Saturday, January 30

The Storm Around Us

I get the daily readings and a commentary each day from Daily Gospel. This was today's commentary, written by St. Augustine.

This should serve as a reminder to all Christians today. Is Christ asleep? Or is it just that our faith is sleeping?


"Commentary of the day :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Exposition on Psalm 25, no. 2

A violent squall came up

We, too, are rowing across a lake that lacks neither wind nor storm: the daily temptations of this world are almost swamping our boat. Why should this be except because Jesus is sleeping? If Jesus were not asleep in you, you would not be undergoing these squalls but would be enjoying great interior peace because Jesus would keep watch with you.

What does it mean: Jesus sleeps? It means that your faith in Jesus is asleep. The lake's tempests arise: you witness the wicked prospering and the virtuous suffering; this is a temptation, a buffeting by the waves. And you say to your soul: «O God, is this your justice? That the wicked should prosper and the virtuous be abandoned to suffering?» Yes, you say to God: «Is this your justice?» And God answers you: «And is this your faith? What in fact did I promise you? Did you become a christian so as to be a success in this world? Are you distressed by the lot of the wicked here below when all the time you are ignorant of their lot in the future world?»

How is it that you talk like this and are tossed by the waves on the lake and by the storm? It is because Jesus is asleep – I mean, that your faith in Jesus is asleep in your heart. What are you to do to be rescued? Waken Jesus and say to him: «Lord, we are lost!». The insecurities of our crossing over the lake trouble us; we are lost. But he will awake, that is to say, your faith will return to you and, with Jesus' help, you will think over it in your heart and note that the good things that are granted to the wicked today are not going to last. Those good things escape them during their lifetime or they will have to leave them behind at the moment of death. But where you are concerned it is the opposite: what is promised you will remain for eternity... So turn away from what falls apart and set your face towards what lasts. When Christ awakes, the storm will no longer buffet your heart nor the waves submerge your boat because your faith will command the winds and the waves and this peril will pass away."

Thursday, January 28

Reminder to Self

"Leave at the door of the place where you are going to converse with God all extraneous thoughts, saying, with St. Bernard, "O my thoughts, wait here. After prayer we shall speak about other matters."

--St. Alphonsus Liguori

[quote via Daily Gracelines from Women of Grace]

Monday, January 25

When the Choices Given to You Aren't Compatible with Life

I've actually seen this site before, and it deserves much more attention than my small-potatoes blog will give it, which is why it's so wonderful to see KJL on National Review highlighting it.

For parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis that is not in the norm, most online resources seem to be firmly set in the Culture of Death. How to deal with the aftermath of aborting a wanted child and such. (The fact that this site honors George Tiller is pretty disturbing to me.) But for a long time, there were not sites that were firmly set within the Culture of Life.

Be Not Afraid is that site. It's a support site for parents who love their children and are choosing life for them. Parents who are facing a difficult journey ahead, but who are not shirking from it.

One of my favorite parts of the article (linked below) is the following:

"If you are a scared parent who has just returned from a doctor’s visit that brought bad news about your unborn child and log onto your computer and search for “anencephaly,” she wants you to have alternatives. She wants you to know that other parents have been at the point you are. She wants you to know that you can face your pregnancy. And if your doctor won’t help you, she’ll help you find a doctor. Even if you’re in England, she’ll try.
[Monica] Rafie, you see, has been there. She and her husband were told that her daughter would be “incompatible with life.” Today she is a “vibrant” second-grader preparing for her First Communion. It took “grace and a series of surgeries,” but her daughter is alive at eight years old, quite compatible with life and a blessing to her family, despite her initial prognosis. There’s “a whole group of parents that need to be reached out to,” Rafie says. And so she tries."

Read the rest of the article here:

Oh, one last thought from the article. It's something Rafie said, and it is true, so it deserves to be repeated again and again.

“The baby who could die anyway has the same dignity as any other baby.”

Sunday, January 24

Film Review: To Save a Life (Updated with Trailer)

I've just started reading The American Catholic blog, and saw this review. I liked this part of the review, and must remind myself to try to get to this movie (or borrow it from the library when it becomes available on DVD.

And of course we all know that Christianity really is the coolest thing amongst all the kids, that no one has ever been made fun of or ostracized for standing on a moral principle, that any typical teenage boy could throw away a hot girlfriend, his basketball teammates, parties on the weekends and the approval of his parents just to make a big deal out of helping a strange kid who no one likes and who he hardly knows and everyone would just stand up and applaud, because Christianity is just that hip.

Read the rest of the review here: To Save a Life: The Film Commissars Attack

Update: Here's the trailer.

Friday, January 22

Today's March for Life

Because of some BIG scheduling conflicts this weekend, we were unable to go to the March for Life this year.

Instead, I'm marching VIRTUALLY.

Sign up at the link below to do so. You even get to pick an avatar. Don't worry about the clothes, since the weather is always perfect in cyberspace. (Yes, I actually looked them over and thought, "None of them are dressed warm enough for this weather." I know. I'm pathetic.)

Monday, January 18

Awesome Quote

I found this quote and wanted to share it. I'm going to wait until at least tomorrow to post who said (or wrote) it.

"From the first, faith has been God’s means of justifying men

God’s blessing must be our objective, and the way to win it our study.
Search the records of ancient times. Why was our father Abraham
blessed? Was it not because his upright and straightforward conduct
was inspired by faith? As for Isaac’s faith, it was so strong that,
assured of the outcome, he willingly allowed himself to be offered in
sacrifice. Jacob had the humility to leave his native land on account
of his brother, and go and serve Laban. He was given the twelve
tribes of Israel.

Honest reflection upon each of these examples will make us realize
the magnitude of God’s gifts. All the priests and levites who served
the altar of God were descended from Jacob. The manhood of the
Lord Jesus derived from him. Through the tribe of Judah, kings,
princes and rulers sprang from him. Nor are his other tribes without
their honor, for God promised Abraham: Your descendants shall be as
the stars of heaven.

It is obvious, therefore, that none of these owed their honor and
exaltation to themselves, or to their own labors, or to their deeds of
virtue. No; they owed everything to God’s will. So likewise with us,
who by his will are called in Christ Jesus. We are not justified by our
wisdom, intelligence, piety, or by any action of ours, however holy,
but by faith, the one means by which God has justified men from
the beginning. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

What must we do then, brothers? Give up good works? Stop
practicing Christian love? God forbid! We must be ready and eager
for every opportunity to do good, and put our whole heart into it.
Even the Creator and Lord of the universe rejoices in his works. By
his supreme power he set the heavens in their place; by his infinite
wisdom he gave them their order. He separated the land from the
waters surrounding it and made his own will its firm foundation.
By his command he brought to life the beasts that roam the earth.
He created the sea and all its living creatures, and then by his power
set bounds to it. Finally, with his own holy and undefiled hands, he
formed man, the highest and most intelligent of his creatures, the
copy of his own image. Let us make man, God said, in our image and
likeness. And God made man, male and female he made them. Then,
when he had finished making all his creatures, God gave them his
approval and blessing: Increase and multiply, he charged them.

We must recognize, therefore, that all upright men have been graced
by good works, and that even the Lord himself took delight in the
glory his works gave him. This should inspire us with a resolute
determination to do his will and make us put our whole strength
into the work of living a Christian life."

Monday, January 11

Gave Me the Shivers

Do you pray for priests? Especially the ones who seem to struggle with their vows or the Church?

Saturday, January 9

Catholic Carnival: Sunday Snippets

There's a new kind of Catholic Carnival in town, and it's very easy to participate. Just head to the link below, then leave a link to your post that you'd like to include. Remember, make it a direct link to a specific post!

Have a blessed week!

This That and the Other Thing: Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Monday, January 4

What If I Fall Down There?

When I was in college, I had a professor who told us a story to illustrate how children see the world. He talked about the big sewer grates on St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida, where Flagler College is located. He saw a small boy, probably about three or four, and the child was walking with his father. The boy stopped fearfully in front of one of the huge grates and held tight to his father's hand.

"Daddy," he asked, "what if I fall down in there?"

The professor stopped here and said, "It doesn't matter that physically the boy is too big to fall throught the grate. His kind obviously can't comprehend that. The father gave a perfect answer to this important question."

"If you fell down in there, I'd come in and get you," he said, and his son relaxed and felt it was safe to go on.

I recalled this story at Midnight Mass. Father K was talking about how God knew Man was in trouble, and He came for us - to save us. He is like the father on St. George Street, who calmed his son with the knowledge that he would save him if he were in trouble.

How God is like that with us!! Right from the Fall, God promised that Someone would come for us. Someone would come in and get us. All through the Old Testament, He makes this known again and again. "I'm coming down there to get you. Don't be afraid. Trust Me. I'm coming!"

This lesson should not be left in the past, though. When we're scared or on trouble, we must remember that God will come down and get us. He will lift us up. He will sustain us. He will help, even when we can't understand what He's doing.

Think about the boy. He trusted his father, but if he fell down the grate, he would be unable to see what measures his father was taking to get ready to come after him. And if the boy was crying loudly for help, it's also likely he wouldn't be able to hear his father calling down comforting words to him.

This is so much like when we pray for help from our Father in Heaven! We are so busy crying. We can't hear God answering us, trying to calm us. We do not trust Him enough.

This is a big lesson for me. I must learn to trust Him more. I must learn to listen for His comforting words while I wait for hte help that comes. Perfect help at the perfect time. HIS time. Not my own.

I have to remind myself that if I fall down in there, He will come down and get me.

Who are your heros?


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