Acts 3:13-15 and 17-19; Ps 4:1,4, 7-9; 1 John 2:1-5a
+ Glory and Praise to Jesus Christ our Savior! +
Well dear friends in Jesus, we have another chance to reflect for a while on Easter Sunday evening, this time in St. Luke. As we pray to the Holy Spirit for more understanding, I find it helpful to look at Luke’s story. Cleopas and Luke rushed seven miles back to the Upper Room. They were all telling about their experiences of seeing Jesus earlier in the day. Cleopas and Luke had recognized Jesus in the “breaking of the bread.” All of a sudden Jesus materialized in their midst. They were startled and terrified. “Peace be with you.” If Jesus appeared in my room, I would certainly be startled and electrified, not terrified. I so long to see him face to face. As I look at beautiful pictures of Jesus I want to be totally in his presence and enveloped in his light.
General audience: the complementarity between man and woman
Vatican City, 15 April 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by dedicating this morning's general audience to the difference and complementarity between man and woman, recalling first of all that the Book of Genesis insists that both are the image and semblance of God. “Not only man as such, not only woman as such, but rather man and woman, as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between them is not a question of contrast or subordination, but instead of communion and generation, always in the image and semblance of God."
“Experience teaches us that for the human being to know him or herself well and to grow harmoniously, there is a need for reciprocity between man and woman,” said the Pope to the thirty thousand faithful present in St. Peter's Square. “When this does not happen, we see the consequences. We are made to listen to each other and to help each other. We can say that, without mutual enrichment in this relationship – in terms of thought and action, in personal relationships and in work, and also in faith – the two cannot even fully understand what it means to be a man and a woman.”
For Susan Vogt, a Lenten challenge became an addiction. Her forty bags for forty days campaign on her blog encouraged others to join her in giving away one bag of unneeded items every day for 40 days. The discipline of giving things away began to lift the burdens of clutter, confusion and indecision about things she didn’t use. Her new freedom set in motion a new radical, simplified, ecologically friendly lifestyle and led to Blessed by Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly.
Living with less became a spiritual challenge for her and her husband 365 days a year. Soul-searching questions arose such as “How much is enough?” and “How much is too much?” These questions apply to everything in our lives from tithing to eating, from clothes to memorabilia, from relationships to emotional burdens of worry, sadness, guilt and fear of death.
Soon she was scrutinizing everything in her life and weighing its usefulness to the empty-nester stage of her life. Would she be better without it? Could someone else benefit more than her from having it?
Read how you can be Blessed by Less on Catholic Writers Guild
Posted in Books, Hospitality, Lent, Quotes, Susan Vogt, Writing
Tagged 40 bags in 40 days, Blessed by less, Catholic Writers, clutter, empty nest, freedom, grace, joy
Acts 4:32-35; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15; 22-24; 1 John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31
Well friends in our Risen Jesus Christ, we are finishing our nine days of Easter Solemnity.
At the daily Masses we have been reading all of the Easter Sunday stories as we have looked at the times, places, people and what Jesus said and did. Most of them are thrilling stories, which give us a better picture of what happened that day. All of the New Testament books were written after Pentecost when the community of Jesus had been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to go out and continue Jesus’ work of saving humanity. We are disciples because of what they proclaimed in a mighty way.
Posted in Community, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Prayer, Scriptures
Tagged Catholic, Divine Mercy Sunday, faithfulness, God, grace, joy, love, mass
Vatican City, 8 April 2015 (VIS) – During today's Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father continued with his cycle of catechesis on the family, completing his reflection on children, “the most beautiful fruit of the blessing that the Creator has bestowed on man and woman”. This week he focused on the “stories of passion” that many children sadly experience. “Many children, from the very beginning, are rejected, abandoned, robbed of their childhood and their future. One might even dare say, almost as a justification, that it was a mistake to bring them into the world. This is shameful! Please, let us not punish them for our own errors! Children are never a mistake!”
“Those who have the task of governing and educating – indeed, I would say, all adults – are responsible for children, and everyone must do what he can to change this situation. I refer to the passion of children. Every marginalized, abandoned child, living on the streets by begging or by any other expedient, without schooling, without medical care, is a cry lifted up to God and an accusation against the system we have constructed. … However, none of these children are forgotten by the Father in Heaven. None of their tears are in vain. And our responsibility must not be forgotten either, the social responsibility of persons and countries.”