MotherAngelicaRIP, our beloved Mother Mary Angelica. You were loved by so many and that love will only grow, I know. Please pray for us, those you leave behind. And say hello for us to the ones who left us, the ones you are with now. God bless you, Mother A, God bless you, and may you rest in His peace. Amen

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace.
Amen.

Year-of-Faith-PacwaI don't know about you, but I try to be a good Christian, a devout Catholic. I try to practice my faith, to do what I am supposed to do, to love my Lord and my fellow man. I try. Well… Okay, sometimes I try. And sometimes I don't try at all. I just act like I don't even know anything about Christianity and I charge ahead like a water buffalo–wait, do water buffalo charge? Oh, you know what I mean. Don't act like you don't. You go to confession and Mass (if you're a Catholic, and if you're not, then you pray or give testimony and go to your community's worship service or whatever your community calls it or does) and you resolve to do better, to remember yourself and your commitment to the Lord, to change, to allow Him to change you, to rely less on your stubborn self and more on Him. Journeying Toward God in the Barque of Peter And yet you do the same thing, time after time, the same thing you did last time and the time before that, and the same thing you have been confessing since you went to your first confession, no matter how many years ago that was. And you're still doing the same thing! Oh, maybe you catch yourself now and then, but for the most part you are still losing your temper the way you always have and about the same things and at the same people.

ARGH! What's a (supposed) disciple to do?!

Well, I'll tell you what this wannabe disciple is going to do. The same thing I have been doing. The same thing I will keep doing and having to do. I will pick myself up off the floor again and go to confession and go to adoration and tell the Lord that I am sorry and ask Him to forgive me and ask Him to help me. Again. And, yes, I have already asked Him that, I know I don't have to wait until I go to confession and I don't wait until I go to confession to talk to the Lord. We talk a lot. Well, mostly I talk and He tries to get a word in edgewise and sometimes I shut up and let Him. Sometimes He tells me the most beautiful things. And sometimes I even hear what He says. Yep, sometimes I actually listen.

All of which leads to the heart of my post: the Year of Faith which our Holy Father announced a while back and which began on October 11 2012. Pope Benedict has asked all the faithful to study anew the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the documents of the Second Vatican Council, so that we may deepen our knowledge of our faith and of our Church and of our Lord. So that we may deepen our love for Him Who is Love. And how else can our love for God grow if our knowledge of Him does not also grow? And how can our knowledge of Him grow if we do not make an effort to know the Truth He has revealed to us? And how can we know the Truth He has revealed to us if we do not trouble ourselves to listen to His voice in the teachings and liturgy of the Church He Himself gave us?

We are all of us embarking on a journey, setting out into the deep. The Lord will guide us on our way, the Lord Himself Who is the Way and the Truth and the Life. He is the only Truth that is worth knowing. May the Lord richly bless you and yours during this Year of Faith and may His peace be upon you forever and ever. Amen.

AND it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him. — Luke 5:1-11, Douay-Rheims translation.

Learn more: Read more about the Year of Faith at the official website or at the USCCB or at EWTN and many other places too numerous to list. Read Porta Fidei (the Door of Faith) or the transcript of the Homily at the Opening Mass of the Year of Faith, both by Pope Benedict. Other resources include a Catholic Bible study guide by Fr. Mitch Pacwa (Kindle version or paperback) and daily brief readings in the Catechism delivered to your email inbox and also available online. This is truly a wonderful resource and I have enjoyed my mornings with the Catechism very much since this program began on Oct 11. We're not far along yet and you have plenty of time to join in. Please do! You can join in the discussion on the site and learn a lot that way and share what you know, too. You can also find the entire set of sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council online at EWTN.

 

EWTN has opened a website devoted to keeping the faithful and people of goodwill informed on the current issues concerning religious liberty, which liberty is under serious attack here in the U.S.A. I just found out about it and have only spent a few minutes looking over the contents of the site. A number of similar sites have opened up lately and I need to do a page of links devoted to this issue pretty soon.

 

Walking Toward Eternity: Daring to Walk the WalkJeff and Emily Cavins have a new Scripture study soon to be released through Ascension Press. You may be familiar with Jeff from the show he produced and hosted for several years on EWTN, Life on the Rock, and from his work with Dr. Scott Hahn on EWTN’s popular series Our Father’s Plan (listen to or download from EWTN, buy from Amazon or from EWTN Religious Catalogue) and the Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible.

This new series is intended to be less a study and more an introduction to lectio divina, praying with and meditation on Scripture, and conversation with God, an intimate and life-changing encounter with the living Christ. Hopefully a parish near here will offer this study soon. If not, I may have to get a set of the DVD’s for myself. (See video below or watch on YouTube. See website.)

 

Daring to Walk the Walk, the first study in the Walking Toward Eternity series, introduces you to seven key virtues and outlines practical steps for living them out in your life.

At the end of each session, you will come to the point of change as you ask the Lord three keys questions:

1. What are you asking of me Lord?
2. What specifically do you want me to do?
3. When?

Read or listen to more about lectio divina, praying the Scriptures:

EWTN’s The World Over focused last week on the HHS Mandate, not surprisingly (see video below or watch on YouTube). I finally got to watch it tonight (as I type this, as a matter of fact). Make no mistake: this is not merely a Catholic issue. Everyone’s freedom and liberty and right to conscience is about to go out the window if this mandate is allowed to stand. Goodbye, Liberty, Hello, Brave New World. Unless we stand up and speak out and say NO NOW!

If you don’t want to listen to the Newt Gingrich segment, watch the first segment with Michael Warsaw, CEO of EWTN which is suing over this outrageous mandate, and then fast forward to Fr. Sirico of the Acton Institute, and then watch the Rep. Chris Smith segment. Then learn more and share all of this with friends and family. United we can make a difference!

I’ve got that old feeling. You know the one where you feel like someone’s kicked you in the stomach and you feel like you’re going to be sick? Yeah, that one. Same one I had back in 2008 when I heard so many of my fellow Americans channeling Saul Alinsky and getting that glazed look in their eyes every time they chanted Obama’s name. Hate to say I told you so but…I told you so. My Democrat friends told me we just had to agree to disagree and that Obama’s commitment to radical abortion policy was only an appearance and reality, merely a few campaign promises to garner support. That’s how politics works, right? Everybody does it. Right?

Yeah. How’s that rhetoric sounding to you now, pal? Empty? Absurd? Naive?  Incredibly stupid, even?

I’m in the middle of working on a series of novels but I can’t think of anything but this right now, so even though I’m right in the middle of working on a series of novels, I’m going to take some time to read up on what’s happening with HHS before I get back to the novels and before I write any more here.

I’ll leave you with a couple of links. EWTN and Priests for Life are suing over this. The Becket Fund, Family Research Council, Human Life International, and LifeSiteNews are other great sources for information on the issue. Please sign the petition at the Becket Fund. And please share all of this information with your friends and family. It’s not only Catholics who are losing their liberty. It’s every person in this country. Each and every one, whether they realize it or not.

More later. Right now I have to get home, do some reading, listening, thinking…and praying. Lots of praying. Lord, have mercy, Ephesians 6 is running through my mind right now, reminding me that our fight is not with flesh and blood. And I believe the fight has only just begun. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Peace be with you.

If you missed the Journey Home this past Monday night, you can catch the entire episode on EWTN’s YouTube channel (see video below). That’s right, EWTN is now putting full episodes of their original shows on YouTube. How cool is that? For folks like me who are the only Catholics in the family and often have to wait until the wee hours of the morning to watch an encore presentation, this comes as a most welcome development. To celebrate 13 years of wonderful episodes, Marcus Grodi had two very special guests: Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Seeing them on the show was special for me too, as was getting to meet Dr. Hahn a few months ago when he spoke at nearby Samford University. You see, Dr. Hahn’s writings and talks on tape were largely responsible for my conversion away from Buddhism and back to Christ. Watch the episode below and see why I love this couple, fellow disciples on fire with love for the Lord.


Journey Home, Open Line, Marcus Grodi with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn, 09-06-2010