One of today's readings reminded me of an upcoming feast, which I want to emphasize. Here is the entire chapter of today's first reading. One body, one building, one Church and we are all part of that Church, not mere by-standers watching things happen around us, supposedly out of our control.
First, the section which included today's epistle selection:
Ephesians 4 Douay-Rheims
4 I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called,
2 With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity.
3 Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling.
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
The Plague Chapel
7 But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith: Ascending on high, he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men.
9 Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.
11 And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors,
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ;
14 That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive.
15 But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity.
17 This then I say and testify in the Lord: That henceforward you walk not as also the Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts.
19 Who despairing, have given themselves up to lasciviousness, unto the working of all uncleanness, unto the working of all uncleanness, unto covetousness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 To put off, according to former conversation, the old man, who is corrupted according to the desire of error.
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind:
24 And put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbour; for we are members one of another.
26 Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger.
27 Give not place to the devil.
28 He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.
29 Let no evil speech proceed from your mouth; but that which is good, to the edification of faith, that it may administer grace to the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God: whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and anger, and indignation, and clamour, and blasphemy, be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be ye kind one to another; merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ.
The NO Mass in the church I attend during the week is celebrating on November 9th, The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, which I am anticipating early for several reasons.
The readings including the Collect which refers to us as living stones. who have been chosen by God, to build up the Church of Christ.
Now, for a stone to be a strong part of a building, this stone must be "true", without cracks, sturdy, reliable in the hands of the builder.
A stone just "is". A stone, and I am living in a country for a while which uses stone for every building, does not need to decide whether it will be used. The quarry man cuts it out of the earth and the builder buys it, choosing the best and most appropriate for the building he has in mind.
Many stones make a building. New buildings rise up daily here and old ones are rebuilt. On my way home daily from Mass, I pass two houses being re-built and the stones masons work diligently to finish before the rainy season begins.
Surrounded by building, I think that few Catholics really, truly take their role as living chosen stones seriously.
Some, in fact, allow themselves to become useless, so cracked as to be tossed away.
I see fragments in the street here, from stones which will be carried away to be used for landfill or streets, but not a building.
If the building is strong, it is because each stone is strong.
The lay persons are the stones.
In the reading from Ezechiel, the prophet has a vision of water flowing from the right side of the temple. Of course, we immediately and should think of Christ's wound on the Cross, when His Body was pierced, blood and water flowing out as signs of life for us, signs of baptism.
Fish and living creatures live in this stream in the prophet's vision. Christ feeds His Church with His Body and Blood. But, the locus of the stream is the Temple, a sign of the Church.
Again, if the Temple is fertile, so are others, being fed from the Church.
The water, states Ezechiel, comes from the sanctuary. But, that is part of the Temple of the living stones.
In the New Testament reading, St. Paul, in whose footsteps I walk daily, if not spiritually, physically, calls himself an "architect". St. Paul writes that each one of us is part of the Temple, and living in the Holy Spirit. He refers to those who would destroy this temple, and that God will destroy whoever tries to destroy His Church.
Are we cooperating with the apostle's heirs in letting ourselves be made holy? Do we aid in destroying the temple through gossip, passing on scandal, antagonism, even hatred, and especially, pride?
In the Gospel, we see Christ cleansing the Temple of the businessmen and money-changers who infiltrted His Holy Place.
Of course, the Sanhedrin was making a profit from this business. So Christ's overturning the stalls and tables is not merely an attack on those individuals running those booths, but on the establishment which had become corrupted by greed and the seeking of power and status.
Sounds like this past week in Rome, wherein personal egos got in the way of God's Holy Temple worship.
I address the living stones. Be holy. The Church needs holy saints. Christ will come and cleanse the Temple, His Church.
Will you be part of the remnant or not? Do not complain if the Church seems weak. Make it strong.
You cannot make perfect something if you are not perfected. To be continued...
WHITE HOUSE EMERGENCY ALERT INTERRUPTS TV VIEWERS ACROSS AMERICA
Weird message warns viewers not to use phones amidst Ebola concerns
byPAUL JOSEPH WATSON | OCTOBER 24, 2014
UPDATE: AT&T has blamed a “nationally syndicated radio station” for sending the alert message, despite the fact that only the federal government can send out EAS alerts. The alert system, “can only be activated by the President in times of emergency,” reports Fox 5.
Americans watching television across the country were puzzled earlier today when an alert from the White House interrupted their viewing, told them to stand by for an emergency message and warned them not to use their phones. TV channels automatically changed to local news stations but no White House message ever came, prompting confusion and concern, especially given heightened tensions amidst the Ebola crisis.
The message was seen by viewers in Austin, Atlanta, Detroit and across North Carolina, as well as other areas of the country.
WSOC-TV out of Charlotte, North Carolina later posted a statement on their website saying they would investigate why the message went out, indicating TV and radio stations were given no advance notice of the test.
An AT&T spokesperson later indicated that that the alert notification was sent out erroneously.
“Earlier today, U-verse TV customers may have received an Emergency Alert notification. We confirmed that there is no emergency at this time and we are investigating why this occurred. We apologize for any inconvenience,” read the statement.
However, the Emergency Alert System is mandatory by law – stations have no control or power to block the signal once it is sent out by the federal government.Broadcasters are required to install and maintain FCC-certified EAS decoders and encoders at their control points, meaning the signal cannot be switched off or interrupted.
How sensible is it that the feds ‘mistakenly’ sent out an emergency alert – potentially causing panic – amidst national concerns about the Ebola outbreak in the United States?
Back in 2011, a similar test of the emergency alert system, in this case for cellphones, went awry when residents were told that a “civil emergency” was in progress and that they should “take shelter,” prompting 911 lines to be flooded by panicked callers. Authorities later apologized, claiming the test was a mistake.
Did you see today’s emergency alert message? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Thursday, 23 October –
Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time 2014
3:14-21; Psalm 32; Luke 12:49-53
The Danish philosopher,
theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author SørenKierkegaard, once wrote that
prayer doesn’t change God; it changes us who pray. We don’t pray
to God to get him on our side. Prayer transforms us into listeners to
God’s heartbeat. Prayer facilitates our easing into God’s will.
If this is so, then what Saint Paul expresses with utmost care and
love towards the Ephesian Church is of extreme importance to each and
every one of us. Kneeling before the Father, Saint Paul prays that
“through his Spirit ... you will grasp the breadth and the length,
the height and the depth of the love of Christ, until you are filled
with the utter fullness of God” (vv.16.18-19, First Reading).
Reaching high and
In prayer, we can fathom
Jesus Christ’s love for us. But that mystery of love is of such
proportions that it allows us to reach up to God the Father, from
whom the Son Jesus gets his sonship (“the height and depth”). But
in so doing it shows us that the Spirit who flames that love between
the Father and the Son nudges us to reach out to others (“the
breadth and length”). Would that not transform us into the fullness
of God, he who is the loving Father who generates a self-sacrificing
Son? Would that mutual self-giving character prompt us to be the same
Putting on this listening
attitude towards God’s will in prayer would usher us into an
openness to God that will help us surrender to his unfathomable plans
for us, convinced that he “can accomplish infinitely more than we
can ask or imagine” (v.20).
Would this be the fire
that Jesus has come to bring on earth and which he deeply yearns that
it be already blazing (v.49, Gospel)? If at his baptism, the Father
pointed him out to us as his beloved Son in whom he is well pleased
(see Luke 3:22), wasn’t it because Jesus was completely available
to do his Father’s will, even upon the cross? Wasn’t this the
baptism that he was to receive and to which he looked forward in a
That full adherence to and
embracing of the will of the Father brought perfect joy to him. But
it was also the cause of division even between the most intimate of
relations who were faced with a decision for or against him. “Whoever
is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me
scatters” (Luke 11:23).
‘Lord Jesus, would you
allow me today to take the Beloved Disciple’s place at your side
during the Last Supper? I want to be constantly in tune with your
heart so as to be able to listen to the Father’s heart. Renew your
Spirit of boldness within me because losing myself in your heart
might bring me into some kind of distance from others who have not
yet experienced the width and length and breadth and depth of your
demands. Set me on fire for your Gospel, for it is in it that I will
find the truth, and the truth that sets me free. Amen.”
and possibly numbering hundreds, if not close to a thousand in my lifetime, I have only met three who understanding one working on one's predominant faults.
Three, in many states, countries...three.
Today, I met one, who understood the whole process, telling me that most people do not think of perfection, of becoming perfect. We had a nice, short chat on the subject. This good priest said that if more people faced their predominant faults, they would become holy. He encouraged me, greatly.
He is a chaplain in a school and a very busy man with other diocesan and duties because he belongs to an order.
I pray that when God lets this gypsy stay in one place, that she can find such a good priest who wants the laity to become saints, and knows how this happens.
Ask God to show you your predominant fault or faults. One way is to look at the pattern of sins in your life, as repetitive venial sins reveal the predominant fault. Asking God to purge one of this fault is part of the Dark Night.
Blessed Adrian Fortescue From http://saint-john-of-jerusalem.blogspot.com/2011/07/feast-of-blessed-adrian-fortescue.html. Adrian Fortescue was born around 1480, the son of Sir John Fortescue of Punsborne, Hertfordshire.
Several women are saints of the Order of Malta. I have had one on this blog before, but hereis the first one. First, an explanation from the main site on women in the Order. http://www.smom-za.org/saints/women.htm ...
I first came across St. Nuno Álvares Pereira at Whitefriars Church in Dublin, where I was attending Mass last summer at this time. I would go to Adoration as well, and one day, I noticed the Flag of St. George in the window and ...
St. Toscana. Religious of the Order of Malta. Memorial: 14 July. She was born in Zevio, near Verona (Italy) about 1280 and married a man from Verona, Albert Canoculi with whom she began to do remarkable work for the poor ...
One year on the feast of All Saints, she fell into an ecstasy and took no nourishment until three weeks later on the feast of St. Cecelia. On another ... There are more saints from the Knights of Malta Order. One can look at the ...
I discovered a great website on the saints who were Knights of Malta. I shall highlight one daily for a week or so. If you cannot wait, here is the website. I shall get information from more than this site, however.
St. Flora, 1347A.D. Patron of abandoned, converts, single laywomen, and victims of betrayal. Flora was born in France about the year 1309. She was a devout child and later resisted all attempts on the part of her parents to ...
Blessed Gerard Tonque, Founder of the Knights of Malta. Posted by Supertradmum. The founder of the Order of John is another Saint of Malta, although he was not Maltese. Here is a bit about him and the Charter from Rome ...
Searching for an alternative to Hillary Clinton for 2016, some Democratic donors are meeting with potential challengers. Liberal activists are trying to coax Sen. Elizabeth Warren into running. Politicians not named Hillary Clinton are testing their appeal in New Hampshire and Iowa.
When I was growing up, my social life consisted of intersecting circles. Church and school overlapped, families and Church and school overlapped, parents' social life, Church, school and other families overlapped.
This nice interlocking of relationships meant that people knew each other not merely through the individual, but through families and friends.
Because of the fragmentation of the family and the fragmentation of parishes into NO and TLM communities, these intersecting sets have vanished to a large degree.
A, such as a TLM group, does not intersect with B, family or friends. Or NO C does not intersect with friends or family.
The other problem is the reliance on phone, email, chat and skype as well as twitter. Some of my older friends do not even have a computer. So, if I am in another country, it is very hard to keep up friendships. I do write letters.
I can live in a city of 100,000 people of whom the majority are Catholic and never see the same people twice in a week unless I belong to a very small community.
But, my world does not intersect except at the English speaking Mass once a day. Even those who go to Adoration vary, as many are tourists, or people who must happen to be "downtown".
I go to days of renewal with Magnificat members, very lovely women, but they live all over the island and we do not go to the same parishes, so I only see them, perhaps, every two weeks or so, although fortunately, I have seen one three times in two weeks, because we planned meetings.
Such is life that meetings must be planned. No one does what use to happen in Sherborne or Petersfield thirty years ago, when we all bumped into each other not only at Mass, rosary, or for tea, but at the green grocers or bakers, and so on.
I truly miss the old days when people popped in with their children or dogs....walking either about in the town, and stopping by to say hello.
These days seem to have faded into a romantic history of small communities.
Now, we are separated by work, dysfunctional families, distances. This loss of community weakens the Church.
Personally, I put a large blame on the working wife syndrome, which was forced by many social factors, but also produced by greed for the things of this world. Simplicity of lifestyle became unpopular, as people's perceived needs grew to the point where two incomes seemed necessary.
I pray that the majority of my readers have community and if not, are podding.
Isolation may interfere with some people's ability to keep the Faith in the coming darkness.
God shows us the way, in His Church and through the Trinity. We cannot live in separation from others in the Faith.
October has been a transition month for me. I have been thinking and praying about all the dots, the dots in my life, in the political scene in America and Europe, and in Church politics. I do this all the time, but this month has been one of intense focus for me.
One needs context. I am a context person. One of my degrees is in History, and history gives one contextual evidence for present situations.
Most people do not take time to consider contextual facts or connect dots.
Without reflection and prayer, no one can see context or connect dots.
Yesterday, we read excellent reports on the Pope Emeritus' presentation on Truth.
Truth connects us with reality. Those who want fantasy lands deny the biggest contextual fact in history.
The context of God entering time and place, the earth, as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity changed history forever.
All led to Christ and all leads from Christ now.
Connecting the dots means putting the Incarnation, and the reason for the Incarnation, the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, destroying sin and eternal death, at the center of context.
Everything that is happening has been planned, allowed, seen in Divine Providence.
If men are evil, liars, manipulators, tyrants, God knew this from all time and has allowed free will to make choices.
Some people just choose evil.
Repeat: some people just choose evil and consistently.
Connect dots time, folks.
What are you doing about seeing and acting on contextual evidence?
FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” shown above, and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.
“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.
Ravel plans to hold meetings next year to discuss regulating the Internet. She charged that groups placing regulated paid TV ads use the FEC exemption to run the same campaigns on the Internet, regulation free.
Blasting the exemption, she said, “Since its inception this effort to protect individual bloggers and online commentators has been stretched to cover slickly-produced ads aired solely on the Internet but paid for by the same organizations and the same large contributors as the actual ads aired on TV,” Ravel argued.
Obama has given $227 million to a UN agency that facilitates the one-child policy, and visas to Chinese officials with ties to brutal acts of forced abortions, charged Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/obama-officials-aiding-chinas-forced-abortion-policy-congressman
One comment on one page notes that if a civilian shoots a soldier or turns a weapon on a solider, that person is no longer a civilian.
However, we are not treating terrorists like that. But, that is an interesting note.
I have been sort of following joint training for a awhile, which includes the Canadian Army training with the Americans. This is all very interesting. I do not think Americans realize how many joint training drills are happening across the world, including in the US.
Any military readers who can and want to make comments, feel free to do so