Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011 – Deuteronomy 21

According to verse 22-23, Christ should have been brought down regardless of the fact that it was Passover. They were not to allow a body, killed because of a capital act, hang there over night but be buried. Now that I am typing and thinking about that, they broke the legs so they would die before Passover. So, they could leave a body hanging overnight as long as they were still alive. But Christ had already died (they didn’t break His legs but pierced His side) so He would have been removed either way, according to this rule. Then again, maybe not, since the Romans were in charge, they might have left a dead body up regardless of the Jewish rules.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 30, 2011 – Catechism 1113-1121

The Sacraments are such an important part of the Catholic faith. They are the ordinary means to receiving sanctifying Grace. Not only to they give that Grace, but they strengthen us against sin and help us to lead lives according to God’s will. Obviously, the Sacrament that stands out above the other is the Eucharist in which we receive Christ Himself, body, blood, soul, and divinity, but the other Sacraments all play their important roles leading and guiding us to the Eucharist and to Christ.

I don’t know if people realize that the three Sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy orders are indelible or permanent. Once baptized into Christ, you can never remove that mark from your soul. You can ignore it and try to cover it up, but it will always be there. Similar with priest. Even if a priest is found to be guilty of something and told not to say Masses, you cannot take away his mark of ordination. I guess I don’t know why marriage isn’t up there. Divorce is not allowed and has not effect on the marriage act, annulment means that there was not marriage act. I guess if you spouse dies then you are free to be ordained or marry again, so it is only permanent as long as you both live.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29, 2011 – Luke 15

The prodigal son story has been told and talked about a lot, or at least I have heard it talked about a lot, so I don’t want to go into it in too much detail. I will point to the part I find most interesting and easiest to reflect on. The story is left unfinished. The bother comes home, the one brother is mad, father invites him in to celebrate, the end. We don’t know what the older brother chooses to do. Does he continue to be angry or does go in to welcome his brother. The fact that it is unfinished leaves us to reflect on what our choice is going to be. God is telling us that everything He has is ours if we choose to come and celebrate with Him. The answer is of course we want to, but then we see that God is letting in people that we think do not deserve it. Those people we know have lived sinful lives and that we feel more righteous than. And we balk. Why are we celebrating for them, where is our celebration. I have found myself in this boat many times when I think I am doing more than someone else or holier than though. We must be careful. God is willing to welcome back the biggest of sinners, the most lost sheep, and when that happens we are suppose to rejoice fully with God for their return, not be jealous of the grace shown to them.

This also feeds into situations that would come up soon after Christ, and even that He dealt with. In the context, this was mainly talking about sinners that have repented and how those that did not need repentance should rejoice in their conversion. I think it could also be seen as a foreshadowing of the Jewish Christians accepting the Gentiles into the Christian ranks. Christ is saying that it doesn’t matter what you were doing before repentance, everyone is My sheep and when a lost one comes back, you need to all celebrate.

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011 – Baruch 6:15 - 6:44

So many hundreds if not thousands of years did people worship idols made in the way that is talked about here. It just doesn’t seem reasonable to think that it would have lasted so long. As the reading talks about, if someone accidentally knocked it over and it broke or a fire destroyed the temple and the idol was destroyed, you would think they would realize it wasn’t a god. And if the person that made it died, you wouldn’t think a mortal could create an immortal god. I guess it would only take one answered prayer to convince someone it was real. All the unanswered prayers would lead you to believe that the god was angry and needed more sacrifice. One answered prayer could steal a person’s belief in the god so that they may never waver.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27, 2011 – Deuteronomy 19-20

I really find the idea of having “safe” cities where people can go if they have accidentally killed someone a very unusual idea. I understand that people will seek revenge and the Lord wanted to put a stop to that if the act was done without malice, but it seems like He could have just made the law say that. I don’t understand why you had to dedicate cities for it. And would people really want to be associated with one of those cities. After many years, the only people that would be in there are people who have taken a life. It would be a very depressing place I think, especially because they did so without malice. They all must be dealing with a lot of grief and shame and to have a whole city of them doesn’t seem very efficient.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 26, 2011 – Catechism 1108-1112

I was thinking about the Holy Spirit and the work that it does through its influence on people.  We have been reading about the importance of it in the Mass and other Liturgies, but I also know that many Christians believe the Holy Spirit influences their actions.  I would venture to say that Martin Luther felt the Holy Spirit influenced his actions.  I have talked before about the Holy Spirit being God and not being able the contradict itself, yet when people both say they are led by the Spirit and say two completely different and contrary moral beliefs, they cannot both be right because God is not a contradiction. 

This all made me think about what is actually leading the side that is not right, because one side is wrong.  People do great and holy actions, so it is really hard to say that they are being led astray by something evil, yet it is hard not to come to that conclusion when the wrong side of God is sin and evil. 

You don’t want to put people into black and white categories because we spend so much time worrying about the grays and trying not to hurt anyone, yet Christ was pretty clear, get on my right and my left, the sheep and the goats, those on one side and those on the other. 

I just think it is very important for everyone, Catholic or not, to think about this, because there is a right way and a wrong way.  There is no grey with God, no matter how much we like to play in that realm.  If there is a right way, we need to find it and need to be honest with ourselves.  It doesn’t do us any good to left people off the hook with fluffy answers because salvation is something that you need firm answers for a explanations that stand firm.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011 – Luke 14:7 - 14:35

Giving up everything to follow Christ.  How often do we tell ourselves that we will and then find out that we were wrong.  I think there have been times in my life when I have made that commitment with something other than the best or purest intentions.  Saying the words but not really believing them or knowing I was holding on to something.  But I also know there have been times when I have said them with the purest of intentions and really believing that they were true.  The problem is that we do not know what is around the corner, the temptations, the obstacles that will come, the weakness we don’t understand yet.  I think it may be a harder fall when we fail after a genuine commitment because we have held ourselves up on a higher pedestal.  I don’t think it is wrong to make the commitment, but we must realize we are sinners and will always be.  We need to strive to follow Christ with all of our being and persevere through the falls.   

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 – Baruch 5 - 6:14

Verse 6 of Chapter 6 we seem to have a verse that supports the idea of Guardian Angels and that all individuals have one. I have been told that some people find out the name of their Guardian Angel, but I don’t know the name of mine. I do have a real sense sometimes of their disappointment in me of my sin and those times in my life when I made the wrong choices. I can see a person who has a really strong belief and faith in them would be more likely to stay away from sin and those occasions, but I don’t know if my relationship with my guardian angel in on that kind of level. I am not sure if there are ways to increase that relationship and to build it up to help us, I am sure there is something out there.

I don’t know if I have shared this before, but I think a very moving piece of art would be a picture of Hitler, one where he is watching the armies march by from his window, and in the background seeing his guardian angel weeping in extreme agony and sorrow. If everyone has one then so did Hitler and how they must have wept over the sin of that man. I am not an artist, but I think that would be a very moving picture.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011 – Deuteronomy 18

I think I would be pretty confused if I were with Israel here. The part about testing prophets seems to be putting God to the test, yet they are told not to. They are told, if the prophet predicts something and it doesn’t happen, then it was not from the Lord. First of all, if you are told something to prepare for, you don’t know if it is from the Lord or not until it happens, so you have to trust them until it happens. But if they are not, then you followed a prophet not from the Lord but didn’t know that yet. The role of prophets in the Old Testament is something that seems very important for the ones that were good, but it also appears that there were many that were called prophets but were not speaking Gods words. Your common everyday person from Israel must have had a terrible time keeping it all straight.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22, 2011 – Catechism 1099-1107

I don’t think people realize how much of the Catholic Mass, and other liturgies, have their foundation and most of the language from the Bible. That may become more apparent with the new English Translation that is soon to start. The words may not flow off the tongue as well as they do now, but that is because they are taken as a word for word translation from the Latin text and from the Bible. What we have now are idea translations into words that are everyday and flow nicely. But they are not the formal words that God gave us in the Bible or that were used for the many years of the Latin Mass. When we went the easy route, we lost some of the luster, the mystery, the formality and in doing, lost much of the focus and respect. I hope with the new Mass we can bring back that respect and be able to dive deeper into the Mass and what is actually going on in all its majesty.

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011 – Luke 13:10 - 14:6

Twice we have Him healing on the Sabbath. The first appears much more controversial. The second, His opponents are not able to give any answer. It is a brilliant response to their questioning. If you have a child in need of assistance, but you are not suppose to do any work on the Sabbath, can you help your child. The reason it is brilliant is because of the absurdity of the person saying I wouldn’t help even my own child on the Sabbath. Christ, being God, all humanity are His children, so healing one of them is no different.

In verse 31 it says that some Pharisees came to warn Him about Herod. That doesn’t appear to fit with the fact that groups of Pharisees are part of the plot to get rid of Him. I guess I don’t know how many Pharisees there were and that there might have been different groups or factions and some might not have been against Jesus. But I don’t remember ever seeing this verse and don’t remember a Pharisee acting in this way before.

Jesus talks about a definite end, a time when the gates to Heaven will be closed, at the end of all things. For those not going to Heaven and that being their choice, it appears that after the gates are closed they will have a change of heart. Recently I have had the understanding that those in Hell would not want to be in Heaven. They would understand why they were in Hell and not want Heaven because they do not want to be with God. I guess it does make sense, if Hell is all about suffering, then they would wish to be with God and not able to do so.

Also with the gate being closed, that works both ways. I was thinking about the “once saved, always saved” and I guess that is true, once you make it into Heaven. I think it should be “once in Heaven, always in Heaven”.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011 – Baruch 4

I always take heart when I read things about “not for destruction” in verse 6.  Things are not allowed to happen to us for our destruction, but to save us, to help us rely on God, to move us in the right direction.  We are to turn back to him “ten times the more to seek Him” verse 28. 

These nations that brought Israel into exile, they don’t benefit in the long run for doing so.  We may think that God was cruel to Israel for the exile, but it was a temporary thing.  The nations that did it are no longer around and were destroyed.  It is almost like the saying “to good to be true”.  These nations walked in and without much resistance, because God was allowing them, took over these lands.  But theirs was a temporary claim, even though they did not realize this.  They were going to pay for what they have received.  Much like a person who clicks on some link to get free millions later gets a virus that hurts their credit score.  What you gain in the long run is not worth the risk, yet people will go after it and that is what those nations were looking at, the present gain. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011 – Deuteronomy 16 – 17

We see here the three main feast for the Jews, Passover, Weeks, and Booths.  The second two sound a lot like Thanksgiving, at least what Thanksgiving first started as.  They were feast to celebrate the harvest that was brought in and to give thanks for what they had.  Thanksgiving has turned into something much different, especially if you are a person that works in retail.  I grew up on a farm and I still never really saw Thanksgiving as related to the harvest being done.  God seems to have done a better job of setting the date in relation to that year’s harvest either starting or finishing, so that the feast was directly related to harvest.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, I just wonder if we really treat it as they would have their feast, as a time to look at what we have gathered and thanking God for it. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011 – Catechism 1091 – 1098

These paragraphs speak of the Holy Spirit and its task to communicate with us the Revelation and Will of God.  The video above talks about the necessity of communication from God for faith and that this communication is not only essential in our relationship with God, but with all relationships. 

I don’t know enough about the Jewish faith as it is celebrated today.  I wish I did.  I do think it would help me better understand my Catholic faith and our traditions.  But I do understand the importance of the Old Testament, hence we are going through the whole Bible and not just the New Testament, and trying to find those connections and foreshadowings. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011 – Luke 12:35 - 13:9

Another verses or parable that support the theology of purgatory. When Jesus talks about talking with someone on the way to court and settling your score before you get there. The outcome if you do not settle out of court is that you are brought to judgment and punished until everything is paid back in full. The reason I see this pertaining to purgatory is because the way that the punishment is seen as finite. Hell is eternal, just as Heaven is, and so there must be a finite place or system where people can go to “pay back” their debts. I think it is fair to say that when Christ talks about punishment and judgment, He speaks, at least partly, about eternal punishments and judgments. Christ speaks of being kept until all your debt is paid. This does not sound like eternal damnation, but as I say, something finite. I seems to me that purgatory appears very rational and works out well into God’s plans when you see Christ talking and explaining stories and parable about judgment.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16, 2011 – Baruch 2

It seems from what is written that before the exile, the Israelites had a choice.  They could choose to live under Babylonian rule in their homes or be conquered.  I don’t remember that from what I have read about the exile, so I will have to remember to watch for that.  They had a choose to live as captives in their on homes or fight and lose and be taken to a foreign land.  I have the vaguest sense that this had something to do with them going to Egypt for help when God told them not to, but that may be something else. 

So, even after all the sins, the bad kings, the worshipping of other gods, Israel still had a chance to stay in their homes and not be exiled but just be conquered.  Instead they ignored God and tried it on their own, again, and look what happened.  Still, God does not forget them and brings them back after a period of time.  How often to we turn our back on God’s plan for us, how many times is He ready to take us back and try again. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15, 2011 – Deuteronomy 15

I have always like the idea of dropping all debts after 6 years.  The foundation of the 6 goes back to the creation stories and the understanding of keeping a Sabbath.  For 6 days or years you may do something, but on the 7th you must give it a rest.  It is not for God, but for ourselves.  Canceling these debts was not for God, but for us, so that we would not be attached to material things and let it cloud our minds from what is truly important.  Also to help us see the value in people and not see them as merely a way to make profit.  If someone needs something you help them and if they can pay you back after 6 years, then great, if not, no sweat.  What you have, God has given to you free of charge and you should be willing to let go of it. 

Two related things that jump out at you is that if you are all doing what God wants you to, then no one will be in need of aid and so this won’t be an issue.  God tells them that if they do as He wills, it will be other nations that they will be helping, not their own fellow people.  Obviously if they have to start helping each other, they have left the right path, and this rule is just there so that when they do, it will help them back on. 

And do go thinking that you will make all your loans 6 year loans or everything due before the 7th year or not help anyone when you don’t have time to get it back.  God warns against this.  God knows what is in our hearts and tries His very best to shape rules that free us from what will lead us to hurting ourselves.  This whole thing may be seen as injuring the person giving money away, but how many people are hurting right now because they borrowed more than they should have.  If we had something, a system, where borrowing wasn’t as needed or as easy as it is, some people might choose to live differently and we may not be in the messes we are in now. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

October 14, 2011 – Catechism 1084-1090

I have always wanted to, but never accomplished, see if I could find a Mass going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Catholic Masses are practiced daily at many churches.  I was actually going to daily Mass for a period of time and enjoyed it very much.  They don’t tend to last as long, so for every day but Sunday, it would be safe to find a Mass for every half hour.  But I bet you could find it.  So, think about this.   No matter where or when you are, what you are doing or who you are with, there is a Catholic Mass being said.  Heaven is coming to Earth, Christ is being made present, Graces is flowing into the world.  That is not something that can be said by many other religions, if any at all. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011 – Luke 12 - 12:34

This section is one that should be read every day.  The whole thing is about not worrying about all the material things around us because in the long run, they will do absolutely nothing for us.  Not only to not worry about material things, but be aware of the things that can kill your immortal soul.  Yes, something may kill your body, but this is something that will die anyway.  The things that destroy your soul will be something that will last your eternity. 

I also love the part about not preparing yourself or worrying about what to say, but that God will provide you the words to say.  I cannot agree with this more.  In my working with TEC and Lifeteen I have had the opportunity to give many talks about my faith and the Catholic religion.  I know that when I get in the way, the talks feel worse, they are not as meaningful, they do not get the message across.  But when I am prepared and then let go and get out of God’s way and let Him work through me, the talks become something that can really be life changing for me and others.  It is something that must be felt and understood.  It is something that can be applied to life as well.  If God is in your passenger seat, you have the wrong person driving.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011 – Baruch 1

I couldn’t really gather anything from chapter 1 that pertains to it, but the introduction talked about the Jews trying to figure out what to do without their Temple, since it was destroyed.  It was such an iatrical part of their worship and now it was gone and they were exiled.  How were they suppose to continue their worship.  It is a very important question today because modern day Jews do not have a Temple, so they are similarly in exile, and unlike that stint of 70 years, this has gone on for almost 2000 years (70 AD Romans destroyed the Temple that has never been rebuilt).  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011 – Deuteronomy 13 – 14

So, things that could be interpreted as religious or spiritual are put into the world to test us.  Sometimes I wonder why God allows things that appear religious and maybe even helpful to some if they are eventually only going to lead away from Him, but here we see that it is to test our loyalty.  Keep that in mind if you ever investigate or test any of these “new age” type things.  There may be things that come from them that could be beneficial, but what are you going to pay in the long run. 

I think it is interesting that the law is that they are not to eat any insects.  Do locust count, because John the Baptist is known for eating honey and locust while he was out in the desert. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011 – Catechism 1076 – 1083

We are a new way in a new age since the coming of Christ. Things, although similar in nature, have changed in the way God establishes and maintains His relationship with us. Christ is now available to us for communication as well as the Holy Spirit. Both were not available, or at least not available in the same way, before Christ coming. But this does not mean that things will change so much that the old ways are to be ignored of forgotten. As Christ said, He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill and that not one letter would be changed. And we need to receive God in our lives. With Christ coming, we can receive God in a real and substantial way. This is what we know as the Sacraments. These are the ordinary means of receiving God’s Sanctifying Grace.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

October 9, 2011 – Luke 11:14 – 11:54

The strong man parable has always confused me. I understand it, the fact that a stronger person can defeat someone beneath him, but I never understood what that had to do with God. If God is the strongest, is he the one breaking in to Satan’s stronghold because he is weaker. That makes sense, especially with Jesus expelling a demon. I thought it might be that we need to be strong to defend ourselves against Satan, but if we have God and rely on Him, we cannot be defeated because nothing is stronger than God.

The description of the cup, clean on the outside but dirty inside, got me thinking. I wrote a little while ago about Mass and taking it seriously and about dressing appropriately. I would say that there have been times that I didn’t dress appropriately for Mass, but I was still focused and participating well enough. I was a dirty glass on the outside, but clean inside. That may be true, but I think it is hard to maintain. I think if you allow yourself to become in the habit of coming to Mass in shorts and a T-Shirt, you will begin to slip with your focus and you will not take it seriously. If a glass is dirty on the outside, it will usually become dirty on the inside. And even if it does not, people cannot see the inside, they only see the outside. If they see your dirty outside, they may feel it is ok for them to have a dirty outside and their inside may become dirty because of it. Basically, dress appropriately for Mass, even if it doesn’t change your focus, because it will eventually hinder you and you may be hindering others.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

October 8, 2011 – Daniel 10

Is Michael that they are talking about St. Michael the Archangel. And I thought it was interesting that he had to go and be left with the king of Persia. What was he doing with him. The Man says that he is going to go back and battle the king and Michael will help. I don’t know what kind of battle. God can use armies, so I don’t know if it is a personal battle or if there is a foreign army that God is using and this Man is using this army against the king.

I am guessing there is a connection between the 21 days that Daniel was fasting are the same as 21 that this Man could not get to Daniel. What was in his way. You would think that Daniel fasting and praying would bring him faster. The king seems to have blocked this Man, with what power was that being done.

Friday, October 07, 2011

October 7, 2011 – Deuteronomy 12

Verse 8 says you shall not do as what you are doing now, which was doing what is right in this own sight. It appears that they had issues with Relativism as well. Nothing is more dangerous to the world right now, and has been more damaging to Christianity as a whole, than Relativism. The idea that what I think is right, is right, is wrong. There are absolute rights and wrongs and to go against that is to lead a life that is a lie and to take a path that leads to chaos. Even though Israel was God’s chosen people, they lived for many generations without a set of rules. They knew they had a God and they should worship Him, but the details on how and what other rules might be out there were not clear. Here God says that I am making rules that are to be followed. Did Christ overturn this way of teaching. Christ said not a letter of the law would be changed. He is a fulfillment of the law, not a overruling. Christ would in no way support a system of Christianity where you do “what is right in [your] own sight”. Yet that is what we are told is appropriate by the understanding of these “not-religion” or “non-denominational” mega-churches. We are told that there is not suppose to be any real structure, no authority, you can interpret for yourself God’s true meaning. This is exactly what God speaks against.

He goes on to say that they should tear down the different worship places and there should be only one place of worship. God preaches unity and against division. Christ preaches one church and that division will lead to destruction. Where is the unity of 30,000 denominational Christian churches. When a person decides they do not like a church and leaves it to start their own, they are doing what is right in their own eyes. They are not obeying God. God does not preach that rules have wiggle room, that you can interpret them to mean different things, that you can pick and choose what to believe. God teaches One Way, One Truth, One Life and to step off that path, although that is the easy way and the wider gate, is to fall and walk away from Him.

I am so glad I was raised Catholic and stayed with the Church. I am even more thankful that I have begun to learn more and more about the Catholic Church and had my faith increased. I don’t know if I was raised in another church I would have had the courage to leave or been too stubborn to listen to other ideas. I know people come into the Catholic Church and have amazing stories of learning the Truth and sacrificing greatly to follow that Truth. Sadly, there are just as many stories of Catholics leaving the Church to follow a different path. I pray for a Mass Conversion and for everyone to come back to the Catholic Church, however unlikely that may be. But even more I pray for those non-Catholics to be open to the possibility that the Catholic Church may be the One True Church. I pray that non-Catholic Christians, fallen away Catholics, and non-practicing Catholics take some time to think about where their beliefs are based, where their churches come from, whether God wanted this division, and what authority are they relying on when their souls are at stake. I just pray with all my heart for open minds and hearts because God can do wonders with those ingredients. But God cannot even get started without the willingness to be open to Him.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

October 6, 2011 – Catechism 1071-1075

The liturgy is our best gateway to God. It is not the only way, because we have private prayer and reflection, but it is the most profound and best source of communication. It is not merely a place to go and be, but an activity that we are suppose to emerge ourselves in. When was the last time you felt like an active participant in the Mass. That is what we are called to.

There are changes coming to the Mass. Many are only in the words that are being said. The motivation behind it is to be closer to the Latin that was used for so many centuries in the Liturgy. When the liturgy was allowed in other languages, the translation was done in a way which took on the spirit of the words used. This new translation is a stricter word for word translation. One reason this is seen as important is because the “spirit” translation has taken away much of the formality in the Mass and made it appear common place. The new translation is suppose to give us a sense that this is a formal and substantial act that is taking place. It is suppose to take us out of a comfortable “ho-hum” attitude and make us sit up straight and be aware of the importance of the Mass. It flows along, and hopefully will change, the slacked attitude in dress, tardiness, quick departing, that have become a plague on the Mass. This is not a concert, a summer picnic, a gathering to watch a movie. This is a Sacrificial offering of Christ to God and Heaven coming to Earth, a participation in the most Holy Trinity in a very real way and needs to be seen in such a way and hopefully the new translation help lead in that direction.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

October 5, 2011 – Luke 10:21 - 11:13

It is not quite the good Samaritan story, but I really like it and I love West Wing. It is the story of the guy that falls in a hole. You have to know a little bit of the background for it to really make total sense, but I think the story is great.

We are working with Paul to learn the Our Father. He has the Hail Mary down, almost better than his ABC’s, but the Our Father is a little longer. He can finish most the lines if I start them. I have always been curious about the doxology that people put at the end of the Our Father. I was really against doing it because that was never the Our Father I knew and it is not the one in the Bible. I think the doxology is beautiful and meaningful, I just never understood adding it except in the liturgy when it is a part of the liturgical prayer. From what I can gather, the doxology was part of the liturgy and followed the Our Father from very early on in the Church. Thus, when people were translating and scripting the Bible, people added it into the Gospels because it was what they were used to in the liturgy. It is not found in the earliest manuscripts of the Gospels but only later on. “For thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, now and forever”. Nothing wrong with that, so I think I may just have to try and warm up to its addition when others say the Our Father. We don’t actually say the exact words from the Gospels in our Our Father prayer either.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

October 4, 2011 – Daniel 8

Nothing is as close to Revelation and its bizarre images than Daniel. The description says that this is the end of times vision. But then it says that it is the Persians and Greeks as the ram and he-goat. If you consider Christ coming and changing the world, then I guess you could say it was the end of the world as they knew it. There are always descriptions of animals that are not quite normal, number of horns or too many eyes, and they are always very powerful. This one is a bit easier to follow. One animal is very strong and cannot defeated until one comes that is much stronger. Then the he-goat begins to weaken because of division, which is what happened to the Greek Empire at the end when it split into fragments and allowed for Rome to rise. Rome was at is ultimate power when Christ came, the “end” of the world in this vision, but I am not quite clear if Rome is any part of this vision.

Monday, October 03, 2011

October 3, 2011 – Deuteronomy 11

Once again, he is saying that they saw these things, yet that isn’t true. Their generation was not in Egypt because they are all gone. This appears to be said so often that I wonder if this speech was given at an earlier time in the journey, or at least some parts of it.

We see the obligation to teach your children the law and way of God. That is an obligation that I take very serious and it scares me sometimes thinking about that responsibility. Knowing who I am, the flaws I have, understanding I cannot teach what I do not know, it scares me to think that my children have my knowledge as a cap and cannot exceed that. That is an exaggeration, obviously they can look to other sources, but they will learn much at home and so I am the educator. It encourages me to keep learning and trying to pass things on. To be responsible for a person is a great responsibility. Sometimes you worry about whether you are up to it or not. Pray for all parents and their struggle as leader and teacher of their children.


Sunday, October 02, 2011

October 2, 2011 – Catechism 1066-1070

There are so many people that go to Mass on Sunday and just “get through it” so that they feel they have met their obligation. Mass is the ultimate moment of our worship, the event where Heaven comes to Earth, where we share in Christ Sacrifice, where we join with Him in Worshipping the Father. There is not a greater event happening anywhere on Earth than a Sunday morning Catholic Mass. Yet it is gone to and merely sat through without any sense that what is going on is so special. At one time I think I was almost convinced that the lively music or a short homily were the keys to making the Mass better, but I could not be further from the Truth. What makes the Mass better is a better understanding of what is happening, why things are being done in a certain way and a humble respect for what is taking place. Realizing what is happening and accepting it and being in ah is the first step to making your Mass experience more enjoyable. Music can be a distraction and if you are hoping for a short homily you are not there to grow and you are going to get anything out of it. God is coming among us in a real and physical way and offering to become a physical part of us and asking that we accept Him in our lives and be changed. Let’s start looking at Mass as it is and not as what we wish it would be for our convenience.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

October 1, 2011 – Luke 9:49 - 10:20

The analogy to the plow has always made me curios. Thinking about it, what I come to is that when you give your life to Christ, the way you were living isn’t possible anymore. You cannot say you have fully committed to God if you spend time pining for the “good old days” before your conversion. That “mourning” period is part of the conversion, but I don’t think you are fully there until that pining is behind you. I think if you catch yourself in that situation, you need to start looking forward more than backward because living in the past will cause you to lose out on the present.

So, seventy-two, in groups of two, going to the towns ahead of Jesus. That is 36 towns on the Jesus Christ farewell tour on His way to Jerusalem. I guess it is a good thing Christ tells them to just shake the dust off of their sandals when you see what James and John wanted to do to the Samaritan town, fire from Heaven.

We see that Christ is God in that He says He saw Satan thrown down from Heaven. What a battle and event that must have been. What sadness that must have brought to God to do that to a beloved angel and 1/3 that followed him.