Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Truth. By: C.C.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." (Flannery O'Connor)

   Truth is truth. The idea of what is true may vary from one individual to another, but opinion and personal  ideals do not alter truth or determine it. Truth remains true regardless of who opposes it.
  "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubtantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe it the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."
     This is truth; and this is what I believe to be true. It was not always easy to "stomach it" but, it did not cease to be true because of my difficulty to accept it. Years of unrest, of ignorance, and of wresting with the truth led me further from a sense of peace and security in anything. It led me to substitute truth for multiple lies and falsities;attempting to stand on firm ground when nothing but The Fullness of Truth could sustain the weight of my desire(s). There is peace in truth. There is joy; everlasting joy in the presence of truth. And yes, it is not always easy to stomach because the Truth demands a change. It demands us to step outside of our selfish inclinations and outward in self-giving love. This truth demands obedience and sacrifice to those called to live in light of it. "I believe" is not something uttered by lips alone but one I commit myself to in deed as much as I am able to everyday.
  The truth does not change when I falter or stumble.Through my weakness the strength of Truth is affirmed. The truth does not bend to accommodate my emotions, and it is not to be held against others in judgement.When I say I believe in this truth then I commit myself to follow wherever I am led. To stand up when others may oppose it and to follow persistently even when ridiculed. The truth remains true even when it is deemed "unfashionable" or "outdated". "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." We must change our appetites and seek Him who satisfies our greatest hunger and fulfills our deepest need. (CC ) 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Before we give our Catholic schools a failing grade...: C.C.


The current state of Catholic education has recently sparked my attention after reading an article from The Catholic Register entitled Catholic schools failing at making disciples. Catholic education is often at the forefront of much criticism, and it seems that the initial intention and agenda for Catholic education in Ontario has faded and fallen short of accomplishing what it had initially set out to do. There is no simple explanation or solution for the point that we have reached, however by taking a look back (and for many a first look) at what Catholic education in Ontario was aimed at accomplishing we can potentially begin to slowly mend the current reality.  
  In 1989, the Catholic Bishops of Ontario gathered and created a wonderful document entitled This Moment of Promise, that explored the role, duties, obligations, beauty, and fundamentals of Catholic education in Ontario. It is definitely worth reading and reflecting upon.        
   Before we give our Catholic schools a failing grade for not making disciples, we must also look into the reality of the way in which we as the faithful carry out our daily mission in deed and word. In seeking to create these young disciples we must ask ourselves if we are bold enough to be apostles. This lack of discipleship is not a recent issue, but it is one that has occurred over time. Idealistically the role of the Catholic educator should be one that reflects this below.....
"Prime responsibility for creating this unique Christian school climate rests with the teachers, as individuals and as a community. The religious dimension of the school climate is expressed through the celebration of Christian values in Word and Sacrament, in individual behavior, in friendly and harmonious interpersonal relationships, and in a ready availability. Through this daily witness,, the students will come to appreciate the uniqueness of the environment to which their youth has been entrusted. If it is not present, then there is little left which can make the school Catholic.
(The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, S.C. for Catholic Education, 1988, para. 26).
"If it is not present, then there is little left which can make the school Catholic"! If our teachers are called to "witness to the hope that is within them", then our work as missionaries is not limited to ensuring that our students encounter Jesus Christ, but also that these educators first become apostles for the faith and are prepared properly. The reality is that many educators within the Catholic school system have also been "failed" throughout their Catholic school experiences.
   The transformation and renewal that needs to happen will progress as those imbued with the Gospel begin to share, shine, and send forth the light of Christ to those they encounter. The work of the faithful needs to remain one of love and not simply criticism. Let us continue to persevere in our desire to create disciples and surrender our work to the Lord's will and remain trusting. "Making disciples" is a collective effort, and not the sole responsibility of a school board, parish, priest, or educator. It is the responsibility of all those initiated into the Catholic faith to provide opportunities for one to encounter Christ. And, while the article says that the schools "should not stress the Mass but create other opportunities for students to meet Jesus and make a decision to follow Him."..  I feel that we must stress the truth about the Mass and the beautiful reality of Jesus present to us in the Blessed Sacrament;trusting that it is our Lord who intercedes above all, who has called us, and will intercede by inspiring the decision to follow Him and begin the journey of discipleship.(C.C.)   


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Glorifying God. By: CC

We can only be something in the world for God when we become aware of what we are not. It is by our humility and humanness that God is enabled to shine through us.When we forget this simple truth we cease to be the light of Christ in the world and risk becoming rooted in selfishness.Our work though seemingly active will not be as effective as it can be unless it is entrusted fully to the will of God. 
   To seek good deeds and to will the betterment of our surroundings is a noble task, yet, when it is taken on with solely self-motive it will fall ever so short of reaching the goal for which we are striving.
Often even those tasks undertaken within our parish communities can be those entrenched with selfish desires. It is a constant work to examine our consciences and our hearts in everything that we commit to. Our goal in all things should be for the glory of God,to share the joy that He has provided to us and to extend ourselves beyond our comforts into the service of others. The proof of God`s will behind our endeavors will be in the `fruits`of our labor. Let us strive each day to draw nearer to our Lord and Lady. Entrusting all to them as we carry on in the joy and hope promised to us by our Lord. (CC)