Happy Easter!

 

We wish you and yours a Happy Easter.

May you be blessed, knowing that you are a blessing!

The Voice

The latest issue of The Voice, our newsletter, has been posted. You’ll find it by clicking on the newsletter link on the left sidebar.

Many thanks to editor, Fr. Ron Catherson, and to those CCOA clergy who wrote articles for this issue.

We Commend Into Your Hands, O Lord

 

We Commend Into Your Hands, O Lord

As we pass the one-year mark in stunned remembrance of  the 565,000 souls lost to Covid-19, perhaps Fr. Michael Joncas’ hymn, “Shelter Me” may be a soothing balm for our collective sorrow. Our lives will be forever touched.

You can find this moving hymn on YouTube by entering search criteria: Shelter Me by Michael Joncas / Recorded by Spiritu during the time of COVID-19.

Heart, Mind, Body and Soul

“Nothing matters now but the highest reaches of human attainment. Nothing but the finest is adequate. We must respond enthusiastically to that alert which calls us to move into the highest reaches of heart, mind, body and soul.”

Herman Adrian Spruit, Founder of the CCOA

Prayer

Many years ago, Herman Adrian Spruit, Patriarch and founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch taught:

“Prayer is the primary process by which you learn to align your desires, your life’s purpose, and your life plans, and work them out in cooperation with [God] … Prayer cleanses, chastens our desires, realizes them, so you can no longer tell where your desires begin to overlap with God’s.”

Caregivers: “the Antibodies to the Virus of Indifference”

A Crisis Reveals What is in our Hearts

In these Advent days, we are filled with hope in preparation for the two-fold coming of Christ: the historical Lord in the Child at Christmas and our personal meeting of the Lord at the “2nd coming”– whether that “end-time” be at our own deaths or our internal awakening to Christ’s eternal presence in our lives, here and now. Pope Francis shares what he finds as key to preparation for this “coming”- “letting your minds and heart overflow with people in conflict, people in suffering”.

“You see faces looking for life and love in the reality of each person, of each people. You see hope written in the story of every nation, glorious because it’s a story of daily struggle, of lives broken in self-sacrifice. So rather than overwhelm you, it invites you to ponder and to respond with hope. These are moments in life that can be ripe for change and conversion…a crisis that reveals what is in our hearts… what is revealed is what needs to change: our lack of internal freedom, the idols we have been serving, the ideologies we have tried to live by, the relationships we have neglected.”

“In lockdown I’ve often gone in prayer to those who sought all means to save the lives of others. So many of the nurses, doctors and caregivers paid that price of love, together with priests, and religious and ordinary people whose vocations were service. We return their love by grieving for them and honoring them… They are the antibodies to the virus of indifference. They remind us that our lives are a gift and we grow by giving of ourselves, not preserving ourselves but losing ourselves in service.”

“To come out of this crisis better, we have to recover the knowledge that as a people we have a shared destination. The pandemic has reminded us that no one is saved alone. What ties us to one another is what we commonly call solidarity. Solidarity is more than acts of generosity, important as they are; it is the call to embrace the reality that we are bound by bonds of reciprocity. On this solid foundation we can build a better, different, human future.”

  • From the New York Times Opinion Article Essay on November 26th, 2020, titled Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts. -an essay adapted from his new book “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future,” with Austen Ivereigh.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.[a]
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

 

What Does this Moment Ask of Me?

 

In The Sacrament of the Present Moment and Abandonment to Divine Providence, Jesuit priest Jean-Pierre de Caussade reminds us that “ Each moment of our lives requires us to do our duty, the duty of the moment, and each moment is precious and holds some divinely appointed purpose”.

We need to “offer God our heart and our will, do our duties faithfully, let go of outcomes, and let God surprise us”…“He speaks joy to the mundane and purpose amidst chaos.”

“We must accept what we often cannot avoid, and endure with love and resignation things which could cause us weariness and disgust. This is what it means to be holy.”  “…to open our heart and trust that in each plan that doesn’t go according to our hopes, God has something even better in store.”

“If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there’s only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment.” “What does this moment ask of me?” is always the right question.

 

 

 

As We Wait…

Let nothing disturb you.

Let nothing frighten you.

Though all things pass,

God does not change.

Patience wins all things.

But he lacks nothing

 who possesses God;

For God alone suffices.

-St. Teresa of Avila

Cold War in our Hearts and Deadening of Conscience

“One of our great problems is to see clearly what we have to resist. I would say that at the moment we have to understand better than we do the cold-war mentality. If we do not understand it, we will run the risk of contributing to its confusions and thereby helping the enemies of man and of peace. The great danger is that under the pressures of anxiety and fear, the alternation of crisis and relaxation and new crisis, the people of the world will come to accept gradually the idea of war, the idea of submission to total power, and the abdication of reason, spirit and individual conscience. The great peril of the cold war is the progressive deadening of conscience.”

– Thomas Merton, The Hidden Ground of Love. (p. 325-6)

Perhaps these words of ring as true today as they did in 1962. May we guard against the deadening of our conscience by daily returning to the Divine Source of all Wisdom in the silence of contemplation.


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