Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Mary, Virgin and Mother; help us to bear radiant witness to generous faith, justice, and love of the poor; that the joy of the gospel may reach the ends of the earth.

Scripture

I am the Handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word. Luke 1:38

Prayer
Just as Pope Francis looks to Mary as an example of gospel living, so may I, gracious God. May she help me to bear “radiant witness” to my faith, to my practice of justice, and to my love and service for the poor. I want to say to you as Mary did: Be it done to me as you want it done. May I reflect the joy of the gospel in every aspect of my life. Amen.

Practice
I will pray often today: “I am at your service, O God; be it done to me as you will.”

What is meant by the final purification? Understanding the Catholic notion of purgatory requires knowing the difference between a temporal consequence and an eternal consequence; this difference has nothing to do with damnation and salvation. Some people reject the idea of purgatory because they misunderstand its purpose. In this video, Fr. Mike explains why purgatory is needed and straightens out some of those misunderstandings.

To learn more about purgatory, check out these articles on Ascension’s Great Adventure Blog:

Furnace of Divine Love: The Biblical Roots of Purgatory (http://bit.ly/2pQQv80)
A Fiery Faith for All Souls (http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/souls/)

MORE FROM ASCENSION:

Ascension Press main website: http://ascensionpress.com
Ascension Presents website: http://ascensionpresents.com
The Great Adventure Blog: http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/blog

Georges Lemaître.

Duncan Aikman of the New York Times spotlighted Lemaitre’s view in 1933: “‘There is no conflict between religion and science,’ Lemaïtre has been telling audiences over and over again in this country …. His view is interesting and important not because he is a Catholic priest, not because he is one of the leading mathematical physicists of our time, but because he is both.”

Read ‘A Day Without Yesterday’: Georges Lemaitre & the Big Bang by Mark Midbon.

Ready to write? Try this assignment: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality.

Bishop Dowd of Montreal wrote the following while participating in the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment in Rome in October 2018:

The 4 basic questions I believe constitute the corners and edges that anchor the puzzle. These questions are:

  • Who is God?
  • If God is good, why is there evil in he world?
  • If God is good but there is evil in the world, what has God done about it?
  • If God is good but there is evil in the world and God is doing something about it, how can we be part of it?

It is my conviction that these questions haunt the heart of every person, religious or not, and that the Christian faith can give a complete answer to those questions. God is love, the tragedy of sin, the drama and beauty of salvation history, and the call to vocation.

Also in his paper he mentions his support for Bishop Barron from California. Bishop Barron said the following in his “intervention” to Pope Francis:

What would a new apologetics look like? First, it would arise from the questions that young people spontaneously ask. It would not be imposed from above but would rather emerge organically from below, a response to the yearning of the mind and the heart. Here it would take a cue from the method of St. Thomas Aquinas. The austere texts of the great theological master in point of fact emerged from the lively give-and-take of the quaestiones disputatae that stood at the heart of the educational process in the medieval university. Thomas was deeply interested in what young people were really asking. So should we.

Have a closer look at Bishop Barron’s “A New Apologetics” and Bishop Dowd’s “Putting together the puzzle of faith.” What discussion points, ideas, or questions do you find agreeable?

Below is a list of traits one would like to find in a friend:

  1. joyful
  2. helpfulcaring
  3. creative
  4. spontaneous
  5. humble
  6. courageous
  7. fearless
  8. brave
  9. leader
  10. caring
  11. good listener
  12. gentle
  13. merciful
  14. just
  15. honest
  16. faithful
  17. sympathetic
  18. fun
  19. fair
  20. understanding
  21. sensitive
  22. accepting
  23. sensible
  24. responsible
  25. prudent
  26. non-judgmental
  27. generous
  28. giving
  29. sharing
  30. peacemaker
  31. knowledgeable
  32. good-looking
  33. athletic
  34. loving
  35. smart
  36. in control
  37. funny
  38. talkative
  39. soft-spoken
  40. kind
  41. patient
  42. helpful
  43. polite
  44. interesting
  45. nice
  46. self-controlled
  47. energetic
  48. nurturing
  49. supportive
  50. wise

Write a post in your iblog about the 3-5 traits you really look for in a friend. Prioritize your list and explain why you want friends to have certain traits.

Theme 1: What keeps us going?

Outcomes
Students will

  • define hope and its role in Christian living
  • explore the ways prayer nourishes hope
  • identify people who model Christian hope
  • find hope for their own lives in the death and resurrection of Jesus

Key Concepts

  • “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5.11-12).
  • Jesus’ death and resurrection are the foundation of Christian hope.
  • Hope is the virtue which keeps us searching for true happiness which is found in being true to oneself and faithful to God.
  • Hope sustains us during times of abandonment. Hope also protects us during times of struggle.
  • Hope is nourished in prayer.
  • When we presume that we don’t need God or when we deliberately presume that God will forgive and save us regardless of our attitudes, we sin against hope.
  • The first commandment is not only a call to avoid idolatry; it is also a call to place all our hope in God.

Theme 2: Where have we been and where will that take us?

Outcomes
Students will

  • review the virtues and Beatitudes, which underlie the Christian attitude toward being in the world
  • share their faith with others in the context of a year-end class celebration

Key Concepts

  • Review of Christian virtues and the Beatitudes.

Survey:

[polldaddy type=”iframe” survey=”408C13A7B8C3327D” height=”auto” domain=”dsader” id=”being-human”]

Discuss

Explain these statements:

  • All other natures on earth are commands; only human nature is an invitation.
  • Guilt is one of the many qualities that separate humans from beasts.
  • Baby : cub = acorn : marble
  • Whatever makes us grow as knowers and lovers is good; whatever makes us shrivel as knowers and lovers is evil.
  • Unless you choose to know and love, you automatically choose to be less than human.

Ruby Petunia Fawn felt less than human, even though objectively she surely was human. What is the difference between “feel” and “be”?

Why is guilt often a very good thing?

What objective norm would tell you whether guilt is appropriate or inappropriate?

What makes humans specifically different from all other species?

 

Bible Readings:

Skim these Scripture passages. Pick one that appeals to you and

  1. summarize its main point,
  2. tell how it relates to the theme “Understanding Humanity”,
  3. list one or two thoughts that entered your mind when you read it.
  • “The Good Samaritan” Luke 10:30-37
  • “Come Higher!” Luke 14:15-24
  • “Different Gifts” Genesis 49:1-28
  • “The Giving Soul” Hebrews 5:11-14
  • “Degrading” Isaiah 1:2-6

 

Reflect:

No human is merely a higher-level animal. Each human has the potential – which no animal has – to be far far more.

  • What is the difference between being human and acting human?
  • What test is there that you can apply to an entity to see if it is human – and not something less?
  • When does a baby start being a human entity?
  • When does a person in a coma stop being human?
  • People in mental hospitals, children who murder without any remorse, mob hit men – are all less than fully human, but are they less than human?

 

Quotable Quotes:

“What is man that you think of him; mere man that you care for him?” – Psalm 8:1,3-9

“No man is free who is not master of himself.” – Epictetus

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” – William Ernest Henley

“Vision … It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception of what can be.” Robert Collier

 

Faith reflection

The psalmist described the dignity of humans this way:

Psalm 8:1, 3-9 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=385540891


You have set your glory above the heavens. 
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established; 
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?


Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour. 
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet, 
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field, 
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.


Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Pope John Paul II echoed that human dignity when he addressed the united nations in 1979. He said:

It is a question of the highest importance that in internal social life, as well as in international life, all human beings in every nation and country should be able to enjoy effectively their full rights under any political regime or system.

If reason alone and Scripture and the church attest to the dignity of every human being, what effect does that have on arguments about abortion, war, capital punishment, and euthanasia?

 

Activity:

Choose:

  1. Read aloud – or even memorize – Shylock’s response to Salanio and Salarino an The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1, that begins “To bait fish withal…” What is Shylock trying to justify? What arguments does he use to justify it? Debate the points for and against Shylock’s argument.
  2. Lord of the Flies embodies the thesis: Human beings are evil at the core, and the only things keeping humans from open savagery are control by civilized society and its law enforcement agencies. Catcher in the Rye embodies precisely the opposite thesis: We are all born innocent and are corrupted – or even driven mad – by the wickedness of the society we are thrust into. Which thesis is true? Why? Or are they both true? Why?
  3. Explain these statements:
    • All other natures on earth are commands; only human nature  is an invitation.
    • Guilt is one of the many qualities that separate humans from beasts.
    • Baby : cub = acorn : marble
    • Whatever makes us grow as knowers and lovers is good; whatever makes us shrivel as knowers and lovers is evil.
    • Unless you choose to know and love, you automatically choose to be less than human.

All living species are tied together in one greaat, interdependent network.

The smallest subatomic particles are joined together in a cosmic dance, and evey living thing has evolved together on this world. There is no aspect of this amazing creation – chemical, biological, or material – thatis not interconnected. Pope Francis says that our failure to note this in times past has ledto today’s problems. Our embrace now of how crucial every part is to every other part is will lead to a positive change.

Ponder
Where do I need to deepen my faith so that I may start to recognize our interconnectedness?

Pray
God of creation, help me to see your glory in every part of creation, even where I’d least expect to find it.And if I see it being harmedorclouded, help me to reveal it all.

Judith Dunlap, When You Teach in a Catholic School(2004) states that yes, religion is taught but faith is caught by being around people who are confident and willing to share their faith. We can touch the heart through rituals, by creating an influential environment and again, by being a personal witness. Rituals bring people together; they teach us there are certain ways to do things, they make us feel good as well as give vitality to the people involved. We can grow as faith community by starting (and maintaining) a ritual; it can include words, actions, symbols and/or music. The environment in any room, not just the religion class, can also influence faith by creating a feeling of peace and welcome through the use of lights, pictures, music, rugs, and/or plants by tapping into our senses. Last, personal witness isn’t just limited to staff in the school. We must remember to include and invite other witnesses like parents, community members, elders, priests, etc. to help our youth grow by sharing their story.

John 15:15

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.

Think of events that will happen in your school this month. Are there people that can be invited in to help celebrate these events and share their story?

Faith is relational; people influence us all the time. It is our baptismal duty to pass on the faith in how we car for one another.

Judith Dunlap, When You Teach in a Catholic School(2004) writes, that we need to affirm our youth that they are loved no matter what; God’s love is always steady. All people in a child’s life have the responsibility to help them grow in their faith and become anchored in God’s steadfast love. Students also need to be taught that they, in turn, have a responsibility to share love with others by living a life of peace, justice and respect.

Archbishop Miller for The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools(2006) emphasizes that the purpose of a Catholic school is to be a vital witness that reveals the love of Christ by word, gesture, and behaviour.

God Reveal’s His Plan:

Matthew 25:40
And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

In Evangel Gaudium, the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis wrote that a catechist must be strong and clear with the most important proclamation of: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen, and free you.” How do these words resonate with you? What are your feelings or reactions after watching the video?

Challenge yourself that when you encourage or console someone this week, you verbally, out loud, ask God to bless then so they can hear holy words of affirmation.

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