Lord of all being, throned afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Center and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!
Sun of our life, Thy quickening ray,
Sheds on our path the glow of day;
Star of our hope, Thy softened light
Cheers the long watches of the night.
Our midnight is Thy smile withdrawn;
Our noontide is Thy gracious dawn;
Our rainbow arch, Thy mercy’s sign;
All, save the clouds of sin, are Thine.
Lord of all life, below, above,
Whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
Before Thy ever blazing throne
We ask no luster of our own.
Grant us Thy truth to make us free,
And kindling hearts that burn for Thee,
Till all Thy living altars claim
One holy light, one heavenly flame.
Lord, you have renewed the face of the earth. Your Church throughout the world sings you a new song, announcing your wonders to all. Through a virgin, you have brought forth a new birth in our world; through your miracles, a new power; through your suffering, a new patience; in your resurrection, a new hope, and in your ascension, new majesty.
God, our Creator, how wonderfully you made man. You transformed dust into your own image and gave it a share in your own nature; yet you are more wonderful in pardoning the man who had rebelled against you. Grant that where sin has abounded, grace may more abound, so that we can become holier through forgiveness and be more grateful to you.
Dr. Scott Hahn on the Early Christian Church and the Eucharist.
I love this quote from Matthew Kelly’s “Rediscover Catholicism.” The Church does so much for the world. Little did I know until I read more about the history of the Catholic Church’s contribution to civilization.
Prior to the Church’s introduction of education for the common man, education was reserved only for the nobility. Almost the entire Western world is educated today because of the Church’s pioneering role in universal education.
The global reach and contribution of the Church is enormous, but the national impact of the Church on every aspect of society is also impressive, though largely unknown. In the United States alone the Catholic Church educations 2.6 million students every day, at a cost of ten billion dollars a year to parents and parishes. If there were no Catholic schools these same students would have to be educated in public schools, which would cost 18 billion dollars. The Catholic education system alone saves American taxpayers 18 billion dollars a year.
I thank God for the blessing in getting to know you. My soul leapt when I met you, just as the baby leapt inside Elizabeth when he was in the presence of Christ (cf. Lk 1:41). I intuited that Christ was strong within you and I praise God for making our meeting in Atlanta possible. As iron sharpens iron, I pray that we will sharpen one another (cf. Prov 27:17), that we will encourage one another and build one another up (cf. 1 Thess 5:11), and through our exchanges we can test to discern the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect (cf. Rom 12:2). I pray that God’s face will shine upon you during your time at seminary.
Reformed Calvinists and other Protestants all find common cause against papal authority. If Protestantism is true, after centuries of its existence, God decided to eradicate the office of the papacy. I would claim that because Catholicism is true, the papacy was established by Christ, has endured, and retains the authority entrusted to it by Christ, even to this day.
Repentance is a profound act of human dignity: reflecting on our memory and to will to become a better person is uniquely human.
Lent is my favorite liturgical season because I’m a depressing-kind of guy. The sorrowful mysteries of Our Lord appeal to my melancholic nature, and the sadness during this season counter-balances the joy I feel throughout the rest of the year.
I guess people who know me find it hard to believe that I have a somber nature. People don’t believe it either when I say that I’m introverted. The truth is, I get tired around people and I like thinking about my mortality. Extroverts, I hear, feel energized when they mingle with large groups of people. They are happy to meet new people. I dread meeting new people and I would rather talk to one or two friends, if anyone at all. I prefer to be alone. Thinking about the shortness of life, and what to do to have no regrets.
Isn’t that weird? And, I’m a diplomat. And I do Toastmasters. And I am involved in Church. All people-centered activities. This is how I know the Holy Spirit is alive in my life. I no longer live, but it is Christ who lives in me. He allows me to do things that are not really part of my nature. Grace builds on nature, and God certainly has built much on such a poor foundation.
Much of parenting, then, comes down to the example we set. But there is a deeper lesson to be learned from children, and that is the way of our own spiritual advancement.
Many times, we overcomplicate the spiritual life. We want a sophisticated program, involving perhaps copious study of theology and philosophy. We want to pray many prayers and read many books. But while these things are well and good in their place, they are not the essence of spiritual growth. In reality, the program of spiritual progress is very simple: It is carefully imitating God our Father with childlike simplicity.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,” teaches St. Paul, for indeed, that is what we are—children of God. In a very real sense, we can call God, “Abba, Daddy.” By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we share his nature, the fullness of his life lives in our souls. And as his beloved sons and daughters, we should aspire to say, “I’m just like you, Daddy.”
The proud in heart reject this simple way of childlike imitation. They see the spiritual life as involving many complex and difficult requirements, as a way for only the strong, mature, and knowledgeable. They have nothing but scorn for those who follow Christ in simplicity. They forget the words of Christ, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
When my little boy looks up with me and says, “I’m just like you, Daddy,” my heart is filled with love and joy. I want him to be like me. What father doesn’t? So to it is with the family of God. God our Father longs for us to be just like him, to radiate his image fully and completely. His fatherly heart greatly desires us to look up at him with love and say, “I’m just like you, Daddy.”
In sum, the Christian life, the Catholic life, is striving after conformity to Jesus Christ, our elder brother in the Divine family. We want to exchange our lives for his, to the point that he lives perfectly in and through us. We must imitate him in every thought, word, and deed, until we can say like St. Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”