- Catholic Bible Apologetics - Explain our Catholic Faith from the Holy Bible (under the laptop - Catholic Website)
- Pope Gives Thousands of Rosaries to Christians in Syria (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Save Money and Gas with some simple driving Hints (Helpful Hints for Life)
-***NEW FEATURE*** CATHOLIC QUESTIONS AND CATHOLIC ANSWERS is a new section of the e-weekly (see below) ***NEW FEATURE***
BEST PARISH PRACTICE is also BACK! (see below)
Roman Catholic Good News
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Back to School, Back to Truth, Back to Prayer
“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." (John 18:37-38)
Dear friends in Christ Jesus,
Many people this time of year usually are trying to back into the habit of education and a regular 9 month schedule called school. For some it is brand new, bringing excitement; for others it is a struggle that may bring stress. This year with the pandemic, it uniquely challenging. Yet, all of us ought to continue to learn even if we do not ‘go to school.’
But an education is first meant to lead us to truth, and to the one ultimate truth, God. For Jesus (Who is God) said, “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life. (John 14:6)” And what is knowledge and education if it does not lead one to its source? Plus, it was the Catholic Church that gave us Universities and the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Let you and I continue in pursuit of truth and the Truth, Jesus Christ!
Finally, as many people return to school and summer begins to wane, many will return to a formal schedule of prayer that summer may not have allowed. Prayer must ALWAYS be a part of your life and mine, day in and day out. But if prayer has not really been a part of your life, please start again right now!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time. >> Readings
For a weekday homily (Queenship of Mary) (2 minutes respectively):
a. she prayed to herself
b. by faith and the offering of her whole being
c. only on her knees
d. none of the above
547. Is there a prayer of Mary in the Gospel? (CCC 2619)
a. No, only prayers of Jesus
b. Yes, the Hail Mary (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord…)
c. Yes, the Magnificat (My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…)
d. No, Mary always prays silently in the Gospels
PRAYER IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
548. How did the first Christian community in Jerusalem pray? (CCC 2623-2624)
a. they were educated in the life of prayer by the Holy Spirit
b. by dedicating themselves to the teachings of the apostles
c. by the “Breaking of the Bread” (the Mass)
d. all of the above
549. How does the Holy Spirit intervene in the Church’s prayer? (CCC 2623, 2625)
a. by uniting us to Jesus
b. Jesus is the only way to pray
c. the Holy Spirit is the only one who prays in the Church
d. by possessing us and making us pray
truth (from Old English trEowth “fidelity”)
-conformity of mind and reality
[Namely, it is the conformity of our mind to the greatest reality which is God; in Jesus, Incarnate Truth.]
Saving on Gas and being More Safe on the Road
1) Accelerate slowing; do not drive aggressively (save average of 33%)
2) Lower speeds (save average 12%) [Speed Limit or 5 less]
3) Use cruise control (save average 7%)
4) Remove excess weight (can save up to 2%)
5) Do not let your car idle for long. It only takes 10 seconds worth of gas to re-start it.
In Jesus Christ, the whole of God's truth has been made manifest. "Full of grace and truth," he came as the "light of the world," he is the Truth. "Whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." The disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to know "the truth [that] will make you free" and that sanctifies. To follow Jesus is to live in "the Spirit of truth," whom the Father sends in his name and who leads "into all the truth." To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: "Let what you say be simply 'Yes or No.'" -Catechism of the Catholic Church #2466
What does the Roman Catholic Church teach about ...? ... and why?
This website surveys the origin and development of Roman Catholic Christianity from the period of the apostolic church, through the post-apostolic church and into the conciliar movement. Principal attention is paid to the biblical basis of both doctrine and dogma as well as the role of paradosis (i.e. handing on the truth) in the history of the Church. Particular attention is also paid to the hierarchical founding and succession of leadership throughout the centuries.
[For those traveling this summer and needing to get to the Holy Mass.]
MASS TIMES AND CATHOLIC CHURCHESthroughout the US
Some parishes offer retreats at their parish, but many also coordinate weekend retreats to a Diocesan Retreat House or a local monastery. There are retreats for all ages usually closer than one realizes, and they can greatly bless those who participate.
Most people need time to hear God and recharge spiritually, but daily life often leaves little time and room to do that. Retreats in holy and/or quiet places can really connect or re-connect people to God. Powerful preached men and women retreats can help stir faith into flame for God, marriage, and family. High school and college age retreats can make the Faith more relatable to that age group, too.
Consult and ask your Parish Priest if it is okay to coordinate this for your parish. Or ask your Parish Priest, office staff, or someone at the diocese to make a list available to put in the bulletin or provide to men and women groups in your parish. When one or two of you go on retreat, and its effect is seen by others, that may lead to others going!
God does not abandon us, however. Photos of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary surviving the explosion surfaced. The statue appears to be a grotto on the side of a building in Beirut.
These photos truly exemplify Our Lady’s love for her children!
Pointing to how Peter begins to sink when walking toward Jesus on the water in the day's Gospel reading, Francis noted that the same thing can happen to us when we put our trust in false securities.
“When we do not cling to the Word of the Lord, but consult horoscopes and fortune tellers, we begin to sink,” the Pope said Aug. 13.
The episode, he said, serves as a reminder “that faith in the Lord and in his word does not open a path where everything is calm and easy; it does not take us away from the storms of life.”
Rather, “faith gives us the security of a presence that pushes us to overcome the existential storms, the certainty of a hand that grabs us in order to help us in difficulties, showing the way even when it's dark.”
“Faith, then, is not an escape from life's problems, but it supports on the journey and gives it meaning.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for his weekly Angelus address, focusing on the day's Gospel reading from Matthew, in which Jesus walks on water in the midst of a storm, and beckons Peter to come to him. Peter initially begins to walk toward Jesus, but starts to sink out of fear when he sees the waves, and cries out for Jesus to rescue him.
This episode, Francis said, has a lot of symbolism for both individuals, and for the Church as a whole.
The boat can represent the life of each person, but also the life of the Church, he said, explaining that the wind signifies the “difficulties and trials” each will face.
Peter's cry of “Lord, command me to come to you,” and then his plea “Lord, save me!” represent both our desire feel close to the Lord, and “the fear and anguish which accompany us in the most difficult moments of our lives and our communities, marked by internal fragility and external difficulty,” Francis said.
In the moment when he looked at the wind and the waves and began to fear, Peter wasn't founded on the Word of God, “which was like an outstretched rope to cling to in front of the hostile and turbulent waters.”
The same thing happens to us when we put our faith in trivial, worldly securities, rather than in the Lord, he said.
Pope Francis said the passage is “a stupendous image” of the reality of the Church throughout the ages: “a ship which, along the crossing, must counter winds and storms which threaten to overwhelm it.”
What saves the ship is not the courage and quality of it's men, he said, but rather, “the guarantee against a shipwreck is faith in Christ and in his word.”
“On this ship we are safe, despite our miseries and weaknesses, above all when we get on our knees and adore the Lord” as the disciples did, who, after Jesus calmed the storm, prostrated themselves and said “truly you are the Son of God!”
To drive the point home, Francis had the crowd repeat the phrase, listening as they shouted “truly you are the Son of God” three times.
Francis closed his address asking that the Virgin Mary intercede in helping all to “stay firm in the faith in order to resist the storms of life, to stay on the boat of the Church, eschewing the temptation to go on amusing, yet insecure boats of ideologies, fashions and slogans.”
He then led pilgrims in praying the traditional Marian prayer and greeted various groups of youth from around Italy before asking for prayer and giving his blessing.
Man tends by nature toward the truth. He is obliged to honor and bear witness to it: "It is in accordance with their dignity that all men, because they are persons . . . are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #2467
Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married? Ruthless.
Q. What do call pastors in Germany? German Shepherds
Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible? Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.
On the first day of school, the teacher asked a student, "What are your parents' names?" The student replied, "My father's name is Laughing and my mother's name is Smiling." The teacher said, "Are you kidding?" The student said, "No, Kidding is my brother. I am Joking."
-I dreamt I was forced to eat a giant marshmallow. When I woke up, my pillow was gone.
-Why is women’s soccer so rare?---It’s quite hard to find enough women willing to wear the same outfit.
-I saw a poster today, somebody was asking “Have you seen my cat?” So I called the number and said that I didn’t. I like to help where I can.
-My neighbors are listening to great music. Whether they like it or not.
Fun at the Office…
Bring in some dry ice and make it look like your coworker’s computer is smoking.
"Do you believe in life after death?" the boss asked one of his employees.
"Yes, sir," the new employee replied.
"Well, then, that makes everything just fine," the boss went on. "After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother's funeral, she stopped in to see you!”
"Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."
“The difficult thing with quotes on the internet is verifying them” – Abraham Lincoln (I think)
Martin Takes the Bait?
Martin arrived at Sunday school late. Miss Walter, his teacher, knew that Martin was usually very punctual so she asked him if anything was wrong.
Martin replied no, that he had been going fishing but his dad told him that he needed to go to church.
Miss Walter was very impressed and asked the lad if his dad had explained to him why it was more important to go to church than to go fishing?
Martin replied, 'Yes he did. Dad said he didn't have enough bait for both of us.'
God our Father, we celebrate the feast of St. Bernard who dedicated his life to seeking the truth in all things. He was fearless in his support of the truth. In our world today, it is so difficult to seek the truth and to remain firm in the truth. As we reflect on the life of this great man, may we become more aware of how important it is to seek the truth, to remain faithful to the truth that lives in us and to be fearless in support of the truth. We ask for the grace to follow the example of St. Bernard and live by the truth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
[Wisdom] is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. For [wisdom] is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail. I became enamored of her beauty.-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2500
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time - August 15, 2020
The First Reading - Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants—all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
In the days of Isaiah, the people of Israel were living—or should have been living—according to the stipulations of the Mosaic Covenant (that is, the covenant with Israel mediated by Moses, not a covenant God made with Moses). This covenant, summarized in its final form in the Book of Deuteronomy, did not have much room for the Gentiles. However, the prophets of Israel foresaw a coming age where the negative attitude toward the Gentiles based on the Mosaic Covenant, would be undone. Our First Reading is one of the more famous passages from the second half of the Book of Isaiah that anticipates such a situation. Strikingly, some of the language used to describe the relationship of these foreigners to the Lord is priestly terminology. These foreigners will “minister” (Heb. shereth) to the LORD and become his “servants” (Heb. ‘ebadim). The verb shereth is usually employed to describe priestly labor (cf. Exod 28:35 etc.), and the priests themselves are called “servants of the LORD” (cf. Ps 134:1; Ps 135:1). This oracle of Isaiah makes it sound as though, in the latter days, foreigners will not only be able to worship God, but also serve in a priestly capacity.
Adults - Reflect on the Universal Catholic Church this week, and how it truly encompasses all nations and peoples.
Teens - How did God use Israel to reach all of the nations?
Kids - How do priests serve the Lord, and serve the people of the Lord?
Responsorial- Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 7, 8
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
There are many psalms that call on the “peoples” or “nations” to bless the LORD. Is this all empty rhetoric, invented in antiquity when no one but Jews came to the Temple? No. According to the Books of Samuel and Kings, the kingdom of Israel under David and Solomon expanded to become an empire including the surrounding non-Israelite nations as vassal states. During this period, Jerusalem probably saw a steady stream of Gentile officials coming on diplomatic business with the royal court, which would likely include worshipping the God of their suzerain. It seems likely that several psalms were originally written with this context in mind, in which Israelites would be mixed with visiting foreigners in the Solomonic Temple (e.g. Ps 47:9). Pray a prayer of praise each day this week, even when it’s hard.
The Second Reading- Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Brothers and sisters: I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous and thus save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God delivered all to disobedience,
that he might have mercy upon all.
Reflection - Though Jew and Gentile seem to have different “paths to God,” in reality, St. Paul points out, the salvation of both groups is inextricably united in God’s plan.
-How often do you think about God’s mercy?
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 15:21-28
At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
Reflection Many are troubled by the Lord’s apparently harsh way of dealing with this woman, at least initially. Shouldn’t Jesus have immediately offered to heal this poor woman’s daughter? Yet we need to remember that the Lord had prophetic insight into the hearts of the people with whom he interacted. He knew what people were thinking and the state of their heart (Matt 9:4; 12:25; John 2:25; 6:61). Jesus adapts his way of dealing with people to their individual situations and needs. For example, he doesn’t challenge everyone to sell all that they have and give to the poor (cf. Matt 19:21 and Luke 19:8-10), but he knew that was what the rich young man needed to do. So, in the case of this Sunday’s Gospel, we need to understand Jesus’ actions as tailored to the faith of this woman. He sees that she has faith—he puts her faith to the test, to elicit more faith. Untested faith is no faith at all. “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs,” Jesus says, a painful reminder that Gentile pagans have no covenantal claim on the God of Israel, no right to call him to be faithful to his obligations toward them (hesed), only the ability to throw themselves (ourselves!) on the mercy of God the creator. The woman has both tremendous faith, and tremendous humility. Not taking insult from Jesus’ words, humbly acknowledging her lack of any covenant claim on the God of Israel, she asks for unmerited mercy: “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” We recall that Jacob himself, father of all the sons of Israel, was not the direct heir of God’s covenant, but connived and struggled his way in. We recall Rahab’s family and the Gibeonites, both Canaanite groups that should have been wiped out in the conquest, but who tricked and struggled their way into the people of the covenant. We recall Ruth the Moabitess and Uriah the Hittite, who renounced their ethnicity and swore oaths to the God of Israel. And we realize that throughout salvation history, God has been finding a place in his covenant for people who, in some way or other, didn’t belong there, but wanted to be there.
Adults - Our churches often say “all are welcome!” Do we live it?
Teens - How does your faith carry you through in the times you don’t understand what Jesus seems to be saying?
Kids - How does Jesus show you His mercy?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - We must imitate and learn from this pagan mother. Her love for her child made her ready to undergo every hardship or suffering for the restoration to health of her loved one. When we turn to Christ in our needs is our faith in Him as sincere and unwavering as was this woman's? No doubt it often is, and yet we do not get the desired answer. As Christians we know that our particular request may not always be for our good, or for the final good of the person for whom we are praying. In that case, the good God will not grant what would be to our eternal disadvantage. But if our prayer is sincere and persevering, we shall always get an answer, and one which is better than what we asked for. How often do we wonder at or perhaps doubt God's mercy when we see, for example, the young father of a family being taken from his loved and helpless ones, notwithstanding the prayers and tears of his wife and children. Where is God's mercy here? Where is His answer to these sincere prayers? But who are we to question God's mercy? The answer is there and often clear enough: that death brings out in his relatives and neighbors virtues which they would otherwise never have had occasion to practice - virtues that will earn for them eternal life. It is only when we get to heaven - and getting to heaven is our purpose in life - that we shall see how our prayers, sincere and persevering, were answered by God. -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
546. How did the Virgin Mary pray? b. by faith and the offering of her whole being
Mary’s prayer was characterized by faith and by the generous offering of her whole being to God. The Mother of Jesus is also the new Eve, the “Mother of all the living”. She prays to Jesus for the needs of all people.
547. Is there a prayer of Mary in the Gospel? (CCC 2619) c. Yes, the Magnificat (My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…)
Along with the prayer of Mary at Cana in Galilee, the Gospel gives us the Magnificat (Luke1:46-55) which is the song both of the Mother of God and of the Church, the joyous thanksgiving that rises from the hearts of the poor because their hope is met by the fulfillment of the divine promises.
PRAYER IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
548. How did the first Christian community in Jerusalem pray? d. all of the above
At the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles it is written that in the first community of Jerusalem, educated in the life of prayer by the Holy Spirit, the faithful “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread, and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42).
549. How does the Holy Spirit intervene in the Church’s prayer? a. by uniting us to Jesus
The Holy Spirit, the interior Master of Christian prayer, forms the Church in the life of prayer and allows her to enter ever more deeply into contemplation of and union with the unfathomable mystery of Christ. The forms of prayer expressed in the apostolic and canonical writings remain normative (the standard) for Christian prayer.