Sunday, 31 October 2010

Today Salvation has come





"Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.

So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.'

So Zacchaeus hurried down and was happy to welcome Jesus. All who saw it began to grumble and said, 'He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.'

Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, 'Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.'

Then Jesus said of him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because Zacchaeus too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.' [Lk. 19:1-10]

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Against storms: Saint and Prayer

There are several Patron Saints AGAINST STORMS listed by CATHOLICPATRONSAINT.COM. They are as follo3ws:

Agrippina
Barbara
Catald
Christopher
Erasmus
Florian
Gratus of Aosta
Henry of Upsalla
Hermengild
Jodocus
Our Lady of Zapopan
Scholastica
Thomas Aquinas
Urban of Langres
Vitus
Walburga

but as we in the southern caribbean are pounded by Tropical Storm Tomas here is a prayer for protection.

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. +
God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ was born of a Virgin.+
Christ suffered.+
Christ was crucified.+
Christ died.+
Christ rose from the dead.+
Christ ascended into Heaven. +
Christ conquers. +
Christ reigns. +
Christ orders. +

May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.+
Christ went through their midst in Peace, +
and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ is with us with Mary. +
Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the
Generation of Juda, the Root of David, has won. +

Holy God! + Holy Powerful God! + Holy Immortal God! +
Have mercy on us.

Amen.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The modern Caribbean funeral service

Two weeks ago I attended the funeral of a lifelong committed Catholic. She lived alone and it would seem that the body was claimed by someone who was not Catholic. I was quite surprised to see a preacher of some sort conducting the funeral service which was held at the St James crematorium.

It is interesting to note that sometimes these preachers borrow from Catholic Traditions. We also borrow from their traditions. A eulogy is common now at Catholic Funerals. It is not a Catholic thing and so when it is allowed it is done before the Funeral Mass.

The Vatican published the revised Order of Christian Funerals (OCF) for the United States in 1989. The prohibition of eulogies at Catholic funerals was restated. "A brief homily based on the readings should always be given at the funeral liturgy, but never any kind of eulogy. “

The focus of the Mass is God, not the deceased. We pray to the Father, through the son with the Spirit. We ask for the intercession of the Saints and pray for our loved one who has left the Church Militant (Earth) and is either a part of the Church Suffering (purgatory) or the Church Triumphant (Heaven). Remember we are all ONE body no matter where we are, and as one body we give praise to God.

In Australia the Funeral Mass has gotten out of hand. It is said that many people have DVD presentations. The new funeral term is “Celebration of life” and included is a proliferation of secular (even club) music.

Well, all this has angered the Archbishop of Melbourne Australia, Denis Hart, who declared last month that “A funeral should not be a "celebration" of the deceased's life, but instead a final sacred farewell. Celebrations of that life should be held at social occasions before or after the funeral.”

All this feel good stuff takes away from the real business of Praying for the Dead. The church believes it is so important we have a month dedicated to praying for the dead: November. Wouldn’t you want to be prayed for when you die?

Archbishop Hart said that "The wishes of the deceased, family and friends should be taken into account ... but in planning the liturgy, the celebrant should moderate any tendency to turn the funeral into a secular celebration of the life of the deceased," the guidelines state. Secular items are never to be sung or played at a Catholic funeral, such as romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political songs or even football club songs."

The Catholic church has been infiltrated by non-catholic songs that we have made our own. Included in this is “Amazing Grace”, another popular funeral song. In the song it says “how precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed” but Grace is given freely by God to everyone, not just those who believe. The song does not express Catholic teaching. For my part I already have a song chosen for my funeral and I cannot think of a more beautiful and profound song than “Softly and Tenderly (Jesus is calling… come home)”

As I sat there in the crematorium I thought, well, there are many ways to give someone a good sendoff. Maybe it’s not the Catholic way, but I have no doubt that Jesus said to her, “Well done, good and faithful servant, Welcome home!”

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Give to the Archbishop Appeal Fund.




There has been requests on how to give to the Archbishop Appeal Fund - below are the contacts and the banks. Please note these accounts are the bank account numbers for the archdiocese not the Caribbean Catholic. Verify this by checking on the link:
rcposappeal.org



WAYS TO GIVE

You may give a gift of cash or cheque. You may make a donation by direct deposit or online deposit, by debit transactions and by monthly instalments after making a pledge.

A gift by cheque should be made payable to:

‘RC ABP POS/ Archbishop’s Appeal’
The Chancery
Archbishop’s House
27 Maraval Road
Port of Spain
Direct Deposit

Republic Bank Limited
RC ABP POS/Archbishop's Appeal
Ellerslie Court
3400 0076 8901

Scotia Bank Limited
RC Archbishop of POS/Archbishop's Appeal
Richmond St
1203181

RBTT Bank Limited
RC ABP POS/Archbishop's Appeal
Independence Square
11000 00006 66705

First Citizens Bank Ltd
R C ABP POS / Archbishop's Appeal
Maraval Road
1877233

Online Deposit
Visit Website: www.republictt.com
Transfer funds to account listed above
(Internal Banking Access/ Service and ID Secure Card required)

Debit Transactions
Facility available at the Finance Office in the Chancery

Archbishop’s Appeal Envelopes
Envelopes available at parishes and the Finance Office in the Chancery


CONTACTS

Appeal Office, The Chancery
27 Maraval Road
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

E-mail: appealfund@rcpos.org
Telephone: (868) 622-2691
Fax: (868) 622-8372

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bible.com Inc: a potential goldmine... or maybe not

Oh man. Bible.com is being sued by an investor for not being profitable enough.

James Solakian, a shareholder of Bible.com Inc sued the company's board members, accusing the ordained ministers of failing to profit from the potential windfall. It seems that the directors refused to sell the domain for the 100 million dollars that they could make from the sale. He says they mismanaged the site and that there was alot of profit potential.

So let me get this straight. This guy invested in a religious website and is angry because it is not profiting as it should. Has he thought about reading the bible. Maybe if he did, he might read a few things about greed.

God enlighten him.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Archbishop appeal fund video - Port of Spain Archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Port of Spain has launched the Archbishops Appeal to renovate churches in urgent need of repair in the Archdiocese. Here is the Video presentation:

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The one Leper

We ask God for so much. For his part, he gives us a lot. Sometimes we thank him, sometimes we don’t. I want to be like the one leper in today’s Gospel who turns back to thank Jesus. So I will begin, and maybe you can continue on you own.

Thank you Lord for the situations that cause me embarrassment. I asked for humility and you provide the opportunity.

Thank you Lord for the non-believers who constantly attack my faith. I asked for a strengthening of my faith. To answer these people, I had to learn what the truth is, and now I am firm in my belief.

Thank you Lord for those who attack family life. I asked for a family and you provided one. Now you have shown me how to appreciate and love this family.

Thank you for my diabetes. I prayed everyday for good health. Now, I have to pay special attention to diet and exercise – things that will make and keep me healthier.

Thank you for my friends and family who have gone to join you. I prayed that I might not stray from you. The memory of their passing is a constant reminder that I too will pass from this world and that I need to be prepared always, just in case you call.

Thank you for the community at the Cathedral. I asked for an opportunity to serve, and you showed me a way through the “Light of the Immaculata”

Lord, thank you for all that I am, for I owe it all to you.



Gospel Reading...

"On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee.

As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!'

When Jesus saw them, he said to them, 'Go and show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.

Then Jesus asked, 'Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?

Then Jesus said to the Samaritan, "get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well." [Lk. 17:11-19]

Saturday, 9 October 2010

It's only a tiny Rosebud


A newly ordained priest was walking with an older, wiser Priest in a garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what God had in store for him, the younger asked the older for some advice.

The older priest walked up to a rosebush and handed the younger a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. "What does this have to do with anything" he thought to himself, still out of respect for the older man he tried but soon he realised he could not achieve what was asked of him.

Noticing the younger priests inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older preacher began to recite the following poem...


"It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine."

"The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
God opens this flower so easily,
But in my hands they die."

"If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?"

"So I'll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance
In each step of the way."

"The path that lies before me,
Only my Good Lord knows.
I'll trust God to unfold the moments,
As He unfolds this rose."

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Divine Praises

To honour the feast of Saint Francis I wish to offer the "The Divine Praises" of
The Saint, Francis of Assisi:

You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and Your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love. You are wisdom.
You are humility. You are endurance.
You are rest. You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage. You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Saviour.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Know the Mustard Seed




My atheist friend often tells me that he does not operate in the realm of “belief”. He operates in the realm of “know”. Anyone coming to him to discuss meta-physics must walk with proven facts. He would not accept anything unless it could be proven and once he accepts it, he now knows this to be “fact”.

I have seen all sorts of documentaries proving and then disproving many phenomena. Scientist look for reasons. Sometimes they find something, sometimes they say it is out of the realms of modern science: that is to say that with the current knowledge of science it cannot be proven.

With all this proving and disproving sometimes we are not sure what to believe. I am reminded of the French philosopher Descartes who says that all the senses can be fooled, so how do we know that we are in fact alive, or even human? The answer he came up with is “I think, therefore I am.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is saying, don’t just think, don’t just believe, know. Have faith. Know your God wants what is good for you. Know that you are blessed and highly favoured. Know that all is possible with the power of the Holy Spirit. Know that even plants will obey the instruction they are given. Know. Know. Know.

Isn’t it incredible that an atheist can know, and be wrong because he lacks the truth, and many of us who have that truth do not “Know” it.

Lord, send your spirit upon us that we may never lack faith.

Guardian Angels