Monday, November 29, 2010

First Sunday of Advent

Wow!  I can't believe it is that time of the year already.  It is actually the new year of the Church calendar.  We start cycle A this year.  Due to illness I did not post this in time.

The readings for the day were:  Isa 2:1-5; Ps. 122: 1-9; Rom. 13: 11-14

Gospel -- Matt 24:  37-44
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Pope John Paul II in his address on Dec. 18, 2002 said, "The liturgy of Advent…helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2,000 years ago in a little village of Judea. Instead, it is necessary to understand that the whole of our life must be an ‘advent,’ a vigilant awaiting of the final coming of Christ. To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously."

Friday, November 26, 2010


I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe holiday. 

                                     "Come, Lord Jesus, our Guest to be
                                      And bless these gifts bestowed by Thee.
                                      And bless our loved ones everywhere,
                                      And keep them in Your loving care."

"Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you"  (Thess. 5:18)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Catholic Church, named in AD 110

One of the things that made me laugh when I visited an Antiochian Orthodox Church last weekend was the silly statement our ignorant (e.g. Lacking education or knowledge) tour guide made.  He actually stated that the Catholic Church "made up their name" after it had "split from the True Church in the 11th century, and that at that time they had to make up their own name--Orthodox (from the Greek words meaning "correct" "faith").  I have guess, since he is a convert from the Methodist faith, that he was either not taught actual history or was taught bigoted history.  Even the Orthodox churches recognize St. Ignatius as a saint and Father of the Church, and he said:

St. Ignatius of Antioch and the Lions Icon
See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution [Or, “command”] of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper [Or, “firm”] Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.  [St Ignatius, Letter to the Smyraeans, Chapter VIII, AD110 from The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus by Philip Schaff, 1885, posted on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Calvin College]

St. Ignatius dubbed the Church the Catholic Church a millennia before the split of the Church.  To claim that the Catholic Church made up her name in the 11th century is, as I stated before, to be ignorant of history.  The mutual split between the East and the West in the 11th century has only deepened over the centuries.  We need to be talking and communicating more on our similarities and commonalities rather than purposely pushing each other away.

"The two forms of the great tradition of the Church, the Eastern and the Western, the two forms of culture, complement each other like the two "lungs" of a single body."  —Pope John Paul II, Euntes in mundum, 1988.

One final thought:  ""We have not only to be called Christians, but to be Christians." -St. Ignatius of Antioch

Friday, November 12, 2010


So, I watch the "Random Act of Love" that was put on by the Philadelphia Orchestra at Macy's and start to cry. I am so tired and feeling a little down on this rainy Oklahoma day. I feel so stressed about getting bills paid, about keeping school on schedule, I'm upset that, yet again, I missed an opportunity for the kids (a VFW essay contest that would be good for College apps), flunking college Latin, and trying to get my sty of a house clean. I just forget about enjoying life most of the time. That video really is lovely, If you haven't watched it yet go here to the CathApol blog where I make a contribution from time to time.  The video has been floating around the internet.  I just wish I'd been there.  ...and I need more sleep.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

To all my fellow veterans:  As your nation honors and thanks you today, have a great day!  I am so happy that our nation sets aside a day to remember all those veterans who are still with us and that we honor them with praise and parades for their sacrificial service to our country.  God Bless all of you, Brothers and Sisters!

Monday, November 8, 2010

God Works in Mysterious Ways

St. Mark, the Evangelist
Last night I went to a Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy (and yes it is a Catholic Mass!)  It was so powerful and so beautiful, I wish I could belong to an Eastern Rite Church.  The reverence of the Eucharist, the reverence sung in chant, the reverence shown to the Theotokos touched my soul in a way I haven't experienced in a long time.  The Byzantine Rite community here is very small and they only perform the Divine Liturgy once a month.  It is about a 40 minute drive but I may go again some time.  My love for the Eastern Tradition of our Church has renewed my love for our Sister Church.  I had just written a post about the bad taste in my mouth after visiting a bigoted Orthodox Church the day before.  God knew I needed to experience the Divine Liturgy for myself to appreciate our Eastern brothers and sisters.   God really does work in myserious ways.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Can't Believe the Hostility

Elijah passing his mantel to Elisha
Wow!  What a beautiful church we visited today.  A beautiful example of Byzantine architecture and art.  Boy, what anti-Catholic hostility we encountered.  We went to a Antiochian (Lebanese) Orthodox Christian Church (yep, that was in the name) today.  I will not mention the name of the parish out of my deep respect and love for our sister--the Orthodox Churches.  But, wow, is the respect and love so far from mutual.   Frankly, why all the open hostility for Catholics and our Faith?  Was it necessary to present us a rewritten, pointedly anti-Catholic, pamphlet on the "history of Christianity" when we entered the 'chapel' for the tour of the Church?  A false picture of how the Catholic Church split away from the "true church" as the pope asserted his "power"?  Was it necessary to point out that they are not Catholic?  Many times?  Was it necessary to falsely claim that the Church 'made up' the name Catholic after "they split from' the Orthodox, who, according to our bigoted tour guide, had to then 'find a name for itself' to distinguish them selves from the newly named Catholic Church?  Was it necessary to laugh at someones question about whether or not Orthodox believed in the Immaculate Conception? 

Theotokos--Mother of God

I was looking forward to a nice tour of a beautiful Church.  I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer.  I was fuming.  But I wanted to be respectful and polite in the house of God despite not receiving respect in kind.  The 'tour guide' was deliberately, knowingly, and pointedly making sure he pointed out not only the differences in our churches but also how the Catholic Church was wrong.  I'm sorry BUT YOU'RE WRONG!!!  I used the excuse that my 5 yo needed the bathroom to leave the group as it went into the sanctuary.  If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all, right?

It makes me wonder why the Catholic Church is trying so hard to reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ for unity, only to be spat in the face with such open contempt.  Why do so many of the lay Orthodox feel that Catholics reaching out to them for unity against Satan and all his army is a sign of weakness in Catholics?  Why do they embrace all other religions in the area, call them fellow Christians, but scorn their sister Church?  I just do not understand.  On the one hand they're all 'let's preach love and peace,' but on the other hand spew hatred and bigotry at other Christians?  Really?  That is what Orthodoxy is?  I sure hope not.  Because bigotry and hatred for fellow Christians is not how you persuade your (supposed) foe that you are right, and you're hostility is not going to win converts.  Word to the wise:  Converts to are not attracted to a church that preaches the love of Christ but spews hatred toward their fellow Christians.  It only fuels the flames of the ant-Christian (of any 'flavor' including Orthodox) faction.   I pray that this 'tour guide' was not typical of the attitude of the patriarchy of the several branches of the Orthodox Church--or at least not all of them, as they are NOT in union as (also) falsely claimed by our 'tour guide.' 

It left a very bitter aftertaste in the mouth.  I pray for the restoration of my respect and love for the other "lung of the Church" as Pope Blessed John Paul II called our Orthodox sister churches.  BTW, I still love seeing the art and architecture of the building but I will have a hard time removing the memory of that bitter, bigoted, awful visit to that wonderful house of God.  I will continue to pray the Rosary for the unity Christ so desired for His Church.  If that makes me weak, so be it. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Happy All Souls Day!

Don't forget to vote today!  Be responsible Catholic citizens and vote as Catholics (ie, pro-life).

No on SQ 744!!!
Praise God SQ 744 was defeated!  Now, can we get an actual bill that will ACTUALLY improve our schools--not school spending.

Happy birthday Becky!!!!