Pastoral Messages 6/5/22

‘Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible’:  We will continue our study this Thursday, June 9, at 8:40 AM with Session 4.  Questions? Ask Fr. Rick.

Bishop’s Appeal, aka Diocesan Development Drive 

We seem to be stuck at just above the half-way mark with 10 households so far chipping in.  Our tiny community simply doesn’t function without the many administrative and educational services provided by the Diocesan Pastoral Center.  Also, the total salary and insurance package for your ‘ooool local Padrecito is completely funded by the Diocese.  What a deal!!!  Please chip in.

Hospitality Remember that we are a ‘Hospitality Parish’ with a major outreach to our many visitors along with providing sacramental and social opportunities for our primarily ‘retired’ local parishioners.  Please sign up to help host our Sunday morning Coffee and Muffin gathering.  Sign up list is in the gathering space.  You might even be tempted to discuss some deeply insightful and inspiring point from the fabulous homily!

“Our hatred of another person often decreases as we learn to know him better.”    Bishop Fulton Sheen.

Homily Reflection:  Speaking Their Language(s)

“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”  Jn 14:26

Following are some ideas for learning the languages of the world we have lost and the one which is yearning for real truth. 

Book Recommendations:  Adult Reading

For those of us who live in or visit Southern Utah, there is a particular allure to the big vista and the big quiet.  Surely the scenery is a pure pleasure to behold, but there is something else happening.  I have recently been rereading the book, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Wilderness Spirituality, by Belden Lane. This scholarly but very personal reflection helps us understand the desert and wilderness motifs which run through our Scriptures and those of the other great world traditions.  The desert is a place of purging, enlightening, strengthening and transition. In a biblical sense this place of barren emptiness is essential for new beginnings, true freedom and the abundant life that Jesus promises us.  If you are just visiting, please consider slowing down as much as possible to feel the power in this sacred place and hear the quiet.  The desert and the wilderness have a ‘language’ of their own.  You might even read this book before your return visit.

A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by Mary Ann Glendon. What could have made this small international group of crafters and writers at all hopeful during this turbulent and confusing time in world history (1945)?  This Catholic writer, who was a Harvard Law Professor and the first woman U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, can show us how deeper prayerful thinking can help us rise above the partisan pettiness which creeps into our cultural dialogue.  This too is a genuine language of hope and diplomacy… seemingly as rare as the desert quiet.

LGBTQAI+ Month? What’s that? Now here is a language most of us never even knew existed 20 years ago.  In blinding speed and surgical efficiency a group seemingly out of nowhere have made big inroads to changing our whole anthropology.  What does it mean to be male or female or everything ‘in between’?  Much in this new movement needs the teaching of Holy Mother Church.  What are they really seeking?  Valuable new insights and a language of understanding can be obtained from reading Tenderness: A Gay Christian’s Guide to Unlearning Rejection and Experiencing God’s Extravagant Love, by Eve Tushnet.  This is a serious, amazingly honest book about seeking a spirituality of genuine chastity which will challenge the folks from any ‘romantic’ inclination.  The author also has a great sense of humor which makes the book a more palatable read.  Definitely for adults.

Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching A Defense of the Teachings of Marriage, Family, and the State, by Anthony Esolen.  This is largely the rediscovery of the language of Pope Leo XIII from the late 1800’s when he was fostering what is now considered ‘Modern Catholic Social Teaching.’  He describes a framework of marriage and family as the basic cell of society, but also the practice of guilds in which young people were mentored in a sustainable trade that was needed and valued by society.  Mentoring included morality, vocation and a world of meaning…of God’s making.  This language could easily interface with the language of ‘sustainable living’ which is very much alive and developing in our current world.