On Mercy Sunday…

mercy1Thoughts on Divine Mercy Sunday…

The readings this weekend speak of the recreation brought about by Christ’s sacrifice; and the overflowing of Divine Mercy which cleansed us all and restored the spiritual nature of man in grace.

Joseph Solovetchik wrote in The Lonely Man of Faith, about the covenental community created in Genesis II. Man is created in humility, from dust; he tends the garden and keeps it safe, he is alone.

And that is not good!

When Eve is created, he and Eve are now in a covenental relationship with one another and with God. I, Thou, God. The loneliness which exists in our hearts, often as a relestness, is an experience which leads us ultimately to our Creator, in community with others (the other, as it were.) That’s precisely the type of community we see in Acts 4:32-3:

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

It’s not communism, or socialism. It’s living in community and working in mercy and wisdom while retaining the genius of one’s precious and unique individuality, made in the image and likeness of God. One lives in community with others, and with God’s Spirit permeating the lives of the community.

Genesis I speaks of man being created with woman, and together they live in creation, working in its splendor as noble beings created in the image and likeness of God.

In the second reading today the Apostle John writes:

And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Being victors of the world through faith in Christ, a very simple idea, is presented to us as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection. The idea of dominion over the created realm echoes forth from Genesis I; all things are restored in Christ.

Mercy… “is said to be a virtue influencing one’s will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another’s misfortune”.

St. Catherine of Siena described the unfogiveable sin as a refusal to accept God’s mercy. One can think upon Judas Iscariot who, after betraying Jesus, confessed he was wrong yet went and hanged himself rather than finding repentance and mercy. The Apostle Peter betrayed Christ in a different way, yet endured to the end, seeking the humility needed for forgiveness and mercy.

St. Catherine also wrote that we grow in love only during our life on earth. That’s not a great amount of time when compared to all of eternity. It’s a reminder to accept some of life’s misfortunes with humility, to find in our hearts a place for repentance, forgiveness and understanding, and to dwell upon the concept of mercy as it shows in our actions, our thoughts, our words. God is, and can be, merciful unto us. Are we merciful to others, living in Christ’s peace as we sojourn upon Earth?mercy

A Great Video

Who says society’s going down the tubes? Youth today hold great promise for the future. Watch this twelve year old deliver a vibrant message much more eloquently and fervently than many from older generations are even wont to attempt. Bravo.

At Eastertide

I always love visiting Holy Hill

This year after the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, there was a huge fire out the window.   Come to find out it was a planned fire to help the fields. 








It’s an imposing facade, and the National Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians.







 On Easter Sunday, lots of car blessings going around…

Car Blessing

And the crowds flowed freely….


It’ a big place…

A huge complex.

And it’s a wonderful place to pray.


A Growing Interest in Genocides

What the title says…

I’m interested in learning more over at Genocide Watch.  Too, they list Anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia, but don’t mention Modern Persecution of Christians.  Which somehow leads me to want to check out this site on Religious Tolerance sometime when I have more time. For starters at least, I’d imagine there are more resources available.

The 8 Stages of Genocide, and the 12 Ways to Deny Genocide are interesting reads — especially looking at the language being bandied about in public circles in the USA regarding tolerance and hate speech.

Sort of makes our own problems seem a bit paltry, even though they aren’t.

You know interestingly enough Genocide Watch says the Catholic Church could have been more instrumental in preventing the genocide in Rwanda. That’s undeniably true.  But it would of course have done so by looking past the differences of peoples into the common realm, which for the Church is always pointing towards the person of Jesus Christ.  So… how does one do that without being religiously ‘intolerant’ of other faiths, other viewpoints, etc, when to merely express belief in Christ or the teachings of the Church is often branded intolerant ignorance.

Notwithstanding that, surely there’s a way to overcome genocides, help prevent them, help be a healing presence in the world, without sacrificing cherished beliefs — surely.

Why the Sorrows?

Someone was asking me the other day why meditate on the sorrows when there’s so much to be joyful about in life.

Very true.

However, bringing the mind to bear on the sorrows helps not only to understand how sorrows work in our own lives, but also upon… who’s suffering in the world today?

Those who are sick, dying; those who just lost loved ones;

Then there are the usual genocides around the world, which include Darfur, Sri Lanka, North Korea, etc, etc, etc.

In fact, it’s an act of sheer denial to pretend there are no sorrows in life, or to continually gloss over them. So, simply understand sorrow for what it is: a part of the human condition. In understanding it more fully we are led to understand joy more fully as well, and to more simply embrace the fullness of life.

Fr. Kenneth Allen