This, rather, is the fasting that I seek;
Releasing those bound unjustly…
Sharing your bread with the hungry…
Clothing the naked when you see them.
A man who fasts for his sins, and then goes and commits them again—who will hear his prayer, and what has he gained by his mortification?
Suggested Assignment for Lent
In attempting to personalize your religion during this special season of Lent, you may want to try what I’m going to do. Believe me; it’s harder than merely giving up something I enjoy. It is writing the answer to these four questions.
- In your own words, describe God, the Father. For the past two thousand years, brilliant theologians have pondered this and written their views. But, as a simple layman, responsible for my own being, what do I visualize when I say, ‘God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth?”
- Just as Jesus said to his apostles, “But what do you say I am?” In your own words, record who you think Jesus is, in his role as the second party of the Holy Trinity. Elaborate on why you think he became man. How have his teachings affected your life? Do you picture Jesus as the portrayed handsome young Mediterranean with the silky brown beard?
- Then, defining the Holy Spirit may require much thought. In conversation with a non-believer, without using staple expressions such as “Giver of Life”, etc., how would you describe the Holy Spirit?
Think of examples when you think the Holy Spirit has been an important factor is your life.
- Lastly, in your own words, answer: “Why the Cross?” One time, an elderly Spaniard who had been an active Catholic throughout his life, confessed to me that, for the first time, he questioned why Jesus died on the Cross. He felt lost in trying to find an answer. On this subject, record only your thoughts.
(And let me know your suggestions in making the best of Lent.)
How am I working to build a more just world—starting in my own home, workplace, parish and neighborhood? With whom am I sharing my “bread”—whether that bread is food, money, time, talents or attention? Who am I helping to free from bondage—the bondage of addiction, ignorance, poverty, sickness, loneliness, poor self-esteem?
Sister. Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D.
Thus never delay inner purification for a single moment, as soon as you are conscious of something wrong in you.
Father Lorenzo Scupoli (died 1610)
The good Physician comes himself to heal me, but always find me engaged in acts that prevent his remedies from rendering their healing power. O Lord, enlighten and sober me. Cure me and I will be cured!
Saint Ephrem the Syrian (died 373)
(And what are a few of our favorite sayings?)
Karl Rabeder, the 47-year-old Austrian millionaire is giving away his 5 million dollar fortune to be poor and spend his life in a wooden hut in the mountains. He said, “I was just listening to the voice in my heart and head.”
Citizens Against Government Waste published the Senate’s biggest porkers of the month. They are (all Republicans) Thad Cochran (MS) Susan Collins (ME), Richard Shelby (AL).
NBC’s poll on the question of whether to keep “In God We Trust” on our currency and 86% voted “yes”.
Historians (who sometimes have little to do) in Egypt declared that King Tut had a club foot and died of pneumonia. And an Italian scientist maintains that the reason Mona Lisa is smiling is because da Vinci was gay and this is a self-portrait with him cross-dressed.
This week I sent donations to:
Population Research Institute, which seem to be taking a practical approach to the Pro Life cause.
The Catholic League, which is our B-nai B-rith organization, monitoring and defending our Catholic image in the massive communication world.
Other recommended Catholic Blogs
Man With Black Hat
Many thanks for your thoughts about the “Blessed are the poor” Beatitude which has puzzled me for years.
“Poor in spirit” Ames Woodward, Sacramento, CA
I think you are taking too much liberty in your interpretation of this first Beatitude. Jesus said what he meant!
Inez Goodall, West Point, ME
My favorite religious priest, layperson or organization
Father Stephen Huffstetter, S.C.J.. (submitted by Mary Wiley, Richardson, TX)
“Father Steve is a wonderful person, a man of faith who practices Jesus’ admonitions about the “little children” and the “least among us” every day of his life as director of St. Joseph’ Indian School on a Sioux reservation.
Two other facts, please add Father Steve to our Special Intentions List as he has cancer. Also, his school is desperate for donations for their winter fuel bill! (email@example.com.)
Nearly 200 Native American children call St. Joseph’s Indian School home (another 100 are on our waiting list).
Your tax-deductible online donation provides Native American children in need with a stable home and an education. Thank you for your generosity!
Please let me know about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference. Share this with our many Joyful Catholic members.
The winner of a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, who clocked in at 1:32PM on February 18 is Gretchen Williams in Meridian, MS.
1. The least Catholic area of the United States is the north-central part of my native state of Mississippi, which is part of the Diocese of Jackson (2.4% Catholic).
2. The last word spoken by Mary in the Bible was at the Feast of Cana, when she said, “Do whatever he tells you.”
3. The seven sacraments of the Church are Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick.
An Irishman goes into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church. Inside, there’s a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the chocolates and tasty snacks. Then the priest comes in.
“Father, forgive me, for it’s been a very long time since I’ve been to confession, but I admit the confessional box is more inviting that it used to be.”
The priest replied, “Get out. You’re on my side.”
Special Intentions List
As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.
Juanita Caldwell, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Eileen Grotsky, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Mary Darwish, Msg. Louis Quinn, Rev. Lawrence Boedt, Gertrude Goldstein,
Rev. Stephen Huffstetter.
As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been deleted and added to our Deo Gratias list.