I think we can all use this one. We are Catholic, and that means we are His.
What do priests do all day?
After all, it only takes half an hour to say daily mass.
What do they do the rest of the time?
This entertaining video shows one day in the life of Father John Muir. Unlike the priests I know, he doesn’t live alone in the rectory and he isn’t assigned to a neighborhood parish. He is a priest in the Diocese of Phoenix and is currently the assistant director of the Newman Center at ASU.
A lot of the things he does, such as praying a morning prayer with the priest he lives with, are things we could do at home with our families. If you live alone, you could use an iPad or other electronic version for company, if you want. I pray parts of the Daily Office, in particular the night prayers, this way.
One thing Father Muir says: I figure if God wanted me to be a priest, God wanted me to be a priest.
That’s a good way to look at Christian life for any of us. God didn’t call perfect saints or pious sad sacks, He called you and me to the Christian life. (Unless, of course, you are a perfect saint or a pious sad sack.) I would guess that God loves us for our individual foibles the same way all parents love their children.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the daily life of a priest.
The American bishops have asked Catholics to refrain from eating meat on Fridays during the fortnight as a fast for religious freedom.
I would suggest that we also pray the Rosary for the intention of religious freedom on Fridays during the fortnight.
You can sign up for text alerts on religious freedom from the USCCB here.
Margaret Rose Realy, who blogs at Morning Rose Prayer Garden, is one of those people who always touches the soft part of your heart.
Her blog is a gift, especially on the days when you need that warm and loving contact with a really good person.
Margaret Rose posts a prayer for priests every Thursday. It’s a wonderful idea, which we should all follow in our own way. Priests need prayer. As things get worse for Christians, we are going to need strong shepherds who will not run away or cow-tow in the face of pressures to deny Christ in one way or another.
We need them. They need us. We all need Jesus.
Here is Margaret Rose’s prayer. You can find other wonderful posts here, at her blog.
Divine Savior Jesus Christ, who has entrusted the whole work of your redemption, the welfare and salvation of the world, to priests as your representatives, through the hands of your most holy Mother and for the sanctification of your priests and candidates for the priesthood, I offer you this present day wholly and entirely, with all its prayers, works, joys, sacrifices and sorrows. Give us truly holy priests who, inflamed with the fire of your divine love, seek nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of our souls. And you, Mary, good Mother of priests, protect all priests in danger of their holy vocation and, with the loving hand of a mother, also lead back to the Good Shepherd those poor priests who have become unfaithful to their exalted vocation and have gone astray. Amen.
“We Catholics should pray together,” Pope Francis said in his Wednesday audience, “but we should also pray together with other Christians.”
This is a message every Christian should take to heart. We don’t have to give up our doctrinal differences to know that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and Life. The most important thing is that we put Him at the center. When we do that, the differences we think are so important fade into the background where they belong.
We live in a world that is increasingly hostile to Christians. That makes it all the more important for Christians to support and stand by one another.
We’re all going to have to start doing things like this. it’s not a question of forcing someone else to follow our Lord Jesus. It’s whether or not we will allow others to stop us from following Him.
The story began when the American Civil Liberties Union managed to find time in their heavy schedule of advocating for abortion, polygamy, gay marriage and euthanasia to send threatening letters to every school district in South Carolina, warning them of possible lawsuits if they were caught praying in public. The illustrious Freedom From Religion Foundation cranked up their word processor up in Wisconsin and followed through with threats of their own.
The Pickens Country School District, which is in South Carolina, responded to these threats by ending all invocations at all school functions. They replaced the prayer at graduation exercises with a moment of silence.
Pickins County high school valedictorian Roy Costner IV dutifully wrote a secular valedictory speech, which was approved before the graduation exercises by school officials.
He began his valedictory remarks by starting to deliver the approved speech. But a few minutes into it, he tore the speech up and made extemporaneous remarks, praising his parents for teaching him his religious faith and concluding by reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
Vineoflife.netdescribes it this way:
“Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today,” he said. “I’m so glad that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age.”
“And I think most of you will understand when I say…” he continued, surprising the crowd with what came next.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name,” Costner declared. “Thy Kingdom come…”
As attendees realized that Costner was reciting the Lord’s Prayer, applause began to break out in the colliseum. Within seconds, the applause was accompanied by loud cheers.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” he continued. “For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”
The crowd again broke into cheers and applause as Costner concluded, and one faculty member sat smiling behind him.
“I think it took a lot of courage to do that,” attendee Logan Gibson told reporters. “People were supportive that he stood up for what he believed in.”
(Pickens County School District spokesman John) Eby said that the district will not be taking any action against Costner.
“The bottom line is, we’re not going to punish students for expressing their religious faiths,” he stated. “He’s a graduate now. There’s nothing we can do about it, even if we wanted to.”
I think it’s time for Christians everywhere in this country to consider doing things like this. These bullying organizations can threaten to sue individual school districts and other entities. But there are at least 180 million practicing Christians in this country who attend church on a regular basis. They can’t sue all of us.
Mind you, I am not in any way advocating that we try to force anyone to join us. If they don’t believe, that’s their choice. If they are afraid, that’s their fear. But if you believe in Jesus and you’ve got the guts to say so, then do say so. You may get some rough treatment for saying it. But don’t be afraid of that. Anyone who reviles you for Jesus’ sake is giving you the Kingdom of Heaven. Instead of being afraid of them, you probably should thank them.
Judge Twyla Gray sat opposite me twirling her fork in the salad on her plate.
She had just told me that she was going to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. Twyla, who was a cancer survivor, had learned that she carried the brca gene. This gene predisposed her to breast cancer.
It had been decades since Twyla went through a lumpectomy, chemo and then radiation to treat a small cancer doctors found in one of her breasts. At the time she was diagnosed, Twyla put her considerable wits to researching her cancer and interviewing treatment specialists all around the country. She had a small child and she wanted to live.
I remember quite clearly her husband reading the summary of a pathologist’s report concerning that cancer to me. It was an aggressive form of the disease, and the pathologist’s advice was that she needed aggressive treatment. Afterwards, I talked to a doctor friend of mine who told me that based on her experience with patients, a cancer of that type would eventually come back, no matter what Twyla did.
More than 20 years later, Twyla seemed to have proven the experts wrong. Test after test, check-up after check-up, she was cancer free. Her child grew up to be a fine person. Her marriage thrived. Her career took off and she ended up a district judge.
Everything was looking good for Twyla.
Then she had genetic testing and learned she had the brca gene. She would always be vulnerable to this type of cancer, which is what led her to make the appointment for what she had dreaded for a long, long time: Mutilating surgery.
I asked her how she was a few weeks later and learned that she had backed out of the surgery. Then, a few months after that, the cancer recurred. She beat it back.
Another year passed, and it recurred.
There was no beating it back this time. She would die of this disease. The docs gave her three months, but she fought and won a small, though costly, reprieve. Twyla lived another year after she got the three month prognosis. Some of that time was good time. But she earned those good days by enduring horrible treatments.
I have wondered if it would have made any difference if she had gone ahead with that surgery. In truth, I do not know. But part of me doubts it. I think that the time bomb had been ticking away in the form of an occult cancer cell hiding in a corner of her body for all those years she was “cancer free.”
That’s the purgatory of cancer. No matter how many times a cancer survivor gets a clean scan, they know, and everyone who loves them knows, that it may not be entirely true. The cancer may be playing its little waiting game before it comes charging back.
Angelina Jolie’s Appearance is Critical to Her Career
I read week before last about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. From what I read, it sounds as if Ms Jolie has the same gene my friend had. She has not had cancer, so maybe, just maybe, the surgery will save her.
All I know is that I am grateful to her for coming forward with the revelation that she has gone through this surgery. That can’t have been easy for a woman whose appearance and body are critiqued mercilessly every time she puts her foot outside her door.
Ms Jolie makes her living at least partly on the fantasies her audience has about her and her appearance. Prophylactic double mastectomies don’t quite fit with the sexy macho woman she plays in film. That kind of reality is part of our vulnerable human condition, not the cartoon character perfection of the characters she often plays.
It was a risk for her to share this. But it may encourage some other person (men can die of breast cancer, too, especially if they carry the brca gene) who gets the frightening news that they carry this gene the push they need to go under the knife for what can only be described as terrible surgery.
I want to add that the genetic testing to uncover this gene is expensive. Because of that, most people will not take the test. But if you have a history of cancer in your family, as Twyla did, especially if you have a history of breast cancer, it might be worth looking into.
Pope Francis will share a Holy Hour with the whole Church this Sunday at 5 pm, Rome time. Has your parish set aside a time for this, and do you plan to join in?
Pope Emeritus Benedict will return to the Vatican today.
According to a CNA article, he will live in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, “where he will live a life of prayer and meditation. The monastery contains a chapel, a choir room, a library, a semi-basement, a terrace and a visiting room.
CNA/EWTN News).- Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican on May 2 by helicopter, coming back the same way he left just two months ago when he resigned as Pope.
The return of a former Pope is something that has no historical precedent, making everything a new one for the Vatican’s staff.
Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican’s press office, told CNA April 30 that “there will be someone there to welcome Benedict XVI” but he is not yet sure who that will be.
The former Pope will arrive by helicopter around 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon, and after a brief greeting will head to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where he will live a life of prayer and meditation. (Read the rest here.)