Wednesday, February 22, 2012

For Ash Wednesday, Suffering, My Role in the Mystical Body of Christ

As a Catholic I have heard about suffering all of my life. I never gave it any real thought outside of Christ’s Passion until I was diagnosed with cancer and really started feeling the pain of this horrible disease.

“Now I rejoice in my suffering for your sake, and in my flesh and I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body which is the Church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.” Col 1:24-26

Amazing to think of it in this context and much easier to understand when we are told to “offer up our sufferings” for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ok, now you will ask, “Offer it Up?” Yes, we offer it up in order to unite our sufferings to those of Jesus, in order to complete the salvation that he indeed fulfilled on Calvary over 2000 years ago. When we join our suffering to His it gives us a sense of being complete within the mystery of the Mass.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Freedom of Religion in America?

 There are many lessons we can learn from history if we pay attention to them. I would like to talk about these lessons. It shows how evil can triumph over a nation, if it is done gradually, and no one responds.
 In 1932 a man with a funny looking mustache was seen in many parts of Germany campaigning to be the leader of the nation. He talked about the “Jewish menace”. Many people thought he was goofy and they paid little attention to him.  No one did anything. As time went on this man formed a political party, the Nazis’. He encouraged them to persecute the Jewish people, and they listened to him.  No one stepped up to say or do anything. This man then came to power. He began to take away the rights of the Jewish people.  He would not allow them to teach in the Universities, or to practice their professions. He even forced them to leave the country. No one did anything. One night the persecution went a step farther. Jewish businesses were vandalized. No one did anything. Next he deported the Jewish people to concentration camps for slave labor. No one did anything.  Lastly, the “final step” took place - genocide. Over six million Jewish people were murdered, and along with them many Catholic Religious (e.g. Maximillian Kolbe)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Works of Mercy - Today

Many years ago when living out a very difficult few years of my life the Corporal Works of Mercy remained on my mind almost daily, today as I see society unravel at the seams I find myself floating back to those moments in time where I was the one in need of works of mercy….

The Bible is a constant companion in the life of many Christians, it is the guidepost many use along our journey of life but for me it is much, much more. In January of last year (2011) I found myself in the hospital on the receiving end of a diagnoses from a specialist in oncology, a cancer doctor. I was told that I had pancreatic cancer and that from this moment on my life would never be the same. Well those words were pretty accurate and indeed my life has not been the same. It has become better in so many ways it’s even hard for me to believe at times.

That day took me back to the times in my life when I felt truly alone and unsure of anything - that my life had been one big waste of time - with no meaning and no fruitfulness. For the next few days I sat in that hospital bed wondering just what would happen to me and what would people say. Most I was sure would simply say “Oh, I am so sorry to hear that” and go on about their business. But really, what had I done to cause people to take notice?