Sunday, September 28, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
AN UNBROKEN HISTORY
Jesus said his Church would be "the light of the world." He then noted that "a city set on a hill cannot be hid" (Matt. 5:14). This means his Church is a visible organization. It must have characteristics that clearly identify it and that distinguish it from other churches. Jesus promised, "I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). This means that his Church will never be destroyed and will never fall away from him. His Church will survive until his return. Among the Christian churches, only the Catholic Church has existed since the time of Jesus. Every other Christian church is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from unity with the pope in 1054. The Protestant churches were established during the Reformation, which began in 1517. (Most of today’s Protestant churches are actually offshoots of the original Protestant offshoots.) Only the Catholic Church existed in the tenth century, in the fifth century, and in the first century, faithfully teaching the doctrines given by Christ to the apostles, omitting nothing. The line of popes can be traced back, in unbroken succession, to Peter himself. This is unequaled by any institution in history. Even the oldest government is new compared to the papacy, and the churches that send out door-to-door missionaries are young compared to the Catholic Church. Many of these churches began as recently as the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. Some even began during your own lifetime. None of them can claim to be the Church Jesus established. The Catholic Church has existed for nearly 2,000 years, despite constant opposition from the world. This is testimony to the Church’s divine origin. It must be more than a merely human organization, especially considering that its human members— even some of its leaders—have been unwise, corrupt, or prone to heresy. Any merely human organization with such members would have collapsed early on. The Catholic Church is today the most vigorous church in the world (and the largest, with a billion members: one sixth of the human race), and that is testimony not to the cleverness of the Church’s leaders, but to the protection of the Holy Spirit.
FOUR MARKS OF THE TRUE CHURCH
If we wish to locate the Church founded by Jesus, we need to locate the one that has the four chief marks or qualities of his Church. The Church we seek must be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth
Man’s ingenuity cannot account for this. The Church has remained one, holy, catholic, and apostolic—not through man’s effort, but because God preserves the Church he established (Matt. 16:18, 28:20). He guided the Israelites on their escape from Egypt by giving them a pillar of fire to light their way across the dark wilderness (Exod. 13:21). Today he guides us through his Catholic Church. The Bible, sacred Tradition, and the writings of the earliest Christians testify that the Church teaches with Jesus’ authority. In this age of countless competing religions, each clamoring for attention, one voice rises above the din: the Catholic Church, which the Bible calls "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). Jesus assured the apostles and their successors, the popes and the bishops, "He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me" (Luke 10:16). Jesus promised to guide his Church into all truth (John 16:12–13). We can have confidence that his Church teaches only the truth.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH
Jesus chose the apostles to be the earthly leaders of the Church. He gave them his own authority to teach and to govern—not as dictators, but as loving pastors and fathers. That is why Catholics call their spiritual leaders "father." In doing so we follow Paul’s example: "I became your father in Jesus Christ through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:15).The apostles, fulfilling Jesus’ will, ordained bishops, priests, and deacons and thus handed on their apostolic ministry to them—the fullest degree of ordination to the bishops, lesser degrees to the priests and deacons.
Jesus gave Peter special authority among the apostles (John 21:15–17) and signified this by changing his name from Simon to Peter, which means "rock" (John 1:42). He said Peter was to be the rock on which he would build his Church (Matt. 16:18). In Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, Simon’s new name was Kepha (which means a massive rock). Later this name was translated into Greek as Petros (John 1:42) and into English as Peter. Christ gave Peter alone the "keys of the kingdom" (Matt. 16:19) and promised that Peter’s decisions would be binding in heaven. He also gave similar power to the other apostles (Matt. 18:18), but only Peter was given the keys, symbols of his authority to rule the Church on earth in Jesus’ absence.Christ, the Good Shepherd, called Peter to be the chief shepherd of his Church (John 21:15–17). He gave Peter the task of strengthening the other apostles in their faith, ensuring that they taught only what was true (Luke 22:31–32). Peter led the Church in proclaiming the gospel and making decisions (Acts 2:1– 41, 15:7–12). Early Christian writings tell us that Peter’s successors, the bishops of Rome (who from the earliest times have been called by the affectionate title of "pope," which means "papa"), continued to exercise Peter’s ministry in the Church. The pope is the successor to Peter as bishop of Rome. The world’s other bishops are successors to the apostles in general.
HOW GOD SPEAKS TO US
As from the first, God speaks to his Church through the Bible and through sacred Tradition. To make sure we understand him, he guides the Church’s teaching authority—the magisterium—so it always interprets the Bible and Tradition accurately. This is the gift of infallibility.Like the three legs on a stool, the Bible, Tradition, and the magisterium are all necessary for the stability of the Church and to guarantee sound doctrine.
HOW GOD DISTRIBUTES HIS GIFTS
Jesus promised he would not leave us orphans (John 14:18) but would send the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us (John 15:26). He gave the sacraments to heal, feed, and strengthen us. The seven sacraments —baptism, the Eucharist, penance (also called reconciliation or confession), confirmation, holy orders, matrimony, and the anointing of the sick—are not just symbols. They are signs that actually convey God’s grace and love. The sacraments were foreshadowed in the Old Testament by things that did not actually convey grace but merely symbolized it (circumcision, for example, prefigured baptism, and the Passover meal prefigured the Eucharist. When Christ came, he did not do away with symbols of God’s grace. He supernaturalized them, energizing them with grace. He made them more than symbols. God constantly uses material things to show his love and power. After all, matter is not evil. When he created the physical universe, everything God created was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). He takes such delight in matter that he even dignified it through his own Incarnation (John 1:14).During his earthly ministry Jesus healed, fed, and strengthened people through humble elements such as mud, water, bread, oil, and wine. He could have performed his miracles directly, but he preferred to use material things to bestow his grace. In his first public miracle Jesus turned water into wine, at the request of his mother, Mary (John 2:1–11). He healed a blind man by rubbing mud on his eyes (John 9:1–7). He multiplied a few loaves and fish into a meal for thousands (John 6:5–13). He changed bread and wine into his own body and blood (Matt. 26:26– 28). Through the sacraments he continues to heal, feed, and strengthen us.
TALKING WITH GOD AND HIS SAINTS
One of the most important activities for a Catholic is prayer. Without it there can be no true spiritual life. Through personal prayer and the communal prayer of the Church, especially the Mass, we worship and praise God, we express sorrow for our sins, and we intercede on behalf of others (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Through prayer we grow in our relationship with Christ and with members of God’s family (CCC 2663–2696).This family includes all members of the Church, whether on earth, in heaven, or in purgatory. Since Jesus has only one body, and since death has no power to separate us from Christ (Rom. 8:3–8), Christians who are in heaven or who, before entering heaven, are being purified in purgatory by God’s love (1 Cor. 3:12–15) are still part of the Body of Christ (CCC 962).Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:39). Those in heaven love us more intensely than they ever could have loved us while on earth. They pray for us constantly (Rev. 5:8), and their prayers are powerful (Jas. 5:16, CCC 956, 2683, 2692).Our prayers to the saints in heaven, asking for their prayers for us, and their intercession with the Father do not undermine Christ’s role as sole Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). In asking saints in heaven to pray for us we follow Paul’s instructions: "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone," for "this is good and pleasing to God our Savior" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). All members of the Body of Christ are called to help one another through prayer (CCC 2647). Mary’s prayers are especially effective on our behalf because of her relationship with her Son (John 2:1–11). God gave Mary a special role (CCC 490–511, 963– 975). He saved her from all sin (Luke 1:28, 47), made her uniquely blessed among all women (Luke 1:42), and made her a model for all Christians (Luke 1:48). At the end of her life he took her, body and soul, into heaven—an image of our own resurrection at the end of the world (Rev. 12:1–2).
Old catechisms asked, "Why did God make you?" The answer: "God made me to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next." Here, in just 26 words, is the whole reason for our existence. Jesus answered the question even more briefly: "I came so that [you] might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). God’s plan for you is simple. Your loving Father wants to give you all good things—especially eternal life. Jesus died on the cross to save us all from sin and the eternal separation from God that sin causes (CCC 599–623). When he saves us, he makes us part of his Body, which is the Church (1 Cor. 12:27–30). We thus become united with him and with Christians everywhere (on earth, in heaven, in purgatory).What You Must Do to Be Saved Best of all, the promise of eternal life is a gift, freely offered to us by God (CCC 1727). Our initial forgiveness and justification are not things we "earn" (CCC 2010). Jesus is the mediator who bridged the gap of sin that separates us from God (1 Tim. 2:5); he bridged it by dying for us. He has chosen to make us partners in the plan of salvation (1 Cor. 3:9). The Catholic Church teaches what the apostles taught and what the Bible teaches: We are saved by grace alone, but not by faith alone (which is what "Bible Christians" teach; see Jas. 2:24). When we come to God and are justified (that is, enter a right relationship with God), nothing preceding justification, whether faith or good works, earns grace. But then God plants his love in our hearts, and we should live out our faith by doing acts of love (Gal. 6:2). Even though only God’s grace enables us to love others, these acts of love please him, and he promises to reward them with eternal life (Rom. 2:6–7, Gal. 6:6–10). Thus good works are meritorious. When we first come to God in faith, we have nothing in our hands to offer him. Then he gives us grace to obey his commandments in love, and he rewards us with salvation when we offer these acts of love back to him (Rom. 2:6–11, Gal. 6:6–10, Matt. 25:34–40). Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. "Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?" (Luke 6:46, Matt. 7:21–23, 19:16–21). We do not "earn" our salvation through good works (Eph. 2:8–9, Rom. 9:16), but our faith in Christ puts us in a special grace-filled relationship with God so that our obedience and love, combined with our faith, will be rewarded with eternal life (Rom. 2:7, Gal. 6:8–9). Paul said, "God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work" (Phil. 2:13). John explained that "the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:3–4, 3:19–24, 5:3–4). Since no gift can be forced on the recipient—gifts always can be rejected—even after we become justified, we can throw away the gift of salvation. We throw it away through grave (mortal) sin (John 15:5–6, Rom. 11:22–23, 1 Cor. 15:1–2; CCC 1854–1863). Paul tells us, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). Read his letters and see how often Paul warned Christians against sin! He would not have felt compelled to do so if their sins could not exclude them from heaven (see, for example, 1 Cor. 6:9–10, Gal. 5:19–21). Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God "will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life for those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness" (Rom. 2:6–8).Sins are nothing but evil works (CCC 1849–1850). We can avoid sins by habitually performing good works. Every saint has known that the best way to keep free from sins is to embrace regular prayer, the sacraments (the Eucharist first of all), and charitable acts.Are You Guaranteed Heaven? Some people promote an especially attractive idea: All true Christians, regardless of how they live, have an absolute assurance of salvation, once they accept Jesus into their hearts as "their personal Lord and Savior." The problem is that this belief is contrary to the Bible and constant Christian teaching. Keep in mind what Paul told the Christians of his day: "If we have died with him [in baptism; see Rom. 6:3–4] we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim. 2:11–12). If we do not persevere, we shall not reign with him. In other words, Christians can forfeit heaven (CCC 1861).The Bible makes it clear that Christians have a moral assurance of salvation (God will be true to his word and will grant salvation to those who have faith in Christ and are obedient to him [1 John 3:19–24]), but the Bible does not teach that Christians have a guarantee of heaven. There can be no absolute assurance of salvation. Writing to Christians, Paul said, "See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness to you, provided you remain in his kindness, otherwise you too will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22–23; Matt. 18:21–35, 1 Cor. 15:1–2, 2 Pet. 2:20–21). Note that Paul includes an important condition: "provided you remain in his kindness." He is saying that Christians can lose their salvation by throwing it away. He warns, "Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall" (1 Cor. 10:11–12). If you are Catholic and someone asks you if you have been "saved," you should say, "I am redeemed by the blood of Christ, I trust in him alone for my salvation, and, as the Bible teaches, I am ‘working out my salvation in fear and trembling’ (Phil. 2:12), knowing that it is God’s gift of grace that is working in me."
All the alternatives to Catholicism are showing themselves to be inadequate: the worn-out secularism that is everywhere around us and that no one any longer finds satisfying, the odd cults and movements that offer temporary community but no permanent home, even the other, incomplete brands of Christianity. As our tired world becomes ever more desperate, people are turning to the one alternative they never really had considered: the Catholic Church. They are coming upon truth in the last place they expected to find it.Always Attractive How can this be? Why are so many people seriously looking at the Catholic Church for the first time? Something is pulling them toward it. That something is truth.This much we know: They are not considering the claims of the Church out of a desire to win public favor. Catholicism, at least nowadays, is never popular. You cannot win a popularity contest by being a faithful Catholic. Our fallen world rewards the clever, not the good. If a Catholic is praised, it is for the worldly skills he demonstrates, not for his Christian virtues. Although people try to avoid the hard doctrinal and moral truths the Catholic Church offers them (because hard truths demand that lives be changed), they nevertheless are attracted to the Church. When they listen to the pope and the bishops in union with him, they hear words with the ring of truth—even if they find that truth hard to live by. When they contemplate the history of the Catholic Church and the lives of its saints, they realize there must be something special, maybe something supernatural, about an institution that can produce holy people such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Mother Teresa. When they step off a busy street and into the aisles of an apparently empty Catholic church, they sense not a complete emptiness, but a presence. They sense that Someone resides inside, waiting to comfort them.They realize that the persistent opposition that confronts the Catholic Church—whether from non-believers or "Bible Christians" or even from people who insist on calling themselves Catholics—is a sign of the Church’s divine origin (John 15:18–21). And they come to suspect that the Catholic Church, of all things, is the wave of the future.Incomplete Christianity Is Not Enough Over the last few decades many Catholics have left the Church, many dropping out of religion entirely, many joining other churches. But the traffic has not been in only one direction. The traffic toward Rome has increased rapidly. Today we are seeing more than a hundred and fifty thousand converts enter the Catholic Church each year in the United States, and in some other places, like the continent of Africa, there are more than a million converts to the Catholic faith each year. People of no religion, lapsed or inactive Catholics, and members of other Christian churches are "coming home to Rome." They are attracted to the Church for a variety of reasons, but the chief reason they convert is the chief reason you should be Catholic: The solid truth of the Catholic faith. Our separated brethren hold much Christian truth, but not all of it. We might compare their religion to a stained glass window in which some of the original panes were lost and have been replaced by opaque glass: Something that was present at the beginning is now gone, and something that does not fit has been inserted to fill up the empty space. The unity of the original window has been marred.When, centuries ago, they split away from the Catholic Church, the theological ancestors of these Christians eliminated some authentic beliefs and added new ones of their own making. The forms of Christianity they established are really incomplete Christianity. Only the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus, and only it has been able to preserve all Christian truth without any error—and great numbers of people are coming to see this.
Your tasks as a Catholic, no matter what your age, are three: Know your Catholic faith.You cannot live your faith if you do not know it, and you cannot share with others what you do not first make your own (CCC 429). Learning your Catholic faith takes some effort, but it is effort well spent because the study is, quite literally, infinitely rewarding. Live your Catholic faith.Your Catholic faith is a public thing. It is not meant to be left behind when you leave home (CCC 2472). But be forewarned: Being a public Catholic involves risk and loss. You will find some doors closed to you. You will lose some friends. You will be considered an outsider. But, as a consolation, remember our Lord’s words to the persecuted: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven" (Matt. 5:12).Spread your Catholic faith.Jesus Christ wants us to bring the whole world into captivity to the truth, and the truth is Jesus himself, who is "the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Spreading the faith is a task not only for bishops, priests, and religious—it is a task for all Catholics (CCC 905).Just before his Ascension, our Lord told his apostles, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19–20). If we want to observe all that Jesus commanded, if we want to believe all he taught, we must follow him through his Church. This is our great challenge—and our great privilege.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Authority of the Church
Beginning with the Reformation, Protestants (and now also other churches) have advanced the principle of sola scriptura (Latin: by Scripture alone). Ironically, this notion is itself nowhere to be found in the Bible.
In order for it to be a valid proposition (i.e., that althings revealed by God that are necessary for salvation are readily found in Scripture alone, apart from and without the necessity of recourse to the authority of the Magisterium to authentically interpret Scripture, and apart from the Church’s authoritative, living Tradition), Sola Scriptura itself must be located in Scripure. But it is not.
On the contrary, Scripture nowhere claims to be the sole, sufficient rule of Faith for Christians (as most Protestants and Christians from other churches suppose). Instead, it affirms its own importance and authority as well as that of Sacred Traditon and the Magisterium of the Church.
* Matthew 16:18-19:
“On this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it,. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
“He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who send Me.”
In addition to the New Testament passages that demonstrate that Scripture doesn’t teach sola scriptura, we find a warning to those who would ignore the teaching authority of the “priests” who are charged by God with the obligation to authentically interpret and transmit the Faith. In the Old Testament, the Lord endowed his priests with the authority to interpret his laws (religious, civil, and criminal: cf. Leviticus 20:1-27, 25:1-55) and issue binding decisions based on those interpretations.
“If in your own community there is a case at issue which proves too complicated for you to decide, in a matter of bloodshed or of civil rights or of personal injury, you shall then go up to the place which the LORD, your God, chooses, to the levitical priests or to the judge who is in office at that time. They shall study the case and then hand down to you their decision. According to this decision that they give you in the place which the LORD chooses, you shall act, being careful to do exactly as they direct. You shall carry out the directions they give you and the verdict they pronounce for you, without turning aside to the right or to the left from the decision they hand down to you. Any man who has the insolence to refuse to listen to the priest who officiates there in the ministry of the LORD, your God, or to the judge, shall die. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. And all the people, on hearing of it, shall fear, and never again be so insolent.”
Similarly, as the verses above demonstate, the Lord established the priestly Magisterium of His Church with various authority to teach (cf. Matthew 28:20), interpret Scripture (cf. Acts 2:14-36), bind and loose (Matthew 18:18: Acts 15:28-29), and otherwise excercise teaching authority in His Name (Luke 10:16).
“But these people revile what they do not understand and are destroyed by what they know by nature like irrational animals. Woe to them! They followed the way of Cain, abandoned themselves to Balaam's error for the sake of gain, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”
The “rebellion of Korah”(Korah was e great grandson of Abraham) that Jude speaks of is described in Numbers 16:1-35. Korah and his cronies rebelled against the lawful authority of Moses and the priests.
1 Corinthians 11:2
“I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.”
1 Corinthians 10:8
“Let us not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell within a single day.”
1 Timothy 3:14-15
“I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13
“And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that,in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now atwork in you who believe.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15
“Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.”
2 Peter 3:15-17
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.”
2 Peter 1:20-21
“Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.”
2 Peter 2:1
“There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will introduce destructive heresies and even deny the Master who ransomed them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.”
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Fear seized them all and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and "God has visited His people!"
"Human beings," said T.S. Eliot, "cannot bear too much reality." I think of this whenever I hear people say, "It would have been cool to see Jesus raise somebody from the dead." Such people seem to be stone blind to the normal realities of the human condition. The widow's son did not lie down and die in order to titillate a curiosity seeker. His dead body was not just an anonymous cadaver for resurrection experiments. It was the body of somebody's child, somebody's friend, somebody's beloved, and his loss was a wrenching grief, not a chance for experimentation. When the resurrection occurred sensible people did not say, "Cool!" They reacted with fear bordering on terror. When death is conquered, we face the Ultimate Power in the universe and our response is rightly awe and fear, mixed with a sight of glory that is far beyond the vision of the curiosity-seeker.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
But He said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also for I was sent for this purpose."
"The sin of Service is the sin of Satan," said G.K. Chesterton. Taken by itself, this arresting statement sounds weird, but in context it makes sense. Chesterton is complaining about boosters and social gospel types who put a capital "S" on Service and make it the highest good. His complaint is well-founded when we realize this. For, of course, members of the Waffen SS had a strong devotion to Service, but it didn't exactly make them saints. Rather it unveiled the evil that comes of taking a secondary thing like the Fatherland and making it the primary thing like God. Lucifer did the same thing with Himself and, in the process, became Satan. Jesus served, but He always kept His perspective. Service was for one purpose: to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
Friday, October 05, 2007
And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, "Master, you delivered to me five talents here I have made five talents more." His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much, enter into the joy of your master."
One of the curious linguistic coincidences in Scripture is that "talent" has a double meaning for us. In this passage, a "talent" refers to a unit of money worth more than 15 years of a laborer's wages. But, by a happy coincidence, it also evokes in the minds of English speakers the modern meaning of "special ability or gift." This is good, because it helps us see clearly what often mystifies modern readers about the conclusion of the parable of the talents. The moral is not that the King is absurdly generous toward diligent servants and unduly harsh toward timid people. It is rather what we all learned in tap dance class, gymnastics, or piano lessons: use it or lose it. Biblical talents are simply images of any grace God has given us.
We must exercise the muscle of grace or it will wither.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more".
The "end of the world" will be, for the saved, like the "end of the pregnancy" for the newborn. It won't really be the end of anything except for the end of World Trade Center bombings, death, grief, anguish, and the thousand natural shocks flesh is heir to. Rather, it will be the beginning of everything. It will be the heaven and earth we have always longed for, of a world in which life is a continual struggle against our own worst inclinations, of a world in which we find it natural and easy to love, of a world in which God is readily known and loved in every beam of light and whiff of air around us. That world is already here in the foretaste that is the Eucharist. Someday it will be here in full.
When the Son of Man comes, let us be among those who welcome the Bridegroom.
O Lord, Come! Maranatha!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I study a bit for the ITIL exam, do some research and surf on the web every now and then.
Still no job or somewhere were I can do an internship.
But the good thing is that my niece was excepted at the school she applied to. Prayer does help.
Today there is a soccer match between the Netherlands and the Serb Republik of the soccerteams under the age of 21.
That would be great.
Later I'll post in Dutch and Papiamento.
Na Papiamento: http://miidioma.blogspot.com
In het Nederlands: http://hollands.blogspot.com
Monday, June 11, 2007
But I have been very busy and my mind was set on other things.
But what's been happening lately with me is that I did an IT course, I passed for the exam. Now I'm looking for a job in ICT, but I am having some help in that. I'm in a reintegration programme so as to jumpstart my employment.
Last thing that happened was that I was selected to join a project but then rejected again by the company with whom I was applying.
To receive a rejection is not fun, but I didn't let this spoil my fun. I know there is something else for me somewhere.
I know also that God has a plan for me, so I'm waiting for that moment. In the mean time I don't want to sit and wait and do nothing. I have been doing that long enough. I wasn't sure then of what to do. But now things are clearer to me now.
So I'm expecting a phonecall that a position is found for me.
It's exiting of also not knowing exactly what is waiting for me but being a man of faith, I know that the Lord has it all under control.
At the moment I'm in a local Christian community and that is good for my soul, to receive incouragement and to help me grow spiritualy.
Faith is also helping me to face things of life that tend to drag me down, but I always get strenght to carry on.
His Grace is more than enough for me.
Since I live in Holland I'm also fluent in Dutch, but my thoughts are mostly in English and words in English seems to flow out of my hands.
I have been living about seven years in English speaking environment and I adopted English as the main language I communicate in. My prayerlive is also in English, my Bible is in English, I pray in English and I hear God speaking to me in English.
My Christian formation was also in English so that's why.
But living again in the Netherlands I have to communicate in Dutch and being Aruban I communicate also in Papiamento. (my official native language)
But I still don't feel comfortable reading literature in Papiamento, and I'm starting to do that in Dutch because of my studies.
So that's it a bit of my life now. I will post more in the days to come.
All the best!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Here the Easter fire is being lit. the fire will be blessed and the Easter Candle is lit with this fire. After that all the faithfull lit their candles from the Easter Candle. Then the Easter Vigil in a Chapel or Church will begin.