Jesus is the incarnation of the Living God, the one who brings life amid so many deeds of death, such as sin, selfishness and self-absorption. Jesus accepts, loves, uplifts, encourages, forgives, restores the ability to walk, and gives back life. God, the Living One, is merciful.

-from The Blessing of Family


On Being  “Other”

Gospel Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

At that time, John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”


keeping it real….

To Save a Life's photo.

Queen of most Holy Rosary…pray for us.

Blessed Virgin our Mother Mary Immaculate's photo.

Baptism:  Becoming Children of the Light – from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey

When Jesus appears for the last time to his disciples, he sends them out into the world saying:  “Go, … make disciples of all nations;  baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”  (Matthew 28:19).

Jesus offers us baptism as the way to enter into communion with God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and to live our lives as God’s beloved children.  Through baptism we say no to the world.  We declare that we no longer want to remain children of the darkness but want to become children of the light, God’s children.   We do not want to escape the world, but we want to live in it without belonging to it.  That is what baptism enables us to do.

For further reflection…

“Now why do you delay?  Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” – Acts 22: 16 (NIV)

“Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God.”

– Pope Francis, address to U.S.

Bishop Robert Barron's photo.

Herein lies the answer to how we can be of service to one another and to the world: love. We must grow in our capacity to love one another; we must grow in our openness to receiving love.

-from Life’s Great Questions


Baptism and Eucharist – from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey

Sacraments are very specific events in which God touches us through creation and transforms us into living Christs.  The two main sacraments are baptism and the Eucharist.  In baptism water is the way to transformation.  In the Eucharist it is bread and wine.  The most ordinary things in life – water, bread, and wine – become the sacred way by which God comes to us.

These sacraments are actual events.  Water, bread, and wine are not simple reminders of God’s love;  they bring God to us.  In baptism we are set free from the slavery of sin and dressed with Christ.  In the Eucharist, Christ himself becomes our food and drink.

For further reflection…

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.” – Galatians 3: 27 (NIV)


Saint of the Day

Blessed John Henry Newman

Lived: (1801-1890) | Feast Day: Friday, October 9, 2015

John Henry Newman, the 19th-century’s most important English-speaking Roman Catholic theologian, spent the first half of his life as an Anglican and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both Churches.

Born in London, England, he studied at Oxford’s Trinity College, was a tutor at Oriel College and for 17 years was vicar of the university church, St. Mary the Virgin. He eventually published eight volumes of Parochial and Plain Sermons as well as two novels. His poem, “Dream of Gerontius,” was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar.

After 1833, Newman was a prominent member of the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Church’s debt to the Church Fathers and challenged any tendency to consider truth as completely subjective.

Historical research made Newman suspect that the Roman Catholic Church was in closest continuity with the Church that Jesus established. In 1845, he was received into full communion as a Catholic. Two years later he was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome and joined the Congregation of the Oratory, founded three centuries earlier by St. Philip Neri. Returning to England, Newman founded Oratory houses in Birmingham and London and for seven years served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland.

Before Newman, Catholic theology tended to ignore history, preferring instead to draw deductions from first principles—much as plane geometry does. After Newman, the lived experience of believers was recognized as a key part of theological reflection.

Newman eventually wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters that survive. Most famous are his book-length Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (his spiritual autobiography up to 1864) and Essay on the Grammar of Assent. He accepted Vatican I’s teaching on papal infallibility while noting its limits, which many people who favored that definition were reluctant to do.

When Newman was named a cardinal in 1879, he took as his motto “Cor ad cor loquitur” (Heart speaks to heart). He was buried in Rednal (near Birmingham) 11 years later. After his grave was exhumed in 2008, a new tomb was prepared at the Oratory church in Birmingham.

Three years after Newman died, a Newman Club for Catholic students began at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In time, his name was linked to ministry centers at many public and private colleges and universities in the United States.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified Newman on September 19, 2010, at Crofton Park (near Birmingham). The pope noted Newman’s emphasis on the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society but also praised his pastoral zeal for the sick, the poor, the bereaved and those in prison.

John Henry Newman has been called the “absent Father of Vatican II” because his writings on conscience, religious liberty, Scripture, the vocation of lay people, the relation of Church and State, and other topics were extremely influential in the shaping of the Council’s documents. Although Newman was not always understood or appreciated, he steadfastly preached the Good News by word and example.
Newman composed this prayer: “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another.”I have a mission; I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons; He has not created me for naught.”I shall do good—I shall do his work. I shall be an angel of peace while not intending it if I do but keep his commandments. Therefore, I will trust him.”*

My Favorite Hymn

Belovedness, our deepest identity, is made real in relationship. We cannot be loved and we cannot love if we are all alone. This makes belovedness quite fragile. We depend upon others to realize who we are. When our love for someone is not accepted, when we ourselves are rejected, we experience a terrible suffering.

-from Life’s Great Questions


Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” – St. Padre Pio

Bishop Robert Barron's photo.

Pope Francis will be celebrating events throughout Washington, DC, including the canonization of St. Junípero Serra. Welcome to our nation’s capital, Holy Father!

Bishop Robert Barron's photo.

Welcome Pope Francis

National Catholic Register's photo.

This is sensible, logical, and truthful; it is brilliant.

By facing our fears, by uncovering the walls of protection within us that keep us from even being able to look upon our downtrodden brothers and sisters, the nature of our hearts begins to change. Not only is our human family beginning to be healed, but also our own hearts.

-from Life’s Great Questions


Olivia Odie's photo.

St. Matthew

Lived: | Feast Day: Monday, September 21, 2015

Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the “tax farmers” got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as “publicans,” were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with “sinners” (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers.Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that “many” tax collectors and “those known as sinners” came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus’ answer was, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important.

No other particular incidents about Matthew are found in the New Testament.

From such an unlikely situation, Jesus chose one of the foundations of the Church, a man others, judging from his job, thought was not holy enough for the position. But he was honest enough to admit that he was one of the sinners Jesus came to call. He was open enough to recognize truth when he saw him. “And he got up and followed him” (Matthew 9:9b).
 Prayer for Peace
I am a Woman of God's photo.

Peace is definitely a byproduct of doing God’s will. No matter how many challenges you encounter in life, staying close to the lord will allow your heart to be filled with peace. How important is peace? After He rose from the dead, Jesus’s first words to His frightened and discouraged apostles were “Peace be with you.”

-from Faith, Hope & Clarity

Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Tm 6:13-16

I charge you before God, who gives life to all things,
and before Christ Jesus,
who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate
for the noble confession,
to keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ
that the blessed and only ruler
will make manifest at the proper time,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light,
and whom no human being has seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

  1. (2) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
    Sing joyfully to the LORD all you lands;
    serve the LORD with gladness;
    come before him with joyful song.
    R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
    Know that the LORD is God;
    he made us, his we are;
    his people, the flock he tends.
    R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    his courts with praise;
    Give thanks to him; bless his name.
    R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
    For he is good:
    the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
    and his faithfulness, to all generations.
    R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Alleluia See Lk 8:15

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
    and yield a harvest through perseverance.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 8:4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable.
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

October 2015
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