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Sunday, October 30, 2011


I recently purchased an e-book with an out of print volume titled "Humility" by Andrew Murray. This was written before 1900. The reviews from online readers were very good. It is not a Catholic book, but I've read about 1/2 the book which is short enough to read in one sitting.

I agree with the reviewers and I think it will stand as one of the more influential books I'll read this year. You can download it free from the link below (in multiple different formats) or a Kindle version for $0.99.

Humility, free versions

Humility by Andrew Murray, for Kindle for PC @$0.99

In the spirit of the intention of the book, I will not glorify the book, or try to give an example of its high worth and my esteem for it. Suffice it to say that Jesus calls us to be humble and did so by instruction as well as, most importantly, by example, and we could spend a lifetime trying to achieve a fraction of what we are called to do in this respect. Humility is not self-hatred, though. We do our very best, love our brothers and sisters, and love ourselves and most of all love God. I recommend you read this book and let me know what you think!

Matt F

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catholic small groups

I enjoyed the small group session I had tonight. There were about 9 of us at the home of the generous hostess, along with a facilitator and a guide book. The amount of scripture reading was very minimal. It consists of a short bio on a significant Catholic (such as St. Damion, of Hawaii) whose life reflected some aspect of the topic of the week.

The trend toward home church experiences has been noticeable in my local church and I think it has at least 3 advantages. For one thing, the meetings are often mid week and give me a chance to worship other than just once a week. I find that I need to develop my faith and do this through fellowship, prayer and scripture reading. Another advantage is sharing information and getting other people's reactions to my ideas that are spiritual. Religion is a somewhat taboo subject even in this age, but since the program is voluntary and we're all there for the same reason, I can discuss spiritual matters freely. Finally, I can develop friendships and community involvement above the usual post-mass farewells. I have determined that I need to forge into the community aspect of Christianity and give up the individualist pursuits that I more readily gravitate toward.

Jesus I pray that you guide me to better community involvement in your Church tonight, as well as every day of the week. Through my greater efforts I ask that you bless me and others I may meet to see your love and to have stronger faith in you and spread your love and healing. In Your name amen.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blessed Monday!

Thank you Jesus for my day. I am alive. I went to work. I prayed to be a servant to your will. You listened. You responded. You blessed me with patience, wisdom, fortitude (really that too... did not need to think about a nap). I am blessed to have a job, to help people in my work, to have the love to work and to do your will.

I recognize that really, in my life I have not been tested. I feel that I have been richly blessed. If you see in your will to test me I will pray that I am ready and that I will maintain and strengthen my resolve to serve you. I pray to have the greatest balance in my life, the enjoyment of my family and time alone. The world is blessed with your goodness which truly does overflow. Praise the Lord oh my soul. Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's

Gospel Mt 22:15-21
The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion,
for you do not regard a person's status.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion:
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?"
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
"Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax."
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?"
They replied, "Caesar's."
At that he said to them,
"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."

At the time of Jesus, the Jews were occupied by the Roman Empire and Jesus did not take sides in the above discussion. Again he emphasized the need to maintain reverence and loyalty to God. The Pharisees described Jesus as "Teacher", truthful, and one who did not "regard a person's status." Jesus did not say these things about himself. However, Jesus was a threat to the Pharisees and the Jews in general, because he had come to bring a new covenant. No longer was merely the careful following of the laws of tradition and of scripture enough. One had to show faith in God and in Jesus himself, to be counted among the saved, and in so doing follow the teachings of Christ and his disciples in how to live, love, and spread the gospel.

Jesus I pray today that your blessings and answering of my prayer continue, that I can witness to your love, faithfulness and generosity. May I be worthy of your good and spread your word gladly and copiously. May I strive to show the greatness of God without emphasis on the greatness of the world, and help those who have not yet heard your word, and who may be suffering or less fortunate. We are all sinners and yet strive to know you and correct our wrongs. In your name, amen.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

but Few are Chosen

Gospel Mt 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
"Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."'
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.'
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'
Many are invited, but few are chosen."

In the Gospel today, Matthew recounts the parable of the King and the wedding feast. The story at the time of Jesus must have seemed remarkable. Think of a king like David or Solomon. Their son was getting married, and a feast was prepared. This would be an event that most everyone would relish attending. Also they would certainly wear the finest attire without even being told.

In the parable, the invited ones did not respond. In fact they responded with hostility. One who did come responded inappropriately. The king was not pleased.

Seemingly, Jesus used this parable to offset or balance others which were certainly much more positive and warm. He was talking to the chief priests and elders of the people, so he had to address them somewhat formally and spoke to challenge some of their assumptions and traditions.

I think when we hear the phrase "many are invited, but few are chosen," we naturally try to assume that we are among the chosen ones. Are we though? Have we proven ourselves worthy of the redemption of Jesus Christ? Though we are unworthy overall, Jesus has proven his love for us and his willingness to give us a second chance. And in his teachings Jesus showed the way he wants us to live. I pray that I will listen to the word, study the gospel more diligently and seek to love my family friends clients and coworkers as Jesus loves them and loves me. Thank you Jesus also, for the tools from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Through their website I can obtain more insight into the meanings that the Catholic Church has attached to sacred scriptures. I want to pray for all Christians to respond to the invitation to the feast. God our King has asked us to come. May we come with warm hearts. Let us not always chose, as the guests did, the business or the farm as our destination but rather chose the Kingdom of God! Yes we are invited!