October 15, 2014


October 15, 2014:  St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor

  • 'Medical' pin:  St. Teresa, "doctor" of the Church
  • 'Castle' button:  in honor of St. Teresa's Interior Castle
  • 'Holy Spirit' necklace:  "If you're Spirit-guided, you're not under the law....  Follow the Spirit." (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace..." (1st reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  "One who delights in God's law is like a tree near running water" (psalm)
  • White shirt:  color of St. Teresa's memorial
  • NEW Salve Regina/ arr. Sokol:  virtual choir of Carmelites (thanks, Silvia!)
Pope Francis audience

Christian hope isn't optimism; Paul told the Thessalonians, “We'll be with the Lord forever.”  Be credible witnesses of this hope.  Our encounter with God will be like “the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, prepared as a bride to meet her husband” (Rev 21:2); by taking our flesh, Jesus united us to himself, and at his coming we'll share in the heavenly wedding feast.  The vision of the new Jerusalem reminds us the Church is meant to be a City in which all live in harmony and peace.  So hope is our joyful expectation of the Lord’s coming and the fulfilment of his saving plan.  Hold the lamp of this hope high before all.  Ask:  is my lamp alight with the oil of faith, and how well do I live as a credible, joy-filled witness to hope in God’s promises?

Synod corner

Small-group drama continues:  Now that the Synod Fathers received the "post-discussion report" from last week, they began meeting in small groups.  The report is a working text about which criticism and questions have come up.  The Synod is approaching the issues with a Shepherd's heart.  There's been much talk about parents and little about children.  Our language about homosexuals is based on human dignity:  We must recognize, respect, and promote each person's dignity.  The person, irrespective of sexual orientation, is central.  The meeting is reminiscent of Vatican II, which reflected definitely on the Church and its Mission in the world today.  Important work still needs to be done:  what needs to be deepened, clarified, or still raised?
Work in progress:  The post-discussion report reflects last week's debate; it isn't consensus or definitive Church teaching.  The final statement won't come till next October, after broader consultation.  People can read more into the document than what's there and misinterpret it based on what they'd like to happen vs. what's actually happening.  Expectations are rightly high; families have moved object of evangelization to become credible witnesses to the Church’s message.  We must encourage those living up to Church teaching as well as those living in more problematic situations.
  • Gal 5:18-25  Works of the flesh:  immorality, licentiousness, idolatry, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, fury, selfishness....  Fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Those who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions.  Follow the Spirit.
    Wordle: Readings 10-15-14
  • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life."  Blessed those who delight in and meditate on God's law.  They're like trees planted near running water, yielding fruit, prospering, not like the wicked.  The Lord watches over the just...
  • Lk 11:42-46  “Woe to you Pharisees!  You pay tithes but no attention to love for God.  You love the seat of honor.  You're like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”  Law scholar / Jesus:  “You're insulting us too.” / “Woe also to you!  You impose burdens but don't lift a finger to touch them.”
St. Teresa of Ávila

  • Universalis:  She founded Discalced Carmelites convents against broad opposition. Contemplation overflows to action.  To God after horse threw her:  “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!”  Bring everything to God in pray, even reproach (that expresses our incomprehension of God's gift).  See Wikipedia, Catholic Encyclopedia.

      • Creighton:  Jesus:  don’t be tyrannized by the law and don’t tyrannize others through it.  Follow Jesus:  love God, others, and yourself; care for the poor; and live a faith that promotes justice. What gets in my way of being more loving?  How do I keep others from loving God, themselves, and others more fully?
      • One Bread One Body:  "Flesh" means fallen human nature; crucify it to avoid slavery and ruin by following the Spirit's lead.  When the Holy Spirit gets our attention, time, and energy, the flesh is ignored and dies of neglect and starvation.  May we live in the Spirit, with the Spirit in us.
      • Passionist:  Paul knows people are pulled in two directions.  Today Paul would have come up with a different list, such as Pope Francis's from Evangelii Gaudium: economy of exclusion and inequality, idolatry of money and dictatorship of an impersonal economy, unbridled consumerism, corruption, and unjust social structures.  As allowing the flesh to rule brings conflict and unhappiness, crucifying the flesh and following the Spirit brings love, joy, peace...
      • DailyScripture.net:  'Woe' can be translated as 'alas,' expressing both pity and anger.  Jesus was angry because the leaders didn't listen to God's word and misled the people.  The scribes were so exacting in interpreting the Law and trying to live it out that they had little time for anything else.  Their burdensome rules obscured important matters such as love of God and neighbor.  Jesus compared them to "unmarked graves" that made people ritually unclean (Num 19:16) to say their false doctrine defiled their adherents; since they're "unmarked," others don't see the danger.  In contrast, true love embraces and lifts burdens.  Do I help people carry their burdens?

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