Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

There was no Homily this morning during Mass. I don't recall if this is the usual thing, or if Father just wanted to make sure to stay within the "Holy Hour"! I did, however, have another "AHA" moment during Mass.
Since it is Palm Sunday, the Gospel was the reading of the Passion. I have always not preferred to speak the words of the crowd, "Crucify Him!" I've always had a real problem with saying that. Then today, it hit me: We put Him on the cross EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. With things that we say, do, and even our thoughts, we put Him there. No one is perfect, and God knows I'm far from it. Every single human crucifies Him. That was His purpose for becoming human.
Now if I could figure out why it took me 53 years of hearing the Passion to understand it!
How about you? Did you have an "AHA" moment during your service this week? Leave a comment and let me know about it!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

5th Sunday of Lent

I attended Mass at the local university this week. We were out of town in the morning, so I was unable to attend my home Parish.
The Priest began the Homily with 3 questions:
1. What is the purpose of wheat?
2. What is the purpose of human beings? and,
3. If being a Christian was a crime, would there be enough evidence to persecute me?

Father spoke of Erik Erikson's "Psychosocial Stages"; specifically stages 5-7. He spoke of being yourself and being okay with being yourself, and how this transpires over time. He also spoke of our responsibility to help the younger generation through these stages. (I believe this takes care of #2.)

Father explained that the answer to #1 is: Food.  One grain of wheat by itself won't do much. Some of the grain is used for food, while some of the grain is used to produce more grain. I honestly didn't get a whole lot of the Homily; it wasn't until a few minutes later that I "got it".

Father presented the Candidates who, in 2 weeks, will become full-fledged Catholics. They stood with their Sponsors' hand on their shoulder, in front of the congregation. Then, the congregation was invited to come into the aisles and place a hand on another's shoulder. Here was my "aha" moment: As we placed a hand on the shoulder of the person in front of us, we were all connected as one. The last person in the back of the Church was connected to the Candidate. Just as the grain of wheat is no good on its own, we need each other to guide us to be better Christians; better Catholics. We can't do it alone.

Father ended with #3. We should act enough like Christ that the evidence would be evident. He gave us something to think about this week.

What grabbed your attention this week in your service? I'd love to hear!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One of the Best Homilies Ever


Photo courtesy of StockSnap.io
I attended Mass on Saturday this week, since that is when the Contemporary Group (of which I am a member) sang.  This was the first week I wrote in my "Mass Journal".
This week's Gospel included John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave his only son. During the Homily, Father pointed out that before the Gospel Reading, Nicodemus came to Jesus in the darkness of night, but left in the light of Christ. Father summarized the reading with: He who lives in truth walks in light.  The role of the Church is to act a mediator between us & Christ, so that we may have a personal encounter with Christ, and walk in the light.
He told us the story of Alexander Papaderous, a man who, as a young boy, was a prisoner in a Concentration Camp during WWII.Dr. Papaderous relayed his story to a group after being asked what is the meaning of life:  He found a broken mirror from a German motorcycle, and tried unsuccessfully to put it back together.He kept the mirror and was enthralled with how he could use it to shed light into dark places. He smoothed the edges on rocks, and kept the mirror.
This man could have held on to the anger and hatred, but he chose to let it go. He used the mirror as inspiration for his life.
The bottom line of the Homily: Let go of hatred, resentment, and anger. Walk in the light.

To read the whole story of Alexander Papederous, click here.

I am a fragment of a mirror whose design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect life into the dark places of the world-into the black places in the hearts of men-and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.
                            --Alexandros Papaderous 

What message did you get from your service this week? Leave me a comment and let me know! I'd love to hear from you!

Here We Go!

The thought of starting a blog dedicated to being Catholic popped into my head in the middle of Mass one Saturday evening. During the Homily, anyway. Not that it was a bad or boring homily, in fact, it was one of the best I’ve heard that particular priest give. My initial reaction was, “I’ve already got 3 blogs; surely I’m not supposed to start another one!” Since it came to me during Mass, it couldn’t be the devil trying to make me stay on the computer longer than I already am; could it?

Here’s how it happened: While looking around Matthew Kelly’s website (Dynamic Catholic) a couple of weeks ago, I found this thing called a “Mass Journal”. Being raised Catholic, bringing a book into Church was a “Protestant thing to do”. I mean, they’re the ones who carry their Bibles into church, highlight, and take notes during the sermons. Catholics just don’t do that. We’ve been taught to open up the missal/missalettes, follow along with Mass and the readings using these books that are in our pews. 

During the Homily, we listen to the priest (hopefully) relate the readings to our daily life. Well, Matthew Kelly suggests that we take a Mass Journal (and a pen!) into Mass with us, and jot down things that strike us during the Homily or the Readings. We use the journal during the week to reflect on what touched us during Mass.  

I was in a drugstore one day, and browsed the stationary section, just to see if there was a small journal that might be appropriate for a Mass Journal. I found one…a very small one that I could attach a pen to. I told myself I would wait until the Easter Season (which begins on Easter Sunday) to start. But, I already had the journal, so I thought I would try it out to see how it works.

So, there I was, listening to the Homily (which again, was very, very good) & taking little notes of things that Father said that I wanted to remember. And, here’s the weird thing: I’m reading a book called Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor (Allen Hunt). In the book, I had just read the part concentrating on Thessalonians (5:15): “See that none of you repay evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.” You’ll never believe what Father said in his Homily! He didn’t quote the verse, but he did talk about not repaying evil with evil.

I truly believe that there are no coincidences. So, I’m going to try this Catholic Blog and see what happens. My plan is to shoot for posting once a week to discuss what touched me during the Sunday Homily. I’m not a perfect Catholic by any means. I have an extremely long way to go to be anywhere near the Catholic my sweet mother was. I’d love for anyone who reads this (Catholic or not) to leave a comment with what touched them during the Homily/Sermon they heard.

P.S. Just after I posted this, I opened an email from The Dynamic Catholic, and here's what I read:
Coincidence?  I think not.

FOCUS:
Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to do something really great. Where does that inspiration come from? The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.