Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mocking the Crucified

Two thieves crucified with Jesus - they both began with taunting, but one underwent conversion. The thought had never occurred to me before though - why would anyone hanging on a tree muster the strength to mock someone else? And the only answer that came back was my answer for why I watch (and almost always mock) reality television - in my heart of hearts, my comments make me feel superior/clever/funny and, if only for a couple of moments, give me an escape from my problems (cross). It's all a sham of course: if I were on television, with people observing my daily foibles - I would provide them with a motherload of mistakes.

There has to be a better way to deal with our crosses, and I think that second thief, called Dismas in tradition, shows us how- acknowledge where we are and then ask Jesus to keep us in His memory (His Heart). Handling it that way is redemptive; just ask Saint Dismas.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

I was driving home late this evening, flipping stations, when I happened upon Axl (yes, that's how you spell it) Rose's cover of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." There's something very soulful about the Axman at times, especially on this tune, so I stuck it out. 

Almost instantaneously, the song had me thinking about Mass. I recently read Matt Swaim's The Eucharist and the Rosary: Mystery, Meditation, Power, Prayer, and  had the good fortune to spend some time talking with Matt as well. What is fresh in my mind from those encounters is Matt's insight that Mass is meant to "yank us out of ourselves" - our littleness, our self-preoccupation - and place us in Heaven. 

As I continued along, singing and thinking, I saw my parish coming up on the right.  I raised my hand and made a knocking motion - my own strange profession of Faith. (I felt alright doing this because at 10:30 p.m., on a relatively empty street, the chance of the knock being mistaken for a gang sign were slim to none.)  As I came into the house I wondered, "Is there enough here to write a blog? Does anyone really want to hear about the hand gestures I make while driving?" The answer to both was an obvious "no."  But here is where things got crazy: When I got to my bedroom I gave my email a final check before going to bed, and there was a message from a blog I follow, titled "Knocking on Heaven's Door." I kid you not.

So here you go. If someone out there needs to be reminded that Jesus is present in that church, in that Tabernacle, this is it. If you've been complaining that your parish priest is a lousy speaker and that the choir director has a voice like Axl (again, yes - that's how he spells it) Rose; drop it. Jesus of Nazareth, the Alpha and the Omega, the Crucified and Risen One, is telling you to get yourself there. If you need to go to Confession, then go; He loves you, what are you waiting for? Knock on Heaven's Door - it's always answered; He's always home...waiting for you and me.

P.S., Check out these words of wisdom from Denise Fath on the subject!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The British are Coming!

I cannot begin to communicate how excited I am. Talk about living in amazing times. The Holy Spirit has just done something that many NEVER believed possible - 99 congregations petitioning to be reunited to the Catholic Church! Yes, the Anglican Church in America (o.k., so they're not really British), consisting of 99 parishes and cathedrals, is petitioning, as a body, to enter full-communion with the See of Peter. Please click here to view an article, and here for the statement directly from the ACA. The Apostle Paul's quotation of Habakkuk comes to mind!
Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you! (Acts 13:41)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Teens Sexually Active... as Parents LOOK ON?

NO, of course they wouldn't be! Which is the point of a great article penned by Catholic Exchange editor, Mary Kochan. If you're a parent, I recommend you give it a look. My kids aren't of dating age yet, but Mary sure has me thinking about when they will be...and what my responsibility toward them is.
Putting the Vision Back in Supervision by Mary Kochan