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Showing posts with the label faith and works

Choosing Light or Darkness

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I will live forever. Whether that's good news or bad news is up to me.

I'd say 'it depends on me,' but that's not quite true. What I decide and do matters. But having an unending life in God's presence isn't something I achieve.

Today's Gospel reading, John 3:14-21, got me started. That's part of our Lord's conversation with Nicodemus. The fourth Sunday of Lent scrutinies Gospel for this year, John 9:1-41, is the "a man blind from birth" account. It's got a similar theme.

I'll be talking about believing, doing and sinning. That last may need explaining....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

God, Love and Clouds

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Today's Gospel, Mark 9:2 through 10, describes the Transfiguration. I'll be talking about that. Partly. Also Peter, perceptions, and laundry detergent.

It seems like a better idea than getting upset that not everybody calls the second Sunday in Lent "Transfiguration Sunday."

Or that some folks read this part of the Gospel on a different Sunday. Or that we had a different second Sunday Gospel reading last year. Or that our Feast of the Transfiguration is August 6 this year. And is a Monday.

Occasions for angst abound. I'd rather look at what today's Gospel says and what's been said about it. Then think for a bit and see what happens.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Changing Rules

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Today's tech and social norms aren't what they were in my youth. It's exciting. Or bewildering. Or unstable. Or dynamic. or any of a myriad other options.

Change happens, even if I don't approve. What matters is making good choices. More about that later.

These are the 'Good Old Days'
I'll indulge in nostalgia. Occasionally. Parts of my past are nice places to visit. But I wouldn't like living there.

Taking a stroll down memory lane lets me see the best times places, people and experiences. It's a 'best-of' selection.

But I certainly don't yearn for the days before social media, smart appliances, and online search software.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Advent: Our Long Watch

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'Tis the season for frantic shopping, eye-popping light shows in suburban front yards, and Christmas television specials.

It's also the start of Advent.

This is a season when we look back at ancient hopes for a Messiah, and our Lord's first arrival. And look ahead to when Jesus will be back....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Seeing the Big Picture

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Today's Mass is something new, introduced by Pius XI in 1925. We've had it on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time since 1970.

Focusing on who and what our Lord is seems like a good way to wrap up the Church calendar. That's how I see it.

Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 25:31-46. That's the one starting with "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him...."

It's an important part of the Gospels, and not what I'll be talking about today. I'd better explain that.

I'm okay with what the Church says about Mass, including how the annual schedule works. I'm not a religious scofflaw, disdaining the laws of God and man. But I don't try to coordinate these 'Sunday' posts with what happens in Mass.

I figure it's not a problem, since I'm a Catholic layman — and you're probably not here looking for a homily....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Anxiety Optional

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Today's second reading from Philippians 4 says to have "no anxiety at all," praise God, and "your requests known to God." Then we'll have the "peace of God...."

I think that's a good idea: but it's not the whole picture.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Predestination

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I think that God knows everything, including what I'll do for the rest of my life.

I also think I have free will, deciding what I do for the rest of my life.

I'm not, however, emulating the White Queen....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Second Collections

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The neighborhood parish took a second collection again today. This week's was to help folks hit by Hurricane Irma. The one before that was for those affected by Harvey.

Folks in the Caribbean, Gulf Coast, and Florida weren't the only ones dealing with disaster recently....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Calling Us

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2017

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas July 2, 2017

What a week this has been, a Deacons Retreat at the Abbey of the Hills, resulting in thoughts, reflections, and stories to share....

...His theme for the weekend became known as old books. Besides the Bible, obviously an old book, he spoke extensively on G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and a bit on Tolkien....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Renewed and Expansive Hope"

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Wanting respect is reasonable. I think folks who support Gay/LGBT Pride Month for that reason have a point.

I don't agree with much of what's said on the gay/LGBT pride issue — and explained why I won't spit venom in today's earlier post.

Basically, I should love God, love my neighbor, and see everybody as my neighbor.

No exceptions....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Respecting Everyone

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Gay/LGBT Pride Month will be over in about two weeks. Wanting respect is reasonable, but I don't agree with much of what's said on this issue.

Don't worry, I won't be spitting venom. Even if I felt like it, which I don't, that kind of trouble I don't need.

First, I'd better talk about love and respect, and why I think both are important....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

London: Death, Hope, and Love

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This is bad, but could have been much worse. Yesterday evening, starting around 10:00, three people in a van drove across London Bridge, deliberately running down pedestrians.1

After crossing the bridge, they left the van and attacked folks out for an evening with friends and family near Borough Market.

A few minutes later, they were dead; shot by police. They had killed seven folks by then, 48, were taken to hospitals, 36 are still hospitalized, 21 in critical condition, as I write this....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Acting Like Truth Matters

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"Folks have thought truth is important for quite a while...

"...I think truth is important, too. As a Christian, I'd better...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Truth and Love

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I take God very seriously. I also think people matter. I care deeply about truth and love.

By some standards this isn't a particularly "religious" blog.

For one thing, I keep saying that loving my neighbor and seeing everybody as my neighbor is a good idea. I'll get back to that.

For another, I write about science each Friday; real science. And I don't see it as a threat.

I don't 'believe in' science, in the sense that I expect it to replace God. That would be as silly as trying to find life's meaning in the second law of thermodynamics. It would also be a very bad idea....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Sin, Awareness, Repentance

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Today's reading from the Gospels, Matthew 3:1-12, doesn't seem particularly Christmassy. Not in the 'presents wrapped under the tree' sense.
"12 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea. "(and) saying, 'Repent, 3 for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!' ...

"...When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees 7 coming to his baptism, he said to them, 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
"Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance....."
(Matthew 3:1-2, 7-8) More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Syrian Migrants Traveled With the Pope

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A dozen folks, three families, rode back to the Vatican with Pope Francis.

I think that's a good thing, since their homes in Syria aren't there any more. They survived, obviously, and had made it as far as Lesbos,1 an island in the Aegean Sea.

"A Gesture of Welcome"

(From AFP, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("The migrants are travelling on the same plane as the Pope back to the Vatican"
(BBC News))

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Lent, Faith, and Ashes

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(From U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian May, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Ash Wednesday celebration aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp.)

Ash Wednesday comes this week, so I'll get ashes on my forehead and start doing my Lenten routines — along with folks around the world.

That won't include the usual fasting: I'm past the 18-to-59 age requirement for Catholics in my region, and diabetic to boot. We're called to holiness, not stupidity; common sense applies, or should; and I'm putting a 'resources' link list at the end of this post.1

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Love!

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Last week I talked about why I don't try to be someone I'm not: more specifically, why I don't insist that God equip me with what's trending in charisms. Also spirit-filled administrators and loose cannons. (January 24, 2016)

That Sunday's second Scripture reading got me started: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30. Today's second reading, 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13, picks up on the next verse:
"Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts...."
(1 Corinthians 12:31) I could stop there, and claim that everybody should start clamoring for "the greatest spiritual gifts."

I've talked about cherry picking before. It's a bad idea....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Truth and the Big Picture

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Pontius Pīlātus was the fifth prefect of the Roman Province of Judea. That sounds important, but Pilate was one of the Equites: Roman aristocrats, but ranking below Patricians.

Think of him as 'middle management.'

Judea was a strategically important border province, giving the empire access to Egypt's agricultural resources, and a measure of protection from the Parthian Empire.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Works of Mercy Bouquet: Part 3

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This is the third in my series on the works of mercy and how to live them in everyday life.  You can find posts about feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty in the archives.  The Works of Mercy are integral to living our faith, yet they are often overlooked because we do not know how to do them even though we know that we should.  Also, as parents we must teach the Faith to our children, but teaching does not mean just book knowledge.  To truly teach Faith, a Faith that is ingrained on the soul and in the heart and throughout the mind, it must be lived.  As St Paul said, "Faith without works is dead."

Here are five ways that you and your family can learn to clothe the naked and so be the hands and feet of Christ here on earth.

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In the Gospel of Luke,  John the Baptist says, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none"  We all have more than one shirt, and St John is not advocating only having one outfit.

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