National Catholic Reporter
A lay Catholic weekly, bi-weekly during the summer, that contains global up-to-date coverage of news of interest to thinking Catholics.
Bread for the World
A national faith based organization founded to lobby Congress on behalf of the hungry throughout the world.
Road to Recovery, Inc
Road to Recovery, Inc is the initiative of advocates for victims of sexual abuse. Advocacy is two-fold: 1. To provide a path for the healing of victims; 2. To confront perpetrators and those who cover up the sexual assault of minors and vulnerable adult.
A timely Catholic weekly published by the Jesuits. American keeps us up to date on both news and opinion relevant to timely issues and events.
This link will keep 'parishioners-at-large' in touch with current creative liturgy sources and resources that respect a variety of 'traditions' within the Church.
Voice of the Faithful
A 'movement' of lay Catholics 'inspired' by the abuse scandal calling for greater accountability of bishops to 'Catholics in the Pew.'
Survivos' Network for those Abused by Priests or Religious
A National Network of self-help support groups for people abused by clergy or religious.
Vital information about the disclosure of sexual abuse and related issues affecting Catholics in the pew and the manner in which Bishops continue to exempt themselves from accountability
A 'lay' Catholic weekly publication with an accent on an intelligent analysis and commentary on curent issues, trends and concerns of interest to Catholics.
Bill Moyers and Company
A must link for all who desire to be kept informed of the truth about 'truths' communicated by the commercial media and the political pundists who hsve another agenda that makes truth a precious commodity.
+ First Week of Advent
“There’ll be some changes made, for sure.”
Readings: Isaiah 30:19-21m 23-26 Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 Matthew 9:35-38, 10:1, 5a-6-8
The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. [Isaiah 30:20]
At the sight of the crowds his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. [Matthew 9:36]
As a ‘pastor-at-large’ I have the opportunity to minister to a wide variety of people of different religious traditions and of no religious tradition. However, most of the folks who seek me out are Catholics, many of whom are on the margins – hanging in but suffering the pain of disillusionment with a Church that seems distant from them. Some have moved into a Diaspora or desert hoping that in time, they will be able to find a place at the table. Others ‘shop’ for a parish in which they may feel more “at home.” These folks are not bad people looking for an easy way to heaven. They are good people who identify strongly with their rich Christian heritage but whose experience with the ecclesiastical institution has become more and more legalistic and in some cases, antithetical to the message of the Gospel.
The well-known canonist and author, Father Ladislaus Orsy, SJ once wrote : “We live as long as we hope; we live as much as we hope. Loss of hope is a loss of life.”
Hope is not based on what we can see but on the utter conviction that the God Jesus has not and will not leave us orphans, wandering in the desert, lost at sea, as it were. The sun does not stop shining when clouds cover the earth.
The Vatican Council redefined the Church “the people of God” – a pilgrim people on a journey. When Jesus came upon people who felt excluded from the kingdom, he found a way to include them. Jesus insisted that everyone have a place at table. So must we.
Pope Francis has taken up this theme in his conversations and in his most recent eloquent papal exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel.” He proposes a Church that is not isolated from the mess of life; a Church that indeed that renders itself vulnerable to the mess and the message of welcome and inclusion; a Church that stretches beyond the convenient and safe dogmas and doctrines that are sometimes used to separate rather than to unify.
We are all partners with Christ in the work of creation that continues to evolve into the future with the hope that somehow, somewhere, unity may take place based not on my truth or your truth but on God’s truth.Daily Scripture Archive»
Partners with God in Christ
Several years ago, there was a film entitled, The Man Who Played God. The main character was a wealthy and famous musician. At the height of his career, he began to lose his hearing. Embittered and angered at his plight, he withdrew from society, turned away from God and became a virtual recluse in his penthouse apartment. From his window overlooking a nearby park and with the help of a set of high-powered binoculars, he began to amuse himself by reading people’s lips.
One afternoon, he focused on a young man whose lips were moving in prayer. Once he had determined what the young man was praying for, he sent one of his servants to fulfill his request. On another occasion, he read the lips of a woman who was telling another of a desperate need. This need also was met through his intervention. Gradually the wealthy musician became quite adept at his newfound hobby and each time he performed one of these services, he looked heavenward and laughed scornfully. He was playing God!
Gradually, however, something mysterious began to happen. The man who delighted in playing God began to discover God, converted as it were by the kindnesses he had been moved to perform. In the act of serving the needs of others, he began to know God because God is a God of service but he didn’t recognize the grace of God working within him.
It is true we cannot always be in control of my own lives or the lives of other people. Some of the greatest things can happen when we “let go and let God”; when we step back and allow others to exercise their talents. But the best things happen when we do things together, deferentially.
Jesus was pretty clear about his expectations for his disciples. (Disciple means learner.) He expected them to be servants. Actually, the biblical word used is “slave”. To give up control which is even more than giving up money or personal possessions. It is giving up our will to God, subjecting ourselves to God’s rhythm. Quite frankly, this is a pretty scary thought isn’t it? People recovering from addictive illnesses know exactly what it means to acknowledge and defer to a higher power.
The sacrificial nature of the call to serve is referred to in Jesus’ reference to the cup he would drink and the bath of pain in which he would be immersed. This is the quality of service expected of his disciples. In the world of commerce and politics and even in church life, those who seem to exercise authority lord it over others. Jesus said, “It can not be that way with you.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his one of his reflections on mutual service suggested that every Christian community must confront the ambitious wrangling that set James and John at odds with the other disciples. Over and above the usual applications of servanthood he offered a few contemporary ideas such as the unique service of holding one’s tongue so as to prevent undue criticism and domination while allowing the other to grow freely in God’s image rather than in one’s own; the service of humility that places the honor, opinion and well-being of another before my own; the service of listening that does not listen with only half an ear or on the presumption of knowing what the other has to say but listens with the ears of God; the service of bearing one another’s burdens in a way that does not make the other feel like a burden; the service of communicating without dominating always in the consciousness that everything is gift.
James and John requested of Jesus the gift of honor and status. Jesus asked of them and now of us that we accept the gift of true servanthood that equips us with all we need to be successful.
We are called to be partners with Christ in service to humanity.
Lord make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
And where there is sadness, joy.
Grant, O Lord, that I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love,
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning
that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.