Five Faith Friday

Here is this week's installment of "Five Faith Friday" which contains five faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.

What Quote I'm Reflecting On --
"Don't say God is silent when your Bible is closed." Amen to that. If you've never read the Bible, would like to do so more, or want a great Bible study, you are in luck. Starting January 1st, Ascension and Father Mike Schmitz are coming out with 365 daily podcast episodes. Each 20-25 minute episode will have two to three scripture readings in addition to a reflection from Father Mike. Sign up here - I'll be participating!

What I Experienced --
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. I'd venture to say that the majority of Catholics would agree that the Pope is the human head of the Roman Catholic Church. The fact of the matter is that he is the Holy Father of the Catholic Church, of which the Roman Catholic Church is a part of. While it is true that the vast majority of Catholics in the world partake in Mass via the ordinary form (see: novus ordo), there are many other rites within the Church besides the Roman rite. And in the Eastern Church, they don't call it the Mass but rather the Divine Liturgy. This chart helps explain how many Bishops, Archbishops, and Cardinals there are associated with each rite. There is a liturgical diversity in the Church but they all focus on the same thing - Jesus - they just go about it in different ways. So why would someone want to go to the Divine Liturgy or to any of the other rites? Here is one excellent explanation from the Pints With Aquinas podcast. I view it similar to traveling. People in Pennsylvania have an itch to travel to the different states outside of PA in an effort to see the beauty of our nation and the different customs and cultures that, at the end of the day, help make the United States what it is. The same holds true to the Church. "Catholic" means universal and having the ability to partake in liturgical diversity with our fellow brothers and sisters helps us see the beauty of our Church and the different customs and cultures that make it what it is. Go look up another one of the rites in the Catholic Church and go see the diversity yourself - it is well worth it. Where should you start? Pull up Google Maps and search for "Byzantine Catholic Church." If you go, it will probably look and sound much like this.

Who I Had the Honor of Meeting --
Monsignor John Esseff. Yesterday I took the opportunity to take a road trip with two friends to visit the good Monsignor. I had learned about him reading "The Priests We Need to Save the Church" by Kevin Wells book and I had looked into him. After my friend read the book and suggested we visit, it was a no brainer. Here are a few highlights I took away:

  • We only see 10% of the world around us (Monsignor could see all of the demons, angels, and guardian angels around us in the restaurant)
  • We need to see ourselves as the body of Christ. It is often times easier to see Christ in others than it is in ourselves
  • When he witnessed Padre Pio (his spiritual adviser) celebrating Mass, he said it was like watching Jesus (as he started to tear up)
  • He shared the story of Mother Theresa (his spiritual advisee) and one time she had an appointment with the Pope. On the way she met a man on the side of the road that needed to be attended to. She stopped to do so and people kept telling her that she was going to be late for her appointment with the Pope. She responded with, "Tell the Pope that I am with Jesus."
  • He advised that before our feet hit the ground in the morning, we make a morning offering and grab our rosaries

What Article Is a Must Read --
"Four Common Tactics of the Devil" by Msgr. Charles Pope. The devil is constantly at work on each and every one of us and this article helps us to understand the tactics being used in the attack. In understanding the tactics you are then placed in a better position to combat them. There are so many that we tell ourselves and so many that society does as well. Everyone should read this. Here is what the four are, but read the article for the details associated with each: Deception, division, diversion, and discouragement.

What Book I'm Rereading --
The Priests We Need to Save the Church by Kevin Wells. I actually had just read this book in July but it is so good that I wanted a 2nd look at it. And that's saying something because of the 87 books I've read this year, this is the only one I had an itch to read again almost immediately. While the book is designed for clergy, I highly recommend all of the faithful give the book a read. How do we save the Church? We need good and holy priests!

Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!

David Yingling started his weekly “Five Faith Friday” emails when the Coronavirus forced an end to his in-person “Pints & Prayers” gatherings, which he describes as “Men striving to deepen their faith over a cold one.” He’s a member of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Easton.


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