God our Father

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I strive to be a good father, I really do. But all the demons come out of the woodwork to point out my shortcomings and failings.

My goal, then, is to look to our ideal Heavenly Father, God Almighty, for inspiration and guidance.

God is all loving, but that doesn’t mean soft. We’ve mixed up the two concepts. Love, in fact, can sometimes feel harsh and rigid.

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Us

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Our readings today reinforce the message that we’re all in this together.

It’s a particularly counter-cultural thought, because our country does its best to celebrate individual accomplishment, independence, and self-sufficiency. Which is all good, I suppose, but the fact is that God created us as society, not just a billion random beings on a planet.

I was talking with a guy recently who is writing a book about becoming an elder. Continue reading “Us”

The Eucharist

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How wonderful that Pope Saint John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries to our Rosary in 2002! Of course, on Corpus Christi Sunday, it’s so appropriate to focus on the institution of the source and summit of our faith.

That all sounds well and good, but some Christians might find it strange that we seem to maybe be putting the Eucharist ahead of Jesus Himself.

But that’s not what we’re doing at all.

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Thy will be done

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How do I know when I’m doing God’s will?

It’s not a flippant question. Every time I say the Lord’s Prayer, I’m asking for God’s will to be done.

I could just hang out and try not to get in the way while God does His thing, but I don’t think that’s the way it works. WE need to do His will. Including ME.

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Thee, thou, thine

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Growing up, I learned the version of the Lord’s Prayer that you see to the right. When I joined the Catholic Church in 1985, I first learned the Hail Mary and many other prayers based on the traditional language.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

I guess I just assumed that this was my “church language”, kind of like dressing up for Mass.

It seemed respectful and appropriate. Formal.

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Our Lord

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In our modern Christian language, we throw around the phrase “Jesus is Lord!” with great abandon. It conveys a sense of hope and acknowledgement that Jesus our Great Holy One, worthy of praise and honor.

Which is totally fine, but it’s not the whole story.

The concept of “Lord” existed even before the time of Jesus. But what did it mean?

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Please?

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I have found it odd that our Catholic prayers often don’t include the word “please” or something similar.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Here we are asking God or Jesus or Mary for something huge, and it seem perhaps a bit impolite. Perhaps English is different than Latin and other languages in this sense?

Give us this day our daily bread.

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Bring all souls to heaven

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In the Fatima Prayer, we ask Jesus to “bring all souls to heaven.” How is that different than saying we’d like God to fix all our nasty human tendencies and have us all … get along?

Don’t get me wrong. I would absolutely love to live in a world without sin, without suffering, without anxiety.

But then, I realize that that’s not the point of the world God has created.

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In the Name of the Holy Spirit

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I’m comfortable calling God by name, and Jesus. But how often do I actually talk to the Holy Spirit?

I find myself talking about the Holy Spirit in the third person** more than directly.

But because the Holy Spirit IS the triune God as much as the Father and the Son, I need to speak more directly to Him. Or Her, as some might suggest – the English language struggles.

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