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U.S. Military archbishop assesses freedom of worship in armed forces

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La Divina Misericordia: el perdón para todos

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Cath·o·hól·ic

Gospel reading John 15:1-8

Fifth Sunday of Easter: May 3, 2015

Jesus said to his disciples:“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Click here to read a brief commentary >>

Msgr. Jim Fetscher

St. Sebastian Church

Fifth Sunday of Easter: May 3, 2015

Dear Family,

Well, if smiles mean anything, this group sure looks enlivened by the Holy Spirit. Our newly confirmed are a great group and it was a pleasure to share their sacred moment.

Once again, Archbishop James Keleher, Archbishop Emeritus of Kansas City, Kansas, made our celebration special. His kindness blesses us every time he comes and we are so lucky that he is our parishioner, a very special snowbird. I’m grateful to Archbishop Wenski as well for encouraging us to have Archbishop Keleher confirm in our community.

When I looked at the picture of our young people, something made me start thinking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding,counsel, fortitude (or courage), knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. This list of the gifts comes from Chapter 11 of the Book of Isaiah, verses 2 and 3. If you go and look that up, you’ll see that fear of the Lord is mentioned twice in some translations. So the first ‘fear’ was understood as “piety” and that’s how we got seven.

  • More importantly, how do those gifts affect us?
  • How will they affect Guillian, Ashlyn, Ricardo, Jack, Brianna, and Logan?

Look at the picture again and ask yourself if you think the gifts of the Holy Spirit are affecting them. One commentator on the gifts said that the Holy Spirit kicks intuition up a notch. (Well he didn’t say kick it up a notch; that’s me. But you know what I mean.)

Is that too ‘spiritual’ an explanation? Look at those faces. Somehow they beam “Spirit” at me.

There are any number of places you can go to check into the Gifts of the Spirit. I stole some of the following thoughts from About.com.catholicism or you can just put ‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit’ in your search box.

If Wisdom is the desire to contemplate the things of God, Understanding allows us to grasp, at least in a limited way, the very essence of the truths of the Catholic Faith. Through understanding, we gain a certitude about our beliefs that moves beyond faith and really opens the door to deeper knowledge.

With the gift of Counsel, we are able to judge how best to act almost by intuition. Fortitude gives us the strength to follow through on the actions suggested by the gift of counsel. You can call it courage but this is more than courage; this is the virtue that let martyrs suffer and die for their faith.

Knowledge is often confused with both wisdom and understanding. But whereas wisdom gives us the desire to judge all things according to the truths of the Catholic Faith, knowledge is the actual ability to do so.

Piety is the willingness to worship and to serve God. Piety takes that willingness beyond a sense of duty, so that we desire to worship God and to serve Him out of love.

Fear of the Lord isn’t fear. Rather it is awe is the face of God’s love, a love that allows us to hope in eternal life.

I’m out of room so I’ll close with my thanks to God for sending us new people to be bearers of his gifts for the whole faith family.

The sacraments: Eucharist

April 30, 2015

The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae III)

In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained.” (Council of Trent, 1551)

“This presence is called ‘real’ — by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, 39, and Catechism #1374)

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”

“The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.” (Catechism #1324)

Source: Fountain of Grace, published by archdiocesan Office of Lay Ministry

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