Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday's Gospel

Gospel - Jn 16:23b-28

Jesus said to his disciples:“Amen, amen, I say to you,whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.Until now you have not asked anything in my name;ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.“I have told you this in figures of speech.The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figuresbut I will tell you clearly about the Father.On that day you will ask in my name,and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved meand have come to believe that I came from God.I came from the Father and have come into the world.Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”


At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The game was fun. I felt kind of sorry for Cardinal McCarrick, sitting next to that large and LOUD crew of kids. The kids had a great time, but I forgot to take pictures! Would've been cute too- with all the face paint and T-s. If anyone got a pic, let me know- I'd love a copy.

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who won?

I take it was the Neuman Nets?

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the priests won but can't remember the score. All played well, and all played nicely!

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

You're homily tonight was great, but did you hear the audible gasp at the end? I think I understood what you were saying about sacrifice. I do think you, and other priests too, sacrificed something huge- wife & children- understanding, as many do not, that the "prize" is worth the sacrifice. If the prize weren't there any longer, why make the sacrifice? I'm thankful that I have the Eucharist, but even more thankful that you do, for it was that inspiration that brought you to our parish. As you often say, God is good!

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do believe that the Ottawa Senators are going to win!!! Go

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Need help...

I thought if you go to Mass once a week that was all you had to do. But today I heard that was the minimum. I know regular confession, eucharistic adoration and regular prayer. Am I missing anything else? Last thing I want to happen is 40 years from now I find out there was a lot more I should have done.

Thanks for any help.

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't wait for FG to post tonight's homily.

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

Why do so many in St. A's think it is ok to gossip about people? Some of it is truly vicious and about some of the most caring beautiful people at SAAs who would drop everything to help you out. Why are they tearing some people down talking behind thier backs and telling outright lies about people. This isn't how we as Christians are supposed to act... but when you stand up and say something about the gossip you are looked at like you have 3 heads or something.

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous mindy said...

That last anon's post was not from me!

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no it wasn't mindy.

What sparked my question was overhearing some things being said about FG that were uncalled for. Gossiping bugs me to no end because in the end there is no good that can come out of it.

At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why didn't you say something to that person?

At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't the one who overheard anything, but here's my two cents-

Sometimes the best way to deal with gossip is to ignore it. When things get way out of control and someone or someone's reputation could suffer some real damage, then perhaps ignoring isn't best. I have handled gossip in both ways, but I think Fran (in future day post) has the better idea- treat those who are doing it with kindness and offer your prayers, for, in my opinion, something must be "hard" in the gossiping person's heart to behave in that manner.

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gossip is not unique to St. A's. It happens anyplace where there are people

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did, I told them that what they were saying was uncalled for. They just got mad and looked at me like I had 3 heads.

At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you did- Father, Son, Holy Spirit

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said...

I got stung by the poison of gossip twice this weekend. One of the situations I know what the ugly subject matter is, and the other I don't (what Anon posted about others talking about me…I probably don’t want to know what that’s about). Of course this happens everywhere, but gossip can be an especially tough pill of poison to swallow when it comes from people who are like family to you.

Someone asked why we gossip. At the heart of it is pride. We want to build ourselves up, so sometimes we feel that we have to tear others down in order to do so. We are all weak, and we give in to pride so often. But, when gossip involves several people and repeated instances of the same vicious rumors, it is beyond mere moments of weakness.

Of course, jealousy is a big part of gossip, too. Rather than looking at the good things that people do and rejoice in them, some people attack the intentions or motivations or others. It really is sad to hear what people can say about others, especially when we're all on the same team (as Christians)!

That hits on something we can do when we hear gossip: ask the person(s) if they plan on saying something to the person being attacked. If they say no, kindly ask them to stop talking about it. If they say yes and then go talk to the person, then you've done your job as a Christian.

When it involves not so serious matter, yes, one can walk away from gossip. But, when it involves serious stuff, I would suggest either defending the person being attacked or try to change the subject matter. Any move away from the personal attack is a good Christian method to stop gossip.

Praying for the persons involved, as hard as it may be, is another solid way to combat gossip. If there's nothing you can do to stop it by yourself, seek a more powerful source!

St Paul says that we should only say “good things which men need to hear”. In other words, we should only engage in those conversations which build up the Body of Christ, and not those which tear it down. The Devil wants us to tear each other down, and thus divide the Body of Christ. He has been having a field day here (in these two situations) and elsewhere.

My hope is that at St Andrew’s we will either confront gossip or simply walk away from it. This spiritual father hopes we can take steps forward in building up our family without taking steps backward.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger fran said...

It saddens me to know that there are people who would say unpleasant things about Fr. Greg, who has brought nothing but joy and his love of the Eucharist to St. Andrew's.

I hope everyone will keep our priests, who do so much for so many, in their prayers.

At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Markov said...

Fr. Greg,

I have known you since you were a deacon at St. Francis and I want to let you know that I have learnt a lot from this blog and have probably stayed in the church because of it! I want to thank you for this wonderful blog and being an inspiration to all of us!


Markov a St. Francis resident blogger

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr, Greg mentioned the word "family" several times in his post regarding gossip, and that really struck me. For a long time, I felt on the outside of the church, not b/c of anything anyone did or said, but just b/c I hadn't ever REALLY "walked in the door". Recently, that has changed for me, and, for the first time, I feel like this church is my own, a place I belong- the people, part of my "family". The church isn't meant to be exclusive- the opposite- it's meant to include all who accept Jesus as lord, with that belief binding us closely as one family in Christ. So when things like gossip and criticism are active within a community, the potential for damage is great. They are the things that disconnect people, pushing them right back out those doors, making the entire family less. It's something that happens over and over (as people here have eluded to) and makes me sad.

It's so easy to give into that momentary thing that makes us feel good, powerful, better- whatever. I know it sounds corny, and at times it's taken so much concentration, but when someone says something about me that's unkind, I really try to think of something that I like about that person. It helps me forgive their offense. Forgetting is harder, and facing that same person without apprehension has been really difficult for me, but I know it's neccessary to be the person who I am meant to be. We aren't meant to feel like we need to defend ourselves against one another, for it really is much easier, and requires much less energy, to just be good to one another, and it makes you feel much better about yourself (I know- I used the "F" word).

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Kat said...

I am finally getting cought up on all the blogging that has been going on. Years ago I used to have a bad habit of avidly listening to and enjoying gossip in the work place and else where, like any sin it can become habitual and be something hard to break. For me it took being the subject of some pretty vicious discusting gossip for me to realize that even listening in with out challenging it was perpetrating it because no good can come of things like this.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I thought if you go to Mass once a week that was all you had to do.

All you had to do for what?

The Catechism identifies five precepts of the Church:

1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.

2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

3. You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.

4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.

5. You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

As the Catechism explains, "The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor."

But if you've ever spent any time looking at a crucifix, you should know that our faith isn't about "the very necessary minimum."

What you really have to do is love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

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

1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.

This one kind of makes me chuckle regarding the servile labor, for getting little ones ready for church can truly seem a hard form of it.

And- I like Tom's last paragraph quite a bit. It says it all.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this story-

This story has the town gossip going to confession and confessing the sin; the priest, who has counseled the penitent many times previously feels he has been ineffective, so he comes up with a new penance to get the penitent's attention. He tells the gossip to tear open a feather pillow, go up in the tower on a windy day and release the feathers, and then to go collect all of them.

The penitent says that's impossible. The priest then tells them that it is easier to retreive the feathers than it is to undo the harm, recover the gossip and repair the damage to the reputation of the one gossiped about.

I try to remember that you can't take words back once they've left your mouth.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous kay said...

Ironically, if you look up the origin of the term gossip, it meant "a person related to one in God."

ORIGIN late Old English godsibb [godfather, godmother, baptismal sponsor,] literally [a person related to one in God,] from god ‘God’ + sibb ‘a relative’ (see sib ).

As Father Greg pointed out, we are all on the same (Christian) team, related to each other in Christ. Or as we pray in the Eucharistic Prayer II, "May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit."

Perhaps in addition to all the excellent suggestions aready posted, you (and I) can offer up the grace we receive at Mass for the intention of those who hurt us through gossip or anything that hurts and destroys the unity of the body of Christ.

Father Panke once gave a talk about Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and he said something that I have carried in my heart for many years now. I think it very concisely unites Fr. Greg's posts on joy and sacrifice. Fr. Panke noted that Joy is one of the charisims of the Missionaries of Charity. "Joy is not equated with happiness, it is equated with the cross. Joy goes right through the cross. It is a mature love, not cotton-candy."

"Joy is prayer;
Joy is strength;
Joy is love;
Joy is the net of love to catch souls."

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so uncool to gossip about FG. He has friends who might have to step up to the plate and defend him. This might involve a knuckle sandwich or 2(jk) or we might have to toilet paper your house.

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous kay said...

Saturday, October 21, 2006
"He must increase; I must decrease"

Please think about this statement from Fr. Greg.

"This quote is from Jn 3:30, and I have it on my cell phone voice mail greeting. This is now the new theme for this blog site. I am grateful for the support and encouragement from some folks, but praising Christ is the focus of this site."

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Im confused with what you are saying. I am the type of person if I were to hear something being said about anyone I would say something to the people talking about it, not nessisaraly just about FG. Yes it is totally uncool to be saying things about FG that is a given I don't think anyone is selecting him out in some sort of "special way" just recently he has been a victim of some pretty nasty stuff (all gossip is nasty... I have never heard of good gossip), so I am really confused by what you are trying to say with your statement.

The general sentament has been that gossip is not cool especially involving priests. And yes for most of us there is an element of shock that someone would say something about FG.

If you are refrencing the person stopping by and saying thank you to FG, I really don't think that a person from another parish that FG has been at is and wants to express that to FG one time is that out of line. If you are referencing the post about defending FG that could be applied to anyone not just FG even though the poster said it about FG *jokingly* I might add.

This topic came up because of a very real question (and problem at SAA) about gossip posed by one of the posters here and as with our community here we discuss these things as it is only natural. As FG was the focus of the issue there is going to be a little focus on him in regards to the conversation because we have been talking about the gossip issue that has come up. and there is going to be some words of support thrown out, anyone who has been the victim of gossip knows how much it can tick you off and deeply hurt you... you need that counter ballance no matter if you are the person on the street or the Pope.

I am not trying to be mean or anything but what you posted could be interpreted as telling us to not defend victims of gossip because the person must decreas and God must increase... but there comes a point that we must be instraments of God and allow God to use us to lift his children up.

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that's what Kay meant-

"He must increase; I must decrease"

John was just a man with one very important job. He was NOT the Savior and did not want the focus to be on him. He wanted the focus to be on Jesus only. That's the kind of humility in the spirit of what we are called to as Christians.

It's funny- think about it- when we mature in the physical sense, we increase in size. But, in the spiritual sense maturity means we decrease in "size" in order to promote Christ. Failing in this means having an immature or "childish" relationship with God, and that isn't satisfying, at least not to me. We are supposed to be "child like" in our faith, not "childish" (and I'm NOT saying anyone here is childish).

It is so easy to get caught up in promoting ourself rather than God. Our needs and wants often compel us to do whatever we need to do in order to lift ourselves up first- the very thing I think that gossip basically does, for in pushing someone else down, we are "raising" ourselves up (if only in our own minds).

Maybe, but maybe not, Kay was referencing the "making ourselves less" in terms of getting all involved in all the drama of a situation. I doubt she meant one shouldn't "stand-up" for a friend, be it priest or layperson. It's just wise to figure out if, in getting involved, are we promoting ourselves or our mission as Christians? Sometime getting involved in the fray can be a bit self-promoting (been there, done that).

I've little doubt that FG knows that, for any single mean sayer that may exist, there are many more who think he's a truly good and committed man. I bet he'd prefer a prayer to a TP job any day of the week! In fact, I bet he's been praying for those very people who said whatever they did. Now, catch him w/a cooler full of cold water, and, well- you "mean sayers" might get doused, but he'd be smiling at you while he did it!

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Tom said...

all gossip is nasty... I have never heard of good gossip

It depends on what we mean by the word "gossip," right?

Broadly speaking, to gossip is to talk about personal matters involving someone who isn't present. That's not necessarily nasty.

In fact, I'd say that sort of gossip is necessary for any community too large for each member to speak to every other member frequently. Gossiping about our children is how many friendship are begun and nurtured in parishes like St. Andrew's. It's also the only practical way of finding out about the various joys and sorrows we should know about in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you prefer a narrower meaning of "gossip," along the lines of spreading unkind rumors, then yes, that's always nasty. The Catechism covers this (without using the word "gossip") in n. 2477:

"Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;

- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them."

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"mean sayers" look out for silly string can guess who this is from!

At 2:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly, off topic thing-
There was an event for which I purchased quite a bit of silly string for a bunch of kids. I gave it to them with only a few requests for the kids playing with it (I bought the stuff fom the dollar store and was a little concerned that maybe the dyes in the stuff might stain)-

Don't spray it around the food, don't spray me, and do not get FG (I didn't want them ruining his clothes). I was clean, there was no silly string in the food, but FG, well, he wasn't exactly spared. It wasn't so much b/c the kids went after him, but b/c he put himself smack in the middle of it all. It was funny to watch, and I learned two things-

1. everyone should own a pressure washer
2. our kids have a really fun relationship with that priest, and that has great potential to benefit them significantly for the future

At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Kat said...


Knowing FG, he probably instagaged the silly string fight.

At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, this time, he only stepped into the commotion rather than created it.

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Kat said...

Wow, I am shocked!


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