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Not Just Sundays…

Happy Sunday!  I hope you remember to think of today as the start of your week and not the END of your weekend 🙂  Take the time today to think of all the great things that have happened this past week.  Actually do it now.  Close your eyes for 30 seconds and see what’s the first thing to come to mind.  You only need that one thing to jump start an amazing week to come.  Hold on to that feeling of gratitude, you’ll need it for tomorrow 🙂

One of the things I do on Sunday, to start the day off right, is to go to Church.  If you’ve been following on Sundays, you know that we’ve been learning quite a bit.  This week’s lesson is about Holy Days of Obligation. 

When people asked me what I did for my birthday this past July, going to Church was the first thing I named.  The rest of the day is a blur, minus the yummy meal I had with my boyfriend.  Most responses I got were, Why Church?  My birthday fell on a Friday.  While it is true that Mass is celebrated on Sundays and it is the day to keep holy, it is not the only day Mass is held.  Mass, for Catholics, is held every day.  We learned last week in We Find the Defendant … that according to the laws of the Church, one ‘shall attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation and rest from servile labor.’

photo credit: Ted Abbott via photopin cc

This past Thursday was a Holy Day of Obligation.  All Saints Day, which falls on November 1st, is a day to honor the saints known and unknown.  A saint is someone who lives up to the example of Christ, through their holiness or sanctity of the religion.  I have a book of over 200 saints, all became so because of their faith in Christ and died defending their belief. 

All Saints Day is followed by All Souls Day on November 2nd.  This day is a day to pray for the souls that have died.  The way I understand it, it is a day to pray for souls that might be stuck in Purgatory.  It is a way to help them get into Heaven.

Hurricane Sandy took out the power for a lot of people;  Including my church, so Mass was not held on Thursday.  I am not sure how that works out, if its a sin or not, since I didn’t go.  I’ll have to inquire about that of course.  Yesterday, though, I took a moment to think of all the people who gave their lives defending Christ.  What could I do or not do, to live a life closer in His footsteps?

Even if you don’t go to Church or haven’t gone in a while, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your relationship with Him strong.  I encourage you to have a conversation with Him daily, even if its just to say thanks for waking up in the morning.  This can be your one thing of gratitude for today.  I’ll leave you with one of today’s readings.

Heb 7:23-28                           [Jesus the High Priest]

Jesus has a priesthood that will not pass away.  He is a high priest holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and higher than the heavens.  He offered one sacrifice for sin.
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews

Brothers and sisters:

The levitical priests were many because they were prevented by death from remaining in office, but Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away.  Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.  He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself.  For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests, but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law, appoints a son, who has been made perfect forever.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Let it marinate!

Until then,

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Sunday Mornings…when you think THEY have it ALL together.

Today on this Soulful Sunday I wanted to remind you that going to church or staying home and listening to The Word is good for your soul.  A post I read over at Humor & Honey, Singing A Lie in Church, made me think about what is on my mind during the Mass.  As of late, I think I’ve been pretty focused.  Although reading the first or second reading during Mass helps.  I have to pay attention or else I can potentially throw off the whole flow.  That is something I am not willing to do!  The nice thing about reading for the Sunday Mass, is that I practice during the week.  I have all the readings that will be read in advance.  It lets my mind marinate on The Word and the message that will be delivered.

This was not always the case.  It was some time before I was asked to read.  I didn’t have the readings in advance and I admit my mind would wander.  There was a handful of times that I would look at the families sitting in front of me and think, Wow they really have it together.  Their ENTIRE family is here.  Most times I attend church by myself.  It takes a special occasion for the entire family to come out.  The great thing though, is that God is with me always, so I NEVER feel alone.

Friday in Youth Group, Mother Blessed Sacrament showed me a video that made me feel a lot better about not having the entire family with me.  Don’t get me wrong I wish more of my family members attended Mass with me, but what I saw made me remember that sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side.  Sometimes people look like they have it all together, but really don’t.  Try not to laugh too hard.     

I find it comforting to know that the well polished family might not have it all together on Sunday morning.  I am not sure if they have days like in the video, but its a comfort nonetheless.  It is also a reminder to compare yourself to yourself and not others.  Today I’ll leave you with the Second Reading for your mind to marinate over.

Second Reading Jas 3:16-4:3 [Avoiding Conflicts]
Wisdom begets innocence.  It is peace-loving, kind, docile, impartial, and sincere.  The inner cravings of human beings lead to murder, envy and squandering.
A Reading from the Letter of Saint James
BELOVED: Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.
Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess.  You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war.  You do not possess because you do not ask.  You ask but do not recieve, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Let it marinate!
Until Then,