“If we want to find Jesus, we have to overcome our fear of taking risks, our self-satisfaction and our indolent refusal to ask anything more of life…We need to take risks… in discovering his tenderness and love, we rediscover ourselves.”— Pope Francis

 

FROM YOUR PASTOR

Why do we FEAR taking RISKS in our SPIRITUAL LIFE?

Our FEAR can be based on EXPECTATIONS … those we have OF OURSELF or those others have OF US. Either way, these EXPECTATIONS shape our RESPONSE to Spiritual Risks…our ability to SAY YES TO THE UNKNOWN.

Our FEAR can be based on a LACK OF BALANCE in our life between what is OF GOD and what is OF THE WORLD.  The KNOWN OF THE PRESENT and What I Have can provide more comfort than the UNKNOWN OF THE FUTURE and What I Can Achieve.

Our FEAR can be based on the PRESENCE OF GOOD AND EVIL in our life. An Ill-formed Conscience or Lack of Spiritual Clarity can RESULT IN BAD CHOICES NOW instead of TOUGH CHOICES FOR THE FUTURE.

It is the TENDER LOVE OF JESUS active IN OUR HEART that  will determine the RISKS  and their OUTCOMES in our Spiritual Life…and determine our ability to ask for MORE OF LIFE!

But the BOTTOM LINE is STARK AND REAL —  the Kingdom of Heaven is WORTH EVERYTHING and DEMANDS EVERYTHING.

>What am I  willing to give up?

>What is holding me back?

>What is the basis of my fear?

For some it will be WHAT THE WORLD  WILL SAY about the path they choose. For some it will be THEIR PRIDE since what they have defines who they are.

But in most cases, the FEAR is driven by one simple issue…taking RISKS may induce a FEAR OF WHAT WE MAY BECOME!

In our Spiritual Life, TRUE WISDOM is TO LOVE GOD, to have an UNDERSTANDING HEART, and to EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!

Our ABILITY TO CHANGE is based on the following questions:

>How do we LOVE?

>How do we FORGIVE?

>How do we HELP OTHERS?

>How do we ENCOURAGE THE OPPRESSED?

>How do we ENDURE OUR TRIALS?

Your answers will determine WHAT YOU WILL BECOME.

OUR FAITH lies in the WISDOM to take RISKS  in This Life for our Eternal Life. OUR HOPE lies in God’s GRACE to help us ENDURE THE PRICE of the Risks. OUR LOVE lies in the TENDER AND LOVING HEART OF JESUS where we find TRUTH AND FREEDOM…

+May God Bless You and Keep You+

“The cross is the badge that shows who we are: our speaking, thinking, looking, working is under the sign of the cross, that is under the sign of the love of Jesus to the end. …Receive the sign of the cross on your ears to hear the voice of the Lord”; “On the eyes to see the splendor of the face of God”; “On the mouth, to answer the word of God”; “On the chest, because Christ dwells through faith in your hearts”; “On the shoulders, to support the gentle yoke of Christ. – Pope Francis

 

FROM YOUR PASTOR

This Weekend we welcome our RCIA SISTERS AND BROTHERS into the full community of the CATHOLIC CHURCH…WELCOME HOME!

Today, YOU become a Disciple of Jesus Christ!

And I want to thank Lauren Scheller, our Faith Formation Coordinator, your Sponsors, your Family, and your Friends whose lives bear witness to their faith, and why they are Catholics.

Saint Paul teaches that to be a Christian means to live in a radically different way than the way offered by the secular society that surrounds us. Being a Christian means acquiring a new mind and heart—the mind and heart of Jesus Christ —as we journey toward God’s Kingdom.

Over the last nine months, through a very difficult time in our World, together we have  encountered Jesus through Sacred Scripture, immersion into the Tradition of the Catholic Christian community, and the  discovery of the Risen Jesus in the Seven Sacraments. This beautiful ancient Rite that we experience today…in its original order – BAPTISM CONFIRMATION EUCHARIST… is a true conversion, a transformation…from being of the world to being of God…the culmination of your study, exploration, faith-sharing, and faith formation.

And it began with YOU… through the movement of the Holy Spirit. YOU came here seeking more in your Spiritual Journey. Then YOU were accepted into the Worshiping Community. Then YOU spent time learning and being formed in the Traditions and Doctrine of the Catholic Church. Then YOU were chosen to receive the Sacraments of Initiation.

And now YOU, with YOUR NEW CHURCH FAMILY, will continue to explore the deep mystery of our Faith and help build the reign of God on Earth as INTENTIONAL DISCIPLES!

PRAISE GOD!

Today is NOT THE END of your Journey, but the BEGINNING OF A LIFETIME JOURNEY. The same SPIRIT that brought YOU here nine months ago is now alive in you…bring YOU to the next level — a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST…BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, AND DIVINITY…a relationship with the One who knew YOU from the Beginning of Time…the One who wants YOU to spend eternity with HIS HEAVENLY FATHER.

TODAY, THE HOLY TRINITY IS ALIVE IN YOU!

But this Journey continues to unfold…through the Holy Spirit…

That is why ALL we do begins with the Sign of the Cross.

In BAPTISM, YOU and I are marked with the Cross — the one Jesus carried and the personal Cross he asks each of us to carry — as the outward sign of the Christian way of facing life.

But this Journey continues to unfold…through the Holy Spirit…

It is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that determines the efficacy of all the other Sacraments in your life. The State of Grace in your Soul greets each Sacrament. If your Soul is clouded with sin, we diminish the Spiritual Nourishment God wants to give us. GRACE BUILDS UPON GRACE.

But this Journey continues to unfold…through the Holy Spirit…

In CONFIRMATION, it is the Holy Spirit who brings to fulfillment in YOU the FRUITS AND GIFTS necessary for the JOURNEY OF YOUR LIFE. In this Sacrament, YOU are anointed with the Holy Spirit who keeps YOU connected to Jesus and makes YOU want to be like him as you accept the MISSION GOD PLANNED FOR YOUR LIFE FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME…allowing Him to work WITH YOU and THROUGH YOU…for yourself and others.

But this Journey continues to unfold…through the Holy Spirit…

In the EUCHARIST, we experience the SOURCE AND SUMMIT of Our Faith. The REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS in the Eucharist satisfies the deepest desires of our hearts for the One who loves us, for the One who saved us, for the One who intercedes for us, and for the One who knows us better than we know ourselves.

But this Journey continues to unfold…through the Holy Spirit…

This is YOU – our RCIA Sisters and Brothers, and the Church Families of The Cathedral Basilica and St Elizabeth, who are beloved Children of God, chosen for Christ, living in God’s Mercy, reflected in his Love — the Body and Blood of his Son in the Eucharist, to give YOU the Spiritual Nourishment to be his DISCIPLE in your everyday life…

As we accompany each other on the path that leads to God’s Glory…

LIVE IT!

+May God Bless You and Keep You+

“Today we celebrate the fiftieth Earth Day. This is an occasion for renewing our commitment to love and care for our common home and for the weaker members of our human family. As the tragic coronavirus pandemic has taught us, we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst…We must grow in awareness of caring for our common home…We are fashioned from the earth, and fruit of the earth sustains our life…Thus we live in this common home as one human family in biodiversity with God’s other creatures…we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us…How can we restore a harmonious relationship with the earth and with the rest of humanity? A harmonious relationship…harmony is a work of the Holy Spirit…In today’s celebration of Earth Day, we are called to renew our sense of sacred respect for the earth, for it is not just our home but also God’s home.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          — Pope Francis

 

FROM YOUR PASTOR

Last month, the Holy Father commemorated the 5th Anniversary of his Encyclical Laudato Si and the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

As he commemorates these milestones, it is important to remember that the respect for the Created Environment is part of Catholic Social Doctrine.  “The ecological question must not be faced solely because of the frightening prospects that environmental destruction represents; rather it must above all become a strong motivation for an authentic solidarity of worldwide dimensions (No. 486). Care for the environment represents a challenge for all of humanity. It is a matter of a common and universal duty, that of respecting a common good, destined for all (No. 466).”

The comments and actions of Pope Francis have been part of the Fabric of the Papacy since Earth Day 1970…

Saint Pope Paul VI.  “Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it and becoming in his turn the victim of this degradation. Not only is the material environment becoming a permanent menace – pollution and refuse, new illness and absolute destructive capacity – but the human framework is no longer under man’s control, thus creating an environment for tomorrow which may well be intolerable. This is a wide-ranging social problem which concerns the entire human family.” (Octogesima Adveniens, No. 21)

Saint Pope John Paul II. “The most profound and serious indication of the moral implications underlying the ecological problem is the lack of respect for life evident in many of the patterns of environmental pollution. Often, the interests of production prevail over concern for the dignity of workers, while economic interests take priority over the good of individuals and even entire peoples. In these cases, pollution or environmental destruction is the result of an unnatural and reductionist vision which at times leads to a genuine contempt for man.” (World Day of Peace 1990, No.7)

Pope Benedict XVI.  “In 1990 John Paul II had spoken of an ‘ecological crisis’ and, in highlighting its primarily ethical character, pointed to the ‘urgent moral need for a new solidarity.’ His appeal is all the more pressing today, in the face of signs of a growing crisis which it would be irresponsible not to take seriously. Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of ‘environmental refugees?’ Can we remain impassive in the face of actual and potential conflicts involving access to natural resources?” (World Day of Peace 2010, No. 4)

Pope Francis. The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. As these gases build up in the atmosphere, they hamper the escape of heat produced by sunlight at the earth’s surface. The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system. Another determining factor has been an increase in changed uses of the soil, principally deforestation for agricultural purposes.” (Laudato Si, No 23)

US Conference of Bishops. “At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both ‘the human environment’ and the natural environment. It is about our human stewardship of God’s creation and our responsibility to those who come after us. In that spirit of praise and thanksgiving to God for the wonders of creation, we Catholic bishops call for a civil dialogue and prudent and constructive action to protect God’s precious gift of the earth’s atmosphere with a sense of genuine solidarity and justice for all God’s children.” (Global Climate Change A Plea for Dialogue Prudence and the Common Good 2001)

Respect for the Created Environment IS ESSENTIAL to the Human Dignityof everyone…in 1970…in 2015…and in 2020…

+May God Bless You and Keep You+