Tuesday, September 20, 2005

July Retreat

Finally thought to get Bonnie's pictures of the July retreat, which ran from Friday, the Feast of Mary Magdalene, through the rest of the weekend.

Yours truly introduced Mary Magdalene from a chapter in Louis of Granada's Summa of the Christian Life.

Our guest, Jayne Teske, gave a delightful presentation on Opus Dei

Sandra Ferguson followed with a presentation on the Holy Grail,

and Gayle and Stepanie by flashlight closed with more on Mary Madalene.

In the morning, our first Holy Mass at the Chapter House was celebrated!

A hearty thanks to Fr. Flores of Our Lady of the Valley for celebrating mass for us!

Holy Communion

Jim's urn

Procession with Jim's cremains to the cemetery.

The chapter gathers

for the final blessing for the interment. May God grant Jim Schuck TOP, and all the faithful departed, eternal rest.

Then, as good Dominican Tertiaries, it's back to the table to eat together,

and to study together,

and to pray together,

and then eat some more together,

to study the signs of the times,

and to praise the Lord in hymns and songs of praise.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Preaching charism & Katrina

There is much noise from both ends of the spectrum; from divine punishment of sin to random events in a Godless universe. I thought it good to consider what today is in the Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings. St. Augustine wrote about the duties of the pastor, which includes preaching, which is the charism of the Dominicans in which we participate within our own circumstances.

As the media enjoys a macabre festival of finger-pointing, remember that God wants us to examine our own conscience, and to know and love Him that we may through our efforts help bring others to do so as well; and by so doing, offer the sacrifice of a soul that is so pleasing to God. This is what the sacrifices of the old testament prefigured; the death of the sinner reborn through baptism to a new life, offered to God.

Friday of the 24th Week of Ordinary Time
Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings

From a sermon On Pastors by St. Augustine

But what sort of shepherds are they who for fear of giving offense not only fail to prepare the sheep for the temptations that threaten, but even promise them worldly happiness? God himself made no such promise to this world. On the contrary, God foretold hardship upon hardship in this world until the end of time. And you want the Christian to be exempt from these troubles? Precisely because he is a Christian, he is destined to suffer more in this world.

For the Apostle says: All who desire to live a holy life in Christ will suffer persecution. But you, shepherd, seek what is yours and not what is Christ’s, you disregard what the Apostle says: All who want to live a holy live in Christ will suffer persecution. You say instead: “If you live a holy life in Christ, all good things will be yours in abundance…” Is this the way you build up the believer? Take note of what you are doing and where you are placing him. You have built him on sand. The rains will come, the river will overflow and rush in, the winds will blow, and the elements will dash against that house of yours. It will fall, and its ruin will be great.

Lift him up from the sand and put him on the rock. Let him be in Christ, if you wish him to be a Christian. Let him turn his thoughts to sufferings, however unworthy they may be in comparison to Christ’s. Let him center his attention on Christ, who was without sin, and consider Scripture which says to him: He chastises every son whom he acknowledges. Let him prepare to be chastised, or else not seek to be acknowledged as a son.

Venerable Louis of Granada
The Sinners Guide
Chapter 28, Of those who refuse to practice Virtue because they love the World

To understand this more fully, remember that true happiness does not consist in sensible or corporal pleasures, as the disciples of Epicurus and Mahomet assume. In the sane class we may place bad Christians whose lips deny the doctrines of these men, but whose lives are entirely in accordance with them. For do not he majority of the rich, who spend their lives in the mad pursuit of pleasure, tacitly acknowledge with Epicureans that pleasure is their last end, and with the Mahometans that sensual delight is their paradise? O disciples worthy of such masters! Why do you not abhor the lives of those whose teachings you profess to condemn? If you will have the paradise of Mahomet, you must expect to lose that of Christ.