This has been a hard week for our nation. Followers of Christ may be tempted to lose hope, despair even, as the death knell of Western civilization tolls loudly throughout the land. What are we to do, living in a time when Truth is turned on its head, when men call good evil, and evil good? We know that God is unchanging, His Truth is unchanging, but we live in a culture that believes truth is about as stable as shifting sand, that’s more like quicksand under our feet. Our task is to keep our feet planted firmly on the Rock, Who is Christ, and remain faithful in all things, especially remaining faithful to the teaching of the Church, and faithful to His Vicar, the Pope, and the Bishops in union with him. Continue reading
Don’t you just love it when God keeps reminding us of something everywhere we turn. Yesterday the Holy Father announced an extraordinary holy year, a Jubilee Year of Mercy. This morning during the Office of Readings we couldn’t help but smile at the second reading from St. Gregory of Nazianzen, which was all about mercy:
The Lord of all asks for mercy, not sacrifice, and mercy is greater than myriads of fattened lambs. Let us then show him mercy in the persons of the poor and those who today are lying on the ground, so that when we come to leave this world they may receive us into everlasting dwelling places, in Christ our Lord himself, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
And then the Gospel at Mass confirmed it again as we heard the publican’s humble prayer “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”
The holy year will be organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization because, the Holy Father says, it is the mission of the Church to bring everyone to the Gospel of Mercy. Truly, to encounter Mercy is to encounter Christ, Who is Mercy itself. The devil lies to us, telling us that our mistakes and the sins we have committed throughout our lives have the final word. The truth is Christ has the final word, and it is a word of mercy – if we are willing to accept it and turn from sin.
But how can we tell others of the renewing power of God’s mercy if we ourselves haven’t experienced it? We can’t. Everyone’s life has been touched by the merciful love of God, Continue reading
As previously mentioned, we are undertaking a 10 month Ignatian “retreat” this year using Fr. William Watson’s book Forty Weeks. He talks about how St. Ignatius’ “sinful vices and self-indulgent pleasures blinded him to his authentic human nature and a fruitful life guided by a well-formed conscience.” Authenticity is key; discovering our authentic selves in the light of God’s enduring love for us. If God, our Creator, is absent, we cannot being to understand who we truly are.
Because of original sin, and our own sinfulness, none of us escapes this struggle to make meaning of our lives and our selves. “Who am I? Why was I created?” These questions burn in every heart, whether one is fully aware of it or not. And satan loves to step into this searching void and fill it with his lies, distorting elements of the truth to lead us further away from God.
Recently, the Mother of the Americas Institute sponsored a presentation by Dr. Mark Regnerus from the University of Texas at Austin. The topic was “Men and Women in Today’s Marriage Market,” and though it may not sound like a topic nuns are interested in, it really touches on the idea of authenticity and what we are created for, who we are created to be. He showed a very moving short video, part of the Humanum series, which beautifully presents enduring truths on the meaning of masculinity and femininity. The truth, even a truth one may find hard to hear, is always the answer to the pain caused by distortion and lies.
Here is the video we watched, which is part 3 of a 6 part series. All of the videos can be viewed at humanum.it
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Is 60:1-3).
Today I planned on sharing what Pope Francis had to say today about the Epiphany, and the I realized that he hasn’t said anything about it because in Rome it’s celebrated on the traditional date of January 6th, the twelfth day after Christmas. So this forced me to come up with some semi-original thoughts, something which, I’m sorry to admit, I was trying to Continue reading