Monday, March 12, 2007

God is our refuge

The following are excerpts from the treatise on Flight from the World by St. Ambrose, bishop (and from the Office of readings from Saturday):

“We have died with Christ. We carry about in our bodies the sign of his death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us. The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ: a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue. We have risen with Christ. Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge from this world. You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body. You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord. Your soul must hold fast to him, you must follow after him in your thoughts, you must tread his ways by faith, not in outward show. You must take refuge in him. He is your refuge and your strength. David addresses him in these words: I fled to you for refuge, and I was not disappointed.

Since God is our refuge, God who is in heaven and above the heavens, we must take refuge from this world in that place where there is peace, where there is rest from toil, where we can celebrate the great Sabbath, as Moses said: The Sabbaths of the land will provide you with food. To rest in the Lord and to see his joy is like a banquet, and full of gladness and tranquility.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters. Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain. What is that fountain? Listen to David: With you is the fountain of life. Let my soul say to this fountain: When shall I come and see you face to face? For the fountain is God himself.”

18 Comments:

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible for someone to be psychologically, innately incapable of accepting the religious truths discussed here and generally believed by Catholics? Think about this: Some people think so logically and so concretely that they have no aptitude to grasp the things that are at the core of Catholic doctrine: that a man rose from the dead for the sins of humankind; that Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit; that God is present at all in our lives, to name a few. This takes believing in the supernatural, in the divine. Some people simply are not wired in such a way that they could ever ever accept that. Am I just describing agnostics?

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In answer to your first question, No, it is not possible. In answer to your last question, Yes, you're describing an agnostic.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should a priest, or anyone for that matter, thank parents, or say how much you appreciate the fact that the parents brought their child to Friday night Adoration? These parents are only doing what they SHOULD be doing. Do we thank people for stopping a car at a STOP sign, or at a red light? No, we don't - because this is what a driver should do. Why thank parents and make an issue of something that should be a part of parenting - RELIGIOUS PARTICIPATION AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION?

 
At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Kat said...

Anon;

Yes religious education is the responsabilities of the parents to give to thier children, but Adoration is a devotion not a requirement of practicing the faith like say Confession or attending Mass. Should parents expose thier children to things like Adoration? Yes. But manytimes parents need to learn about these things and experiance them as well and we all need encouragement in our daily lives, so maybe Fr. Greg saying that he is appreciatave of the parents bringing thier kids and thanking them for coming will give them encouragement to come again to adoration and will plant a seed in the kid's head for the future.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger fran said...

As a parishioner at St. Andrew Apostle, for the past eleven years, I can attest to the fact that the parish has "come alive" since Msgr Mellone and Fr. Greg have been installed there. Are they doing what they should be doing, fulfilling their vocations as they are called to do?...doing what God expects of them? They most certainly are. For this I say a resounding THANK YOU!

 
At 2:41 PM, Anonymous kelly said...

Jesus Welcomes The Children

And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
The words of Jesus...........he did not mention "only the well behaved ones." He rebuked adults who kept them away. Please do not forget that this may be the parents first experience of adoration. They will teach their children and prepare them for their next visit to adoration.

Yes, priests are called to encourage the children to come to Jesus. If the parents are not encouraged & informed, how will the little children get there?

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said...

In addition to what Kat wrote, there was a fair amount of coordination and organization on the part of the parents. One parent personally invited all the others, and put much time into making an attractive invitation. Another family hosted a dinner for the kids and their parents (about 70) at their home before Adoration.

I have not seen or heard of this kind of event in any parish I've been in (and I've been in a bunch), much less for eight year olds. And, as far as I know, it has never occurred at St. Andrew's. One of the hopes is that it will lead other parents and kids from the school to organize a similar night.

So, when I thanked the parents, it was not just for bringing their kids to Adoration. It was saying thanks to the parent who invited all the others (I wouldn't have done so publicly), to the parents who hosted the dinner, and to the parents who brought their 8 year old children to pray for 45 minutes on a Friday night.

I said thanks for an extraordinary effort. In a perfect Catholic world, this would be an ordinary event, and I wouldn't have said anything Friday night. But, this was an extraordinary effort by the parents and kids, and should be commended!

 
At 3:26 PM, Anonymous HSPrincess said...

I have a friend who was raised Protestant, but has converted to Catholicism by seeing the truths that our Faith has and the lies that Protestantism has. He wants to be baptized into the church and recieve our Lord, but his parents won't let him (he's 17 yrs old). What should he do? I feel so bad for him...

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

I am one of the parents who attented both the dinner and the Adoration. Several of the parents bringing their children had never been to Adoration themselves, and many to acknowledged their unease in attending something unknown and new to them. They were there because they wanted something more for their children, an even greater connection with Christ, and I think that is commendable in any realm. Bravo to Fr. greg for acknowledging their efforts. We all have responsibilities in raising the next generation. Some go above and beyond, and some will go above and beyond with just a bit of encouragement. Rather than saying, "they SHOULD do that", how about saying "how great that they did what we are called to do"? Our kids are our hope for our future, and encouraging our parents to raise them in the best possible way is ALL of our responsibilities-not just our priests.

 
At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the first anon who asked about agnosticism. I think I agree with what you are saying (if I understand it)-- many agnostics are agnostics and it is out of their control. They do not choose it.

 
At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Night Owll said...

I know someone who was an atheist and now she is an agnostic. Isn't that a step closer to god-kind of sort of?

 
At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Night Owll said...

I know someone who was an atheist and now she is an agnostic. Isn't that a step closer to god-kind of sort of?

 
At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't know that being agnostic was out of someone's control. Can you point me to the source that states such a fact? I'm very curious about that.

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger fran said...

John 20:24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

It seems highly unlikely that God would create any of us as innately incapable of accepting Him.

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger fran said...

I would like to amend my last post... it should read, It is not possible that God would create any of us to be innately incapable of accepting Him.

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas didn't accept it on faith alone. He needed physical proof. And got it.

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger fran said...

Exactly! And that proof, serves as our proof today.

 
At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is our refuge. In Him we move and have our being. I have been and still am experiencing tragedies, death of loved ones, immediate family members leaving the faith... a recent diagnosis of my father's terminal illness, family fighting in Iraq........ I am sure many who read this blog site have suffered or suffer much. One day I was praying and was able to imagine walking hand in hand with Jesus. He walks with me hand in hand throughout every minute of every day. I love this post because Jesus is my refuge throughout every minute, every day.

 

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