Archive for September 2009

Learning from St Jerome

September 30, 2009

Today is the Memorial of St Jerome.  In Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire (pp. 113-114), Fr Langford illustrates the humility of our Lord with this anecdote from the life of St Jerome:

After many years spent in Jerusalem translating the Word of God, Jerome finished his grand project just days before Christmas.  To celebrate his accomplishment, Jerome decided to spend Christmas Eve in nearby Bethlehem, in one of the many grottoes that dot the countryside.  According to the ancient account, sometime around midnight Jesus appeared to him, saying “Jerome, what will you give me for my birthday?”

Immediately and enthusiastically, Jerome declared, “Lord, I give you my translation of your word.”  But instead of congratulating him, Jesus simply replied, “No, Jerome, that is not what I want.”

Jerome was speechless.  Then he began to complain and remonstrate with Jesus, asking why he had let him go on for forty years, far from home, laboring at something other than what God most wanted from him.  But Jesus remained silent.  Jerome started suggesting other ways of honoring Jesus’ birthday – fasting, becoming a hermit, giving his possessions to the poor.  To each of these Jesus replied, “No. Jerome.  That is not what I want most.”

Finally, Jerome protested, “Then you tell me, Lord.  Tell me what would give you the most joy on your birthday, and you shall have it.

“Do you promise, Jerome?”
“Yes, Lord, anything at all.”
Jesus replied, “Give me your sins…”

Fr Langford recapitulates:

“Give me your sins.”  In his limitless humility, more than any service we can render him, the Lord considers it a gift that we “allow” him to take away our sins.  Why?  Precisely because he thirsts for us, because he longs for union with us, and the only obstacle to that union is our sin – which, in his eyes, then, becomes the most precious gift we can offer.

Am I able to give Jesus my sins?  Strangely enough, even after being absolved of my sins, there is part of me that still regards them as my sins.  Of course, I have not a shadow of a doubt that my sins have been forgiven.  But have I truly given those sins to Jesus?

St Jerome initially proffered the work of his hands as his gift to Christ, but this was rebuffed by the Lord as less than ideal.  This reminds me of something that I’ve heard Scott Hahn say in at least half a dozen of his talks over the past few years:

God wants to do more in you than he wants to do through you.

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Yeah…that’s it…a contest!

September 28, 2009

In his post below, Christian mentions a contest that’s being run on another website.  Why should they have all the fun?  Here’s a contest for you:

Today is the Memorial of St Wenceslaus.
What is the connection between St Wenceslaus and the Catholic faithful of northeastern Pennsylvania?

First correct answer (I am sole judge!) in the Comment box will receive a prize.  Good luck!

UPDATE 9/29 at 8:30 am:
Since we’re not getting any entries, I won’t torture you any longer.
My answer:  the connection involves the land of St Wenceslaus‘ birth and martyrdom– Bohemia.  The CCC (852) reminds us of Tertullian’s famous saying that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.”  The martyrdom and subsequent heavenly intercession of St Wenceslaus helped keep the faith alive in Bohemia from 935 through 1811, when a boy was born — John Neumann, who eventually made his way to the USA and became a priest.  As the 4th Bishop of Philadelphia, John Neumann made numerous trips through northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania before the Diocese of Scranton had been officially established, administering the sacraments to the faithful and organizing parishes.  If you’re ever in Philly, St Peter’s church at 5th & Girard has a chapel dedicated to him, and a ‘museum’ room containing pictures and many of his personal belongings.

Who does it hurt?

September 28, 2009

Any of you guys out there struggling with Porn?  Odds are pretty good you are, even if you are a pretty devout man.  But hey, that’s one reason men’s groups like us exist — to help us join together to help fight these epic battles.

I found this marvelous website dedicated to helping MEN, Catholic and otherwise find strength in eachother to combat this plague on our manhood.

Check it out at http://whodoesithurt.com/ They’ve even got a contest going where you can win an iPod touch if you remember your skillz at Frogger from back in the day — gotta register though… I did!

The Spiritual Exercises in a different format

September 28, 2009

Here is a creative method for using the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in a classroom setting.  It looks like you can adapt it very easily for use at home.

St Frances Xavier Cabrini’s prayer for humility

September 27, 2009

In his reflection on today’s Mass readings, Fr Rosica shares Mother Cabrini’s prayer for humility:

Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you may fortify me with the grace of your Holy Spirit, and give your peace to my soul, that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to you, so that your will may be my will.

Grant that I may be free from unholy desires, and that, for your love, I may remain obscure and unknown in this world, to be known only to you.

Do not permit me to attribute to myself the good that you perform in me and through me, but rather, referring all honor to you, may I admit only to my infirmities, so that renouncing sincerely all vainglory which comes from the world, I may aspire to that true and lasting glory that comes from you.  Amen.

Connecticut conference

September 26, 2009

Our brothers in the Constitution State will be whooping it up one week from today!

Motivational words from our Holy Father

September 26, 2009

Lay faithful, young people and families, do not be afraid to live and to bear witness to the faith in the various sectors of society, in the many situations of human existence!……The seasons of history come and go, social contexts change, but the vocation of Christians to live the Gospel in solidarity with the human family, in step with the times, has not been silenced and does not go out of fashion. This is social commitment, this is the service proper to political action,  this is integral human development.

From his homily on September 6, 2009.