Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ZENIT - Papal Address on Sacrament of Confession

B16: "You [Priests and future Priests] will therefore be collaborators and protagonists in as many possible 'new beginnings' as there are penitents who come to you, knowing that the authentic meaning of every 'newness' does not consist so much in the abandonment or the denial of the past, as in welcoming Christ and opening up to his Presence, ever new and able to transform, to enlighten all the regions of shadow and to continually open a new horizon."

Read it all!

ZENIT - Papal Address on Sacrament of Confession

Friday, March 09, 2012

Still looking for a Lenten penance?

From "Friends of God" by St. Josemaria Escriva (No. 138):

"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!"

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Rags to Riches (or the other way around)

This morning's 1st Reading at Mass is pretty amazing.  The Hebrews, reduced to absolute slavery in Egypt, are about to become "a people peculiarly [God's] own", to be "raised high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations he has made."  A huge move up, from the bottom of the food chain to the very top!  This is the Cinderella story we all love to hear about.

But what if it went the other way?  What if the story was about someone on the top of the scale who ends up on the bottom?  Not very exciting.

How appropriate today, as we celebrate the Feast of Saint Katherine Drexel.  Part of Philadelphia society, she left it all to enter religious life.  The money that would have given her a guarantee of lifetime comfort and security (as well as make her quite a catch to any man seeking the same) went to establish schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc.

In this pop culture that adores and glorifies young women with no other skill other than being born with the last names of "Hilton" or "Kardashian", let's remember one of the good girls who won't be remembered for being married for 6½ minutes or the intellectual brilliance of the phrase, "That's hot", and is held up as a Saint of the Church.