Today I checked out Alpha, a program a nearby church is hosting. I’ve been reading a year-long Bible plan by Nicky Gumbel and throughout the plan Gumbel mentioned Alpha. Now I’ve seen what it’s about. Basically, the program wherever it’s held consists of sharing a meal and chatting with the people at your table, watching a video like this first one and then breaking into small groups to discuss impressions and beliefs.
Take a look.
A video of the Stations of the Cross at Notre Dame on Good Friday 2019.
A friend posted this on Facebook. Just beautiful.
I went to a Charismatic prayer meeting at my mom’s church tonight — and got to hear a beautiful homily by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the pope’s pastor, who’s visiting from Italy. (One friend stayed with Mom, and another went with me, and that info is for family members who might be wondering… ) He talked about being the Body of Christ, helping the needy and poor, about having “Eucharistic amazement”… He brought up Scriptures that talked about when Jesus’ followers saw Him after the Resurrection, but didn’t realize who He was until He called their names — and how, until we get to know Him personally, we basically just walk around knowing about Him, and not realizing He really is alive and with us forever, and that His image is in every person we meet. He said that when He calls our names, that’s when we truly start to live. I heard another pastor on television this week say that since Scripture says He speaks in a “still small voice,” like a whisper, and since it’s a whisper, the only way you can truly hear Him is to get close…to learn about Him and meet Him personally. Love that… After the meeting, they had prayer teams, and we prayed for my mom, my aunt, and friends who have been ill. Maybe we can’t always be His hands and feet in person, especially for loved ones in other states, but the Holy Spirit transcends time and space and connects us anyway…
Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:
- Good news from Act One! Act One offers Christian screenwriters training. I am an alum and submitted a story idea to their pitch fest. One independent producers, BLVD Pictures is interested in learning more. Now they’ll hear lots of ideas and this is a long shot, but it’s exciting to get some affirmation. I really have incentive to polish the story further.
- Les Miserables. I just started reading this incredible book. Each page is pure delight.
- Open Line. It’s a radio call in show about the Bible and I’m learning a lot.
- A priest who’s a friend of a friend who shared the homily he wrote for Corpus Christi. I don’t understand the homilies in Chinese and his wisdom was outstanding. Such clarity to heighten my understanding of this theology.
- Peter and Sabrina, two friends I’ve made here. Peter finished on Tuesday and Sabrina leaves on Saturday. Best wishes to them both.
Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!
Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here.
This week I’m thankful for:
- The Resurrection! Death and sin are conquered and God came to us and delivered each of us.
- Easter. I had a terrific day beginning with mass. They insisted that my friend and I sit up in the choir loft so we got a bird’s eye view of mass and were surrounded by outstanding singers. They did justice to Handel’s Halleluiah! At the end I got this Easter egg, which says “God loves you” in Chinese.
- Easter brunch. The Mercure Hotel had colored eggs, chocolate bunnies and lots of delicious food. Twelve of us went and the conversation was great. Pictures here.
- Spring is coming and we’ve got lovely cherry blossoms on campus.
- My holidays this week. No classes from Wednesday to Sunday. Yep, we have to teach on Sunday to make up for Friday. Go figure.
I love the Latin with Chinese
Sunday at mass the priest offered a list of Lenten practices that are more trans-formative than, say giving up chocolate.
Fast from worry; feast on God’s providence.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from hostility; feast on tenderness.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast from unceasing prayer.
Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on the fullness of truth.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Commonweal‘s weekly email led me to an essay responding to a preposterous ad that aims to persuade liberal and nominal Catholics to quit the church because its teachings are “out of step with the times”. Is this for real?
Yep. As bizarre and poorly thought out as it sounds, these folks are for real.
I have to pity the people who put the ad out there to begin with. They just don’t get that being Catholic or Christian or a believer of any faith is not the same as say belonging to a club like the Boy Scouts or Lions. Certainly, there are many with superficial faith, who did get a weak education or catechism, and they’ve got a slew of wrong ideas about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the church. That’s an issue the church needs to address, but I am glad that the church doesn’t just follow what’s popular and takes a long view.
I do agree that some changes need to be made in the church, but not based on this ad or the ideology of those who paid for it. The church constantly needs to strive for correct teaching. It’s not a job that’s ever done, but that doesn’t mean we need to fit in with the outside culture as it shifts and stumbles along.
Catholicism goes deeper and it ought to. Yes, those who’s faith is like seed on rock may leave, but most of them left already, sadly. The church is not all about how many members there are. It shouldn’t be at least. Even if half the Catholics left, which I doubt would happen, this religion is here to stay. Every 500 years or so the church faces a major crisis and it looks like it’s in jeopardy, but it has always bounced back and grown.
Ironically, this little ad may wind up bringing people to Catholicism.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I saw this citation on a friend’s Facebook page. Quite wise and something I should remember. I haven’t done much in terms of memorizing scripture, but I see how it’s a positive.