- We are Not the Only One Who Weeps ("Helpful Hints of Life" and Catholic Website of the Week)
- Catholic Cartoonist Puts Down His Pen to Discern Call to Become Norbertine Father (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Angel of God Prayer (under the Praying Hands at end)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Angels of God
`He will give his angels charge of you,' and, `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
On September 29, the Church honors and called upon the archangels Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. And then on October 2, the Church will honor and call upon Guardian Angels. Let’s here it for angels! Yeah!!!
There are almost 300 references to angels in the Sacred Scriptures, but what are they, what do they do, and what does the Church through which Christ speaks say about them?
An angel is a pure spirit being with no body. They were created ‘before’ humanity. They were given a choice at the moment of their creation to serve God or not serve God. Fallen angels, also called devils, chose not to serve God and were separated forever with no possibility of change because their choice is forever.
They are depicted with wings because everything they do, they do ‘instantaneously.’ Every human person at the moment of their conception is assigned a guardian angel. “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels always see the face of my Father in heaven.” -Matthew 18:10-11
When we die, we do NOT become angels. Our soul goes either to Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell and waits to be reunited with our bodies at the Last Judgment when our bodies will be resurrected. If we have loved ones in heaven, they are saints and are "like the angels (Luke 20:36),' but not real angels.
The Church teaches much more on the Holy Angels of God. But the most important is that we should cooperate with our Guardian Angel to get to heaven. Our Guardian Angel is always with us to protect if we let our angel, obtain for us grace if we let our angel, helps us be good if we let our angel. SCROLL DOWN TO THE END TO READ MORE ABOUT ANGELS.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time Sunday Readings can be found at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092522.cfm
P.S.S. More below on the Holy Angels from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
P.S.S.S. Sunday Readings with commentary and reflection questions are near end.
a) because one has to get up so early to do it
b) because we can only do it in silence
c) because we deal with ourselves, our surroundings, and especially the devil
d) because it is something we will on our own
573. What are some objections to praying?(CCC 2726-2728, 2752-2753)
a) people think they do not have the time
b) some think praying is useless
c) some find it difficult or not having effect
d) all of the above
574. What are the difficulties in prayer? (CCC 2729-2733, 2754-2755)
a) being distracted
b) being too happy
c) getting all we want
d) none of the above
- a spiritual being created by God superior to humans in power and intelligence;
- [In medieval angelology, angels constituted the lowest of the nine celestial orders: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels.]
-“who is like God” (The title given to one of the chief angels (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special charge of Israel as a nation. He disputed with Satan(Jude 1:9) about the body of Moses. He is also represented as warning against "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth thewhole world" (Rev. 12:7-9).
-“strength of God” (Dan. 8:16, 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26.)
-“remedy of God” (one of the archangels; the angel of healing and the guardian of Tobias (Tobit 3:17; 5--12).
(-el means “of God”)
We are Not the Only One Who Weeps
Mary’s Tears – Seven Sorrows of Mary
All of the weeping mothers, widows and virgins will add nothing to this copious outpouring that would suffice to cleanse the hearts of ten thousand desperate worlds.
All those who are hurt, destitute or oppressed, the sad tide of humanity that choke the fearful paths of life will find succor in the ample folds of the sky-blue cloak of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.
Each time that someone falls weeping, whether in a throng of people or alone, she is there weeping too, because all tears belong to her as the Empress of Beatitude and Love.
Mary’s tears are the very Blood of Jesus Christ, but differently shed, just as her compassion was a sort of internal crucifixion for the divine humanity of her Son.
-Léon Bloy (1846-1917)
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2610
The Purgatory Project exists to aid the souls in purgatory. Anyone can register the names of people who have died. It costs nothing to register and will benefit those you add to the registry. Perpetual Masses are said for all souls in the Purgatory Project. The site also offers articles and links.
TEACH AND REMIND PEOPLE OF THEIR GUARDIAN ANGELS
From Catholic Schools and PSRs to parish groups, teach and speak about the presence and power of Guardian Angels in each person's life.
An awareness of this friend of God in our lives and in the lives of each person help us keep a better awareness of God and truly following Him.
Pray the "Angel of God" prayer after each class or parish group meeting. Speak and teach about Guardian Angels. Cultivate an awareness of praying to one's guardian angel for daily help, and to pray to the guardian angel of another to help them and help them to be open to interactions with them.
Patrick Cross is shown with his postulant class with the Norbertine Fathers from St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California. One of his pro-life cartoons is also shown. (photo: Courtesy photos / Norbertine photos by Rudy Aguilar )
Susan Klemond InterviewsSeptember 21, 2022Patrick Cross has gained momentum in recent years with cartoons illustrating his love of country, but he’s setting aside cartooning for his first love, Christ, as he discerns priesthood with a community of Norbertine Fathers in Southern California.
For the past seven years, Cross’ cartoons, which are political, reverent, humorous — and sometimes all of the above — have appeared in publications including the Register, National Review, Catholic Vote and TheCollegeFix.com, and on social media.
Cross, 30, grew up with his four siblings in a devout Catholic home-schooling family in Ohio and Massachusetts. He attended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, where he met Norbertine Fathers from St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California. In August, Cross entered the abbey as a postulant.
In this interview with the Register, he talks about responding to a religious call that has meant putting his political cartoons on hold, but not his love of America and drawing.
Can you share about how you developed your interest in drawing?
I was about 5 or 6. My mom went to art school, so she showed me some tricks of the trade, and I was always much better at drawing than reading or writing. I did a lot of it as a boy. I would look at the encyclopedia pictures, and my brother would actually read the encyclopedia. He was the smart one. I was the one who drew pictures.
I read that, early on, you copied sacred artworks and also read the Far Side cartoons. What appealed to you in those very different art forms?
I loved sacred art, especially in high school, and I would definitely copy it. I had a book of Michelangelo, and I would copy the Sistine Chapel particularly. And definitely I loved the Far Side, and I loved Calvin and Hobbes. I still love both of them.
The best art, in my opinion, is generally sacred art. If you want to learn the anatomy, you have to look at and copy the greats. In my cartoons, I try to make them pleasing to look at. Sometimes they were good, and sometimes they weren’t. I hope I got better as time went on. Cartoons, they’re supposed to be kind of ridiculous, but you also want people to actually want to look at them.
How did your family’s faith life inspire your interest in sacred art?
The Catholic faith was always the center of our household growing up. My parents always taught us that your first duty is to worship God. When you have parents who live the faith genuinely, that just bleeds into, hopefully, the life of the family. I think it’s just kind of natural for somebody who’s interested in art, who’s in a good Catholic family, to really want to express the truths of the faith through the gifts God gave them — which, for me, was art.
How did you move from doing sacred art into drawing politically related cartoons?
I do think that the welfare of the country is intimately tied to the welfare of the Church. Obviously, the Church is the most important, and it’s what will endure. The United States will come and go. I think very much because of the piety that my parents instilled in me, and I still have for the country, I think the Church teaches you to love where God has put you. [Cross referenced Jeremiah 29:7.] We’re all pilgrims, and God has sent us into this land. We’re all trying to get home, but he wants us to pray for the welfare of the land he sent us to, and he sent us to America.
My parents, especially towards the end of high school and while I was in college, said, “You should do some political cartoons.” I really didn’t do many cartoons in college. I had started following one political cartoonist, Michael Ramirez, and I was able to meet him at the end of college. I saw what he did, and I thought, “Wow, this is amazing.”
After that, I graduated from college, and I started a blog. I think the first place that really started regularly taking my cartoons was Catholic Vote. After that, it was just a slow process of developing relationships with editors.
Has it sometimes been necessary to criticize the country you love?
I think Christian love speaks truth always. I can’t put it into words how much I love this country, but when things happen in the country that are clearly bad, I think it is incumbent on somebody who loves that country to tell the country that or to speak to it. Especially, for example, with the “LGBTQ” issues or “gay marriage” or abortion, you want to direct your country in a Godly manner. That’s part of love.
What have you most enjoyed about political cartooning, and how do think you’ve made a difference?
Drawing a great political cartoon when you know you have something good, and it resonates.
When it does really well and “catches fire,” that’s exciting, obviously. When you communicate a truth you don’t think has been communicated any other way because images are different than words, that’s exciting.
When I decided to enter religious life, lots of people reached out and told me they loved my work. I think it made a difference. I hope my cartoons communicate truth; that’s the most important thing, and I think they did that — [though] imperfectly.
I wanted people to not be discouraged. I think [Christians] feel like they’re alone, and seeing a cartoon that says the things that you know are true, but you don’t see other people saying, it makes you realize you can still see truth and “I’m not alone.”
Can you give an example?
A cartoon on marriage published in the Register in July shows an image of a jet plane with wings on either side of the body labeled “man” and “woman.” A second image shows a plane with its two wings on the same side of the body, which are both labeled “man.”
That cartoon was picked up online, and it went viral because someone with a big following who didn’t like it posted it on Twitter. It made people very, very angry because, right now, the whole issue of gay marriage is kind of a third rail [avoided topic], even in conservative circles.
There was a lot of pushback, but you know you’re speaking the truth when people go after you.
When did you start sensing you might be called to priesthood?
A priest friend, my spiritual director, started encouraging me to consider it in 2019. I didn’t think when I was 5 years old, “I want to be a priest.” It wasn’t like that. I started looking in different places, and I dragged my feet because it’s hard to decide to enter formation.
What made you consider religious life with the Norbertine Fathers?
I looked [for] the support of a community religious life, the idea of living in community, experiencing the common good of that community and worshipping Christ together.
For me, I really look to the community life. [Some of the Norbertines] from St. Michael’s Abbey are priests who run parishes or teach, but the focus and the center of life is liturgy.
I knew about [the Norbertines] well before I was seriously considering them, by reputation through [Father Hildebrand Garceau, chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College while Cross was a student, and Father Sebastian Walsh, both alumni of the college]. Then one of my very good college friends entered about a year after graduation. I would visit him and St. Michael’s Abbey.
There’s an incredibly strong community life here, based on prayer and liturgy. They do the Liturgy of the Hours; they say a beautiful Mass. There’s just so much beauty in the life that’s lived here and just the witness of the priests and the men in formation. I visited other orders, as well.
What are your hopes for priestly ministry, if you are ultimately called to it? Do you think you will have opportunities to draw?
I don’t think I’ve drawn my last cartoon. I’m taking a break from it in its current form. The main thing, of course, is just learning to bring the sacraments to the faithful. That’s huge. And communicating the truths of the Church in a way that is helpful.
It’s definitely hard letting go in the current way I was using those skills, to do several cartoons a week. I don’t know what future cartoons would be like, but I suspect I’ll probably do more in the future. It could definitely be different, but I think if God wants it to happen, it will.
1) Go to MassRyan Scheel explains that “studies have found that only one-third of men attend Mass weekly.”
He continues, “One of the things that gives men identity is a sense of duty.
“Number one: Mass is fulfilling. It’s spiritually nourishing and you’re communing with the Body of Christ. But there’s also a sense of fulfilling your duty. You have a duty as a Catholic to attend Mass every week. There’s few things that edify a man more than the ability to consistently fulfill his duty.
“You look at soldiers, you look at fathers of past generations–of course, you wake up, you do your job, you do it well. As a Catholic man, your job is to go to Mass every week.
“The sense of accomplishment that you can have a sort of structure in your life to go to Mass every week–number one, it provides a structure to your week. Number two, it provides a sense of accomplishment of your duty as a Christian.
“To me, the most important part is number three: the impact of what happens to the families of Catholics where the man does not go to Mass.”
Click here find out what happens to families when the male does not go to Mass.
2) Pray the Rosary and Perform Consecration to Jesus Through MaryScheel explains that “you cannot understate the importance of manliness, but still having the subjugation to Our Mother…there’s something to be said for a real devotion to the tender love of Our Lady that absolutely nurtures a man to be what he should be.”
Fr. Rich Pagano adds, “Mary is the perfection of femininity. She is the New Eve.”
“When I went through my reversion…the very first contact that I had was with the Blessed Mother and her Sorrows–the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
“Learning the Rosary, praying the Rosary–and it’s the manifest femininity of the Blessed Virgin Mary that drew me out to make me want to become more of a man,” Fr. Pagano says.
3) Participate in the Parish “Male participation in parish life, councils, etc., and creating a masculine presence is necessary for the life of parishes,” Scheel explains.
“Male participation has been seated in many cases to women, and men no longer find a real home in the parish because they’ve been somewhat feminized by the nature that women are the ones making those decisions,” Scheel explains.
“And rightly, they’re making decisions from their own genius, so they do things that make sense to them. But they don’t have the complimentary male perspective to then be adding to what they’re doing. This is not to say that female participation in parishes make them overly-feminized, it’s saying that it’s lacking male participation to balance that to make it a full-functioning place.”
Scheel adds that male participation in parish life “brings the Church into the community where it can actually have an impact on society,” and faith and parish life no longer becomes the view that religion is merely something personal–it’s communal.
“You don’t have to set up the tent or anything, but just go to something, and shake hands with somebody else and just get to know them.” Ryan DellaCrosse adds.
4) Spend time with other Catholic menBecoming involved in parish life allows men to spend time with other men, Scheel explains.
The four guys then explain the importance of Christian brotherhood.
5) Practice AsceticismAccording to Baxter of Exodus 90, asceticism means “acts of self-denial,” or saying no to things we want so “we can say yes…to love–wherever the Lord calls us.”
Angels Accompany Us on the Path to Salvation, Pope Says
Vatican City, Sep 29 (EWTN News/CNA) -
Christians and angels cooperate “together in God’s salvific design,” Pope Francis told Catholics in his morning homily, on the Feast of the Archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
He elaborated, saying that angels serve God by accompanying all people on the path to salvation. Each archangel has a specific role, he explained: protection, annunciation, and guidance.
“Michael is the one who fights against the devil,” he said. The archangel Michael aids our resistance against Satan’s temptations, and protects us when the devil tries to claim us as his own, Pope Francis said.
Gabriel is the bearer of good news, he continued. “Gabriel too accompanies us and helps us on our journey when we ‘forget’ the Gospel,” he said, noting the archangel’s message acts as a reminder that “Jesus came to save us.”
Raphael, he said, “walks with us taking care of us on our journey and helping us not take the wrong step.”
The Pope encouraged Catholics to call upon the help of the archangels, and concluded by invoking their intercession.
“Michael: help us in our battle – each of us has a battle to fight in our lives; Gabriel: bring us news, bring us the good news of salvation; Raphael: take us by the hand and lead us forward without taking the wrong turning,” the Pope prayed. “Always walking forward, but with your help!”
THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MOTHER TERESA'S LIFE
By Mary Rezac
Vatican City (EWTN News/CNA) - It’s been said that saints often come in pairs.
Sts. Peter and Paul, Mary and Joseph, Francis and Clare, and Louis and Zelie Martin are just a handful of such saints, coupled together through marriage or friendship.
Perhaps the best-known modern saintly pair of friends would be Mother Teresa and John Paul II, whose lives intersected many times during her time as Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, and his pontificate.
When John Paul II came to visit Mother Teresa’s home in the heart of the slums in Kolkata in 1986, Mother Teresa called declared it “the happiest day of my life.”
When he arrived, Mother Teresa climbed up into the white popemobile and kissed the ring of the Bishop of Rome, who then kissed the top of Mother’s head, a greeting they would exchange almost every time they met.
After their warm hello, Mother took John Paul II to her Nirmal Hriday (Sacred Heart) home, a home for the sick and the dying she had founded in the 1950s.
Footage of the visit shows Mother Teresa leading John Paul II by the hand to various parts of the home, while he stops to embrace, bless, and greet the patients. He also blessed four corpses, including that of a child.
According to reports of the visit from the BBC, the Pope was “visibly moved” by what he saw during his visit, as he helped the nuns feed and care for the sick and the dying. At some points the Pope was so disturbed by what he saw that he found himself speechless in response to Mother Teresa.
Afterwards, the Pope gave a short address outside the home, calling Nirmal Hriday “a place that bears witness to the primacy of love.”
“When Jesus Christ was teaching his disciples how they could best show their love for him, he said: 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' Through Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, and through the many others who have served here, Jesus has been deeply loved in people whom society often considers ‘the least of our brethren,’” the Pope remarked.
“Nirmal Hriday proclaims the profound dignity of every human person. The loving care which is shown here bears witness to the truth that the worth of a human being is not measured by usefulness or talents, by health or sickness, by age or creed or race. Our human dignity comes from God our Creators in whose image we are all made. No amount of privation or suffering can ever remove this dignity, for we are always precious in the eyes of God,” he added.
After his address, the Pope greeted the gathered crowds, making a special stop to greet the smiling and singing sisters of the Missionaries of Charity.
Besides calling the visit the happiest day of her life, Mother Teresa also added: "It is a wonderful thing for the people, for his touch is the touch of Christ."
The two remained close friends, visiting each other several times over the years. After her death in 1997, John Paul II waived the five-year waiting period usually observed before opening her cause for canonization. At her beatification in 2003, John Paul II praised Mother Teresa’s love for God, shown through her love for the poor.
“Let us praise the Lord for this diminutive woman in love with God, a humble Gospel messenger and a tireless benefactor of humanity. In her we honour one of the most important figures of our time. Let us welcome her message and follow her example.”
The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. "These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy." A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1399
-My dog once ate all the Scrabble tiles. He kept leaving messages around the house for days.
----Wife asks her husband: “Did you like the dinner today?“-Husband replies: “Really, Shirley? Why are you always trying to pick a fight?”
-The first time I see a jogger smile, I will consider it.
-My dad always said fight fire with fire…that is probably why we got thrown out of the volunteer fire department.
-Little Johnny to his mom: “I shot 4 goals at the soccer match today!” Mom: “Wonderful, looks like your team won, right?” Little Johnny: “Not really, we tied 2:2.”
Teacher tells little Johnny, “You know very well you can’t sleep in my class, Johnny.” Johnny admits, “Yes, I know miss. But maybe, if you didn’t speak quite so loud, I could.”
Dentist's Hymn ................................Crown Him with Many Crowns
Weatherman's Hymn ......................There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
Contractor's Hymn ........................The Church's One Foundation
The Tailor's Hymn ...........................Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer's Hymn .........................There's a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician's Hymn....................Standing on the Promises
Optometrist's Hymn.......................Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent's Hymn .....................I Surrender All
The Gossip's Hymn ..........................Pass It On
The Electrician's Hymn ....................Send The Light
The Shopper's Hymn ........................Sweet Bye and Bye
The Realtor's Hymn..........................I've Got a Mansion Just over the Hilltop
The Massage Therapists Hymn .......He touched Me
The Doctor's Hymn .............................The Great Physician
AND for those who speed on the highway - a few hymns:
45mph ....................God Will Take Care of You
65mph ...................Nearer My God To Thee
85mph ....................This World Is Not My Home
95mph .....................Lord, I'm Coming Home
100mph ..................Precious Memories
You May Choose 3
One Sunday a pastor told the congregation that the church needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns.
After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he'd like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate. A very quiet, elderly, saintly lady all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front.
Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in gratitude asked her to pick out three hymns. Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three handsomest men in the building and said, "I'll take him and him and him."
Angel of God, My Guardian Dear
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side
to light and to guard
to rule and to guide. Amen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1073
326 ... Finally, "heaven" refers to the saints and the "place" of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God.186
I. THE ANGELS
The existence of angels - a truth of faith
328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.
Who are they?
329 St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'"188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word".189
330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.190
Christ "with all his angels"
331 Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are his angels: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. . "191 They belong to him because they were created through and for him: "for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through him and for him."192 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?"193
332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham's hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples.194Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.195
333 From the Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels. When God "brings the firstborn into the world, he says: 'Let all God's angels worship him.'"196 Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church's praise: "Glory to God in the highest!"197 They protect Jesus in his infancy, serve him in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden, when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been.198 Again, it is the angels who "evangelize" by proclaiming the Good News of Christ's Incarnation and Resurrection.199 They will be present at Christ's return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgement.200
The angels in the life of the Church
334 In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.201
335 In her liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God. She invokes their assistance (in the funeral liturgy's In Paradisum deducant te angeli. . .["May the angels lead you into Paradise. . ."]). Moreover, in the "Cherubic Hymn" of the Byzantine Liturgy, she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the guardian angels).
336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life."203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.
350 Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: "The angels work together for the benefit of us all" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3).
351 The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.
352 The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.
188 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 103,1,15: PL 37,1348.
189 Mt 18:10; Ps 103:20.
190 Cf. Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3891; Lk 20:36; Dan 10:9-12.
191 Mt 25:31.
192 Col 1:16.
193 Heb 1:14.
194 Cf. Job 38:7 (where angels are called "sons of God"); Gen 3:24; 19; 21:17; 22:11; Acts 7:53; Ex 23:20-23; Judg 13; 6:11-24; Isa 6:6; 1 Kings 19:5.
195 Cf. Lk 1:11,26.
196 Heb 1:6.
197 Lk 2:14.
198 Cf. Mt 1:20; 2:13,19; 4:11; 26:53; Mk 1:13; Lk 22:43; 2 Macc 10:29-30; 11:8.
199 Cf. Lk 2:8-14; Mk 16:5-7.
200 Cf. Acts 1:10-11; Mt 13:41; 24:31; Lk 12:8-9.
201 Cf. Acts 5:18-20; 8:26-29; 10:3-8; 12:6-11; 27:23-25.
202 Cf. Mt 18:10; Lk 16:22; Ps 34:7; 91:10-13; Job 33:23-24; Zech 1:12; Tob 12:12.
203 St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, I: PG 29,656B.
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
The First Reading- Amos 6:1A-, 4-7
Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall! Improvising to the music of the harp, like David, they devise their own accompaniment. They drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves with the best oils; yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph! Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.
Amos is one of the oldest of the literary (writing) prophets. A Judean (from the southern kingdom) who was sent to northern Israel, he is best remembered for his strident denunciations of the social injustices of his day. In today’s passage, Amos rebukes the aristocracy of Jerusalem, the wealthy elite, who led lives of comfort and leisure in the capital city of the southern kingdom but were “not made ill by the collapse of Joseph,” that is, cared nothing for the fact that their fellow Israelites to the north (Joseph=the northern kingdom) were being decimated, impoverished, and killed by repeated incursions of enemy armies. The fact that ten of the twelve tribes of the LORD were being faced with exile and extinction did not make an impression on these wealthy southerners. As a result, Amos prophecies that they will share the same fate as their northern cousins: “They shall be the first to go into exile!” So it came to be: when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon later invaded Judea on multiple occasions, he exiled the Judean people, starting with the wealthiest.
Adults - How do you help the poor in your community?
Teens - The word poor doesn't always refer to material wealth. Some people are poor from lack of companionship, lack of understanding, etc. How can you reach out to someone who is poor in some way?
Kids - How can you encourage others to care for the poor?
Responsorial- Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
Blessed he who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
-This Psalm stresses the character of the LORD, the God of Israel: He is on the side of the poor, the downtrodden, those who are weak, vulnerable and innocent. This is the character of the God we worship.
How can you imitate the character of God?
The Second Reading- 1 Tim 6:11-16
But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
In this reading St. Paul links virtues of compassion with the kingdom of God. He exhorts Timothy to practice “righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” These virtues, especially “love, patience, and gentleness,” forbid us to be callous toward those in need, harsh with the downtrodden, brusque with the uneducated. The practice of these virtues, St. Paul insists, is linked to one day beholding “our Lord Jesus Christ, that blessed and only ruler … the King of Kings and Lord of lords.” Yes, Jesus Christ is omnipotent and eternal God, who cares for the weak, the poor, the shamed, the rejected, the ridiculed, the slow, the feeble. Blessed are those who practice “love patience, and gentleness” toward such.
Choose one of the above virtues and commit to working on that virtue for at least a week.
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 16:19-31
Jesus said to the Pharisees: "There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.' Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.' He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.' But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.' He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'"
Jewish views of the afterlife at the time of our Lord held that those who died went to the netherworld (Sheol in classical Hebrew or Hades in Greek) where they awaited the Day of Judgment. Within the netherworld there were places of comfort as well as places of pain. The “bosom of Abraham” was the best part of the netherworld, a pleasant land where the righteous enjoyed the consolation of their ancestors, particularly Abraham himself. The “bosom of Abraham” was separated from the rest of the netherworld, where others received punishments appropriate to their sins, by rivers or chasms. The Rich Man is receiving punishment in the afterlife because of his sins, and the parable implies that his primary sin was his utter disregard for the welfare of a fellow Israelite, Lazarus, who begged at the door of his house in utter squalor, lacking even basic necessities. In this attitude he parallels the wealthy elite of Jerusalem from the First Reading, who were not in the least distressed by the decimation of their cousins to the north. Jesus is condemning the callousness of those who live lives of self-indulgence while ignoring the needs of the poor, especially the poor of their own community, or their own community of faith.
Adults - Do you know someone whom you can help in a hands on way? A neighbor that needs assistance getting to the store, someone who is homebound and needs company? Try to help someone in a tangible way this week.
Teens - Do you know the local charities in your area? Research them and see how you can help them.
Kids - Tty to do three acts of kindness this week.
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! –“God forbid that any of us should be numbered amongst these foolish people, for there is no greater folly on earth than to miss the real and only purpose in life because of a few trivial, passing attractions. We are not forbidden to have some of this world's goods. We need some, and God it was who provided them for our use. But we must use them properly and we must not set them up as idols to be adored. On all sides of us there are Lazaruses placed at our gates by God to give us an opportunity to exercise fraternal charity. Be a true brother to them now and you will not have to envy them hereafter.
If on the other hand your lot is that of a Lazarus—and many there are whose life is one long, continual struggle against poverty, disease and hardship—try to carry your cross patiently. Envy of your neighbor and rebellion against God will only add to, and do not cure, your ills. The day of judgment, which for you will be the day of reward, if you are humble and patient, is around the comer. Eternal happiness is worth twenty lives of earthly ill-fortune.” — The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.
572. Why is prayer a “battle”? c) because we deal with ourselves, our surroundings, and especially the devil
Prayer is a gift of grace but it always presupposes a determined response on our part because those who pray “battle” against themselves, their surroundings, and especially the Tempter who does all he can to turn them away from prayer. The battle of prayer is inseparable from progress in the spiritual life. We pray as we live because we live as we pray.
573. What are some objections to praying? d) all of the above
Along with erroneous notions of prayer, many think they do not have the time to pray or that praying is useless. Those who pray can be discouraged in the face of difficulties and apparent lack of success. Humility, trust and perseverance are necessary to overcome these obstacles.
574. What are the difficulties in prayer? a) being distracted
Distraction is a habitual difficulty in our prayer. It takes our attention away from God and can also reveal what we are attached to. Our heart therefore must humbly turn to the Lord. Prayer is often affected by dryness. Overcoming this difficulty allows us to cling to the Lord in faith, even without any feeling of consolation. Acedia is a form of spiritual laziness due to relaxed vigilance and a lack of custody of the heart.