Life_Giving Faith.pdf

Trust in the Spirit

Posted May 26, 2017 at 12:00 am

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations …” – Matthew 28:19

We are nearing the end of our Easter journey. Hopefully the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection has resonated in your heart and renewed your spirit. Just when you think the “party is over” our father saves the best of the season for last. These next two weeks will actually shed light on the power of new life in the resurrection, mainly the life of Jesus ascended, the life of the Holy Spirit and the life of the mission of the Church.

Look to the sky

“Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” (Acts 1-11). This is one of the most striking phrases spoken by men wearing white robes in the Bible, presumably angels. Jesus had shared

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    Weathering the storm

    The most dreaded words in south Louisiana lexicon is rapidly approaching: hurricane season is near.

    From June 1 through the end of November residents never stray far from mobile devices, apps or the television, wary of any breaking weather developments. And who can blame them, especially after an unnamed storm this past summer inflicted the worst damage in Baton Rouge in its long history.

    As with most events that affect our lives, there is

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    The way, the truth and the life

    Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. – Psalm 33

    The celebration of Easter continues as we hear more extraordinary readings these next two Sundays. The events described are filled with the work of the Trinity, as the father is known by the son; the son is the face of the father; and the Holy Spirit is the giver of life.

    I Am the Way

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    Marian Servants assist searching souls to find comfort through faith

    This is the final article in a series on secular religious institutes in the Diocese of Baton Rouge

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Pictured at a Commitment Day of the Marian Servants of the Eucharist are, from left, Theresa Hagen, Tonia Okpalobi, Ron Lindsey; middle row: Lisette Borné, Glen Landry, Susan Gros, Melinda Sanford, Janet Lindsey; bottom row: Lisa Landry, Shirley Sherman, Joyce Dietrick,

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    The path to Pentecost

    Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us. Alleluia. Alleluia!

    The celebration of Easter continues on the fourth and fifth Sundays of the season. The path to Pentecost follows the proclamation of the paschal mystery understood as Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Sacred Scripture gives three powerful testimonies which offer guidance, confidence and strength for faithful prayer and meditation.

    Know for Certain

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    A rich legacy

    St. Bernadette was born to a poor family but in death left a rich legacy.

    Born Jan. 7, 1844 in Lourdes, France, St. Bernadette was the first of nine children. As a toddler, she contracted cholera and suffered asthma and lived the rest of her life in poor health.

    At the age of 14, however, while she and her sister were gathering firewood, St. Bernadette’s life would change forever, and even to this day

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    The joy of Easter

    “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad.” (Ps(s) 118)

    Happy Easter! Today is a day of rejoicing, as we sing in the salvific light of Jesus Christ. Our Sunday Mass readings duirng the next two weekends celebrate new life and God’s abundant mercy. So many themes are present, far too many for this space to accommodate. We shall focus on three: the joy of telling Jesus’ story, the joy of receiving God’s

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    Confession an opportunity to cleanse one’s soul of the despair of sin

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    It’s been called a Catholic’s “Easter duty,” an opportunity, if you will, to “come clean” and be fully united in God’s merciful and loving care.

    Yet, many Catholics do not take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation or confession.

    According to a 2015 Pew Research Center Survey of Catholics living in America, about four in 10 Catholics say they go to confession at least

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    Why God became man

    By Dina Dow

    “I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.” – John 11:25-26

    Our Lenten journey will enter on the final path paved with luscious palms, followed by earthly dirt, then precious blood. Preceding Jesus’ last entry into Jerusalem we hear the powerful testimony of the raising of Lazarus, as Jesus reminds his followers to believe, unbind and remove the stones. The final Sunday of Lent retells

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    Celebrating St. Joseph

    St. Joseph was a man of few words in the Bible, in fact no one, but he certainly played a powerful role in the life of Christ and continues to do so for fathers everywhere.

    To no one’s surprise, southeast Louisiana celebrates his feast day like no other place, complete with traditional altars and staying true to our heritage, parades.

    St. Joseph’s life is an example of trusting in the Lord, humility and

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    Thirsting for God’s word

    Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world; give me living water, that I may never thirst again (Jn 4:15).

    I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life (Jn 8:12).

    As we enter the heart of Lent, the Sunday Mass readings provide impeccable insight into the riches of the healing power of Jesus. A message of hope is mediated by two powerful Gospel accounts: the woman at the well and the healing of the blind man. Two

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    Spiritual Retreat Opportunites during Lent 2017

    Retreat centers located in the Diocese of Baton Rouge
    Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center

    Baton Rouge

    The Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center is available for spiritual renewal and growth, professional training and adult and youth formation. As part of the Catholic Life Center, the Tracy Center can provide space for day and overnight retreats and conferences.

    The three-story overnight facility has 30 sleeping rooms. Each of 24 rooms can accommodate up to four people. Five of the six suites consist of a bedroom with two single beds (one king if beds are joined) and a sitting room with two sofa sleepers. The smaller suite

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    The Lenten journey

    The liturgical season has dramatically changed. Streams of purple symbolizing the spirit of penance and fasting adorn the sanctuary as the church begins her journey through Lent. The Old Testament readings resonate with the telling of God’s loving plan of salvation for “the many” and his promise of blessings, while the New Testament readings and Gospels illuminate the realities of salvation through Jesus, the temptations along the way and the transformative power of faith.

    Salvation Begins with

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    Letting go of anxiety

    So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:48)

    Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.

    Sufficient for a day is its own evil. (Mt 6:34)

    The Sunday liturgical readings for the next two weeks illuminate a deep perspective of the meaning of life-giving faith. Isaiah and St. Paul call God’s people to be holy as God is

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    Secular orders offer particular apostolic lifestyles for lay Catholics

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    (First of a series)

     Father Joshua Johnson, parochial vicar at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge, speaks to those attending a gathering of the secular orders and institutes gathering at Our Lady of Mercy in Baton Rouge last October. Photo provided by Barbara Helm

     

    As Lent approaches, some Catholics may want to “go higher” in their spiritual life. One way to achieve a new level of intimacy with God is

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    Saint of the Month.pdf

    St. Polycarp’s life example of trust

    As a second generation leader of the Catholic Church, St. Polycarp was one of those rare individuals who was actually able to mingle with the Apostles and hear firsthand their experiences of walking with Jesus.

    St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, also faced his own challenges, specifically having to carry on the message of Christ after all of the eyewitnesses were gone. Once the Apostles had all died, St. Polycarp was left to answer previously unasked

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    Salt and Light

    “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." (Mt 5:16)

    The messages gleaned from the Sunday Mass readings over the next two weeks are incredibly conceivable and livable. Jesus uses tangible resources to teach us to be effective witnesses of his love. There is also reiteration of the necessity to follow the Law of God based on his wisdom, together with Jesus’ embellishment and fulfilment of the

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    Saint of the Month.pdf

    An editor’s saint

    In this current climate of media upheaval, if not downright distrust, even editors and their colleagues need somewhere to turn. They need look no further past St. John Bosco, the patron saint of editors and laborers who is considered one of the great social saints.

    Ordained a priest in 1841, he was sent to study theology in Turin, where he became a magnet for neglected youths during a turbulent period of rapid industrialization and revolutionary politics. He began ministering

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    Extra-Ordinary Time

    The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?

    The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? – Ps 27:1

    The Liturgy of the Church has moved into a new season entitled “Ordinary Time.” Despite the title, the readings we hear in Mass are rich in the extraordinary actions of Jesus. The season begins with messages of light, salvation, calling and humility. Jesus clearly shows us

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    Trusting God’s Plan: The Revelation to St. Joseph

    …the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins … Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” (Mt 1: 20-21, 23)

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    The light of Advent shines through Jesus

    Editor’s Note: This is the final in a series of articles looking at the journey from darkness to light in the season of Advent. The final stage celebrates God’s coming to dwell with us.

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The wait is over!

    Place baby Jesus on the manger’s bed of hay on Christmas morning and celebrate. The light of the world shines in the form of a child. Even though you started in the darkness, your

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    Darkest before the dawn

    By Dina DePaula Dow

    The liturgical readings for the final weeks of Advent turn our hearts towards God’s ultimate promise. His plan of salvation will soon culminate. The night is darkest before the dawn, yet we wait in “joyful hope of the coming of our Savior,” Emmanuel. We are told to fear not, be patient, and be prepared.

     

    Fear Not

    As the dawn of Christmas draws near we are

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    Come Lord Jesus helps people of all ages strengthen their faith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Youth and adults in the Diocese of Baton Rouge are pulled away from the worldly culture and exposed to the truths of who Jesus is and his teachings in the Come Lord Jesus program, developed by Father Conley Bertrand of the Diocese of Lafayette.

    Members of a Come Lord Jesus group at St. Aloysius School in Baton Rouge

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    Our baptismal call to share our faith

    We have come to end of the liturgical year with the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (more commonly termed Christ the King). The Scripture readings give insight of being visible signs of God’s love, professing words of wisdom, and remaining vigilant to the end. In light of this, as the children of God we are called by our baptism to participate in the life

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    Experience God’s transforming love

    As we near the end of the liturgical year in Ordinary Time, the 31st and 32nd Sunday Mass readings steer the faithful toward a deep appreciation of God’s infinite love of mankind and how far God will go to manifest his love.

    Love of Souls

    God’s very being is encountered in all of creation, particularly within mankind. His love is encased in mercy which exceeds all boundaries to the

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    St. Sebastian was an overcomer

    Seconds seem to be moving at a snail’s pace, an eternity between each tick of the clock.

    Your local heroes, perhaps clad in purple and gold, are attempting to hang on and finally conquer the evil one, who could be draped in crimson and white. You know prayers are needed to pull your team through on this crisp autumn night, but where to direct such a petition?

    Why not turn to St.

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    Winning the spiritual battles

    By Dina DePaula

     

    Endure the Battle

    Difficult and unpleasant situations place us outside of the comfort zone and into the warzone. We are faced with “battles” which, at times, seem monumental. Recall a challenging moment in your life where you stood firm, yet grew weary. How did you endure the forces pressing

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    Life-Giving faith

    The 27th and 28th Sundays in Ordinary Time steer our minds and hearts toward the gift of faith. St. Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 17, verse 5 is a direct petition from the Apostles to Jesus. They simply request, “Increase our faith.” How often have we petitioned for the same from Jesus? How often do we ask for more trust in, or more belief in, the promise that God will do what he says?

    Jesus’ proverbial response is encouraging. A mustard seed, although small, has enormous potential. A seemingly

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    Scriptures provide peace in an increasingly violent world

    The Catholic Commentator

    Scriptures are the “first and final word” one can confidently stand on in uncertain times, according to Dr. Timothy Gray, who spoke to the Baton Rouge Chapter of Legatus and Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge’s “Called By Faith” Bible study group on July 28.

    Dr. Timothy Gray talks to the “Called by Faith” Bible study group

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    Conference attendees urged to spread the power of the Holy Spirit

    The Catholic Commentator

    Tears of repentance often stream during the conversion of individuals, as well as communities, as seen in the Baton Rouge area following the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and three officers. In these water shed moments many people receive a new baptism by the Holy Spirit. Some receive God’s gift of grace and salvation for the first time and others receive God’s invitation that “there’s still more.”

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