Reflection on Today’s Gospel, Sunday, October 19, 2014

Readings for Today

UnknownToday’s gospel is a bit tricky.  The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus as they often did.  He was in one of those “darned if He does and darned if He doesn’t” situations.  Jesus tells them to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

At church this morning, our deacon spoke about social justice and the importance of sharing our treasure.  Surely that is a good and noble thing, but I don’t believe that this is the point that Jesus was trying to hit home.

I believe that Jesus is making a distinction between the secular and the sacred.

Secular denotes attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.  Sacred would be the opposite – attitudes, activities or things that are holy.  When we speak of the secular, it is often to describe the attitudes/things of the world today.  In doing so, secular can get a bad connotation.  Secular is not (necessarily) synonymous with evil.  It ‘s how we use the secular that can move it (and us) into the category of either sacred or evil.

For example, money in and of itself is not evil.  It is a tool.  It is God provided.  It is what we do with money that can either help us and others to become more holy, or cause us to succumb to its power to corrupt.

 

 

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The Grand Tour

 

Welcome to our home!IMG_7342 IMG_7341  IMG_7359 IMG_7351 IMG_7328  IMG_7361 IMG_7363 IMG_7331 IMG_7353 IMG_7367 IMG_7329 IMG_7356 IMG_7355 IMG_7340  IMG_7332 IMG_7365 IMG_7354  IMG_7326 IMG_7338 IMG_7336 IMG_7373IMG_7337 IMG_7347 IMG_7346       My daughter calls my sense of decor “Beachy Jesus” – (no disrespect intended.)  The beach has always been “my safe place” where I feel relaxed and at peace.  Jesus is my best friend as well as the King of our home, so “Beachy Jesus” fits our dwelling just perfectly!

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Tallow Creek Fall Color

More pictures from my stroll around the pond:

IMG_7244 IMG_7247 IMG_7258 IMG_7276 IMG_7261 IMG_7295 IMG_7293  IMG_7239 IMG_7288 IMG_7268“Whose woods these are, I think I know.  His house is in the village though…”

(Frost)

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The Eagle

Fond memories of teaching 4th grade Language Arts were brought to mind as I took a stroll around the pond:

The Eagle

by Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

IMG_7280This barren branch reminded me of Tennyson’s “The Eagle.”  I love words!!

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Reflections on Today’s Readings, Sunday, October 12, 2014

Readings for Sunday, October, 12, 2014

It’s funny that I’ve been repeating St. Paul’s word to the Philippians to myself all week.  “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”  I’ve also been reminded of words from John’s gospel,   ” I am the vine.  You are the branches.  Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”  I am living those words moment to moment, day to day.  I rely on His strength completely.  I do miss my frequent visits to the chapel with my new busier schedule.  As I walk past, onto my next class, I remind myself that Christ lives within me, and that He is with me all of the time, even when I cannot seat myself in His holy presence.

I thought of all of my students during the Psalm at mass today, as we recently committed Psalm 23 to memory.  I wanted them to know these words and to be able to cling to them when times get rough.  There is the most adorable video on GodTube that I will post.  It inspired us to memorize the Psalm.  If three year old twins can do it, so can we!  ( I love their accents!)

British Twins Recite Psalm 23

The gospel today speaks of a great wedding feast.  The great wedding feast refers to the time when Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead – when a new heavens and new earth will be created – When we will be invited to live in heavenly communion with the Lord for all eternity.  We are all invited!  God loves all of His children.  In the parable, the man was told to go out into the streets and invite everyone – poor, rich, homeless, sinner, etc.  He showed no prejudice.

I was disappointed that when the gospel was proclaimed where I went to church this morning, the shortened reading was read, and the very important ending was excluded.  In the end, the gospel tells us that there is a man who shows up without a proper wedding garment.  On the surface, it seems to be about clothing, and seemed rather severe as such.  I had a discussion with someone this morning who was convinced that the Lord was speaking to those who come to church on a regular basis in shorts and flip flops!  While I agreed with him that this was not generally appropriate for church (unless shorts and flip flops are truly the best clothes one owns), I thought that the meaning was much deeper.  This “ill-dressed” man represents those called who want the benefits of the banquet, but have no intention of conversion/repentance. 

The Lord calls everyone to come to Him, to be with Him for all eternity.  He sent His Son to pave the way – to Redeem us.  We must repent of our sins, however, and be willing to change our ways in order to be admitted to the “Great Heavenly Feast.”  I’m not sure that the world today understands or accepts that.  Let us all pray and offer sacrifices for massive conversions all over the planet!

 

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Happy Fall, Ya’ll!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere we are at a pumpkin patch in Laplace, Louisiana about 5 years ago.  Fast forward to this year’s adventure…  We went to Steele’s Pumpkin Patch in Angie, Louisiana.  Our eldest joined us this time, and we had some good old fashioned country fun enjoying the first cool front of the season!

IMG_7052 IMG_7122 IMG_7119 IMG_7013 IMG_7063 IMG_7004 IMG_7099                                                                   Happy Fall Ya’ll!!

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Mass of the Roses in Honor of St. Therese’

Carmelite Convent, Covington, LA   October 5, 2014

IMG_7150 IMG_7141 IMG_7142 IMG_7138 IMG_7148 IMG_7146 IMG_7157

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A Prayer by St. Therese’ on Her Feast Day

Happy Feast Day, St. Therese’ !  I love you.  Help me to love Jesus more perfectly and to make Him more loved!

A MORNING PRAYER WRITTEN BY ST. THERESE
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.

Amen.

 

Unknown

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Guess Who?

My real name was Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius.  (That’s a real mouthful!)

I was born in 331 and baptized by a pope.

I was born into a wealthy, Christian family, but educated by pagans.

My “superior” education caused me to lose my love of the Lord for a time.

I spent many years living in a large cave near Jesus’ birthplace where I studied scripture and did penance for having gone astray.

My bluntness and sarcasm earned me many enemies.

I am “famous” for translating the bible into Latin – known as the “Vulgate.”

My feast day is September 30th.

I am St. Jerome!

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Here are a few quotes from me:

“A friend is long sought, hardly found, and with difficulty kept.”

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

“Haste is of the Devil.”

“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.”

 

 

 

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Facing a Fear

imagesThis past Saturday, my husband and I were working in the garage and were approached by three people.  We thought that they were from the Democratic Party, because we’ve been getting a lot of those lately due to the upcoming election.  These folks wanted to take a survey about religion, (one of my favorite subjects), so I agreed!  What they were really doing was trying to get people to visit/join their church.

It’s terrible, but many Catholics – myself included – are afraid of being confronted about our faith.  Most of us don’t know it well enough to defend it against people of other faiths who do know their faith really well.  I have managed to kindly avoid Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons who regularly blanket the neighborhood with pamphlets.  Anyway, yesterday, I was so proud of myself.  I had a wonderful faith conversation with these kind folks.  There was only one thing that I wish I had said – that came to me moments later – regarding “Faith Alone” vs “Faith + Works,”  namely from St. Paul, “Faith without works is dead.”  We agreed upon the importance of reading scripture, the importance of forming and ministering to our youth – the church of tomorrow, the fact that our redemption is through Jesus Christ, etc.  At the end, they left me with some literature that I will not be reading – no disrespect.

There is nothing that could draw me away from the Church that Christ Himself instituted.   I will not leave the only Church who can offer me Jesus’ body in the Eucharist.  There was a time in my young adult life that I did visit different churches.  I was searching.  My searching was not fruitless.  It led me to the Church to which I had already belonged since my baptism!

What I thought was wonderful though was being challenged about my faith and being able to comfortably defend it while being loving and respectful.  We really do have a lot in common with our brothers and sisters in the Protestant religions – we agree on many big, important points.

I am taking a course right now being offered at Mary Queen of Peace Church in Mandeville in Catholic apologetics with Judy Klein.  It’s excellent, informative and inspiring.  Apologetics does NOT mean apologizing for our faith.  It means being able to defend our faith (especially scripturally) to those who get their beliefs from scripture alone.  It is so important that all Catholics get educated about their faith.  Knowing more about where we get our beliefs from helps us to truly appreciate our beautiful Catholic Faith and to live it more fully!

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