Rest in Peace Mr. Spock

From the New York Times:Spock_performing_Vulcan_salute

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83. Continue Reading

I was 13 when the original series first aired on TV. Watching with my Dad, an aerospace engineer, was a weekly ritual.  I loved that show and Mr. Spock was my favorite character.

The NYT article (click on link above) interesting video on how he came up with the Vulcan Greeting (see picture above). It is based on a Jewish priestly blessing.

For an indepth explanation check out The Jewish Origin of the Vulcan Salute by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom

I sometimes learn interesting things while going down rabbit holes.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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Finding Holy Silence in the Desert of Lent

Lent is hard for me. It is my busy time in the Church. I am more Martha than Mary. But Istill small voiceknow that I will fail in my ministry, and fail as a disciple, if I don’t cultivate a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus. Of course this means that I have to do more than say prayers or petition God or tell Him that I will do his will.

Christians are called to journey through the desert of Lent so that we are ready to meet the risen Christ on Easter Sunday.

But if we don’t cultivate silence, we won’t get very far. We will just wander aimlessly lost and thirsty.  But holy silence is more than the absence of noise. In our 24/7 plugged in yada yada world that is hard enough to handle for many people.

Sitting without the noise of the world blaring in my ears is not hard for me. But that doesn’t mean that I find it easy to put myself in the presence of God.  So many prayers to say and books about God to read.

Listening for the still small voice of God is hard. There is so much going on. There are so many things that need to get done and so little time.

Then there is the scary part. God might lead me where I do not want to go. I will have to change. I will have to let God transform me. But it just so nice and comfy right where I am.

Yes God meets us in the dessert no matter how dusty and dirty we are. But he doesn’t want to leave us there. He wants so much more for His children.

We are not meant for this world; we are all aliens. We are all immigrants temporarily separated from our true home, the Kingdom of God.

The Christian martyrs of the early Church. That is why they went to their deaths joyfully proclaiming the risen Christ.

That is what the 21 Coptic Christians did when they were martyred by ISIS on February 15th. The Coptic Orthodox Church has declared them Saints. They now wear their heavenly crowns of victory. Here is the lovely icon.

coptic maryers icon

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Religious Freedom is So Last Century

The US Catholic bishops have been routinely mocked for their stance against the HHS Will not comply religious freedommandate. Their concerns have been misunderstood. The bishops are not worried that Americans will not be allowed to worship. But they are concerned that our constitutional right to practice our religion is being eroded.

The Catholic News Agency is reporting that:

.- Catholic and Evangelical humanitarian agencies are among the U.S. groups responding to the massive influx of unaccompanied minors from Latin America, but a new federal rule could require them to refer the children for abortion or lose their grants.  

A coalition of these faith-based agencies called on the federal government to amend the rule so that the government can meet obligations to care for these children while “respecting the religious and moral beliefs of faith-based organizations that, to date, have provided such critical care for this vulnerable population.”

Joining the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in a Feb. 20 statement to federal rule makers were leading organizations like Catholic Relief Services, the National Association of Evangelicals, World Vision, and World Relief. Continue Reading…

I think that the time is coming for the Church to stop accepting government grants for everything from schools to hospitals to social work.

Don’t forget to participate in the annual Fortnight for Freedom. And pray. Of course.

 

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Surf Angel

Cool. A seminarian who died while surfing  is being considered for sainthood (via the WallSeminarian_Guido_Vidal_Fran_a_Schaffer_surfing_Photo_courtesy_of_guidoschaffercombr_CNA_11_12_14Street Journal):

In January, the Vatican gave permission to Rio priests to gather evidence of Mr. Schäffer’s holiness and present it to the pope, a crucial early step in the sainthood process.

To mark the moment, Mr. Schäffer’s remains were transferred to the Our Lady of Peace Church in the beach town of Ipanema. His surf buddies accompanied the remains atop a firetruck in a lively procession. Several held surfboards aloft. One board said “JESUS IS OUR WAVE” in large black letters.

“For him, surfing was a mystical experience, like prayer. He felt the presence of God in the sea,” said the Rev. Jorge Neves, who mentored Mr. Schäffer at Our Lady of Peace and resembles the actor Forest Whitaker. Mr. Schäffer called his hefty mentor “Big George.”

A giant poster of Mr. Schäffer on his board now hangs on the outside of the Ipanema church. In it, a tanned and athletic Mr. Schäffer has just completed a wave and is riding the foam. The Surfer Angel wears blue board shorts and stares intently into the distance. Passersby cross themselves as they walk the busy sidewalk below the poster.

The notion of a surfing saint may surprise those who think of saints as ancient martyrs or inaccessible holy men. But that is the point, some of Mr. Schäffer’s backers say. In Latin America, among other places, the church needs youthful, contemporary priests and saints to compete with the rise of Evangelical Protestantism, the thinking goes.

“When he died, it was hard to understand. We asked God, why did you take him since, as a priest, he was going to bring so many people to the church?” said the Rev. Roberto Lopes, a Rio de Janeiro priest acting as liaison with the Vatican on Mr. Schäffer’s possible sainthood. “Then we realized: Maybe he will bring even more people to the church as a saint.”

Mr. Schäffer spread the gospel through surfing. Before paddling out, he would pray on the beach with his surf buddies. Often, other beachgoers joined in. Out in the water, he struck up conversations with fellow surfers between the sets. He liked to say that Jesus, who walked on water, was the first surfer.

But he was not just a beach bum. He was a physician, served the poor, and he was close to being ordained when he died.  Read more (it may be behind a firewall)…

I just love being Catholic.

Related link from Catholic News Agency

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Lent. Is. Hard

Well it has been a crazy, hectic, and frustrating day. It began whenI tried to blog keep-calm-and-live-lent-2something early this morning before work, but I had nothing. The ole brain just went blank. But I promised a certain deacon that I would blog something every day (weekdays at least) so here I am.

We are only two days into Lent, and I am already worried that I am going to flunk again this year. Come to think of it the only really good Lent I ever did was when I gave up sarcasm. That was beyond hard, but I did it. Once is enough. Hey I was born in New York sarcasm is in my DNA.

So I decided to work on my prayer life, and spend time in silence listening for the small still voice of the Lord.  Perhaps if I just turn it over to Christ he will show me the way.

Thomas McDonald on his blog, God and the Machine, reminds us what Lent is really about:

The point of our time in the desert is to draw nearer to Christ. There are three ways to live Lent:

  • Carrying the cross with Christ by sharing a small portion of His suffering.
  • Emulating Him in acts of charity and kindness.
  • Drawing near to Him in prayer and spending time at His feet, learning from him through Scripture and spiritual writing.

And so, this is the way I make my Lent. Read more for great suggestions.

If that isn’t enough check out Aggie Catholic Lent 2015 page.

That’s all for now folks. I am bone tired.

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Rising from the Ashes

“You are dust and to dust you shall return” (Gn 3:19) Ash Wednesday

When you turn sixty, everyday is a wakeup call that life is short. Now I wake up when my favorite deacon stops snoring.

Yet I am still startled every Ash Wednesday when the Church reminds me that I will return to the dust of the earth.  The time to repent and live the life of discipleship is now.  I know Lord.  I know.

But Lord I am weak and lazy. I am the Scarlet O’Hara of disciples; “I’ll think about that tomorrow”.

Procrastination is not a Christian virtue.

Yes God is merciful, but he is not going to force his mercy on me. Jesus is waiting to  pick us up when we fall down in utter failure. But we have to let him. We have to invite him into our hearts. We have to invite him into the desert of our souls.

It is Lent. It is time to leave the desert and start our march toward our heavenly home.

Baptism is at the heart of the Lenten season. Our white baptismal garments are dusty; our relationship with God is broken by sin. It is time to convert our hearts and to ask God to “Lead us back to you, O LORD, that we may be restored” (Lamentations 5:20).

Conversion begins with remembering and renewing our baptismal vows. Then it is time to get to work.

If we allow Christ into our hearts through prayer, fasting and alms giving, Lent can be a time of conversion and renewal that breaks us of the indifference that Pope Francis calls us to fight in his 2015 Lenten Message. Read More….

If we dedicate our selves to truly practice Lent, we will be ready to rise with Christ on Easter Sunday.

Prayer:

O Lord,
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!

(St. Augustine )

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Return of A Deacon’s Wife?

Yikes it has been two years since my last post. Why so long? I was in a very long and dark tunnel due to Multiple Sclerosis. God led me out of it, finally, after a year in the black hole. But I just couldn’t restart the blog for some reason. I don’t know if it is possible to resurrect a back-from-hiatusblog after such a long time, but I promised my favorite Deacon that I would give it a try. So here goes.

I know. Most people give up blogging for Lent. I am such a rebel.

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