Tag Archives: Catholic

You’re Embarrassing Me!


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Jesus. Get off the cross. You’re embarrassing me!

A friend of mine lived in the country. He had kids and they were growing up and one of his daughters got involved in ranching. Raising cattle. She was just getting started in this work and she was put in charge of moving a herd of cattle.
She asked her father to help because he was an experienced rider and he was also a veterinarian. And he was her Dad.

Moving the herd happened in the dark of night, just before dawn. A dozen or so riders had instructions from this young woman and the move began. They walked or trotted their horses by the edge of the herd to keep them together and going at a speed they could control.

My friend’s horse was trotting along fine, then tripped and flung my friend down a slope onto his back. He called out for help and a couple of riders came by. He was trying to tell if he was hurt, and his daughter rode up.

She leaned down from her horse and scolded him in a whisper. “Dad. Get up. You’re embarrassing me!”

I love that story. That girl had so much on her mind and wanted this job to go well so badly that when her father got thrown from his horse she could only think about how it would affect the job.

When St Peter heard Jesus say that He would be killed for what He was doing, Peter said, “No!”. In one way Peter said, “Be quiet, Jesus, You’re embarrassing me.” Peter was saying “I want things to go this way: more success, bigger crowds. Don’t talk of failure.”

What do we do when things go wrong? What do we do when there’s pain? How about when suffering goes from short term to long term? God wants us to deal with suffering. It’s a part of life. When we think we can control our lives, we make sure suffering is not part of it. Suffering makes us look bad. It ruins our image. It feels awful.

What do we do?

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a psychologist who worked with dying people. She came up with an understanding of how people cope with having an illness that will probably end in death. Death is the biggest way of all that things go wrong. Most of us see it as the worst thing that will happen. The biggest embarrassment.

There are five stages people go through when things go terribly wrong. To keep this short, I will say only the first and the last. The first is denial. “No! This is not happening!” The last one is acceptance. As Jesus put it, “Not My will, Father, but Yours be done.”

Any time things go wrong we can bet our first reaction is “No!”. If we are believers, if we pray, and ask for help, that begins to change. We’ll get to “Your will, not mine be done.”

There’s a reason to accept suffering, any kind. Some day we’ll have to accept death. In the mean time we have to accept things like where we were born, how we were treated as children, what we look like, the traffic is, our jobs, our health, you name it.

What do we see when we look in the mirror? Do we see our failures? Blemishes? The ways we’re not good enough?

What do we feel when we enter a room full of people? Unworthy? That we have to hide who we are or what we did? That our jobs aren’t good enough or our kids aren’t bright enough or our bank accounts aren’t big enough?

If we feel that kind of embarrassment about ourselves, we try to hide. Or we look for something to cover it. Some pleasure. Some fantasy. We drink, we spend, we judge others. Anything to make us feel less embarrassed about who we are.

These things that deny the pain, that distract or cover over our unhappiness actually do work. The world is filled with ways of denying reality. They do take away the pain.

What they don’t do — what they cannot do — is heal us. Denial never heals. Never. It only conceals.

God wants healing for us. Healing comes with acceptance. Healing comes when we accept reality as it is, not as we’d like it to be. As soon as I can accept my life as it is, I find freedom. The things I was afraid of lose power.

We all can spend a lot of time and energy covering up our embarrassment. We hope people will like us, and include us and respect us.

Hasn’t that been what some people in the Church did when the sins of priests were reported? Deny. Hide. Don’t families do the same with the things they don’t want known? Businesses? Yup. Everybody does it.

There’s a saying in Italian: “bella figura”. It means “beautiful face”. When we put the preservation of the beautiful face above the truth, we lie. We deny. “Dad, you’re embarrassing me.”

There was nothing beautiful about Jesus on the cross. Nothing. Horrible to look at. Horrible, but three days later, He rose. He filled the world with glory. It’s the glory that comes from acceptance. From trust and honesty.

When we face reality instead of denying it, we pass through suffering into freedom. At first the truth embarrasses us. Then it sets us free.

Via Fr. Bill Murphy

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Year of Repentance


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“Return to your first Love”

 

Bishop Zubik Announces Year of Repentance

“Year of Repentance” Bishop Zubik will inaugurate the year Sunday, Sept. 23, and will lead a related prayer that afternoon.”

We all have reason to join and repent.

Pure JOY Through Suffering

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The Fruit Of Righteous Anger


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A thing about broken trust & silence – The entire thing with broken trust, is that when the trust is broken, it doesn’t matter what one says, but rather what one does (actions) to fix the trust. When trust is broken, do we believe what we are hearing from the one who has broken the trust? Or, do we respond better over time with the actions they have taken? We can demand an answer, BUT if the answer is silence? Will we be satisfied? Or do we demand an answer that WE want to hear?

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ – “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” Matt 11:18-19

Because often times, we don’t like to hear things that may hurt and react in ways that are NOT the fruits of righteous anger.

What is the fruit of righteous anger?

 

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Solitude And Trust


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Make straight the way of the Lord‘” (John 1:23)

When we think of solitude, we often have fear of some desolate confinement as in a prison, or state of bleak and dismal emptiness. When we are separated from our Lord, it is, but when we are not, and trust in Him, it becomes a wonder filled place of extreme joy. The interior of the soul can be a beat up dirty place, but our Lord is there to help you clean it up, and decorate your life with all that good.

The very meaning of  blessed “solitude” is that of peace. “O blessed solitude,” exclaims St. Jerome, “in which God with loving condescension deals familiarly with chosen souls!” It is in this place, the soul leans on humility and not pride, coming to grips with that which is not right and just, is cast out, if we respond as our Holy Mother, and her humility, “let it be done to me according to your word”. It is the place which we learn as St. John the Baptist, how to let the me, step aside and allow Him to complete. ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Solitude is a place for which I have come to enjoy, in which all the excitement within my soul, good and bad, becomes still, (Psalm 46:10) and places a firm Trust, in our Lord. Heeding to His Way, Life and Truth, casting aside what may be my own diversions and disorders. It is the heart of pure contemplation in which the pure heart, most certainly sees her Lord.

When trust is broken among family, friends, co-workers, religious leaders, presidents, children and even spouses, we can take courage in knowing that when we place our trust FIRMLY in our Lord, it is only He who has never broken the trust. We find Him always where we left Him. Waiting for us.

“I don’t trust you” has become a chant in every day life to which I can say in love, Good! Don’t trust me. Look to our Lord and remember His Word, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me”. 

`Come away with me. Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for a while.’ “Our Hearts are Restless Until They Rest in You” From the Confessions Saint Augustine of Hippo. “Pray without ceasing.”

In the midst of chaos and troubles, He is there to quiet the storm within the soul.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:5-6

In all the times we find ourselves “feeling” so alone and no one is there to help. Call on our Lord, He is with you always.

 

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A Pinch Of Salt


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“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 12:42

I ponder the salt of Wisdom which preserves the richness of our faith.

 St. Augustine (Confessions I.11)

17. Even as a boy I had heard of eternal life promised to us through the humility of the Lord our God condescending to our pride, and I was signed with the sign of the cross, and was seasoned with His salt even from the womb of my mother, who greatly trusted in You. You saw, O Lord, how at one time, while yet a boy, being suddenly seized with pains in the stomach, and being at the point of death — You saw, O my God, for even then You were my keeper, with what emotion of mind and with what faith I solicited from the piety of my mother, and of Your Church, the mother of us all, the baptism of Your Christ, my Lord and my God. On which, the mother of my flesh being much troubled — since she, with a heart pure in Your faith, travailed in birth Galatians 4:19 more lovingly for my eternal salvation — would, had I not quickly recovered, have without delay provided for my initiation and washing by Your life-giving sacraments, confessing You, O Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins. So my cleansing was deferred, as if I must needs, should I live, be further polluted; because, indeed, the guilt contracted by sin would, after baptism, be greater and more perilous. Thus I at that time believed with my mother and the whole house, except my father; yet he did not overcome the influence of my mother’s piety in me so as to prevent my believing in Christ, as he had not yet believed in Him. For she was desirous that You, O my God, should be my Father rather than he; and in this You aided her to overcome her husband, to whom, though the better of the two, she yielded obedience, because in this she yielded obedience to You, who so commands.

18. I beseech You, my God, I would gladly know, if it be Your will, to what end my baptism was then deferred? Was it for my good that the reins were slackened, as it were, upon me for me to sin? Or were they not slackened? If not, whence comes it that it is still dinned into our ears on all sides, Let him alone, let him act as he likes, for he is not yet baptized? But as regards bodily health, no one exclaims, Let him be more seriously wounded, for he is not yet cured! How much better, then, had it been for me to have been cured at once; and then, by my own and my friends’ diligence, my soul’s restored health had been kept safe in Your keeping, who gave it! Better, in truth. But how numerous and great waves of temptation appeared to hang over me after my childhood! These were foreseen by my mother; and she preferred that the unformed clay should be exposed to them rather than the image itself.

Preserving in prayer

A Prayer for the Preservation of Faith – St. Clement Hofbauer

O my Redeemer,
will that dreadful time ever come,
when but few Christians shall be left
who are inspired by the spirit of faith,
that time when Thine anger shall be provoked
and Thy protection shall be take away from us?
Have our vices and our evil lives
irrevocably moved Thy justice to take vengeance,
perhaps this very day,
upon Thy children?
O Thou, the beginning and end of our faith,
we conjure Thee,
in the bitterness of our contrite and humbled hearts,
not to suffer the fair light of faith
to be extinguished in us.
Remember Thy mercies of old,
turn Thine eyes in mercy upon the vineyard
planted by Thine own right hand,
and watered by the sweat of the Apostles,
by the precious blood of countless Martyrs
and by the tears of so many sincere penitents,
and made fruitful by the prayers
of so many Confessors and innocent Virgins.
O divine Mediator,
look upon those zealous souls
who raise their hearts to Thee
and pray ceaselessly
for the maintenance of that most precious gift of Thine,
the true faith.
We beseech Thee,
O God of justice,
to hold back the decree of our rejection,
and to turn away Thine eyes from our vices
and regard instead the adorable Blood
shed upon the Cross,
which purchased our salvation
and daily intercedes for us upon our altars.
Ah, keep us safe in the true Catholic and Roman faith.
Let sickness afflict us,
vexations waste us,
misfortunes overwhelm us!
But preserve in us Thy holy faith;
for if we are rich with this precious gift,
we shall gladly endure every sorrow,
and nothing shall ever be able to change our happiness.
On the other hand,
without this great treasure of faith,
our unhappiness would be unspeakable and without limit!
O good Jesus, author of our faith,
preserve it untainted within us;
keep us safe in the bark of Peter,
faithful and obedient to his successor
and Thy Vicar here on earth,
that so the unity of Holy Church may be maintained,
holiness fostered,
the Holy See protected in freedom,
and the Church universal extended
to the benefit of souls.
O Jesus, author of our faith,
humble and convert the enemies of Thy Church;
grant true peace
and concord to all Christian kings and princes
and to all believers;
strengthen and preserve us in Thy holy service,
so that we may live in Thee and die in Thee.
O Jesus, author of our faith,
let me live for Thee and die for Thee.

Amen.

(St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, C.Ss.R.)

 

 

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Politics Failed Again


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Napoleon on His Death Bed, by Horace Vernet, 1826

1821: Napoleon Bonaparte Dies after Confession and Communion

“During an argument with a Roman Catholic cardinal, Napoleon Bonaparte supposedly burst out: “Your eminence, are you not aware that I have the power to destroy the Catholic Church?” The cardinal responded ruefully: “Your majesty, we, the Catholic clergy, have done our best to destroy the church for the last 1,800 years. We have not succeeded, and neither will you.”

Napoleon Bonaparte failed miserably, as do all who place “politics” above and faith below. When I ponder “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”, I know in my heart, everything belongs to God.

I bring you this…

Also, not enough to destroy our Lords Church, nor the Truth. REPENT.

Ex-Nuncio Accuses Pope Francis of Failing to Act on McCarrick’s Abuse
In a written testimony, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano claims Pope Francis withdrew sanctions against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.

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But? What About?


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In hearing the cries from so many, about how hard it is to live the faith we are called to live, I have the answer.

But what about those who have been married and divorced and married again?

Trust in our Lord – Not just sweet words that sound good. Its a call to do it. Repent and believe in the Gospel. Not just sweet words. Its a call to do it.

But what about those with same sex attraction?

Trust in our Lord – Not just sweet words that sound good. Its a call to do it. Repent and believe in the Gospel. Not just sweet words. Its a call to do it.

But what about those who ________________________________.

Trust in our Lord – Not just sweet words that sound good. Its a call to do it. Repent and believe in the Gospel. Not just sweet words. Its a call to do it.

When we separate ourselves from our Lord, we must repent, turn away from what we have clung to in place of our Lord, and go back to what is right and just.

Love God FIRST. Place Him FIRST. Not just sweet words that sound good. Its a call to do it. Its a Command.

 

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