SAINT MARY OF THE CROSS
by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, Faith, Family, Forgiving, Happiness, History, Jesus, Lifestyle, Modern Church, Multiculturalism, Truth, Youth
Why celebrate Christmas?
Because we can’t help liking, honouring and admiring this unique person, Jesus Christ.
He was the ultimate one-off.
Above all, see how he totally refused to compromise.
When his challenging message was leading inevitably to his own painful death, he made his message even more challenging, more confronting.
There was no mistaking it:
“Love your enemies!”
Pray to God, saying:
“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us!”
Yes, the Christian church is faulty — tragically unworthy of him who founded it….
Yet it’s in the church that we can hear his gospel read and preached.
In the church we can meet together with others who at least have a go at living Christ’s way.
Jesus Christ, born so long ago, can make you and me better.
He offers a motive for our children to grow into people who are better.
That’s why Christmas is important.
Have a good one.
Getting maximum value from school classes must partly depend on what’s happened since last lesson.
In Australia, one student in seven arrives at school having had no breakfast.
This can’t help.
No dietary input, no concentration, perhaps.
Many must come on Mondays having had no exposure to church or Sunday School over the weekend.
No spiritual input, no inspiration perhaps.
Australia is spending more and more money on school education — yet students’ results are deteriorating compared with other countries.
Results at Australia’s Catholic and independent schools are better than most government schools — despite receiving less government funding.
Donald Trump recently promised to commit $20 billion towards a program they’re calling “School Choice” — families to receive vouchers ensuring that the money follows the child to whatever school the parents choose.
Mr. Trump is quoted as saying, “School choice is the civil rights issue of our time.”
Australia would do well to follow his example on this.
BULLYING, SUICIDE, HOMOSEXUALITY: what is wrong with our schools and our families and our society and our souls?
A 13-year old boy has committed suicide because, according to his mother, he was bullied for being “gay”.
That’s very sad.
We need school programs to curb bullying whatever its context – race, body-image, religion or whatever.
But this poor lad’s death is now being politicised by activists determined to infiltrate schools with programs teaching that homosexual acts are normal, that one’s gender is changeable at whim and that sexual activity needn’t be related to marriage between a man and a woman.
Such politicking can only make matters worse.
If we teach the young in school that traditional marriage is irrelevant and that it’s appropriate to do whatever turns you on – how can things get better?
Today is the first Sunday of Advent — from the Church’s viewpoint it’s the first Sunday of a new year.
For the last 12 months, the gospel readings for Mass have mostly come from Saint Luke’s gospel.
Now, for 12 months, they’ll come mostly from Saint Matthew’s gospel.
Interestingly, Matthew is probably the gospel least compatible with the “discernment-type” belief-system of Pope Francis.
Matthew’s first 2 chapters describe Jesus’ family tree, his birth and the 3 wise men visiting.
Then comes John the Baptist, his predecessor-prophet, with the message: “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Soon after that John is arrested – and that’s when Jesus starts his own public teaching ministry.
His theme? “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
But there’s a difference.
Jesus makes it clear that his message is to be even tougher than previous prophets.
More demanding in at least 6 areas.
They are spelt out in Matthew’s gospel chapter 5 (from verses 21 to 48).
As from now the Pope says that all priests are able to give absolution (forgiveness) to persons involved in abortion.
Previously only certain priests had that authority.
He makes it clear that abortion was, is, and always will be, a grave sin.
But he’s trying to be a bit merciful in the way that grave sin is dealt with.
Anyway, let’s hope he wasn’t hoping to be thanked by the progressive types, including self-styled feminists.
For example, a lady journalist of the Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 2016) uses the headline “Women don’t need Pope Francis’ forgiveness for having abortions”.
But do they need God’s forgiveness?
That is the point.