We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.

My motto “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.” Michael J. Sheehan  Archbishop of Santa Fe

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– In the Maindguri area of India, Hindu rebels attacked Christians, breaking a leg and injuring a score of other worshippers. The government authorities were complicit in this persecution of Christians.

– Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkley, has written, “The all-important thing is not what I would like Islam to be. It is what millions of Muslims around the world would like. The question is particularly timely now, in the aftermath of Arab Spring when Muslim counties are debating and voting on what sort of society they want to have. Recent attacks on Christians in Egypt are not encouraging signs.”

– A study at Baylor University found that individuals with many friendships in a faith community show higher levels of religiosity. It showed that church-based friendships had greater impact on individuals’ behavior than on their beliefs. Unfortunately, Catholic congregations received diminishing participation returns for the congregational friendships of their members when compared to Protestant congregations. Many Protestants see their churches as a main facet in their social live. Catholics often attend Mass more for the sacraments than for socializing. “Building friendships within a parish can help Catholics feel supported living out their faith in the world, and it could help heal divisions within the church as well.”
(comment: In a past study when I interviewed Catholic who have left the church, I was the first and only one to ask why they had left.)

Today’s Martyrs
(Lest we forget)

“Let us purify ourselves through the martyrs, or rather, through him through whom they too were purified in blood and truth.”
St. Gregory Nazianzen (died 390)

In Uganda, Susan Ithingu, a 15-year-olf Christian convert lost both of her legs when her Muslim father locked her in her room for six months with little food and water. After 13 months in a hospital, she is now in the care of a Pentecostal church.

Interesting sayings

Believe me, don’t wait until tomorrow to begin being a saint.
St. Teresa of Lisieux (died 1897)

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Government is the great fiction, through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850)

At times, even in the church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practice do irreparable damage to the communion of the church.
(speaking of the pro-life cause) Hysterical activity doesn’t bear fruit, and there’s been some hysteria in these areas. We’d be like the Amish, kind of isolated from society, if we kept pulling back because of a single issue.
Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names, advises a Chinese proverb. A little wisdom would be welcome now, as the world turns its back on the naughty naughties and its years of economic calamity, ill-judged war, terrorism and man-made climate change.
Adam Roberts (The Economist)

A Church that tries to keep itself pure and uncontaminated would not be a Church of God’s service to people. The authentic Church is one that does not mind conversing with prostitutes and publicans and sinners, as Christ did —and with Marxists — in order to bring them salvation’s true message.
El Salvadoran Archbishop Romero, killed in 1980

One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.
Jewish Proverb

Chuckle Time

 In a revival meeting, the minister asked everyone who had no enemies and held no grudges to come to the front of the church. After a long pause, an old man slowly with two canes made his way down the aisle. The congregation burst with applause.
“Congratulations, you true Christian,” the minister cried in tears. “Tell us how you have achieved this holy state.”
The old fellow said, “I outlived them bastards.”

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