"It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait. At any rate after a short halt go on he did..."
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Living with Christ, Water Journeys, and Enneagrams
In Canada January the 7th was the Memorial of St.
Andre Bessette. My family has a devotion to this great saint, and so I smuggled
in a Living with Christ daily missal booklet
from the church in order to have St. Andre’s updated Collect prayer on hand for
praying the Divine Office. Whoops. I should have just ripped out the page with the prayer.
What did bringing a Living
with Christ booklet into my home give me? Let’s take a look…
-An opening address by Gilles Mongreau, SJ. He
vaguely discusses light, while condemning those who “try to cling to old ways
of thinking, even going so far as to try to violently enforce the return of a ‘golden
age.’” I’m not sure who exactly this is referring to. Those violent traditional
Catholics? Or Muslims?
-Prayers of the Faithful, including decrying “the
abuse and misuse of the world’s resources,” asking for a “deep and mutual
respect for all faith traditions among all leaders and teachers,” and my
favourite, a prayer “for us, God’s priestly people gathered here, called to
bless the Lord.”
-Sunday theological reflections by inspired members
of the laity. They plead with us to consider the migrants among us, acknowledge
that God says yes to us, and remind us that Jesus “is the only member of the
human race that does not need forgiveness” - precise Mariology be damned.
-Inclusive language. You know, St. Paul’s “sons of
men” is so offensive.
the best of all: the retreats!
-On January the 11th in Coburg, ON, you
can attend a “Sacred Water” session. “Water is Life. Water is Sacred. Protect
the Sacred.” From there you will be presented with “some steps forward on our
water journey.” How’s your water journey going?
-Jan. 17-18 in St. Albert, AB, has a retreat
focusing on “the ecumenical virtue of hospitality,” in case you’re interested.
-Jan. 22 is a doozy. In Windsor, ON, there is a
full day workshop on “Introduction to the Enneagram.” Yes, this was condemned
by the Vatican back in 2003, but not to worry, the program assures us that the “Enneagram
is a tool that helps us to awaken to our sacred self.”
-Windsor also presents the gnostic
health-and-wealth inspired “Prayer of Jabez” workshop on Jan. 28.
-The next day you can skip back to Coburg for their
“Gift of the Christian Celtic Spirit” retreat. For just $40 you will gain “understandings
of thresholds, dreams, the unseen world, soul friendship, seasonal cycles,
journeying of the Spirit and God’s encircling love.”
-And finally, Feb. 1 has an “Eco-Contemplative
Winter Retreat” in St. Albert. Don’t miss Jodi Lammiman and Amy Spark “use
ecological metaphor to uncover what is stirring in your inner world through group
dialogue and guided solitude time.”
There is all this and much more in the January 2020 edition of
Living with Christ.
I actually don’t want this trash in my home. So what is it
doing in our churches?
An update of my thoughts on Exodus 90 can be found HERE . Exodus 90 is underway for many Catholic men. It is an intense 90 day program based on prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For 90 days these men will take cold showers, abstain from alcohol and most media, fast twice per week, give up snacks and desserts, along with various other spiritual tasks. I applaud such a penitential spirit. The inevitable…. HOWEVER… However, I do have two concerns about Exodus 90 which could use some explaining. 1: Sundays The Church already has a wise, if not perfect, system of fasting and feasting. Catholics are encouraged to do penance on Wednesdays and Fridays (some add in Saturdays as well). In addition, there are specific periods of penance (Lent, Advent, Ember Days). Feasting occurs on Sundays as well as on major Feast Days and Solemnities (e.g. the Assumption of Mary). There is a built in balance to life. My problem with Exodus 90 is that, from what I hear, Sundays and F
Sometimes words are hardly necessary. Behold Bishop McElroy's 2020 Pentecost Mass for all Cultures. He is head of the diocese of San Diego. Procession Reading Virtual Prayers of the Faithful Setting the Table... Incensed yet? How about now? Let's Zoom over to his view A touching photo Jammin' To quote Susan from the Parish Council: "Bless and Amem."
There is always a certain amount of fear and trembling when I begin writing a piece on a somewhat unfamiliar subject. Perhaps all that will be demonstrated here is my ignorance and incompetence. To which I suppose my wife would reply: “You’d think you’d be used to that by now.” But I write this piece simply for the fact that Catholic trends, even good ones, need sober reflection and refinement. I refer to the Exodus 90 program. [i] Earlier in 2020 – simpler times to be sure - I listened with interest to a podcast on Exodus 90. In it I heard that this program, which was founded in 2013, is an intense 90 day program based on prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. For 90 days men take cold showers, abstain from alcohol and most media, fast twice per week, give up snacks and desserts, meet weekly with a small group of participants, exercise regularly, all the while following a regimented prayer schedule. I applaud such a penitential spirit (though it seems that cold showers in the de