Thursday, June 12, 2014

"God so loved the world that he gave his only Son"

This Sunday, June 18, 2015, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity. The Triune nature of God is the principal mystery of the Catholic faith. Our Discussion Questions will guide your Sunday Bible Study sessions with family, friends and church groups.

The Very Mystery of God

What we know about God is not made up, not a fable invented by our ancestors. What we know about God is revealed by God himself. The Triune nature of God is the principal mystery of the Catholic faith. Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB says it is the first and last horizon of the universe and of history: the Love of God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is not solitude, but perfect communion. All three in a great dynamic of love, are so close that they are One God, explains Fr. John Foley, S. J..

Of course, we can only ever know God partially because to know him fully would be beyond our capacity as human beings in this life. The reality of God is too rich to ever be captured, even half adequately, in imagination, thought, and word. Fr. Ron Rolheiser says the idea of God needs to stretch, not shrink, the human imagination. But in order for us to get to know God we need to to root out sin and to cultivate the qualities that bring us closer to him. Fr. Alex McAllister SDS tells us that these qualities are the virtues of faith, hope, charity and all the rest.

If Christianity were simply a religion of keeping the law, the inner life of the lawgiver would not matter. But if Christianity is about personal relationship with God, Dr. Marcellino d'Ambrosio explains, then who God really is matters totally. Further, Fr. Joseph Pellegrino tells us that God possesses us, and we possess Him, not for ourselves, but to continue His Presence in the world. Thus every Sunday's liturgy helps unfold the mystery of divine life. In each gospel Jesus makes the Father's truth and love present in the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. We open each Liturgy invoking the Trinity, Fr. James Gilhooley highlights for us, and we also close it by calling upon those same Persons.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world.”
- us. The truth of that statement is so simple and yet it boggles the mind. Its so easy to say and so hard to wrap our minds and hearts around. And yet, explains Fr. Orlando, Sapuay, MS. the truth remains. God loves us. No matter what our sins or our attitude towards God. Whether we accept the truth of His love or not - He does love you.

And the "world" which God loves so much as to give it his only Son? We are that world -- human beings tragically alienated from God, alienated from each other, alienated from our own deepest personal identity as children of God. Fr. Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B. says this is the world described in the first chapters of Genesis, in every evening's TV news, in our own experience of life. And yet, points out college student Emily Clark, that thing that an earthly father would never be willing to do—sacrifice his child—is just the thing God chose to do . . . for us.

The Communion of Saints

Every Sunday's Eucharist is the prayer of the church in living communion with the Risen Lord praising the Father through the power of the Spirit. Father Cusick points out to us that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit live eternally, love eternally and pour out divine love and life in the world through the Body of Christ, the Church.

We pray to the Father through Jesus his Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit. And this unity of the Holy Spirit, according to Fr. Phil Bloom,  is the Communion of Saints. Our origin is family, the Trinity, and our goal is family, the Communion of Saints for ever united to the Persons of the Trinity.

Prayer, Worship & the Sacraments

Joe Heschmeyer urges us all to prepare ourselves to become tabernacles for the Lord. When we receive Communion, our very bodies and souls become the receptacles for the Second Person of the Trinity. And that's why we need the Sacrament of Confession. Because otherwise, when we receive the Eucharist, we're placing God in the pit of filth inside of us.

This is also the time of year when Bishops celebrate Confirmation. It is certainly a wonderful moment for all you recipients of the sacrament, as you receive the same Holy Spirit bestowed upon the Church at Pentecost, which we celebrated last Sunday. But now that you've been confirmed. Now what? Archbishop Richard W. Smith from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has the answers for you.

Family Matters

Then Archbishop now Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York lamented the media and its rush to push the states to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start. Our beliefs, he argued should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people. This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition.

This media push to erode our long-set values has to be met with a re-education process. And that is where the new evangelization comes in. Cardinal Odilo Scherer, archbishop of São Paulo, Brazil  says it needs to be as ordinary as daily life -- because it has to happen in our homes. "The peoples to evangelize are in our own house," he asserted. "The Gospel is not a good that constitutes our privilege [as Catholics], but a good for the world."

And Jennifer Fulwiler discusses how the digital revolution is impacting everything from prayer to marriages to the Church as a whole. But one of the areas that she finds most interesting is how it has impacted the fight for the dignity of human life. She says the internet will make the world more Pro-Life. And I agree with her.

Celebrating All Fathers

This Sunday is Fathers Day. Did you know that according to surveys, if a father made a decision to become a Christian, the rest of the family followed his example 93 percent of the time? No one wants to minimize the importance of faithful mothers, Terry Mattingly explains. But it's clear that fathers play a unique and special role in helping their children develop a living faith — especially their sons. There's no way to deny that.

And to inspire all you fathers out there, here's a story of a father's unelievable love for his disabled son. We all try to be good fathers, but compared to Dick Hoyt, we all suck. Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day. "I Can Only Imagine" is the story and the video will move you.

Conan, Chaste Dating & Graduations

And as we close, let's talk about our graduates and the new world that awaits them after school. Conan O’ Brien took center stage three years ago this week when he gave the commencement address at Dartmouth college. We have the video for you. It is longer than usual, but stick with it for the sheer entertainment value. At about the 18 minute mark, O’Brien gets serious and personal, and the speech goes from enjoyable to sublime. He offers some serious life nuggets to graduates everywhere.

And for those high school graduate who are off to college, allow us to share with you some Dating Rules as oyu navigate the tricky roads of college life. Here's Ten Ways to Chaste Dating for the over-21 Crowd and for those who live Outside the Home.

Another eventful week in our Catholic World. A Happy and blessed Fathers Day to all dads!

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

BURNING QUESTION: Why do you make the sign of the Cross?
FEATURED BLOG: Lot's Wife Syndrome
PASTORAL HISPANA: La Solemnidad de la Santisima Trinidad

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