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Showing posts with the label love

Still More Mass Murder

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Fourteen high-profile murders are in the news. Four died at a Waffle House in Nashville, 10 were killed on Yonge Street in Toronto. The accused killers have been caught. I put links to BBC News and Wikipedia pages about the murders at the end of this post.1

I'll mostly be saying why I think murder is a bad idea, and how I see being human and making sense — or not, in some cases.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Christian’s Calling: To Preach the Gospel

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As Christians, we are all called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can do this in several ways. You don’t need to be a Catholic blogger/author/public speaker like myself. You can preach the Gospel, without ever saying a word; by the mere witness of your charitable actions. Most people will never remember eloquent words spoken to them. But, they will remember a kindness done for them.

Deeds speak volumes!
A police officer who runs toward danger, when others run away. The witness of his or her bravery and courage speaks volumes.A man or woman who volunteers at the local soup kitchen to serve the needy. The witness of his or her generosity and love speaks volumes.A child who... Read more...

Murders, Life and Death

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Mass murder at a Florida high school is in the news again.

Someone has been accused of killing 17 students and staff on February 14, 2018. He's being tried and may be executed.

I'll be talking about him, one of the dead students and why I think human life matters. All human life....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Choosing Light or Darkness

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I will live forever. Whether that's good news or bad news is up to me.

I'd say 'it depends on me,' but that's not quite true. What I decide and do matters. But having an unending life in God's presence isn't something I achieve.

Today's Gospel reading, John 3:14-21, got me started. That's part of our Lord's conversation with Nicodemus. The fourth Sunday of Lent scrutinies Gospel for this year, John 9:1-41, is the "a man blind from birth" account. It's got a similar theme.

I'll be talking about believing, doing and sinning. That last may need explaining....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

God, Love and Clouds

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Today's Gospel, Mark 9:2 through 10, describes the Transfiguration. I'll be talking about that. Partly. Also Peter, perceptions, and laundry detergent.

It seems like a better idea than getting upset that not everybody calls the second Sunday in Lent "Transfiguration Sunday."

Or that some folks read this part of the Gospel on a different Sunday. Or that we had a different second Sunday Gospel reading last year. Or that our Feast of the Transfiguration is August 6 this year. And is a Monday.

Occasions for angst abound. I'd rather look at what today's Gospel says and what's been said about it. Then think for a bit and see what happens.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Mass Murder: No Fast Fix

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This year's Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day were the same day.

Folks exchanged greeting cards. Many got their foreheads marked with ashes. And 17 were killed at a high school.

Someone's already called last Wednesday's mass murder the 'Valentine's Day Massacre of 2018.' The famous Valentine's Day Massacre was in 1929. It happened when a Chicago gang tried resolving a disagreement over bootleg booze. It didn't succeed. Not quite....

...I'm quite sure the 17 folks killed at Stoneman Douglas High School will be missed by their families, friends, and acquaintances....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Hearts and Ashes; Love and Mercy For the Taking

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Wow! Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Day on the same day! Hearts and Ashes in one fell swoop! Today is the day when we show our love for our spouses and loved ones, with valentines. It is also a day that we show our love for Christ, with ashes on our foreheads; marking ourselves as belonging to Christ. Today, we can consider the ashes on our foreheads as our own personal valentine to God, acknowledging Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because of His love for us.

Talk about bittersweet days! No hearts filled with assorted chocolates this year! Considering that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence, there is no going out to dinner tonight either. Yet, the love of Christ is ever-present on this day, and we soak it up. I’ll give up a candy heart, and a steak dinner, knowing that Jesus loves me. There is no better Valentine than that! My fasting and abstinence is a small sacrifice of self-giving love back to Jesus for His sacrifice on the Cross.

Read more...

Changing Rules

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Today's tech and social norms aren't what they were in my youth. It's exciting. Or bewildering. Or unstable. Or dynamic. or any of a myriad other options.

Change happens, even if I don't approve. What matters is making good choices. More about that later.

These are the 'Good Old Days'
I'll indulge in nostalgia. Occasionally. Parts of my past are nice places to visit. But I wouldn't like living there.

Taking a stroll down memory lane lets me see the best times places, people and experiences. It's a 'best-of' selection.

But I certainly don't yearn for the days before social media, smart appliances, and online search software.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Do Not be Afraid"

4th Sunday of Advent, 2017

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas December 24, 2017

Good! Now try to imagine yourself describing the scene in which the Angel Gabriel seeks and speaks to Mary as one that could be played out spectacularly on film or a TV program, it would begin with the panoramic vision or an overall view of the world that solemnly zooms in and spotlights in one tiny little place. We could imagine the overview from the film score to the mission behind Google Earth....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Bah! Humbug?

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'Tis the season to kvetch about Christmas: because it's too commercial, too religious, or whatever. I won't do that.

I'll look at why we celebrate instead. Also Scrooge and "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

Besides, I think enjoying the holiday and doing what I say I believe makes more sense...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Seeing the Big Picture

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Today's Mass is something new, introduced by Pius XI in 1925. We've had it on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time since 1970.

Focusing on who and what our Lord is seems like a good way to wrap up the Church calendar. That's how I see it.

Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 25:31-46. That's the one starting with "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him...."

It's an important part of the Gospels, and not what I'll be talking about today. I'd better explain that.

I'm okay with what the Church says about Mass, including how the annual schedule works. I'm not a religious scofflaw, disdaining the laws of God and man. But I don't try to coordinate these 'Sunday' posts with what happens in Mass.

I figure it's not a problem, since I'm a Catholic layman — and you're probably not here looking for a homily....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

California Murders: and Remembering

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(From Getty Images, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Police say a number of students had to be medically evacuated from the school"
(BBC News))

I hadn't planned on writing about murder and getting a grip this week. Or next. But another multiple murder is international news....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Love. And Science

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Pharisees and Sadducees had important roles in the Land of Israel for about two centuries by the time our Lord talked about love.

They agreed on quite a bit. Maybe more than they realized. But they didn't see assorted political, social, and philosophical points the same way.

Pharisees didn't like Helenization, adopting at least some foreign ideas. Sadducees thought Helenization was a generally good idea.

But Sadducees thought the written Torah was divine authority's only source.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Death in Las Vegas, and Life

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My plans for today did not include writing about mass murder on the Las Vegas Strip and rush hour panic in Wimbledon.

Instead of trying to ignore what is now international headline news, I decided to look for whatever useful facts might be filtering through.

I'll share what I found, along with what I think about the events.

How I feel about them is — sad, for what happened in Nevada. No words can console folks who lost family and friends there. I won't try.

The Wimbledon panic? I'm not entirely sure what I feel about that....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Spokes, by Deanna Klingel – Book Review

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Spokes, by Deanna Klingel, a fast paced, easy to read novel, sends Kelsey Merritt and Brendon Cohen on an adventure to solve a mystery. Kelsey, a home-schooled teen, is a triathlon athlete. While cycling one afternoon with her mom, in preparation for an upcoming triathlon event, tragedy strikes. This tragedy sends Kelsey on a mission; to determine who is responsible for a hit and run accident. In her pursuit, she teams up with fellow triathlon athlete and home-school student, Brendon Cohen.

Together, these two teens, take us on a wild ride through the hills of North Carolina. We come across some unsavory characters. But, we also come across some rather funny, and down-to-earth Franciscan Friars. These Friars add a comical, yet heartwarming dimension to this wonderful story.

As I raced through this book (a real page turner), I kept asking myself... 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.

Taking God Seriously

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We live in a big world. We've known that for a long time, and have been impressed.
"How great are your works, LORD! How profound your designs!" (Psalms 92:6) But impressive as what we see is, God is greater: almighty, infinite, eternal. Ineffable, beyond what can be expressed in words.

That's pretty much what God told Moses in the 'burning bush' interview:
"'But,' said Moses to God, 'if I go to the Israelites and say to them, "The God of your ancestors has sent me to you," and they ask me, "What is his name?" what do I tell them?' "God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:13-14) Moses said "but" three times before their talk was over. I've talked about him before, and other prophets. Mary also asked a question: a sensible one. I get the impression that her reaction was calmer than theirs.

More at A Catho…

Death in Charlottesville

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A vehicular homicide case near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets in Charlottesville, Virginia, is international news.

I regret the loss of life, particularly since the driver apparently intended to harm or kill the victims. I'll get back to that.

Heather Heyer had been with several other folks there, protesting something — or maybe someone — which or who she felt should be inspiring more outrage.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Neighborly Love: Who is My Neighbor? What Does It Entail?

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Do you think that you can pick and choose who you want to love? Do you think you can toss aside those not selected? Think again! As Christians, we are called to love, serve and forgive everyone. That is neighborly love! However, given our human weaknesses, that’s a tall order! Yet, as followers of Christ, it is a mantle we must take upon ourselves. Christ asks much of us, but with his command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39), He gives us the grace needed to fulfill His desire.

Who is Your Neighbor?
Although I have the best next-door neighbors (Mike and Carolyn), they alone are not the only ones that Christ calls me to love. When Christ says “Love your neighbor” He is referring to every person that crosses your path. He is not asking you to form a friendly bond with every human being, but He is asking you to... Read more... 

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…