Friday, April 16, 2010

Sola Scriptura

I found this video, entitled "Sola Scriptura" both interesting and entertaining:

God Bless

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Musings on teaching RE

Today I was thinking about a friend of mine.  Her brother is ill and in the hospital.  He is a single father (the mother died) and his son is staying with my friend.  She talked about how resilient children are, as the nephew fell in with her 6 kids pretty easily.  However, she also talked about the frailty of children and how much we can affect them for the good or the bad.

Next year, I will be teaching second grade religious education.  I feel a great weight of responsibility with this upcoming change.  Like my friend, I want to make sure that my impact on children's lives is positive.  Kids seem to like me most of the time, but I get somewhat impatient with other people's kids' manners.  It seems many parents don't teach their kids to respect them, let alone respect other adults.  I demand respect in my classroom and I am afraid it may be interpreted as too stern at times.  No, I've not had any complaints from the parents.  I think it is me being hard on me, but, like I said, I feel the responsibility keenly.

In fact, I've had two grandmothers, at separate times come up to me and tell me that I am there grandchild's favorite "teacher."  I don't really think that is fair to their school teachers because I only see them for an hour on Sunday and we do crafts.  By the time they have time to get bored, class is over.  I really do hope they enjoyed me this year for first grade; they are going to see me again for second grade.

The reason I am anxious about it is this is the year they learn about and receive the sacraments of reconciliation (confession, if you're old fashioned), and First Communion.  It is an important year in their life in the Church.  If they were baptized, they are already a member of the Church, but now they get to receive communion like everyone else and feel like a part of what is going on at Mass.  I hope that I can reach their hearts as well as their minds to make the experience real and meaningful.  I really want to make it all positive. 

I want to do a good job but I do not want to mess things up for any of the kids. What scares me even more is dealing with parents. Teaching first grade, all you really do is say hello and good bye.  I have at least two that are brought by grandparents.  I have to deal with realities that my kids will not have to worry about, Lord willing.  I just pray that there will not be too many situations that are any more real than those when I teach second grade.  The lady that will be teaching with me is a school principal, so discipline should not be a problem.  However, home issues scare me.  I wish I didn't have to deal with any part of it, but that is the reality of our lives today.  

I have finished up all but one of my catechetical classes (I will be finishing that up this Sunday) required for the archdiocese and will be receiving an "advanced" catechist certification.  It may not seem like much to some but it took me over two years to complete it.  Some of the required workshops were rather boring (I took the same type of education classes in college), and some of the video classes were just annoying.  However, there were a few videos that were helpful and gave me some great ideas.  What I enjoyed most were the St. Gregory University short courses that we were required to take.  Learning about Church history, canon law, and ecumenism (to name just a few) were fascinating.  Those helped us to learn more about the Church but really had nothing to do with actually teaching.

Anyway, I feel the responsibility of shaping the childhood of dozens of children very deeply.  I pray the Holy Spirit guides my words and more importantly my actions.  I am starting to get that excitement I feel when I plan my next school year.  I love the planning and the anticipation of new material, new opportunities to make the Church positive for the kids.  I can't wait to get in there and do it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Today, as I listened to Father F. give a wonderful homily on the Gospel reading today (John 20:19-31), I mused about this "strange beatitude," as Father called it. This is the part of St. John's gospel where he tells us about how Thomas would not believe in Our Lord's resurrection until he could actually see the risen One. In part it says:

"Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”"

I thought about a Catholic/Protestant "debate" forum I participate on. We debate the True Presence on a regular basis. The Protestants (or evangelicals, some like to call themselves) say that Jesus NEVER said that He meant His words to be taken literally as recorded by St. John in chapter 6 of his Gospel. I find it interesting how protestants say they believe every word spoken by Jesus, but pick and choose what they take literally and what words of Paul's they use to explain away what Jesus said. They also seem to pick and choose what is to be taken literally from their truncated Old Testament also (commentary for another time).

Anyway, I made a connection between John 6 and John 20 that I hadn't seen before. It made me all the more sure that the Church is right to take Jesus' words literally in John 6, when He said over and over, "I am the Bread from Heaven," "You must eat my Flesh...and drink My Blood and you will go to Heaven," "Eat My Flesh...and dring My blood and you will live forever." Prots LOVE to explain this away because he used parables in other parts of John's Gospel--all of which were explained to the apostles, by the way--and Jesus says, "...the flesh profiteth nothing..." later in the Chapter. Of course, intelligent readers of the Gospel know He is not referring to His own Flesh here. He is referring to the Pharisees only seeing things throught their own experience, thinking "in the flesh." He said He spoke the words of Life. Well, He said, " My Flesh...drink My Blood..." Those ARE the words of Life that He spoke moments before.

Well, today I made the connection with John 20. “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” One of the biggest objections of those who do not take Jesus at His word is that they see no change. Just like Thomas they will not believe without "proof." They will do loop-de-loop arguments, twisting Scripture this way and that, to say that Jesus didn't mean what He said. They want to see a physical, material change. Guess what? We take Jesus at His word. We believe the bread becomes His Flesh without seeing it happen because He said it happens. He commanded them to EAT and DRINK in John 6 and then gave them the Bread and Wine, as His Flesh at the Last Supper. He gave the apostles the means, the words, and the blessing to make this wonderful miracle of Life happen. Blessed are those who believe Him without seeing it will be blessed.

Jesus said you are blessed if you believe without seeing. Do you believe Him?

Here are some good places to start if you want to investigate the Church further:

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Several times now I have gotten comments from [][][][][][] with the comment [][][][][][][][][][][][].  Now I'm sure that that is not what [][][][][][]meant to say, but I cannot post nor comment on [][][][][][][][][][][].  If you have made a comment on one of my posts and haven't seen it yet, this may be why.  I think it must be a person or persons unknown trying to send me messages in a language my server will not translate into English, or using a program not compatible with google blogs.  So, if you are [][][][][][], I apologize that you have not seen your comments posted to my blog.  I would sincerely love to hear any and all positive comments concerning my blog. So, keep trying, I will post what I can. God Bless.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Did you ever?

I was just thinking about forgiveness.  It is a very hard concept to follow.  Jesus was our perfect example of forgiveness.  I heard about how Our Lord Jesus Christ told us to forgive "...seventy times seven times" in a homily recently.  It is so hard to forgive even once, sometimes.  I am have a personal struggle with forgiveness.  I know someone whom I have a lot in common with but struggle to be friends with.  This  person wants help for his child, and I have trouble not having the "well that's what you get when you reject other people's kids."  I mean I have forgiven this person a slight of one of my kids, but it is hard to forget about it.  I know I should only think of the welfare of that child, but I have a hard time forgetting the parent's complicity in the hurt of mine.  It is now a struggle to be Christlike--to pray to be Christlike when it is against my own will.  How does one do it?  Pray, pray, pray.  Forgiveness, for a human, also requires some taming of the will.  Thank God, He doesn't need that.  He is Love and He always forgives.  I need forgiveness for the hardness of my heart right now.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Just another Day

Gentle Reader,
Today I am writing to write.  I don't have a particular subject.

I was thinking alot about something someone said to me on a forum on which I am a member.  I find that you get false impressions of people.  I have to keep that in mind about myself, also.  A man, whom I thought was at least friendly to me, told me I should "see a shrink" because he thought I was being obsessive about another member.  Actually I was being "obsessive" about the false things she was saying about what Baptists believe, believe it or not.

You see, I grew up in the Baptist faith, General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) to be precise.  I believe the GARBC, though quite small compared to, say, the Southern Baptist Convention or the Independent Baptist Churches, would be considered a "mainstream" Baptist faith.  I grew up believing in the Trinity the exact same way it is taught in the (Catholic) Church.  I grew up believing in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in exactly the same way that the Church teaches it.  I grew up loving and believing in the Holy Scriptures, the way the Church does. 

My Baptist faith was actually the foundation of my Catholic faith.  I came to love the Lord and the Scriptures in the Baptist faith.  I came to love and adore the Real Presence of Our Lord, and respect and love His mother, in the Church.  I have come to have an affection for the Tradition of the Mass.  It all seems to me to be the maturity of the grounding in the faith I received as a child.  As an adult (in my thirties), I asked the Church and the Holy Spirit to "PROVE IT!" if the Catholic Faith was the one founded by Jesus Christ in the Gospels.  Over years of soul searching, and dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of prayer, the Holy Spirit answered me.

So, when defending THE Faith founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ and indwelled with the Holy Spirit, sometimes I still go off on a tangent letting people know Baptists aren't all as bad as some of the crazies on the internet.  I still have that affection for my faith upbringing that one has for their first love, or that treasured childhood toy.  I still love the faith I grew up with, but I grew up.  I live and love every day knowing that I now have the fullness of Faith. 

(Disclaimer to any family or friends reading this:  This was/is a personal journey and should not be seen as a reflection on you or your faith in any way shape or form.)

God Bless you as Holy week and the Triduum approaches.

Pictures:  Bible, Jesus in Leonardo's painting of the Last Supper, Jesus (with the Sacred Heart) and Mary (with the pierced Immaculate Heart)


I just came back from Holy Thursday Eucharistic adoration.  My body aches from the waist down.  My knees and my lower back are screaming at me.  All I can think about is how much more pain more saviour was in when He suffered for me.  I deserve so much more (pain, that is) but He suffered it for me.  There is no way to express my thankfulness to Him.  Even the hour I spent with Him this evening seems totally inadequate.

I prayed and prayed, and just sat in the exquisite silence of the sanctuary.  Sitting up front you never have the problem of having someone block your view, or being distracted by their figetting.  At one point I think I may actually have experienced a brief glimpse of an ecstacy.  But it was kind of like that luxurious dream that makes you so happy that you immediately wake up, and you try to go back to that place again.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get back there once I thought about it too much.  The experience took my breath away.  No one can ever convince me that my Lord was not there with me.

As I said prayed the 20 mysteries of the Rosary, I could see each one in the shadows reflected in the Host.  Jesus seemed to be reinacting the mysteries right there for me.  I know it may sound a little strange to some, but it is a "you had to be there" moment I will cherish for a long time.

Anyway, one more sad day of remembrance tomorrow.  My daughter wants to see the Passion of the Christ.  She has never seen it before.  I said we could watch it on Good Friday.  I hope it is not too intense for my soft hearted 9 yo.  Actually, I should also be worried about my 11 yo--they don't come any soft-hearted than he.  It may be too much for Him.  We'll see if we can use it as a meditation and not tramatize anyone. 

God Bless you all on this Good Friday.

Pictures:  Top, Monstrance containing the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Right, the Ecstacy of St. Catherine of Siena.