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
How far can faith take us?
Readings: Isaiah 26:1-6 Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a Matthew 7:24-27
Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places and the lofty city he brings down; he tumbles it to the ground , levels it with dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor. [Isaiah 26:4-6]
Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” [Matthew 7:24]
As I have said so often in and out of the pulpit, the Bible is a dangerous book in the hands of the ill informed. Even this observation needs more than a little exegesis and I’ve used up a good portion of this little space with those two disclaimers.
My point is that it’s not enough to take the Biblical texts at ‘face value.’ Notice, I said, “not enough.” I’m not suggesting that our personal interpretation in private reading has no value. Indeed, lifting a favorite passage here and there as a prelude to a meditation can be very helpful to prayer and an effective way to integrate the Word of God into our daily lives.
The two quotes above seem to bear this out. There is no doubt that faith is foundational for Christian living. But it’s not enough to proclaim, “I believe, I trust, I believe!” We need to move from proclamation to prayer and then to action – action meaning that we search for concrete ways to live what we proclaim.
For most of us, this means nothing more than doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. In the words of that wonderful song of the fifties, “Little things mean a lot.”
But we are also called to be involved in the issues of the day – national and global. It appears that Pope Francis’ salient message is a good lens through which we might find ways to speak truth to power by refusing to keep silent in the face of a society, global and local, divided between the haves and have-nots. Silence from the pew and from the pulpit will not do for the Christian preparing for the feast that never seems to get beyond momentary generosity. Structures and systems that favor the rich and exploit the poor will not withstand the voices of the prophet and the vision of Jesus himself.Daily Scripture Archive»
Love is all ya need!
I’m not exactly the ‘touchy-feely’ type and my family has never been overly demonstrative in expressing our love for one another. However, we do send lots of cards and notes and of course, always add “Love” or “Love to all” to our signature. I always sign my name, “Love, Ken” accompanied by a sketch of a large heart with a smiling face in the middle
In whatever manner we end our conversations or sign our cards, I think it is true to say that most of us offer a hug and a kiss to our loved ones before departing on a journey. It’s not that we do not expect to see one another again but it is an assurance that we will remain connected and that our bond will endure despite the separation of time and space or a hurricane now and then.
John the Evangelist has recorded for us Jesus’ final words of farewell, his “Love ya” speech, as it were. Of course John has “reconstructed” Jesus’ farewell address and prayer on the style used by prominent leaders of those times. He did not necessarily put words in Jesus’ mouth but more than likely interpreted Jesus’ message for those he was leaving behind and for their posterity. But Jesus also added a new commandment—that his disciples love one another. “Such as my love has been for you, so must your love be for one another.”
I suppose our farewells contain the same entreaties at least non-verbally. We want our loved ones to stay connected. However, Jesus strengthened that request by telling them and us that this is in fact “how all will know that you are my friends: your love for one another.”
Without offense, I hope, I have often teased my co-workers and friends about their frequent use of the phrase “Love ya”. It is meant as a gentle reminder that these words can become rote and, over time, lose their meaning. The word “love” has many meanings and applications. Even the phrase “making love” has come to mean, “having sex.” But having sex can become merely an act of self-gratification rather than a true expression of love. Of course it is true that genuine expressions of love are rarely free of self-gratification and they are not necessarily incompatible. Someone has observed, wisely, that even the sacrifices of saints though divinely driven are not completely free of self-interest. Nevertheless familiarity with the word and its physical expressions can lead to a dulling of its depth of meaning and its transforming power.
At this time of the year, I find the nurturing of plants a useful metaphor for the caring love of one person for another. Every plant has its unique quality and its special needs. A cactus does not want a lot of water in the winter but it does need plenty of sunshine all year round. It takes a while to get to know the ‘personal needs’ of some plants. Some are more introverted than others. I have several plants with which I converse on a daily basis. I nurture their life and attempt to give them what they need but first I listen. If I don’t give them what they need, they die. Does that sound strange? I hope not. Love means listening first to what the other is saying and then listening carefully to what the other is not saying. Listening not just with the ears but with the heart is the key to love. A good book was written many years ago with the title, “How do I learn to listen to what you are not saying.” Very interesting!
Introverts need privacy and lots of space; extroverts don’t know what they are thinking until they talk it out. Some folks like to dream and others prefer to celebrate the present moment. Some people like to organize their lives and the lives of others while others prefer to float through life as if to say, “Lets see what happens!” As the sidewalk psychologist said, “there are different strokes for different folks!” How true.
God listens to us in Christ. God doesn’t decide life for us but with us. God offers us a listening ear and an understanding heart so that God can give us what we need to be our best selves. God does not control us but animates us and empowers us to listen to others, doing for them whatever enables them to be their best selves. This is what it means to “love one another as I have loved you!”
We can even take this a step beyond family and friendships to the human community at large. God’s love also empowers us to justice. As faithful disciples, we need to listen to the cries of humanity—to the poor in Haiti and in troubled spots across the globe and to those on the edges of life that we may respond with the transforming love of God for humanity.
Listening is a real stretch because all too often we are tempted to answer questions that are not being asked or respond to our own needs or to what we think others “should” want.
I have strong memories of my time in ministry to the ‘inner city’ of Paterson in the days of so-called urban renewal. Instead of listening to the indigenous population at the core of the city, political leaders decided they knew what the city folks needed. The end result was the construction of a new police headquarters, fire stations, cosmetic lampposts and curbing. This is not to suggest that these were not in need of repair or replacement. However, the basic survival of the people surely should have come first.
And love is never a cover-up or evil or a denial of wrong-doing. True love means saying “I’m sorry” when I offend—not, “I’m sorry if I have offended you!”
Back in November of 1968, the Beatles’ pop hit attempted to sing it in a few words albeit repetitiously, “All ya need is love…” I think they were not exactly on the same page as John 3:16 and I had the feeling that they spelled it ‘LUV’ instead of love. On the other hand, perhaps that’s the correct spelling. “To love another is to see the face of God!”
“God is love and those who abide in love, abide in God and God in them.”
I have heard that there is a series of billboards on a certain highway in Arizona – of all places!— on which drivers will find these messages from God:
“Tell the kids I love them.”—God
“Let’s meet at my house next Sunday before the game.”—God
“We need to talk.” —God
“That ‘Love they neighbor thing… I really meant it.” —God
“I love you, and you, and you and you…”—God
“Will the road you are on get you to my place?”—God
“Make someone’s day brighter today and tell them I was asking for them.”—God
“I give you a new commandment” again for the first time! “Love one another … as I have loved you.”
“Love is all ya need!” no matter how you spell it.
PS I am in the process of a move from Apt 2-E to Apt 3-V. This will necessitate a reinstallation of my internet connection and may result in a hiatus service. Therefore, I will not provide any daily postings during the coming week.