Monday, June 22, 2015

Saint Thomas More: A Prayer for Your Enemies

I LOVE Saint Thomas More. For many reasons, chiefly among them? He cracks me up. Do you know that, prior to being beheaded for treason, he carefully moved his beard from the block, gravely (but I'll bet with a twinkle in his eye) explaining to his poor executioner that his beard "committed no treason"?

I also love for him for his example of forgiveness…actually, more than forgiveness…his disdain of judging others. Incredible, really, given his profession — one of many, actually — as a lawyer. (Also a politician!)

Although a friend of King Henry VIII of England, More couldn't bring himself to humor the sovereign by (even with a wink, wink, nod, nod) acknowledging him as the "supreme head of the church of England." He couldn't, because he was in love with truth — as any good attorney should be — and with the Truth — as any good man should be.

And so he died. Killed for treason. Imagine his sadness! We are now in an era where Christians are martyred by those outside the Church…imagine being martyred, or even hated by, those supposedly inside the Church!

Still, he kept his spirits up. At his trial, he told his judges that he wished that "we may yet hereafter in Heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation."

And he didn't judge!

Since today's memorial of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More is optional, the readings of the day are generally chosen. And how appropriate today's Gospel is for Saint Thomas:

From Matthew 7: 1-5

Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

From his prison cell, awaiting his eternal reward, More penned this prayer. May his words fill our hearts with the stupendous gift of love for those who mistreat us in any way.

A Prayer for Our Enemies

Almighty God, have mercy on N. and N., and on all that bear me evil will, and would me harm, and their faults and mine together by such easy, tender, merciful means as thine infinite wisdom best can devise; vouchsafe to amend and redress and make us saved souls in Heaven together, where we may ever live and love together with thee and thy blessed saints, O glorious Trinity, for the bitter passion of our sweet Saviour Christ. Amen.  
Lord, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything, to conform my will to thine, that I may truly say: “Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo et in terra”. 
The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me thy grace to labour for. Amen.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Apparitions…I was going to write about this myself, but, incredibly enough...

…somebody beat me to it.

This is an amazingly simple and very instructional read. Thanks Kevin Orlin Johnson for your article:

"The Ten Most Common Misconceptions about Apparitions"

Monday, June 08, 2015

Communion in the hand…a how to guide (don't worry, it's brief)

Okay, so right off the bat let me explain that I don't receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in my hand. But this isn't at all an argument about that. There are many, many people who do…and they have every right to. An indult has been granted for this practice.

And there is a very reverend way to do so!

As Saint Cyril of Jerusalem said, lo these many years ago:
When thou goest to receive communion go not with they wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for they right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the Body of Christ, saying, `Amen.'
What the good saint do not say is "stick out your hand, grab the Host, and saunter back to your pew, and oh, incidentally, don't forget to consume the Lord!"

See the difference? Okay. I'm pretty sure if you're reading this you already know how to receive Jesus in your hand…so pass this on — tactfully, if possible — to your friends, family members, and others who seem not to know.

* Approach the Sacrament with reverence. This isn't the time to grin and wave at friends in the pews.

* Upon reaching the minister of Holy Communion — be he a priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister of the Eucharist — bow your head reverently…you're about to receive God!

* Lift your eyes to the minister of Holy Communion with your hands in the position described by Saint Cyril.

* When the minister of Holy Communion proclaims "The Body of Christ," clearly affirm this by responding "Amen."

* Upon receiving the Sacred Host, immediately consume this most precious gift so that the minister of Holy Communion sees that you do so!!!

Does this seem at all complicated?

Consider receiving on the tongue.

May God continue to bless you!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Filed under "what feasts we make of crumbs:" Stewart, the Ashers, and a bleeping cake

So anyway, this guy Gareth Lee, uh, coincidentally, I'm sure, [insert sarcastic raised eyebrow here and ask for my forgiveness if I'm wrong] ordered, from a Christian family run bakery in Northern Ireland a cake. Fine. That's what the family bakery does…make cakes.

Only Mr. Lee wanted a "specially designed" cake…one festooned with the credo:

"Support Gay Marriage"…sorta like this. Yep, complete with Sesame Street's Bert & Ernie. Okay.

Image result for support gay marriage cake ireland

The Asher family said "thanks but no thanks." And were promptly found guilty of discrimination by the powers that be. And fined a rather hefty sum.

Okay, that sucks.

But be o' good cheer! Homosexual activist (and, yes, cool "Star Trek Guy") steps up to the plate.

"Finally I find myself on the side of the bakers," he said. "It was not because this guy was a gay couple they objected, it was not because they were going to be celebrating some kind of marriage, it was the actual words on the cake they objected to, they found them offensive…I would support their right to say `no, this is personally offense to my beliefs, I will not do it.' But I feel bad for them that it cost them 500 quid."

 [Which is about $740.00, by the way.]

And lo and behold? The media goes wild…about some guy saying a reasonable thing!

Don't take my word for it. Just google "support gay marriage cake" and good ol' Patrick is on your top stories screen. 


Let's look at this another way. Here are some wacky cake ideas, and the bakers asked to carry them out:

Baker, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards: "Life Begins at Conception! Ban Abortion!"

Baker, and Roman Catholic Pontiff Francis: "Islam is The True Faith!"

Baker, and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb: "Jesus Really is God!"

Baker, and U.S. President Barack Obama: "Republicans Rule!"

Baker, and former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin: "Vote for Obama!"

Well…you get my point. At least I hope you do. If you don't? Here it is:

There's a W I D E difference between right and wrong…and if you choose what's right? You're not a hero…you're just a person doing the right thing. Don't expect a bleeping medal.

May God continue to bless you. And remember:

Luke 17:10