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Posts tagged ‘creation’

Faith in Invisible Realities

Happy Easter!  This Easter Monday I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

During Easter Mass yesterday, the celebrant replaced the Nicene Creed with the renewal of our Baptismal Promises:

V. Do you reject Satan?

R. I do.

V. And all his works?

R. I do.

V. And all his empty promises?

R. I do.

V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

R. I do.

V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

R. I do.

V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

R. I do.

When asked each of these questions, the congregation didn’t just meekly respond in the affirmative.  We gave a resounding acclamation of our Faith:


Wow!  What an incredible way to begin the Easter Season!  I always find it uplifting to know that I share this faith with others who so openly and eagerly embrace Christ’s Church.

Day 48-1Some of our shared faith—including what we affirm each Sunday in the Nicene Creed—is difficult to understand.  I realize that my understanding is immature and, as I grow in faith, my understanding will also mature.  When I encounter difficulties in faith, I remember the father of the boy who was possessed by a demon, who cried out:  “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Day 48-2


Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

Thanks you, RAnn for providing this wonderful opportunity to share with fellow Catholics in our Pilgrim Church, this weekly digest of Catholic Blogs.

This Lent I have been reading and reflecting on Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.  This past week I read “Week 5:  From Kingdom to Exile”, which begins with the establishment of the Davidic Dynasty and takes us through to Babylonian exile.

Sunday:  Humble Means.  God chooses a young shepherd boy as hero to His people.  Who has been a hero in my life?  And how can I be a hero to others?

Monday:  Son of Promise.  God spoke to David directly at first, and then through prophets.  Who does God send to communicate with me?  How receptive am I to the message?

Tuesday:  A Servant’s Heart.  King David demonstrates that true gratitude begins with humility.  How can I be more humble, and thus more grateful?

Wednesday:  A Rich Treasury.  The Book of Psalms reflects true intimacy between King David and the Father.  How have I studied the Psalms to learn to imitate this relationship?

Thursday:  God’s Broken Heart.  David, a Man After God’s Own Heart, commits adultery and murder.  And yet his repentance is pure and sincere, an acceptable sacrifice to God.  Am I truly sorry for my sins?

Friday:  A Wise Man’s Fall From Grace.  Despite all his wisdom, Solomon fell into idolatry.  How have I fallen because I lean on my wisdom, strength and courage rather than seeking God’s?

Saturday:   A Profound Conversion.  After Solomon, Israel suffers centuries of anguish but it prepares them for Christ.  How am I preparing myself these 40 days of Lent for the celebration of Easter?

A Covenant Renewed

On this Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

 It has been over 20 years since I served on a U.S. Navy destroyer (USS DAHLGREN), but I can vaguely remember crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the vast immensity!  It took some time crossing it, and even though we knew Europe was somewhere over that horizon, and that eventually we would make landfall, I could still find myself growing antsy as I waited for the glow of lights to appear on the horizon.

I can only imagine how Noah and his family might have felt for those months at sea, with no known horizon, waiting for somewhere to set foot on dry land.  Stir crazy?  Yet Noah found peace in his trust in the Lord.

On the DAHLGREN, before we got underway, we had to load enough supplies to feed the 400+ crew for at least the duration of the crossing.  We needed to fill the fuel tanks and ensure we had enough spare parts for anything that might break on the 30-year-old rust bucket.  In the days before embarking, the crew worked constantly preparing for the voyage—chipping, painting, fixing, training, etc.

How did Noah prepare for the floods?  He obeyed God’s directions to a T.

Make yourself an ark of gopherwood, equip the ark with various compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch.

This is how you shall build it: the length of the ark will be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

Make an opening for daylight and finish the ark a cubit above it. Put the ark’s entrance on its side; you will make it with bottom, second and third decks.

Moreover, you are to provide yourself with all the food that is to be eaten, and store it away, that it may serve as provisions for you and for them.

Gen. 6:14-21

What did Noah know about shipbuilding, of seamanship, of navigation?  He was no mariner.  He was a “man of the soil.”  He was completely outside of his comfort zone.  So what did Noah do?  He relied completely on God’s instructions.

Personally, I could learn much from Noah’s example.  Obedience doesn’t always come easy for me.  And while Noah had a direct line with God, my obedience must be to those God has appointed to lead His Church, those He has anointed with the mantle of leadership.  Just as the servants at Cana listened to Mary as she told them, “do whatever he tells you,” and were blessed with the finest wine, I too will be blessed by obedience to Christ through His Church.Day 14-1

 God renewed His covenant with Noah and Noah was blessed many-fold for his obedience.Day 14-2

Slaves or Sons?

On this Saturday of the First Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

Son or Slave?  The reading asks which we prefer and explains that many of us prefer the identity of slave—identifying ourselves by the fruits of our own labor, or employment or occupation—to that of son—identifying ourselves by our relationship to our Creator.  Specifically, this flawed preference interferes with our ability to fully celebrate the Sabbath.

Personally I am aware of a number of enslavements that have hindered my ability to worship God.  Anger, selfishness, pride, lust, to name a few.  Even things that are not intrinsically wrong can enslave me.  This blog, for instance, can be an obstacle in my faith walk if I develop an unhealthy pride and don’t seek to please Him as my goal in writing it.


Remember to Rest

On this Wednesday of the First Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

 Sunday is family day.

How often do I hear that?  Or more importantly, how often have I said that?  In the past few months, I don’t know how many Sundays I’ve spent attending sporting events for my kids—not that I’m complaining.  I really enjoy watching them grow, develop, compete.

But I think this notion that “Sunday is mine!” or “Sunday is family day” distorts the purpose of keeping the Sabbath holy.  Scott Hahn reminds us that the Sabbath is intended to draw us closer to our Creator.

It reminds me of the dispute between Martha and Mary.  To recap, Jesus was visiting the house of Martha, who busied herself with the entertainment.  On the other hand, Mary—Martha’s sister—sat at Jesus’ feet listening to Him.  And Martha takes it up with the Big Man.  Or at least, with His Son.


Made in the Image of God

On this Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

“You’re a disgrace to the uniform!”  The Dirty Dozen (1967)

When I was in the Navy, heavy emphasis was placed on presenting the right image, on representing the Navy and the U.S. with honor. While pulling into a foreign port on a destroyer, we were reminded that we were “showing the flag.” An officer who was drunk and disorderly on liberty might be charged with “conduct unbecoming an officer.” We were always cautioned to avoid any “appearance of impropriety.” Commendations rained on those who “reflected great credit” on the United States and her Navy. Conversely, punishment fell on those who dishonored the flag and “brought discredit to the Navy.”


The Sacredness of Human Life

On this Monday of the First Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

God created mankind in his image;
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Gen. 1:27

Aside from “your family is so well behaved”, some of my favorite comments to hear from strangers about my children are those observations related to identity.

“He looks just like you!”

“She has your eyes!”

“I can tell where he gets his sense of humor!”


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