Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday's Gospel

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

2) Parish carnival, Saturday (5/12), starting at 10 am.

I am in Pennsylvania to officiate a wedding on Saturday. The following is the Gospel from today's Mass; another powerful passage from John 15!!

Gospel - Jn 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples:“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.No one has greater love than this,to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.You are my friends if you do what I command you.I no longer call you slaves,because a slave does not know what his master is doing.I have called you friends,because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.It was not you who chose me, but I who chose youand appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.This I command you: love one another.”


At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny to awake to this reading, as last night was rather brutal in regard to someone's perception about how I am as a friend. I didn't want to do something with a big group of people (it was an birthday party for me). In my refusal to allow this thing to take place, some rather harsh things were said to me, not untrue, just harsh. I was called selfish- something NO ONE has called before. I was quick to rebut w/citations of all the things I've done for that person in particular, followed by my general list of good deeds, my nice qualities, well- you get the picture. I was told that all those things were nice and pleasant, but not really generous, for I always withheld one thing- me. This person bluntly told me that I'm quick to give in action but I don't give "myself" to anyone. The worst- it's true. I went to bed hurt and confused about how I became this person, not knowing how to change, and, basically, just feeling awful. So, I get up to a reading about loving others, giving your "life" for friends. I get the message, but don't know how to change. I want others to understand what's in my heart about them, but I have such a hard time letting it show. How do you go about giving of yourself when you kind of think you've lost yourself?

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe your friend is hurt because he or she is trying to give you a gift. The gift of a birthday party - to celebrate YOU. It sounds like your friend is hurt because you are not receiving his or her gift.

It sounds like you give of your self and possibly you need to learn the art of receiving. The best way to reconnect is to be surrounded by your friends who love you! Happy Birthday!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger fran said...

Okay, I am going to go out on a limb here,........but realize that I am writing with love, compassion and concern for all fellow bloggers who are searching for a deeper faith, struggling to come back to the Church, healing from a past hurt, trying to find themselves, or just trying to be and even better person than they already are.

I watched bits and pieces of a program this morning paying tribute to extraordinary women - moms. There were two women in particular who, in my opinion, are living saints.

One is a single woman who has adopted EIGHT children with special needs; one is blind, one has cerebral palsy, one appeared to be autistic and I cannot remember the other medical conditions of the others. She is caring for these children on her own and does not seek the help of others.

The other was a woman who lost her husband and her sister over a short period of time, and is now caring for her daughter who has MS. The daughter teaches in a private school,where the mom transports her every day. The mom is an aide in the classroom with her daughter. After a full day in the classroom, the mom brings the daughter home and continues her care. AND the mom has cancer.

These are remarkable stories of courage, faith, dedication, and self-lessness which remind me to take a look at my own life with a very different perspective. They are truly loving one another with little concern for themselves.

Yes, we all have our own stories - some bigger than others, some more devastating, but we all have something! These women chose to take that "something," put it aside and reach out to others even less fortunate than themselves.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that if we want true happiness we must get away from ourselves - put our own cross aside (and in some cases stop being our own cross!)and do for others. This act alone may be the one thing for which we constanly search, which may ultimately open our eyes to all of the goodness Christ desires for us.

"This I command you: Love One Another." Beautifully simple - Simply beautiful!

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"put our own cross aside (and in some cases stop being our own cross!)and do for others"

Hadn't really thought about being my own cross, but you're right. There are so many to look to as inspiration. Perhaps I shall try to do that more often.

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Marion (Mael Muire) said...

Dear Anonymous 7:34 AM,

I have been thinking about your questions throughout the afternoon.

Most of us have experienced times with a good friend who has gently and in private come alongside us and said, “you know what? Will you talk with me about something that’s bothering me? It’s actually something you’ve done that I have a problem with, and I’d like for us to talk together about it.” They pour their heart out to you, telling you how what you’ve done, or not done, has made them feel, and they express to you their eagerness to work with you to repair what is broken in the relationship.

That’s a genuine friend – caring, considerate, wanting to speak the truth in love. The things they say are intended to help you and help the relationship. They speak because they love you.

The doubts you express in your post reinforce for me the value of the good old-fashioned Catholic exercise of the Nightly Examination of Conscience. In that exercise, a Catholic, in a few quiet moments just before going to bed, will consciously sit in the Lord’s presence and ask to be shown the areas in which he or she has fallen short that day. Just for that day. Having noted her faults and sins, she asks God to inspire her and help her with grace to repent of these, to confess any serious sins soon, and to amend her life. She then makes a good Act of Contrition.

This is not so old-fashioned, after all, for it is making yourself available for Jesus who loves you so that He can tell you the exact same things a friend would tell you. The areas where you have damaged the relationship with Him, and what you need to do to make it right.

I suppose the person who does this every day is someone who gives herself a real advantage. Once the Nightly Examination of Conscience becomes a habit, and you are faithfully doing all you can to overcome your faults and sins, you can be confident that you’re right where you need to be in your walk with the Lord.

The story you told, Anonymous 7:34 AM, about your friend – that sounds like a very different sort of conversation. That sounded to me as if the person who spoke to you was disappointed that the event she had looked forward to wasn’t going to happen, and in frustration, she lashed out with name-calling (“selfish”), and accusations (“you don’t give yourself to anyone”) (whatever that means!) Name-calling and accusations certainly do have the power to hurt, as you yourself can testify – you mention that you later went to bed feeling hurt and confused and brooding about whether you are, in fact, maybe not a good person.

I wonder whether that sort of hurt is exactly what this frustrated individual intended for you to experience, as her way of exacting revenge on you for frustrating her plans. These were words spoken in anger, intended to hurt.

This is not what Jesus does when He wants to bring something to our attention, and this is not what a true earthly friend does, either.

I hope you will go to Jesus and ask Him to be the One to show you any changes He might want you to make in your life. If He has any suggestions, He will let you know. And if He is happy with where you are right now, He’ll let you know that, too. Then, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”

God bless you, my dear!

At 9:39 AM, Blogger fran said...

Best Wishes and Heavenly Blessings to the couple you will marry today!


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