March 24, 2012 – Better Late Than Never

My apologies first of all for not getting the blog up sooner.  I had a ton of errands to run after work yesterday, so I had planned to write yesterday evening.  But sometimes things do not go according to plans, and when I flipped on the TV and saw that college basketball was on, well, let’s just say my evening pretty much came to a halt right there.  Priorities, you know!  I doubt that many folks will be reading this today anyway with the dinner/auction going on and everything else.  If you are reading this beforehand, I hope you have a great time tonight and acquire some cool stuff.  If you are reading this afterwards and wondering why you spent so much on a ceramic something or other that will probably just sit in the closet, remember that our parish needs this money to pay our major bills, and there is nothing in the 10 commandments that says “thou shalt not be a re-gifter.”  Anyway, I don’t really have anything that stands out this week to focus on, so I’ll just touch on a few random things.

I remember Game 6 of the World Series last year like it was yesterday.  I can pretty much describe every pitch and strategic move of the last few innings of the game.  In the 10th inning, when the Cardinals tied the game yet again, Joe Buck said that “this team just won’t go away.”  Yesterday across the country there were about 140 rallies focusing on the attack on our religious freedom.  As I have said before, even though this is an issue we shouldn’t have to be fighting for, it has been inspiring to see the response of our Bishops and so many others to this issue.  I can’t help but think that the Obama administration and those who support the mandate for religious institutions to provide free birth control in their health plans thought they would see this level of unified opposition.  But as we have said, where some people see this as just a question of whether birth control should be paid for by insurance, we who see this in the bigger picture know that being mandated to violate our conscience is a direct attack on our religious freedom, and the Bishops of the United States are not going to stand for it.  Below I put a link to a video from the rally yesterday in Peoria, IL which includes a statement from Bishop Daniel Jenky.  The sound is not the greatest, so you may have to turn up the volume some to hear it:

http://bishopdanielrjenky.blogspot.com/

Well about a month ago we began the season of Lent, and we faced the dread of having to give up things and do extra things in order to feel like we did our “part”.  As always, the time goes very fast, and here we are less than two weeks from the triddum.  I’m not sure if I have noticed this just because I’ve been paying more attention to Lenten things on the web, or if this a recent trend, but it seems that we have even found more “convenient” ways to fulfill our Lenten sacrifices.  You can go online and find things such as a “3-minute retreat”, or a Lenten “micro” challenge.  It appears that we are willing to find things to do in a special way for Lent – as long as they don’t take up too much of our time.  I admit that I’m probably guilty of this also.  I begin Lent with a grand plan of what I will do and slowly it kind of gets chipped away and I find excuses for not doing them, or at least not doing them in a complete way.  So over these last couple weeks of Lent I’m going to try to eliminate the “short cuts” and do some hardcore prayer, reflection and sacrifice.

I am happy to say that I passed my first test yesterday.  I actually have not eaten sweets for the last couple of years now (admittedly though, I need to work on the other stuff like chips, pizza, etc.).  However, yesterday at Wal-Mart I saw something that nearly brought me to the breaking point.  I have always loved things with lemon.  In fact my cousin and I have our own little lemon fan club.  We are a small but vociferous group.  Anyway, I’m in the bread aisle which just happens to also be the pastry aisle, and there it was, something that even the most extreme lemon lover could have only dreamed of – Twinkies with lemon-flavored crème filling!  I had to take a few deep breaths and roll my tongue back up off of the floor, but I passed them by, giving me hope that the rest of Lent will be no problem.

This past week’s chapter in our “Fanning the Flame” program focused on the Church.  In particular, we talked about how the church was instituted by Christ and how we as church, which is a community of believers, are to continue His mission of spreading His gospel message.  I wanted to share one particular quote from the adult catechism: “Priests, laity, and religious can all collaborate in the church’s missionary and evangelization activity, catechetical ministry, the teaching of theology, and the use of all forms of contemporary media.”  We as a parish make a lot of sacrifices to keep our community together, such as all of the time, effort and resources to pull off our dinner/auction.  However, the end result is that we are able to do what the statement from the catechism says we are to do as church, and we are able to do it very well.  I again thank tyou for your efforts in putting on this major fundraiser, and all of the other fundraisers we as a church and school must do in order to continue the mission of church.  We have much to be proud of as a parish, and those who witness to what we do cannot helped but be touched by it.

Have a great week.  Peace.

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