who sleep on the streets, people in prisons, mental hospitals, and nursing homes. But the poor can be very close. They can be in our own families, churches or workplaces. Even closer, the poor can be ourselves, who feel unloved, rejected, ignored, or abused.

It is precisely when we see and experience poverty - whether far away, close by, or in our own hearts - that we need to become the Church; that is, hold hands as brothers and sisters, confess our own brokenness and need, forgive one another, heal one another's wounds, and gather around the table of Jesus for the breaking of the bread. Thus, as the poor we recognise Jesus, who became poor for us.
Henri Nouwen