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.

Which Picture I Found Inspiring --
This one of Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng begging armed police officers not to shoot and torture the children, but to shoot and kill her instead. The photo comes out of the city of Myitkyina where Myanmar struggles with the chaotic aftermath of the military’s overthrow of the civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on 1 February. It has been extremely violent but despite the turmoil, this brave nun stood up to authorities. You can read more about it here.

What I'm Reflecting On --
Remember the old saying that said, "shoot for the moon and if you miss you'll land among the stars?" I have my own version. Strive to be Jesus and you'll be a Saint." I hear people say that, "I love God who doesn't have expectations of perfection in his children." Actually, that's not true. Matthew 5:48 tells us "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." St. Paul goes onto say in Ephesians 5:1, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." Has anyone that stepped foot on earth been perfect besides Jesus and the Virgin Mary? No, but we are called to seek perfection and to try to improve daily while uniting ourselves more perfectly with the Father. If you know you should be praying more, fasting more, and removing yourself from habitual sin, then try to do so. Don't operate under the false misconception of, "I don't need to pray more... God loves me just the way I am." Yes, he does love you just the way you are because you are his child, but he wants you to grow in virtue. It's just like how a parent loves their child despite them misbehaving and why the parent wants their child to improve. That is one of the beauties of the Church. We have the beautiful sacrament of Reconciliation which Jesus gave to us. So run to the Father, fall into grace, be done with the hiding, there's no reason to wait. Your heart needs a surgeon, your soul needs a friend, so run to the Father again and again and again and again.

Which Homily I Learned a Lot From --
"Sacred to the Lord" by Father Ezaki. You can watch the full homily by clicking here (it's only 7 minutes). Here's the synopsis - things are made holy and set apart for the Lord. That can be time, places, objects, and even people. The homily went into some of the craziness that happens in the nave (i.e., where the people sit at church) but I'd like to build on it and share a few things that shouldn't occur while in church because it is sacred to the Lord:

  • Eating or drinking. Obviously infants need to be fed and obviously people with medical issues need to treat their condition, but sipping on a cup of coffee - definitely not. You are required to fast 1 hour before Mass but even if you aren't receiving the Blessed Sacrament, you still shouldn't be eating or drinking in church, especially in the nave
  • Chewing gum
  • Playing on your phone. Now if you are using your phone to access prayers or to follow along with the Mass or the readings, by all means. But playing games, checking e-mail, texting people, and reading the news is a no go
  • Wearing hats (this applies to the men)
  • Having conversations. Similar to the first point, of course you need to keep your children in check in a quiet fashion, but chatting about your day's plans should be reserved for before or after Mass either in a gathering space area or physically outside of the entire church
  • Putting on makeup and doing your nails. Seriously, it happens. The pew I sit for daily Mass has fake finger nails in the book holder as a matter of fact

"Never smoke while you pray, but by all means, pray while you smoke." (Watch the homily and that line will make sense)

What News Saddened Me --
The passing of the $2 trillion covid "relief" bill. This is the first time in 45 years that Congress has passed a spending bill without the pro-life protections found in the Hyde Amendment. President Biden once stated, "As you may know, I have consistently - on no fewer than 50 occasions - voted against federal funding of abortions." Well, times change and now the covid "relief" bill allows money to be eligible for use by Planned Parenthood and others to kill unborn children. How many? According to Planned Parenthood's 2019 annual report, 354,871. How many Americans died with covid in their systems in 2020? 361,517. Let those two numbers sink in and then ask yourself, which one of the two are you most concerned about. Remember the homily from Father Bill Kosco, Pastor of St. Henry Church in Buckeye, Arizona that I shared a few weeks back? I received TONS of messages about it. Here is the link again... "It's snowing!" Boy is it ever.

What I Read --
Phew! I finished 3 books and all 3 were absolutely fantastic reads:

  1. "Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic" by Peter Kreeft. This was a short and easy read but thought provoking and true
  2. "The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living" by Father Timothy Gallagher. I especially enjoyed this one. In fact, I need to take action of transcribing St. Ignatius's rules so I can revisit on a regular basis. I especially recommend this book for clergy and those who would consider themselves to be actively pursuing their faith
  3. "Reflections on the Psalms" by C.S. Lewis. This one was recommended by a friend and lived up to the hype. Like all C.S. Lewis books, they are entertaining and immersive at the same time

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

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