Friday, April 21, 2017

Doctor of the Church: St. Thomas of Aquinas

The young St. Thomas was born into Italian nobility, and the youngest son of Landolfo Aquino. He spent the first five years of his life in Roccasecca, Italy. His mother was given a prediction by a hermit that Thomas would grow up to be great scholar and ultimately achieve sanctity.

He was sent to the care of the monks in Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino, at the tender age of five. During his stay there, the political climate changed and he was forced to leave to the Benedictine house in Naples. While in Naples, he was taught the writings of Greek and Arabic philosophers. In particular, he learned of Aristotle and Averroes, both of which had recently been translated in the West. 

In an act of defiance to his parent’s wishes he joined the Dominicans and received the habit in 1244. His parent’s responded by sending his older brother to capture Thomas and return him home. He spent a year locked up in the castle, having to endure multiple attempts of mischief by family members to break his will.

Ultimately, St. Thomas prevailed the family efforts and he made it back to Napels. Eventually, he made his way to the Dominican house at Paris and Cologne. It was here that he became a pupil of the leading Dominican theologian, Albert Magnus. 

There is an extensive amount of work St. Thomas accomplished over his life time. In as much, it ranges from philosophical and biblical commentaries, hymns and main works. 

His most renown work is his Summa Theologica. It is a remarkable study on his life long pursuit to answer his question of “What is God?” and how man can reunite with God through Christ. The book is divided into three main topics of faith, hope and charity. In turn each of the topics has further subtopics and questions.

In conclusion, St. Thomas had his mission presented to him early in life. Simply put he asked a question of “What is God?” He spent the remainder of his life in action to answer the question. His reward for his effort was experiencing a vision while saying mass. The result of which he never wrote again. 

If it interests you to read St. Thomas’s Summa consider the following questions. 
  • Is it possible to know God in this life?
  • Is man created for a definite purpose in life?
  • Is it possible to reach the kingdom in this life?
By Jaime Gonzalez

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Doctors of the Church: St. Jerome

St. Jerome devoted himself to producing an authoritative edition of the Bible. His translation is referred to as the Vulgate.

He regarded the Word of God as a treasure.

Corresponding with a noble woman regarding the education of her daughter, he wrote “Instead of jewels and silk clothing, may she love the divine Books"

For St. Jerome the Word of God was not merely to be read, but also to be lived.

He recognized God in the poor. His words attesting to this are similar to those of St. Teresa of Calcutta.

In another letter with regard to wealth, he advised that it be used to “clothe Christ in the poor, to visit Him in the sick, to feed Him in the hungry, to shelter Him in the homeless.”

When the Goths invaded Rome, St. Jerome turned from writing biblical commentary to helping refugees who came to Bethlehem where he was then living. "I cannot help them all, but I grieve and weep with them, and am completely absorbed in the duties that charity imposes on me," he wrote. "I have put aside my commentary on Ezekiel and almost all study. For today we must translate the precepts of the Scriptures into deeds. Instead of speaking saintly words, we must act them."

St. Jerome's translation of the Bible has had an enduring impact in conveying God's truth.

In considering how you might influence others, you might ponder:
  • How can my work lead others to God?
  • How can I show love for others by what I do and say?
And besides what you can do individually, do you ever wonder:
  • If there's a possibility of bringing the Good News to the nightly news, how would you do so?
  • Though we cannot eradicate all problems what help can we provide?
  • How can we join our efforts with those of others so that together we can do more?
For information about the archdiocesan anti-violence Initiatives - Watch the April 4th press conference here and read information here

Please visit these links to read more about St. Jerome:life & work and thought

To listen to a podcast, about St. Jerome please click here.

By Laura Ross
Faith Formation Commission

Note: Holy Name Cathedral Parish provides any links within these pages to other web sites for your convenience on an “as is” basis and cannot vouch for the correctness or appropriateness of their content.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Little Change, a Major Difference

This Lent you may have participated in the Rice Bowl initiative by vowing to deposit money into those little cardboard banks that were distributed at all masses before Ash Wednesday. Those little banks or “Rice Bowls” will be collected on Palm Sunday and turned over to Catholic Relief Services for its relief efforts throughout the world. According to Catholic Relief Services, depositing one dollar a day during Lent can provide three months of clean water for four families, two years of seed for a farmer, and one month of food for a family. 

I promised to make daily contributions to my Rice Bowl during this Lenten season. By doing so, it made me more conscientious of what a difference a dollar a day can make to people in other parts of the world. Rather than regularly stopping at Starbucks or going out to lunch, I started depositing the money I would have otherwise spent on coffee and food into my Rice Bowl. 

I was taught that the purpose of giving something up for Lent is to develop a spiritual strength by detaching myself from the things I wanted or believed I really needed so that I can resist the temptations I know are not good for me during the rest of the year. Not that there is anything wrong with stopping at Starbucks a couple times a week, but when I realized that a family of four can get six months of clean water (something many of us take for granted) for the amount I spend on my regular grande cup of brewed coffee, I decided that my money should instead go toward a greater good. 

I, along with many of you, will turn in my Rice Bowl on Palm Sunday but I just might replace it with another little bank to deposit my loose change because I recognize that helping the poor is something I can easily continue to do beyond the Lenten season. 

Gabriella Moretti

Thursday, March 16, 2017

People Pleasing

The following is a reflection from one of our Young Adult Board members. It offers an unusual Lenten sacrifice that helps us to see the difference between artificial love and manifesting the love of God. If we focus solely on 'people pleasing' we do not focus on the true needs and humanity of the other, just the other's surface level response.

Lent is about self sacrificing a need to draw closer to God. I decided to give up being a “people pleaser” for the season of Lent. This habit was distracting me from drawing closer to God. By giving up pleasing people I will be able to develop a stronger relationship with God and his son Jesus Christ. Tartakovsky (2016) People-pleasers “want everyone around them to be happy and they will do whatever is asked of them to” keep it that way. The reason why I was people pleasing because I wanted my friends and relatives to like me, and I wanted them to be happy even at the expense of my own happiness. By giving “up” people pleasing I will be able to develop a greater sense of self-confidence and a love for God by staying in his presence through daily devotionals, reading scripture, and meeting with other church members to discuss God’s goodness and how his Grace and Mercy has been displayed in our lives.

Heather B. Duke
Young Adult Member

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Doctors of the Church: St. Alphonsus Ligouri

In 1732, St. Alphonsus Liguori founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists. He regarded God as merciful.

His writings address topics that are pertinent throughout the liturgical year.

In some writings he references the words of various saints.

During Lent, you may be particularly interested in the meditations he wrote for Stations of the Cross.

He had severe rheumatism and is a patron of those who have arthritis.

He is also the patron saint of theologians and vocations.

The following quotations are representative of some of the topics he addressed.

"Jesus was the fruit of Mary, and as St. Elizabeth told her: 'Blessed art thou amongst woman, and blessed in the fruit of thy womb.' Whoever, therefore, desires the fruit must go to the tree; whoever desires Jesus must go to Mary; and whoever finds Mary will most certainly find Jesus."

'It is not enough to pray only with the tongue: we must, according to the Apostle, pray also with the heart if we wish to receive God's graces: "Praying at all times in the spirit."'

"Your God is ever beside you — indeed, He is even within you."

"Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Speak to Him often of your business, your plans, your troubles, your fears— of everything that concerns you. Converse with Him confidently and frankly; for God is not wont to speak to a soul that does not speak to Him.”

“The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.”

After reading some of his words, consider:
  • When you walk the Stations of the Cross, are there particular stations which especially resonate with concerns you or your friends have?
  • How does your image of God shape the prayers you bring to God?
  • How do your prayers to Mary help you contemplate about God?
  • Do you have particular saints to whom you pray?
  • Does your family have devotional practices for particular saints' feast days? 

To read more about St. Alphonsus, see here or here.

By: Laura Ross

Note: Holy Name Cathedral Parish provides these links to other web sites for your convenience on an “as is” basis and cannot vouch for the correctness or appropriateness of their content.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Just in case...

Just in case you were the kid doing their homework on the bus...

Here's a great help for you as you enter into the first full week of Lent.

Busted Halo is an incredible website that offers many different articles, countless videos, even games.

They have an article we encourage you to check out: 25 Great Things You Can Do For Lent. Take a look, explore what they offer, click through their suggestions of resources or videos. You might find a new way to approach the ancient tradition of Lent.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dinner and a Movie

It's finally Friday!

Wait, it's do you know what you're having for dinner tonight?

With the need to keep it meatless, you might not have a recipe to try or maybe you want to expand beyond your mom's tuna noodle casserole. Why not explore the many recipes from around the world that Catholic Relief Services has available? Each of them is meatless and originates in one of the many locations where CRS operates.

I also want to highlight a great video on mercy and Lent by Kerry Weber, author of Mercy in the City.