Sanctification in Daily Work
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A Holy Week Reflection

Liturgy of the HoursDuring this season of Lent it is especially good to take time for personal examination and to meditate on the life of Jesus and what the coming Easter Triduum means. There are many good guides or prayer books for this time. I’ve been finding meaningful reading in my daily Liturgy of the Hours, especially Morning Prayer. This is a quote from yesterday’s Morning Prayer, Antiphon 1, Psalm 43, “Defend me, O God, and plead my cause against a godless nation. From deceitful and cunning men rescue me, O God.”

This immediately hit home with me emotionally. In my life I don’t ever remember seeing so much hatefulness, animosity, anger, lack of faith, and actual direct persecution of Christians. At least in my own country. We have elected leadership that I truly believe are working to tear our society apart and complete the ongoing effort to remove God from our our institutions and people. I find it truly heinous what is being done to children and including those unborn who have been aborted.

So, I have read and re-read more of the Psalm and it not only brings home the reality of what Jesus had to endure on our behalf but also provides hope that we will be saved from these “deceitful and cunning men.”

Preparing for Lent

It is two weeks until Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season. Are you thinking ahead? I will be in California on a business trip so I will be checking the schedule for the local church where I’ll be.

During this morning’s Mass I once again enjoyed a homily by Fr. Eugene Pathe. I also love his accent. I did a Google search and found a series of Lenten Meditations he recorded in 2012. This one is on Ash Wednesday and provides a good basis for reflection as we prepare for the season.

The Effingham Cross

I thought this picture was very appropriate during the last week of Lent this year. I took it on the way home from Illinois last week. It’s the Effingham Cross which sits right off the highway at the intersection of I-57 and I-70 at Effingham, IL. It’s almost 200 feet tall so it really gets your attention.

The cross is a great symbol for us at this time as we reflect on the pain and suffering that Jesus experienced before being crucified for us. We all have crosses to bear in our lives and rather than let them become stumbling blocks we can turn them into opportunities to grow closer to our Lord. I got that opportunity last week when I crashed off my bicycle on a city road and broke a rib and injured by shoulder. I’m having to do everything with my left arm right now and I’m right handed. It is not fun. But as I was starting to deal with the reality of it I just offered it up to Jesus in union with His suffering and for all who are suffering right now, especially some form of physical discomfort or pain. Yeah, it’s not easy to do. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and I catch myself doing that. But I’ve made it part of my daily examination of conscience which reminds me why this is a blessing.

Campaign To Commemorate Good Friday As National Holiday

This almost seems like a no brainer but how hard do you think this will be to accomplish? It is a national campaign to make Good Friday a national holiday. If you want to support it then sign the petition and/or plan to attend the rally in Washington, DC.

The Campaign to Commemorate Good Friday as a National Holiday will hold an official launch rally that is open to public on April 22nd, 2011 at 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. located between 7thStreet and 14thStreet. Shown during the rally on the National Mall will be a screening of ‘Passion of the Christ’ beginning at 12:00 PM. The campaign seeks to generate nation-wide support and collect 1 million signatures which it will use to petition the U.S. Congress to officially commemorate Good Friday as a National Holiday in the United States.

Good Friday is a state holiday in eleven U.S. states including Connecticut, Texas, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina and North Dakota. State and local government offices and courts are closed, as well as some banks and postal offices in these states. Good Friday has been an official holiday and day of closure for Wall Street since its inception, with stock exchanges around the world and many U.S. and international banks closed in observance of the holiday.

In many countries with a strong Christian tradition such as Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, the Philippines, Mexico, Venezuela, the countries of the Caribbean, Germany, Malta, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Malta and the United Kingdom, the day is observed as a public or federal holiday.

Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary, estimated in the year AD 33 by the Canonical gospels. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Resurrection Sunday.

For more information please visit, or contact Sharon Jones, Director, (212) 731 – 4080 phone.

Chrism Mass

Our Diocese celebrated the annual Chrism Mass last night and I think we had more people attend than normal. We had a full Cathedral.

This is a picture of our Bishop John Raymond Gaydos receiving the oils which would be blessed later.

It was awesome to see all our priests together including one celebrating 70 years as a priest! He’s 94 years old and drove himself to Jefferson City from St. Louis.

Lenten Fish Fry

Here’s a familiar scene to Catholics around the country this Lenten season. The Friday night Knights of Columbus fish fry.

This is my Council 12992 and in the photo our Bishop joined us for supper. We’ll be doing it again this Friday too. The only thing I would caution is to eat in moderation. Remember it is Lent and although we aren’t required to fast it’s not a bad idea to resist the temptation for an extra helping. Consider it a small mortification.