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Made to be saints

Posted February 14, 2020 at 12:00 am

The Bible passage of God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses is well known. Think back when you first read and/or studied this passage. Picture Moses, the grumbling Israelites, stone tablets, perhaps the golden calf incident or the 1956 film “The Ten Commandments” directed Cecil B. DeMille, depicting the Exodus story, etc.  

Now, think about learning the actual commandments. Perhaps one may recall memorizing the Ten Commandments as a youth to prepare for a test. A strong memory for me happened in the fourth grade in Catholic school when tasked with writing and reciting the commandments from memory and in order. It was stressful but impressionable. I wonder if any of us realized back then that the Ten Commandments are the natural moral law given by God, who is love; a law

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    Your light must shine

    The readings for the 4th and 5th Sundays in Ordinary Time reveal the importance of presenting ourselves to God, as well as answering the call to holiness while being salt and light to the world through sacrifice and praise.  

    Presented to God  

    The Gospel of St. Luke describes Mary and Joseph’s lawful visit to the temple approximately 40 days after Jesus’ birth. The Mosaic Law required the first-born son of each Jewish family to be presented in the Jerusalem

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    Light to the nations

    The liturgical season moves from Christmas to Ordinary Time this weekend, which gives us five weeks until we enter the season of Lent. The upcoming Sunday Mass readings empower us to be a “light to the nations,” as we come to understand the source of, strength for and response to our call from God.

    Call and Mission 

    What is my call? What is my mission? These questions cross the mind and inspire the heart.

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    PREPARING FOR CHRIST

    Advent a time  of prayer 

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    The turkey is but a mere carcass, yams are nowhere to be found and long-lost relatives who drop in once a year for the annual feast have departed.  

    Bishop Michael G. Duca blesses the Advent wreath at the Catholic Life Center in 2018. Advent, which begins

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    Spirit & witness

    The end of the liturgical year draws near with three weeks remaining in Cycle C. There is a peeked urgency in the message of perseverance, endurance and hope. The Sunday Mass Readings are quite clear during the 32nd and 33rd Sundays in Ordinary Time regarding persecution as a reality for those who choose to follow God. Yet, as God loves, so also do those, persecuted for their beliefs, love and glorify God through suffering and by faith in Christ Jesus.  

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    Prayer: A gift from God

    As we near the end of the liturgical year, the 30th and 31st Sunday Mass readings in Ordinary Time (Cycle C) guide the faithful to a more intimate relationship with God through prayer. Most important are the notions of posture, motivation and attitude of prayer.   

    A gift 

    “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2559). Prayer is a movement

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    Our help is from the Lord

    The Sunday Mass readings for the 28th and 29th Weeks in Ordinary Time reveal the saving power of God, as we witness faith-based responses to situations that cause suffering or require great effort. Four significant realities come into light: faith is unchained, dependence on the word of God sustains, endurance is necessary and prayer is essential.  

    Unchain the faith  

    The healing power of God has no limits nor conditions. We read in the Second Book

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    Guiding Catholics to dig deeper

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Catechists serve as directional signs for people who are on the spiritual road seeking heaven, according to clergy, catechetical leaders and professors of theology in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

    The celebration of Catechetical Sunday, which was Sept. 15 and themed “Stay with Us,” was a time to reflect on each person’s role, by virtue of baptism, to hand on the faith and be a witness to the Gospel, according to Dina Dow, director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

    Dow

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    Increase our faith

    (This column serves as an invitation to prepare for Sunday Mass by meditating on the readings ahead of time. Since this publication spans two Sundays, one has two weeks of scriptural mediation as a pathway of encounter as we substantially receive the word of God during Mass. These readings are accessible via the web (for example, USCCB.org) and/or by purchasing a St. Joseph Daily Missal or Sunday Missal, which also include the daily Mass readings, stories of the saints and writings of the church. I personally invite

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    Come Lord Jesus! celebrates golden anniversary

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    For the past 50 years, Come Lord Jesus! has walked through people in their personal lives with the Sunday Scriptures.  

    Members of Come Lord Jesus! gathered at St. Aloysius Church to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Come Lord Jesus! program.  Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator  

     

    On Aug. 21,

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    Healing focus of interfaith breakfast

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Everyone has a story and people need to take time to listen. That was the message of the annual Community Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Interfaith Federation of Great Baton Rouge.  

    Guests at the annual Interfaith Federation Community Breakfast hold up “candles” while singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” to wrap up the event. The focus of the breakfast was to encourage everyone to listen to other

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    Healing comes when answering God’s knock at the door

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Second in a series 

    A “fiat” to God can open people’s hearts and free them from addictions, Judy Holston testified at a Day of Healing, sponsored by the Office of Charismatic Renewal of Healing on Aug. 10 at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge.  

    Holston, a member of the inner-healing prayer team of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, shared her own personal and inspiring story of

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    Healing through the Holy Spirit

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    First in a series of two articles 

    Praise and worship was a big part of a Day of Healing, sponsored by the Office of Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, on Aug. 10 at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge.  Photo by Debbie Shelley | The

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    Messages of hope from church encourage young adults

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    (Second in a series)

    For the Catholic Church, learning to communicate with millennials can be as frustrating as learning a new language.

    But young Catholics assured church leaders that consistent effort and honest, timeless messages of hope, acceptance and support do not need translation, can be understood and keep them engaged.

    The church can begin its outreach by explaining its traditions and history to young Catholics and trust they are interested, millennials and post-millennials say.

    Trey Parker, a sophomore at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University in Baton Rouge, said

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    Reaching Jesus through Mary theme of men’s conference

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator 

    The Virgin Mary is the new church, born without original sin, full of grace and assumed into heaven body and soul. She is also to be viewed as the mother of all.  

    Father Mark Beard, pastor of St. Helena Church in Amite, speaks during the 19th annual Men of the Cross Men’s Conference on Aug. 10 at Holy Rosary Church in St.

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    SAINTLY PATH

    African American candidates celebrated 

    By Richard Meek  

    The Catholic Commentator

    Emotion, fueled by centuries of oppression but buoyed with the idealism of hope, permeated the nearly 100-year-old walls of Holy Rosary Church in St. Amant on a steamy Saturday morning.  

    Sister Mary Laura Mercier SSF, a member of the Holy Family Sisters for 53

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    The Governance of Power

    The Governance of Power for Kathleen Blanco

    December 15, 1942 – August 18, 2019

    Power is a woman who looks directly into the camera,  

    says a defining moment in her life is the loss of a son.  

    Power is a woman who always writes her own script. 

    Power is a woman who takes a 15 year turn to raise children, 

    Karmen, then Monique, Nicole,

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    Humility & wisdom

    The liturgical year is deep within Ordinary Time as the 22nd and 23rd Sundays approach. Wisdom literature taken from the Old Testament act as “bookends” which hold up a resonating invitation to humility and wisdom. The former is a foundational virtue while the other is the fruit of such. 

    Teaching a child humility

    The author of Sirach gives direction about humility. Although the writing directs a child, the parent’s role is to guide the child. It takes

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    All eyes on God

    Have you ever been walking and taken your eyes off the path because of some distraction, obstacle or detour? The 20th and 21st Sunday Mass readings in Ordinary Time (Cycle C) call to mind the importance of focusing our gaze on God in the midst of persecution, obstacles, and trials. As a result, we experience a sense of peace and endurance, as we strive for holiness each day. 

    Sank into the mud (Jer 38:6)  

    A major prophet

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    Inexhaustible treasure

    The Mass readings for the 18th and 19th Sundays in Ordinary Time invite us to examine what we treasure most in life and if this steers us toward eternity. The Old Testament Scripture readings from Wisdom, together with the epistles and the Gospel of St. Luke, offer inspiration for those seeking the inexhaustible treasure of life. 

    Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?” The author of Ecclesiastes would say, “What you are doing may not matter after you are

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    Holy hospitality, hope & prayer

    Holy hospitality, hope & prayer

    Simple life lessons arise from the 16th and 17th Weeks in Ordinary Time Mass readings. These lessons are tangible for us. They serve as foundations for a life filled by Christ within; a life filled with hope that not only glorifies the Lord but also shares the hope of the glory of God.  

    Hospitality 101  

    Think of a time you had unexpected company. Recently at home my

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    With all your heart

    By Dina Dow

    The joy of Ordinary Time continues as we celebrate the 14th and 15th Sundays. The Gospel Acclamation grasps the themes for both liturgies, “Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:15-16).

    Control the heart

    What controls your heart? Uniquely, our bodily heart contains a natural pacemaker, which controls the sparks of wave-like impulses causing contraction resulting in a heart rate and life-giving movement of blood.  St. Paul suggests allowing the “peace of Christ to control our hearts “ (Col 3:15).

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    Faith knows no age

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator  

    As the transport bus pulled up to the church, the 12 passengers on board readied themselves to disembark, tightening their grips on purses, canes and rosaries. The ladies, all residents of Williamsburg Senior Living Community in Baton Rouge, gingerly made their way down the steps and walked right into church. Beautifully dressed with smiles and bright eyes, the women, supporting each other both physically and spiritually, made their way to their

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    Spirituality center ‘concluding but ministry continues’

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    After more than three decades, the St. Joseph Spirituality Center located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Academy is shuttering its Baton Rouge location June 30, or as  outgoing executive director Dianne Hanley said, the center “is concluding but the ministry is continuing.”

    Spiritual direction, which has become the greater focus of the center during the past several years, will be administered through churches and will include not only the four remaining lay spiritual directors from St. Joseph but spiritual directors scattered throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

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    God’s shining light

    This the truth each Christian learns, Bread into his flesh he turns, To his precious blood the wine … (Excerpt Sequence Lauda Sion) 

    As the sun shines brightly in these summer months, so too does the son of man shine his love upon our lives. We liturgically conclude the month of June celebrating the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (aka Corpus Christi) and the return to Ordinary Time, the 13th Sunday. These weeks draw us nearer to God

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    The Lord, the giver of life

    As we near the completion of Easter Season the Sunday liturgies enlighten the path to our triune God. Pentecost Sunday followed by the solemnity of the Holy Trinity offers infinite reflection with father, son and Holy Spirit: One God, three persons, blessed Trinity. Take this moment to focus on the essence of life in the Spirit. 

    Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come Holy Spirit! 

    Pentecost Sunday opens with a reading from the Acts of the Apostles. 

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    FAITH IN BLOOM

    Volunteer  creates beauty  at St. Anthony  

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    A typical Monday morning at Sts. Anthony of Padua and Le Van Phung Church in Baton Rouge finds a bevy of activity, as volunteers scurry about to remove elaborate floral altar arrangements that were used during the weekend Masses.  

    A flower arrangement created

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    ‘Historian’ Father Uter celebrates golden jubilee

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Digging into history is more than a favorite pastime for Father Frank Uter, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs.  

    Father Frank Uter is pictured at the Canterbury Cathedral next to the tomb of a brother of an ancestor, Hubert Walter, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1193-1205.  Archbishop Walter was buried near the tomb of St. Thomas Becket, who had previously served

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    Holy Spirit, Promise of Hope

    Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!  

    Alleluia, alleluia!  

    We continue to celebrate the joy of Easter as we draw near to summer. The sacramental life of the church is booming with extraordinary events: ordination of priests and transitional deacons, weddings, baptisms, first Communions and confirmations! The Sixth Sunday of Easter, together with the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord prepare us for the coming of “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit” (Jn 14: 26-27), who will enlighten our faith, invigorate our love and fill us

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    All things new

    Happy Easter, still! 

    We continue celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as the Sunday liturgy enters the Fourth and Fifth Weeks of Easter. The sprinkling of the waters of baptism are a reminder of new life in the resurrected Lord. The power of the Holy Spirit springs forth from the life-giving waters of baptism and thus the church to make all things new through Jesus Christ. 

    Light to the Gentiles 

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