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Saturday 22 November 2014

Humor and God

I have always thought that humor is one way in which we are like God. Only a rational creature can see incongruities, oppositions and randomness as humorous.

Humor is a sign of a healthy mind and a balanced soul. St. Thomas More had wit and used it to communicate important concepts. Catholics have been noted for having a sense of humor, and so have Jews. There is something about being rooted in a spirituality which allows for looking at reality in different perspectives.

Catholics can make fun of themselves, which is an indication of sanity. Only those who lack rationality and sanity cannot see themselves in a humorous aspect.

I remember being around some converts years ago and some of the Catholics were sharing Catholic jokes, like the famous Pope Secola joke. These ex-Lutherans were shocked that we could make fun of the idea of a Pope, or cardinal or bishop. The point of humor is to show the humanity of man after the Fall, as imperfect and yet, noble. The incongruity of humor indicates an objectivity in man. Those who are completely subjective are not funny.

There are some religions which eschew humor as evil. This should be an indication that such a religion is false, lacking both in the ability to think and to be objective.

Humor is a result of Original Sin, as we can laugh at our weaknesses and flaws.

But, St. Thomas More stated that God created the animals for our entertainment and for humor.

If this is true, humor predates the Fall.

I thank God for humor and I thank God that so many in my family have a sense of humor.

Prayers and Request

I have had a bone spur and Achilles tendonitis for five years in my left foot. Over the summer, I rested a bit and the condition improved. Going up and down steps was and still is very painful.

I have been walking about six miles minimum a day since being here. I love walking and being outside.

But, I do not have good shoes with me as my pair wore out. And, the condition has flared up painfully in the past two weeks, leading to leg pain and leg spasms as well.

I do not want to stop going to Mass daily, which does involve walking, as does going to Adoration.

Now, the condition has spread to the right foot.

If anyone wants to help me get good shoes, please let me know. And, pray please. I may have to rest for a day or two, but then I would miss Mass, which I so not want to do.

Prayers for Japan

....on the verge of financial collapse.

Ideas from Retreat Day Two

One of the biggest points made by the priest and one with which the retreatants highly agreed may surprise you.

Father noted the persecution has become more and more obvious. He said it could come to Malta. This idea was accepted, as some awake Catholics can see the signs of the times.

When one is in a Mediterranean country, persecution is not that far away in time or space.

Father said that those who are truly in the Kingdom of God will be persecuted.

I found this particularly comforting after this week of meeting such almost daily.

The priest also said it is fine to suffer and grieve when persecuted.

I know how that feels, but one level of hurt is merely human, based on pride. While the higher level is suffering persecution for the sake of Christ.

When one feels the pain and knows that one is joined with Christ in His Passion, that is holy suffering.

Anyone Interested?

Ideas from The Retreat Day

Home again with sore feet and a good head full of great stuff from the one-day retreat.

Two ideas struck me today. The retreat theme was "The Kingdom of God".

The first proves to be an superb clarification on sinners in the Kingdom.

The priest read out from the pulpit these three passages. He noted that priests and the Church fails to teach that sinners must repent and be born anew in the Spirit in order to be in the Church. One must turn away from a sinful lifestyle, from living in sin, in order do be in the Kingdom

Galatians 5:19-23
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
1 Corinthians 6:
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The second was that we are all called to be like children of a loving Father.

Matthew 18 

18 At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them,
And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.

To be a child is to totally rely on Divine Providence, trusting in God daily, every minute.

The priest said that the Kingdom is "for sinners" but not "with sinners". What he explained was that those in the Kingdom, in the Church could not stay in lifestyles of sin. The prostitutes and tax-collectors mentioned by Jesus repented and changed, unlike the Pharisees.

It was refreshing to hear a priest remind all that those in the Kingdom are called to holiness and not merely staying in sin. He admitted that this was not a popular subject in the Church nowadays.

to be continued....

Be Real and Face the Situation

I am in a half-day of retreat today and shall not be blogging until later.

Be peaceful. "Be real and fact the situation." Thanks to Fr. Brian, who told me that 45 years ago!

From Morning Prayer Three-Open to us the treasures of your love

Prayers and intercessions
Christ became man to make us sons of God and he intercedes for us before God our Father. Let us thank him for his loving mercy, and pray:
– Open to us the treasures of your love.
You have enlightened us in baptism:
  we consecrate our day to you.
– Open to us the treasures of your love.
Fill us with praise of you today:
  may we take your word with us wherever we may go.
– Open to us the treasures of your love.
Teach us to respond to your word like Mary our Mother:
  may your word be fruitful in us.
– Open to us the treasures of your love.
Give us courage when things go wrong:
  strengthen us with faith in you, with hope in your promises and with love of your will.
– Open to us the treasures of your love.

One can meditate on these words this morning. Baptism enlightens us. We have the virtues and life of God in us after baptism. This is our heritage.

We can consecrate the day to God because we are baptized and bring the Word of God wherever we go.

Responding like Mary means saying "Yes" to suffering, pain, inconvenience.

And, we all, especially now and in the future, need courage, faith and hope in the darkness which is growing. Love rests in the will. We love God through the decision of the Will

From Morning Prayer Two

A long time ago, I stood in front of this statue of St. Cecilia, terribly moved by her grace in death.

Psalm 116 Douay-Rheims 

116 O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
For his mercy is confirmed upon us: and the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever.

2 Peter 1:10-11Douay-Rheims 

10 Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time.
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I was ready to give up speaking with people here and these words humbled and convicted me to go on. Our calling, our election leads to our sharing the real Gospel of Christ, found in and through the Catholic Church.
Strong is God's love for us, Alleluia
Brompton Oratory London

From Morning Prayer

Day had almost dawned as Cecilia cried out: ‘Soldiers of Christ, throw off the deeds of darkness and put on your armour as soldiers of the light.’

Psalm 118 DR
145 COPH. I cried with my whole heart, hear me, O Lord: I will seek thy justifications.
146 I cried unto thee, save me: that I may keep thy commandments.
147 I prevented the dawning of the day, and cried: because in thy words I very much hoped.
148 My eyes to thee have prevented the morning: that I might meditate on thy words.
149 Hear thou my voice, O Lord, according to thy mercy: and quicken me according to thy mercy.
150 They that persecute me have drawn nigh to iniquity; but they are gone far off from the law.
151 Thou art near, O Lord: and all thy ways are truth.
152 I have known from the beginning concerning thy testimonies: that thou hast founded them for ever.
153 RES. See my humiliation and deliver me: for I have not forgotten the law.
154 Judge my judgment and redeem me: quicken thou me for thy word's sake.
155 Salvation is far from sinners; because they have not sought thy justifications.
156 Many, O Lord, are thy mercies: quicken me according to thy judgment.
157 Many are they that persecute me, and afflict me; but I have not declined from thy testimonies.
158 I beheld the transgressors, and I pined away; because they kept not thy word.
159 Behold I have loved thy commandments, O Lord; quicken me thou in thy mercy.
160 The beginning of thy words is truth: all the judgments of thy justice are for ever.
161 SIN. Princes have persecuted me without cause: and my heart hath been in awe of thy words.
162 I will rejoice at thy words, as one that hath found great spoil.
163 I have hated and abhorred iniquity; but I have loved thy law.
164 Seven times a day I have given praise to thee, for the judgments of thy justice.
165 Much peace have they that love thy law, and to them there is no stumbling block.
166 I looked to thy salvation, O Lord: and I loved thy commandments.
167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies: and hath loved them exceedingly.
168 I have kept thy commandments and thy testimonies: because all my ways are in thy sight.
169 TAU. Let my supplication, O Lord, come near in thy sight: give me understanding according to thy word.
170 Let my request come in before thee; deliver thou me according to thy word.
171 My lips shall utter a hymn, when thou shalt teach me thy justifications.
172 My tongue shall pronounce thy word: because all thy commandments are justice.
173 Let thy hand be with me to save me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my meditation.
175 My soul shall live and shall praise thee: and thy judgments shall help me.
176 I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost: seek thy servant, because I have not forgotten thy commandments.

Wear Your Tribullation Like A Rose...yearly celebration repeated

Happy Feast Day of St. Cecilia

Lest We Forget