Monday, April 21, 2014
It used to be that most all protestant churches, even 'low church' denominations called their worship space a sanctuary. More and more though I'm seeing them renamed as 'worship centers'. This bothers me as it seems to me that we lose some of the holiness of gathering as 'church' this way. It's a mindset. Sure, whenever two or more are gathered in His name He is there and all, but Church is more than gathering together.
Even before I was Catholic, I always felt there was something special about the sanctuaries of traditional style churches. The pews, the weathered songbooks, the podium, the choir loft, the baptismal area, and the communion table all gave the feel that this place was special, set apart specifically for the worship of God. That's the very definition of holy or sacred.
Today's 'worship center' has none of that. It could be any room with chairs and a stage. While, again, we can certainly worship God in ANY place and should be doing so in all times and all aspects of our lives I think we really lose something by getting rid of the 'sacredness' of our churches.
The thought that concreted this in my mind this morning was that when we do this we risk church being about what WE do for God, and less about honoring what God has done for us.
Just my thought for today!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
The other day I started to pray the St. Michael prayer but in my mind I said, 'St. Michael the Archangel protect us from battle'.
But that's not how it goes, is it?
St. Michael the Archangel, DEFEND us in battle.
That is what we cry out in prayer. For the battle is here and now and all around us. God never promised us release from the battlefield, only that we could call upon His aid and that of His holy angels in our times of deepest need.
I do battle tonight, with my weakness, my anger, my desolation.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend me in battle,
Be my protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him I humbly pray.
And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
By the power of God
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
Who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of my soul. Amen
All you Angels and Saints, pray for me!
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Today was all about preparing us for the Resurrection. I wonder how the Saducees viewed the passage from Ezekiel in today's reading. It's pretty clear on a bodily resurrection at the end of time. I don't recall ever having read or heard that passage before! I love seeing how the Old Testament and the New Testament mesh so beautifully.
I was also struck by the thought in the reading from Romans today about how we are 'in the Spirit' while still being physical beings...in the flesh. When Paul talks about living in the Spirit he is not suggesting that we give up our physical bodies. This meshes so nicely with the Catholic understanding of John 6 . There is no false dichotomy between the body (flesh) and the Spirit.
That's a thought I want to develop further, but not sitting here at Einstein Brothers this morning! ;)
Monday, March 31, 2014
So, go here- Who Do You Say That I Am to listen to the song that keeps running through my head as the 'theme' song for the Gospel of Mark bible study I'm involved in right now.
It's by Tim & Julie Smith off their album A Eucharistic People available here (along with all of their other fabulous music!).
It's been going through my head for weeks, and thanks to my friends Andra and Tom Booth I was finally able to locate it!
Sunday, March 30, 2014
(Insert notes on the end of Chapter 1 here)
In looking at Chapter 2 through Chapter 3:6 we see 5 scenes in which Jesus' actions lead to encounters with the Pharisees. Here are a couple of links to more information about the Pharisees from both a Jewish and Catholic perspective-
I think that reading about them from the perspective of modern Judaism is absolutely fascinating!
(More to come later!)
Monday, March 17, 2014
God knew that Adam and Eve would choose to sin, but He made them anyway. He had to give them the freedom to choose or they would be nothing more than the angels. He already had all the angels He wanted.
He wanted us, created us, to choose to love Him.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Our Prayer today-
Here are some links we'll talk about in Bible Study Today-
Peter's home (Jesus' HQ) in Capernum
The Interlinear Greek New Testament
Here's a link to more about Lectio Divina, the method we used to read scripture at the end of our session- Lectio Divina
My thoughts and commentary to follow, after we meet today. I look forward to your thoughts, comments, and insights (even if you're not part of our Bible Study!)!
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
This year it is my goal to take a photo each week of just something in my life. I'm using Instagram for this so that I can easily put them into a template for my Project 12 pages. I may not post them individually here...goodness knows I'm woefully behind on posting my 2013 scrap pages! But I will try to post the finished monthly pages, and you are welcome to follow me over at Instagram!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Catholic Online has a Saint name generator. I tried twice and had fun reading about them both but thought I would take St . Angela as my patron saint for 2014.
The generator was created by Jennifer Fulwiler and her blog is at www.conversiondiary.com.
St . Angela Merici, pray for us!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
How about a quiz!
You are Uhura
|You are a good communicator with a
pleasant soft-spoken voice.
Also a talented singer.
Monday, September 2, 2013
My first thought in such cases is that in order to have any kind of rational discourse, you must be able to get the other person to agree as to WHAT Church authority they will consider the proper teaching authority of the Church. It must be something beyond "the nuns who taught me sex ed in Catholic school 30 years ago" or "everybody knows that". Ideally, if you can get them to agree that the Catechism of the Catholic Church contains the 'rules' which govern Catholic life, you're golden. That may take a discussion or several, but it really does have to be the starting point to get beyond the "he said, she said" sort of arguments. If they are of the 'my opinion of what your Church teaches is just as valid as your opinion' mindset, and will not agree that there can be a definitive source of teaching, then there's no way to have a rational conversation on the subject and further discussion will only devolve into argument.
For the specific challenge of the Catholic Church teaching that sex is sinful I counter, no, the Church teaches that sex is SACRED and therefore not something to be taken lightly or entered into frivolously.
From the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church):
III. THE LOVE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.
2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."
Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, "Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers. . . . You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.' I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together." And they both said, "Amen, Amen." Then they went to sleep for the night.
2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude." Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:
The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.
2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.
The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.
How cool is that?! The Church teaches that sex within marriage was created for both the pleasure of the spouses and the transmission of life. Clearly not teaching that sex is sinful.
You would be correct in saying that the Church limits the beautiful and sacred act of sex to those within bonds of holy matrimony. If you have issues with that limitation, we can discuss that another time, but it is the clear teaching of the Church that sex is a GOOD thing, not a sinful act.
A couple of good resources for some one who wants to know more about the Catholic views on sex are:
The Theology of the Body website- a great place to start!
The Theology of the Body Institute website
Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
"Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."
I wonder if we know how John's disciples prayed. Not that it's important for our faith or our salvation, but it would be interesting to know.
Just the stray thought that popped into my head as I read the reading before Mass this morning.