Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From July 31st, 2011 Bulletin)

Five Loaves and Two Fish

"Five loaves and two fish are all we have here. John 6:9

When we look to our own resources for a solution we are bound to come up short, unless that is, we are with Jesus and include Him in the consideration. What did Jesus say to the disciples, who were at a loss as to how to solve this very practical problem of hunger? He said, “Bring them here to me.” So much, if not everything, can be solved in this simple answer. Bring your problems, bring your family, and bring your friends to Jesus. He can take it from there.

Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan wrote a series of meditations for youth entitled “Five Loaves and Two Fish”. I include a few of his favorite quotes here:

[Five loaves and two fish], these are nothing, but it is all I have. Jesus will do the rest. (3)

(From Monsignor John Walsh) “I am not going to wait. I will live each present moment, filling it to the brim with love.”

(From St Maximilian Kolbe) “Everything, absolutely, with no conditions.”

(From Mother Teresa of Calcutta) “The important thing is not how many actions we perform, but the intensity of love that we put into each action.”

...I must live each day, each moment as if it were the last one of my life. (10)

Only one moment exists for you in all its beauty and that is the present moment (cf. Mt 6:34; Jas 4:13-15). Live it completely in the love of God. If your life is built up like a large crystal from millions of such moments, it will be a wonderfully beautiful life. Can’t you see how easy it could be? (10)

Cardinal Nguyen, after 13 years in Communist prisons in Vietnam, was exiled to Rome where he served John Paul II as head of Peace and Justice efforts. (1928-2002) May his prayers help us to live our faith more fully.

Commandments for Husbands and Fathers, cont.

Commandments I-VI appeared in previous bulletins.

VII. Consecrate Your Home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Set-up a “prayer corner” within the home, in the room where the family most gathers. In this room should be an “altar-table”. On this table, place a Bible, a good condensed version of the Lives of the Saints, and a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On or around this table, also place images (statues, pictures, or icons) of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The daily family Rosary is a powerful prayer. If your children are still small, pray only a decade of the Rosary and/or vary it daily with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. A wonderful, fixed time for daily family prayer and spiritual reading (say, a total of just 15 to 20 minutes) is good immediately after supper each evening. Included here could be the Readings from the Mass of the day; purchase a daily Roman missal for this. ...You are called to be a true leader. A child will remember well into his adult life these early family practices of the Faith. They will never be forgotten. A father must be the first Christian witness to his wife and children. This is both a duty and a responsibility. Also, be sure to foster the use of sacramentals among your family members. Sacramentals are “sacred signs which bear a certain re-semblance to the Sacraments, and by means of which, spiritual effects are signified and obtained through the prayers of the Church” (Catechism, glossary). Examples of sacramentals include: the Sign of the Cross, holy water, enrollment in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, religious medals, blessings, pilgrimages, processions, the Stations of the Cross, sacred art, rosaries, and the veneration of relics. While sacramentals do differ from the seven Sacraments, they are still very important in the life of a Catholic Christian. Also, promote visits to the Blessed Sacrament with your family members...

VIII. Do not let sports or outside activities become more important to you or to your children than Christ and family. Sports have become a false god in America today - especially on Sundays - and we tend to overemphasize them. Spend fun time at home. Do things together as a family. This calls for creativity, imagination, and frequent planning in advance. Seek suggestions from your wife and older children in this regard.

[The sacredness of Sunday Mass should be inviolate. As soon as you give your children the example that Mass is optional, they will follow this. It’s not true, Mass weekly and on Holy Days of Obligation is essential for our life as Christians. Exceptions exist for essential work such as police, fire, and medicine; for a summer camping trip more than a half hour into the wilderness; or for illness. Even summer vacations should be planned with Sunday Mass in mind, and every effort should be made to find a church. A good reference for Mass locations and times is: Fr. Ed]

“Commandments” to be continued...

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