ASH WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, GRACE TO BEGIN

Joel 2:12-18; 2 Cor. 5:20-6:2; Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

We begin our Lenten journey today. Ash Wednesday is a day to recognize our smallness before God. “Remember, you are dust, and to dust you wil return.” the priest says as he makes a cross of ashes across our forehead.

In today’s first reading, Joel writes about a day of darkness and gloom, a day of events that are a sign of the coming day of the Lord when those who oppose the Lord’s righteous will shall be punished.

It’s easy to believe that all is right in the world when the sun shines and the flowers bloom. It is likewise easy to be afraid when the sky turns black and threatening.

During Lent, we’re called to repentance, rending “our hearts, not our garments,” as the prophet Joel writes (2:13). We’re called to recognize Jesus as our Merciful Savior. The more we turn our gaze toward the Cross, the more grace we will receive to bear our own crosses.

Ash Wednesday is a day of atonement for us. Turn to Jesus with trust and let Him lead you this Lent.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to glorify Your mercy and lift my heart to You again. Help me to fully surrender to You, knowing that You hold me in the palm of Your hand. Amen

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As we begin the holy season of Lent, we are encouraged by these words of Pope Francis: “During Lent, let us all ask the Lord: Make our hearts like yours. In this way we will receive a heart that is firm and merciful, attentive and generous.. a heart that is not closed, indifferent, or prey to the globalization of indifference.

MAY your living out of Lent be a time of many graces and the joy of being made new in Jesus Christ.  God bless you all.

 

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WHO WILL PROTECT MY UNBORN CHILDREN??WOULD YOU VOTE FOR PETER????

Criminals and Terrorists have lawyers and the courts. Women who want abortions have the Abortion making money industry and Planned Parenthood. But who helps women afterward? After part of them has been torn out and thrown away? Not Hillary, that’s for sure. Our Christian and Catholic church’s help them with counseling and forgiveness, but wouldn’t it be better to help them before the abortion? And a new start after the baby?  It sounds like that is what Pence did as Governor of his state.
I was listening to Catholic Radio in Maine, THE PRESENCE, Johnette was discussing this election and it’s importance to us Christian Catholics voting in union with the teaching of our Catholic Church, she said,” no, it doesn’t make me angry, it actually makes me sick to my stomach.”
I should explain how important we as Christians should consider this election. Not only for President but also State and National Congress and Governors. But lets look at President first.
In the teaching of the Catholic Church there are 5 non-negotiables.  No. 1 is ABORTION. I will write about the others in another Blog. This is considered a very serious sin.  We are taking the life of one of God’s children. One that He said, “I knew you before you were born.”  A child that has a Soul, made in the image and likeness of God, the instant she/he was conceived.

Now, lets just talk about the two who want to run this country.  Never in the last 50 years or so have 2 people running for election been so different in what they believe on this subject, along with how they want to run this Country. Trump, Pro Life, Hilary, pro abortion and late term abortions. 58 million abortions since 1973 and counting.
LET ME ASK THIS QUESTION BEFORE WE GO ANY FUTHER.  AS CHRISTIANS WE BELIEVE NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT THE WILL OF GOD. GOD HATES ABORTION. HE GIVES US TWO PEOPLE WITH TOTALLY DIFFERENT BELIEFS. IF GOD HATES ABORTION, which person do you think he would choose to be President?  What does he see in Trump that we don’t see?
WHAT DID JESUS SEE IN PETER THAT we wouldn’t see?  Peter was a crude, uneducated fisherman. I expect his language was way worse than Trump. Trump is a good family man, his family loves him, his wife dated him off and on for 7 years before she consented to marry him, she loves him. He has friends, one, Conrad Black, “says look beyond the brash, the Donald is well-suited to making deals and being a leader”.  What would you all say about Peter? “He’s not a good man.” He doesn’t respect women? He was crude, stinky, probably dirty, and Jesus chose him to be his first Apostle.  Would you have? What about the crazy, John the Baptist, dirty, uneducated, living in the desert. Would you have sent him ahead of Jesus?

WHAT IF GOD IS GIVING US DONALD TRUMP TO BE PRESIDENT? TO END THE HORRIBLE PAGAN, PRIMITIVE, TRADITION OF KILLING HIS BABIES. WHAT IF THAT IS TRUMP’S DESTINY? What if there are other things going on here that we don’t know about? You all know that if Trump does not win in a landslide, Clinton will win and Partial Birth will continue for another 10 or more years.  Will you let that happen?  It is up to you, think about it. Would you vote for Peter to be the 1st Pope of your Church that is destined to save the world?
Clinton has voted 2 times for Partial Birth Abortion ( when a child is 8 months in the womb, fully formed, that child can be killed, in a horrible way.) She will have the ability to appoint possibly 5 Supreme Court Justices. She has said they will make rulings according to todays ideas. Her list of Liberal Judges will get to rule on everything from if the Little Sisters of the Poor have to pay for Abortion pills in their Health Care, to if Partial Birth Abortion is Legal, or if someone refuses to take part in a Gay Wedding, will they be jailed. They will also decide if we actually have Religious Freedom in this Country or just the Right to go to Church and Worship. Mrs. Clinton says we have the right to worship.  In a Speech Delivered at the Women’s World Summit she said, “LAWS HAVE TO BE BACKED UP WITH RESOURCES AND POLITICAL WILL. AND DEEP-SEATED RELIGIOUS BELIEFS HAVE TO BE CHANGED.”  What about the 2nd Amendment. Will they take all our guns in the end, like they did in Germany? Along with all this, she is truly crooked and under investigation for illegal and dangerous emails, association with the Clinton Foundation and Watergate, back in the 90’s.  Along with the newest, her Campaign paying people to start riots at Trump’s rallies, and the very latest WikiLeaks Video: badmouthing Catholics and Evangelicals, calling us names, and very crude remarks. So it’s clear she will never stand for us. Oh, just a moment ago, the FBI is reopening their investigation because they found more Emails. It never ends with her. Kane, her vice pres., candidate, thinks, the Death Sentence is wrong but Abortion is perfectly OK, totally opposite of what his Catholic Faith teaches. What do either he or Clinton do to help the women who choose abortion. What about after, who helps them to rebuild their lives?
Trump has said that once he spoke to a doctor in detail and has other close friends with experiences with abortion and partial birth abortion, he agreed that it was totally wrong, and he is PRO LIFE. Yes, he is course, sometime rude, and impolite. Certainly not a polished Politician. He definitely believes in saying it like he sees it, not Politically Correct. as Politian’s and the News Media are.  Never has the main stream media worked so hard to destroy a Presidential Candidate. However, he has 5 Constitutional Judges, that will rule on Laws made by Congress and decisions based on the Constitutions as our Founder wrote the Laws. We are a Republic, based on Laws made by our Congress and Signed by our President. Not laws made by Judges of the Supreme Court.  Trump believes immigrants should come into the Country according to our Laws and before we decide which illegal immigrants can stay, we must get ride of the criminals and terrorists that are putting everyone in this Country in danger. He wants to fix the Trade Deals made in the past so the will be more fair to the U.S. and bring back business to this Country. Being a business man, he is most qualified to do this.

Pence, the vice President candidate, is a Christian, Catholic, practices what his church teaches, and is Pro Life, he values life. As Governor, he has helped women who did not actually want an abortion, have their children and put them up for adoption, or raise them, and they also helped the women have a better life.
Then the most crucial difference in the two Presidential Candidates is, Abortion, and especially Partial Birth Abortion. The Law, Roe vs Wade was so much different than what is happening today that the signers would not recognize it.
( 1973 The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting women’s health and protecting the potentiality of human life.[1] Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the third trimester of pregnancy.)It wasn’t until 1992 that Planned Parenthood went to court to change the law. Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions, whom Clinton would like to continue supporting with our tax dollars.
SO, AGAIN I ASK YOU, WILL YOU VOTE FOR THE PERSON WHO WILL SAVE GOD’S CHILDREN, AND THE VICE PRESIDENT THAT KNOWS HOW TO HELP THE WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD ABORTIONS AND HELP THE WOMEN WHO NEED HELP? ALSO APPOINT JUDGES THAT WILL RULE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, NOT MAKE LAWS THAT TAKE IT AWAY?
WILL YOU TAKE THE CHANCE THAT TRUMP IS NOT GOD’S CHOICE FOR THIS TIME AND PLACE? vote for Clinton or someone else so that Abortion will continue and how many more millions of children will die? You know that a vote for someone else is a vote for Hillary.

 

SAVED BY HIS CROSS FROM 2,000 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST TO PRESENT DAY

DID YOU KNOW?  ABOUT THE STUNNING METAPHYSICAL SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE EXODUS NARRATIVE AND THE PASSION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST?

Here are the parallels between old and new by Simcha Fisher

“MOSES told the Jews that, to protect their families from the Angel of Death, they were to mark their doors with the blood of a sacrificial lamb.

FIRST, you dip the hyssop brush in the blood and make a mark on the lintel, overhead. You dip again and mark the left post, and then the right. Your house is marked as God commanded. You are protected. Death will pass over your house.

WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?  Up, down, left, right, with the blood of the lamb.  You just made the Sign of the Cross.  That is what Moses and all the faithless, grumbling, terrified Israelites were doing, OVER 2,000 YEARS BEFORE anyone had ever heard the name “Jesus of Nazareth.” THEY WERE MAKING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS OVER THEIR HOUSES TO BLESS AND PROTECT THEIR FAMILIES. Christ, his cross and resurrection, cast such a long shadow that it stretched thousands of years before he was even born. Before the Incarnation, the work of salvation had already begun. He was already with his people……………………………………………………”

“The ones who reached the Promised Land were the ones who kept their eyes on God and kept reminding themselves that he is wise, he is merciful–and he is in control.

We do our part, and the HOLY SPIRIT spreads his wings over our messy nests, overshadowing the human race from age to age with one warm, eternally wide embrace.  Whether we live 2,000 before the Incarnation or 2,000 years after, God is the same, yesterday, today and forever…………………………….”

But consider this:  Those Israelites didn’t recdognize the cross on their doors. They couldn’t. And yet that cross was still efficacious.  God recognized it, and he recognized their trust and obedience. And Death recognized that cross, too, and Death fled.

CLING TO THAT IDEA. It’s not all up to us, thank God.  His embrace stretches so far and so wide.  His mercy endures forever; it covers us in our ignorance, shelters us in our grumbling, and comforts us in our darkness.  Alleluia!”  (Catholic Digest, March 2015)

I would like to add this:  Catholics make the Sign of the Cross now, as a prayer by itself or at the beginning and end of prayers.  “forehead, heart, left shoulder, right shoulder” we call on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit  whenever we do this. This is the GREATEST PRAYER.  We also mark the cross on our forehead before we read the Holy Gospels. The priest marks our forehead with ashes on Ash Wednesday, with Holy Oils during the Blessing of the Sick.  Think back to the fact that the Christians marked themselves with the cross as a secret sign to let each other know they were Christians. From 2,000 before Christ to 2000 years after Christ we are saved and blessed by the Cross.

ARE YOU RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL OR WHAT? CONT’D

I ENDED THE LAST BLOG ON SPIRITUALITY WITH THIS STATEMENT FROM THE ARTICLE BY DR. RAY GUARENDI:  “To paraphrase C.S.Lewis: A position seldom seems so unclear to me than after I’ve just successfully defended it.  He goes on to say:

“Many define these two words quite narrowly. For example, “religious” may mean following the rules. Not only that but following rules made by people one considers hypocritical or judgmental.  “Religious” also may imply rote, unthinking actions with little heart behind them.

“Spiritual” is to many the loftier word.  It speaks of a connection, however loose, to another power, perhaps a higher one. What’s better, the power commands little obedience to traditional morals or worship. “Spiritual” is among the mushiest words in the lexicon.  It can mean whatever one wishes it to mean.  Someone who is “spiritual” defines his own terms; therefore, he follows them to the letter.”

Ray continues: “Suppose I announce to my wife. “Honey, from this point forward, I want to be more marriage-minded and less married. I think the expectations and structure of marriage are impediments to our true connection. Let’s not stifle our relationship with rules.” By saying this, I effectively declare myself free from the active love, responsibilities, and yes, sacrifice crucial to a good marriage.  Somehow, though, I don’t think my wife would be enamored with my new philosophy.  Essentially I would be saying, “As long as I think lovingly about you, I don’t have top do all the nitty-gritty of actual loving.” Come to think of it, more people do now seem to want the marriage-mind set without the marriage.

“I’m spiritual, not religious” is what logicians would call an “either/or” proposition.  In the mind of the self-describer, one is either religious or spiritual, but not both. The traits are so dissimilar that they don’t overlap.  TO A BELIEVER IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE AND HIS PLAN OF SALVATION, religious and spiritual represent a both/and proposition. They exist together, part of the same reality.  RELIGION PUTS THE SUBSTANCE TO THE SPIRITUAL. It defines worship and morality.  THE WORDS OVERLAP SO much they are nearly interchangeable.

Maybe the next time you hear someone say, “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual,” you can ask, “Can someone be both religious and spiritual?”

Of course you can also go back and ask the questions I listed before:  “What do you mean by religious?”  “”What is your image of someone who is religious?”  “What makes a person “spiritual?” “Are their different kinds of spiritual?” “How does spiritual show itself?”

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AND I ASK AGAIN;  Christ came on this earth to build HIS CHURCH.  How can HE HAVE A CHURCH if there are no people?  Do Spiritual people go to church?  He said “if two or more are gathered together…..”  How do Spiritual people who do not go to church claim to be Christians, if they are not part of HIS CHURCH?  HOW DOES THE CHRISTIAN FAITH SPREAD if Christians do not gather together to pray to the Father as Jesus said and did? If the Christian Faith does not spread further than it is now, what happens to the Church that Jesus died to began?  Does being Spiritual get you to Heaven to be with Jesus and his Father?  Or do you need to be part of HIS CHURCH????Just questions begging for answers……

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My next blog will be about preparing for Lent.

VATICAN LAUNCHES ASTRONOMY CLASS, GOOD MOVIES, AND OTHER ITEMS

I was surprised to learn that the Vatican has an Observatory. I have always known they did scientific research and space research but never really thought about how.

VATICAN LAUNCHES ASTRONOMY CLASS, THE VATICAN OBSERVATORY, an astronomical research and educational institution supported by the Holy See(that’s us Catholics) has announced that for the first time it will be hosting a workshop analyzing the RELATIONSHIP OF FAITH AND ASTRONOMY for parish educators, which is slated to take place in 2015. THE WORKSHOP, which will take place January 19-23, 2015, at the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Tucson, Arizona, will be led by Br. Guy Consolmagno,SJ, an American research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Observatory.  The course is designed to give those who work in Catholic parishes and updated vision of what is happening in the universe and will touch on topics ranging frpom the BIG BANG to the search for life in the universe and our exploration of the planets. (CatholicNewsAgency.com)

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DID YOU KNOW?   WORLD DAY OF PEACE IS ON JAN. 1ST EACH YEAR. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has announced the theme selected by Pope Francis for the World Day of Peace in 2015.  The theme “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters” was the title of the pope’s message for the 48th World Day of Peace, Jan.1,2015. It marked the second time Pope Francis celebrated the Day of Peace since rising to the papacy.  the World Day of Peace, initiated by Pope Paul VI is celebrated on the first day of each year, by the Catholic Church and others, world wide. The Holy Father’s message is sent to all the world’s foreign ministers and indicates the Holy See’s diplomatic line during the coming year.

This may explain his current trip to SRI LANKA which took place this week and his trip to the Philippines this week also.  I is talking to all different religious leaders to try to bring cooperation and peace between the different religions in those areas.

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LIST OF GOOD FILMS FOR THE LENTEN SEASON WHICH STARTS IN FEBRUARY.

AMAZING GRACE (2006); VEGGIETALES:AN EASTER CAROL (2004); HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (2014); THE ULTIMATE GIFT (2006)’ THE ROBE (1953); THE GOSPEL OF JOHN (2003); THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (2004); A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966) The Gospel of John, The Passion of the Christ and A Man for all Seasons all received an A+ on DecentFilms.com -From the description all the films but Veggietales, I would say good for teens and up. You all know Veggietales is good for kids.

The Gospel of John is a retelling of St. John’s Gospel, it is a literary film that is taken almost verbatim from the American Bible Society’s Good News translation. Depicting the story of life of Jesus as witnessed by John, very accurate telling.

I HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE FILMS DURING LENT.

All this information came from my copy of the CATHOLIC DIGEST, Jan/Feb 2015 FAITH AND FAMILY LIVING.