What do you tell your friends or perhaps even your own children who no
longer go to Church but wonder why you do?
Why do we in the Church commit ourselves to a group of flawed men and
women and agree to journey with them for the rest of our lives?
The first question raised in the Bible is when Cain asks defensively, ˇ§Am I
my brotherˇ¦s keeper?ˇ¨ Since he had already killed Abel, we can presume
that Cain asked rhetorically. Yet he posed the ultimate question for human
kind ever after. Must I care for others as well as myself? Surely, it is
possible to answer Cainˇ¦s question not as either / or , but as both / and ;
that we are to care for ourselves and each other in a ˇ§community-of-
In Church language, we understand ˇ§community-of-personsˇ¨ to mean a
faith community. We Catholics have this deeply held conviction that we go
to God, not on a one-to-one, but together, as a people, as a body.
At the time of the Reformation (16th Century) we had a huge falling out on
this very issue with our Protestant brothers and sisters. Luther, Calvin
and other reformers were condemning the Church and saying it was
corrupt (and they had some good reasons for condemning it). They were
saying it was not bringing us to God but getting between us and God. So
they said: Lets go around it. Lets skip it. Did you ever have that
temptation? The great cry of the Reformation was: Go to God directly.
When the much chastened Catholic Church regrouped at the Council of
Trent (1545 - 63) it responded: Yes, of course, we should go to God
directly. Everyone should have their own spirituality. Everyone should
have a personal relationship with God. But we must also go to God
together, as a people, as a Church.
This old Church of ours remained convinced to the core, that for all its sins
and shortcomings, the Church is still the primary way that God typically
comes looking for us and we come typically looking for him.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why do Catholics put so much
emphasis on things like going to mass? Our Protestant brothers and
sisters stress the importance of Sunday worship and keeping the
Sabbath. Yet they have never made it a big sin (ˇ§sin,ˇ¨ as in missing the
mark as Christians), but we do. Its the Church's way of saying we have to
be a community.
We are born into community. Community is in our bloodstream. We wake
up each morning as one among many. When scripture says, ˇ§it is not
good to be alone,ˇ¨ it means that for all men, women and children. Hell is
not other people, as Sartre once said but the absence of people. Our
search and hunger for God must be consistent with our nature.
Together we aspire. Together we live out the life of the Christian
community so that all of us may learn, more and more, to take good care of
ourselves and others and in that way fulfil the challenge of Jesus, which
was ever so strong and simple, love your neighbour as yourself.
A man woke up one morning to discover that the morning paper had
incorrectly reported his death. The headline to his obituary
read, ˇ§Dynamite King Dead.ˇ¨ The article went on to relate that he had
amassed a fortune by manufacturing ˇ§weapons of mass destruction.ˇ¨ The
man freezed on the spot: ˇ§Is this how I want to be remembered?ˇ¨
Clearly the answer was no, so he set about changing his lifestyle.
This man was Alfred Nobel, who we know today because of the Nobel
Peace prize named after him.
We, too, need to confront the question. ˇ§How will I be remembered?ˇ¨
The unconfronted life is not worth living.
One lighted torch serves to light another.~ Godet.
Johnny went to the hospital for a complete physical. He was very
depressed and said to the doctor," I look in the mirror and see that Iˇ¦m a
mess. My jaws are sagging. I have blotches all over my face. My hair is
falling out. I feel ugly. What is it?ˇ¨
The doctor said," I donˇ¦t know what it is Johnny, but your eyesight is
Use soft words and hard arguments.~ Proverb.
All the world lives in two tents - content and discontent.
3rd to 11th February 2001.
The opening session will be at 7.30pm on Saturday 3rd and there will
be two sessions each subsequent day at 10.30am and 7.30pm. On Sunday
4th February there will be Mass and anointing of the sick at 4pm. The
Preacher : Fr. Terence McLoughlinO.P.
The 7.30pm mass will be discontinued as from Monday 12th February.
Scripture: St. Saviourˇ¦s Bridge Street.
Fr. Maurice Fearon, O.P. , a scripture scholar has accepted an
invitation to give a three day workshop, March 5,6,& 7th on the Bible at
Spring Courses: St. Johnˇ¦s College, Waterford.
Ministers of the Eucharist:
Wednesdays 7th 14th & 21st February at 8pm.
Ministry of Reader:
Reading and Proclaiming the Word of God.
Wednesdays 7th 14th & 21st February at 8pm.
No Padre Pio devotion on Tuesday (6th February) due to Lourdes Novena.