Life_Giving Faith.pdf

The Lenten journey

Posted March 3, 2017 at 12:00 am

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 a Choice

The story of creation, God forming man out of clay and giving life with his very breath, reveals the significance of salvation. “Living beings” are made by God in his image to share in his divine life. Because of this, humans

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Life_Giving Faith.pdf

    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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    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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    New program offers hope to those suffering from the pains of divorce

    The Catholic Commentator

    Their stories are different – some divorced because of infidelity, others over financial tensions or substance abuse and others because “real life” doused the passionate flame of young love. But the divorced and divorcing all have something in common – the need to heal and renew their faith after the breakup of their relationship.

    St. Alphonsus Church in Greenwell Springs is beginning a program

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    Soulcore exercises the body through the soul

    The Catholic Commentator

    Soft music and candlelight helped participants use their senses to put their minds, souls and bodies into prayer at a SoulCore exercise class at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs on June 17. As they raised their arms, legs, torsos and heads, they lifted their hearts to Jesus and Mary through praying the rosary.

    Participants in a SoulCore class June 18

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    Cathedral’s sexton helps preserve history of Baton Rouge area

    The Catholic Commentator

    Dressed in the grey uniform of a Confederate soldier, Chip Landry enjoys helping others understand history, even if that means going where no Civil War soldier had probably ever gone before: inside a third-grade classroom.

    Chip Landry

     

    The long-time living history re-enactor and St. Joseph Cathedral parishioner recently related stories

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    Retreat helps students understand the importance of the Eucharist

    The Catholic Commentator

    For Addison St. Pierre, choosing a color for her first Communion chalice was easy.

    Addison St. Pierre, left, and her mom, April, paint and decorate a first Communion chalice together. Photo by Rachele Smith | The Catholic Commentator

     

    “Purple is my favorite color,” the second-grader at Paulina

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    Spreading the joy of God for 24 hours

    The Catholic Commentator

    “Jesus is available,” announced St. Aloysius as it opened its doors for a 24-hour Lenten initiative March 4-5. Church officials were floored by amazement and grace as people flocked non-stop through them, confirming many are still hungry to spend time with God.

    24 Hours for the Lord featured eucharisitc adoration, the sacrament of reconciliation, corporal and spiritual works of mercy, praise and worship

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    Answer to prayers found in the silence of God

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Prayer.

    Mysterious as it is powerful. Believers credit miracles such as odds-defying healings, or surviving in the face of death to the power of prayer. Others remain skeptical.

    People have prayed since ancient times in myriad of fashions but with one single purpose: seeking God’s intercession. The intentions may be as simple as a student praying to pass a test or as complex as a person petitioning God’s help in

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    Day-trippers build community through excursions

    The Catholic Commentator

    “These Catholics know how to have a good time,” said a participant on a recent day trip sponsored by St. Gabriel Church in St. Gabriel.

    St. Gabriel Church day-trippers learn about the dark history of slavery in Louisiana at Whitney Plantation in Wallace. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

     

    Like other day-trippers in church parishes of the

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    Prayer group draws inspiration from the Blessed Mother

    The Catholic Commentator

    For most people, junk mail is, well, junk, and it’s typically recyled or thrown away.

    Following his talk during the October meeting of “A Morning with the Blessed Mother,” Father Gerald Burns, from left, Rita Hirsch and Betty Robert share some thoughts. Photo by Rachele Smith |

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    Eucharist challenges Catholics to be bearers of God’s word

    The Catholic Commentator

    (fourth in a series)

    Catholics have a spiritual hunger that is only satisfied by receiving Christ at Communion. Receiving the body and blood of Christ “opens our spiritual life, and it fortifies us and encourages us to keep living out our faith,” said Vicar General Father Tom Ranzino. File photo by

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    Traveling Chalice: Power in that cup

    The Catholic Commentator

    When the family of David and Sandy Robertson brings home the traveling chalice of vocations from Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs, the atmosphere of their home changes and then permeates their church parish and community as they bring an important need of the church before God in prayer.

    From left, David, Sandra and Anna Robertson pray for vocations

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    Volunteers trained to help those in crisis

    The Catholic Commentator

    “I am glad you were there when I needed you,” is one of the most satisfying things volunteers for the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center are told by people who reached out to them like a lifeline because they were in crisis or thinking of taking their life.

    The Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center receives thousands of contacts each year through

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    Holy Spirit leads singer to right message

    The Catholic Commentator

    Surrounded by a soft glow, a tear falls from an eye of the Blessed Mother as she kisses the hand of the sleeping Christ child in a striking painting that may lead viewers to contemplate the sacrifices Mary made from the moment she gave her fiat to God’s plan for saving humanity. In the concert on Dec. 8, “She said … ‘Yes,’ ” Mary Rosenbloom will take audience members

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    Many answering Jesus’ call of inclusivity

    The Catholic Commentator

    Vicki Brooks has served meals at the Bishop Ott Shelter for more than 20 years. Seeing the face of Christ in the destitute homeless men she encountered, the need to bring Christ’s love to often forgotten people of the world welled up within her.

    JustFaith members at St. Jean Vianney Church in Baton Rouge and inmate peer ministers at Louisiana State Penitentiary

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