Archive for “2014”

December 15, 2014 – Lectio Divina

“The divine Word, coming and knocking at the door of our soul, challenges our
indolence and rouses us from slumber. His desire is always to enter and make His
home with us.” ~Saint Guerric of Igny

Monday, December 15 ~ Third Week in the Season of Advent
Holy Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27 When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the
elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these
things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and
if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John’s
baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of
human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” So they said to Jesus in reply,
“We do not know.” He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Meditation: What made the religious leaders oppose Jesus and reject his claim to divine authority? Their
view of religion did not match with God’s word because their hearts were set on personal gain rather than
truth and submission to God’s plan and design for their lives. They openly questioned Jesus to discredit his
claim to be the Messiah. If Jesus says his authority is divine they will charge him with blasphemy. If he
has done this on his own authority they might well arrest him as a mad zealot before he could do more
damage. Jesus, seeing through their trap, poses a question to them and makes their answer a condition
for his answer. Did they accept the work of John the Baptist as divine or human? If they accepted John’s
work as divine, they would be compelled to accept Jesus as the Messiah. They dodged the question
because they were unwilling to face the truth. They did not accept John the Baptist and they would not
accept Jesus as their Messiah.
Prayer: Incline a merciful ear to our cry, we pray, O Lord, and, casting light on the darkness of our
hearts, visit us with the grace of your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: A serious question to ask yourself: Are you willing to take a stand for the truth, even
when it may cost you? Or do you look for the safe way out through compromise, political correctness, or
simply selling yourself out? Jesus told his disciples that “the truth would make them free” (ref. John 8:32).
Why were the religious leaders opposed to Jesus’ and evasive with the truth? Did they fear the praise of
their friends and neighbors more than the praise of God for those who stand up to his truth? The coming
of God’s kingdom or reign on the earth will inevitably produce conflict – a conflict of allegiance to God’s
will or my will, God’s way of love and justice or the world’s way of playing fair, God’s standard of absolute
moral truth or truth relative to what I want to believe is good and useful for the time being. There is much
joy and freedom to be experienced by living our lives according to God’s way, God’s truth. Do you know
the joy and freedom of living according to God’s truth? If not, what is diverting your attention and your
path in life? What is holding you back?

December 12, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Friday, December 12 ~ Second Week in the Season of Advent

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Holy Gospel: Luke 1:26-38 The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Meditation: How does Mary respond to the word of God delivered by the angel Gabriel?  She knows she is hearing something beyond human capability. It will surely take a miracle which surpasses all that God has done previously. Her question, “how shall this be, since I have no husband” is not prompted by doubt or skepticism, but by wonderment! She is a true hearer of the Word and she immediately responds with faith and trust. Mary’s prompt response of “yes” to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God’s promises even when they seemed impossible. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled. She was willing and eager to do God’s will, even if it seemed difficult or costly. Mary is the “mother of God” because God becomes incarnate when he takes on flesh in her womb.  When we pray the Nicene Creed we state our confession of faith in this great mystery: “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man”.  God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heart-felt trust as Mary did. When God commands he also gives the help, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. Do you believe in God’s promises and do you yield to his grace?

Prayer: O God, Father of mercies, who placed your people under the singular protection of your Son’s most holy Mother, grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation: Do you know the favor of the Lord? God lavishes his grace upon all who believe in him. He shows his favor to the lowly, to those who are humble and receptive to his word.  We see the unfolding of God’s plan of redemption in the events leading up to the Incarnation, the birth of the Messiah. The new era of salvation begins with the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary.  This child to be born is conceived by the gracious action of the Holy Spirit upon Mary, who finds favor with God. As Eve was the mother of all humanity doomed to sin, now Mary becomes the mother of the new Adam who will father a new humanity by his grace (Romans 5:12-21). This child to be conceived in her womb is the fulfillment of all God’s promises.  He will be “great” and “Son of the Most High” and “King” (Luke 1:32-33), and his name shall be called “Jesus”, which means “the Lord saves”. “He will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The promise of an everlasting kingdom to the house of David (Isaiah 9:6-7) is fulfilled in the King to be born in Mary’s womb. Let us prepare ourselves in these weeks of Advent to come and adore him.

December 11, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Thursday, December 11 ~ Second Week in the Season of Advent

Saint Damasus I, Pope

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 11:11-15 Jesus said to the crowds: “Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Meditation: John the Baptist is the last and greatest of the prophets of the old covenant. He fulfilled the essential task of all the prophets: to be fingers pointing to Christ, God’s Anointed Son and Messiah. John proclaimed Jesus’ mission at the Jordan River when he exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (ref. John 1:29). John saw from a distance what Jesus would accomplish through his death on the cross — our redemption from bondage to sin and death and our adoption as sons and daughters of God and citizens of the kingdom of heaven. John the Baptist bridges the Old and New Testaments. He is the last of the Old Testament prophets who point the way to the Messiah. He is the first of the New Testament witnesses and martyrs. He is the herald who prepares the way for Jesus the Messiah. Jesus confirms that John has fulfilled the promise that Elijah would return to herald the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5). Jesus declares that John is nothing less that the great herald whose privilege it was to announce the coming of the Messiah. Jesus equates the coming of his kingdom with violence. John himself suffered violence for announcing that the kingdom of God was near. He was thrown into prison and then beheaded. Since John’s martyrdom to the present times the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and persecution at the hands of violent men. The blood of the martyrs throughout the ages bear witness to this fact. The martyrs witness to the truth — the truth and love of Jesus Christ who shed his blood to redeem us from slavery to sin and Satan and the fear of death. The Lord Jesus gives us the power of his Holy Spirit to overcome fear with faith, despair with hope, and every form of hatred, violence, jealousy, and prejudice with love and charity towards all — even those who seek to destroy and kill. 

Prayer: Grant, we pray, O Lord, that we may constantly exalt the merits of your Martyrs, whom Pope Saint Damasus so venerated and loved. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation: God may call some of us to be martyrs for our faith in Christ. But for most of us our call is to be dry martyrs who bear testimony to the joy and truths of the laws of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ in the midst of daily challenges, contradictions, temptations and adversities which come our way as we faithfully follow the Lord Jesus. What attracts others to those who follow the truth of God and his son, Jesus Christ? When they see Christians loving their enemies, being joyful in suffering, patient in adversity, pardoning injuries, and showing comfort and compassion to the hopeless and the helpless. Jesus tells us that we do not need to fear our adversaries. He will give us sufficient grace, strength, and wisdom to face any trial and to answer any challenge to our faith. Are you eager to witness to the joy and freedom of the gospel?

December 10, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Wednesday, December 10 ~ Second Week in the Season of Advent

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said to the crowds: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Meditation: The Jewish people used the image of a yoke to express submission to God. They spoke of the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments, the yoke of the kingdom, the yoke of God. Jesus says his yoke is “easy”. The Greek word for “easy” can also mean “well-fitting.” Yokes were tailor-made to fit the oxen well. We are commanded to put on the “sweet yoke of Jesus” and to live the “heavenly way of life and happiness”. Oxen were yoked two by two. Jesus invites us to be yoked with him, to unite our lives with him, our wills with his will, our heart with his heart.  Jesus also says his “burden is light”. There’s a story of a man who once met a boy carrying a smaller crippled lad on his back. “That’s a heavy load you are carrying there,” exclaimed the man. “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother!” responded the boy. No burden is too heavy when it’s given in love and carried in love. When we yoke our lives with Jesus, he also carries our burdens with us and gives us his strength to follow in his way of love. Do you know the joy of resting in Jesus’ presence and walking daily with him along the path he has for you?

Prayer: Almighty God, who command us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord, grant in your kindness, we pray, that no infirmity may weary us as we long for the comforting presence of our heavenly physician. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation: In the Season of Advent we celebrate the coming of the Messianic King who ushers in the reign of God. The prophets foretold that the Messiah would establish God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Those who put their trust in God and in the coming of his kingdom receive the blessings of that kingdom – peace with God and strength for living his way of love and holiness (ref. Isaiah 40). Jesus fulfills all the Messianic hopes and promises of God’s kingdom. That is why he taught his disciples to pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (ref. Matthew 6:10).  In his kingdom sins are not only forgiven but removed, and eternal life is poured out for all its citizens. This is not a political kingdom, but a spiritual one. The yoke of Christ’s kingdom, his kingly rule and way of life, liberates us from the burden of guilt and from the oppression of sin and hurtful desires. Only Jesus can lift the burden of sin and the weight of hopelessness from us. Jesus used the analogy of a yoke to explain how we can exchange the burden of sin and despair for a burden of glory and yoke of freedom from the grip of sin. The yoke which Jesus invites us to embrace is his way of grace and freedom from the power of sin. Do you trust in God’s love and submit to his will for your life? If not, why not?

December 9, 2014 – Lectio DIvina

Tuesday, December 9 ~ Second Week in the Season of Advent

Saint Juan Diego, Convert

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14 Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”

 

Meditation: This parable gives us a glimpse of the heart of a true shepherd, and the joy of a community reunited with its lost members. Shepherds not only had to watch over their sheep by day and by night; they also had to protect them from wolves and lions who preyed upon them, and from dangerous terrain and storms. Shepherds often had large flocks, sometimes numbering in the hundreds or thousands.  It was common to inspect and count the sheep at the end of the day. You can imagine the surprise and grief of the shepherd who discovers that one of his sheep is missing! Does he wait until the next day to go looking for it? Or does he ask a neighboring shepherd if he might has seen the stray sheep? No, he goes immediately in search of this lost sheep. Delay for even one night could mean disaster leading to death. Sheep by nature are very social creatures. An isolated sheep can quickly become bewildered, disoriented, and even neurotic. Easy prey for wolves and lions!

 

Prayer: O God, who by means of Saint Juan Diego showed the love of the most holy Virgin Mary for your people, grant, through his intercession, that, by following the counsels our Mother gave at Guadalupe, we may be ever constant in fulfilling your will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: What was new in Jesus’ teaching was the insistence that sinners must be sought out time and time again.  How easy to forget and be distracted with other matters while the lost become prey for devouring wolves of the soul. The Apostle Peter reminds us that the “devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (ref. 1 Peter 5:8).  God does not rejoice in the loss of anyone, but desires that we be saved and restored to friendship with him. That is why the whole community of heaven rejoices when one sinner is found and restored to fellowship with God. God is on a rescue mission today to save us from the destructive forces of sin and evil. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, watches over every step we take. Do you listen to his voice and heed his wise counsel? Do you follow the path he has set for you – a path that leads to life rather than death? Getting back on the right path always begins with the Sacrament of Reconciliation – don’t let anything hold you back from making a good confession!

December 8, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Monday, December 8 ~ Second Week in the Season of Advent

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Patronal Feast Day of the United States if America

~ A Holy Day of Obligation ~

 

Holy Gospel: Luke 1:26-38 The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 

Meditation: Do you want to live a grace-filled life? I think we all do. The angel Gabriel salutes Mary as “full of grace.”  To become the mother of the Savior, Mary was enriched by God with gifts to enable her to assume this awesome role. There is a venerable tradition among many Christians, dating back to the early church, for honoring Mary as the spotless virgin who bore the Son of God in her womb. A number of early Church fathers link Mary’s obedience to this singular grace of God.  One of them Saint Irenaeus, wrote: “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. The knot of Eve’s disobedience was united by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.”

 

Prayer: O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they immediately experienced the consequence of their action – separation from the God who loved them. God in his mercy promised them a Redeemer who would pay the price for their sin and the sin of the world. We see the marvelous unfolding of God’s plan of redemption in the events leading up to the Incarnation, the birth of the Messiah. Mary’s prompt response of “yes” to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God’s promises even when they seemed impossible. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled. She was willing and eager to do God’s will, even if it seemed difficult or costly. God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heart-felt trust as Mary did. When God commands he also gives the grace, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. Do you believe in God’s promises and do you yield to his grace?

December 7, 2014 – In, Around and Near the Diocese of Columbus

~ In, Around and Near the Diocese of Columbus ~

Columbus Theology On Tap – Thursday, December 11th at the El Vaquero Restaurant, 3230 Olentangy River Road. Are faith and science enemies?  When we become a Catholic Christian are we supposed to “check our brain at the door?”  Can a person who has strong faith be a scientist, or scientific?  Fr. Thomas Blau, O.P. [a Dominican priest with degree in Microbiology] will look at some of the latest findings from science and see if they negate a belief in the Divine Creator to whom Christians attribute the origins of the Universe. “Theology on Tap is an invitation for young adults to learn more about their faith and to share in the Catholic community.”

BETHESDA HEALING MINISTRY: Will I always feel this way? Will I always ask myself the “what if’s” and “if onlys?” Bring these questions with you to Bethesda Healing ministry where it is safe to talk about the pain in your hear and find comfort in the sharing. Or sit in quiet as others witness the healing and hope you so desire. Confidential lines: 614-309-0157 or 614-309-2651. For more information visit our web site: www.bethesdahealing.org.

The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation welcomes you. The basilica is open for prayer at any time of day or night.  Come and experience the consolation of our Blessed Mother’s intercession.

 

Monthly Healing Masses: During these Masses, special prayers are offered for God’s healing to be upon those assembled.  The Blessed Sacrament is exposed at the altar as those present are invited to come forward for the laying on of hands and prayers for healing by the Priest.  For those who are significantly ill or chronically ill in body, mind or spirit, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is also available.     Following is the schedule of Healing Masses, which begin at 7:00 p.m. (except where noted otherwise): Friday, December 19. In year 2015: Friday, January 2; Friday, February 6;     Friday, March 6 (7:30 pm); Friday, April 10; Friday, May 8; Friday, June 5; Friday, July 10; Friday, August 21; Friday, September 11; Friday, October 16; Friday, November 20; Friday, December 4.

 

Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation

Conventual Franciscan Friars

315 Clay Street + Carey, Ohio 43316
(419) 396-7107

www.olcshrine.com

 PLEASE KEEP THESE PARISHIONERS IN YOUR PRAYERS: Jack Beckman, Jennifer Bogdziewicz, Charles & Nancy Brant, Ana Buk, Christopher Clark, Jodi Elgin, Ann Marie Elkins, Max Flores, Don Fortner, Mary Gall, Robert Hackett, Ruth Harper, Bernie Hause, Gloria Jefferson, Col. Paul Johnston (Ret.), Pam Jurgens, Susan Luck, Fr. Mike Lumpe, Richard Masek, Ellen McMillen, Mary McNellis, Maria Paras, Linda Pauley, Marilyn Scott, David Simmons, Patty Stover, Sandra Valencia, Elizabeth Wanamaker, and Bill, Dora Zweydorff.

 

DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CATHEDRAL AND HOLY CROSS ALMS FOR THE POOR BOXES? At the Cathedral it is located in the wall inside the Cathedral near the Broad Street entrance; at Holy Cross it is located in the rear of the Church by the Fifth Street entrance. These boxes and the funds you provide are important:

  • At the Cathedral these Alms for the Poor go to pay for the food that is distributed daily at the Cathedral to the poor and needy – up to 150 food bags (usually containing a sandwich, fruit, chips & cookie, bottled water), and on many winter days hot coffee and hot cocoa. Help us provide this most basic necessity – food – to those in need by donating to our poor box.
  • At Holy Cross these Alms for the Poor go to help needy persons with bus passes, in addition to helping the poor and needy with particular needs.

THANK YOU for helping us help those in need!

December 7, 2014 – Taking Place in Our Parishes

~ Taking Place in our Parishes ~                                                                                        

‘THIS WEEK IS FELLOWSHIP SUNDAY’ IN THE UNDERCROFT AT 11:30 AM: The Vocations Committee will serve refreshments next Sunday between the 10:30a.m. and the 12:30p.m Masses in the Undercroft (use elevator at the back of the church by the Reconciliation Room). All new Parishioners are cordially invited to attend and meet other parishioners, Priests, Deacons, Liturgical Ministers, Pastoral Council Members & visitors. Everyone is encouraged to come enjoy the refreshments, fellowship with others & learn more about the Cathedral Events Committee.

Advent is a time of waiting and preparing:  It’s time for preparing the Cathedral for Christmas by cleaning it. Please join us and other parishioners in preparing the Cathedral for the Christmas celebration. A sign-up binder is located on the table at the Broad St. entrance, or  by emailing me as to your willingness to help with the Cathedral  Christmas Cleaning on Monday, December 15, 6-9 pm. A pizza, pop and sandwich supper will be  ready for you at 6 pm in the Undercroft. Please sign-up so we can get an accurate count for the amount of food we order. Call or email Deacon Tom  at 267-1903 or thomjohnst@aol.com if you need more informaton. You will enter from the alley at the door to the Undercroft.

THIS SUNDAY~ CATHEDRAL CHOIR ~ THE OFFICE OF COMPLINE: On the first Sunday of the month, the men of the Cathedral Choir chant the Office of Compline. The Office lasts about 30 minutes and consists of psalms, short passages from scripture, an office hymn, a canticle (Nunc Dimittis), a responsory, collect and additional prayers. In keeping with the earliest practices of the monastic communities, Compline is offered when the work of the day is completed, and the quietness of evening settles over the hearts and minds of those who have come together in thankfulness for the blessings of the day which has passed and in anticipation of God’s gift of a new day. The Office begins at 9:00 p.m. on the First Sunday of the month. We hope you will join us for this unique spiritual experience.

Simbang Gabi! Come and join us at Holy Cross Church in celebrating the Filipino Nine Day Novena in preparation for Christmas! The Nine Day Novena will start on Monday, December 15, 2014 at 7:30 and will end on Tuesday, December 23 concluding with Mass at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Cross. Our presider is Fr. Ramon Owera, CFIC. A reception at St. Patrick Church will follow the Mass on December 23rd.

The Columbus League of St. DYMPHNA St. Dymphna is the Roman Catholic patron saint for Mental and Nervous Disorders, including depression. The only shrine in North America is located in Massillon, OH. A devotional prayer group will meet immediately after the 12:30 Mass on the second Sunday of each month at St. Joseph Cathedral. For more information about this Columbus League of St. Dymphna, contact Josephine at 614-209-3337.

Support the Giving Trees to Spread Christmas Cheer

GivingTree

The Holy Cross Church and Saint Joseph Cathedral Christmas “Giving Trees” are located in the Narthex (Broad Street entrance) and by the Fifth Street side entrance of the Cathedral. The trees will be decorated with scrolls for residents of Bryden Place and Christmas, ornaments for the Joint Office for Inner-city Needs – J.O.I.N. – and tags for some of our parishioner families who are having a difficult time. The scrolls request participants to purchase a Christmas gift for a resident living at Bryden Place. The gifts will be collected each week to be delivered to residents on Monday, December 21st. Ornaments for J.O.I.N. will offer a suggestion for a gift card on the back. The gift card and ornament should be placed in an envelope marked J.O.I.N. and dropped in the Offertory basket. The gift cards will be delivered to J.O.I.N. to help those in need during and after the Christmas season. If you have registered your Kroger card to benefit Saint Joseph Cathedral, why not buy the gift card there so the Cathedral will receive a percentage back? A 2-for-1 blessing!

 

Thank you for caring for the needs of others and for your generosity during this season of giving!

An Examination of Conscience for Young Men and Women

An Examination of Conscience for Young Men and Women

“What God commands He makes possible by grace,” states paragraph 2083 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “Jesus says, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’ The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of His mysteries, and keep His commandments, the Savior Himself…becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity” (CCC #2074).

In other words, it is only when we have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ that we are empowered to live more and more the way that God commands us to – to do God’s will. Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit to help us understand and obey the Father’s commands.

God’s laws and teachings are for our benefit! Our obedience opens us to receive more of God: more of His love, His help, His comfort, His healing, etc. “The gift of the Commandments is the gift of God Himself” (CCC #2059). Any time we disobey God, we make our lives more difficult because we are turning away from love: “Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it” (CCC #1850).

This is why it’s important to make a good examination of conscience. Use this Examination of Conscience prayerfully. Make note of the sins you’ve committed as they come to mind. Then reflect on how these sins have opposed love. Remember that God is a God of mercy. His mercy doesn’t give us permission to do anything we feel like doing. Rather, it gives us love even when we don’t deserve it. 

Once you’ve confessed your sins and received absolution from a priest, you’re set free from these sins (even though you might still need to undo the damage you’ve caused) and you never need to confess these sins again unless you recommit them. Examine your conscience…

  • For the times I have forgotten you and turned my back on you, Lord…
  • For the times I have failed to praise You and to recognize Your greatness in creation…
  • For the times I have failed to love You with all my heart…
  • For the times I have idolized myself instead of worshipping You…
  • For the times I slept in, went to sports practice, and placed other things above going to Sunday Mass…
  • For the times I thought “do I have to go to Mass” versus “I want to go to Mass to praise You”…
  • For making things, money, or people more important than You…
  • For not making time to try to understand Scriptures better and live according to them…
  • For not accepting Church teaching, tradition and Church authority…
  • For not obeying the commandments because I didn’t agree with Your laws…
  • For not accepting the truths of the Gospel because I didn’t agree with them…
  • For sinning, and blaming others (friends, family, others) for my sinful behavior…
  • For not loving the Church while I criticize her…
  • For presuming so often on Your mercy while ignoring Your justice…
  • For picking and choosing only the convenient parts of Your message in Scripture…
  • For closing my heart to the guidance of Your Spirit…
  • For the times I have been ashamed to show my religious convictions…
  • For being ignorant and uninformed in my religion because of laziness or lack or interest…
  • For believing in superstition and astrology…
  • For the times I have cursed…
  • For using Your name in vain, Lord…
  • For times I have used Your name lightly, without respect…
  • For the times I have hurt You and others with foul language or harsh words…
  • For my unwillingness to dedicate time to pray…
  • For praying “mechanically” and without conviction…
  • For all the times I was not giving praise and worship to God at Mass…
  • For the times I have not taken part in the Eucharist because of laziness…
  • For making excuses claiming that other things are more important than going to Mass…
  • For lack of respect for the Sacraments, especially Penance and Eucharist…
  • For not trying to understand my parents, and not being thankful for my parents…
  • For disobeying my parents and not being respectful of them…
  • For disrespecting my parents and others in authority (teachers, principal, supervisors, etc.)…
  • For not showing love toward my parents and for taking them for granted…
  • For being negligent and sluggish in fulfilling my duties as a student and family member…
  • For my moments of impatience at home, school, at work, with friends…
  • For being uncharitable toward my brothers and sisters, and all persons…
  • For the times that I have not been grateful toward those who have helped me grow…
  • For all the times I have wished evil upon someone…
  • For putting people on my “black list”, giving them the cold shoulder, and not forgiving them…
  • For the moments that I have hurt others’ feelings with my words or actions…
  • For the times I have ignored the needs of others or refused to help those in need…
  • For refusing to forgive myself and others…
  • For not challenging myself and being lazy at home or work…
  • For the gifts and talents I have failed to cultivate…
  • For looking at pornography and engaging in immoral conversations…
  • For flirting too much at school or work…
  • For being unfaithful to those who love me…
  • For having neglected my human dignity and that of others…
  • For the times I have misused God’s gift of my sexuality by myself or with others…
  • For the times I have cheated…
  • For the times I have stolen, or taken things without permission…
  • For the times I thought I was entitled to something, or owed something…
  • For wasting Your gifts of food and natural resources…
  • For the times I have been jealous of others’ looks, friends or possessions…
  • For forgetting the poor, the lonely, the ill, the aged, and those who are in need…
  • For not trying to become more competent with my gifts and talents…
  • For the greed that makes me want so many useless things (wasting time)…
  • For the times I have spread rumors and gossiped and hurt others, especially through social media…
  • For ridiculing others in front to them or behind their back…
  • For lying or not telling the whole truth…
  • For playing games with the truth in order to be accepted…
  • For not living according to or standing up for my Catholic faith in order to be accepted…
  • For hypocrisy in my words and actions…
  • For the times I have been too proud to admit I was wrong…
  • For the times I have been prejudiced and/or biased toward others…
  • For the times I have judged people…
  • For taking advantage of others, using them for my own good…
  • For not keeping my promises…
  • For the times I have been sarcastic at the expense of others…
  • For the times I was unjust toward my neighbors…