Life_Giving Faith.pdf

Hear with our hearts

Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:00 am

Ephphatha: Be opened (Mk 7:34).

A disheartened friend recently told me “I don’t hear God talking to me. He is ignoring me.” I chuckled and said, “God is not ignoring you. He loves you. Be open to him. Sit still for a few minutes, open your mind to him, together with your heart, ears and hands. Close the door to the world and be opened by God.”

The 22nd and 23rd Sundays in Ordinary Time invite the faithful to discern the reality of God’s call and the ability to respond. Responsiveness correlates with openness.

Open minds

Moses, in Deuteronomy 4:1-8, expresses to the Israelites, who are now ready

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    Panis de Caelo: Bread from Heaven

    By Dina Dow

    The liturgical readings for the upcoming 18th and 19th Sundays in Ordinary Time (Year B) inspire us to a deeper faith in God through Jesus Christ. The words we will hear are those that will serve as the invitation to everlasting life. The act of believing will open hearts to conversion and transformation, and thus answer God’s call to holiness.

    “It is enough, now O LORD … ”
    (1 Kgs 19: 4)

    Both Old Testament readings begin with people in flight. The Israelites are fleeing from slavery in Egypt with Moses guiding them

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    Buying into first Beatitude investment in spiritual future

    This article will focus on the first of the Eight Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven
    is theirs.

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Whether one has millions or only a few dollars to spend, they can invest their future in the kingdom of heaven by living the first of the Eight Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heavens is theirs, said Father Howard Adkins, pastor of Mater Dolorosa Church in Independence.

    “Every time I read that (first beatitude) I think of individuals, who

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    Sufficient Grace

    By Dina Dow

    The call of the faithful is to proclaim the message of God to all people. Sometimes this is easy. Other times this is difficult. God’s grace provides strength for this task, as we hear in the Sunday Mass readings for the 14th and 15th Sundays in Ordinary Time. His grace is sufficient, for it provides humility, endurance and holiness.  

    The prophets: Just doing my job  

    Ezekiel and Amos, prophets of the Lord, were just doing their

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    Prepare the way

    To prepare means to get ready. Most prepare for something every day, including dinner, celebrations, school, projects, vacations, presentations, budgets, construction, conversations, meetings, competitions, assignments, to read a book, to pray, etc. The upcoming Sunday Mass Readings offer inspirations revealing those whom God sent to prepare the way and the call to arise and follow the way.

    Prepared to be a witness

    The Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist

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    Beatitudes offers journey for life

    Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Keeping the “dos” and “don’ts” of the Ten Commandments is a good way to stay clear of the sins that can keep one from entering heaven. But to better understand God’s divine purpose behind these biblical laws and achieve the communion with him that they ultimately

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    Sowing the word of God

    By Dina Dow

    The Sunday Mass readings for the upcoming weeks begin with a “fall” and end with an agricultural lesson. The messages from each yield insight into reasons for redemption, reasons for hope and reasons for courage.

    You can hide, but not for long

    The account from the Book of Genesis begins with the effects of original sin. Adam and Eve, knowing what evil is, experience the brokenness of inner harmony with God so much so they attempt to hide from him. To us this sounds ridiculous. Yet, think of a time when you made a

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    Glory be

    Ordinary Time is upon us, as we conclude the Easter Season with Pentecost. The coming of the Holy Spirit sets in motion the missionary activity of the church, focusing first on the most holy trinity and second on the most holy body and blood of our Lord, Jesus. These two solemnities point to who God is and how we are united by his real presence. Before embarking on this journey the faithful are to be rooted in a simple reality: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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    The Lord, the giver of life

    The church’s celebration of Easter continues as we rejoice in Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The next two weeks capture the richness of the resurrected Lord together with the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Both enable the faithful to believe in the glory of God, to proclaim the faith and the ability to witness the mission by means of special gifts.  

    To believe  

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    The joy of first Communion

    The Catholic Commentator  

    First of two articles  

    A unique long-standing tradition allowed children from Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Baton Rouge to receive their first Communion encircled by the love of their family the weekend of April 28-29.  

    Children sing “I Want to Walk as a Child of The Light” in thanksgiving after receiving their first Communion April 28 at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Baton Rouge.  

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    Rooted in love

    United in love, we are called to gather as one faith in Jesus Christ. The Easter season continues with the fifth and sixth Sundays. Mass readings point to our oneness in God. We grow in a deeper understanding of community, truth and love. 

    Community 

    The readings from the Acts of the Apostles tell of how the early church, led by the Holy Spirit, grew primarily through the preaching, teaching and prayers of the apostles, disciples and

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    Easter season a ‘beautiful’ time

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Easter Sunday is the beginning of a huge 50-day celebration in which the faithful can fully give themselves to understanding Jesus’ resurrection and what it means for them – which is heaven – because that is their destiny, according to Dina Dow, director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. 

    “During the Easter season, the resurrected Lord comes to earth in his glorified body and teaches the

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    The Good Shepherd

    Fidelity in the Holy Name of Jesus: To This We Are Witnesses

    Happy Easter! As the joyful journey of this glorious season continues, the daily and Sunday Mass readings share accounts of Jesus’ appearances after the resurrection. Also given are inspiring testimonies of the disciples in the name of Jesus, as well as the power in them to continue the ministry of the Lord.

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    Divine Mercy Sunday

    While still rejoicing in Christ’s resurrection, the following Sunday Mass continues the theme of redemption when Divine Mercy is celebrated. 

    The day is originally based on St. Faustina Kowalska’s devotion to the Divine Mercy. It was reported that part of her encounter with Jesus included special promises from Christ and indulgences issued by the church. 

    The Divine Mercy message is that God loves us all, and that he wants us to understand there exists no sins greater than his mercy. He encourages all to

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    Richness of the Spirit

    Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. – Phil 2:8-9 

    The Mass readings of the fifth Sunday of Lent prepare the faithful for the following Sunday, known as Passion (Palm) Sunday. There are great riches and depths in these readings, too plentiful for this space. For now, the focus

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    Christ will give you light

    “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Eph 5:14).

    (Note: There are two choices of readings in the Liturgy of the Word for Lent Week Three and Lent Week Four. This reflection will focus on Year A Readings, which are those selected for the Scrutiny of Catechumens, those seeking the sacrament of baptism this Easter.) 

    Lent offers an opportunity for

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    Receiving the grace

    Repent, and believe in the Gospel. – Mk 1:15  

    The season of Lent is an invitation to slow down, pray, sacrifice, offer-up and repent. It is also a time of renewal; a turning away from that which darkens the heart to that which illuminates it. The path that leads to Easter shimmers with signs of promise, lessons of hope and glimpses of the divine.  

    A series of covenants 

    More than a contract, a

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    Jesus’ healing power

    “I turn to you, Lord, in times of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.” Ps 32

    It is interesting the liturgical readings for the fifth and sixth Sundays in Ordinary Time are actually preparing us for the season of Lent, which happens to immediately follow these. The themes resonating from the Scriptures speak to the realities of challenges faced by many, including restlessness and rejection.

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    A season of hope

    “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men” – (Mk 1:17)

    The liturgical season has moved into what the Catholic Church refers to as Ordinary Time. The readings for Mass are anything but ordinary. In fact, extraordinary moments resonate with clear messages of faith, hope and love. Starting the new season is an invitation to act.

    Answering the call

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    Seek the truth

    We have found the Messiah: Jesus Christ, who brings us truth and grace. – John 1:41

    The world rings in the New Year with fireworks bursting high in the sky. Shouts of joy are heard as each time-zone strikes midnight and people toast to a new dawn filled with well-intended promises and resolutions. The liturgical year is also illuminated with joy, as the

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    Congregation of St. Joseph’s service day aids community

    The Catholic Commentator 

    During a visit to the Holy Land a year ago Cherry Riggs was exposed to how people in other parts of the world are forced to live and how they often leave everything in their native country to immigrate to the United States. 

    Associates of the Congregation of St. Joseph, as well as St. Joseph women religious and St.

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    The real reason for the season: A reminder for all

    “… let the earth be open and bring forth a Savior.”

    The early weeks of the new liturgical year correlate with the end of the calendar year, as we celebrate incredible feasts back-to-back: the Fourth Sunday of Advent, within hours of Christmas vigil Mass, then the following Sunday’s Feast of the Holy Family, within hours of the Solemnity of Mary, the mother of God on New Year’s Day. We have

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    Preserving the past

    The Archives Department was created by Bishop Robert E. Tracy within six months of his installation and the newly formed Diocese of Baton Rouge. The diocesan history was just beginning in 1962, but the history of the churches and the people within the diocese began with the arrival of the settlers and the missionaries who ministered to them. Sacraments recorded their lives in the Catholic Church beginning in 1728. Bishop Tracy initiated a “call in” of all

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    Testify to the light

    I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul … (Isaiah 61:10)

    The liturgical season of Advent is upon us. Churches, adorned in purple, signify the “posture” by which the faithful are to journey through this season. As the nation hopes for an economic boost in retail sales, a Christian’s “economic” boost is realized by investing in preparation, prayer and joy!

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    Prepare, wait and watch

    The season of fall has finally debuted as the leaves fade into rustic hues of orange, brown, yellow and burgundy. Similarly, the colors adorning the sanctuaries around the world will shift from green to white to purple, as we enter into the last week of the Liturgical Year and begin anew with Advent. We end the old year with jubilant celebration and begin a new year with a clear resolution following three principles: prepare, wait and watch.

    Prepare

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    Catholic Charities

    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is a network of agencies which has evolved from a number of different programs, all of which stem from a shared mission: to help those in need. Catholic Charities has its roots in the Catholic Family Life Bureau (est. 1962), Catholic Social Services (est. 1964), and the Office of Social Responsibility (est. 1968). 

    Originally, the primary focus was on maternity and adoption counseling, emergency

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    Advent opportunity to hit reset button on spiritual life

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Given the natural and manmade chaos that appears to be running rampant in the world, like the people of Jesus’ time, Catholics may be looking for “the big wrap up” when God cleans out evil and brings his faithful to heaven. But as the new liturgical year begins with Advent on Dec. 3, the church teaches Catholics that their long awaited savior entered the world in a manger in

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    Awake for Christ

    “Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” – Mt. 24:42  

    The final weeks in Ordinary Time are upon us. The readings for the 32nd and 33rd Sundays indicate two very important aspects of Christianity: wisdom and watchfulness. 

    Wisdom

    True wisdom is from God. Simply put, it guides the faithful into determining whether something is good

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    St. Teresa of Calcutta

    Baton Rouge was visited by Mother Teresa several times from 1985-1987 when she sought to establish her order, the Missionaries of Charity, in our city. Bishop Stanley J. Ott had written to Mother Teresa to request she open a House of Ministry to serve unwed mothers and their babies in Baton Rouge. She responded by sending four of her sisters to live in the convent at St. Agnes Church and minister to the “poorest of the poor with

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    Living in the Spirit

    Disciples of Jesus are a people who allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate their heart, calling them out from the idolatry that is the root of all sin. Sin is that which leads us away from the communion with God and one another, that we were created for. It isolates us from the love of God. Isolated from the love of God, we lack an experience of the depths of love we are called to for one

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