Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Through the ‘Our Father,’ we are never alone, teaches Pope Benedict

 I found this article at CNA and decided to share. Great words from our Holy Father,


Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Jul 25, 2010 / 10:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The “Our Father” helps us to confront the difficulties in our lives, said the Holy Father on Sunday. In reciting the prayer, we never find ourselves alone as our voices are "intertwined with that of the Church."

This Sunday’s Angelus took place amidst the festive atmosphere of Castel Gandolfo’s "Sagra delle pesche," an annual festival celebrating the local peach production. For the occasion, the Holy Father was presented with a basket of local white peaches which were blessed at a nearby parish, shortly before the Angelus.

During his catechesis, the Pope reflected on Sunday’s Gospel from Luke in which Jesus is asked by the disciples to teach them how to pray. To this, Benedict XVI said, "Jesus does not make objections, He does not speak of strange or esoteric formulas, but with great simplicity He says: 'When you are praying, say, “Father...,' and he taught the Our Father, taking it from his own prayer, with which he addressed God, his Father."

We learn these words from St. Matthew's Gospel from the time we are young, he pointed out. "They imprint themselves in our memory, mold our lives, they accompany us up to our last breath. They reveal that we are not already completely children of God, but we must become them and be them ... through our ever deeper communion with Jesus.

"Being children becomes the equivalent of following Christ," he said, quoting a passage from the first "Jesus of Nazareth" book.

The Our Father prayer "takes and also expresses” our human and spiritual needs, he explained, alluding to the phrase "Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins."

The Pontiff noted that this “is not an 'asking' to satisfy one's own wishes, as much rather as gaining from it friendship with God, who - as the Gospel says - "will give the Holy Spirit to those that ask it of him.

People throughout history have become "friends of God" through prayer, he added, saying that among them was St. Teresa of Avila. And it was she, he pointed out, "who invited her sisters to 'beseech God to deliver us from these perils forever and to keep us from all evil! And although our desire for this may not be perfect, let us strive to make the petition. What does it cost us to ask it, since we ask it of One Who is so powerful?'

"Whenever we recite the Our Father, our voice is intertwined with that of the Church, so that he who prays is never alone.“

Concluding the thought with a quotation from a 1989 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Christian meditation, Pope Benedict said, "From the rich variety of Christian prayer as proposed by the Church, each member of the faithful should seek and find his own way, his own form of prayer.... therefore, let himself be led ... by the Holy Spirit, who guides him, through Christ, to the Father."

He ended his catechesis in prayer for the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, the location of the tomb of St. James, whose feast is celebrated on Sunday. He also asked that the Virgin Mary "help us to rediscover the beauty and the depth of Christian prayer."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekly This and That!

 So I like to surf the net and look for various sites that have something to do with being Catholic. This can be blogs, Catholic News sites and even churches. When I first started back on to this long and winding road in my faith I started attending mass at the local parish. I quickly started to wonder as the weeks went by as to really how much the church had changed and what disrespect there was with the way people were dressed for mass and overall general behaviour and general overall lack of respect for what was happening at mass. Summertime it got worse as the flip flop crowd" started to attend mass, decked out in their Sunday finest, flip flops shorts on the guys half way down their rear ends with the matching tank top and the ladies with their short shorts and halter tops, oh don't forget the ball caps sideways on their heads! People texting during mass and some even getting up during mass as their cell phones were ringing and answering as they were walking out. This to me was unacceptable and really disturbing.

 Well in surfing around I looked at the weekly bulletin and saw that finally the Parish Priest has a strong few lines written in about what not to wear to church. I wonder if it works. Certainly the current Hungarian Parish we attend is different as people generally wear their Sunday best! No cell phones either! I guess it is a form of respect that has carried through for the church. I remeber my mother always making sure that when ever we did attend we were dressed properly.

 Talking about Hungarian Parishes as many of you know who do stop by my blog that we have no parish priest and truthfully I do not expect one. Call it a gut feeling but that is what I think. Anyways in Cleveland there has been a strong fight from the local Hungarian community to keep their parish from closing, including  a sit in. Not quite sure why the diocese decided to close the parish down but it certainly has raise the ire of the Hungarian community. Also in fairness I do not know how strong the Hungarian community is at that particular parish.

 Here is a link to St. Emeric in Cleveland and they have kept it updated through this whole mess.

St. Emeric Church

 I certainly wonder how long certain ethnic parishes heve to survive. I know the Hungarian parishes here in the Toronto area are starting to dwindle in number of parishoners as the parish basically ages and dies out. There are no huge immigration waves, Hungary is non communist now and although economically weak at the moment their are no refugees coming from there anymore coming over.

 Also a lot of parishioners like myself who are first generation slipped away as we moved farther away and really had to be intregated into North American society, and it would be a hassle for the parents to drive in to the church, etc. Also what I have found or better word seen at least at the parish we attend that not many kids attend mass. For us too luckily our daughter has started to attend with us and even came to a parish function and enjoyed herself and she enjoys the Hungarian mass over the English mass she saw at her/our school/local parish. But as I started to say not many young people at the Hungarian mass also it seems that even though there are Hungarian groups at the parish involving the younger people, Scouts etc. they do not seem to attend mass. It seems that the community is the center of the parish and not the church and it seems that any spiritual learning or enrichment is not required nor even asked for, making the church almost obsolete in the Hungarian community. To me the church should be the focal point and all groups should evolve from there and be tied back to the church. I am not sure and can't comment on the Cleveland situation other than I have not seen too many young people involved.

 I think as the numbers dwindle in the ethnic communities the "leaders" should be looking at trying to build strength through the community church thus making a strong parish which can thrive and survive and help pass down the heritage of a culture to future generations because if not ST. Emeric and many more ethnic churches will continue to close. Also the culture will crumble and be lost!

The Sunday Reading

First Reading
Genesis 18:20-32

In those days, the LORD said: "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out."

While Abraham's visitors walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer and said: "Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?" The LORD replied, "If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

Abraham spoke up again: "See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?"
He answered, "I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there." But Abraham persisted, saying "What if only forty are found there?" He replied, "I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty." Then Abraham said, "Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?" He replied, "I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there."

Still Abraham went on, "Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?"
The LORD answered, "I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty." But he still persisted: "Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?" He replied, "For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it."


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me;
against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.


Second Reading
Colossians 2:12-14

Brothers and sisters: You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And even when you were dead in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions;
obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.


Holy Gospel
Luke 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test."

And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,' and he says in reply from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.' I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Something to Ponder

 I was reading through today's first reading. The Lord speaks to Jeremiah and as I read this it was quite evident that the Lord today is still speaking this to all of us! Here is the reading and you be the judge.

First Reading
Jeremiah 7:1-11

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Stand at the gate of the house of the LORD, and there proclaim this message: Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD! Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place. Put not your trust in the deceitful words: "This is the temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!" Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place, in the land I gave your fathers long ago and forever.

But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss! Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal, go after strange gods that you know not, and yet come to stand before me in this house which bears my name, and say: "We are safe; we can commit all these abominations gain"? Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I too see what is being done, says the LORD.

 Considering how everything is going on in the world today I think we should all start to listen and do what the Lord has asked of us! Sorry to sound like I am pessimistic but everyday I see more and more that really troubles me. Be it with the youth we see out and about, be it with business leaders or be it with political leaders. Sadly and don't get me wrong as I am not super religious I am just a lost soul at best struggling to get on the correct path but when things are wrong they are wrong. So let us all try to listen to  the Lord and maybe with small steps make this truly a better place for all of us!! God Bless!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Update Time

So where has this guy been? Nothing lately just the weekly Sunday readings. Is he around at all? Yes I am around and it has been an interesting journey the past month with the usual up and downs.

First I am adding a new link to a blog. The blog is from Fr. Michael Slusz and is called Come Holy Spirit. Fr. Slusz does an excellent job of interpreting the Daily Gospel into a very understandable form. So please drop by he has an excellent site!

 Next as mentioned in an older post we were attending a feast at another Hungarian church where our former Parish Priest now resides and as Father B's standards it was quaint and very well done and a great atmosphere. A wonderful mass with not 1 not 2 but 5 Hungarian priests including the Parish Priest from Toronto  and a visiting priest from Hungary. Our parish has no priest as you know except for Father Andrew who is brought down from the retirement center. 

 Father A has done wonderful considering he is 80 but age has crept in and caused some struggles for him through mass, but he keeps trying to keep us together.

 We have also signed up for 1 day retreat through the Toronto Hungarian church to see a shrine to Jesuits Martyrs here in Ontario. It will be in August and as the Father from the Toronto church has instructed  it is not a day trip but a spiritual journey with Prayer and interpreting of the bible on the bus trip. Once at the Shrine we will have mass at the Hungarian site of the Shrine and have also a Stations of the Cross along with more spiritual readings before we return home. Of course we will also have time to visit the shrine and pray and take in what we see and be closer to the Lord. As we get closer I will provide a link as this is truly and amazing place! I have also taken up dialogue with the Toronto Parish Priest about wanting to learn more and develop spiritually. It seems like God does work in mysterious ways and we are very seriously looking at switching parishes. It would be better for us especially for me spiritually as there is so much I want to learn and explore.

 On personal notes at work where we have been past slow we got good news as it now appears after not having any major projects for the last year and basically staring down the barrel of closing we have at least one up to 3 projects come in on Friday! Doors stay open for a while yet! Meantime after applying for a position in Hungary and losing out at the final decision and also applying with the local Catholic School Board it appears my wife received that position after being rejected for a previous teaching position with the board. Everything to be finalized this week with a late August start to her new job! 

 Thank you Lord for what you have given us!

The Sunday Reading

First Reading
Genesis 18:1-10a

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, he said: "Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way." The men replied, "Very well, do as you have said."

Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, "Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls."
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. Then Abraham got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before the three men; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.

They asked Abraham, "Where is your wife Sarah?" He replied, "There in the tent." One of them said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son."


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 5

R. (1a) He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
One who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
One who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.


Second Reading
Colossians 1:24-28

Brothers and sisters: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.


Holy Gospel
Luke 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Readings

First Reading
Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Moses said to the people: "If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul.

"For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, 'Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out."


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37

R. (cf. 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness:
in your great mercy turn toward me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
The descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.


Second Reading
Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church.

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.


Holy Gospel
Luke 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply,
You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself."

He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.

Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.'Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Today's Gospel

In reading the gospel for today it struck me that how appropriate these words are for today. Please read through and let me know what you think.

Matthew 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles: "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Sunday Reading

First Reading
Isaiah 66:10-14c


Thus says the LORD: Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her! Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts! For thus says the LORD: Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass; the LORD's power shall be known to his servants.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
"Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!"
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.



Second Reading
Galatians 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God.

From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.


Holy Gospel
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20


At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.' Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say,
'The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.' Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town."

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power to 'tread upon serpents' and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Prayer

Lord God, I come from dust and to dust I shall return. You, however, existed before all time, and every creature takes its being from you. ...