Friday, October 21, 2011

WHO DO YOU ADMIRE?

Who do you hold up to be admired? What characteristics do these people possess?  Shouldn't  our answer to these questions,  reflect the values we hold?  I remember some years ago asking my sophomores these very questions; their answers, much to my dismay but not to my surprise, were athletes, performers, and singers.  I say I was dismayed because the answers I received, somehow seemed superficial!
I've now been out of the classroom for a a number of years and I decided to take another look at this topic, on line!  Here were some of the answers I found: Lady Gaga; Black Veil Brides; Charlie Sheen and Jersey Shore!  Needless to say my blood pressure had the same reaction.... up!!  Let me first say, that it has not been a scientific study; second, I'm sure that those mentioned are talented.  I just think that there should be more to it, what do you think?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

TECHNOLOGY AND YOUR FAITH

Is technology and faith compatible? For many this may seem like polar opposites, but the fact is technology is a part of our daily life and has been since the beginning of Christianity. Admittedly it is far more advanced today; a computer bought today will be obsolete by the tomorrow. But can we find inspiration on the web? That is a resounding yes!

Technology has become part of our daily lives. Could you live without your refrigerator, your car or cell phone? The answer I bet it no. We count on these things to make our lives easier, and they do. I think that the computer can do the same for our faith.

If you are like many, you may not think of using the word ‘computer’ and ‘faith’ in the same sentence. The computer is a wonderful source for information regarding our faith. Books that were once difficult to obtain are now available. Today you can find some of the great classics of Christian and non-Christian thinkers with just a click of a button. Most of the great works of all the major religions are available.

Having said that, I must admit that it can be easy to start clicking away at information and get lost. You can start out with the best of intentions and before you know it you are lost in a copious amount of information. Looking up one topic can become a bit like a computer game, you sit down and say ‘I’m going to play only for 15 minutes’ and before you know it that time has morphed into an hour. I use to tell students to be aware of the black hole of the web. Like anything in life, it takes time and practice. It’s learning to ‘use’ technology and not let technology ‘use’ us. The fact is there are a number of great sites out there to deepen your faith, find inspiration and learn how to grow more spiritual.

Once you locate a site take the time to explore it. What might look, initially, as something you’re not interested in – may just surprise you. The key is to take the time and let the words resonate within you. Faith, unlike technology, is a slow process that needs to be tended. Like a seed that is planted, it needs nourishment to grow and thrive.

Our lives today have become so fast paced that it is difficult to slow down. I find myself at times moving at such a fast pace only to find out that I have not made much progress. Slowing down helps to regain a balance to our lives, and helps us to live in the present moment.

I think you will find that you can run into God in all kinds of places. You just have to keep your eyes and heart open. There is one word of caution, keep in mind that all sites are not equal and some may not be a good fit. Don’t give up – the possibilities are endless!

Here are a few of my favorite sites, that you may want to check out:

http://savior.org - Eucharistic Adoration

http://www.worldprayers.org – Prayers from a variety of faiths

http://www.catholic.org/prayers - Catholic Prayers

http://www.usccb.org/nab/ -- Readings of the day for Catholics

http://www.bestspirituality.com/quotes.htm - Quotes of inspiration from a variety of faiths

http://www.sdiworld.org/home.html - Help in finding a Spiritual Director



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ROMAN MISSAL AND MUSICAL SETTINGS

USCCB News Release

11-126

June 17, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USCCB President Authorizes Gradual Introduction of Musical Settings of New Roman Missal Starting In September
 Modification will help people learn new parts, ease implementation

BELLEVUE, Washington—Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Divine Worship, announced that diocesan bishops may permit the gradual introduction of the musical settings of the people’s parts of the Mass from the new Roman Missal in September. Primarily this affects the the Gloria, the Holy, Holy, Holy and the Memorial Acclamations.

This variation to the implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, set to take place all at once on November 27, was authorized by USCCB president, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, and adopted by the committee to allow parish communities to learn the various parts of the new translation “in a timely fashion and an even pace.”

The Committee on Divine Worship made the decision in response to requests from several bishops, echoed by the National Advisory Council. Some suggested that the various acclamations could be more effectively introduced throughout the fall, so that when the full Missal is implemented on the First Sunday of Advent, the congregation will have already become familiar with the prayers that are sung.

“I ask you to encourage this as a means of preparing our people and helping them embrace the new translation,” Archbishop Gregory told the bishops. The announcement took place June 16, during the U.S. bishops Spring Assembly near Seattle.





Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WHAT'S HAPPENED TO US?

With the recent shooting in Tucson and maps with locations marked by cross hairs in the news, I am left to wonder what has happened to us?  Is it not possible to have disputes without the use of such violent images or incendiary language?  Is this the only way to drive home a point?  If this is what our children witness from us-- why are we surprised when they bully a classmate? 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HOLY INNOCENTS

Today is the feast of the "Holy Innocents" those children who lost their lives so that Jesus could live. I can't help but think of all the children who have died in the last year.  Those who lost their 'innocence' because of illness, abuse, neglect, war or poverty.  What can we, as a society, do to help others live?

Friday, December 24, 2010

THE ESSENTIALS

"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

This prophecy of Zachariah found in Luke's gospel today, is but another example of our biblical ancestors  complete trust in God.  I think of how hard their lives must have been -- they had none of the conveniences we have today.  Yet those very conveniences make us lose sight of the essential.  Why is that?  George Carlin, of all people, got it right when he said: " The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less,
We buy more, but enjoy less...We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

GOD'S GREATNESS

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation."

I feel like I am hearing these words for the first time -- with a whole new challenge.  A person challenge:  does my soul rejoice in the greatness of the Lord?  Am I mindful of all that God has done for me?   How do I daily show the love and respect (fear of the Lord) for all the Lord has done?  These can be difficult times, the pace we maintain is quite fast, and it is easy to lose sight of the basics:

"He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”