Helping Busy People Pray

“10 Minutes with Jesus” is the English-language version of the successful “10 Minutos con Jesus” which was launched in August 2018, promoted by some priests, following the encouragement of a mother and teacher named Maria Feria. She wanted material to give to her children and pupils to help them keep up the practice of mental prayer during their holidays. The formula proved a great success and has grown to reach to an audience of some 70,000 listeners — so far!

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Drawing the Curtains

I remember a grave scandal that took place in my diocese. I pursued it as far as I could but found the establishment were totally against taking any action. They didn’t say that, they just didn’t act. A priest I moaned to about this told me the best way to deal with scandalous things was to “draw the curtains and wait for everything to just die down”. This only served to scandalise me more and also to make me feel deeply disillusioned with the men who lead the Church.

If this is the Church in my own local microcosm, we can clearly see the same mechanisms at work presently in the Church in macrocosm.

It was 13 months ago now that Pope Francis promised a thorough investigation into the abuses committed by Theodore McCarrick, even saying himself:

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Seek always the face of the Lord

Seek always the face of the Lord

Fair souls arrive at home at last
Their trials and labors in the past.
What joys transcending joy amaze
When on the face of God they gaze.

The Ancient One upon His throne,
The Son of Man upon His own,
Between Them, Love Himself, the Lord,
Are not by faith, but sight, adored.

The elders praise the One in Three,
Their crowns thrown down upon the sea.
The thrones are borne on cherubim.
The hosts of heaven sound the hymn.

And when the trumpet fills the skies
The human body shall arise,
And eyes that once sought vanity
See, all unveiled, the Trinity.

That day, all mistiness will clear
From taste and touch, from eye and ear,
And those who lived by love and grace
Shall plainly see Him face to face.

c. 2019 Kathleen Pluth

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Father David’s Reflection for Saturday of Week Thirty (Ordinary Time)

The Responsorial Psalm reminds us when things look bad: “The Lord will not abandon his people” (Psalm94).In Romans 11: 1-29 Paul first looks for some way God has been able to draw good for the Gentiles out of the Jews’ infidelity. But he still proclaims God’s faithfulness to his Chosen People: “Blindness has come upon part of Israel until the full number of Gentiles enter in, and then all Israel will be saved…. God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” The “when” and the “how” of Israel’s conversion are beyond our power to predict. But Paul gives us a principle: God is faithful: “The Lord will not abandon his people.”We know that Jesus assured the Church, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). And “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). We know the Church will survive and glorify God. But we have no assurance the Church will flourish or survive in any particular country, place or time. It is our task, as stewards of Christ’s kingship, to take responsibility for that. We need to pray and trust as if everything depended on God, but act as if everything depended on us — encouraged and sustained by the truth that “The Lord will not abandon his people.”In Luke 14: 1-11 we see another way the leaders of Israel failed their people. Jesus noticed that in the house of “one of the leading Pharisees” the guests were “trying to get the places of honor at the table.” He warned against this. When people who have position in the Church desire to set themselves apart from others, to appear more important or “higher” than others, they are acting contrary to the Gospel. Jesus said to his apostles, who would be the first bishops in the Church, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them… It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave” (Matthew 20:25). Anything that makes the clergy or bishops seem to be “higher” or holier than other Christians because of their role or function is deceptive and ultimately destructive. “For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled.” And the Church who exalts him will be humbled as well. When protocol proclaims value, true value becomes invisible. Any organization built on the phony foundation of “merit by appointment” is asking for failure.Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Respect value credited by faith, not facade.

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