Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In case you're going to be in the mountains near the Monastery in Snowmass - or would like a reason to go there - I would like you to know that I'm giving a morning workshop in August:
WHERE: St. Benedict's Retreat House, 1012 Monastery Rd., Snowmass CO 81654
WHEN: Saturday, August 15 -- 9-noon (with coffee & treats)
TOPIC: "Purgation and Illumination on the Spiritual Path Through Stories of Growing Up with
My Sister, Maureen"
COST: Freewill offering to support Contemplative Outreach of Colorado
CONTACT: Carol DeMarcello-- firstname.lastname@example.org
PLAN AHEAD . . .
Mark your calendars for the following workshop days in BOULDER . . .
Saturday, September 26 @ Sacred Heart of Jesus, 9-noon
Saturday, October 10 @ St. Thomas Aquinas, 9-noon
Monday, July 20, 2009
JULY 19, 2009
"My" dog, Jabba, is a pest. At times, when I come into the house from work, I want to go to my room, be in solitude and silence to rest with God in prayer, or read a book. Jabba will begin to follow me upstairs to my room, and then she will go ahead of me. By the time I get to my room, she has made herself comfortable on the bed.
She watches me. She waits. Waits for what? Jabba wants either food or a walk. She has been alone in the house for a while and wants some attention. Usually, she wants to go outside for a walk. I look at her. She cannot open the door for herself to go outside. She does not know how to walk about unleashed without bothering either other dogs, or passing cars. She can be a pest when she is taken for a walk, WITH A LEASH!
I could ignore her and just pray or read, or rest. But Jabba is like a sheep without a shepherd. Without me she won't get a walk or be fed. No one else is home. I feel sorry for her. Sometimes I think that I am a fool to pay her so much attention. Other times, I have this gospel to make me feel better about attending to Jabba. Jesus was tired, as were his disciples. They had plans to rest up in a quiet place. Other people got there ahead of them. The place was no longer quiet or peaceful.
Jesus could have ignored the people or told them to go away. "Make an appointment," is what I might say, which is the alternative to, "Go away for now." Jesus had compassion on these people who came unexpectedly into his life. He put aside his agenda and attended to their agenda. So maybe when I put aside my agenda and attend to Jabba's agenda, I am following Christ. Jabba just might be teaching me how to grow in holiness.
Friday, July 10, 2009
To me, God is just as present in each Christian person as God is present in the Eucharist. But why is this so hard to comprehend, and why do many Catholics not believe it? We will go to the church and sit in front of the tabernacle with great reverence and awe. We hold the Eucharist in great respect and this is all as it should be. Why do we ignore or act badly toward another person?
God is very wise, or as some would say, All Wise. In the sacred host in the tabernacle or on the altar, God does not interfere with my will, or my plans, or even say anything about how I think life ought to be. I chose to come to the church. God did not force me. God is here. God waits. God feeds us.
On the other hand, people interfere with my will and my plans. They disagree with how I think things ought to be. So I find it hard to see God as present in them in any significant way. What is my problem? "Die to self," is a suggestion. It is the Gospel, not my opinion.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In Matthew 9: 32-34 Jesus has just cured someone. A religious leader complains that Jesus "drives out demons by the prince of demons." Jesus and the religious leader are members of the same religion. Why do people in the same belief system complain about one another? It seems that nowadays if you don't agree with a person's theology, or religious politics, or sense of how to be church, you are demonized. "Call the bishop!" This is what the complainer does. I guess it is better than getting crucified.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Doubting Thomas: Why do I believe in resurrection? Thomas is why. The disciples in John 20: 24-29 never said that they had seen God or Christ. They said they saw the "Lord," a title given Jesus before he died. Thomas wanted to see the real flesh and blood resuscitated Jesus. Had he not seen Lazarus resuscitated? Thomas thought that if he could put his fingers into the flesh wounds, then he knew it was no vision or phantasm the disciples saw. When he saw Jesus, he did not even try and put his fingers into the wounds. He said "My God." He saw a lot more than a resuscitated body. We call it resurrection.
There is touching and there is touching. In Matthew 9:18-26 there is a short piece about a woman who has been sick for twelve years. She comes up to touch Jesus, but with a great deal of faith. She was cured. A lot of other people were pressing in on Jesus, touching him, but with no faith as this woman had. When I go to receive the Eucharist, I am touching Jesus. It is supposed to be a sacrament of healing for my suffering soul. Is it? Maybe it depends on what I bring to the table.