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TWO SONS: Obedience of Faith

Posted on Sep 29, 2017

26th Week in Ordinary Time
October 1 & 5 RCIA Session

SUNDAY'S READINGS
Ezekiel 18:25-28
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Philippians 2:1-11
Matthew 21:28-32

"Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?  When someone virtuous turns away from virtue..."  -cf. Ezekiel 18:25-28

"What is your opinion?  A man had two sons.... Which of the two did his father's will?"  -cf. Matthew 20:1-16

 

SCHEDULE:   RCIA Thursdays, 7-9 pm: ROOM LIST

  • Adults who wish to inquire about Catholic faith are welcome to meet every Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm:  English-speaking adults meet in the Holy Family Room, Spanish-speaking in the St. Augustine Room.
  • This Thursday youth meet in their separate classrooms and their parents will meet in the Cafeteria or Holy Family Rooms: First & 2nd grade meet in Room 5; third & 4th grade meet in Room 7; fifth & 6th grade meet in room 12, seventh & 8th grade meet in Room 11; High School youth meet in the "little house."

 

FEASTS THIS WEEK: October is the Month of the Rosary

Monday, October 2 - Guardian Angels;  Wednesday, October 4 - St. Francis of Assisi; Saturday, October 7 - Our Lady of the Rosary

 

PRACTICE THE FAITH:  Doing Our Father's Will

  • Read Chapter 4 and Chapter 6 of the USCCA.  How does our tendency to sin (the effect of Original Sin) cloud our understanding and judgement?  How can we understand rightly?  What is "faith"?
  • The Gospel this week is an easy and engaging story for all ages.  It is not what we say, or even what we intend - but what we actually do - that matters.  Good intentions are a starting place, but in the end we must actually do as the Father asks.  Where do we find both the Wisdom and the Strength to do the will of God our Father?
  • Two human persons followed God's will PERFECTLY in their lives:  who were they?  How were they each related differently to God the Father?
  • This month, the month of the Rosary, make a place to put an image of Mary.  Daily reflect on her great "yes" to God and how the Holy Spirit worked in Mary to bring Jesus Christ into the world.  Pray a decade of the Rosary each day, asking Mary to help you welcome the Holy Spirit into your own life as she did in hers.

 

CONNECTIONS:  Understanding the Tradition

God made you simply because He loves you.  As we love God in return, we seek to do His will:  we cannot say we love God and then do just as we please.  More than simply trying to "be good," this is a call to be partners and friends with God, a willingness to do God's work.  In this we are brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, who sought only to do the will of His Father.

To "believe" - to have "faith" - means to seek to do the Father's will every day.  (see Chapter 4 of USCCA)

How do we know "the Father's will" for ourselves as individuals?  As a community?

Read this story of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a portion of which is printed below.  What did St. Ignatius discover about OBEDIENCE and doing the FATHER'S WILL?  If you wish to find out more about the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, there are opportunities through Brebeuf Jesuit High School on 86th Street.

"In 1521, while defending the town of Pamplona against French attack, Ignatius was struck by a cannonball in the legs. One leg was merely broken, but the other was badly mangled. To save his life and possibly his legs, doctors performed several surgeries. There were no anesthetics during this time, so each surgery was painful. Despite their best efforts, Ignatius' condition deteriorated. After suffering for a month, his doctors warned him to prepare for death.

On June 29, 1521, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Ignatius began to improve. As soon as he was healthy enough to bear it, part of one leg was amputated which while painful, sped his recovery.

During this time of bodily improvement, Ignatius began to read whatever books he could find. Most of the books he obtained were about the lives of the saints and Christ. These stories had a profound impact on him, and he became more devout.

One story in particular influenced him, "De Vita Christi" (The life of Christ). The story offers commentary on the life of Christ and suggested a spiritual exercise that required visualizing oneself in the presence of Christ during the episodes of His life. The book would inspire Ignatius' own spiritual exercises.

As he lay bedridden, Ignatius developed a desire to become a working servant of Christ. He especially wanted to convert non-Christians.

Among his profound realizations, was that some thoughts brought him happiness and others sorrow. When he considered the differences between these thoughts, he recognized that two powerful forces were acting upon him. Evil brought him unpleasant thoughts while God brought him happiness. Ignatius discerned God's call, and began a new way of life, following God instead of men.

By the spring of 1522, Ignatius had recovered enough to leave bed. On March 25, 1522, he entered the Benedictine monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat. Before an image of the Black Madonna, he laid down his military garments. He gave his other clothes away to a poor man.

He then walked to a hospital in the town of Manresa. In exchange for a place to live, he performed work around the hospital. He begged for his food. When he was not working or begging, he would go into a cave and practice spiritual exercises.

The ten months he spent between the hospital and the cavern were difficult for Ignatius. He suffered from doubts, anxiety and depression. But he also recognized that these were not from God.

Ignatius began recording his thoughts and experiences in a journal. This journal would be useful later for developing new spiritual exercises for the tens of thousands of people who would follow him. Those exercises remain invaluable today and are still widely practiced by religious and laity alike."

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