Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Breaking Down the Pope's Encyclical Laudato Si' Prayer Day for All of Ceation

September 1 Prayer Day for Creation

Breaking Down the Pope's Encyclical


It's an encyclical the Pope describes as both dramatic and cheerful. The document titled 'Laudato Si' or Praise be to You, calls on Christians to care for Creation and not ignore the wounds of Mother Nature.

The Pope describes with great clarity what many scientific experts already agree on, including: 

-Pollution that leads to premature deaths. 
-Global warming, which goes hand in hand with increasing sea levels and other extreme weather conditions. 
-The marginalized, have less and less access to drinkable water. 
-The disappearance of crops and animals that are essential for the survival of many. 

These points, writes the Pope, are at least in part caused by the actions of mankind, so we should act.

"It is not just enough to say: "Well, let's go ahead and make sure that it's true before saying something about it. You can't do this that way, because maybe it will be too late. So if there is a good probability that we could be doing serious irreparable damage to the atmosphere and to the world, it is up to us to make sure that we stop it in time.”

The Pope also says that the problem is not an environmental one, but by and large and ethical issue. He speaks out against companies that increase pollution and contamination in third world countries, because the actions they carry wouldn't be approved in developed nations. 

Case in point: The Amazon. 

Executive Secretary, Red Eclesial Panamazónica
"Communities that show us how to look at life differently through a unique perspective are being displaced. Many of them are not only losing their land...they are also losing their identity.” 

The encyclical has triggered controversy even before its publication, especially in the U.S where climate change is still highly debated. 

In the document, the Pope laments that efforts to improve conditions and care for Mother Nature usually die out, because of lack of interest. 

He speaks out against "obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, that can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions.”

He calls on Christians to embrace a so called 'ecological conversion' so live out 'our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork.” Something that's not optional or secondary. 

He also addresses environmental activists. He  calls on them to not fall into contradiction. He states "when we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself.”

The encyclical challenges not just politicians, but every day Christians. Because the problem is an ethical issue, the solution, he writes, needs to include an inner reflection. The Pope recommends admiring nature and all its splendor and greatness. To sit back and admire its power, instead of acting like consumers who only want immediate profit. 

June 17, 2015 
"I ask you to be responsible with the mission God entrusted to mankind with Creation. To cultivate it and care for the garden in which He has placed us.” 

The Pope writes, "The effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now.” One doesn't need to be the head of a company to make changes. Average people can help mother nature as well. 

Therefore, it proposes to change lifestyles through small everyday gestures:

-Separate Garbage
-Put on a sweater  instead of turning up the heat. 

Even though some believed before reading the Pope's analysis that it wouldn't be 100 percent accurate, ignoring the current state of mother nature, could prove to be a lot more dangerous. 

- BN

523 4311

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sunday August 28 Readings for Sunday


by achristianpilgrim
(A biblical reflection on the 22nd Ordinary Sunday [Year C] – 28 August 2016) 
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1.7-14 
First Reading: Sirach 3:17-18.20.28-29; Psalms: Psalm 68:4-7.10-11; Second Reading: Hebrews 12:18-19.22-24 
jesus_christ_picture_013Scripture Text
One Sabbath when He went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged the Pharisees, they were watching Him.
Now He told a parable to those who were invited, when He marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host come he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:1.7-14 RSV) 
A precise seating arrangement is something we would reserve for only the most formal dinners, but at the time of Jesus it was almost a part of daily routine. To receive a place of honor at the dinner table was for them a mark of great personal distinction. Everyone hoped to be given the highest place possible. Jesus neither approved nor condemned the social etiquette of His day, but He took the occasion of this dinner to teach an important lesson: pride has no plac in the Kingdom of God. Humility is necessary if we wish to be pleasing to God and to be accepted into His Kingdom. This humility taught by Jesus is one of the characteristics of the saints.
Saints are, of course, extraordinary people, but one of the most extraordinary things about them is their humility. Frankly, their humility at times seems to border on the unreal. Take St. Paul the Apostle, for example. His writings make up a large portion of the New Testament, and we frequently hear his letters read at Mass. Paul was indeed a great man, full of love for Christ and his fellow human beings, a man of wisdom and zeal. And yet he spoke of himself as the worst sinners (1Tim 1:15). See the two famous saints, St. Francis of Assisi [1181-1226] and St. Vincent de Paul [1581-1660]. Each of them spent a life time in the service of others. Each of them referred to himself as “a miserable wretch”. Paul and these two saints are but three examples among many.
The reason the saints could sincerely feel such deep humility was that they compared themselves with God, and not with their fellow men. Their faults, their failures, their weaknesses were manifestly clear to themselves in the brilliant light of God’s perfection. If we could only learn to compare ourselves with God, how could we feel anything but humility?
Pride comes from a false point of comparison. These days, it is commonplace to read in the papers or hear on television about people whose lack of morals is notorious. It is easy to feel pretty proud of ourselves in comparison with this type of person. The comparison makes us feel complacent, and the desire for such a comfortable feeling is behind a lot of prejudice, racial and otherwise. Looking down on others gives us a sense of personal elevation. If we live among giants, we are just small creatures, but if we could manage to live among pygmies, we would think of ourselves as giants.
A pride that is produced by comparing ourselves with despicable people, or with people that we may consider as despicable, is condemned by Jesus. The complacency it begets inhibits our spiritual growth, and even from a natural point of view puts us in an unhealthy state of mind. God’s own perfection is the ideal toward which we must strive. We will never reach this ideal – but keeping the ideal, this proper perspective on life, should be a healthy incentive to keep on trying to improve ourselves. By our own unaided powers, we cannot even begin to be more God-like.
The saints in their humility were profound realists. Because of their humility, God has exalted them in His heavenly Kingdom. We too, with God’s help, must work toward that same exaltation by trying to practice the humility taught us by Jesus today.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Almighty ever-living God, You have given us a high goal: Your own holiness. Of ourselves we can do nothing. Only You can help us. Please give us the help we need to better ourselves. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 26 August 2016 
A Christian Pilgrim 
achristianpilgrim | August 27, 2016 at 4:17

Saturday August 27 Feast of Saint Monica


by achristianpilgrim
St. Monica was born at Thagaste in Africa of a Christian family about the year 331. While still young she was married to Patricius and had children, one of whom was Augustine. She was unceasing in her prayers to God for his conversion and shed many tears for him. She strengthened her faith by her prayer and was outstanding in virtue, a wonderful example of a Christian mother. She died at Ostia in the year 387.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, comforter of the sorrowful, You accepted Saint Monica's offering of tears for the conversion of her son, Augustine. Help us, by their intercession, to be truly contrite for our sins so that we may receive the grace of Your forgiveness. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 27 August 2016
A Christian Pilgrim
achristianpilgrim | August 27, 2016 at 12:06 am | Tags: ST. MONICATHE MOTHER OF ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO | Categories: SAINTS WE LOVE | URL:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunday August 21 Scripture Readings for Sunday

New post on CNS Blog

Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 21, 2016

by Administrator1
"I come to gather nations of every language." -- Isaiah 66:18a
"I come to gather nations of every language." -- Isaiah 66:18a

Aug. 21, Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time
      Cycle C. Readings:
      1) Isaiah 66:18-21
      Psalm 117:1-2
      2) Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
      Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service
The final part of the Gospel for this week speaks of an event many of us are looking forward to with eagerness. Jesus says, "And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."
Having lived a pretty privileged first-world life, I'm not looking to rise in the rankings in the kingdom of God. But it has also been my privilege to know many people -- despised because of their poverty and their lack of education -- who will.
My wife has the added privilege of working with the poor in the form of refugees and immigrants who have literally come from the east and the west, the north and the south: from Africa, Asia and from all of Latin America.
They come here with hope and a vision to achieve a new life free from fear and free to earn a living that will sustain them and their families.
Though not all are virtuous to a fault, most of them have grown up in families where they were nurtured and protected. However, some fight against deeply dysfunctional family dynamics that caused them to live on the streets in their home countries. But they do fight their circumstances, and my wife and her co-workers at her school assist them, offering them a hand up through education, kindness, empathy and simply the presence of a listening ear.
Many, though not all, are believers. Some follow the Hindu and Muslim faiths.
Many of them will someday be among those our Savior greets in eternity in the kingdom of God, where, having experienced life in this world among "the last," they will everlastingly experience life in the kingdom among "the first" as they recline at the table with our Lord.
Who do you know whose lives in this world would put them in the category of "the last"? In what way are you looking forward to seeing them experience life among "the first" in the kingdom?
Administrator1 | August 19, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Categories: CNS | URL:
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August 7th Visitors, Friar Murray Bodo and Father John Gallagher

Friar Murray Bodo , author and friend of our Monastery visited us before going on to lead a pilgrimage in Assisi, Italy.
His latest book is on the video below.  
Murray has written  many books, some of which are displayed below.

Title: Tales of St. Francis: Ancient Stories for Contemporary Living, Author: Murray Bodo Title: Francis: The Journey and the Dream, Author: Murray Bodo O.F.M.Mystics: 10 Who Show Us the Ways of God by  Murray Bodo O.F.M. - Paperback - 2007-09-17 - from Basement Seller 101 and 
Some of Friar Murray's Books
Sister Fran, Friar Murray and Sister Etta

Our prayers are with Murray in his ministry.

Our new prospect, Tracy from Maine, Father John Gallagher and Sister Etta

Our friend Father John Gallagher came the same day as Murray. John celebrated Mass for us and his good friend, Connie Walker, was able to attend.  John is a member of the Redemptorist Community
and is a missionary in Brazil to those men who are addicted to drugs.  
We have known John since John was in high school.
Our prayers are with him in his ministry. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sunday August 7 Readings of Scripture



by achristianpilgrim
(A biblical reflection on the 19th ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR C], 7 August 2016) 
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-48 (Luke 12:35-40) 
First Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalms: Psalm 33:1.12,18-19.20.22; Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2.8-19 (Heb 11:1-2,8-19) 
KESIAPSIAGAAN - LUK 12 35-40Scripture Text
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
“Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the house-holder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Peter said, “Lord, are You telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servants says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:32-48) 
Intimate communion with the Creator of the universe – This is the profound joy that we can look forward to when Jesus comes again. And, it is a joy we can begin to experience right here and now. Communion with God is meant to be our inexhaustible treasure, and Jesus wants our lives to be filled with this measure rather than with worries about earthly riches (Luke 12:33-34).
Jesus’ words to His disciples make it clear that if we store up for ourselves heavenly treasures, we will never be disappointed. Unlike earthly possessions, the riches of life with God can neither be stolen nor destroyed. Quite the contrary. They can only grow and deepen as we give more and more of our hearts to Jesus.
How do we store up the treasures of God’s Kingdom? By daily surrendering our lives to the Lord in prayer, reading His word, and receiving the sacraments. All of these are means of cooperating with the riches of God’s grace. Jesus also taught that using our earthly resources for the good of others is a very important way that we can shift our hearts’ focus from life in this world to the promise of life in the Kingdom of God (Luke 12:42-46).
My dear Sisters and Brothers, God Himself wants to serve us! Can we give Him the chance to show us how deeply He cherishes us? He wants to do so much for us, yet our lack of faith keeps us from receiving His blessing.
Through repentance, as we allow God to wash us clean, we can receive the treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us, then, be doers of the word of God, not just hearers (James 1:22). Let us draw close to Jesus at Mass and ask His Spirit to guide us and fill us with His treasures this week.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You promise immense blessings for Your people. Thank You for offering us to share Your life, Your Kingdom, with us. What could be a greater treasure? Help us let go of everything that keeps us from You. May we always be open to receive Your good gifts. Amen.
Jakarta, 5 August 2016 
A Christian Pilgrim 
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