24 April 2011

Easter Triduum- The Vigil

I spent the whole day at church. from dawn to way past dusk. Choir practice from 8:30 till 12. Dance practice after that…. yes there was liturgical dance and my trad soul still cringes that I took part. And then of course the vigil after a bit of warming up voices and muscles, and excitement all around. we started with the liturgy of the word then after the readings we danced to Our god is an awesome God. Then during the liturgy of the Light I sang the Exultet with Emille. It was beautiful. This is the version we sung…

An then the catechumens got baptised. Oh what a glorious sight. Fr. J had a plunge pool so he baptised them alright buckets of freezing water and all. And then we helped them all process in and they got confirmed… with the slaps of course Smile It was wondrous. It was festive. For

HE IS RISEN!!!!

AND HE LIVES FOREVERMORE!!!!!

23 April 2011

Easter Triduum -Good Friday

The Good Friday services were inspired. Truly! Liberal that he is Fr. J had the stations of the cross up on the screen – scenes and clips from the passion nochal… and here I thought this Easter I had not had a chance to watch the Passion. It was all the important bits… the way of the cross… the via dolorosa. And I surprisingly missed the kneeling. I find it therapeutic and it reminds me that He suffered great pain for me. I was all alone though, was the only one to wake up and nya was at work.
Then there was the 3 o’clock service… All our tiny crosses that he had given us for lent had been used to make up the big cross. and in dramatic Fr. J fashion he nailed a couple more on there during the service… he emphasized how we are to lay our crosses with Jesus, how we are to carry the for the Christian life is one of suffering before the dawn, of allowing Jesu to help us carry our crosses. We are born of the cross. We die with Christ so we can rise up with him…
Now we wait not in despair but in hope for we know he rose again…

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21 April 2011

Easter Triduum–Maundy Thursday

 

… and a song that Sr. Sturmia taught us was sung today –

“The Lord Jesus, after eating with His friends,

washed their feet and said to them

Do you know what I your Lord has done to you?

I have given you example that so you also should do”

Padre talked about service and it was profound and we renewed our commitments to our ministries… guess who stood up ore than once. He talked about how we are all called to be feet washers, to realise that ours is a life of service to the body of Christ

and then we went to wait and watch. a grotto type of garden had been created in the hall were they placed the Host. and it was adoration at its best. another of Sr. Sturmia’s finest…

My soul is sad

My heart is breaking tonight

Could you not watch and comfort me until night

I am alone surrounded only by night

Could you not watch one hour with me?

So we wait… and watch…

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12 April 2011

Sexual-education in schools

 

And here is a plug for a book read by someone (MA?) in the TOB group that may be brilliant. It explains what children are being taught in sex-ed and why it is all so wrong. It’s called “You teaching my child what?” by Miriam Grossman who is a physician so she should know what she it talking about.

TOB Tuesday: Creation of Man

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We have gone to the beginning, and there we find the creation of man. Two accounts nochal, one is Elohist and the other Yahwist. We learn that the second account is the earlier one, the Yahwist account as it uses the name Yahweh. the first one is from the Priestly tradition using the name Elohim, thus more thought out and revealing of God’s nature. We learn that the earth is created for man by God, for man to go forth and subdue it and procreate. Man is created at a pinnacle time, not in succession like the rest of creation but after God took a pause… “Let us create man in our image, in our likeness” (Gen1:27).

The Elohist account, the more mature one, defines man according to his relationship to God – as an image of God – thus not as of the world – not as a mere creature but like God.  We image God in that we have reason, intellect and will and our spirit likens God’s spirit. He breathed into us the spirit of life after forming us from dust, from nothing. So even though we have bodies… and boy do we have bodies… we cannot be reduced to just our bodies. It is an objective account, giving fact – created male and female, in the image of god and sent forth to be fruitful and multiply.

Then there was a whole bunch on incontrovertible metaphysics that lost me… something about ‘being’ and ‘good’ being convertible… oh well LOL

Then we shared – about sharing in the inspiration. We should not worry so much about how far we are from God and heaven that is the ideal and just because we are far we should not think we have failed. does one aim for distinction or just  pass –> hopefully for distinction. We need to study scripture to get to a point of ”I cant live this on my own, I need God” the point of salvation, where the human and the divine meet. We live heaven everyday by calling out “God  I need you, I am a sinner” so the text helps us for it gives us another standard, God’s standard and the world baseline is not the standard. And we can show other this standard, this truth by living it and not harping about it and bashing it in.

You cant have compassion without truth, but you can teach the truth compassionately

Having an abortion after rape does not make it better, it’s a double trauma, and why emphasize on the sin of homosexuality more than on alcoholism? When it comes to premarital sex and homosexuality both are wrong though the former is true to the attribute of who we are it is still morally wrong. Homosexuality also then also has he extra attribute of being disordered; even is society tries to tell you that there is no difference whiter or not i have sex with a male or a female. So why are others born homosexual, blind etc… to show the greater glory of god, just likes this weeks gospel were Jesus heals the blind man.

Then someone asked how we can be compassionate when we meet ‘evil’? how do we show compassion when there is paedophilia, alcoholism, murder? We are all made to love, willing the good of the other, and if one you loved lived a way contrary to their own fulfilment and happiness we could do our best to bring them out of it. Our obligation as Christians is to be a light to the world, to hold up to the nations the light of Christ through our love not our judgement. We need to tell the world the truth so they know it. MG gave an analogy of poison in the cup. He said if there is poison in a cup on a table and there are 3 persons A, B and C. ‘A’ knows its poison and will not drink it no matter how pretty attractive of good smelling it is or whatever promise of euphoria it promises. ‘B’ knows its poison and drinks it anyway coz it tastes oh so good and cannot resist the temptation of ecstasy. C does not know its poisons and drinks it because it tastes all so good. Will not both C and B die? They will regardless of whether or not C knew it was poison it will still kill him. So it is with sin, just because it looks oh so good, is oh so pleasurable does not matter how you dress it up… its wages are death. And ‘A’ should do his best to let ‘C’ know that it is poison, not in a  judgemental way in a compassionate way… now there's a doozy!

How do we teach the truth without saying “In the bible it says” how do we not bible bash. Henri Nouwen is a philosopher and I have his name in my notes so if what I a attributing to him is false let me know. He says … saying “In the bible it says” is not Catholic. we live in a protestant country influenced by protestant thought. the bible only came into being 400AD or so.  so how did the apostles and disciples teach and evangelise before then? They went out and argued the common sense about the truth of Christ. So we argue thus when it comes to TOB, that we have infinite dignity because we are created in His image therefore no one has the right to take that life away. We use natural law to help us present a reasoned argument of what is morally right and wrong. We use the truth because the truth speaks to the heart.

Like the apostles drew from the resurrection power of Christ and went out to make disciples so too should we draw from His resurrection. Mass, prayers, spiritual reading are all ways of nourishing our reserves and of allowing ourselves to draw from the resurrection experience like the apostles did. The bible is not a manual of how's but a nourisher to allow for reasoning and to come to a conclusion. But then if we all decide a conclusion what is law? Because our reasoning is all different? Then what is the word of God? Reasoning will go wrong without the Holy Spirit and without nourishment, its the truth of God that the Holy Spirit guarantees – and the gates of hell will not persist over it. There is only ONE story of Jesus Christ, not 2, not 20, not thousands; one story of Christ and the resurrection and the WHOLE story is within the WHOLE bible.

Moral of today’s session: We all have the capability to love and hence that is our universal calling.

5 April 2011

TOB Tuesday: What is meant by beginning?

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So we are finally beginning the long journey of going through “Man and Woman he created them: A theology of the Body” by John Paul II. I wonder if it will take us 5 years too LOL. Hey this tome is huge.

Session one begins by exploring “What is meant by the beginning?”. Why the focus on the ‘beginning’?  JPII’s talks begin as the bishops are preparing for a synod on “De muneribus familiae christianae” - The duties [or role, gifts, tasks] of the Christian Family. This has been fundamental from the beginning a phrase Jesus uses when talking about marriage, and to figure out why He appealed to the beginning we analyse scripture.

We see the beginning referring to Genesis, to the two creation accounts written there. How man and woman were created by God, in His image and how they will leave mother and father to become one. When chatting to the Pharisees in Mt 19, He brings this out and emphasises how in the beginning we were created thus, quoting a scripture well known. He then goes on explaining that divorce was only instituted because of the hardness of mans heart for in the beginning it was not so. That god’s intention was very decisive, that waht He joined in union, no man could sperate… and this was from the very beginning. So we will delve into this beginning to discover what it menas to us today and how its affetcs our lives and families.

MA mentioned that JPII was an ethicist, he was concerned a lot with what one aught to do and how our actions fit in with Divine Law, Natural Law and Moral Law. For instance how do we reveal contraception as a violence against human nature? As human we like to judge issues on a case by case basis, e.g what if she was raped, what if the child will only live 1 month in abject pain… but we are reminded not to involve ‘cases’… not to try and change the law to suit us, but to love first and not judge first. We are called to go to the beginning to original man; authentic man, true, real, genuine, true to God’s plan, without sin, true to love. We are to be reminded that Love is gift and we image God in that gift….

Now to learn how to image :)

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