Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Stop making my Father's house a marketplace."

Catholic Living Today
Issue date: March 15, 2009
BURNING QUESTION: Is it OK for God to get angry?
FEATURED BLOG: What if this is your last Lent?
PASTORAL HISPANA: Los mandamientos, señal de Alianza

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. For those in the RCIA program, the Readings for this Third Sunday of Lent talks about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. For the rest of us, it’s easy to cheer as we hear in this Sunday’s gospel about Jesus giving the temple a good spring cleaning. But have we checked out the temple of our own hearts lately?

LIVING WATER. Reflection on the Samaritan woman Gospel story, Fr. John Foley, urges us to pray with the Samaritan woman, “Sir, give me this water.” And while helping dig wells for the poor in Ethiopia, Bishop Timothy M. Dolan of Catholic Relief Services looked at the grateful faces around him and realized, "No wonder Jesus referred to himself as 'living water.'"

OUR TEMPLES. Father Cusick says our temples are not mere monuments of cold lifeless stone. Each tabernacle is the presence of the living God himself who makes each church and chapel a true temple. Fr. Orlando Sapuay, MS tells us that the temple is not out there. Rather it is the sanctuary within our hearts. Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB reflects on two powerful images present in the Sunday Readings: that of Jesus purifying Jerusalem's Temple and St. Paul's message of the cross of Jesus Christ.

HE HELPED THEM. After Jesus drove all the thieves out of the Temple, all the great unwashed and the walking wounded rushed up to Him for help. And He healed them. Fr. Father James Gilhooley hopes that perhaps this will motivate us to work for others. Fr. Campion P. Gavaler, OSB tells us the criterion of the final judgement is whether we respond with compassion to His presence in the least of His brothers and sisters.

AN ANGRY GOD. The Jewish Temple priests were more concerned with the money they were making in the Temple than worshiping God in the Temple. Our Burning Question challenges you all, "Is it OK for God to be angry?" Fr. Phil Bloom describes the Jesus at the temple as "A Jealous God." And Fr. Joseph Pellegrino finds many Ten Commandments reflections from this episode in Jesus' life.

PUSHING OUR WAY THROUGH LENT. Just like that, we're already a third of the way through Lent. Rocco Palmo offers some timely Lenten reflections in "Upward along the mountain." We also give you a reflection from Cardinal Newman ans it is among the most beautiful of all his writing. Click here. We also ask you to pause for a moment and reflect on "The Meaning of Mercy."

And chew on this one. How would you react if you were told that this was your last Lent before facing God’s judgment? Would you do anything differently? Share your thoughts here.

SHIFTING TIMES FOR CATHOLICS. Well, who would have thought that the New York Times would hire a new columnist who is a Pro-Life catholic. And he's under 30. It's part of that Catholic Rennaisance I've been telling you about. While on another note, a new study finds that Catholicism is facing a “stunning” decline in the northeast United States. And the population center of U.S. Catholics is shifting towards the southwest.

FACEBOOK & SERVING GOD. The Archbishop of Denver told Catholic cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy that they should become virtuous leaders who "serve your country best by serving God first." And from the USCCB, the US bishops declared they want to find out from the youth how the Church's pastoral presence on the internet can be best served by web networks such as Facebook.

CALLING ON PASTORS. Pope Benedict this week had direct messages for all Catholic pastors. First he asked them to learn and teach Liturgy as he encouraged Catechesis to "open hearts to God." He also asked them to imitate the example of the Blessed Mother and uphold her internalization of God's Word.

LIVING THROUGH THIS ECONOMY. On the economy, the Pope urged us all to view the current crisis as a time to build hope. One way to survive these trying times is to "Reinvent your career in a tough economy." For starters, identify your transferable skills or go back to school. And here's another helpful too: "How to save money on your home phone and broadband."

STORIES OF HOPE. Dr. Stella Montes says the "most difficult" patients she encounters in her work as a Psychiatrist are not the schizophrenics or the depressed but the terminally ill. What do you say to someone who is terminally ill? While Lenora Grimaud shares a beautiful article on Marriage called "The Two Become One Body." You have to see her Beatitudes for Married Couples.

HBO & CATHOLIC UNDERGROUND. College students and 20-somethings are making joyful noises before God in Catholic Underground events. It starts with an hour of eucharistic adoration and then attendees let loose at a nearby venue with praise - rock or rap style. And tune to HBO on March 25 as they premier "They Killed Sister Dorothy." It's the story of a 73-year old nun who was murdered in the Brazilian rain. Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP reviews the film that documents the martyred nun's life and quest for justice.

Another eventful week in our Catholic World. Have a great and blessed new week.

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