:: Church of the Nativity

:: Church of the Nativity seige ends?

Earlier today I was debating whether or not to blog about the hostage situation at the Church of the Nativity. I held back, realizing I should pray and not just unload on our six regular readers. Now I find out it has been resolved. Maybe. I guess most Americans were too busy thinking about non-invasive colonoscopy procedures to be outraged while this was going on.

I was alarmed by this picture but I remembered that Jesus spent a lot of time with sinners. Apparently this was part of negotiations to end the seige on the Church of the Nativity. Arafat would make a great convert – I hope the Cardinal left some pamphlets with him. I don’t mean to be so glib – I just can’t understand why the Cardinal is smiling like he just moved someone else’s cheese. Maybe he Baptized Arafat and heard his confession?

Blog note: this is neither an endorsement of the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” nor of non-invasive colonoscopy procedures. Check back with me in twenty years and I’ll tell you if I am in favor on non-invasive colonoscopy procedures.

I have a prayer request

I have a prayer request for all five of our regular readers. John has an accounting exam tomorrow. Pray for him!

:: Sacraments and the Holy Spirit

A number of teens received the Sacrament of Confirmation at my church last night. I sang in the choir along with my brother John and his beautiful wife Teresa. It is extremely edifying to participate in a Mass when there are Baptisms and Confirmations. I recall my own Confirmation and I can’t say then I knew exactly what it meant. I certainly didn’t feel any holier after than I did before. My religious education growing up was abysmal, but that is a topic for future blogging. The Holy Spirit doesn’t always make sudden changes in a person though, at least not in a way that we notice. By faith we know Baptism and Confirmation changes the soul, changing the mind and heart is another matter entirely. Keeping the faith is keeping the Holy Spirit in you, being mindful of the extraordinary gift of His presence, participating worthily in a sacraments, praying, and being His witness in word and deed. I think it was St. Francis of Assisi who said, “We should always preach and sometimes use words.”

I have to remind myself of two things all the time. First, as a Christian I have the Holy Spirit in my soul. My soul is a Tabernacle for the Holy Spirit. In everything I do He is here in me. How much does God love us and trust us and need us that he abides in us? When I pray it is comforting to know I don’t have to go very far to reach Him because He is in me. Second is that when I remember to treat others as though the Holy Spirit dwells in them I won’t say unkind or uncharitable things, I won’t do them wrong, and I will see Jesus in them.

Here’s one more thing to think about. I have to credit C.S. Lewis with this though I’m not sure of the book I read it in. We have one of two eternal destinies. Some day we will be Heaven with the rest of the Saints and Angels in Communion with God, or if we have rejected Jesus we remains of our soul will end up on the spiritual garbage heap of Gehenna. If I treat everyone like I will be with them someday in Heaven I won’t do them wrong.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday. Pray continually for our shepherds in the faith, clergy and lay people alike.

:: On the importance of suffering

The Passion of Our Lord is what ransomed our redemption, not His resurrection.

St. Francis of Assisi said the empty cross is not the Cross of our Lord. He called it “the cross of the bad thief.”

Here’s a link on the Crucifix and it’s placement on the Altar. The site this comes from is an excellent resource on Catholicism and Apologetics.