A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Guide to Relationships

Relationships, especially our closest relationships, can be difficult, especially in a world that explictly or implicitly advocates selfishness, hyper-sensitivity, getting-in-your-face.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gives us a better guide in the Beatitides, set forth in today's Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12a).

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they
who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they
who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you
when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely
because of me.

Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.

Feeling weak or threatened?

At times, we as Christians have felt powerful in this world.

At other times, we do not.

But, as today’s readings remind us, no matter how weak or threatened we may feel, God is all powerful and His love will shine through us invincibly.

Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.

Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.

Rather, God chose the foolish of the world
to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world
to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.

(from today’s Epistle - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD...

(from today’s 1st reading - Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Power and love and self-control

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.

So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

(from one of the readings provided for today - 2 Timothy 1:1-8)

The seal of confession

Good post by Bishop Robert Lynch of Saint Petersburg

"There is some strong evidence that I need to do some teaching on the matter of the seal of confession.

"Canon Law on the matter of the seriousness of the Seal of Confession

"'Canon 983 #1 The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason.

"'Canon 984 #1 Even if every danger of revelation is excluded, a confessor is absolutely forbidden to use knowledge acquired from confession when it might harm the penitent.

"'Canon 1388 #1 A confessor who directly violates the seal of confession incurs an automatic excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; if he does so only indirectly, he is to be be punished in accord with the seriousness of the events.

"No confessor is ever, ever allowed to speak of something which occurred within individual confession. Not to his bishop, not to the Holy Father, not even to the penitent outside of and after the confession.

"Violating this simple and straightforward protection brings to bear the most serious punishment the Church holds, automatic excommunication which can only be lifted by the Holy See itself. There are within the entire law of the Church only five actions which incur this horrible penalty, including violating the seal.

"In recent history, priest confessors have gone to prison and some have been put to death for refusing to violate the seal and reveal something which a penitent said during sacramental confession. We have heard often the expression, 'it is to die for.' Capture that and you will understand the importance of the seal of confession.

"Catholics have a right to expect its strictest observance and every priest has the responsibility, which can be accompanied by a stunning vulnerability, to apply the strictest interpretation. +RNL"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

For the depressed: a prophecy of the future

Anguish has taken wing,
dispelled is darkness:
for there is no gloom
where but now there was distress.

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.

You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing...

(from today's first reading Isaiah 8:23-9:3-1)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Our job description

It is too little, the LORD says,
for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

(from today's first reading: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

"She’s going to do great things in heaven"

"She was an amazing girl and I’m so proud of her, and I’m still proud of her because she’s going to do great things in heaven," Roxanna Green about losing her 9 year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor Green, who was among those killed in Saturday’s shooting in Tucson (and who had recently received her First Holy Communion at St. Odilia Catholic Church).

Requiescant in pace

An invitation for each of us

Today's first reading (Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7) is fulfilled perfectly in Christ, but it is also an invitation and a challenge to all of us who call ourselves Christians.

I, the LORD, have called you
for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon,
those who live in darkness.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.

They prostrated themselves and did him homage.

Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
(from today's Gospel - Matthew 2:1-12 - where Epiphany is celebrated on this Sunday)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

What shall we pray for this month?

Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for January 2011 is Care for Creation:

"That the riches of the created world may be preserved, valued, and made available as God's precious gift for all."

His mission intention is for the Unity of Christians:

"That Christians may attain full unity, witnessing to all the universal fatherhood of God."

Happy New Year

May God grant us all a happy and blessed 2011.