It has NEVER been divine doctrine or biblical mandate as per the below metrics from Catholic Father Thomas Reese, so in his words; “If the people of God want married priests, they need to let their bishops know. The Pope is waiting for the bishops to ask. People need to push their bishops to ask.”!!!
If you believe that the Catholic Church is a phenomenal force for good, both at home and abroad, and that we are actuarially watching it die because of a lack of vocations akin to the “boiling frog” analogy to have honorable people properly lead the church into the future, then please sign this petition for Married Priests to try to affect change before it IS too late. If you’re like US, and have been blessed by amazing Priests, Nuns, and/or Brothers to infuse your life with the Holy Spirit, then what is the downside of expanding the pool of excellent candidates before an inevitable sacramental suicide by stupidity?
Lifesite News – Pope: ‘We have to think about’ married priests in the Catholic Church; “Why are there no priests to celebrate the Eucharist?” the Pontiff pondered regarding areas of particular concern… “That makes the Church weak, since a Church without the Eucharist has no power. Vocations of priests are a problem, an enormous problem.”
EVIL WINS WITH A WEAK CHURCH
Newsweek – There is a significant distinction: Allowing married men to become priests is not the same thing as allowing priests to marry. The Pope’s comment would apply to [mature] men [aka Deacons] already married becoming priests.
‘We the People’ demand Congress make the Archdiocese for Military Services, whose Catholic Chaplains’ salaries are funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars, mandate mature-married Priests be allowed to serve to fill the over 300 vacancies Archbishop Timothy Broglio spoke of. Our servicemen/women and their families deserve better, and already having married Roman Catholic Priests serve in America makes the shortage an inexcusable inane insanity! Please Sign Petition
Archdiocese for Military Services
For Catholic men and women serving in the military the importance of the priest-chaplain cannot be overstated. They:
- Offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
- Hear Confessions
- Provide spiritual guidance and formation
- Visit and comfort the sick and wounded
- Anoint the sick
- Pray for the dead
- Administer Last Rites
The Archdiocese for the Military Services cares for active-duty military and their families, patients at Veterans Administration hospitals and Catholic Americans working for the federal government outside of the United States. All told, about 1.8 million people spread all over the world are cared for by the chaplains of the archdiocese.
American Magazine – Chastity. While often conflated with celibacy, chastity means something rather different: It is a virtue required of all men and women according to their state of life. For unmarried people, this means abstention from sexual activity. Married people are also expected to be chaste, in the sense that they are called to avoid excessive lust and to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage. For vowed religious, chastity is one of the three traditional vows (along with poverty and obedience) that constitute consecrated life and allow for communal living and apostolic availability.
Continence, in church terms, is abstention from sexual activity. “From the early fourth century forward,” historian John O’Malley, S.J., has written, “popes and bishops issued a number of decrees enjoining continence on married men who had been ordained to the diaconate, priesthood or episcopacy.” While there was no prohibition on married men being ordained until the Second Lateran Council (1139 AD), they were expected in most cases to abstain from sexual activity with their spouses after their ordination.
Married priests do exist in the Catholic Church, largely in the Eastern Catholic churches that do not have a tradition of celibacy for priests (though Eastern churches do mandate celibacy for bishops). Traditionally in these churches, while married men may be ordained, priests are not allowed to marry after ordination. In addition, in the Roman rite, Pope John Paul II created a provision in 1980 for married Episcopalian and other Protestant ministers who wanted to be ordained Catholic priests: They are exempt from the celibacy requirement and are expected to practice chastity (but not continence) in the context of their marriage. In 2012, Pope Benedict expanded it further and in 2014, Pope Francis lifted a 114-year old bar on married Eastern Catholic Priests serving beyond their rite’s home country, allowing them to serve in America and elsewhere.
“Viri probati” is a phrase first used in the first-century First Epistle of Clement, meaning “proven men” or “men of proven virtue.” It has been used in discussions around ordination in the decades since the Second Vatican Council to describe elders and respected, virtuous members of society who might perform sacramental ministry in a re-envisioned model of priesthood. Part of the attractiveness of the viri probati model is that it both provides a commonsense solution to priest shortages but also accords with the practices of the early church, at least as seen in Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Epistles. (For example, all three synoptic Gospels attest to the fact that St. Peter was married, and I Timothy 3:2 requires that a bishop be “the husband of one wife” only.)
As great Popes of the past, in addition to both female and male saints have endlessly proven, the church should be “fearless” simultaneously defending the faith and confronting change. “Truth means not to be afraid,” Francis stated back in early March of 2017. “Fears close doors, freedom opens them. And if freedom is small, it at least opens a little window.”
Rev. Reese continues from his thoughtful 2017; Op-Ed Now is the Time for Married Priests:
The Western or Roman Catholic Church has the rule of celibacy, but the Eastern Catholic Churches [Byzantine, Ukrainian or Greek], who are in union with Rome, have always had married priests. In the United States, we also have former Anglican and Lutheran priests who are married and operating as priests in the Catholic Church today.
For about the first 1,000 years of its existence, the church had married clergy. For the last 1,000 years, we have had the rule of celibacy… It is time for the Catholic bishops to stop hoping for an increase in vocations to the celibate priesthood and to acknowledge that the church needs married priests to serve the people of God. We cannot have a Catholic Church without sacraments, and a priest is [desperately] needed for the Eucharist, confession, and anointing.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said, ‘Do this in memory of me,’ not, ‘Have a celibate priesthood.” The need for the Eucharist trumps having a celibate priesthood.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “the Church’s mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of communion of the Holy Trinity” (CCC 738).” The Holy Spirit is alive in US if we choose to embrace it, and Catholicism’s three sacraments of initiation – Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation – make us who we are through the Spirit… hence the necessity for a vitally vibrant vocational presence to minister to our troops and their families!
There are some 42 prayers for vocations on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website (https://www.usccb.org/prayers/prayers-vocations), however, please also active your Christian duty to both sign the petition and “contact” them with a message at https://www.usccb.org/contact-us to demand the ‘old boys club’ confront the critical change needed for our Catholic institutions to thrive well into the future, and not let the vocations ‘vine’ wither to die.
Pope Francis has spoken on several occasions about vocations (Google “married priests”) and the potential of ordaining tested and proven married men. Our nation’s Founding Fathers already implemented something similar in The Constitution of the United States by using a maturation metric for President (at least 35 years of age), but admittedly that may not be the best moral arbiter historical precedent.
Regardless, a more mature and life-experienced pool of potential priests is gravely needed besides being a no-brainer.
“The problem is the lack of vocations, a problem the church must solve,” Francis said. “We must think about whether viri probati [Latin for ‘proven men’] are one possibility, but that also means discussing what tasks they could take on in remote communities. In many communities at the moment, committed women are preserving Sunday as a day of worship by holding services of the Word. But a church without the Eucharist has no strength.”
Instead of proactively creating a more constructively celebrated clergy corps to tend to the flock, our current shepherds are participating in the sadly ironic euthanasia of Christ’s creation by not logically and reasonably taking common sense (and biblically accurate) measures to revitalize and strengthen itself for future generations! The solution to the pending sacramental famine is staring US in the face…
The present reality is, “On the ordination of women in the Catholic church, the last word is clear,” Pope Francis stated aboard the papal flight from Sweden in early November of 2016, before mentioning John Paul’s 1994 apostolic letter banning the practice, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. “It was given by St. John Paul II and this remains.” We have ALL the variables as they presently exist, so “Let’s work the problem, people” to use historic NASA-speak.
The ancient rhetorical comeback to the obvious once was “Is the Pope Italian.” Then for over two decades it was “Is the Pope Polish.” Respectfully now with Pope Francis one may want to replace “Argentinian” with another adjective, but to his courageous credit the previous two Popes forbid any discussion of married clergy.
In being the necessary change agent needed NOW to not only reform the corrupt hierarchy of the Vatican Curia and church leadership elsewhere, he has had the wisdom to encourage a dialogue of sustaining the church’s future by planting the proverbial mustard seed with the masses, so the College of Bishops will snap out of their ‘doubting Thomas’ issue – ignorance.
Rev. Reese presents irrefutable further facts:
For at least 50 years, the Catholic Church in the United States has seen a drop in the number of priests. According to [Georgetown University affiliated] Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reports*, in 1970, there were 59,192 priests in the U.S.; by 2016, there were only 37,192. Meanwhile, the number of Catholics increased to 74.2 million from 51 million. That means the people-priest ratio grew from 861 Catholics per priest in 1970 to 1,995 per priest in 2016. These numbers include all priests both religious and diocesan, as well as retired priests. When the priests currently over 65 years of age die, these numbers will be [CONSIDERABLY] even worse.
Already, in many parts of the United States, we have seen the impact of declining numbers of priests. Parishes are merging and closing. Few parishes have more than one priest. African and Asian priests have become missionaries to the United States. In rural areas, priests drive hundreds of miles on weekends visiting parishes in small towns that no longer have a resident priest. Some rural parishes might see a priest once a month. The number of priestless parishes rose from 571 in 1970 to 3,499 in 2016. [AND NOW?]
The problem is not just in the United States; in fact, it is worse elsewhere. In 2014, there were 414,313 priests for 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, for a Catholics-priest ratio of 2,896 to one. In Latin America, for historical reasons, there has been a shortage of priests for more than 100 years. This is one of the reasons that evangelicals and Pentecostals have been successful in Latin America. If there is no priest in the town, people will go wherever there is a service.
Africa and Asia are pointed to as places where vocations are plentiful, but even in those areas, there are not enough priests. And already, vocations are beginning to fall in some places on those continents.
Why are vocations declining?
There are lots of theories. Conservatives tend to blame secular culture and the current generation of young people who are seen as self-centered consumers who lack the discipline and spirit of self-sacrifice necessary to be priests.
Sociologists point to demographic changes. Families are smaller. In a large family, parents support having one of their children become a priest, but if they have only one or two children, parents prefer grandchildren to priests.
Universal access to education also makes a difference. Historically, becoming a priest was one of the few ways to get an education, especially for a child not from a rich family. The priest was often the best-educated person in the community, which gave him additional status. Today education is more readily available. The priest does not have the status he had in the past.
In brief, a lot of vocations in the past came from large families where the priest was the first member of the family to get a college education and where the family lived in a community where the parish priest was a respected figure. As this world disappears, so do vocations. Even in parts of India, where Catholics are educated, middle-class and having fewer children, we see a decline in vocations already.
There is nothing to indicate that this will not continue to happen in Africa and Asia when Catholics become more prosperous.
The Second Vatican Council empowered the role of the laity and the significance of marriage as sacredness, with the Priesthood and religious life becoming diminished in stature. Hence, people found other ways to serve, both in the Catholic Church and elsewhere to supplement the spiritual connection they previously had prior to Vatican ll.
Being a Priest or Nun in the Catholic Church used to be seen by society at large as a vocation of honor – think Bing Crosby in multiple Oscar winning Going My Way, the former and Ingrid Bergman in The Bells of St. Mary’s, Tom Bosley and Tracy Nelson in Father Dowling Mysteries, and others noted below. As practicing Catholics, we still hold our celebrant brothers and shepherds in high esteem, but it is a patentable truth that the general public no longer does… just ask ANY Priest how they felt going out in public with their clerical collar ‘uniform’ at the height of the clergy abuse media frenzy.
We have a unique opportunity NOW to reengage both people who have left the church for any number of reasons (distrust, secular society, chaotic life, etc.), especially now that the cover-up disaster seems to hopefully be sun-setting with stronger safeguards in place. There is a satanic secular agenda against Christianity in America, and the pandemic fits right into that evil effort by keeping US from worshiping together.
A recent study by Pew Research** found that the number of Americans who identified as Christian was 64% in 2020, with 30% of the US population being classed as “religiously unaffiliated”. About 6% of Americans identified with Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
“Since the 1990s, large numbers of Americans have left Christianity to join the growing ranks of US adults who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’,” Pew wrote. In 1972 92% of Americans said they were Christian, Pew reported, but by 2070 that number will drop to below 50% – and the number of “religiously unaffiliated” Americans – or ‘nones’ will probably outnumber those adhering to Christianity.
However, there are new generations of youth yearning to believe in something greater than themselves! Survey after survey say they are seeking spiritual meaning to their lives as well as sacred spaces to collectively worship. They are out there searching, and instead of ignoring the Public Relations 101 branding problem and forfeiting its future to the welcoming arms of evangelicals and other forms of spirituality, ‘We the People’ need to demand our ‘leaders’ take immediate action to preserve our future faith!
This virtual petition may be the easiest act of evangelization you can ever make for the Greater GOoD, so please sign and share however you deem appropriate via whichever platform or word-of-mouth you can.
Please consider the Word Among US – https://wau.org/ for dynamic daily readings/reflections (https://www.livingfaith.com/ is a stellar source too) and much more like:
So when you come to prayer, be sure to listen for the Lord’s voice to speak to you through a Scripture passage or with a thought that comes to you that you know isn’t your own. God might speak to you through the words of someone else or through the beauty of nature. The Lord can use countless ways to speak to you; your part is to still the noise around you, listen carefully, and expect to hear from him.
If you feel that God has spoken to you, don’t be afraid to share it, especially if your words are for someone’s “building up, encouragement, and solace” (1 Corinthians 14:3). You never know how your words could make a difference in the lives of the people around you. And if you’re not sure you are hearing God clearly, don’t get discouraged. Keep praying, keep listening, and keep believing that God is at work and wants to speak to you and through you thereby sharing with others.
St. Marianne Cope – https://www.saintmarianne.org/her-story.html
St. Damien – https://damienandmarianne.org/who-is-st-damien/
St. Francis Xavier Cabrini – https://www.cabrininationalshrine.org/timeline-and-her-life-s-work
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – https://setonshrine.org/elizabeth-ann-seton/
St. John Neuman – https://stjohnneumann.org/our-st-john-neumann/about-st-john-neumann/
St. Katherine Drexel – https://www.saintkatharinedrexelshrine.com/biography/
St. Kateri Tekawitha – https://www.katerishrine.org/st-kateri
Saints Rene Goupil, Isaac Jogues & John Lalande – https://www.ourladyofmartyrsshrine.org/story-of-the-martyrs & https://catholicism.org/eight-na-martyrs.html
U.S. Martyrs within the last Century+: Rev.James Coyle, 1921; Rev.Leon Gutowski,1942; Rev.Emil Kapaun, 1951; Rev.Francis Xavier Ford, 1952; Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Roger Youderian, 1956; Sr.Maura Clarke, Sr.Dorothy Kazel, Jean Donovan, Sr.Ita Ford, 1980; Rev.Stanley Rother, 1981; Br.James Miller, 1982; Sr.Mary Joel Kolmer, Sr.Shirley Kolmer, Sr.Kathleen McGuire, Sr.Agnes Mueller, Sr.Barbara Ann Muttra, 1992 plus countless U.S. servicemen/women and the resulting grief of their families/friends thereafter!
If you are looking to reconnect/revert lapsed/fallen Catholics, modern movies like Father Stu (Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson), Heaven Is For Real (Greg Kinnear, Yellowstone’s Kelly Reilly), Risen (Harry Potter’s Tom Felton, Joseph Fiennes), Padre Pio (Shia LeBeouf – https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/shia-labeouf-converts-catholicism-studying-padre-pio-movie & moving testimonial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU5HCTKM0b8), and IF you believe in the historically proven visions by St. Mary to the Fatima children including what hell looks like, it is very well mirrored in Constantine (Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou – WATCH HERE) that should scare the ‘devil’ out of everybody (Matthew 22:14 – “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”) as we ALL irrefutably have GOOD versus evil struggles/searches.
Furthermore, if you are attempting to try to have a fallen Catholic or otherwise convert or revert back, please consider this resource (https://paulinestore.com/prodigal-you-love-inviting-loved-ones-back-to-church-3207-168903.html & via Amazon) by someone raised in the faith who became an atheist and reverted back (https://pursuedbytruth.com/about-sister/). Well over 100 Million people worldwide are getting a lot out of The Chosen series too – https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen.
Hat tip to Ret. Navy Chaplain Rev. Sean O’Brien (Pastor of St. Peter’s in Rome, NY) >>> Psalm 40 says; “Here am I Lord, I come to do your will.” https://www.stmarysstpeters.com/aiovg_videos/sunday-mass-from-st-peters-church-81/ Please watch from 23:12 to 29:05 minute mark a brilliant homily on the above, with a precursor superb story on Olympic medalist Betty Robinson starting at 16:43.
Although certainly not a complete listing, there are exceedingly excellent evangelization movies that have been super-successful at the box office too to boot, many moreover winning Oscars and the like. Please note the following links, discover more beyond, and discern for yourselves:
- https://www.ncregister.com/info/top-100-pro-catholic-movies (only as of 2004)
- https://research.lifeway.com/2018/03/14/top-20-christian-movies-time/ (dollar inflation amiss on list for earlier epic$)
As celebrated in the Academy Award winning The Song of Bernadette, IF you believe in the miracles offered by Our Lady at Lourdes, Fatima, and Guadalupe amongst others, then please watch/share this CBS piece (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaG7mesmdH4) as they can’t call us ‘nutters’ if it’s on 60 Minutes!
There is a tremendous amount of GoOD out there for those that are searching for axiomatic truths about THE WAY to strengthen their faith and resolve. One such resource by an entity not trying to profiteer from your enlightenment can be found at https://earlychurchhistory.org/ by engaging the various topic drop-links. Hopefully sites like this will only embolden you too with historical confidence to evangelize to others!
Another fantastic outreach for those looking for a deeper divine dive can be found at http://wisdomofgodradio.com/ with these text+audio teachings by one Joe Reilly. Correspondently crafted and relatable high-quality movie shorts by Ahava Productions splendid series on our forever faith (https://www.ahavaproductions.com/anima), Catholic Catechism (https://www.ahavaproductions.com/echo), with another on Seminarians (https://www.ahavaproductions.com/seminary) and more fuse faith quite well with our everyday trials-n-tribulations.
The Foundation For A Better Life has lastly done an outstanding job of converting hit songs into inspirational videos to share with others and UPlift them without being too ‘God Squad’ (https://www.passiton.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=higIWOOorRs). For those with young kids, an exceptional audio-visual resource is https://www.youtube.com/@CatholicKidsMedia/featured.
Saying the Rosary daily has helped US tremendously (PLUS the Divine Mercy Chaplet too – https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/pray-the-chaplet), and if for whatever reason you cannot connect with a local group in prayer, EWTN (Cable Television or .com via “TV” & “Watch Live” links) has it on daily at 7:30 am EST to join countless others or you can enJOY it at your convenience with these terrific travels through the Holy Land.
- Glorious Mysteries (Sunday-Wednesday) –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mSeisxwkmU
- Joyful Mysteries (Monday-Saturday) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtyWoskCAzY
- Luminous Mysteries (Thursday) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYhye5VLxZ8
- Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday-Friday) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJL2N7r2S4I
Below brilliance are excerpts from various teachings of Bishop Ken Untener from Saginaw, MI (www.littlebooks.org). As with Jesus’ experiences with various mountains (Mount of Olives, Sermon on the Mount, The Transfiguration, etc.), we need mountaintop experiences in our lives. But they take some preparation, time and effort. We need to be in a place where things look different – and things always look different from a literal and proverbial mountain. We need to be in a place where we can experience the closeness of God, wherever/whenever that may be, to help US to continue bringing ‘Heaven to Earth’.
TRADEMARK OF CHRISTIANS
In the Gospel, the word “forgive” is on the lips of Jesus 43 times, including those remarkable words from the cross [Bible beneficially contains phrases such as, “Do not fear”, “Fear not” or “Be not afraid” providentially 365 times!]. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Forgiveness was a gift Jesus was happy to give. It was the first thing for the paralytic. He wanted to do it for many others… if they would only let him [and that includes US for failures of Catholic leaders, as it is OUR church as empowered by Vatican II). Jesus was so generous with this gift, and so all inclusive, that the scribers and Pharisees were sometimes scandalized.
Jesus gave forgiveness as a gift to people who didn’t do anything particular to earn it, and some people who didn’t seem to deserve it. He also forgave here and now. A person no longer had to live with sin.
Jesus still does that today.
Forgiveness is the trademark of Christians, and I put myself on the line every time I say the Lord’s Prayer; “… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It would be a strange thing to say about someone. “I never forgive them…” and then to pray, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.
Am I living up to the words I pray in the Our Father?
The same is true of my life. Life is not make-believe or simply a test. I am putting together a person, shaping a character in myself that is meant to endure forever. I cannot keep going back and erasing and re-doing. The more I shape myself in one direction, the more difficult to change.
But there are times in life where I seem to have reached a dead end. I am not bearing the good fruit that I thought I would be bearing. My career, my relationships, my family may not be where I thought they would be at this time of my life.
Am I willing to make the investment to keep trying to use my freedom to shape myself into the kind of person that I was meant to be?
The parable of the fig tree reminds me of one very important truth: God will always “sink money” into me. I am that kind of investment.
JESUS AND FORGIVENESS
Jesus talked frequently about forgiveness. Although he spoke in Aramaic*, the Gospels were written in Greek. There are two Greek words the Gospel writers could have used to convey the “forgiveness” Jesus talked about.
The first has the nuance of “graciously conferring a gift upon another”. Matthew uses that word in the parable of the king who canceled the large debt owed to him by a servant, who owed him far less. (Mt 18:27)
The other Greek word has a nuance of “letting go” or “abandoning”. Matthew uses that word when describing how the first disciples “abandoned their nets”. To follow the Lord. (Mt 4:20).
It is striking that when Jesus speaks over and over of forgiveness, the Gospel writers used the second Greek word, which means “letting go”. This tells me a great deal about they understood what Jesus taught about forgiveness.
Jesus did not teach forgiveness simply as one of many good works, or as something that is recommend for my psychological good health. It is front and center a commandment of the Lord, an unconditional requirement for those who would follow him through death to life.
That forgiveness was not merely a virtue but a human necessity with one’s life. To wait for an apology, he said, was to leave your future peace and happiness in the hands of the person who injured you in the first place.
The single greatest cause of misery and tragedy in our world is the inability to forgive those who have wronged and wounded them [learn from it and move on lest poisonousness ONLY stays with YOU even if legal JUSTICE has to be served in some way]. Secondly, the only cure for the bad memory of a past wrong is the act of forgiveness.
*Aramaic had replaced Hebrew as the language of the Jews as early as the 6th Century BC. Certain portions of the Bible (books of Daniel and Ezra) are written in Aramaic, as are the Babylonian Jerusalem Talmuds. Among the Jews, Aramaic was used by the common people, while Hebrew remained the language of religion and government and of the upper class. Jesus and the Apostles are believed to have spoken Aramaic, and Aramaic-language translations (Targums) of the Old Testament circulated. Aramaic continued in wide use until about 650 AD, when it was supplanted by Arabic. – Brittanica.com
FORGIVENESS & HEALTH
Forgiveness can be good for a person’s health! According to the Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/forgiveness/art-20047692), letting go of grudges and bitterness can improve health and lead to greater peace of mine. Benefits may include:
- Healthier relationships
- Improved mental health
- Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Stronger immune system,
- Improved heart health
- Improved self-esteem
I am a creature by God and put here on earth for a purpose. I may not know, this side of the grave what my purpose is. But if I do my best, in the circumstances of my own life, to live as Jesus thought me to live, I will accomplish my purpose. In the eyes of the world, what I do may not seem all that important. It probably won’t make me famous. But there is no greater, more important accomplishment than simply doing what it is God put me here to do.
So the question is: am I doing my best to live the Gospel in the situation of my own life? Am I having the effect that God wants me to have on this earth? There comes a time when I need to know what in my life needs to be cultivated… and what needs to be cut out.
RECONCILIATION & FORGIVENESS
I am a disciple of the Lord and the Lord taught me to forgive everyone, even my enemies. On the cross, the Lord even forgave those who were crucifying him.
Forgiveness is not an easy task, but is entirely within my reach. Forgiveness is distinct from reconciliation. Reconciliation requires the cooperation of both parties. Forgiveness requires the action of only one party… me. Even if reconciliation is not possible, I can still forgive.
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have unforgiven baggage from the past. I need to let go of this, to cut it loose. This involves not only forgiving others, but also forgiveness of those I have wronged.
Then Jesus said; “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).
There are a number of good reasons why I should forgive. For example, it brings healing and peace to my own life. Nursing a grudge is bad for my health. Another reason is that I was put here on earth for a purpose…born into this time and place to help carry out God’s plan for the Universe and for all people.
What I do may seem very small, and/or unnoticed, like a flower in the desert whose fragrance seems to have no effect. But a flower does have an effect, and the world is different because of it.
God created me and put me on earth for a purpose, like that desert flower. What do I want to flow from me into this world? Forgiveness is a good answer.
THREE STAGES OF FORGIVENESS.
I don’t deny what the person did, or pretend it wasn’t wrong. But…
- Instead of identifying the person totally with what what-ever they did to hurt me, I begin to see them as a person like me-imperfect, but still someone God loves.
- Give up my “right” to get even. Vengeful thoughts don’t make the other person suffer. They toxically only hurt me, and as a result, those around me. So, I just plain rinse my mind of those kinds of thoughts.
- Stand next to the Lord and together with him look at the other person. For sure Jesus wants good things to happen to them. So, with the Lord’s help (and some struggles). I begin to look at the other person as the Lord does.
>>> Most of the liturgical year is called Ordinary Time – weeks that are numbered, e.g. the “20th Sunday of the Year”, etc. The phrase “ordinary time” can be misleading in English, since it implies pedestrian or mundane. Actually, it is a literal translation of the Latin “ordinarius” which means “ordered”. There are four special seasons; Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter. The entire year works out this way:
- Season of Advent (22-28 days).
- Season of Christmas (13-19 days).
- Ordinary Time from end of Christmas season to Lent (29-56 days).
- Season of Lent/Triduum (46 days).
- Season of Easter (50 days).
- Ordinary Time from end of Easter season to Advent (173-201 days).
This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoUHy2Kq4rE) may help one to further understand OUR collective blessings of LIFE, and IF one can interject “divine love” mostly where the narrator states “God”, then it makes even more sense in this humblest of opinions of an imperfect human. Unconditional LOVE is God The Almighty’s infinite creation – it doesn’t measure; it just gives, and our living job is to share it with others in our orbit who may be open to graces given (Serenity Prayer galore for sure)!
May GOD forever bless our servicemen/women and their families for ALL they’ve sacrificed!
Learn More @ https://www.defense.gov/About/Our-Forces
https://www.pbs.org/show/last-days-jesus/ – Please evangelize/forward any edited version you deem appropriate to other seekers, as it’s presented from an academic perspective in an interesting and compelling case historically on putting the Romans in a “favorable” light especially as the Gospels were trying to wildfire our faith under constant trials/tribulations and persecution/prosecution of Roman rule for almost three centuries until Emperor Constantine’s conversion. ALL this did was fortify our faith further while also allowing one to visualize the Gospel times in the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Teresa of Avila akin to how movies like King of Kings, Passion of The Christ, Risen, and others have realistically tried to do too. Of course, it’s ALL supposition beyond what we know to be archaeologically accurate, however, it’s captivating nonetheless and hopefully will help enrich-strengthen your faith as it did ours. Other fantastic resources like this (https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney1/6-jesuss-last-journey-to-jerusalem/jesuss-entry-into-jerusalem/) and its drop-links on the left are awesome added value for those of US trying to strengthen our beliefs to share with others. St. Paul helped wildfire ‘The Way’/Christianity as much as anyone, as these two articles (https://amazingbibletimeline.com/blog/paul-the-letters-of/ & https://earlychurchhistory.org/communication/letters-of-paul-the-apostle/) are a solid start for a truly fascinating figure!
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – The Journey(s) of the Apostles
From the Holy Land to Africa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttZ4hc3wDkk
In the aftermath of the world’s most famous crucifixion, Jesus’ 12 Apostles are charged with delivering his message to the four corners of the earth. Through scripture, myth, legend and folklore, these journeys to the north, south, east and west are reimagined. Walk with Philip, Simon and Matthew as they embark south.
Messengers to the West https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXtMBFH_9nE
The Bible’s book of Acts recounts the Apostle Andrew’s presence at Pentecost, and Peter as the leader of the nascent Christian faith. But biblical accounts of their journeys stop there. Go further with us as we explore ancient apocryphal texts and medieval legends, which claim that James the Great traveled to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Travelers to the East https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ooCoZy4Cbs
After Jesus’ crucifixion, three Apostles — Bartholomew, Matthias and Thomas — supposedly embark on dangerous missions to the east. Examine their stories as we search through folklore to find out about these incredible journeys.
Jerusalem to the North https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmTXhu8Ofnk
Though their stories cannot be found in the Bible, legends claim that Apostles Jude, John and James the Less embarked north, and their martyrdom enshrines them in history. Join us as we look at myth and folklore, exploring the scope of these fabled journeys.
Thank you for your time and consideration – GBY!