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Showing posts with the label forgiveness

Trust and Mercy

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Divine Mercy Sunday:
Acts 4:32-351 John 5:1-6John 20:19-31 (April 8, 2018; this homily is from April 7, 2002)
Divine Mercy Sunday, 2018 By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas April 8, 2018 (originally April 7, 2002)

20 years ago we wanted to dedicate our community to the Mercy of God. The story of which is far too long to share with you this morning. But you need to know that we asked our Bishop Speltz to conduct the dedication but were told, 'no he can't come because of confirmations.. Just days before the dedication, he personally called and said that it was too important for him not to be here and so changed appointments to be with us. At one point he said, he saw this as a way to get the Sacred Heart enthroned in every home and saw this was a means to fulfill that because The Divine Mercy image fits perfectly with the Sacred Heart - as well it should. Now what does he do? Not only does he dedicate our community, but dedicates the whole Diocese to The Mercy of God: to the great joy of a…

WHAT IS TRUE FORGIVENESS?

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Have you really forgiven? Are you sure? Really sure? CLICK HERE

Seeking God’s Forgiveness During Lent

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Lent is an excellent time for seeking God’s forgiveness, via the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In this sacrament, God cleanses us from our sins and reunites us to Christ. Although you may be apprehensive at the onset of disclosing your sins to priest, it is really Christ in whom you are confessing your sins, as the priest is acting in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. You will exit the Confessional filled with God’s graces of gratitude, humility, joy and peace.

As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator for my parish, I work with people coming from other Christian faiths, (or no faith), who wish to consider becoming Catholic. One of the most common questions I get is “Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest? Why can’t you just ask God directly for forgiveness?” To answer these questions, this video from Bustedhalo.com gives the best answers: Read more...

Bullying Has No Grace; But Forgiveness Does! Here's My Story

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I have a great deal of personal experience when it comes to bullying. You see, I was bullied for eight consecutive years, while attending a Catholic grade school. There were only 38 children in my class, so I was an easy target. Because of my physical deformity of clubbed feet, I wore braces on my legs. This set me apart from the others, making me the “outcast.” (The photo to the left was taken in 1962, at age 5). After what I experienced, it is amazing that I am still alive to tell my story today.

Bullying Has No Grace
The ugliness of the constant and consistent verbal abuse, demeaning my dignity and self-worth, proves to me that bullying has no grace. Bullying is an evil act. My bullies constantly referred to me as “metal legs,” “cootie bug,” – you get the picture. Their derisive behavior played havoc on my self-worth, leaving me changed, and not for the better. They scarred my psyche.

The Lingering Effects of Bullying
As I progressed through high school and college, I always felt …

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness

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Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. Advent is just that, but it is also a time for healing and forgiveness, as we see in today’s Gospel from Luke 5:17-26, In this Gospel reading, we learn of the power and authority of Jesus to forgive sins. We hear about the paralyzed man lowered from the roof into the place where Jesus was preaching. Jesus not only forgives the man of his sins, but because of the confidence in God, expressed by his friends, Jesus also heals the man of his paralysis.

What sin may be paralyzing you; preventing you from embracing the joy and peace of the Christmas season? Now is the time to seek...Read more...

Had I Really Forgiven the Bullies? Or Did I Have More Work to Do?

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Forgiveness can take seventy times just to get it right! I thought I had forgiven the bullies who verbally abused me in grade school, until one recent Sunday, when I heard the Gospel from Matthew where it states,

Then Peter approaching Him asked, ‘Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times’? Jesus answered, ‘I say to you, not seven times but seventy times’ (Matt 18:21-22). I realized that although I had forgiven the bullies, and therefore, hoped that they would be granted admission to heaven one day, I also thought that I wouldn’t mind if I never crossed paths with them in Heaven. This was because I was still holding tightly to the pain. Had I really forgiven the bullies fully, if I felt this way?

I didn’t want to hold on to the pain any longer. That day, I gave the pain to Jesus – literally! After receiving Communion, I went back to my seat to kneel and give thanks. As I closed my eyes, I saw...Read more...

"Raving Politics"

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Quite a few parts of the Bible don't talk about forgiveness. But quite a few do, and they're not just in the New Testament.

This morning's second reading doesn't mention forgiveness directly, but the verse right after it does.

They all say why forgiving is a good idea.

It's enlightened self-interest, in the long run....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

'Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.' Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Prayer before a Meal, Adriaen Jansz van Ostade[Web Gallery

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them (Matthew 18:20).
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV, CatholicEdition)

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth …

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek - Book Review

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I must admit that I had never heard of Saint Magnus, until I read Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek. With this action-packed novel, set around 1,000 A.D., we find a dual hierarchy established on the deathbed of the monarch Thorfinn. Rather than leaving his throne to his eldest son, he creates a dual hierarchy, where both of his sons, Erland and Paal, are to rule over the Orkney homeland together. Tensions rise as the brother’s descendants seethe in animosity for each other. Hakon, the son of Paal is a troublemaker; whereas Aerling, the son of Erland, is hot-tempered. Hakon and Aerling are competitive, and do not wish to rule jointly, as their fathers successfully did. However, before that can happen, circumstances come to pass that make Hakon vow revenge.

From this point, early within the book, the story becomes mesmerizing. What will Hakon do to get revenge? How will Aerling respond? And what role will Magnus play, given that Magnus becomes the protagonist of this novel?

R…

Respecting Everyone

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Gay/LGBT Pride Month will be over in about two weeks. Wanting respect is reasonable, but I don't agree with much of what's said on this issue.

Don't worry, I won't be spitting venom. Even if I felt like it, which I don't, that kind of trouble I don't need.

First, I'd better talk about love and respect, and why I think both are important....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean

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Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?  

While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more! 

Divine Mercy

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I care about God's mercy because I'm a sinner. What that means depends on who says it.

I think and hope Jonathan Edwards meant well, and wish some of his imitators would be less enthusiastic. Or at least think about what he said.

Hollywood theology — I'd like to believe that many folks don't get their religious education from the movies, and that's another topic.

Basically, Americans have lots of options for what we think "sin" and "sinners" mean.

I'm a Catholic, so my view is 'none of the above.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Forgiveness: A Lenten Message

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Who Do You Have to Forgive
truth is, we all have someone to forgive(1)," writes R. Scott Hurd, in the very beginning of his life-changing book Forgiveness: The Catholic Approach ("Forgiveness").
The following is Scott's list of people we may need to forgive; the comments in the parentheses are my two cents.

1. Rude drivers (very appropriate for those of us who live in Massachusetts)
2. Spouses (thank goodness for Sacramental Grace - that is all I have to say!)
3. Friends (they can hurt or betray us, or over time may become our "frenemies")
4. Bosses (those who steal our ideas, treat us unjustly, or are just plain grumpy)
5. Bullies (even as adults we can find ourselves faced with cruel people)

But Wait, There's More!

I would add:
1. Ourselves (often the hardest person to forgive)
2. God (It is okay to admit this, He will not send down lightning to smote you for being honest.
Furthermore, let's face it: He already knows you are angry. If He created your brain…

Forgiving You

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Are your sins forgiven when you go to Confession? Has God forgiven you? Have you forgiven yourself? PLEASE CLICK HERE

Seeking Forgiveness Can Be Painful, But Worth It!

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Seeking forgiveness can be painful for a few reasons:

Facing the reality of the hurt you caused another requires you to look the person in the eye when seeking forgiveness. When you do so, you see the pain caused by your actions/words.Seeking forgiveness requires humility. Many times our pride stands in the way of embracing humility. It is painful to humble ourselves and admit wrong-doing.When seeking forgiveness, we are beholden to another to graciously grant our request. We face the possibility of rejection, and that can be painful.
Seeking Forgiveness from Others
Over the course of my lifetime, I have found it much easier to forgive another, than to... Read more...

Pride Will Infiltrate Your Soul; Chiseling Required to Uproot

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We conclude with the seventh installment of our seven-part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss Pride: the root of all evil!

Pride will infiltrate your soul, leaving no room for anything else. It will drive your thoughts and actions, if you let it. You don’t even know what is happening to you at the time. Unbeknownst to me, that is exactly what happened to me! Only upon reflection, and with a true dose of honesty, can one start the process of moving from prideful to humble. Here is my story:

When I was a child,... Read more...

Greed Will Debilitate You; Fear is Behind All Greed

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We continue with the fifth installment of our seven-part series on the seven deadly sins. Today we discuss Greed.

Greed, also known as avarice, will debilitate you because you’re dealing with a bottomless pit; an abyss. The unending desire for more money, power or fame, leaves a person feeling empty, insecure and unfulfilled no matter how much one tries to garner. There is no amount of money that guarantees security, for the fear of losing it all is ever-present. No amount of power garners confidence and self-assuredness, for the fear of losing control is ever-present. No amount of fame makes one feel like he/she “has arrived,” for the fear of being discounted and dismissed never goes away. Anyone who seeks more money, power or fame, for the purpose of filling a void, fights a losing battle. Read more...

Love, Mercy, and 9/11

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Airliners were flown into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon 15 years ago today, killing nearly 3,000 folks whose chief offense had been living in an American city and going to work Tuesday morning.

The 19 immediately responsible died with their victims. They were waging Osama bin Laden's religious war against the United States.

Osama bin Laden is dead now, and so are a great many others: perpetrators and victims; Christians, Muslims, and folks who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On top of that, about 1,800,000 folks were stopped last year, while trying to get into Europe. Some may have had ulterior motives; but most were trying to stay alive, fleeing because their former homes had become a war zone.

It's the biggest problem of that sort Europe's had since the 1940s. Quite a few folks are upset: partly because most of the refugees hadn't had opportunities to fill out all their paperwork before entering Europe.

More at A Catholic C…

Saint Maria Goretti: Her Influence on Me

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I noticed a profound difference in myself since venerating the relics of Saint Maria Goretti last October (2015). Her relics visited my parish in Charlotte, NC as part of a national tour. As part of the veneration process, I took the time to learn more about this saint, of whose Feast Day we celebrate today. She is the saint associated with the virtues of forgiveness and mercy.

As a result of my visit with her relics, Saint Maria Goretti left a lasting impact on me. Since last October, I seem to more easily identify my sins of omission; for example, when I fail to put God first in my life; or when I fail to... Read more...

Forgiveness

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DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH FORGIVENESS? HAS SOMEONE HURT YOU REALLY BADLY? AND THE MEMORY LINGERS ON? HAVE YOU TRULY FORGIVEN THEM? REALLY? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE