Dec 18, 2011

Twas a Week Before Christmas...

Today begins the fourth and final week of Advent. How exciting it is to think that in one short week we will be celebrating the birth of our Savior.  This will be the first year, in many, that I will get the pleasure of attending midnight mass.  As a child, it was the one time of year that I would beg to go to Mass.  Celebrating in the dead of night when the world is quiet and sleeping gives Christmas an almost magical feel. We as Catholics follow in the footsteps of the angels and shepherds, who gathered to look upon the newborn Savior. In the stillness it is easy to imagine the quiet awesomeness of that night so many years ago. The special knowledge of his magnificence was known only to a few.  Now in this world we are that few, who knows the wondrous things that Jesus was sent to earth to accomplish. So through much yawning I will be quietly celebrating that beautiful birth in the stillness as did those on that first night.

Dec 12, 2011

Can You See?

In formation this month we got into an interesting discussion about visions.  Some people in our group have seen many visions and others have had none.  I only recall ever having two.  The first vision is still as clear as day even though I was only preschool or kindergarten age at the time.  I was in the living room of my grandparents home sitting on the couch watching TV.  My grandmother was doing dishes in the kitchen.  The layout of the house was such that I could see into the kitchen from where I was sitting.  A bright shining light came in through the window by the kitchen sink, flew through the kitchen, into the living room and out through the living room window.  I sat there in awe of this light that I was convinced was Jesus Christ.  I don't really know why I thought that it was Jesus, but I was definitely sure that it was and I had no qualms about telling everyone about this vision.  The second vision was during my retreat at Broom Tree which I previously posted about.

I have had far more experiences where I have heard His voice or just had a feeling that I had to do something.  For example, one morning I woke up with the overwhelming feeling that I had to go to Mass that day. There wasn't anything particularly special about that day, but it turned out that the homily was exactly what I needed to hear.

I would love to hear what your experience has been with visions or other encounters with God. Did your vision effect a change in you or were you directed to do something for God. Please post them in the comment box.

Dec 9, 2011

Our Time

The Foundations of St. Theresa of Avila is a fascinating study of the trials and tribulations St. Theresa faced in setting up her monasteries in sixteen century Spain. While there are some very stark differences between her time and ours, there are some eerie similarities. As in her time and ours, obedience seems to be in short supply.  News report after news report lists the transgressions and dissent of church laity, priests, nuns and bishops alike. Some in the Church visibly defy the hierarchy and what it teaches. There seems to be an endless supply of self-appointed interpreters of God's law who feel it necessary to tell the Church how it is wrong in all things, while still maintaining they are devout Catholics.

Some of those in defiance of the Church may never understand that when they defy the teachings of the Church, they are defying God. We must have hope that they will see the error of their ways before it is too late to repent.  Until that day comes, we must follow St. Theresa's example of total obedience to our Church.  From this obedience we can reform the Catholic Church and drown out those voices of dissent.  St. Theresa led the way in reforming the Church in her time, it is our turn to do so in our time.