When Hamlet waited to see if his father’s ghost would appear to him, Horatio mocked the idea that the guards had actually encountered the murdered king. But Hamlet’s (and Shakespeare’s) reply is meaningful here: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” (I, v). Some of those “things” might well be beings of both heaven and earth, after all. If we believe in the Resurrection, if we believe in Christ raised up in glory, if we believe that there are saints and angels, then why might they not want to consort (anonymously, invisibly) with us? Who would you want to see at your death-bed, to guide you and welcome you to heaven?
The Holy Father truly wants a listening Church—one that listens to the whole Church. He is willing to face the risks, given the benefits of becoming a Church fully alive in communion, in mission, and in participation. What might the Church look like if this vision were to become a reality? The Church is called to be far more than prelates and Vatican officials; we (yes, we!) are called to be Church.
I’ll offer more of Pope Francis’ insights and desires down the line. Just know (which you do, if you heard my “Office Chat” either from Constant Contact or Our Savior’s Facebook page) that we will be taking participation seriously at Our Savior. For the entire “People of God” to be heard, the entire “People of God” need to speak.
What’s the answer to divorce? Hint: it’s not stronger pre-marriage preparation on the part of priests. It’s a more solid engagement (pun intended) of the couple before marriage—learning who each other is, and not just in (not even primarily) bed. Get to know each other spiritually, intellectually, emotionally—then figure out if marriage is right/reasonable for you both. Then you won’t have to worry about divorce—at least, not so much.
This is why, in the two weekends after this coming, our announced collection for relief for the victims of the earthquake and Hurricane Grace in Haiti will now be divided equally with the people of New Orleans. I can only encourage everyone to be generous as possible. We in Mobile (and in much of Alabama) know the impact a hurricane can have (and we know those that have had that impact). “Turnabout is fair play,” as the saying goes. It’s time for us to help. I know we will, because that is the meaning of community—all together, one for all, all for one, whenever there is a need. Yes, Cain: we are our brother’s keeper.
In both cases, I had a good solution but one that was wrong for the issue. Again—how often have we been in spiritual circumstances when what we thought was the right approach simply wasn’t. Perhaps we might do well to hear again the words of St Paul (Romans 8) that we don’t know how to pray as we ought. Perhaps the best prayer, after all, is the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done; Give us this day; deliver us from evil.”
Truth is difficult—it’s why Jesus called it the “narrow Way.” It calls for sacrifice (and no one other than Jesus realizes what that entails). It means commitment when I don’t feel like it—saying another YES even when I’m not in the mood.
First of all, we can clear the air about questions from our Bible-based brothers and sisters: no, the Assumption is not found in the Bible (at least, not as such). But it has been believed in/celebrated (especially in the Eastern Churches) since very early times. How did it come to be?
The distinction between the words “real” and “true” may seem to be pedantic and unimportant. I disagree, and I base my judgment on the far more intelligent judgments of two very important figures in my life: JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis (the latter having learned this distinction from the former).
I write this because of the ancient principle of the Church: Lex orandi, lex credenda: the way we pray reveals the “what” in which we believe. If we cannot worship together, do we believe together? And is there any more important way of worship (spoiler alert: no) than our celebration of the Eucharist?
This weekend is the “prelude,” so to speak, of the 5-Sunday “interlude” into our Cycle from Mark, when we add 5 Sundays’ worth of the Gospel of John, chapter 6—the “Bread of Life” discourse. We do this, in part, because Mark’s Gospel is too short to cover all of a year’s worth of “Ordinary Time.” But there’s more to it than that, especially for us this year.
There cannot possibly be a better Gospel reading for Missionary Co-op Sunday than today’s, with Jesus sending the disciples out, two-by-two, to prepare the way for His own preaching visits. They were to “take nothing for the journey” (a passage that deeply impacted Francis of Assisi). But in fact they did take something critical for the journey: the authority Jesus gave them—no small item!
The words of this title have “baggage”—they carry connotations that can be positive or negative, based on context. This weekend is a good time to explore the intricacies of grammar and meaning, at least in terms of these words.
This is an unlikely duo to be celebrated together, at least as we read the New Testament. It seems they were regularly at odds, even if and when they could work, if not together, at least not in opposition. But this Tuesday is their great joint Solemnity—the patron saints of the Church in Rome.
Yes, today we honor our Dads, as best we can. We let them grill out (so we can eat, of course!); we let them wear the shirts and shorts and socks they want (so long as we aren’t within 3 miles of them!); we say we love them and give them a present (yes, another tacky tie…). For some of us, the best we can do is trim around the headstones, lay flowers, and pray. But nevertheless: long live Father’s Day!