Forgiveness and The Lord’s Prayer

I’m Italian, so forgiveness is not my strong suit. You wanna be force fed some pasta, regardless of when your last meal was, I’m your man!

In the book of Matthew there’s a passage (MT 18: 21-35) that discusses a story about a King who, through mercy, decides to forgive a debt owed to him by one of his servants. Yet later in the story, that same servant is confronted by someone else who owes him a debt. Unlike the King, the servant is unwilling to forgive the debt and orders the person to be thrown into prison.

As I blame my ancestry on my inability to forgive sin, I wonder how many of us are in the same boat. Do you ask for forgiveness while not being able to grant it, like the servant in Matthew? As I thought about the story from Matthew and God’s message about how our forgiveness is tied to that of God’s forgiveness,  I’m reminded of my failings every time I say The Lord’s Prayer (one line in particular). This led to me wonder how well I know all the versus of The Lord’s Prayer. Below is an outline of The Lord’s Prayer from Ruth Ann a Professed Lay Carmelite. Continue reading “Forgiveness and The Lord’s Prayer”

Strength in Numbers

Goodfellas -1990

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18)

Hopefully the image is easily recognized from the classic mafia movie Goodfellas. Although the families in such movies (i.e. Corleone family in The Godfather) are usually Roman Catholic, there’s not much they do together where you picture Christ being “in the midst of them”. However, that’s not the reason I decided to use that image. Continue reading “Strength in Numbers”

3 Crosses You Shouldn’t Carry

As my father in-law sat at his wife’s death bed, he confessed the two prayers he had to the priest who later performed the burial service for my mother in-law. The first, he wanted to be present at the moment when she passed. After a life of ‘for better or worse’, he wanted to be there for the ‘death do us part.’ His second prayer, he asked God that he may take her time in purgatory. He wanted his wife to forgo the painful cleansing process and whatever “time” she would have spent there, he wanted it added to his time in purgatory. I spent weeks thinking about those two prayers, especially the latter. In that one sentence, he redefined the ends to which love should go. Continue reading “3 Crosses You Shouldn’t Carry”

Misplaced Frustrations

Who puts up with the most of your crap? Let me rephrase that. Do you have someone that is close to you that usually gets hit with your wrath first and/or the most? It could be your spouse, a child, parent, or a friend. I think we all have that someone in our life, whom we cherish very deeply, that puts up with the most of crap from us. I can have a crappy day and still be pleasant to strangers but when I get home unleash on the people that mean the most to me. I’m not proud of it, but I think it’s something we all do (or at least I hope I’m not the only one)!

Lately I’ve been thinking about Peter and his relationship with Christ. Peter was (along with his brother Andrew) described in the Gospels as the first Apostle. He was also one of three to accompany Christ up the mountain in the Transfiguration (Totally Righteous Dead Dudes). One could argue that Peter held a very special place with Christ. They were BFF’s. Continue reading “Misplaced Frustrations”

Totally Righteous Dead Dudes

As Peter, John, and his brother James traveled up the mountain with Christ in the story of the Transfiguration, they are shown a rather shocking sight:

“His (Christ) face shone like the sun 
and his clothes became white as light.”

So, not only was Christ “glowing”, but he was standing with 2 totally righteous dead dudes (Moses and Elijah). Add in a time traveling phone booth and you’ve got a biblical version of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Continue reading “Totally Righteous Dead Dudes”

The Perception of Sin

This Sunday (Pentecost) you’re going to hear in the First Reading how the Apostles were given the Gift of Tongues.

And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

I’ve often wondered where this miracle occurred; with the Apostles as they spoke the Word of God, or with the people in the crowd as they heard the Word of God? The Gift of Hearing doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it, does it? Continue reading “The Perception of Sin”