Fear Not!

Fear Not!

“Everyone who acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father. But whoever denies Me before others, I will deny before My heavenly Father.”

It’s not very often that the Vatican gives approval to a film showing at the cinema, but it happened in 1997 when the Italian movie Life is Beautiful was first released. It’s an unusual film which deals with a sensitive subject, that of the Nazi Holocaust and the deportation of Jews to concentration camps. Although it won an Oscar for best picture, the movie has its critics as well as its admirers.

The film tells the story of a Jewish Italian man named Guido, an attractive clown-like figure who falls in love with Dora, the woman of his dreams. His humorous personality wins her affection and eventually they marry and have a son. The little boy is about six years old when the Nazi persecution takes over. The Germans round up Guido and his son and, because Dora refuses to be left behind, all three are taken to a concentration camp. When they arrive the couple is separated in preparation for hard labor. Any children are killed, but Guido hides his son and persuades him the whole business is a game in which he must co-operate if he wants to win a prize. The scenes unfold with a mixture of comedy and drama, exploring the rich themes of love, of sacrifice, and of courage. Continue reading

Pentecost, The Holy Spirit, and Confession

Pentecost, The Holy Spirit, and Confession

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

A true story told by writer Auburn Sandstrom at The Moth, the acclaimed organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytell­ing:

In 1992, Auburn was 29, the mother of a three-year-old son, trapped in an abusive marriage — and a drug addict. One night she hit bottom. She was curled up on a filthy carpet in a cluttered apartment, in horrible withdrawal from a drug she had been addicted to for several years. In her hand was a little piece of paper. For hours, she kept folding and crumbling it. It was the phone number for a Christian counsellor her mother had given her in one of their rare moments of contact. Finally, the desper­ate young mother punched the numbers on her phone. It rang. A man answered.

Hi, I got this number from my mother. Uh, do you think you could talk to me?,” pleaded Auburn.

Auburn heard some shuffling at the other end of the line. A little radio in the background was snapped off and the man who answered became very present. “Yes, yes, yes. What’s going on?”

For the first time, Auburn poured out her story. She told him that she wasn’t feeling good, that things had gotten pretty bad in her marriage, that she had a drug problem, and that she was real scared. Continue reading

God sends us “Enough” with the Holy Spirit our Consoler

God sends us “Enough” with the Holy Spirit our Consoler

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate…”

A father and his adult daughter are saying goodbye at the air­port. Her flight’s departure has been announced. They hug one last time at the security gate.

The father says, “I love you, honey, and I wish you enough.”

The daughter hugs her dad again and says, “Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.”

They kiss and she boards her flight, waving one last time before disappearing down the ramp.

The father then walks over to the window to watch his daughter’s plane take off. Tears are beginning to stream down his face.   Someone sitting nearby walks over to him and asks, “Excuse me sir, I don’t mean to intrude, but are you all right?” Continue reading

Pentecost and Homily 2016

Pentecost and Homily 2016

Introduction:

Good afternoon (morning)!  Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit and the 1983rd birthday of the Church, which began in the year 33 AD! 

The Church recognizes two forms of revelation – Sacred Scripture –the Written Tradition as revealed by the God the Father and God the Son, AND Sacred Tradition (aka Oral Tradition) as clarified and explained more fully by God the Holy Spirit! 

Pentecost is the beginning of Sacred Tradition! The work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, as first revealed to the apostles – the first pope and first bishops, and continues to the end of time with their successors, the pope and bishops in union with him!

It is only to the pope and the bishops in union with him, and only them, does the guarantee of unbroken line of Truth and authoritative interpretation of divine revelation reside!  Continue reading