Category: Bible

Sunday reflections

Brothers and sisters:
Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering
he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.

Where there is forgiveness of these,
there is no longer offering for sin.

From USCCB

Our sacrifices don’t take away our sins. Christ’s sacrifice does.

If you wanted to really find a basic tenet of Christianity, there it is.

“For by one offering, he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.”

Lord, have mercy on us.

 

In other news…

I have bee house sitting/babysitting for the past week.

It’s been… not the worst experience in the world, but I want to be home. I want my own bed and my own cats and my own refrigerator.

It’s funny what we miss when we’re away from home.

So I was at St. Paul’s Catholic Church today (and last Sunday). And most of what they do, I’m OK with.

But then!!! (explanation points are like jazz hands, I’ve heard)

The entire congregation stands as the Eucharist is taken back to the tabernacle after communion. We stand, and we watch. I cross myself.

It’s beautiful.

It’s very pre-Vatican II/Latin Mass style. And I love it.

There’s a reverence there that you don’t have when you’re sitting.

It’s the type of thing you’d do if the president was leaving the room, and yet, Christ is so much more than our leader. He’s our savior.

Oh, Lord… have mercy on our lack of respect for your role.

 

God Bless. Happy Sunday!

Real nourishment

In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”. “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.” CCC 104

 

Beauty

Today is absolutely beautiful. No jacket. No scarf.

I wore a skirt. Is it May or October? Honestly.

I’m not going to complain. I usually try not to complain about the weather, regardless of how it is. We can’t change it, so why complain about it. It accomplishes nothing.

I’d like to tell you that I spent all day outside: walking on crunchy leaves, thinking about flowers and clouds.

Nope. Instead. Reading student achievement report cards from the Department of Public Instruction.

This is my life. 🙂

I still haven’t finished the daily email of the Catechism. It’s day 15 in the Year of Faith. I have only missed one day… I think it was Sunday, and I read it on Monday along with Monday’s post. I’m doing well not not just delete them. They stay in my inbox until it’s read.

(I’m part of the inbox zero crowd, and it’s infuriating to have an email in my inbox.)

Sometimes, you just need a day of working.

Or talking about hippopotamuses like we did at work today. Don’t ask, though it’s kind of funny.

 

Wonder of wonders

I’ve been thinking about poverty lately.

When writing about these schools, I realized that one of the schools has more than 50 percent of its student population at or below the poverty level.

50 percent. Imagine that.

I don’t notice it as I drive thought the community, but it’s obviously there.

Even with this poverty level, the school’s “grade” is 68 out of 100 points (based on student achievement, attendance rates, reading growth, etc.).

I wonder if kids think about education as a way out of poverty.

I don’t think I ever thought about it. My parents were not in the best financial shape. I knew that I had to go to school, and I knew that I wanted to go to college (and that I’d have to pay my own way).

But I don’t know if I connected it all. But it worked.

A lot of prayer, a lot of cramming, a little bad nutrition, a big celebration.

It’s worth the hard work to get ahead. But when you’re a kid, you’re kind of stuck.

I hope they don’t know it. I hope they feel like every other kid.

 

God bless.

CCC 98

Also known as..

the most enlightening, easiest to read sentence that explains nearly everything:

The Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes” (DV 8 § 1).

If you’re reading along with the Catechism during this Year of Faith, you got this in your inbox today.

ALL THAT SHE HERSELF IS ALL THAT SHE BELIEVES.

Wait, what?

I’m no theologian, but I take that to mean good things.

The Church, in all her glory and her failings, is FULL. Complete. Finished.

It’s just the people that have to figure themselves out.

I’m again so grateful that I’m reading the Catechism this year. That was a great thing to read as I start my day at work.

 

Absolution

This is something that is really hard for me to write about… which is why I haven’t posted anything in a few days (longer than usual if you’re paying attention).

I went to Confession Saturday.

And my sins were not absolved.

I’m not going to talk about why, I’m not going to confess to everyone (the Internet) what I confessed to the Priest (in persona Christi), but I am going to tell you how it feels.

I can see how easy it would be for me to blame God. To call out, “Why, Lord, why did you not tell me?”

Instead, my honest, real reaction was, “Lord, why wasn’t I listening to you?”

I continue to ask until the situation is resolved (meaning, until I get the courage to put Christ before this world) that the Lord does not let me draw away from him, though I cannot receive Communion. I understand that it’s up to me to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Christ is always there for me (us). He’s always there. Steady. Rock solid.

It’s us that waver, that fall, that slip, that look back.

 

Lord, I pray that I find the strength in your love to get past this. I pray that readers of this blog have that same strength in their own lives.

 

God bless.

In service

Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm
and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

(From USCCB)

 

Yesterday, I volunteered for my parish’s annual turkey dinner.

It was so great. Honestly.

I was a “waitress,” meaning I grabbed the plates of food from the kitchen and served a couple tables “family style.”

I’m not a social butterfly. At all. I’m pretty shy, actually.

But I bit the bullet. And I smiled and talked to people and brought out more potatoes.

I have an awesome time. So great. People are really nice.

And I tried to be really nice, too. And it worked. 😉

 

Life, generally

In Mass this morning, I had this peace wash over me.

Yeah, I get that a lot, but this morning, it was just different. That’s so cliche.

OK, let me explain.

I was just relaxed, just calm. Just good. Great.

I felt like I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude.

And while I don’t remember what the homily was about, I remember how I felt. I remember the way my step picked up after Mass.

So great. I hope you get that sometime.

Maybe it’s not in Monday morning Mass for you, and that’s OK. God is with us always.

Amen to that as well.

 

God bless.

Creation

From Creator to Father – Elohim to Yahweh

This is the second section of the Agape Bible Study on Salvation History, but it’s the first section that actually involves reading whole chunks of the Bible.

It covers Genesis 1 through the first part of chapter 11. I’m only part way through it, on a never ending struggle to balance the things I want to do with the things I need to do.

 

There are some great points I’d like to share, though, that made me think.

First, there’s a list of items that the Catholic Church teaches on creation. The eight points (from Pius X’s Pascendi Dominici Gregis) include nothing about how, physically “it” all happened. Yes, God designed and implemented it all, but we don’t have a specific period of time when it happened or how long it took to build. We don’t have to believe that it took seven days or that Adam was really his name.

It’s enlightening.

Yet, there are core beliefs, fundamentals for us. You should check out the Pascendi for that. Or… read the study.

 

More thought provoking for me was the way the world was created.

Breaking down the text, we see that there are three “realms” created: time, space and land.

Then, God fills these realms with rulers: sun/moon/etc., fish/birds, beasts/man.

This is known as the “Framework Interpretation.”

It’s just a theory, but it’s an interesting way to look at it, and it’s a way to wrap our minds around what happened.

I find that it’s really hard for me to visualize “complete nothingness” before God created everything. When I close my eyes and think, I see my empty kitchen sink (so rare), the vacuumed floor (not as rare) or even my windshield after the wipers push away the rain.

But I can’t see… nothing.

Sometimes, I see it was a vast, white expanse. Other times, I see a blank landscape of flatness. It’s strange how both of these colors can represent nothing.

White as a clean, pure, purposeful “nothing,” and black as that empty feeling. At least to me. And those are concrete feelings about the colors either.

Anyway, I’m rambling now, but this study is so helpful to me.

Yes, like I’ve said before, there is much discussion about the text, but maybe that’s the best for me. I’m so used to those “fluffly, how does it make you feel” Bible studies that I need something more analytical right now.

I don’t mean to push it on anyone, either, but if you’re searching for something, maybe Agape is the place to go. But find something.

 

Confession

I’m off to fulfill one of my goals already by going to another Parish today, and I’m going to Confession before hand.

I haven’t been in probably 5 months, so it’s time to get back in the habit again of doing that. It’s hard to do, but the joy and ease afterward is so worth it.

God Bless.