CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, politics, religion, scripture by Mike on May 21, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples: “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What does this mean that he is saying to us, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks? We do not know what he means.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing with one another what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus, in his discourse at the Last Supper, warns the disciples that they are about to be disappointed. The disciples had clear expectations about what they thought the messiah would be, and Jesus was about to disappoint them as he endured his passion. Even so, Jesus promises his disciples that their sorrow will turn to joy. Jesus’ promise to his followers on the night before he died is his promise to us now. We shall taste tears: this is true. But Jesus promises us that our tears in the end will become joy. We simply must trust and wait on the Lord.

Saint of the day Adílio Daronch, the third of Pedro Daronch and Judite Segabinazzi’s eight children, was born on 25 October 1908 at Dona Francisca in the Cachoeira do Sul municipality of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In 1911 the family moved to Passo Fundo and in 1913 to Nonoai. Adílio was one of the adolescents who accompanied Fr González on his long and tiring pastoral visits, which also included the native Kaingang Indians. He was also a faithful altar server and a student in the school founded by Fr Manuel.

On 21 May 1924 at nearly 16 years of age this youth courageously gave his witness for Christ alongside his mentor. The Bishop of Santa Maria asked the Spanish priest to visit the Teutonic colonies in the Três Passos forest, close to the boarder of Uruguay. After celebrating Holy Week in the parish of Nonoai and notwithstanding that the area was rife with revolutionary movements, Fr Manuel set out on this dangerous missionary journey, accompanied by his brave altar server and protégé, Adílio.

Along the route the priest stopped in Palmeria, where he administered the sacraments and exhorted the local revolutionaries to mutual respect, if for no other reason than the common Christian faith that they shared. The worst extremists did not appreciate his message, nor the fact that he gave Christian burial to the victims of the local bands. Thus, Fr Manuel began to be viewed with suspicion. Continuing their missionary journey, they again stopped along the way to ask directions and to celebrate Holy Mass; the day was 20 May 1924. Desiring to bring God’s grace and to proclaim the Good News, the ardent missionaries did not heed the warning of the locals, who tried to dissuade them from venturing into the forest. Therefore, they accepted the “kind assistance” of the military personnel who offered to accompany them to Três Passos. In this way they fell into the trap prepared for them and were taken to a remote area of the forest, where they were bound to separate trees and shot on 21 May 1924, martyrs of the Faith.

Although human beings refused to accept the holy martyrs’ message of mutual respect, it seems nature did, since no wild beast or animal touched them: the inhabitants of Três Passos found their bodies still intact four days later. Their remains were buried nearby for 40 years. In 1964 their bodies were exhumed and translated to the parish church of Nonoai, and a monument was erected on the place of their martyrdom.

Spiritual reading: All those who openly embrace the blessing of peace, and loath and despise its contrary, strife, are close to God and things divine. (Gregory of Nyssa)

Carry the Gospel with You

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 20, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus repeatedly has assured us throughout the Gospel of John that what he tells us he has received from the Father. In today’s gospel, in the promise he makes to send the Holy Spirit, he assures us that what the Spirit tells us also comes from the Father and that the Spirit will guide us according to the Father’s will. As a people committed to the Gospel, we need always to pray that the Spirit guide us into the truth so that we may pass on with fidelity to others what we ourselves have received.

Saint of the day: Born in 1380 in Italy, Bernardine of Siena was a Franciscan. Priest, itinerant preacher, and theological writer, his preaching skills were so great, and the conversions so numerous, that he has become associated with all areas of speaking, advertising, and public relations. Bernardine’s charismatic preaching filled the piazzas of Italian cities. Thousands of listeners flocked to hear him and to participate in dramatic rituals, which included collective weeping, bonfires of vanities, and exorcisms. In the Franciscan tradition, he was a renowned peacemaker who tried to calm feuding clans and factions in the turbulent political world of the Renaissance. His preaching visits would often culminate in mass reconciliations, as listeners were persuaded to exchange the bacio di pace, or kiss of peace.

Bernardino was sensitive to the demands of secular life and tried to negotiate between Christian ethics and a conflicting code of honor that stressed retaining face in a public world. He argued that the catalyst of civil discord in the urban setting was malicious gossip, which led to insults, and, too often, vendetta by aggressive males. His surprising allies in his peacekeeping mission were the women who comprised the majority of his audience. He died in 1444 at Aquila, Italy.

Spiritual reading: The union of my soul with God is my wealth in poverty and joy in deepest afflictions. (Collected Writings by Elizabeth Seton)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 19, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus tells us in today’s gospel that his presence as he was present to his disciples two thousand years ago is a limitation. He must go, so that in his Spirit has may illuminate the world with his righteousness and restore all things in right proportion.

Illumine our hearts and minds, O Holy Spirit of God, that we may be of use to you and those you place on our paths.

Saint of the day: Peter Wright, S.J. was born to a Protestant family in England in 1603. He converted to Catholicism and worked in a country lawyer’s office for 10 years. He enlisted in the army, was assigned to Holland, but deserted after a month. He studied at the Jesuit seminary in Ghent, Belgium and in Rome and was ordained a priest. He joined the Jesuits in 1629 at Watten and held posts at Liege and Saint-Omer. A chaplain to English soldiers in Flanders, he returned to England with Sir Henry Gage in the spring of 1644 and served as chaplain to the Royalist army during the English Civil War. A chaplain to the Marquis of Winchester, he was arrested for his faith in London on Candlemas Day 1651 during the post-war oppression of Catholicism by Oliver Cromwell and was lodged at Newgate prison. Martyred before 20,000 spectators, he was hanged on May 19, 1651 (Whit Monday) at Tyburn, England. Though he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, he was allowed to hang until death, and was spared the other tortures because the authorities feared reaction of the large crowd.

Spiritual reading: Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being.

Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light, and causes me to know your truth. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love. (On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena)

Carry the Gospel with You

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 18, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 15:26-16:4a

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus in today’s gospel promises to send us the Holy Spirit. The word he uses, parakletes, means, “One who gives comfort; one who gives counsel.” The Spirit that Jesus gives us both comforts and counsels us.

Jesus promises elsewhere that he does not choose to leave us orphans. We who have found this wonderful little church, CACINA, know the truth of this statement. Though we felt adrift in our spiritual and religious lives, God knew each of us and knew there were out there in the world people of like mind who felt untethered from the world of formal religion. God drew us together in the place because of God’s promise to neither leave us discomfited, ill-advised, nor orphaned. And so we pray as a community that God may send God’s spirit into the hearts of all those who make their way in our church and all those who make their ways in their churches, for as God has been generous with us, we ask that God be generous with all:

Come Holy Spirit, Creator blessed, and in our hearts, take up thy rest.

Saint of the day: Eric IX of Sweden was King of Sweden from 1150. Eric did much to aid Christianity in his realm and was responsible for codifying the laws of his kingdom, which became known as King Eric’s Law (also the code of Uppland).

He led a victorious expedition against the marauding Finns and persuaded English bishop Henry of Uppsala to remain in Finnland to evangelize the Finns. Eric was killed and beheaded near Uppsala by rebelling Swedish nobles in the army of Magnus, son of the King of Denmark, who had invaded his territory, on May 18. Though never formally canonized, Eric was long considered the Patron of Sweden.

Spiritual reading: We know that our only ultimate strength is in the Lord and His Spirit, and faith must make us depend entirely on His will and providence.

One must then truly be detached and free in order not to be held and impeded by anything secondary or irrelevant. Which is another way of saying that poverty also is our strength. (Seeds by Thomas Merton)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 17, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The gospel reading that we have in our liturgical cycle today occurred last week during the weekday as well. As I mentioned several days ago, this gospel reading assures us that love produces joy, the same joy that Jesus himself experiences.

Many psychologists interest in human emotion have described emotion in terms of primary and secondary emotion. Our primary emotions seem to be innate mechanisms hardwired at birth that react to stimuli such as size, span, motion, sounds, and certain bodily states. Research has suggested that these six basic emotions are universal across cultures. They include sadness, happiness, anger, disgust, surprise, and fear. Other researcher recently have proposed a seventh emotion, pride, may be universal, too. All other emotions are learned from our social circumstances and represent amalgams of different primary emotions, much the same way all the colors of the spectrum derive from red, blue, and yellow.

Some psychological researchers have suggested that love represents an amalgam between joy in the presence of another along with acceptance of the other. If this insight is true, our gospel might suggest that the normal situation of a Christian is joy and acceptance in the presence of the other.

It goes without saying that this is a tall order. But my reading suggests that the gospel calls on us to take other people on their own terms. Not only are we to tolerate them, but the gospel suggests that if we are faithful to Jesus, we ought to be filled with joy in the presence of even those among us whose presence in normal life may be hard to bear.

Spiritual reading: If you want peace within yourself you must unify all desires, which means that you must make all desires the aspects of one single desire, which means in turn, that you must love – you must will to obey – God above all things. (Gerald Vann, O.P.)

Carry the Gospel with You

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 16, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Our call as Christians is to be the sign of contradiction. Jesus warns us in today’s gospel that when our lives do not set up a challenge to the way things are, we are at risk that we may have betrayed his message. Through our baptisms, we have received a vocation to prophesy, and that vocation is dangerous indeed. Let us pray that we may be seen as signs of contradiction in a world that too often loves too little.

Saint of the day: Born in November 1591 in Poland, Andrew Bobola eventually became a Jesuit missionary and martyr. He was born a member of a noble Polish family in 1590. He entered the Society of Jesus at Vilna in 1611 and became a priest in 1622. Parish priest at Vilna in 1625. He preached in the church of St. Casimir there. He took solemn vows in 1630 and was made superior of the Jesuits in Brobuisk. There he preached and distinguished himself by his work of mercy during a plague.

In 1636, Andrew was sent to the Lithuanian missions. A house was provided for him in Pinsk, Belarus, by Prince Radziwell, and he worked there despite attacks by Protestants and schismatics. On May 10, 1657, Andrew was kidnaped by two Cossacks who beat him and tied him to the saddles of their horses so they could drag him to a place of torture. He was partially flayed alive and finally decapitated on May 16, 1657. His remains were buried in Pinsk and then moved to Polosk.

Spiritual reading: I have never given the good God anything but love, and it is with love that He will repay. After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses.

I will spend my heaven in doing good upon earth. My ‘little way’ is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute self-surrender. (Therese of Lisieux)

Carry the Gospel with You

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 15, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus, speaking to his disciples at the Last Supper, continues to talk about the centrality of love. He expresses it in a central commandment: perhaps surprisingly to some, this commandment is not to love God, or to love Jesus, but to love one another. God does not need to be mentioned because that love is only possible when God is acting in and through us. The touchstone of the genuineness of our love for God is our love of others.

Saint of the day: Isidore the farmer was born in about 1070 in Madrid. He was a pious farmer who was married to Saint Mary de la Cabeza. Their son died young; and they became convinced it was the will of God that they not have children; they lived together chastely the rest of their lives engaged in good works.

Accused by fellow workers of shirking his duties by attending Mass each day and taking time out for prayers, Isidore claimed he had no choice but to follow the highest Master. One tale says that when his master came in the morning to chastise him for skipping work for church, he found angels plowing the fields in place of Isidore. Miracles and cures reported at his grave, in which his body remains incorruptible. He died on May 15, 1130 of natural causes.

Spiritual reading: People who will not compromise with Christ’s values are uncomfortable neighbors for mediocrity; they are likely to be misunderstood; they are often hated. (Caryll Houselander)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 14, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Our gospel reading today assures us that love produces joy, the same joy that Jesus himself experiences. In fact, some psychological researchers have suggested that love represents an amalgam between joy in the presence of another along with acceptance of the other. Our gospel then might suggest that the normal situation of a Christian is joy and acceptance in the presence of the other. This is a tall order, but the gospel calls on us to take other people on their own terms and be filled with joy in the presence of even those among us whose presence in normal life may be hard to bear.

Saint of the day: Yesterday was the memorial of my beloved Juliana of Norwich. I have been busy with other duties, so I was unable to write my online installment of, “Carry the Gospel with You.” I love her so well that for the first time in this litany of the saints that we make from day-to-day, I am taking the liberty to commend her to you. Her works, Revelations of Divine Love and The Book of Showings, really are without par in the corpus of the mystical writing of the Church. Read her; you will be vastly richer for it.

She was born in England in about 1342. Almost nothing is known of her early life; we don’t even know if she was from Norwich or chose to move there. She was a recluse under the direction of Benedictine monks in Norwich, England. A mystic, visionary, and writer, she was illiterate and dictated to a scribe. Her book, Revelations of Divine Love, which contains sixteen revelations she received while in an ecstatic trance, is still in print. Meditated on, spoke on, and wrote on the power of love of evil, Christ’s Passion, and the nature of the Trinity. In her early 60s she shut herself in complete seclusion at Conisford, Norwich, and never left again. She died in about 1423.

Spiritual reading: God, of your goodness give me yourself, for you are enough for me, and I can ask for nothing which is less which can pay you full worship. And if I ask anything which is less, always I am in want; but only in you do I have everything. (Revelations of Divine Love by Dame Juliana of Norwich)

What do you believe? Part 3

Posted in Uncategorized by fatherjimb on May 11, 2009

Jesus the only begotten son of God

We say we believe in Jesus as God, the Son of God, eternally begotten, not made, one in being with the Father through whom all things were made but what does that mean? The apostles, the closest ones to Jesus, had a hard time getting their heads around that question so it is no surprise that we would have a similar challenge.

How could this Jesus who walked with them, talked with them, ate with them and who allowed himself to be crucified be the Son of God? The first accounts of what they believed comes to us from the Epistles, the “working” documents of this new faith community. In reading them we get an understanding of the slow realization of who this Jesus the Christ really was and what is demanded of believers.

Rather than being a simple answer the Epistles and later the Gospels describe individuals and groups who struggled to understand the meaning behind Jesus’ words. For the whole history of Christianity believers have struggled with understanding this “Jesus.”

Calling Jesus the “Son” of God is the closest approximation we can come to understanding in human terms the relationship of the “Father” to the “Son.” It connotes that the two share the same essence, a divine “gene pool” if you will. Unlike a human parent/child relationship the relationship of the Father and Son is completely different to anything we can conceive since there was never a point at which this relationship did not exist.

The term “begotten” while not in our common language refers to being created. In the creed we say eternally begotten, which essentially tells us that the “Son” wasn’t created some time in a past but is a continuous generation of the Father since with God there is no past, there is only an eternal now. He wasn’t made like any other creature but comes out of the Father as his very Word, a Word of life and creation in itself.

Iconographers trying to capture a sense of this fullness often pictured Mary holding Jesus not as a little baby but as a small human male, fully formed, radiating a specialness that is like yet different from any other of God’s creation. This Jesus is “God from God, Light from light, True God from True God… one in being with the Father through whom all things were made.”

(to be continued)

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Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 11, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Pentecost this year falls on May 31, and we begin now our preparations for the coming of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father sends to us in Jesus’ name. The Holy Spirit still moves among us to reveal truths to us that we heretofore were not prepared to hear. In an age that has technology that looks into the inner workings of the human brain, in an age that has technology that peers out to the origins of the universe in deepest space, in an age that has uncovered and understood evidence about the migrations of early humans out of Africa into the rest of the world, are we prepared to understand what the Holy Spirit is teaching us about the mysteries of our humanity and God’s loving creative continuing presence?

Saint of the day: Francis Jerome was born in Italy in 1631. He studied humanities and philosophy at the Jesuit college of Taranto, Italy at age 16 and then went on to study theology and canon law at the college of Gesu Vecchio. He was ordained a parish priest at Naples, Italy on March 18, 1666. He subsequently became a Jesuit at age 28 on July 1, 1670 and served as a rural missionary in and around Naples for 40 years.

He was a successful and effective preacher who ministered in prisons, brothels, and galleys. He converted Moor and Turkish prisoners of war, rescued children from dangerous and degrading situations, opened a charitable pawn shop, and organized laymen into a group called Oratio della Missione to help fellow Jesuit missionaries. Numerous miraculous cures attributed to him in life and after death. His coffin was thronged by the people of Naples during his funeral procession. A few of his letters have survived, but none of his sermons. He died May 11, 1716 at Naples, Italy of natural causes.

Spiritual reading: O God, let me know you and love you so that I may find joy in you; and if I cannot do so fully in this life, let me at least make some progress every day, until at last that knowledge, love and joy come to me in all their plenitude.

While I am here on earth let me know you fully; let my love for you grow deeper here, so that there I may love you fully. On earth then I shall have great joy in hope, and in heaven complete joy in the fulfillment of my hope. (Saint Anselm)