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If You See Charity, You See the Trinity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 11:18

From Winston Elliott, on of our occasional posters, (via his blog The Christo-centric Life) comes these two posts:

The first, the well known passage by J. R. R. Tolkien, about the Eucharist:

“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament . . . . [ellipses in original] There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: Death: by the divine paradox, that which ends, life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained , or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.”

J.R.R. Tolkien to his son, Michael, dated 6-8 March 1941

Sherry's note: 1941 was a exceedingly dark time to be English - but I wonder what other frustrations Tolkien is referring to.  The triumph of the Lord of the Ring lay many years in the future.  He had just begun writing The Hobbit in 1939.  Any Tolkien afficianados know?

And this meditation:

“If you see charity, you see the Trinity”, wrote Saint Augustine in De Trinitate. The Trinity is the perfect model of a community of love. A true community (communio) is where love received as a gift from our Creator is poured out in abundance to the broken and the needy. Doesn't this include most of us? Aren't many of us in need of a "Good Samaritan" who offers healing love to hearts that have grown cold?

In "Deus Caritas Est" Pope Benedict XVI writes that those who carry on true works of charity: "must not be inspired by ideologies aimed at improving the world, but should rather be guided by the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). Consequently, more than anything, they must be persons moved by Christ's love, persons whose hearts Christ has conquered with his love, awakening within them a love of neighbour. The criterion inspiring their activity should be Saint Paul's statement in the Second Letter to the Corinthians: “the love of Christ urges us on” (5:14). The consciousness that, in Christ, God has given himself for us, even unto death, must inspire us to live no longer for ourselves but for him, and, with him, for others. Whoever loves Christ loves the Church, and desires the Church to be increasingly the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ." 

Snip.

In gratitude for the tremendous love that has been given to us Christians will share with the broken, the lost and the lonely. Why is it important that we share the love we have been given? As John Paul II wrote: "Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This...is why Christ the Redeemer 'fully reveals man to himself'".


 
350,000 Masses a Day and Counting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:21

I just read that it is estimated that there are 350,000 Masses celebrated every day on this planet.

(How such an estimate was arrived at is unclear, but there are 409,000 priests and bishops and every one is expected to celebrate or at last attend Mass every day, so it is a reasonable figure.  Of course, since many priests celebrate more than one Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday, presumably the number would be higher on weekends.  Is this an "average" figure or simply the number of Masses on a weekday?  Who knows?)

But let's take that 350,000 Mass a day figure as our beginning point.  So many questions arise.

How many Catholics participate in those 350,000 Masses?

(If you divide the world's 1.2 billion Catholics by 350,000, you get an attendance of 3,429 per mass.  Obviously that isn't happening.

For the sake of argument, I'm going to play around with the much more modest estimate of 20 attendees per Mass.  That would mean that something like 7 million Catholics attend Mass around the globe on a typical weekday.  Or about 6/10ths of 1% of all Catholics.  It could be higher, of course.  But it seems likely that actual attendance is 1% or lower due to many factors like lack of access, work, etc.)

What is the impact or fruit of those 350,000 Masses?  On those who attend them?  On those Catholics who weren't there? On the two thirds of the human race who aren't baptized?  On families, communities, cultures?  On global spiritual openness?  On the physical creation?  On the the Church suffering?

What is God doing?  How are we, how is our world different because they were celebrated today?

What would be missing, what would be lost - if for a single day - no Masses were celebrated on our planet?

(I've been reminded that no Masses are celebrated on Good Friday.  OK, one day down.  351 to go.)

I have no answers.  Just an intense curiosity.  Just the desire to lift the veil a tiny bit and glimpse something of the hidden river of God's redeeming love, grace, and purposes that is being poured into our world as I write.

 

What do you think?


 
The Order of Preachers: An Evangelical Republic? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 02 September 2010 10:10

There is a lot going on:

For me, the primary thing is pounding the "Come and See" introductory day for the Making Disciples process into shape.  Fr. Mike and I will be offering it to hundreds of parish leaders from the San Fernando region of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in October.  The Archdiocese has just adopted four very exciting priorities;

  • To seek out and draw in the unbelieving and the unchurched,

• To foster life-long discipleship and spiritual growth

• To assist all the baptized in the discernment of their spiritual gifts (charisms) and vocations

• To equip and support extraordinary apostolates.
And we are in the thick of it.
But I wanted to make you aware that the 290th world-wide Dominican Chapter is beginning in Rome.  After the first 794 years, you get reasonably good at this sort of thing.
There is good web coverage. The videos are very interesting.  I have especially enjoyed the one on "government" in which the present Master of the Order describes the Dominican Order as "an evangelical republic" and St. Dominic as a "happy saint."
My kind of republic even if I am a citizen only in spirit.    All Dominicanophiles will want to check in periodically.

 
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