Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Let nothing trouble you" By: C.C.

"Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you. All things are passing; God never changes. Patience obtains all things. He who possesses God lacks nothing: God alone suffices" (St. Teresa of Avila)

   St. Teresa of Avila did not share these words without also empathizing with the emotion of which they are written;she identifies with each of us. 
     It is by clinging to God despite the heaviness of our burdens that we can experience comfort and consolation from our Lord. Through faith we can endure all that comes. 
    "All things are passing; God never changes"
   In order for us to find full comfort in these words we must first have some understanding of our Lord as unchanging. We must acquire a deeper sense of who God truly is and where our greatest source of stability can be found. As we come to reflect on Scripture, the lives of the Saints, and even our own lives we can recognize the truth of this statement. We may come to find that as we spent time questioning God, wondering where He was, or longing for His comfort,  He was always right there with us. 
   Arguably in the midst of our difficulties we may often lose sight of His presence and give into our anxious feelings. St. Teresa of Avila reminds us of our need to constantly stay focused on our Lord through every circumstance.
     If God never changes and we understand Him to be constant and all loving, then we must not be troubled or frightened. It is through faith that we are able to be patient through the storms of life and through the things that may burden our hearts. Let us come to recognize that we are fulfilled by God alone and that with Him present in our lives we lack nothing. May we see His unchanging love as a comfort to us in everything. (C.C.)

"Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry"- Padre Pio

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A `Bushel Of Falsehood` & A Lesson From Archbishop Lynch. By:C.C.

"The Ecumenical Council of the Vatican is only known to the world in general from reports of newspaper correspondents. These reports are generally very unreliable, many totally false, others containing a grain of truth in a bushel of falsehood, and cannot be relied upon. These reports generally came back to us in Rome, and amused and often surprised us, as each bishop received the leading newspaper of his city. A weekly Toronto journal kept me posted in the news of the day here and brought me news from Rome that I was entirely ignorant of. The secular newspapers, as a rule, were what we term in opposition." (Archbishop John Joseph Lynch-Lecture at St. Michael's Cathedral Toronto, following the first Vatican Council)

    I have chosen to revisit these words from the first Archbishop of Toronto as I see them rather fitting in regards to what we are currently experiencing throughout much of the media coverage on the current Synod taking place in Rome. 
   Due to the nature of this Synod there is much being discussed that is hitting home with many people. There is a danger however when the information that one is reading and receiving is flawed. It is important to remember as  Fr. John Zuhlsdorf  reminds us that "there is a Synod and there is a Synod of the media". 
   Through revisiting this excerpt from a lecture given by Late Archbishop John Joseph Lynch at St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto -following his return from the first Vatican Council,  I could not help but be drawn to his eloquent words about newspaper reports concerning matters of Vatican events. These words from long ago echo today and offer some insight as to how one should treat secular and politically driven media reporting today.
   It is important to unearth these words from Bishop Lynch as I find that they affirm the fallibility and error in much of what we may read, hear, and receive today.  
   The immediate accessibility of information has allowed for a large number of articles, interviews, and video footage to surface about our Pope. This rapid sharing of news carries both positive and negative elements. It is important to approach information that we receive regarding the matters of our Holy Catholic Church with great discernment and understanding of our faith. 
   Many are often inclined to cling to the `grain of truth`within the `bushel of falsehood` as a result of personal agendas and many other varying reasons.        While seeking to know more about matters concerning the faith can be leading one closer to encountering the fullness of Truth, it can also damage and alter perceptions of  this Truth if what is being absorbed is flawed.. 
    The `grain of truth` that we may cling to amidst the `bushel of falsehood` may be a reflection of our own selfish desire and our unwillingness to surrender to The Complete Truth found in the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;Truth that is unwavering and does not bend with the opinions, views, and wants of a majority, but remains fixed and concrete as when it was proclaimed by Christ. I do not desire to judge the opinions and values of others or to determine that their sentiments or desire for `change` is wrong, I am simply at peace with what has always been and remains consistently right  and just (C.C.)

More from Archbishop Lynch...

``The secular newspaper correspondents have published that Papal Infallibility means that the Pope is like unto God, Supreme, not subject to any error, and can make truth falsehood, and falsehood truth. I need hardly say that this definition is utterly false. Another journal says that Papal Infallibility means that the Pope is impeccable — cannot err — and that all his sayings and doings are infallible; that also is false. He is subject to human weaknesses, and confesses them, like every good child of the Church, and receives absolution and penance. An other writer says that the Pope can prophesy and invent a new religion as he pleases — well, that also is false. He receives no gift of prophesy by his election to the Popedom and can invent no new dogma or religion ; he can only pronounce that such and such truth has been always in the Church, and has been revealed to the Church by the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, according to the words of Christ, " I will send you another Paraclete who will teach you ALL truth — not truth, but ALL truth.`` (Archbishop John Joseph Lynch)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Recognizing Grace. By: C.C.

     A challenge we encounter in striving toward holiness throughout our lives is the continual surrender to trust in God's goodness in the face of change and adversity.  The Saints of our Church, especially "The Little Flower", who we celebrate today models for us ways to incorporate this perpetual renewal of trust in God's loving providence by recognizing everything as grace.
   These words have always called my own lack of virtue into question as I dealt with the perceived reality of living in seemingly adverse situations, and at times failing to maintain regard for God's goodness.
     Our human condition exposes us to the reality of misfortune and suffering. There is loss and agony, there are pitfalls and shortcomings, there is adversity and tribulation. It is tempting to question and doubt the presence of God's goodness in these moments.It is by seeking Him through faith and remembering His promises to us that we can be consoled and open ourselves to recognizing the grace in everything. 
   We can praise God in all things by seeking the grace of each moment and circumstance. The numerous unmerited gifts of God that we do not earn by striving toward greatness, but receive through humble and lowly service to Christ provide all that we need.
  Our challenges and difficulties are filled with God's transforming grace. He does not cease to be present as we are never absent from His gaze, or from His love. Though we may often lose sight of His sight upon us we must faithfully and prayerfully endure everything that comes and rest trustingly in the presence of His loving grace. (CC)