Tag Archive: Life of Christ


To All Mankind

PF3pic

It does not matter what your stance is with respect to Pope Francis. Whether you are Catholic or not, is irrelevant, for this pope is speaking out to the world. To all of us, he is giving us a message on how to live, how to conduct ourselves. By his actions and example, he is forcefully telling us to wake up, that our lives must change.

 “How can I say this”, you might ask. You may not agree with the pope’s religious beliefs. You may not care for Catholics or what they believe in. You might even dislike the grandeur (I would rather call it “respect”) that seems to accompany many of the Catholic ceremonies. Maybe, Christianity holds no appeal for you. Or possibly, you don’t believe in God, or maybe you think that there is no god. Maybe, you are an out-and-out hedonist, seeking just your own pleasure and gratification. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of belief, you still have a mind. You still have an intellect. You still, I presume, want to know the meaning of life and where yours is taking you.

 We read the newspaper and find out what the president says or does. We look at the news reports on the television and see what nations are doing, what rulers are saying. Or maybe, we just look at the news to see who is killing whom. My point is, we read, we are curious, we want to know. For having this knowledge will tell us how our lives will be changed, will be affected. We find out in this manner is there something that we should be concerned about? Be worried about?

Well look at what this new pope is saying and doing. He is telling us with his words AND his actions that things must change. He is showing us how to live, as he embraces drug addicts, as he speaks out that he is “not to judge anyone”, as he rides a bus, as he lives in regular quarters and not the papal residence. Do you think that he is doing this just for show? Do you feel he is living a lie? No, the man is being true to himself, true to his beliefs. This is Christ in action. The leader of the Catholic Church is telling us, “Enough is enough”. The time to reform ourselves, the time to change our lives is NOW. (Don’t just read this article, and possibly nod your head in agreement…but then continue on with your life as though it was just another polite nice thought and nothing more.)

I am telling you, here and now, ALL OF US must change. If for no other reason than for the state of the world, we must change. Nations are killing their peoples. Nations are attacking each other. Citizens are killing other citizens. People hate people. People use people. We have become so self-centered that we think only of our own needs. We don’t care a whit about anyone else. Have you ever lifted a beggar up off the street? Does he/she need a warm, hot meal? Or, do you see in them, some misfit, a drug addict, a loser? If Jesus could do it, if the pope can do it, why can’t YOU do it? Why? Really. WHY?

If you think that it is not inside you to do such things, then ask yourself these questions: “Is goodness inside you? Is the spirit of God inside you? Do you care about anyone else?” As Catholic Christians we have been given examples to follow, Jesus, Mary, the saints and now Pope Francis. Any one of them we could take as our exemplar, our mentor. They have lived lives, and are living lives, that are to be emulated, not just observed. To those who are not Catholic, not Christian, we say to you, “You are still a member of humanity.” Is your life helping or hurting others? If for no other reason than the common good, your life must go out to others, helping them, lifting them up and addressing their needs.

We see things happening in other countries, and also, in our own country and we come to the conclusion that this is how we are to act, that it is alright to act this way. Is this not the tail wagging the dog? Instead of living our life as we think we should, we are letting others determine what we are to do. no, No, NO, NO!

If you believe that there is a purpose for your life. If you feel that life is something to be shared with others. If you know in your heart of hearts that all of us are equal. Then, our actions to others, will be good actions. And these people, seeing what they have been freely given, how they have been treated, they will instinctively, want to pass that goodness on to others. Good diffuses itself. Goodness brings about more goodness. If a mile begins with a single step, then changing the world begins first with ourselves and our attitudes towards others. All mankind must begin to look at itself, and see what needs to be changed. Take a good, long, look at yourself, what do you see?

This way of acting is important enough to ask each of you who read this to pass it on to others, and so on , and so on. Let’s start to change the world.

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rosary

We look at today’s world and it seems like it has run amok. Crimes and violence outnumber anything else that we hear about in the news. The number of terroristic attacks seems to be increasing, both in their frequency and their violence. Nations think nothing of the lives of people, even of their own people. Material things have become the “golden idols” of today. And, should we speak out against these things that go counter to the moral law, we are made to look like we are the ones out-of-step. The very foundations of our beliefs are attacked and belittled. Abortion and birth control are promoted as the norm. Gay and Lesbian marriages are protected under the rights of the people. To speak of God is to encourage the mocking of others. The philosophy of “The ME generation” has taken over and now dictates to others. If, it is what I want, then it is ok, licit and moral. This is the thinking of the Me Generation.

Make no mistake about it, do not belittle these occurrences, our faith and morals are under attack. Do not fall into the trap of “everyone else seems to accept it, so it must be alright”. That is the thought process of the weak, the vacillating, the unconvinced and the uncaring. The principles that are, and were, engendered in us as we grew up, are dying by the wayside. If we do nothing to bolster them, if we let them wither and die, because of our own uncertainty and lack of conviction, then we are the lukewarm that Christ despises. “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth”.-1 Even more sinister is the feeling of embarrassment in us, when we do talk about such things.

This is not intended to be a ‘fire and brimstone’ talk. Actually, it is just the opposite. The Apostles, fishermen for the most part, heard wondrous things from Jesus. How much did they really understand? They were attracted to this Man’s goodness and kindness. What He said, at times, must have been over their heads. But that didn’t matter, His presence and conviction reassured them, constantly. But then, He is taken away. He dies on the cross, and this man of gentleness and kindness seems irrevocably gone. His words are probably the farthest thing from their minds. All they knew was that the Master was gone. They were alone. The uncomfortable feeling of being orphaned, of no one around who could reassure them, this was too much to bear. Then come, the Resurrection and the Ascension, and Pentecost. All of a sudden, His words take shape again. They take on a meaning that they could now understand. They realize that His words were telling them, that they have to be like Him, to be Him. Live as He would. Have trust in Him. Death of body is meaningless, is unimportant to them. It is the death of soul that must be avoided. For if the soul dies there can be no resurrection, there can be no uniting with the Father in heaven. Christ’s words and actions take on a whole new meaning, and as a result so do their lives.

Today, our belief in Jesus, our trust in Him, like the Apostles, will affect HOW we live our lives. What are we willing to do with our lives? How are we going to live them? Do we feel uncomfortable talking about Jesus with other people? (I am not talking about incessantly doing this 24-7.) Simply, can we speak to others about our relationship with Jesus and His affect on our lives? Do we avoid conversations about abortion, or gay rights, or materialism, or prayer life? We are either with Him, or against Him. There is no middle ground. The middle ground is for the lukewarm, the vacillating, and we know how Jesus feels about these. If we cannot stand up for what we believe, then either our beliefs are meaningless, or we lack the courage required to be a Christian.

Many of Mary’s apparitions, like Fatima, urged the faithful to pray the Rosary. It is a means of growing closer to God. But the Rosary is not just the repetitive mumbling of words. As Pope Paul VI wrote in Marialis Cultis : “Without this (namely: the meditation on the mysteries) the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas.” Mary has urged us again and again to pray the Rosary, daily. The world of today clamors for devout prayer, a turning away from self, and movement towards selflessness. Do we think that the world will “magically” stop striving for its own wants, its own desires, its own pleasures? A reform is necessary. This reform, however, is too much for any one of us to bring about. It is way beyond mankind’s abilities. Our lives need to be filled with prayer and sacrifice. (Very much against the Me Generation philosophy, the ‘what’s-in-it-for-me philosophy’.)

Even the words, themselves, “sacrifice” and “prayer” cause an immediate knee jerk reaction. We seem to immediately cringe at the thought of voluntarily depriving ourselves of comfort, of time, of our freedom. (Shades of the Me Generation?) But Jesus is asking just that, to give Him our time, our comforts, our lives. Dedication to Him, and submission to His Will, must become part of our lives. Offer up to Him your prayers and sacrifices, in behalf of a struggling, suffering world desperately in need of God.

1- Revelations, 3, 16