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Posts Tagged ‘Church’

“Meet them where they are.” It’s a reference to Luke 24:13-35.

It’s often used by Christians who are more patient than I with other Christians who are not quite there yet.

“We’re all sinners” is another one.

I get it. Christians are supposed to be kind and loving. All I can say is that I try. However, that’s not to say that we’re also not supposed to be truthful when it comes to our Faith.

Let me give you a perfect example.

Almost a decade ago, my wife and I moved to Los Angeles so I could pursue a writing career. I’ve written about that pursuit several times in this blog, so I’m not going to repeat myself here. With that said, I quickly found myself swimming with the big fish.

A few months in, I was talking on the phone with Monsignor James McDonald, a Catholic priest with who I stayed in contact with most of my life. Filled with pride, I began discussing my accomplishments. As I began to describe the storyline behind the screenplay that was giving me the most accolades, a horror film titled Fortune Five, about a serial killer written in the same vein of Silence of the Lambs, Fr. McDonald quickly interrupted me.

“Jimmy … YOU’RE A WHORE!” he shouted over the phone. “You’re nothing but a whore!”

Though most people are shocked when they hear my story, I very much appreciated Fr. McDonald’s candor. After the initial smackdown, I explain, Fr. McDonald proceeded to catechize me. However, most folks can’t get over a priest seemingly being so unkind.

I am often reminded of this experience when I hear or read the discourse between Jesus and Cleopas & gang on the road to Emmaus.

After listening to the disciples, Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are….”

Much like Fr. McDonald, the Risen Lord gave them a bit of a tongue-lashing before proceeding to catechize them. He catechized them for hours.

Jesus did not just teach the disciples about Himself and His ministry, He started “with Moses and the Prophets [and] explained how the Old Testament is in the New concealed and the New Testament is in the Old revealed.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.”

Luke 24:27

St. Augustine put it this way. “This grace hid itself under a veil in the Old Testament, but it has been revealed in the New Testament according to the most perfectly ordered dispensation of the ages, forasmuch as God knew how to dispose of all things.” [On the Spirit and the Letter. Chapter 27.]

Only after Our Lord “opened the scriptures to them” that “He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” Only after the disciples were catechized did they come to the table to celebrate the Eucharist.

Have you ever noticed that the first reading is always the Old Testament? It is where the New is concealed. The Gospel reading is where the Old is revealed. The readings are a road map to Emmaus, a pathway to the table of the Lord and the Supper of the Lamb.

Every Mass we journey on the road to Emmaus.

Come to the Lord prepared. Every week walk with Him. Learn from Him. Live your life like you’re on the road to Emmaus — because you really are!

Dr. Brant Pitre offers this in-depth explanation on Understanding the Sunday Readings. Watch it!

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. With sincere gratitude, James would like to thank 👀 Mabel Amber, from Pixabay, for providing the image for this blog post on CorporationYou.com.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

When I lived in L.A, I belonged to a Christian Men’s Fellowship Group. Weekly, we would meet and study the Word. Since most of us were in the Film Industry, in one form or another, we jokingly referred to ourselves as “The Christian Underground.” (Though, there was more truth in that name than we were willing to admit.)

Before and since, I’ve never belonged to such a rewarding group of Christian brothers — and I moved from Los Angeles over a decade ago.

Most of my brothers in this group were raised Catholic, however, at the time, only two of us practiced Catholicism as adults. Today, I believe, I’m the only member of “The Underground” who still attends Mass weekly.

Though I understand many of the reasons for their exodus — one has to go to where they believe they are being feed — nothing makes me as sad as hearing that one of the Collect has left the Church.

Bishop Fulton Sheen may have put it best when he said, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

Most people leave the Catholic Church because they have been poorly catechized. (Most. Not all.) Additionally, most wrongly perceive how the Catholic Church worships — including many Catholics.

We don’t solely worship with song and sermon, thought that is an part of our celebration; they’re not truly the part of our worship. We worship with sacrifice; the sacrifice of the Eucharist, to be precise — and it sometimes takes a lifetime to understand that Sacrifice.

Sure, Evangelical services are uplifting. They are filled with great music. Their pastors give moving, powerful sermons. I love Evangelical Sunday services — and that’s why I don’t go to them.

Worship of the Lord is not about us. Worship of the Risen Lord is all about Him — or at least should be.

People often say, “I don’t get anything out of a Catholic Mass.” The retort of many Catholic priests or those of us who study our Faith is usually “Well, you don’t understand what’s going on.”

And maybe that’s so, but that’s not the right response.

Father Mike Schmitz has given the best responses, here and here. In both videos, he explains that there are plenty of things to get out of Mass. However, one does not go to Mass to get, one goes to Mass to give.

On Monday, I would go with anyone to a Tent Revival. On Tuesday, invite me to hear Christian brothers and sisters witness. On Wednesday, we can share in fellowship and study the Word. Thursday: Let’s all answer the Altar Call together and get slain by the Spirit. Friday: We can all quiet our minds and experience Taizé prayer. Saturday, let’s loudly sing contemporary music together in praise. But on Sunday…

Sunday is offered to us so we can disconnect from the world and all its distractions, stand before God and His awe, and simply make a sacrifice — and give. Sunday is all about God. God is Love and Love always demands some kind of sacrifice.

Love calls us to sacrifice ourselves.

In short, if you are not personally getting anything out of your Sunday worship, you’re probably doing it right.

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Father and Son (Source: Unsplash | Pixabay)

We are all too familiar with The Parable of the Prodigal Son.

This moral lesson is known by many names: The Lost Son, Running Son, Loving Father, Lovesick Father. Every time a priest, pastor or minister reads Luke 15:11-32, the focus of the sermon is often us, the congregant faithful and metaphorical Prodigal Son.

he parable is about a father and two sons — even though we rarely hear much about the other son..  

Most who explore Luke’s Gospel (Luke 15:11-32) focus on the many ways of God’s forgiveness.  

The metaphors are clear.  We, the many, are the lost son and God is the father who welcomes us home into His open arms.

But much like I did in The brother of the Prodigal Son, I’d like to give another take on the timeless parable.

I’d like to put parents in the place of the father and make our children the two brothers. Finally, instead of making the father’s home symbolically God’s open arms, let’s keep it simple and make it literally “home”!

As parents, we must continue to work hard to establish and maintain a reverent household and raise faithful children.  That includes nightly prayers and giving “thanks” before means — even when you’re eating out. 

Every home should be a display of our love of Our Lord; a miniature Church

Besides a small silver crucifix in our living room, the walls of our dining room are subtly decorated with a Celtic cross on one side and the Cross of Saint Brigid on the other.   

Every room, in fact, has something that reflects our devotion to Jesus and His Church.

When in the car, we often put on Christian radio or have a CD from Lighthouse media and other outlets. Grace before meals, is a staple part of our diet — whether we’re at home or out.

We talk about Jesus, as if he is part of our family — because he is.  

I’m certain that the father in Luke’s Gospel did the same.  It anchored his one son.  However, temptation still drew his other son away. 

Likewise, our sons and daughters may one day stray and may unfortunately get lost no matter how hard we tried.   We even, sadly, may, be powerless, at the time, to protect them from this fall. 

Not to make like of a horrible situation, but heck … even God, the first parent, couldn’t prevent the first two children from falling for the lies of the serpent. 

But, if a strong enough foundation is built under them during their childhood, they will one day, be able to rebuilt their lives on that foundation.

And, like the prodigal son, they will be come home and be welcomed back with open arms.

As Thomas Aquinas so eloquently wrote:

For the first man sinned by seeking knowledge, as is plain from the words of the serpent, promising to man the knowledge of good and evil.  Hence it was fitting that by the Word of true knowledge man might be led back to God, having wandered from God through an inordinate thirst for knowledge.

 

 

James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘TwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL! To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Okay, I only have boys.  So, this one is kind of one-sided.

Unintentionally, we discovered a simple way to gets our boys to pay closer attention at Church: We named our boys after the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Immediately, after hearing “The Gospel according to Matthew … or according to Mark … or to Luke … to John”, their interest peaks.

Recently, we were joined in the pew by one of our former neighbors, a colorful retired gentleman who our boys call Mr. Ed.

After hearing the Gospel, he turned to my little man and said, “Nice job, Luke.”

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

LET US KNOW

Let’s us know, in the comments below, if you have any Biblical girl names — besides Mary, of course.

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Wikipedia defines Crowdfunding as the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and of alternative finance. The USCCB calls for the New Evangelization, a ‘re-proposing’ of the Gospel in a special way.

Combine these two trends with a bit of apostolic succession and a pinch of infallibility and you have Crowdfunding for Christ or simply Missio.

Launched by Pope Francis, Missio offers you a direct connection with his Missions and with those helping our mission family. Missio is an opportunity to choose how to put your faith into action, and a way to answer the call to each one of us who are baptized to be missionaries ourselves, through prayer and sacrifice, in word and deed.

Missio offers you a place to encounter the Missions whenever and wherever you are.

Every project on Missio is led by a change-maker half a world away. These change-makers, many of them religious Sisters and priests, offer help to the most vulnerable communities of our world. They provide essential education and health care, social outreach and advocacy, and pastoral service. In every moment, they also offer spiritual comfort to the suffering and marginalized.

Join the world’s change-makers.

 


Download the app on iTunes: http://bit.ly/MissioiTunes
Download the app on GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/MissioGoogle

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldmanand McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

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preemptive-love

Today I discovered Preemptive Love.

I made this powerful discovery after previewing the video, embedded below, after a friend posted it on facebook. After watching it, I just had to share it’s powerful message.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this video is worth much more — or arguably much less. For it is only worth one word.

So, what is Preemptive Love? To find out, watch this video till the end…

What We Found Inside This Church Destroyed by ISIS Took Our Breath Away from Preemptive Love on Vimeo.

Powerful, yes?

… And now you know the worth of the word in this video. The Word! The Word that encompasses all words.

The Word that was from the beginning; the Word that was with God; the Word that is God.

God who is Love!

Since, we are the body of Christ. We too are the Word. The Word sent forth. The Word called in action.

We are Preemptive Love!

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Click on the link if wish to learn more about The Preemptive Love Coalition.

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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