Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
February 12, 2012
In our second reading, St. Paul exhorts us to “do everything for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). He is giving us a rule of life to help us in our actions and in our decisions. Paul is saying to us “have the glory of God as your main goal in life, for everything you do and decide upon.” This may seem as strange advice for us today, and we might ask why should we? Perhaps to answer that question we need to look at what the Glory of God is all about.
It was Saint Ireneus who said “The Glory of God is man fully alive.” And it was with this purpose, both of God’s glory and man’s beatitude, that Our Lord came among us, for he said, “I have come that you might have life in abundance” (John 10:10).
…If we are focused on giving glory to God, we will experience in our life a sense of his goodness and providential care, and we will communicate the goodness of God to others. The catechism quotes St. Bonaventure as saying, “St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things not to increase his glory,
but to show it forth and to communicate it, for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness” (CCC 293).
When we strive to live in such a way as to give God the glory, we are uniting our desires with His, and this is the secret to true and lasting joy and wisdom. Christ did not come to impose a lot of rules or rituals to take away from our life or to take the joy out of it, but to help us live in such a way that
would contribute to the flourishing of our life. Thus, by living in a certain disciplined way, we experience a sense of God’s goodness and love, we experience greater freedom, not less, and partake in a greater way of his joy and wisdom.
The Catechism teaches that “the ultimate purpose of creation is that God who is the creator of all things may at last become ‘all in all’, thus simultaneously assuring his own glory and our beatitude” (CCC 294).
Let us heed Paul’s advice and hear it not as something negative, but as the key to living that abundant life Christ calls us into.
A Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
February 12, 2012
Lessons from the Leper
Catholics are often confused about suffering. Some writers extol its surpassing value. But does that mean that we should look for suffering? Or, if suffering should come our way, that it would be unspiritual to seek relief from it?
Sixth Sunday A Message From Hawaii: Love Never Fails
When I was fourteen or fifteen I had to do a book report for my high school religion class on a biography by John Farrow, Mia Farrow’s father, entitled Damien the Leper. That was my first exposure to the terrible leper colony of Kaluapapa on the Island of Molokai part of the Hawaiian Islands. It was also my first exposure to the heroism and sanctity of St. Damien de Veuster, the Belgian Catholic Missionary who lived among the lepers and contracted leprosy himself.
Quis ut Deus
Who is like God?
According to Father Charles Arminjon, the above was the war-cry uttered in heaven at the very beginning of time. This was cried out right from the moment when Lucifer the most “dazzling and radiant of the archangels” rebelled against God and became the ugliest and basest of the devils.
Saving the Part of Yourself That Matters Most
How far would you go to get revenge on someone who hurt a person you loved? That’s the question at the heart of a 2011 episode of the CBS series, “Person of Interest” titled “Cura Te Ipsum,” a Latin saying which translates to “Heal thyself.”
25 Catholic (and Christian) Institutions Opposing Obama/HHS Mandate
My list of bishops who have publicly condemned the Obama/HHS mandate is now at 171 (representing almost 95% of Catholic dioceses). Only 4 bishopshave yet to issue statements — and I expect they will shortly!
Now I’d like to begin compiling a list of Catholic (and Christian) institutions who have said publicly they will fight or oppose the mandate.
Pope urges faithful to overcome selfishness with Lenten charity
The Catholic Church must demonstrate the power of love and show the limitations of an individualistic worldview, Pope Benedict XVI taught in a Lenten message released two weeks before Ash Wednesday.
Jesus of Egypt
In the Gospel of Matthew, the advent of the Messiah is followed by an abrupt departure. Almost immediately after the Magi visit them, the Holy Family rushes away to Egypt because Joseph has been warned in a dream that King Herod would kill the infant Jesus. The narrative then fast forwards through three-and-a-half years of exile which are terminated by yet another angel in a dream.
100 Questions Jesus Asked and You Ought to Answer
One of the bigger mistakes people make in reading Scripture is that they read it as a spectator. For them Scripture is a collection of stories and events that took place thousands of years ago. True enough, we are reading historical accounts.
Twelve things that God wants us to do
Simple points to remember, I know, but I find it increasingly easy to overlook some of them. It should not be hard to put all of them into practice. This list is not exhaustive, please add any that you think should be there.
In a free society we get used to negotiating, settling, bargaining, haggling, meeting-in-the-middle and reaching across the aisle. These are great skills in the right context, but do not help anything in the framework of objective truth.
Regina Sanctissimi Rosarii: 6 Things All Catholics Should Know About the Rosary
“Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him.“ ~St. Padre Pio
1. All Catholics Should Pray the Rosary
Why pray the Most Holy Rosary? The answer is actually quite simple: It is the request of the all Power Virgin Queen and Mother, Mary. However, one cannot truly call themselves a Roman Catholic if one does not write an entire volume explaining why.
The HHS Mandate: Anti-Catholic and Un-American
Decades ago, priests, religious brothers and religious sisters were colorfully visible features of Catholic hospitals, serving as nurses, chaplains, business officers, and chief administrators. With the decline in vocations, this obviously religious leadership largely disappeared, but Catholic values, for the most part, still animated these institutions. What has begun to concern a number of observers is that, as today’s medical personnel, staffers, and administrators at Catholic hospitals have accommodated themselves more and more to secularist assumptions, even those values are in danger of disappearing.
Did the People in the Old Testament Believe in an Afterlife?
Yesterday, after the post on “Hell in the Bible,” some began to imply that the Jews of the Old Covenant did not have a doctrine of the afterlife. This is certainly not the case. The very first biblical reference to a “life after death” is revealed by Moses in the book of Genesis:
“And all his children being gathered together to comfort their father [Jacob] in his sorrow, he would not receive comfort, but said: I will go down to my son into hell [sheol], mourning. And whilst he continued weeping,” (Genesis 37:35, D-R)
Getting Rid of Sins
G. K. Chesterton once wrote about being asked the following question, “Why did you join the Church of Rome?” Chesterton was an agnostic in his youth, then was an Anglican for many years before entering the Catholic Church in 1922. The “first essential answer” to that question, he wrote in his autobiography, is “‘To get rid of my sins.’ For there is no other religious system that does really profess to get rid of people’s sins.”
God’s love overcomes the misery of illness, Pope teaches
Faith in the love of Jesus Christ can overcome the suffering of long-term illness, Pope Benedict XVI said in his Sunday Angelus address on Feb. 5.
Just as Jesus faced the devil “with the power of love that was from the Father,” the Pope explained, so also a sick person can “overcome and defeat the test of disease with a heart immersed in the love of God.”
Indeed, he noted, “we all know people who have endured terrible suffering because God gave them a deep serenity.”
What Will You Do for Lent This Year? – A Guide for Preparing Now
How do you choose a Lenten penance?
Our Catholic forebears used to keep a strict Lent. They were spiritual giants in the old days. For the days of Lent, all Catholics ate no eggs, no dairy (milk, butter, cheese), and no flesh meat (pork, chicken, beef) AND only ate one meal per day after 3pm (after the hour of mercy). This applied to all laymen and all clerics. These rules of penance began to be relaxed in the 13th-14th century.
Now we only have fasts on Ash Wednesday and Friday and meatless Fridays in Lent.
Baptism etiquette requires a sober rite and a Christian name
It is the most important sacrament of all, hence the Pope’s insistence that children be given names from the Christian martyrology.
A Christian name and a sober rite: One must be “catholically correct” right from the start of their Christian life. Baptism is the sacrament of Christian renewal through water and the word, it is no carnival. The verb “to baptise” is Greek for “dipping”, “immersing”. Immersion in water is the symbol of the catechumen’s burial and resurrection to life as a “new being”, alongside Christ.
The difference between martyrdom and suicide
Many of the martyrs speak of their desire for death with a greater zeal than we desire life – for they would suffer untold torments in order to achieve their death, but far too often we would rather die than suffer greatly in order to live.
And yet, without intending any dishonor to the martyrs, we may wonder: How is martyrdom different from suicide? Indeed, many of the ancient martyrs longed for death and even put themselves in harm’s way in order to achieve martyrdom – is this not, in some respect, similar to suicide?
Faith Journey or Road to Hell?
More and more frequently in our New Age culture we hear the phrase “faith journey.” Individuals are described as on a lifelong “faith journey” to either God or “The Force” or a Big Guy in the Sky or some great beyond. It seems that supplying details concerning that “journey” is not necessary and that required actions or specific beliefs are irrelevant. Three examples demonstrate.
No Generic God
“We do not need a generic, indefinite god but rather the living, true God who unfolds the horizon of men’s future into a prospect of firm, well-founded hope, a home rich in eternity that enables us to face the present courageously in all its aspects.”
— Pope Benedict XVI, To University Students of Rome. (December 15, 2011,
L’Osservatore Romano, December 21, 2011.)
Just before Christmas every year, the Holy Father has a meeting with local university students in Rome. This year’s talk was centered about a passage in James (5:7) about patience. Essentially, patience is on the side of letting things happen in their own due time. We often wonder why God does not do things in a more tidy and speedy fashion. We set up our standard and wonder why God does not conform to it.
How to Behave at Mass
I don’t know if I am getting old, but have you noticed that people don’t seem to know how to behave at Mass anymore?
I will never forget the day I was at Sunday Mass, when a well-meaning dad pulled out a very large plastic bag from the Dollar Store. In it, he had a big new toy for his little son Johnny – something to keep him entertained at Mass. I can still remember how awkward it was seeing that big green logo come out from behind the kneeler, interrupting my attempts to pray.