Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day

On the Feast of St. Stephen
Isaiah 52:8 TEV&NRSV Those who guard the city are shouting, shouting together for joy. They can see with their own eyes the return of the Lord to Zion. & Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.
 If you’ve even shopped for a Bible perhaps at Christmastime, you know it isn’t as easy as just asking a clerk where their Bibles are. Not only do some Protestants and Catholic Bibles differ, there are so many translations, interpretations, and versions, I no longer keep track. Protestant scholars used to tell me the only authentic, authorized Bible was the KJV; the only one used by us. Catholic scholars have disagreed as to whether the Hebrew and Greek or a Vulgate Latin was better. Most scholars say it is better now to use more than one Bible. Some have one text right beside the other. And a further complication is many have aids, helps, maps, pictures or commentaries, concordance, all of which confuse the shopper and Bible student. You may use few of these or want more. You see this is a complex and confounding process, selecting a Bible. Most Evangelicals have embraced an NIV which I used to only use.
 I’ve settled on the TEV and NRSV, and above is the same verse from both. Here the prophets are foretelling the birth of the Messiah. They are giving us the proper attitude for us to look for God in our lives and the lives of others. How we expect the Word made Flesh, the Christ Child, our Bread from Heaven, who was born into the World to give us, for the past two thousand years, the new birth. How we are to anticipate seeing the Creator again when we die or see the Lord and Master of the Universe at the end of the age.
I had to ask myself if lately I truly had my head up, looking for Jesus’ return. Maybe with all the talk about the world ending the just past solstice last week and all the mention of the second coming in all the homilies this past Advent, I’m giving it more thought.
St. Stephen, before he was martyred could see God in Glory. This Christmas Season I am going to try to not lose sight of a heads up attitude that my Saviour and my God is coming for me. The Light of the World, can be in plain sight, seen with your own eyes. Like Mary, Joseph, the shepherd’s, the wise men, Simeon, Anna, and St. Stephen, who saw Jesus, like the prophets proclaimed, we know the King is coming, then and now. Here is our hope for our present, for the New Year, for all our futures and our joy. So heads up and stay alert like watchmen.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Short, short prayers

Today it is St. Peter Canisius Day. And I wrote these short prayers on St. John of the Cross Day, December 14th , ‘2012; before rising at Five o’clock at home:
Bless us Father with the Gift of Your Holy Spirit. Spirit bless this food we are about to have. You are so gracious. Make us spiritually and materially a blessing to others. In the service of God’s Son we ask in Our Lord’s Name Jesus, amen.
Morning Offering
Today I want to be a holy man and with the help of Jesus, Mary, the Saints and Angels; the support of Daily Bread: I shall be. I offer our prayer, way and exuberance and for all intentions today, amen. Nothing Guardian Angel and myself can’t master today. Amen.
Prayer to Mother Mary
Gracious Mary Mother of Jesus
Take us to the Master now
And take us when we come to this pilgrim’s end
You are our advocate here
May we say then that you are our friend
For tho we have the Father’s love
And the Spirit’s guidance to console
We need your consolation too
And care for our weary soul
Lest the next time we meet your Son
In the “least of these”, Sacrament, or heaven
Succumbed to the trial and temptation of life
He wont be able to say “well done”
For “in as much as” we’ve “done it unto them”
He’ll forgive and reward us
His be the glory; was, is, will be
Forever and ever: may we praise Him
With our yes, like your fiat
Just as you were humble, may the Lord
Bless us – world without end, Amen, Amen.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Faith, War and Peace

My thoughts this Advent this Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and also the Day of St. Jane Francis from text of Ephesians 4:4-10,14-16 and Luke 2:13&14 NRSV
Ephesians 4:14a We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about
 With these words St. Paul gave his spiritual children in Ephesus a directive that is just as true now as it was 2000 years ago. Only then they believed Christ would come again soon and we have lost the faith that we will see Him in the clouds to end the mayhem that is in the World today. Before Christ came into the World as the Babe of Mary only a few believed their Messiah would be found to give them Hope and Peace. Today all persons are in a spiritual battle with the powers of the all evil one.
Many have said organized religion causes war. Certainly in the history of western civilization and Christendom there seems a pre-eminence of war fought in the name of religion. It really does pallor in the face of the wars and genocides fought in the name of socialism in particular; Asian and African conflicts, especially ethnic and cultural in origin: not to mention the Holocaust, the European slaughter of innocents. This seems to me to only be one of the devils horns aimed at the Church today.
The other horn to wrestle with is that of the greed so prevalent in North American countries. While the United States is blamed for being the predominant cause of the collapse of the capitalistic empire itself; Canada has had just as much greed as a Common Wealth, NATO and G7 nation. I get the Virtue of Selfishness but just because God has blessed us in Canada with every material blessing does not mean we cannot bless others in the Christian Way who do not have as much as we do.
This is the way to peace. This is true religion: it does not cause war, it brings about peace. This is the reason for the season of Advent and the true meaning of Christmas. This is why Christ came into the World in the first place. And Jesus said that when upon return will there be Faith found in the world?
So if your world seems helter-skelter; there are wars, or even just a bit hectic in the Christmas rush remember
Luke 2:13&14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those he favours!”
– and then you won’t fear the end of your little world or His return.

Friday, 23 November 2012

funny Christmas poem

I’m afraid the Judaic Christian tradition of angels and demons is almost lost of the European and Western minds. Sprites and elves, science and medicine both have failed to give way to a firm belief in your angel or your demon and have replaced them. I try to embrace the Church’s tradition unlike the liberals, however feel in no danger of rejecting it when indulging in some fiction:
 St. Nicholas’ cousin was a humorous elf
 The product of the same lab which produce the St.
 Sean was his contemporary of little fame
 But be careful when with the same brush you try to paint

 Sean too was a Christmas elf
 He too seemed to travel time
 Certainly Sean was a generous soul
 No end to his shenanigans – it consumes my rhyme

 If we should attempt a Christmas tree
 To place our cards, gifts, and presents under
 Decorations lost, broken, so prevented
 Till his cousin brought one from yonder

 Tags got changed and cards in wrong envelopes
 Would leave one and all dissatisfied with things
 Unless the St. restored the order
 To remind us of the joy Christmas brings

 We can’t blame Sean for burning the turkey
 That was done by Auntie Lu
 But had he not unhooked her rug
 She might have had the mind not to do

 Sean did give the canned heat to the beggar child
 But then we couldn’t keep the gravy warm
 No; opened the window: let out the smoke of burnt fowl
 Sending in the wasp swarm

 Sean the elf always thought to light a candle
 But not to keep from it used gift wrap
 He had Fr. Pat bless his baby Jesus
 But in Fr.’s manger tied his cat with a strap

 You’d say Sean was the life of the party
 First to get there and last to go
 But like his fellow time traveller
 It seemed just the opposite, was he there, we didn’t know

Friday, 2 November 2012

a poem for Hallowe'en, and All Saints, past, All Souls, and American Thanksgiving Days

Three Realms

Besides the World divided in realms of two
That of Evil and of Good
You find the Church of Christ amongst three
The gates of Hell shall not prevail ‘tis true
Against her and her motherhood
And with St. Peter you find intrusted the key

The Church Suffering is in Purgatory
Your beloved uncle with Christ some day
Now just sleeps in the Lord of life
He needs our prayers still in misery
Have you but one Hail Mary to say
And with the saints he’ll give up the strife

For once perfected is the Church Triumphant
Alive with the Angels in Heave
Are the Saints of the Lamb of Mary
For them we must give thanks jubilant
As they do for their Bridegroom them did save
Your saintly grandma guardian patron the whole company

Surrounded by this cloud of witnesses on Earth
Risen to battle is the Church Militant
Combatting Evil by being the Good
So give thanks the right man sends us forth
On our side Lord Sabaoth victoriant
Give thanks for others rest in God care and food

This view may seem overly simplistic
The Worlds split in two the Church in three
Yet Jesus puts us in a state of peace
We give thanks also for this grace fantastic
Give thanks for the Good passed into eternity
They pray for us we for them a thanksgiving day for heavenly repast

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Narrow Door

John 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”
 Sometimes one verse gives a person much consternation. When one focuses on a particular passage of scripture, one can develop a slanted theology. Isn’t God merciful and loving? Wasn’t Christ against the religious fundamentalists of the day? Didn’t the Lord come to save sinners? Surely Jesus wasn’t saying that if you’re not worthily taking Holy Communion in a Catholic church you can’t go to heaven? But even in the context of this verse, particularly verses 50-60, you can’t help but get the idea that though this was a hard teaching of Jesus it is necessary. So the Eucharistic tradition of the Church: Christ is really present as the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the bread and wine is not to be ignored. Reject Jesus in the Pascal Sacrifice and you are turning your back on God. It is a Sacrament; It is given by Christ in person to the disciples who passed It on to us.
 The whole sixth chapter is a particularly hectic day of the Lord. It starts off that so many people are listening to Jesus, logistics to feed them leave the disciples at a loss. But the Lord multiplies bread in order to feed five thousand, with some leftover. That night was very stormy and Jesus actually walked on water to reach the disciples boat to ensure a safe crossing of the sea. However, especially from verse twenty-two until the end of the chapter, fifty verses in all, despite the protests of the disciples and desertion of many, Christ seems unwavering in this groundwork for the institution of the Bread of Angels at the Last Supper.
 Today is the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila, also known as St. Teresa of Jesus. The Carmelites of her day, like the rest of the Catholic Church of that time, were very lax. Unlike the Protestant Reformers who denied the Real Presence at Mass and left the church, Teresa worked within her Order to bring about reform. Teresa faced much opposition from them. She courageously succeeded in strengthening the Faith and called all to a new time of holiness. Any time we want to say there are many ways to God, let us remember that we must go through the narrow door. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving day poem

One Day; How Much Time Left:
One day we’ll know – Who loved us more!
One day we’ll see, the Christ coming in the clouds.
One day we’ll all know – Lordy loved us most of all.
One day we shall be seen, In the light of that love.
We all are found wanting; We’ll all know
When we were missing the mark.
One day we will know: What went on, what went wrong.
One day the Savior will return!
How much time is there left, Before we see God – face to face.
Don’t you ask yourself, how much time left?
Don’t you want to put everything right?;
Before Jesus puts it all right – Forever.
How much time do you have left?
And, how much time? – Before the end of time?
In your youth everything takes forever.
Do you ask yourself How much time left? Now I’m old see -
Mark 14:62
Jesus said, "I am; and 'you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,' and 'coming with the clouds of heaven.'"

Friday, 28 September 2012

Short Prayers from our dream vacation to LGV, BC

A Morning Prayer
Thank you Jesus for a nice night. Thanks Holy Spirit for a good night’s sleep. Thank you Father this morning for a new day.
We praise you anew Holy Trinity in faith, hope, and love to supply all our needs this day. May we adore you Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar until you call us to Heave.
Bless our thoughts, actions, words and feelings today and may we cherish time spent with you.
Our daily Bread, bless our breakfast and us in thy service.
Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary pray for us. St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, guard us. Amen.
A Nighttime Prayer
 Now at daylights end we turn to you again. As the nighttime begins renew our courage and our strength.
 Forgive us please any wrong and we shall forgive our neighbour. Then if the night lends a song be it one of thou our Hope to savour.
 We kept in faith today your promise. Love of friend or foe, love, or sinner. Keep us safe and from all demise so the world may know with you we are winners. Amen.
 Thanks for: this food, for our measure of health, for the cross; and a share in you suffering. Thanks for family and friends, for fun and respite from labour. Thanks for your consolation, for your rest and peace and your presence. Thank you God: for your grace, goodness and mercy; for our spiritual growth. Amen.

And I would like to add how thankful I am for the healing of L'Arche Greater Vancouver, Brithish Columbia and the chance to visit our daughter there. How blessed we are to be able to afford jet, sky train, bus and taxi travel when most of the world is marginally capable as pedestrians.

Monday, 3 September 2012

A poem from Labour Day weekend.

Spiritual Pride
What’s the big idea?
My Saviour said to me.
I want to be a mover
And a shaker!
You want to be holy?
Is that necessary?
May the Lord’s face
Always shine on me.
I did not always seek
The loving Father’s face.
I no longer could face God.
A prodigal in disgrace.
Where are you my wayward son?
Why not give it one last try?
Like so many in denial,
Numb to the hunger inside;
Every time I face temptations:
I was full of spiritual pride,
I don’t need more merciful grace,
Who needs spiritual food?
The Holy Spirit spot lit my heart.
And I begin to see my need.
“Do not hunger and thirst
For that which does not satisfy.
Feed the hungry, clothe the naked.
In as much as you’ve done it
Unto the least of these,
You’ve done it unto me.
Humble yourself!
Take up your cross.
Follow me.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Out of control?

I really wonder, how much control, the queen has, over my life? Sovereignty isn’t the answer.
“   “            “       ,    “        “           “     , the Politian “  ,    “       “    “ ?     Rioting          “     “        “      .
“   “            “       ,    “        “           “     , the big business person “ , “  “ “?   Occupation “  “      “     .
“   “            “       ,    “        “           “     , the policeman                 “, “ “ “? Gangs aren’t       “       “    .
“   “            “       ,    “        “           “     , the legal professional “, “  “  “? Bankruptcy isn’t     “      “    .
“   “            “       ,    “        “           “     , the doctor                  “,   “  “  “ ? Insanity          “      “       “    .
“   “            “       ,    “        “           “     , the counselor           “,    “  “  “  ? Disregard      “       “       “   .
St. Anne help me to control my action.
Queen Marie “ “  “         “        “   thots.
St. Joseph      “  “  “ be under control.
Abba I submit to your love.
Jesus is the answer.
Holy Spirit control my life.
Holy Trinity have mercy on me.
Jesus, Mary Joseph I love you.
St. Joseph intercede for me.
St. Mary I need your prayers.
Queen Mother Anne pray for us.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A song for weekend Masses

Sweet Communion

When I get to You;
And You get to me:
How happy I am,
How lovely our thots,
Sweet Communion!

Better, Lord, by far,
Than swinging on a star,
You made all the stars in the heavens.

Greater still our love,
Than all the stars above,
And all the things below.
You make us glow.

Where is the hate,
The race to be great,
The panic for abuse and misuse,
Things and people?

Where is the defeat,
The isolation in the street,
Now we’re beneath the Cross, on our steeple?

We’re with You now.
You’re with us now.
You’re alive in us.
Dwell with us.

Stay with Your people.
Now I bring You thanks
For all You did, you do, give thanks
And You promise this will last forever.

You forgave, forgive, healed and heal me.
My bad past was swallowed
By Your sacrifice
And now the future
You give me!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Choose Life

We have a mighty God
 A couple of nights ago I couldn’t sleep. But I made some flow of consciousness notes which I have translated here as a stream.
God fought for the Israelites as a mighty warrior. He bodily entered the fray and so did His angel, a couple of times, winning battles on His own. With Moses rod, the death angel killed the first born of the Egyptians, and their chariots were drowned in the Red Sea. We can’t understand now such warlike times. Or can we? In WWs it was thought that God was for the allies. I remember hearing a talk from someone that said the only Power is God. He believed actual angels intervened in more than one situation. Is God for the free world in the conflicts it is facing today? From the days of rock’n’roll to the virtual conflicts in kid’s games the youth are indoctrinated into the philosophy of anarchy. My father said there were two types of anarchy: ones have an established oligarchy; others have not.
Too often these days we see victims of psychos. St. Dymphna, my patron saint, the patron of people with mental health issues, must be a very busy saint nowadays. Relationships and families in conflict are prevalent. People with addictions, substance abuse, alcoholism, tobacco, Marijuana and its derivatives seem to be the result of experimentation in Germany and California. Is it hip, medical use, social use or a necessary self-medicating escape? Were not all these problems my own? Without God fighting for me to be Converted my life would have had far worse consequences.
St. Joseph had angelic messages in order that Christ did not die in the second slaughter of innocents, just as Moses did not in the first one. And so we have a mighty Savior who learned to be industrious in His father’s carpentry shop. His kingdom was not a military one, but one of the heart. He was not calling for ten thousand angels to spare Him from the way of the cross.
St. Mary is our role model of abstinence, celibacy, and chastity. It is the truth that monogamy leads to happiness for those enlightened to practice it as a heterosexual. In the world today all other sexual practice has come to light.
The Hound of Heaven (look up the poem), is the mighty Holy Spirit, counsellor, advocate, and guide, convicts us to lead us to conversion. As my father used to say: get off your high horse or settle down and fly right. Take a dose of reality. Be a winner and not a loser. Learn of the mighty Triune God, not an unknown, the higher power, the solution to our times and the hypocrisy of my youth, the only Power, the Prince of Peace, a just judge; full of mercy.
Mary full of grace, pray for us. St. Joseph, guardian of the family of God, patron of Canada and workers, pray for us. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you, help me with your Rosary and Scapular.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and soul. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you. Angel of God, my Guardian dear, To whom His love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
As my dad said, there is no rest for the wicked. Whether it will be like a flash of lightning across the skies, or being struck by lightning, we will all one day see Judge Jesus, the Light of the World, the Lighthouse. Mary is the Star of the Sea and St. Joseph is the protector of pilgrims. May my lamp be lit and may I be a ready light.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

another poem from this morning

Morning Glory

There is no word that describes the glory of our God.
Like mango in the morning,
As we are forgiven when we do wrong;
Christ is our friend in the highest place,
Wants the unbeliever to become a friend,
And the glory of this mercy,
Is my story that will never end.

Like starting a new job,
Or the first day of class,
Is the fresh love of the Holy Spirit,
New each morning,
The Consoler will come to you.
God is a mystery,
One can only begin to understand,
Who will you renew.

God is the founder of all things,
Who is our Father,
Our loving guardian,
A Dad, who, takes you by your hand.
We can learn God’s love,
To love our sisters and our brothers;
When this Pop takes you to the school of Sunday -
Each morning we learn to apply the Golden Rule.

So I welcome as the sunshine
God’s hand in my life.
I try to fathom the mystery
Of the Trinity, worshipped for two thousand years.
I try to live my life
In appreciation of the Golden Mean,
And see the light of the Triune God
Dawn within my brain.

Enlighten my heart to love again,
All of God’s creation,
Within a glorious plan,
From the first of a new day,
This truth may just be a spark,
The Three in One God guides me in this way.

Monday, 2 July 2012

July 1st, ‘12

O Canada

When I was a boy –
I was sure
God blessed our country;
We were the chosen few:
The place Christ sought
To return to –
To restore Zion,
Bring in a millennium
Of peace, we had
Peace keepers
In Cyprus and the Middle East,
Vast natural resources,
Pristine hinterlands,
An untamed northlands,
The most Rocky Mountains,
The first winter wheat.
Strong unions, the welfare state,
Assured health care,
Bi-lingualism, multiculturalism,
The best sea harvest,
Transcontinental transportation, communication,
And a just society.

But today –
There is no freedom
For the unborn;
Hate crime and bullying,
Religious freedom for the few,
Not for Christian peoples,
And we are at war
With Islamic militants.
Our gays, military,
Students and original peoples
Are suicidal. Liberals push
For Dr. assisted suicide
For our culture of death.
The counter culture is prevalent
As the number of jobless
And protesters and riots.
Our resources are depleted,
Nobody knows the end results,
Of pollution and pollutions
Of technology, of morals,
Or agricultural experimentation,
Or extent of medical,
And as the waters rise,
The crags aren't so high.

If Jesus
Were to come back –
Today, I think
He would
Destroy the World
And we
Would make God
To do so
Oh Canada!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The singing heart

Happy St. John the Baptist’s Nativity Day, especially if you are celebrating in Quebec.

I thought I’d update my blog for June, Sacred Heart of Jesus month, with the lyrics for a praise song I wrote in the small hours of the night. One might put it to a tune.

Songs in the Night

You give me
O Lord, God of might
Songs in the night.
You give me
Songs of praise,
Lord God of power!

What could be more surreal?
Than have the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Shower His blessing of love
Burn within us merciful love.

Better than a good psychotrop
Filling us as a gift
Amazing grace from above
God, Holy Spirit of Love.

Triune God of this Hour;
This watch in the night
You have taken me,
Through my darkest hour,
To my destiny:
To dwell, with You,
With You under my roof,

To one day be
With You, for all eternity,
Where there is no lack of love,
Or lack of light,
Or lack of song –
To give You praise,

Like this night song,
Is insufficient
To give You
The worship
Due to You!

Almighty God,
Most powerful God,
Deserving of all my love
And worthy of all my praise

Night and days
Wonderful counsellor,
O Wellspring,
Without end.
Amen, amen and amen!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Happy Birthday Queen Victory

Waiting on the Lord
            This time of the year we are reminded that 40 days after Easter, Christ ascended into heaven. And so we are waiting for him to come again. And 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit, who the Disciples were told to go to Jerusalem to wait for there, descended upon them at the Feast of Pentecost, which is this Sunday. We are told more than once in the Bible to wait upon the Lord. The Israelite had to wait in the desert for the Promised Land. We have to wait until Paradise to be with our Creator.                                                                          
            If we want to make spiritual progress, we have to wait on the Lord. We need to wait in prayer. And God is waiting for us. He is like a father of a prodigal son, waiting for him to come home. If you have ever been in a stressed relationship, there is a period of time that you are waiting on a mate to be reconciled. It may be that they have been waiting for you too at some time. To me, that is what waiting on the Lord is like.
Yesterday was not only Ascension Sunday in Canada, although in the USA you may have celebrated it on Thursday, it was also Communications Sunday for Roman Catholics. Our Fr. John said in the homily that when the Lord died, it was much worse than having your cell phone taken away by a parent, for the Apostles. Or it was much worse for the first parents when they were exiled from Paradise. And it will be even worse for us if we don’t go there when we die. But for 2000 years we have had the Living Word among us.
And now the Lord sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. The more time we communicate with God, at work, home or at Mass, the more spiritual progress we make. Communication networks can be used for great good or great evil. The Pope admonishes us to use technology for great good. Many take the evils of pornography, threats, hate, bullying, drugs and weapons sales for granted in cyberspace. May the Lord bless my use of the internet and may God forgive me for any time I have misused it.

Happy 24 Holiday, if you are celebrating this weekend in the Commonwealth.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The First of May

International Workers Day ‘12

            Today is also May Day, and the Solemnity of St. Joseph the Worker. Mayday is a cry of distress and Catholics, if not Christians everywhere, should declare an official panic. It is the day that my ancestors danced around a May Pole and today sexual liberalism is everywhere. While I can’t agree with the socialist’s agendas against Monotheism and right to life; I can’t agree with the Conservative’s against the progress of the labour movement either. This doesn’t leave me many friends. But in Morning Prayer this morning, the Canticle from Daniel 3 verses reads “For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,/brought low everywhere in the world this day/because of our sins.//We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,/no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation or incense,/no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.//But with contrite heart and humble spirit/let us be received;/as though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks,/or of thousands of fat lambs,/so let our sacrifice be in your presence today/as we follow you unreservedly;/for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.”

            St. Joseph is the patron saint of St. Joseph’s, here in Belleville, where I often go during the week, when I can’t get to St. Michael’s church. He is the patron saint of Canada and worker’s hence: here it is a Solemnity Feast Day, now. While the first of May originally celebrated Communists victories; triumph’s which entailed persecutions of Christians, Jews and other martyrs, it has been embraced by the New Left and Catholics as a day of solidarity with marginalized, slaves and unions. It is obvious that any form of killing for a cause is wrong but I do not feel reactionary reductions of benefits for the poor and unemployed is anything more than claiming rights for earnings I’ve worked for having without embracing my responsibility to the human family. God blesses us with what we have in North America and He can take it away.

            Another right which is being abused is the right to choice. Who can deny that we should have free will to choose abortion or euthanasia as opposed to the right to life. But doesn’t this take away the right of the unborn to live? Or take away the right of a person to live as long as they can? The Catholic Church doesn’t take away freedom of choice, but defends life, and always has. Evangelicals have got on the band wagon also and are agreeing to this right to life as well. I think the error in our society comes before a state of emergency that seems to threaten family and personal freedom when we still feel we can enjoy the rites of Spring in gaily and liberally free sex. When we value the quality of life so dearly that we want to end it before a natural lifespan we aren’t embracing the responsibility that comes from having rights either.

            St. Joseph is remembered for his strong family values. Whether he was a widower and had a family, the cousins, which would be a better word to be used as a translation than brothers, of Jesus, or Joseph remained a virgin all his life; all look up to him as keeping Mary a virgin, and being the stepfather of our Lord. Maybe Mary taught Jesus to read and write or maybe it was Joseph: who probably took Him to the synagogue a lot, and instructed Him in the traditions that came down from his ancestor King David. Certainly his chastity is something that should inspire fathers today to be there for their unborn, their children, and the mothers of them. And it should inspire people to wait for marriage before sex. He should inspire people to accept humble work, if they can get it, and pray they are ready willing and able. And he should inspire people to be good stewards of whatever God gives them, and take care or look after families. Saint Joseph, the Worker, pray for me.



Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Food for Thot

The Feast of St. Mark

                Our Lord used a lot of references that were rural in inference. The Gospel writer St. Mark portrays this in the parable of the sower. The Word is the Lord and the Good News and the seed. The seed cannot grow if demons or birds snatch it away. If we are listening to the wrong words or having negative thoughts, good thoughts cannot grow. If our hearts are hard like stony ground we don’t have the word rooted in our hearts. When the weeds of daily care, concerns, wealth and image choke the seed as our spiritual growth in Jesus is stifled, we can’t focus on positive things. When the harvest is white and ripe sometimes the labourers are few. St. Mark was a martyr whose robe is white and a great harvester of souls. The Lord of the harvest is also the Bread of Life. When Christ fed the multitudes they still asked for signs. Jesus walked on water. The Lord is the Eucharist. The Father gave them bread from heaven, manna, and the bread of the presence.  Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” – John 6:26,27; NRSV

The Seed (Mark 4:23) My own paraphrase.

I heard they were scattered in a field

With messages which had taken seed

By the way scavengers ate it up

‘Til doldrums come and take it away

Some have had rocky occasions

Not too deep soon sprouted

Gladsome prematurity won’t sink

Long lasting past trouble

Amongst persecution young shoots

Sun burnt not deep nor grown dry up

Anxious pressure comes with messages

Give up at once

Amid brambles desires crowd choke

In too deep for riches soil wealth

Some roots don’t bear fruit from seed fallen

In good circumstance situations sprouts lent growth

Here yields accept bore fruit indeed

Thirty-fold sixty times one hundred per cent increase

You have been given the secrets of the Kingdom

Bear fruit increase and multiply

If you look and look but do not see

Listen and listen but don’t understand

Here if you did you’d hear our message

And be fruitful, filled with forgiveness

Put light beneath beads or a table or on standards

“Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open

And whatever is covered up will be uncovered

Listen then if you have ears!”

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Divine Mercy Sunday

Friday the 13th, April ‘2012

Turn Around

There is joy in my little old heart

And I must do my part

To gladden the heart of God

Giving up the past

Sin that would make you aghast

And saddened the Sacred Heart of God

There is hope in my heart to swell

With confidence say all is well

With me and Jesus Son of God

And now do the will

On the Way to heaven still

And the wedding of the Lamb of God

There is peace in my heart today

From the sacrifice made Easter day

Then followed flowed Holy Spirit of God

Once I craved unholy union

Now just Holy Communion

Lord fills me Divine Mercy of God

The little way heart accept it

With humbleness don’t reject it

Ones roll like the Little Flower of God

Stubbornness and pride

Forsake as incoming tide

Faith, Hope, Love abide with Triune God

Sunday Morning, April 15th ‘2012

Brothers and sisters we are invited to a feast

Of the Body and Blood of the Lamb

We have been gathered for a wedding banquet

To be united with Christ our head

Each humble part brought together

In the Divine Mercy to be restored

Healed forgiven we offer thanks and praise

To God the Father through the Spirit and Son be adored.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Why is there a Jesus on a Catholic’s cross?

One might better ask why isn’t there one on a Protestant’s. I don’t want to get into the history of it, the early church didn’t start with a cross as the symbol of Christianity but it just about universally is accepted as such now. They have recently banned the wearing of a cross in Great Britain but they have ostracized and persecuted Christians of various denominations before. It would be well protested somewhere with bombing if they tried to ban Islamic dress anywhere. But it was mentioned at our local Belleville Catholic Men’s Fellowship that all Catholics should wear a cross.

However my main point is about the problem of suffering.  When I was a Protestant, we obviously had some sermonizing on offering up our suffering to the Lord. I have an impression rather that there is instruction from some pulpits to give the impression because Christ suffered, we shouldn’t have to do so. I realize Protestants are still being martyred for Christ, right alongside our Catholic brothers and sisters. I’m sure too Protestants have burned Catholics at the stake and vice versa. But today we hear, mostly from Conservatives and Republicans, that we can be comfortable, healthy and not give up our affluent society, because the Lord has blessed us. This even means we should support abortions, euthanasia, and not marriage for life between members of the opposite sex, by some people, who are for some social justice; from the “new left.” And I’m not saying that Protestants don’t teach and preach that we should take up our crosses.

I am saying that the issue of suffering gets put on the back burner a lot. If the image of Christ isn’t seen on a cross in every room, church, business or Cathedral, I tend to forget that I have to suffer for Christ. No I get to suffer with Christ and crucifixes just remind me of that. They remind me that Christ suffered and died for me.  I suppose so does a cross without an image of Jesus on it. But somehow when I was a Protestant, that all got forgotten, by myself, at least. We don’t pray to images of Jesus or any of the Saints, they’re statues, paintings, or just images. But every year, Catholics venerate the cross publicly. Many have great devotion to the cross or their crucifix, I know I do for it and mine. God doesn’t want us to suffer but he asks us to do so. So: if you venerated a Cross yesterday,  do so on a regular basis, even if you just admire Catholic art of the Crucifixion, and you respect the Cross, I’m sure you’ll agree with me it really puts a positive prospective on the Passion and suffering, but if your perspective is that a crucifix is an idol or shouldn’t be in your church, home, or place of business, perhaps you’ll reconsider.   

Saturday, 17 March 2012

poem for Lent

Lament for A Saviour

Did anybody really love me.

Did anyone really care.

I know that my Mother Mary,

Did salvation’s story with me share.

And John, the Beloved, was with me,

Right on top of Calvary’s hill.

Then Mary Magdalene first saw me

After I rose and had to meet Father still.

But who was it when others leave me

Stand by like Saints Peter and Paul.

Or when the majority would deny me

Saints like Lucy and Barbara stand tall.

In times many would persecute us

There’d be a Saint Polycarp to offer up

And where the Faith those would desert us

Saints Ambrose and Benedict held the Cup.

If you need to fight a dragon for me

Be a Saint George, a patron, a friend.

And pagan, all, world seems around me,

Be as St. Patrick, to convert, make that a trend.

Do most protest or split from us?

Be a Saint Teresa of Avila.

Is your will or health not for us?

Be a Saint Therese of Liseux.

Do all hoard and greed around you?

Be a Saint Theresa of India.

Then should you feel lowly; I’m calling you:

Be a Saint Andre, have a Saint Joseph view.

And what of you – think no one knew me

When you thought your last lover gone?

Will you be sister/brother to me?

Turn this lament to victory song.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Lent '12

                Well here it is almost Spring, which means we are in Lent. March is in like a mangy old lion today in Belleville. This year I feel tempted to say, like Luther, I don’t need to say the Confiteor any more, I don’t need to say another Act of Contrition, and I don’t need to go to Confession again; haven’t I been sorry enough for my sins, most of them: long forgotten, and forgiven, if they were mortal, and doesn’t God understand if my sins are venial.

But then I am reminded that part of the great discipline of the Catholic Church is the sacrament of Reconciliation and if we are truly sorry for our sins we don’t stop being sorry that we have sinned. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel forgiven, that we don’t forgive others and ourselves, or that we don’t let the past go. It doesn’t hurt this season of renewal to bring to mind our sins in the Penitent rite, or say an extra Act of Contrition.

And I have had brought to my attention that simple acts of mercy and little ways of charitable deeds are all part of almsgiving. Like Ruth, who didn’t have much, except herself to offer Naomi , also we are now leaving our old world behind and living forever with a new people. This is the Church militant, until we either join the Church suffering, or the Church triumphant. We are being refined as silver, which has to be through the refiner’s fire twelve times, before it is pure. It isn’t one trip to the altar and then it’s just me and Jesus against the world that does the trick.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t depend solely on the Lord. We don’t depend solely on the Bible, but on the teachings of the Church, Sacred tradition, the authority of the Magisterium, and the Pope. It doesn’t negate the Word of God, the Truth, which Sacred Scripture is. We don’t depend solely on our Faith to save. James said it: Faith without works is dead; and we don’t suggest, as Luther did, just throw his book away, not to be in the Bible. However we do depend solely on the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for grace, mercy, and the strength to obtain salvation, a gift of God, through Faith, not by our works, but proven by them.

So God strengthens us; during Lent: by mortifications, Penance, to make Acts of Charity, fast and pray. It is only through much fasting and prayer, can some healings or some miracles take place, according to Jesus. Then we can get rid of the demons of the past, commend demons to the place prepared for them; avoid being put in a place ourselves where we are still asleep in the Lord and still need more purification, which we have called Purgatory. Then we can defeat the Demon, as the Lord who reminded the Devil: man does not live by bread alone, but every Word, that comes from the mouth of God. Then we can live in the presence of the Lord, with the Saints, in Glory. Then we can walk and talk with the Lord face to face, even before he comes again in glory himself.   

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Baptism

The Baptism
In the 3rd chapter of the Gospel
Of St. John the Divine it says
You must be born again
And earlier on St. John the Baptist
Even baptized the Son of God

And so we know we must be born
Of water and of the spirit
St. John said repent and be baptized
And we are adopted child of God
Born in the family of God

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Near the end of January '2012

Everyday Christian
Many days of the year are not special. Although today is the Memorial Day of St. Thomas Aquinas; as many days of the year have Sts. attached to them: it is not so special, unless you went to a church named after that St. Thomas, and partial because there are so many Sts., and except for government holidays, Christmas, New Years, Easter and Thanksgiving, they’re not too many special days. In Canada, Catholics don’t have as many days of obligation as they do in the USA. And I think we all see the trend of Sundays not being kept sacred holidays or special. Even though most of my Saturdays are special for me: my wife had the day off, before she retired and has everyday off, I go to the Belleville Catholic Men’s Fellowship in the morning, spend an hour in our Chapel of Adoration in the afternoon and usually go to the Vigil (Saturday Nite) Mass; it isn’t a special day really. But we sure can count on God’s love for us today, depend on the mercy of Christ, the Father’s blessing and the grace of the Holy Spirit. And so I am especially glad to be an everyday Christian.
When we think of the Incarnation, particularly Jesus hidden years, we are reminded that he had a lot of days that maybe didn’t seem so special. He probably worked with his father, Joseph, at carpentry, as the Bible says he was obedient to his parents. Many believe that Joseph died when Christ was in his youth, and he felt responsibility towards his Mother, Mary. Even on the cross he asked St. John, the Beloved disciple to treat her as his Mother. I think our Savior made everyday special with some time spent in a synagogue, in study of Scripture, or in solitude with his Father, as there are many references to this. And so too we are called to embrace everyday as a great day to be a Christian. I like to say the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Divine Office, read the Bible, and take Communion, everyday. There are two North American Catholic Networks, Vision TV, Christ centered radio stations and many other ways to make it a good day and a God day today.