Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Here are three short posts pieced together into one. Hopefully you will find something among them of interest to you!

FIRST: Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Don’t forget that we get to fast and abstain as a Church community today and so with the help of those around us begin our path to greater discipline which is so deeply connected to joy.

For some Lenten reflections look here and here and here.

SECOND: It is official! We had an organization meeting for the new Chesterton Society. First on the agenda we were going to call it the West Akron Chesterton Society but were afraid people would ask, “What are those WACS up to now?” So we decided to change the name to "The St. Sebastian Chesterton & Friends Society". W. said, “If we do it in Latin "Societatis Chesternonii amicique Ecclesiae Sancti Sebastiani" we could use the acronym "SCAESS," but I don't know where that gets us, but it's easier than pronouncing "’SSCFS.’"

The structure of the meeting which is intended to last an hour at least officially is:
Recap anything that may have come up as a result of the last meeting.
The presenter read an interesting passage from the reading.
Choose next presenter – meeting time etc.

Of course unmentioned here is eats and libations.
April 5 at 6:30 as the date of the next meeting.
If you are interested please send me and Email for more information at JAVALENCHECK@AOL.COM. Also, visit the blog here for information and to read what we will be discussing.

THIRD: Last week we had a Mass for the healthcare workers of our parish. I was asked to publish the homily so here it is:

I got my undergraduate degree at the University of Akron in theater arts. I was mostly involved in design, construction, direction, lights and such. I became involved in theater because I truly believed in the power of it. When someone comes to a production they are presented with a view of life. At that point they must either reaffirm their personal beliefs or be moved to change.

The only problem with this was that if I wanted to eat (make a living at it) I would have to quite often put forth a message with which I disagreed with as much professionalism as I did one with which I did agree. This was something that I was not willing to do for the rest of my life and is one of the reasons I became a priest. I believe in what the Catholic Church believes. Here was a message I could feel good about putting forth. I could proudly stand behind what was presented each week.

I imagine that if you are in a healing profession you have similar reasons for choosing it. In this path you have chosen more than a profession. It is a vocation. Not everybody gets to live their loves doing something so close to Christ’s mission as you do.

Here is what Jesus came to do. 1. To announce the kingdom. 2. To forgive sins. And 3. To heal the sick.

Remember what we heard in the Gospel today. Christ, the Divine Physician taking a man aside who had a malady and brought him to wellness – to wholeness. That is part of Christ’s overall plan.

Did you ever wonder why God calls certain actions sin? Sin is that which always brings harm into the world even when we do not perceive it. It brings harm to you physically, mentally, or spiritually, or to someone else, or it messes up our relationship with God. But Jesus is always calling us to unity and to healing. That is what virtuous acts are; healing spiritually, mentally, and physically.

As person in the healthcare professions whether directly or indirectly you play an important role in that healing, in establishing unity.

The healing of the young man who was deaf and had a speech impediment was not able to hear and speak well. Now he was able to communicate. He was able to connect better with the community. There was healing – there was a move toward greater unity. That is what you are called to in your vocation.

And as in all true vocations you are not alone. Because of the hours and demands you need the support of those who love you in order to be fully effective. So family and friends, this Mass is for you too.

It is a noble life and I do not envy it. If you are Catholic you are under attack morally. Who would have thought that being one who brings healing could be so controversial? From pharmacists, to caregivers, to nurses, to doctors, to researchers, to every aspect of the field, it is going to continue to be more and more difficult to stay true to your beliefs and maintain your vocation.

You are more on the front line than I am. People see my collar and they expect me to maintain a 2000 year moral tradition. You are not so lucky. You are thrown on the front line
often without detailed moral teaching
often without a lot of back up
often without the support of your peers
sometimes with fears of repercussions: Your job or your faith.

I do not envy you
I admire you
I pray for you
I fear for you
I respect you
I hope you are strong
I hope you are protected
I hope you persevere

And we pray this Mass today that you may one day receive the abundant rewards in heaving to the good that you did in doing your best to maintain the mission of Christ here on earth.

1 comment:

Warren said...

If anyone wants to start such a thing in Toronto Ontario, they should contact me right after Easter, and pick a Pub. Whereupon we will commence a similar Society. But I simply cannot imagine discussing Chesterton without the benefit of Lager, Ale or Stout, which are out for me, during Lent.