Elijah and Elisha, Sts. Peter and Paul, the saints come in twos sometimes: St. Francis and St. Claire, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, St. Benedict and St. Scholastica. That last one is extra special, because Sts. Benedict and Scholastica were actually siblings. With a selfish motive, I want to highlight Saints Peter and Paul, because I, along with my classmates, will be ordained priests on their solemnity.
Ruminations from Deacon Hank Lyon
Community has been on my mind recently, probably because we can finally start gathering again. There is a special dynamic within the seminary and the priesthood of living community life, whether its in the seminary environment or rectory life. Family life, of course, is a community unique to each household, and the parish is a necessary community for all Catholics. The strength of each of these communities is ultimately dependent on their devotion and dependence on Christ. If Christ is the center and the desire for each person of the community, then common ground can be had with any member of these various communities coming together. As the seminarian enters seminary, then enters the presbyterate at his ordination, then gets placed at his parish, and as he shepherds each family, it is knowing and loving Christ that creates the perfect bridge between all the various communities he will encounter.
Getting back into the swing of things. As summer is kicking off here, I have finally found my way back on a golf course. I was absolutely uncertain if my swing would come back right away. All of last season I spent extra time at the driving range trying to drill good habits into the muscles. Thankfully, when I stepped into the tee box, I was able to turn my brain off and swing. It is funny how the conscious mind can act as the backseat driver to the subconscious mind, which does things best by habit and repetition. Don’t think, just swing.
The words of St. Paul, “…mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” These words from St. Paul come from this Sunday’s second reading and I say Mother Church is providing us with wisdom for these troubling days. Watching the news and seeing the mess that is happening around our country and our beloved home is enough to make one lose his peace. A sense of helplessness might certainly follow from the sight, and it is for these reasons that the words of St. Paul are worth praying with. If we take St. Paul’s words into our hearts, then we can begin to find, once again, peace in our homes.
St. Augustine is a great doctor of our Church, and as a doctor of the Church, his words give timeless counsel, teaching and fatherly wisdom. Something of his recently struck me to be a clear and concise way of understanding how our sufferings can be united to Christ’s own suffering, if we offer them to Our Lord. The good doctor writes:
Oh, the cellphone, can’t live with it and can’t live without it. It seems to have everything I need, yet I don’t need to be always looking at it. What did we ever do before cellphones? Maybe we had more peace of mind? If the cellphone isn’t going away, then let’s sanctify it. Let’s use the cellphone to glorify God and sanctify our days instead of distracting us from our day. A great way to do this is to download the iBreviary App on your smartphone.
What do you do with a problem like Maria? Title and refrain from a very famous movie, The Sound of Music. A great movie to watch if you have exhausted your movie queue. It’s the ever so charming movie about a young woman who is discerning her vocation: to become a nun or to be married. Young Maria is a postulant, meaning that she lives within the convent but has not professed permanent vows for life. The nuns notice that Maria does not seem to do well following their rule of life, and so the Abbess sends Maria to spend some time outside the convent caring as a governess, or nanny, to seven children. I won’t give away any more details.
Have you picked up an old hobby in the midst of staying at home? An unfinished project or perhaps finding time now to start a project that had been waiting. Last summer, I brought my mobile art gear along with me when I spent the whole summer here at St. Juliana. I fashioned a drawing den for myself in the basement. My mobile art gear consists of a very simple round folding chair, a portable easel and a tacklebox full of misc. art supplies. This gear is not only the means of extending my creative mind into concrete visuals, but it also belonged to my grandfather. He passed away when I was a junior in high school. The summer before he passed, we spent it entirely outside in various locations painting and drawing on sight. A very cherished memory that has been preserved for me by carrying around his old gear.
In my second year at Mundelein, my course load was packed with dense theology courses, such as Christology and Doctrine of God. One afternoon, I had just come out of class and my brain was fried. I must have had a dazed look on my face because an upperclassman, who I knew well, stopped and asked how my studies were going. I said, “Oh…fine”. He chuckled and asked, “have you found yourself staring at walls yet?” I was surprised by how accurately he named the very thing I would do as I studied for a class.
An infinity of little hours. No, I’m not trying to describe how I feel about beginning another week of self-quarantine. Though, it does feel rather apt as a description for all this time at hand. An Infinity of Little Hours is a book about the life of Carthusian monks who live in Parkminster, England. It would not be far off to describe the Carthusian Order, started by St. Bruno in 1084, as the marines of Catholicism.
5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In [c]whose heart are the highways to Zion!
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength,
[f]Every one of them appears before God in Zion.
84 How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
3 The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You.
Boy, a lot has certainly changed in our lives and rather quickly too. It’s all too much at some moments to really fathom the effects the virus has had on the entire world. Sports! Sports are gone. I never would have seen that one coming. Taking sports as an example, it is always the guaranteed entertainment that would be around. Perhaps here and there a rain delay occurred or a game is postponed, but the entire sporting enterprise is cancelled. Unreal.
Mater Dolorosa is a title for Our Lady; it is Latin for Mother of Sorrow. Moving further into Lent, we will soon come into Holy Week when we will walk with Our Lord through the darkest moments of His life on earth. I offer this aid to help intensify our prayer in preparation for and during Holy Week: the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
More in this category:
- Deacon Cook What?
- Conscience is a Gift - Vox Dei
- So that He may continue to walk with His people...
- Taking Time For Jesus
- The Roman Missal
- Basketball @ Mundelein
- Faith Formation Is Never Ending
- Focus 2020
- Awake, It is the Birthday of Thy King
- Sweet Mother of the Redeemer
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Pray Without Ceasing
- St Juliana
- Alphons Popieluszko
- Venerable Fulton Sheen and His Coffee
- St Augustine
- What Makes the Sun a Beacon for the Whole World?
- Ave Maria
- The one who seeks God, finds within his soul the Master painting His masterpiece
- Superman Superhero
- Garden for God
- Silent Retreats
- Fun Always Follows Joy
- Habitual Grace
- The Kingdom of God
- Sacramental Grace
- Redemption Won By Death
- On the Topic of Grace
- Jesus Christ, My Super Hero