The hunger for meaning and the need for hope in this deconstructed society cannot be satisfied by merely private choices. This is a real blind spot for most liberals. The issues are too big and we cannot stand alone against such a dominant cultural collapse. Corporate evil can only be overcome by corporate good. For this reason, and many others, I'm very happy to see the growth of small groups in church and in society. As I have said since the early days of the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati, we cannot think ourselves into a new way of living; we must live ourselves into a new way of thinking. It is lifestyle choices that finally change us and allow us to see in new ways. We have to create structures and institutions that think, and therefore act, differently. We have no past evidence to prove that gospel individuals alone can fully exemplify the Reign of God. This is the church's own form of individualism, while it often condemns individualism in the world. Until we question our very lifestyle, nothing truly new is going to happen—or, as Jesus said in a perfect metaphor, if we put "new wine into old wineskins," both will be lost (see Mark 2:22). That's a rather clear statement about the need for gospel structures to support gospel individuals. Up to now, we have largely tried to evangelize individuals while the structures have remained monarchical and unaccountable. "Put new wine in fresh wineskins, and both are preserved" (Matthew 9:17).
—from The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr, OFM
†Saint Quote "We have received baptism, entrance into the Church, and the honor of being called Christians. Yet what good will this do us if we are Christians in name only and not in fact?" – St. Andrew Kim Taegon
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Many people seem to worry themselves a great deal more over the things they cannot help than over the things that they can. ... This want of proportion is doubtless observable in myself. Do I think more of the accidents of birth, fortune, and personal appearance than of the self that I have created? For I myself am responsible for myself. 'To be born a gentleman is an accident; to die one is an achievement.' Other things, then, I may not be able to help; but myself, I can. As I am at this very moment, as my character is—truthful or untruthful, pure or impure, patient or impatient, slow to wrath or quick-tempered, eager, enthusiastic, energetic, or lazy and dull and wasteful of time—I have no one to thank but myself ... the fact remains that I myself alone am responsible for my own character; for character is an artificial thing that is not born, but made." — Fr. Bede Jarrett, p. 371-2 AN EXCERPT FROM Classic Catholic Meditations
†VERSE OF THE DAY "For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil.b Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience." Romans 12:3-5
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ST. ARNOLD JANSSEN
St. Arnold Janssen (1837–1909) was born in Germany to a large Catholic family. He was a man of simple faith who studied theology, entered the priesthood, and served as a school teacher. He had a profound devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which awakened in him an increasing desire for missionary work. This led him to found The Little Messenger of the Sacred Heart, a monthly magazine sharing news of the Church's missionary activities and encouraging German Catholics to do more to help the missions. This was during a time of anti-Catholic persecution in Germany, and many priests were expelled from the country. Arnold suggested that these expelled priests serve in the missions, and for this purpose he founded the Society of the Divine Word, known as the Divine Word Missionaries, a religious congregation of missionary priests and lay brothers. He also founded two Orders of religious sisters associated with this missionary activity. Today more than 6,000 Divine Word Missionaries are active in 63 countries. St. Arnold was canonized in 2003 by Pope St. John Paul II. His feast day is celebrated on January 15.
Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 309 Reading I
Heb 4:1-5, 11
Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened. For we who believed enter into that rest, just as he has said:
As I swore in my wrath,
"They shall not enter into my rest,"
and yet his works were accomplished at the foundation of the world. For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner, And God rested on the seventh day from all his works; and again, in the previously mentioned place, They shall not enter into my rest.
Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.
78:3 and 4bc, 6c-7, 8
R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord! What we have heard and know, and what our fathers have declared to us, we will declare to the generation to come The glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength. R. Do not forget the works of the Lord! That they too may rise and declare to their sons that they should put their hope in God, And not forget the deeds of God but keep his commands. R. Do not forget the works of the Lord! And not be like their fathers, a generation wayward and rebellious, A generation that kept not its heart steadfast nor its spirit faithful toward God. R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, "Child, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth" –he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."
Daily Meditation: Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Let us strive to enter into that rest. (Hebrews 4:11)
Act naturally. Confirmed rumor. Jumbo shrimp. These are all examples of oxymorons, a combination of two words that have opposite meanings. Today we read about another one: strive to rest. But as oxymoronic as it may seem at first, a quick look around can convince us that we really do need to make every effort . . . to rest! Life can seem like a never-ending to-do list. And when we do have an opening in our schedule, some pressing task or another comes along to fill it.
It's true that we imitate our Creator when we do our own work well and with a good conscience. But God also wants us to imitate him by taking time to rest on the Sabbath as he did. Taking a regular break from work can remind us that God has more in store for us than even our best efforts can produce. When we take a day of rest, we can turn our attention to heaven, our true home, a place we could never build no matter how hard we have worked.
For many of us, Sunday has become a shopping day, a sports day, or a yardwork day. For some it has become a necessary work day. None of this is wrong in and of itself. For someone stuck in an office all week, a day out in the sun can be very refreshing. And God wouldn't expect us to give up work on Sundays if we have no other option. What he does want is for us to carve out some time to rest with him, whether at Mass, with a little more time in prayer and Scripture, or by enjoying the company of loved ones.
Sunday is coming. Strive to keep that door to heaven open. Clear your schedule of one thing that you could move to another day. Do your best to keep your mind clear of anxiety; try not to fret about the past or worry about the future. Then just enter into God's rest. Take a look around and see all that the risen Jesus has done for you.
"Holy Spirit, help me guard my time this Sunday. Refresh me this Sabbath with restful prayer, fellowship, and recreation."
Psalm 78:3-4, 6-8 Mark 2:1-12
O Mary, you are the Lady of Good Help; help us, in our time of temptation, to turn toward Jesus and away from sin. This day I offer my prayer for the conversion of sinners and I make reparation for the sins I have committed and for those of the whole world. — Fr. Edward Looney from Our Lady of Good Help: Prayer Book for Pilgrims
my2cents: 'Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.'
We pray today: " Do not forget the works of the Lord! That they too may rise and declare to their sons that they should put their hope in God, And not forget the deeds of God but keep his commands." Rise and declare.
From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus says matter-of-factly, before healing the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven." Shocked, the Pharisees respond, "He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
They were quite right of course, which is the whole point. If you had hurt me, I could with some legitimacy offer you my personal forgiveness of your offense. But if someone else had harmed you, I could scarcely offer that person my forgiveness for his sin. The only way that such a statement could be anything but blasphemous would be if I were the one who is offended in every sin. And this is what the Pharisees correctly intuited.
G.K. Chesterton said that even those who reject the doctrine of the Incarnation (like the Pharisees) are different for having heard it. The claim that God became one of us changes the imagination, compelling a reassessment of both God and the world. This odd assertion is made, implicitly or explicitly, on practically every page of the New Testament.
Therefore, when Jesus forgives the paralytic's sin, the Pharisees respond that only God can forgive sins, thereby, despite themselves, professing faith in the Good News."
A reflection spoke today about spiritual paralysis. Some need help. I would like to consider myself one of the four men helping a paralyzed man to Jesus.
Or am I? Or am I the one in need ...paralyzed in fear to become a saint? We help each other. I need you. You need me. Just to see you accept me...reading this...hearing me...helps me...and I hope to return the favor and labor of Love.
Lord I need You. Every hour I need You. Thank you for helping me...us
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse:
Random Bible Verse 1 Ephesians 5:1–2
[Ephesians 5] Walk in Love
5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
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