Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Newsweek has released an article on Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to the United States. Here's a selection from the article that reminds us when it comes to understanding Christian Doctrine, Pope Benedict XVI is the master teacher. You can read the full article here.
Benedict's personal influence on Catholics is perhaps less dramatic, but it is no less real to those who have seen or heard him personally. Joseph Ratzinger is one of the most learned men in the world; he is also a master teacher who can unpack complex Christian doctrines in an accessible way. That helps explain why he continues to draw enormous crowds to his Wednesday general audiences, some larger than those drawn by his predecessor. The tag line in some Roman circles is that "People came to see John Paul II; they come to hear Benedict XVI." That contrast is too sharply drawn, but Benedict's skills as a teacher have certainly touched a significant 21st-century yearning for solid religious food. His first two encyclicals, on love and hope, were consciously framed to speak to the fears of a deeply conflicted world by reminding the world of Christianities basic message.
Benedict's catechetical skills with children are also striking. Six months after his election, he met thousands of Italian 8- and 9-year-olds who had just made their first communion. One of them asked how Jesus could be present in the consecrated bread and wine of the Eucharist when "I can't see him!"
To which the pope replied, "No, we cannot see him; there are many things we do not see, but they exist and are essential … We do not see an electric current; yet we see that it exists. We can see that this microphone is working, and we see lights. We do not see the very deepest things, those that really sustain life and the world, but we can see and feel their effects … So it is with the Risen Lord: we do not see him with our eyes, but we see that wherever Jesus is, people change, they improve, there is a greater capacity for peace, for reconciliation …"
Another youngster asked why the church urged frequent confession. Benedict answered: "It's very helpful to confess with a certain regularity. It is true: our sins are always the same, but we clean our homes, our rooms, at least once a week, even if the dirt is always the same …
What the pope can say so winsomely to children, he will likely say to adults during his American pilgrimage: "Look again at the basics of Catholic faith and practice. They exist for a reason. They just may satisfy the hungers of the human heart. Give them a chance."
Posted by Arthur Guillen Jr at 9:48 PM
Monday, April 7, 2008
About two years ago I was given this book by Father Scott. I have been reading it a little at a time during my lunch break and each day I am confronted in one way or another. St. Josemaria tells us to give our flesh less than it needs. Why? Because we either control our appetites, or they control us. St. Josemaria gently reminds us as St. Paul does in Philippians 2:5-11:
For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. Emptied himself, made himself as of no account. 8 He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. 9 For which cause, God also hath exalted him and hath given him a name which is above all names: 10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: 11 And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.
Jesus emptied himself completely. That is real love. Every day we have opportunites to empty ourselves. We have the opportunity to love. But often we miss those opportunities because we have allowed our wants to get in the way. We allow our bodies to turn traitor.
Lord, let us run the race set before us without hindrance. Give us the grace to empty ourselves in love as Jesus did.
Posted by David Cox at 12:43 PM
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Hello everyone! Art has been so gracious to invite me to join his blog. I look forward to posting as regularly as I can. Feel free to leave comments as I hope this blog will generate wonderful discussions.
Posted by David Cox at 12:49 PM