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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Light, cannot be turned off

There is a book and music exchange on Bardstown Road, here in Louisville KY. That is actually the name of the establishment, and when I walked past it on this rainy Easter morning with our dog Elsa, the open sign was still illuminated. Across it was a printout which stated the following:

"For the time being, the open sign cannot be turned off. Our hours of operation are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays. Thank you for your understanding."

Well, I do realize that this is an opportunity to draw some parallels with this blog. I have not really shared it with many people, or given anyone else the opportunity to read, respond, or reject. I may be fearful of trying this. My open sign is not lit, much less stuck in the turned on position.

I have to think about what the old spiritual song 's words say: This little light of mine, I'm a gonna let it shine" Happy Easter to all. And I believe that Jesus Christ "Rose on the third day, in fulfillment of the scriptures, and sits at the right hand of the Father."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

When Jesus washed my sins away! That is the main theme of the popular song. I now

have a CD that I compiled, with MP3's from 3 different artists singing this. I really like

to listen to it in the car, or at the end of the day at work. For some reason it is very

uplifting, and I suspect that most people have a similar response to some degree.

For several days when listening to this I was thinking it was referring to Easter time.

That is a little troubling, since the crucifixion was a terrible thing from one point of

view. But really there are a lot of parallels from our baptism (the washing that I think

was actually referred to in the song) to Christ's death and resurrection. Both acts

were done, according to my understanding and some commentary that I have read, so

that our sins could be forgiven.

Original sin is the traditional baptismal absolution. I was taught that we are all born

with original sin. After we are baptized, this is forgiven. Traditionally, Catholics are

baptized as babies, so that we might be able to go to Heaven if we die in infancy or

childhood. I do realize that this has been rethought by the reformationists. I have not

had the opportunity to examine this controversy in any detail, nor do I really think I

could fully understand the issues involved or make an independent judgment about


In all honesty, I don't think that there is a fine distinction here*. I am following the

pathway of my forebears. I do not know with any certainty how many generations back

the practice of Catholicism goes on my maternal or paternal side. But I do value my

religion of birth, since I undoubtedly was influenced by it the most.

What I do appreciate is the literal and symbolic greatness of Jesus' being baptized in

the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Also I am blessed to have been brought up in the

Christian Catholic faith which has revealed the presence of Jesus on earth, his

becoming a man, his teaching, then ultimately his persecution and death. Finally, the

resurrection and all the things which come after, that are revealed in the teachings

and traditions of the Church. With this knowledge I am satisfied that truly today is a

Happy Day, as is every day! Amen.

*To do list: research this issue soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Passion Sunday

The readings from the Gospel on Sunday were very moving this week. The readings do not go into great detail about the cruel treatment of Jesus by the high priests and elders of the Temple. That is left to our imagination and retellings of fiction and movies. However, it is a great time to be alive in this world, because Jesus died for our sins. We are truly loved. We are redeemed. This is the encouragement that we need when we feel that our sins are too great a burden, that we are unworthy of God's love.

The Church is a great resource but requires our presence and our performance. We ARE the Church! Cliche' or not, let's say it: Praise God! Hallelujah!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Picture, courtesy of

Matthew 7:4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

The thing I like the most about this passage is the reassurance that I am not responsible to pass judgment on my neighbor. God has commanded that we leave that up to him. I have enough of a charge in examining my own life and repenting for the sins that I can identify (that's not the tough part) and then ask for forgiveness.

I think the clergy of the Catholic church is to help us see the true and virtuous path. But I am not ordained to this office. I can listen to a sermon, find a website that discusses these matters, and ponder them at length. However, I feel that I cannot hear confession and cannot know all of the circumstances of others actions, omissions, or misadventures. I do, as a Catholic, seek to believe in sin, to learn the ones that are mortal sins, the ones that are not. By applying them to myself and being an example, as well as moments of appropriate teaching of those to whom I am a position of authority, I can foster the goals of virtue in our Christian community.

Throughout my life I have made choices based on my sense of right and wrong. There are biblical passages that suggest our conscience, our moral value system is God given. I did not originate it. Through the growth and maturation process I have determined the things that I think are the most serious, in terms of hurting my relationship with God. I do make the most effort to avoid these. I pray now that I continue to seek God's will, to be a good example to my family and friends, and to pray for the souls of the lost and the fallen away.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Seeing in a new light

The Sunday scripture readings are some of the most beautiful
passages in the bible, with the common theme of light. The
"man who was once blind" was never mentioned by name in the
verses from John's gospel. Through a miracle the man was
given sight. He was able to see for the first time in his
life. The gift of vision literally brought everything to

I think that this scripture is rich in symbolism. We all
"see" in various ways. When we see our coworkers, do we see
God's children, our brothers and sisters, or do we see and
feel in some cases the friction we have past experienced,
the downfalls that annoy us? What about nonbelievers or
those of other faith traditions foreign to our own? Also do
we question whether the message of God's love and salvation
has been brought to our earthly family and how we can be
instrumental in this act of love?

I can influence my own vision with the help of God, see his
children in a fraction of the loving accepting way that God
sees them, and actually benefit from this blessing in my
life. Increases in peace and harmony are our earthly gift
for this exercise.

The man who was once blind is unnamed, in my opinion,
because he represents us all to some extent. I plan to
meditate on this theme and see if there is some application
to my own life.

The photograph above was taken at St. James Church, about
1/2 mile from my house. This is where I went to church as a
child. The dome is beautiful rendition of the eye of God,
looking down and viewing his faithful not only with clarity,
but with light and love.