Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Penance Service tonight, 7:30

Parish Penance Service - tonight, 7:30 pm, SAA Church
The service will include readings, a homily, and a public examination of conscience. Then, there will be several (visiting!) priests here to hear individual confessions. Please encourage others to take advantage of this opportunity to receive God's Mercy, and pray for a good turnout of St A's parishioners!
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Here are my notes from Friday night's reflection on the miracles of Christ:


I. Welcome (to newcomers)
- to Adoration
- to Advent series
- Ed Becker


II. Defining a miracle
- an event in which a change in the laws of nature is picked up by our senses
- can be scientifically measured & recorded
- doesn’t take faith to acknowledge that it happened; everyone can see

- e.g.: Jesus turns water into wine


III. We need faith to “see as” a miracle
- faith leads to “miracle” OR miracle leads to faith
- Jesus didn’t do miracles just to show his power; if so, would have done them 24/7
- Did them to help people in their faith

- faith: see reality as it is
- faith w/ miracles: see the Christ who is in your midst

- faith of people who witnessed miracles??
faith in the miracles / signs OR faith in Jesus (saw Jesus as wonder-worker only, not Messiah)
- one day: King
- five days later, Crucify Him!


IV. Miracles are signs of
1) the Kingdom ; they prepare us for the Kingdom
- present Kingdom (kingdom is near) AND
future kingdom (down payment / glimpse of God’s glory)

2) personal authority of Jesus
- He’s the One who works the miracle
- his identity is unavoidable; know the kingdom of God is among you
(in Jesus)


V. Example – cure of a paralytic
“they were all amazed and praised God and were filled with awe” (Lk 5)
1) awareness and acknowledgement of the kingdom in Jesus
2) awareness of his authority


VI. Are the sacraments miracles?
- technically no
- miracles are like the sacraments - point to a deeper reality
- but differ from the sacr. in that changes are not picked up by the senses
- bread still looks like bread; wine looks like wine (sacr.)
- water looks like wine (miracle)

- sacraments – supernatural change takes place (transubstantiation, e.g.)
- miracles – natural change takes place


VII. Modern miracles (Eucharist) - Jesus continues to help our faith

1) In 1263 - Orvieto, Italy

- a German priest who doubted the Real Presence saw drops of blood seep from the Eucharist onto the altar and corporal
- Pope Urban IV was in the town next to the priest; the priest took the corporal to the Pope who declared it a miracle (a miracle itself?, knowing how long the modern Church takes to declare a miracle!)

-The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto.

2) 1730, Italy
- thieves broke into the deserted Church of St. Francis, took the golden ciborium which contained the consecrated Host, and dumped the Hosts in a poor box
- priests found the Hosts two days later in the rarely used, dusty poor box; hosts covered by cobwebs
- hosts were carefully cleaned and placed back in tabernacle; priests expected hosts to deteriorate which bread would normally do
- over 250 years later, Hosts are still completely in tact, shiny, fresh, and maintained the scent of unleavened hosts
- other unconsecrated hosts have been placed in the tabernacle and have decayed and been disfigured- St Peter’s YG at this miracle – 50 teens on their knees
“greatest reverence of the Eucharist I’ve ever seen” (YG priest)

- helps our faith in the Real Presence

3 Comments:

At 3:42 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

Every year at the St. Andrew’s Craft Show my daughter has purchased an ornament from this one particular vendor. She always uses her own money and selects them herself. She has been buying them since she was in kindergarten and is now in 6th grade. The ornaments are distinctive, and my daughter has always loved to hang them on the tree. This year, however, that vendor was not able to do the show, so my daughter did not purchase one this year. When we decorated our tree last week, we all remarked that there was no new ornament from the Craft Show this year, and it sounds silly, but it was like a breaking of a little piece of one of our newer traditions.

Well, I walked into the school office today, and the vice principal told me a woman had been to the school looking for a child named Rachel (she had no last name). She knew this child had purchased an ornament from her each year and did not want her to go without one this year, and she had a new ornament for her. Some may think it a simple thing, this small ornament, but I was so touched (and my daughter was thrilled), and it reminded me that most of the best things about the Christmas season come through the thoughtfulness of others.

 
At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other day, my child came home from school with a disturbing question. I won’t offer the question- it was racial in nature and quite offensive. I thought it originated from someone else’s comments, so I kept my composure while asking about it and quickly discovered how this question came to be.

In handling the situation, I was struck by the fact that our children come into this world pure in thought, but that quality can change quickly and even easily. One of the pieces of artwork that hangs in the back of the church is of Jesus surrounded by children of different ethnicities and cultures. When my youngest looks at it, she points to Jesus (who she’s named “Alleluia”) and each of the children. When she points at each child, she says, “Baby, baby, baby and baby,” and then to Jesus, “Alleluia!” She makes no distinction based upon any child’s color or dress. To her, they are the same- “baby” one and all.

There is such openness in the way our kids look at the world, but that viewpoint is fragile. I need to be diligent in protecting that quality in my children. Children learn what they are taught and mimic what they see.

Maybe I can't protect my kids from all the uglier views of those in this world, but I can do more to give them a solid foundation upon which to refute those views and consider them as utter nonsense.

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger fran said...

Anon,
I appreciate, and am glad to see your comments. I have written previously of teaching my chldren to see, as well as seek, beauty in the world. It is far too easy to hear and see the "ugly" anymore. We are inundated with that negative, not so pretty message in all media forms, and this of course can filter down to our children from others, as we know that all children are not raised in the same fashion.

I have been lovingly ( I hope!) told that I see the world through rose colored glasses. Maybe I do, but I also live realistically and am quite aware of the bad around us. Here is the way I see it though: If more people took the time to seek and live beauty in the course of their day, and teach that beauty to their children, the world would not just appear a lot rosier, it would actually become a far more beautiful place in which to live.

And to Mindy - It is nice to see that people still practice the words that Christ spoke so very many years ago "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

 

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