Friday, May 18, 2007

Congratulations, Mayor Comer!!

1) Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!!

2) Congratulations to Theresa Comer, a SAA parishioner, who was recently named mayor of a nearby town. If you see Theresa around the parish, please wish her congrats, and be sure to ask her which town she now runs!
I am regularly edified by comments of our bloggers. Here are some recent comments that show, thanks be to God, the conversions of heart that are taking place in our midst as well as the deep, spiritual insights of bloggers. God is good!

“I have been going to Mass more regularly every weekend and I feel a conversion process within my heart. I am becoming a more responsible Catholic and it feels great!”

“I met a nice lady in a class I am taking who told me she became Catholic 9 years ago because her son at 15 decided he wanted to be part of the ‘true religion’. She went to say she will never forget the wonderful feeling of being baptized. Although this wonderful event happened 9 years ago she had so much excitement when telling me the story. Her husband who at first didn't like anything about the mass he had attended now only has converted but is more devoted to his new faith than anyone else!”

“In that we are all made in His image and likeness, you are in fact closer to God than you may realize. If your friends are listening and responding, God is listening and responding. If your friends are offering words of advice and encouragement, and lending their support, that is God working through them in your life. When you ‘see and touch’ those human beings, you are looking at the face of God and touching Him.”

“Went to an amazing talk and healing Mass at my parish!!!!”

“I made a decision a few years ago to refrain from participation with gossip. I do not gossip about others, and I do not listen to others doing it. I frequently excuse myself from someone or some group who is engaged in talking about someone else. It isn't because I am "shocked" or "appauled" by their behavior. Rather, I walk away because I know how easy it is to get embroiled in it. It's tempting to momentarily feel good about myself by looking down on the actions of someone else. That definately distracts me from becoming the person I want to be.”

“Okay this is it-another 3 more days and I commit myself to a Franciscan lay order… this is so exciting!! I wonder what major changes I will have to do with my life. Whatever it is bring it on I CAN handle it!!”

“Can you give more detail as to the who & when for confession schedule. It's been about 20 yrs since I've made confession…”


At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When people say things on this blog that are not so positive -- that receiving the sacraments and praying leaves them feelng empty and unmoved, they are generally chided and told that it's not about their feelings. But the positive comments are full of language like "it feels so good" "confession brings me peace" "I felt one with God" "going to Adoration makes me feel grounded." These comments are hailed but they are largely expressions of feelings too. I do not think you can separate religous experience from emotional/psychological experience. Why do most people resist that notion? One possible reason that comes to mind is that if religious experience is a function of our psychology and/or emotions, that comes dangerously close to saying that there is no external truth involved in our religion. It's a depressing thought but I go there a lot.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am regularly edified by comments of our bloggers. Here are some recent comments that show, thanks be to God, the conversions of heart that are taking place in our midst as well as the deep, spiritual insights of bloggers. God is good!"

Hey, I made a few of those comments!
Thanks for posting them!

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous mindy said...

Wow- the many hats of Mrs. Comer! Bingo lady, substitute teacher extrodinare, mega mom, volunteer of the century and now elected official!!! I am truly impressed, but did you ever figure out where to put the holy water?!!!

To the anon-
Good feelings are a nice result of receiving the sacraments, but, at least from what I understood/remember from other postings, good feelings aren't the intention for them. For example, if you had cancer, chemo/radiation would be part of the proticol to irradicate the growing cancer. The treatments might not be enjoyable- far from it- but they are neccessary for healing. Imagine a cancer patient going through all that pain/sickness and then sitting down w/the doctors to receive a clean bill of health. I look at the sacraments like that- neccessary for my own clean bill of spiritual health. Sometimes I've been "moved" but many other times not- to me "that" really isn't the point. The point is that it's what's neccesary for me. In another week or so, I'll actually be receiving another sacrament for the first time, and, unexpectedly, I'm really excited about it. I thought it would be something I would just "do", but now I'm greatly looking forward to the experience of it- the "good feelings" here are definately a bonus!

To FG-
I wish you'd post your homily from today- I missed most of it (I try to be on time, but...), and I thought the part I heard about joy was well worth repeating. It's so easy to get caught up in "suffering" that sometimes, sadly, it can be easy to forget that "joy" is also present in our lives. I would've like to have heard the rest, and tonight (with so many great kids and, hopefully, a well played game) I will endeavor to be "joyful".

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said...

Anon # 1, you make an interesting point, but I don't think you're being fair with regards to today's post. The one comment that included a "feeling" - which was not the focus of the comment, btw -was referring to a general feeling about living the Catholic faith more responsibly. That's different from specific experiences within the Catholic faith where people focus primarily on their "feelings" - going to Mass or Confession, e.g.

That's the other difference, and it's what Mindy already said: the focus of the Anon's comments was conversion. If there's a good feeling with that, great. Bonus! But, I want to change my heart for the sake of Christ, not for the sake of the feeling it gives me. I have seen and heard too many people who focus on their feelings so much that they dismiss things like Mass or Confession because of the way they make them feel.

I will grant you that there are some people who are "fair-weather" followers of Christ; they are with him when it feels good, and are gone the moment it hurts. But, that is not true discipleship, and not something that I would ever laud.

My focus with the post was to present positive and inspiring comments from bloggers, with a main emphasis on conversion. Having read your comment, though, I will be on the lookout for future comments that might focus on the "feelings" aspect of religious experience too much. So, thanks.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger fran said...

Years ago, while I was still attending Mass with my parents, my father would say "You only get out of Mass, what you put into it." (I don't recall why he said this exactly, but anyway.....)

That saying didn't make much sense to me then, as I could not understand how I was supposed to put something "into" the Mass. I was the one in the pew, listening, responding, kneeling, standing - all of the things you do, perhaps sometimes in a rote fashion. The priest was the one doing eveything. What could I possibly "put into" the Mass?

It was when I began to listen more intently and draw meaning from the words to which I was listening, as well as responding and praying with more thought to the words I was saying; putting myself mentally into the Mass, that it began to make sense.

When I began to apply what I had heard to my daily life, it became clearer still.

To this day, I try to find something that will remain with me when I leave the church, by putting myself into the Mass. It used to take some effort, now it is quite easy. It often seems as though the words being spoken in the gospel or the homily were meant just for me. Of course, I know this is not so, as what is being said applies to so many others.

To those who feel they are being chided here, I hope you will begin to see that the words written by others are meant not to chide, but to encourage, support and offer a different perspective.

I read something recently, that said so many of us like to "marinate" in our feelings. (my sister and I prefer the word "wallow." :) )

Some will say, they are entitled to their feelings, but life is too short to spend it wallowing, or marinating; waiting for some feeling to dissipate or in anticipation of some feeling yet to be.

If we can get out of our own feelings and begin to "put" ourselves "into" a Christ centered life, those feelings won't matter so much. We won't be waiting for those feelings any longer, we will be living them.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I have sometimes put 'not so positive' comments on this blog... as you could say I am flailing away on the edges of the church. But I haven't felt 'chided'. People have sometimes suggested what they have felt helpful, or where I could try next, but nobody has attacked me. It is interesting that this is one of the blogs I read most often, mostly because people are genuinely sharing their faith. I don't know if I will actually ever 'return' to Church, but I appreciate the genuine expressions of faith in a lot of what I read here.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" my father would say "You only get out of Mass, what you put into it."


Your father was a very wise man. :)

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If God does something you don't understand should you should just accept it?

At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One possible reason that comes to mind is that if religious experience is a function of our psychology and/or emotions, that comes dangerously close to saying that there is no external truth involved in our religion. It's a depressing thought but I go there a lot."

Anon, it is great that you are very honest on this site. I have been thinking about your comment above. If we believe that we are made in the likeness/image of God, then our feelings are a huge God given part of us. Jesus experienced all of our feelings and emotions while He walked the earth. What really comes to mind is when He said, "My God, My God, why have you foresaken me?" Also the agony in the garden comes to mind. Was he not experiencing an intense loneliness and abandonment? He experienced EVERY human emotion/feeling while on earth. Yet he exhorted the apostles to go forth and spread the faith. He sent the Holy Spirit to enable the apostles to carry out their vocations (our first priests). This faith has survived and flourished for over 2000 years.

Also, there is a huge difference between God's love and human love. I think of the people closest to me and who love me the most. Yes, their love is full and real. I reciprocate this human love.

The love of Christ is so overwhelming and can not even be compared to human love. I am a cradle Catholic and have always sought to live the faith. However, over many years and through much suffering in recent years, I was brought to my knees. God chose to pour His love and consolation out on me in a time of extreme personal tragedy/loss. I am unable to find words in the English language or the human experience to describe His love. This is another way that Jesus is showing me how His love is supernatural. I have not been able to say this all of my life. Life is a journey. It is not all roses. As they say, make God laugh, plan your life.

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As they say, make God laugh, plan your life."


At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry that I provoked people with my question yesterday. I had a question that I did not express well. Sorry.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is great when someone's question creates many responses. It does not seem that any one was provoked by any question. It seems the questions have created inspiring responses and discussion!

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

You could be speaking for me, minus the dad speak. Actually, including the dad speak, for, basically, it was that lesson that Fr. Mike conveyed to me at a First Communion prep mtg last year. I thought- okay, I'll be "present" not just be "there", and that's when I started having some of the experiences you described. At times, I'm am absolutely amazed at how perfectly the gospel could be read for me alone. Often, I have a hard time looking at the priests when they deliver the homily, for, sometimes, it's like they're talking directly to me too. I have begun to look forward to Mass-something I would've told you was impossible several years ago. After many days of not going, It's like I'm missing something, or, really, someone.

I, too, prefer the word "marinate"-as it doesn't sound quite as pathetic a "wallowing"- although, were I honest- "wallow" probably fits me best. I can be rather pathetic. Thanks for reminding me that I can make the choice NOT to do it.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger fran said...

To: "I'm very sorry that I provoked

I like to think of this as a "full service blogsite," which offers hope, words of wisdom and insight, a variety of perspectives, which always give me pause for thought, and even the occasional automotive care tips! (see previous posts)

Wouldn't it be boring if we all saw things the same way? There would be no discussion at all. We would all be sitting at our computers saying, " I agree." Pretty dull!

It is good to dialogue with one another, sharing our experiences, doubts, struggles, etc. Doing so will reshape and broaden our thinking, with an outcome which will ultimately bring us closer to God.


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