"Sunday Morning", by Norman Rockwell.
Painted in 1959
"The centurion said in reply, 'Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant shall be healed.'"
If we let Christ reign in our soul, we will not become authoritarian. Rather we will serve everyone. How I like that word: service! To serve my king and, through him, all those who have been redeemed by his blood. I really wish we Christians knew how to serve, for only by serving can we know and love Christ and make him known and loved. And how will we show him to souls? By our example.
Through our voluntary service of Jesus Christ, we should be witnesses to him in all our activities, for he is the Lord of our entire lives, the only and ultimate reason for our existence. Then, once we have given this witness of service, we will be able to give instruction by our word. That was how Christ acted. “He began to do and to teach” (Acts 1:1); he first taught by his action, and then by his divine preaching. If we are to serve others, for Christ’s sake, we need to be very human. If our life is less than human, God will not build anything on it, for he normally does not build on disorder, selfishness or emptiness. We have to understand everyone; we must live peaceably with everyone; we must forgive everyone. We shall not call injustice justice; we shall not say that an offense against God is not an offense against God, or that evil is good. When confronted by evil we shall not reply with another evil, but rather with sound doctrine and good actions: drowning evil in an abundance of good.
That’s how Christ will reign in our souls and in the souls of the people around us. Some people try to build peace in the world without putting the love of God into their own hearts. How could they possibly achieve peace in that way? The peace of Christ is the peace of the kingdom of Christ; and our Lord’s kingdom has to be based on a desire to for holiness, a humble readiness to receive grace, an effort to establish justice, a divine outpouring of love.
The Feast of Christ the King is of recent origin, but what it celebrates is as old as the Christian Faith itself. For the word Christ is, in fact, just the Greek translation of the word Messiah: the Anointed One, the King, Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified son of a carpenter, is so intrinsically King that the title “king” has actually become his name.
By calling ourselves Christians, we label ourselves as followers of the King, as people who recognize him as their King. But we can understand properly what the kingship of Jesus Christ means only if we trace its origin in the Old Testament, where we immediately discover a surprising fact; It is obvious that God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom. The kingdom was, in fact, a result of Israel’s rebellion against God and against his prophets, a defection from the original will of God. The law was to be Israel’s king, and, through the law, God himself. … But Israel was jealous of the neighboring peoples with their powerful kings. … Surprisingly, God yielded to Israel’s obstinacy and so devised a new kind of kingship for them. The son of David, the King, is Jesus; in him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself.
If we look closely, we shall discover that this is, in fact, the usual form of the divine activity in relation to mankind. God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man and even turning his wrong ways into right ways. We can see that, for instance, in the case of Adam, whose fault became a happy fault, and we see it again in all the twisted ways of history. This, then, is God’s kingship – A love that is impregnable and an inventiveness that finds man by ways that are always new.
For us, consequently, God’s kingship means that we must have an unshakeable confidence. For this is still true and is applicable to every single life: no one has reason to fear or capitulate. God can always be found. We, too, should make this the pattern of our lives: to write no one off; to try to reach them again and again with the inventiveness of an open heart. Our most important task is not to have our own way but to be always ready to follow the path that leads to God and to one another.
The Feast of Christ the King is not, therefore, the feast of those who are under a yoke but of those who are grateful to find themselves in the hands of Him who writes straight on crooked lines.
During his stay in Padua he attended the Church of the Dominicans, whom he then joined with the profession of the religious vows. Hagiographic sources suggest that Albert came to this decision gradually. His intense relationship with God, the Dominican Friars' example of holiness, hearing the sermons of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, St Dominic's successor at the Master General of the Order of Preachers, were the decisive factors that helped him to overcome every doubt and even to surmount his family's resistence. God often speaks to us in the years of our youth and points out to us the project of our life. As it was for Albert, so also for all of us, personal prayer, nourished by the Lord's word, frequent reception of the Sacraments and the spiritual guidance of enlightened people are the means to discover and follow God's voice.
Looking back thirty-five years after the release of The Godfather, one can't help but marvel how the film ever got made, when every conceivable obstacle stood in its way.
A writer who didn't want to write it.
Mario Puzo was broke and needed to pen something commercial in order to write the kind of books he really cared about.
A studio that didn't want to produce it.
The box-office failure of previous gangster movies made Paramount Pictures reluctant to pick up their option, but with the novel a runaway success, and other studios showing interest, they couldn't let it slip away.
A film no director would touch.
Twelve directors turned it down, including, at first, Francis Ford Coppola. But, Coppola, too, was broke, and needed a job directing a Hollywood production in order to make the kind of personal films he really cared about.
A cast of unknowns.
Except for one renowned actor, Marlon Brando, who was considered box-office poison by studio executives.
A community against it.
Before filming even began, Italian-American groups protested what they perceived was to be the movie's characterization of their culture, and amassed a war chest to stop the production.
And, yet, The Godfather succeeded beyond anyone's wildest imagination, to become one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces in history - a film that continues to captivate us decades after its release.
"It made me wonder what Harry Truman would think of cell phones. A nineteenth-century man stuck in the twentieth, Harry was a bit of a Luddite. He didn't like using the telephone. He wrote letters instead. And he wrote them in longhand, with a distinctive slashing script. Even the typewriter was a technology he could not bring himself to adopt.
The cell phone would not have suited Harry's personality. He was preternaturally affable and thrived on human interaction. He liked being around people. The human race, he once said, was an 'excellent outfit.' Whether playing poker with his cronies or riding in the car with Bess, conversation - face to face - was his raison d'être. A cell phone isolates its user from those around him. That's why people on cell phones are comfortable discussing, for example, the explicit details of a doctor's appointment in a roomful of total strangers. They feel like they're alone.
I think it's safe to assume that Harry Truman would detest cell phones."When I was elementary school-aged, the calculator came out and could be bought in the electronics sections of Korvettes, Two-Guys, A&S, etc. We marveled at these digital adding machines, but weren't allowed to use them in school. If we did, we'd never learn how to do basic math functions. It made sense, and we knew it. Sometime since then it was decided that children can use calculators whenever they wanted. Today, the ones old enough to work a cash register at Taco Bell can't make change unless the machine tells them how much to give.
"Are you trying to make sincere resolutions? Ask Our Lord to help you to take a tough line with yourself, for love of him; to help you apply, with all naturalness, the purifying touch of mortification to everything you do. Ask him to help you to spend yourself in his service, silently and unnoticed, like the flickering lamp that burns beside the Tabernacle. And if you can't think of anything by way of a definite answer to the divine guest who knocks at the door of your heart, listen well to what I have to tell you.
Penance is fulfilling exactly the timetable you have fixed for yourself, even though your body resists or your mind tries to avoid it by dreaming up useless fantasies [IMAGINE - GIVING UP THE 'SNOOZE BUTTON' FOR LENT!!!]. Penance is getting up on time and also not leaving for later, without any real reason, that particular job that you find harder or most difficult to do.
Penance is knowing how to reconcile your duties to God, to others and to yourself, by making demands on yourself so that you find enough time for each of your tasks. You are practising penance when you lovingly keep to your schedule of prayer, despite feeling worn out, listless or cold.
Penance means being very charitable at all times towards those around you, starting with the members of your own family. It is to be full of tenderness and kindness towards the suffering, the sick and the infirm. It is to give patient answers to people who are boring and annoying. It means interrupting our work or changing our plans, when circumstances make this necessary, above all when the just and rightful needs of others are involved.
Penance consists in putting up good-humouredly with the thousand and one little pinpricks of each day; in not abandoning your job, although you have momentarily lost the enthusiasm with which you started it; in eating gladly whatever is served, without being fussy.
For parents and, in general, for those whose work involves supervision or teaching, penance is to correct whenever it is necessary. This should be done bearing in mind the type of fault committed and the situation of the person who needs to be so helped, not letting oneself be swayed by subjective viewpoints, which are often cowardly and sentimental.
A spirit of penance keeps us from becoming too attached to the vast imaginative blueprints we have made for our future projects, where we have already foreseen our master strokes and brilliant successes. What joy we give to God when we are happy to lay aside our third-rate painting efforts and let him put in the features and colours of his choice!"
"It is also necessary to know one very important thing that Saint John of the Cross and the great masters of the spiritual life have always said: the demon has no access to a person's heart, to a person's inmost being, to the soul; he can attack only through the senses. This is what we see in our own temptations: they always involve pride, vanity, gluttony, lack of chastity, hardheartedness, everything that comes to us from our sensibility; this is the field in which the Tempter operates. The soul is in God's hands, and only God has access to the holy of holies, to that deepest, most intimate part of the human person.
... The demon is a reality, but it is not a reality that should obsess us. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read: 'The power of Satan is ... not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but 'we know what in everything God works for good with those who love him' (Rom 8:28)." CCC par. 395
"But, objectively speaking, he's a prime example of clerical vanity: a man who imagines that his chirpy personality is the key to what Vatican II called the people's 'full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations.'"Check it out HERE.
"...the millions of dollars that Susan G. Komen has given to Planned Parenthood over the years has helped subsidize innumerable abortions, whether we want it to or not. That's just the way money works: if someone picks up the tab for your dinner, you can use your dinner money to buy something else, like dessert. Only in Planned Parenthood's case, that money is going toward abortion, not dessert."
"But the fact that Luke places one of these rather ignoble discussions right after the institution of the Eucharist gives us pause. How is this possible? Jesus has just entrusted to them the most precious treasure, his testament, his life given and delivered up for the salvation of the world. And a few minutes later they are preoccupied with precedence, a rivalry about who is greater, the all-too-human and all-too-clerical game of making one's importance felt, of claiming the spotlight, of vying for success, popularity, and worldly greatness. How shocking! A clerical tiff, an 'argument in the sacristy' in the Upper Room, the evening before Jesus' Passion, on the night he was betrayed, when he freely gave himself up to his Passion! How many times have we left the church after Mass only to start up our rivalries immediately - if it had not already happened, surreptitiously, during the Mass itself!"
You're a child and it snows = "Yay! No school"OK, back to here. I went over for the 8am Mass, not really knowing how many would be coming. Only once in my time here have I had a Mass with no one present. In all, 5 guys showed up (no, not the burger and fries people, though that would have been cool), including a seminarian who took it upon himself to shovel the front steps of church and lay down some salt - I love the zeal.
You're a teen and it snows = "Cool, no school"
You're in college and it snows = "Wait, it snowed?"
You're a seminarian and it snows = Doesn't matter. You still have classes.
You're a Priest and it snows = "Isn't it pretty?"
You're a Pastor and it snows = "How much will this cost to plow?"