Posts Tagged ‘#order’

Finding of the Child Jesus

April 22, 2017

” Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.

After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2: 41-49)

If you are a parent of a child, this story falls near to your heart. The anxiety begins with that feeling where you do not see the child, and then it begins to grow as you search, Those minutes feel like hours and that level if anxiety only grows until you are finally reunited with the child and feel secure in the knowledge that they are safe, and at that moment, nothing else really matters at all.

If you are not a parent, then you if you have been entrusted with something precious that you need to return to your parents, or to someone else in authority, and you have no idea where that thing is. That might give you a very small idea of how a parent feels in those moments of separation.

Even the typically very rational and thoughtful of parents calm goes out the window when they are looking for a child. There are just no words for this level of anxiety.

In those days it was typical for a child to travel up and down a caravan, these were friends and community, and a place of safety. Imagine, after the child was not found after a full day of searching, and no one knew anything about where the child was. Imagine after that, to go searching for 4 full days with no answers. The level of that anxiety was immeasurable.

Imagine, their relief and , as a typical parental response, wanting to know what He was doing, and why He did that to them ? His response was pretty simple. Didn’t you already know that I had to be here ? After that episode He was a good and obedient son while He grew in age.

So, what is it that we get from this Mystery ?

We are like Mary and Joseph in this story. It is given to us as Christians a responsibility for the soul we have. We are given the gift of life, and during our period of time on earth we are responsible for the care and feeding of that soul. We are responsible to seek God in our daily lives,

When we face challenges and difficulties in life, each challenge is the call of the soul, it is the call of God . He is calling out to find the lost soul of our heart. In our earthly life we feel anxieties, and pains, fear, and longing. It is however, sometimes difficult for us to discern what it is that the soul is looking for. Because our soul belongs to God, The soul will seek God even if we do not see, or understand what that call is or what to do about it. God will provide these things. Just as a parent provides for a child. The child may only understand the basic need, and not the will or intent of the parent..

The child will only be content, when it is back in Heaven, in its Fathers house. So it is with Jesus.

The fifth Mystery – The finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

Father, we ask pardon for those times when we have not lived our Franciscan Rule of Life,
For when we have not sought, and found Jesus in our brothers and sisters,
For when we have failed care for the child Jesus in the body and soul of our brothers and sisters,
For when we have not trusted in Your Divine providence and suffered anxiety from our lack of faith.

We pray for those who are lost.
For those who do not know Jesus, or have turned away.
For those who suffer, either in their souls or in their bodies.
For all parents, who are given the primary responsibility of sharing Jesus, with their children, and with each other.
For our Franciscan Brothers and Sisters, for the strength and wisdom to live the Rule every day until they are united again with God in Heaven.

Our Father who art in Heaven….

May God give you the gift of His peace !

A Spiritual Being In An Earthly Existence ….

February 4, 2017

A Spiritual Being In An Earthly Existence ….

Many times in life we are faced with challenges of a larger spiritual gravity that we need to find a resolution for. Finding so many answers and clarifications is never quite an easy task, particularly when all the answers seem at odds with each other.

A point in case is the recent Executive Order that the United States has put into place banning travel /immigration from 7 countries in the Middle East Region of the world. Now, I am not going to debate any of the issues involved, instead the purpose of this post is to look at some of the questions that we face as Christians, Catholic and Protestant, and for people of faith.

Usually, when issues arise, and I have questions, the places I normally go are first to scripture, and then to the Catechism to see if there is reference material for what the church teaches on the matter, and then , possibly to the Encyclicals, and if I can not find the answers I am looking for there, then I spend time talking with a priest whose particular disposition I have grown to trust.

So Lets get to the meat of the matter… I will not tell you what you should think, or how you should feel. This is not my intent at all. Instead, I would encourage everyone to first, begin from a place in your heart, in spirit, in your conscience, where we begin first to educate ourselves about what God teaches, then what the Church has taught through the Magisterium, through its Encyclicals.

First, there is from Scripture, the commandment to ” Love thy Neighbor”. we all know that the neighbor we should be loving, is basically everyone who is not ourselves. The neighbor we should be loving are those who are different, who believe differently than we do. We are to love our enemies.

We are basically just supposed to love.

Even the Lord, understood that sometimes we (humans) can be a little hard headed. Maybe we just didn’t get things right away.. or life was just too hard. . We got 10 commandments, and if that was too much for us to handle.. He whittled it down to 2 laws. Love God, and then Love neighbor. If that was just too hard, the just one Law, love.

Seems pretty simple.. at least until life comes along and kicks us when we least expect it.

The Catechism has a great section called ” Life in Christ”. Part 3 – CCC# 2302 – 2330 .

This deals with Safeguarding Peace. Read through this.. It has a good deal of information in there and has some points of clarification.

Now, don’t stop there ! Your getting there but we are not done yet !

Next there is an Encyclical you should read that deals with this subject.

” Pacem in Terris ” ( Peace on Earth) … just so you don’t have to dig through another text I will share the link here :

http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-xxiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_11041963_pacem.html

( A personal note here: I personally only read encyclicals from the Vatican’s website simply because that way it is free from editorial biases ) .

Now, here is the point where things get interesting. There is a certain danger of inserting ones own biases, or thought processes, or preferences or what ever you want to call it into the mix. So, IF you are still on the fence or unclear or whatever, find a Priest or clergy , or religious that you trust who tends to be even handed /headed or reasonable AND orthodox, and check with them.

In the end it boils down to this. It is up to you to love your neighbor. No one will be sitting with you in that chair on Judgment Day. At the same time you only have control over your actions. A well-formed conscience, a strong faith, and an open heart are the best tools you have.

May God give you the gift of His peace !