Putting on the red shoes
Did you know…?
Popes have traditionally worn red shoes as a sign that they are willing to be martyrs for Christ and His Church. Martyrdom was the result for many popes throughout our church history. In our day, the persecution of the church and its members continues overtly in other countries – sometimes physically, other times through removal of religious freedoms to worship or to practice in daily life, and more frequently through subtle jokes and misrepresentations. The next pope, as many before, will have to deal with this in some way.
As you hear coverage and speculations about who the next pope will be, think about the martyrdom aspect. The pope will take on a new name when he is announced. His former life will be over. He will now live a life of sacrifice devoted fully to Christ and the needs of His Church. This is not a life of power. I am old enough to remember the day Pope John Paul II was shot and I’ve seen our current Holy Father ridiculed in social and mainstream media for years. Any cardinal that seems to want to be pope will not be elected. Any intelligent cardinal is not standing up saying, “I want to be a martyr!” It doesn’t happen that way. The room where the papal vestments will be put on for the first time is often known as “The Crying Room” because the weight of the position will hit him. It is a bittersweet moment to have the realization of the amount of sacrifice that will now have to be offered. The new pope will give willingly, but there is a price to pay.
Being Jesus Today
This morning I was listening to Relevant Radio and there was a “Glen’s Story Corner” that had a message of never really knowing when you would be Christ to someone and to look for the opportunities. My day ended with learning a bit more about a classmate of mine. I knew that she had a child when she was “younger” but I didn’t know she was still in HS at the time. As class let out I happened to be walking in front of a few people having a discussion about not really knowing if church was necessary and the term “lapsed Catholic” was used. Almost immediately someone used the term “cafeteria Catholic” and this classmate asked what that meant. My mouth just opened and I turned around and gave a quick definition of “picking and choosing what parts of it you want to believe or follow.” Her response was a bit negative and joking that she was already in trouble as a Catholic because she had a baby at 17.
I said, “No.” Then I said, still walking, “You decided to have him (her son). Not everyone does. That earns double respect points in my book,” and a couple people behind me agreed. I just had the sense that she had never heard it before. I know she is a very involved single mother who tries hard with her teenage son. I also just had the sense - and the prayer - after I said this that this might be what she has needed to hear for 15 years. She seemed to feel that she wasn’t worthy and/or had little chance at redemption. I know that in class I have already “come out of the closet” as a conservative and I think my religious or moral standpoints have slipped through. I hope that this comment to her was heard as something Jesus might say to her and that this little seed grows. I hope she knows she is always welcomed. I was glad and humbled that Jesus found an opportunity for me today.
It can hardly be said that all these Presidents and Congresses, of both parties, had been waging a
war on women. I have seen no evidence that such laws, showing respect for Americans’
conscientious beliefs, have done any harm to women or to their advancement in society. What
seems to be at issue instead is a new, more grudging attitude in recent years toward citizens
whose faith or moral principles are not in accord with the views of the current governing power.
And while the mandate for coverage of abortion-causing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization is
hailed by some as a victory for women’s freedom, it permits no free choice by a female
employee to decline such coverage for herself or her minor children, even if it violates her moral
and religious convictions.
Archbishop Lori to the 112th Congress
Matthew 25: 31-46
Today’s Gospel reading about the separating of the sheep and the goats. Another of the readings often forgotten by a few of our more fundamentalist anti-catholic brothers and sisters that believe that actions don’t matter.
We show our faith and belief through our actions, even to the least of these.
A religion is defined by belief, not the happy accident of being born into it.
For all those wondering what to make for dinner on this Lenten Friday. You can add one more thing to the menu.
It’s gator time.
(I wonder if that makes frog legs seafood, too.)
Three times the scripture says of Joseph: “He rose up.” He rose up to carry out God’s will as he perceived it in his conscience, a conscience that was so alert that it perceived the message of the angel even in sleep, although that message called him to a path of duty that he himself neither devised nor expected.
According to the witness of the Bible, this insignificant man’s humble routine concealed a further object of value: righteousness. Joseph was a just man, the Bible says, a man who regulated his life according to the word and law of God. Not only when this law suited his desires, but always and at all times, even when it was hard, and when the law judged to his disadvantage that his neighbor was right. He was righteous in that he was impartial, tactful, and respectful of Mary’s individuality and even of that which he could not understand in her.
-Karl Rahner, SJ
It seems the only time America wants to accommodate Catholics is when it thinks we want a Filet-O-Fish
How can a Jew or a Christian not believe in the sanctity of life before birth?
From tonight’s Liturgy of the Hours. Psalm 139:
For you created my innermost being as you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for you made me so wonderfully: so wonderful are your works, so perfect your knowledge.
Even my bones were not hidden from you as I was being created in secret, put together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me before ever I was completed. All my days were written in your book before any of them came into being.
The true disciple does not serve himself or the “public”, but his Lord, in simplicity and generosity: “And your Father who sees everything in secret will reward you” (Mt 6,4.6.18). Our fitness will always be more effective the less we seek our own glory and the more we are aware that the reward of the righteous is God Himself, to be united to Him, here, on a journey of faith, and at the end of life, in the peace light of coming face to face with Him forever (cf. 1 Cor 13:12).
Pope Benedict XVI in his Ash Wednesday homily