Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Journey of a Lifetime...

Thursday evenings at 7 PM we will host a viewing of Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism” Series, an illustration of the beauty and truth of the Catholic Faith in breathtaking, high-definition cinematography. 

From the sacred lands of Israel to the beating heart of Uganda, from the glorious shrines of Italy, France and Spain, to the streets of Mexico, Kolkata, and New York City, the mystery of Catholicism is revealed.  Each evening, one hour episode from the “Catholicism” series followed by informal discussion. 
Catholicism” Series begins this Thursday, February 23 at 7 PM in the rectory meeting room.  Please use the front door.  No cost to attend.  All welcome!

In Episode One, “Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man,” we journey with Fr. Robert Barron to the mysterious and sacred sites of the Holy Land.  From Caesarea Phillipi, to the Sea of Galilee, to Jerusalem and finally to the eternal city of Rome, Fr. Barron illuminates the Catholic Faith’s conviction that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah and the revelation of God become man in Christ.  

Looking ahead...

Thusrday, March 1:    Episode 2 (Happy Are We: The Teachings of Jesus)
Thursday, March 8:    Episode 3 (The Ineffable Mystery of God: That Than Which Nothing Greater can be Thought)
Thursday, March 15:    Episode 4 (Our Tainted Nature's Solitary Boast: Mary, Mother of God)
Thursday, March 22:   Episode 5 (The Indispensable Men: Peter, Paul and the Missionary Adventure)

(Episodes 6 to 10 to be scheduled after Easter)

Check out the video clip below for a small sampling of the series:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lenten Holy Hours...

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Begins one hour prior to every weekday Mass in Lent
From Thursday, February 23 to Wednesday, April 4.

"It was not until 1973, when we began our daily Holy Hour that our community started to grow and blossom." - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity

"The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth."  - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer. Our world is one of speed in which intensity of movement is a substitute for lack of purpose; where noise is invoked to drown out the whisperings of conscience; where talk, talk, talk gives the impression that we are doing something when really we are not; where activity kills self-knowledge won by contemplation…
There seems to be so little in common between our involvement with the news of the world and the Stranger in whose Presence we find ourselves. The hour means giving up a golf game or a cocktail party, or a nap…
Sometimes it is hard, especially during vacation when we have nothing to do. I remember once having two hours between trains in Paris. I went to the Church of Saint Roch to make my holy hour. There are not ten days a year I can sleep in the daytime This was one. I was so tired, I sat down at 2:00p.m.--too tired to kneel--and went to sleep. I slept perfectly until 3:00p.m. I said to the Good Lord: "Did I make a holy hour?" The answer came back: "Yes! That's the way the Apostles made their first one." The best time to make a holy hour is in the morning, early, before the day sets traps for us. By being faithful to it, and letting nothing interfere with it, we use it as the sign and symbol of our victimhood. We are not called to great penances, and many would interfere with our duty, but the hour is our daily sacrifice in union with Christ.”   - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Ash Wednesday Mass Schedule

Ash Wednesday Masses with distribution of ashes will be held at 9 AM and  7 PM in the church.

A service is also scheduled for the staff and students of St. Jude's School at 2 PM in the school gym.

Getting more mileage...


Some thoughts on Life, Lent, and Mark 2:1-12

This Lent you may wish to adopt a different way of praying with scripture, particularly the Gospels.  An especially  powerful way involves reading a passage from the Gospel while imagining ourselves to be in the story as it unfolds.

Take the passage on the healing of the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12) as an example.   Picture in your mind’s eye being among the group of people who were bringing the paralyzed man to the house where Jesus was.  After walking for hours along a rugged and dusty road, the house where Jesus is is finally in sight.  The excitement builds. The weight of carrying our paralyzed friend suddenly becomes a little less taxing.
As we get closer to the house, however, we are overwhelmed with a feeling of discouragement when we see that the door to the house is completely blocked by other people.  How will we get in?  How will our paralyzed friend get into the presence of Jesus?  Now we are faced with the choice: turn back and return home with the paralyzed friend, or find a way to overcome the obstacle.

Let’s stop for a while at that door.  When we stop, many of us will realize that we’ve been there at that door before.   Standing outside this blocked door can represent all those times we had planned to do something good but then met resistance.

Here is a spiritual insight from the Gospel for us: So often when we resolve to do something good, (when we wish to address an area of “paralysis” in our life), we meet resistance.  Faced with this resistance, we can either leave or think of another solution.  The resistance can be external, coming from the outside, perhaps from other people or the temptation of the devil.  Most often, though, it comes from inside our own heart.

Let me illustrate this further with a personal story.  In the upper corner of most vehicle windshields there’s a little sticker indicates when a vehicle is due for its next oil change.   It usually says something like, “Next service due on  July 1st or 200,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.”

About a year ago, my car was due for another oil change.   Things happened, though, and time passed, and I thought a few more kilometres shouldn't hurt.  Everything seemed to go fine, but I still planned to bring the car in. More time passed, and I was soon making a road-trip to Southern Ontario, which added to the car a few thousand more kilometres. Now I was way overdue!  At this point, I hesitated to bring the car in because I was afraid of what the people at the shop might think of me!  I drove on until the oil light came on.  I started driving by used-car lots to check out my options!

The good news is that the car finally made it to a garage, and all is now well.  The interior resistance was finally overcome. I make this public confession so that others might learn from my mistake! The moral of the story is that living our lives like I drove my car is not a good idea! Good resolutions will not keep a car running!  Don’t wait for the warning lights of life to kick in before doing what has to be done.  Making it to the doorway of resolution is one thing.  Crossing the threshold is another.  

Some of us, for example, have been meaning for some time to learn more about our faith.  But as we are about to make it happen, notice how the resistance begins!  Some of us may have it on our hearts to return to the sacrament of reconciliation, but then the hesitation arises: “What will the priest think of me?  I’m not all that bad anyway.  Maybe next week...” 

The holy season of Lent challenges us to cross the threshold.  Only by “entering the house” will the paralyzed areas of our life be blessed with new life and healing.

Get more mileage out of your spiritual life this Lent.  Respond to the call of the Gospel. Overcome the resistance, and cross the threshold of resolution into the realm of reality! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Coffee Sunday!!

Join us this weekend for our monthly coffee Sunday:
Following the 10 AM Mass on Sunday, February 12.
Entertainment by the Cedar Valley Band. 
Bring a musical instrument if you play one. 
Feel free to invite a friend along too!