Holy Trinity Sunday Morning Musings

Our Mass yesterday was officiated by Fr. Frank, he is our permanent fill-in whenever needed. I like Fr. Frank, he is from Malta and is very intelligent so I was looking forward to his sermon on the Holy Trinity. He kept it very simple explaining how the Trinity is a mystery and one that we will probably never really understand until the time we pass on into the heavenly realm. He spoke about St. Patrick and how he taught the Irish converts about the Trinity using the three leaf clover, one stem, three leaves! I think what amazes me the most when I spend time thinking about the Trinity is that all three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, existed from the beginning. All three were present for the creation of the world. It’s in the bible! Let’s look at Genesis, Chapter 2, verse 26: “Then God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…'” Note the use of “us” and “our” in that verse. This is just one of the things that causes me joy when I think about the end of this mortal life of mine, I can’t wait to learn the truth about all these mysteries surrounding my faith!

Before I move on this morning I would like to take a moment to mention Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the final Sunday in May, the month we honor Mary. Yes, I said honor, not worship! Without Mary’s consent Jesus would have had no earthly vessel to assist his becoming human while maintaining his divinity. She is a special woman, she was the first disciple, she was given as mother to us at the foot of the cross. It is only right that we honor her just as we honored our earthly mothers earlier this month. In her honor I would like to share with you a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow written to Mary.

Her Feet Shod with Holiness
And, if our faith had given us nothing more
Than this Example, of all Womanhood,
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good,
So patient, so peaceful, loyal, loving, pure –
This were enough to prove it higher and truer
Than all the creeds the world had known before.
Virgin, who lovest the poor and lonely,
If the loud cry of a mother’s heart
Can ever ascend to where thou art,
Into thy blessed hands and holy
Receive my prayer of praise and thanksgiving
Let the hands that bore our Savior bear it
Into the awful presence of God;
For thy feet with holiness are shod,
And, if thou bearest it, he will hear it.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I pray that I may be more like Mary, always seeking first to do the will of my Lord. Have a blessed week.
Marci

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Part II – Subduing the Earth

God gave us this earth to subdue it.  What did he mean? Let’s begin by looking up the definition. Subdue means many different things. The New World Dictionary of the American Language – 2nd College Edition gives us this:  alter in sense and form after; to bring into subjection, conquer; vanquish; to repress emotions; to bring under cultivation. This gives us a good picture of how the American language uses words for many different meanings, how we turn words and meanings around to fit our relativistic society. Would God have meant to conquer or vanquish? Or to repress ones emotions – by being controlling? I think we could all agree that this is not the intent of God’s message. So if we use the last part of the definition: to bring under cultivation, I think we can then go to the definition of cultivate to grasp a clearer meaning. In the sense of cultivating land it means to prepare the soil for planting.  The definition speaks also of cultivating the mind: to improve by care, training, or study; refine.  So in Genesis where God tells man to subdue the earth,  would he mean what we have done to the visible world – to the earth and our relationships? Lets take a look at the visible world.

II. THE VISIBLE WORLD 337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine “work”, concluded by the “rest” of the seventh day.204 On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation,205 permitting us to “recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God.”206 (Gen 1″1- 2:4)338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God’s word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.207339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the “six days” it is said: “And God saw that it was good.” “By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws.”208 Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.340 God wills the interdependence of creatures. The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient. Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other.341 The beauty of the universe: The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man’s intellect and will.342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the “six days”, from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures209 and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: “You are of more value than many sparrows”, or again: “Of how much more value is a man than a sheep!”210 (Ps 145:9; Lk 12:6-7; Mt 12:12)343 Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.211 (Gen 1:26)344 There is a solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to his glory: May you be praised, O Lord, in all your creatures, especially brother sun, by whom you give us light for the day; he is beautiful, radiating great splendor, and offering us a symbol of you, the Most High. . .

May you be praised, my Lord, for sister water, who is very useful and humble, precious and chaste. . .
May you be praised, my Lord, for sister earth, our mother, who bears and feeds us, and produces the variety of fruits and dappled flowers and grasses. . .
Praise and bless my Lord, give thanks and serve him in all humility.212

345 The sabbath – the end of the work of the six days. The sacred text says that “on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done”, that the “heavens and the earth were finished”, and that God “rested” on this day and sanctified and blessed it.213 (Gen 2:1-3) These inspired words are rich in profitable instruction:346 In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God’s covenant.214 For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation, and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it. (Heb 4:3-4; Jer 31:35-37; 33:19-26)
347 Creation was fashioned with a view to the sabbath and therefore for the worship and adoration of God. Worship is inscribed in the order of creation.215 (Gen 1:14) As the rule of St. Benedict says, nothing should take precedence over “the work of God”, that is, solemn worship.216 This indicates the right order of human concerns.
348 The sabbath is at the heart of Israel’s law. To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation.
349 The eighth day. But for us a new day has dawned: the day of Christ’s Resurrection. The seventh day completes the first creation. The eighth day begins the new creation. Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendor of which surpasses that of the first creation.217

(Articles 337-349 from The Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Part I – Man and Woman

Part I – Man and Woman

 

369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. “Being man” or “being woman” is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity “in the image of God”. In their “being-man” and “being-woman”, they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness.(CCC, 240 Gen 2:7, 22)

The excerpt above explains the blueprint for relationships that is clearly spelled out in Genesis. Man does not lie with another man or animal – his entire being was “willed” by God for the woman. No where else in God’s creation, did man “cry in wonder, exclaiming love and communion” (CCC 371) than in the first glance at “woman.” To be with anyone else is against the very nature that God created. Homosexuality and bestiality are in direct conflict with nature and a disorder of this world.

372 Man and woman were made “for each other” – not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be “helpmate” to the other, for they are equal as persons (“bone of my bones. . .”) and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming “one flesh”,245 they can transmit human life: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”246 By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents cooperate in a unique way in the Creator’s work.247  (Cathechism of the Catholic Church, Gen 2:24, Gen 1:28)

We see the disorder all around us. It begins with relationships, then it spreads to marriages, to families, to society, to the nations, …to the very foundation God’s creation – the earth.

 (Look for Part II Subduing the Earth and Part II Our Roles as Man and Woman, coming soon)

Ascension Sunday Morning Musings

I apologize for missing the last couple of Sundays, I have been ill, but am feeling much better now.

We have a visiting lay evangelist with us this week at St. Peter who actually spoke at Mass during the homily and will be with us for a mission on Pentecost Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings at 7 PM in the church.

Before Fr. Tom introduced him, he spoke a bit about coming home and what that is like for him.  He went home to be with his mom on Mother’s Day this year.  His opening statement was, “Home is where mom is.”  That is so very true, no matter where your mom lives, that place is home because mom makes it so.  That spoke volumes to me especially with everything going on in my personal life with my mom right now.  Please keep us in your prayers, it is a stressful time, but I do believe in the power of God’s good graces and I know this time will pass.

What I really want to talk about this morning though, is another thought that came into my mind after thinking about Fr. Tom’s words and the Ascension of Our Lord.  Jesus must have had quite the homecoming!  How exciting it must have been for him, he had been away so long, 33 years!  The celebration must have been breathtaking.  Yet, it must have been bittersweet as well, leaving his good friends and family, those who had followed him, and especially his mother.  Even though he knew he would be seeing them all again, still, the human side of him must have had just a bit of an ache knowing he was leaving them all behind, and the divine side knowing they would  suffer in his name.

Our own homecoming will be wonderful, marvelous, joyful beyond anything we can imagine.  Even though the world appears to be falling apart at the seams and things look hopeless, keep your sights on the end prize, keep your eyes on heaven.  Our own precious Lord awaits us there! Nothing beats the feeling of coming home.

May God bless you and keep you this week.  Amen

Marci

What do Theodore Roosevelt, Sigmund Freud and Mahatma Ghandi All Have in Common?

Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “Birth control is the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement.”

Sigmund Freud, “The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it. So, as you will see, the breach and turning point in the development of sexual life lies in becoming subordinate to the purpose of reproduction. Everything that happens before this turn of events and equally everything that disregards it and that aims solely at obtaining pleasure is given the uncomplimentary name of “perverse” and as such is proscribed.”

Mahatma Ghandi, “Artificial methods [of contraception] are like putting a premium on vice. They make men and women reckless …. Nature is relentless and will have full revenge for any such violation of her laws. Moral results can only be produced by moral restraints. All other restraints defeat the very purpose for which they are intended. If artificial methods become the order of the day, nothing but moral degradation can be the result. A society that has already become enervated through a variety of causes will still become further enervated by the adoption of artificial [birth control] methods …. As it is, man has sufficiently degraded women for his lust, and artificial methods, no matter how well-meaning the advocates may be, will still further degrade her.”.