Wednesday, February 10, 2016

El Miercoles de Ceniza (Ash Wednesday) Spanish and English

Las cenizas que ponemos en nuestras frentes son un signo de nuestra fe cristiana. Se colocan públicamente porque estamos orgullosos de ser llamados cristianos, pero el mayor bien es lo que sucede interiormente. Nos ayunar, orar, y dad limosna en secreto, por lo que sólo Dios sabe lo que está en nuestro corazón. La Cuaresma es para nuestra introspección de manera que nos acercamos al Señor.

San Pablo nos dice que debemos ser reconciliados con Dios. La Escritura dice: es la misericordia que requieren, no sacrificio. Esta Cuaresma podría ser el momento adecuado para resolver una disputa con un amigo o miembro de la familia. Es el momento de dejar de lado una traición pasado. El Señor quiere sanar nuestros sentimientos de dolor. Tenemos que onda adiós a rencores. Es hora de dejar que se acumule nuestra autoestima y nos da coraje para reclamar el bien que está dentro de nosotros. La Cuaresma es un tiempo para detener la intimidación y la fuerza. Nunca más a alguien levantar la voz o la mano a nosotros. Reconciliarse con Dios.

En lugar de ello, nuestras cenizas dicen a la gente que vamos a cuidar más en gran medida por los demás - para dar la bienvenida al visitante, para compartir una comida con los que están solos, para hablar con alguien que está triste, para sentarse con una persona anciana que perdió su cónyuge, para visitar una centro de rehabilitación de drogas. También significa conducir su coche de forma segura, usando buenos modales, esperando su turno en una línea, haciéndose a un lado para que alguien pueda pasar, y no hablar impulsivamente.

Edifiquemos unos a los otros y poner una sonrisa en sus rostros. Sabemos demasiado sufrimiento; Vamos a construir la buena voluntad. Vamos a construir un mundo que Jesús quiere vivir en. Estas cenizas dicen a los demás vamos a ser la mejor persona que puedo porque Jesús vive en nosotros. Llevamos con orgullo estas cenizas, y nos esforzamos para honrar a Dios por nuestras buenas vidas.

The ashes that we put on our foreheads are a mark of our Christian faith. We wear them publicly because we are proud to be called Christians, but the greater good is what happens interiorly. We fast, pray, and give alms in secret so that only God knows what is in our hearts. Lent is for our introspection so that we grow closer to the Lord.

San Pablo tells us to be reconciled to God. Scripture says: it is mercy I require, not sacrifice. This Lent might be the right time to settle a dispute with a friend or family member. It is the time to let go of a past betrayal. The Lord wants to heal our hurt feelings. We have to wave farewell to grudges. It is time to let him build up our self-esteem and give us courage to claim the good that is within us. Lent is a time to stop bullying and force. No more will someone raise their voice or hand at us. Be reconciled to God.

Instead, our ashes tell people that we will care more greatly for others - to welcome the visitor, to share a meal with the lonely, to speak to someone who is sad, to sit with an elderly person who lost a spouse, to visit a drug rehab center. It also means driving your car safely, using polite manners, waiting your turn in a line, stepping aside so someone can pass, and not speaking impulsively. 

Let us build up one another and put a smile on their faces. We know too much suffering; Let us build goodwill. Let us build a world Jesus would want to live in. These ashes tell others we will be the best person we can because Jesus lives in us. We wear these ashes proudly, and we strive to honor God by our good lives.

Prayer: Thomas Merton

The cross of ashes is not a memento mori; it is a sign of Christ's victory over death. It might be good stoicism to wear a reminder of our condemnation to die, but it is not Christianity.

First Sunday of Lent

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

First Sunday in Lent
February 14, 2016
Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalm 91; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

            Lent begins as Jesus is led into the desert to be tempted by the devil. His first trial is very physical. Having refrained from nourishment for a long time, he is obviously famished and vulnerable to the devil’s temptation, but Jesus trusts that his Father will sustain him during all conflicts and trials. Exploiting his hunger, the devil attacks Jesus again through his fasting, but Jesus tells him that God is the sole sustainer of true life, therefore Jesus and his future disciples are asked to forego political power as a way of being servant. The instant power is a lure because the knowledge Jesus could gain would make him a better servant of God. Finally, Jesus is led to Jerusalem, the location where his final exodus takes place, where God’s peace is secured. Jerusalem, however, is where the powers of darkness are mightily at work.

            Jesus withdraws to a quiet place in order to get fortified because he knows temptations will assault him tremendously. He wants to be clear from the start that God sanctions his mission and that God’s support is necessary for his total mission. From the very beginning until the very end, Jesus trusts God’s unwavering support even when it is not obvious.

            Many of the Christian faithful today see Lent as a time when they have to give up something that is somewhat meaningful to them, like chocolate, coffee, alcohol, red meat, or desserts. The idea is to sacrifice something attractive that may not be too beneficial to our overall good health. The period is used for self-improvement or better-living resolutions. It is true that the minor self-sacrifice we make helps us be mindful of the larger sacrifice made by Jesus, but we typically decide for ourselves how we will spend our Lent. If the whole idea of the desert experience was to trust in God, then we are best served by letting God tell us how we are to trust more fully during this period. Too often, we make our decisions without consulting Christ. The purpose of Lent for Jesus was to be supported by many spiritual resources to withstand trials and conflicts as the first test of his obedience of faith.

            I suggest that we combine our Year of Mercy with our Lenten practices. First, it is best to ask Christ in prayer how we are to live out this period. It may not involve making any sacrifices at all, because we have that oft repeated but quickly forgotten line: It is mercy I require, not sacrifice. Instead, it may be far better to seek spiritual guidance within a context of spiritual direction. It may be far better to get some professional assistance to begin a process of reconciling yourself to a broken relationship. It may be far better to learn new techniques of navigating conflict if your current way of dealing with problems does not lead to satisfactory results. It may be far better to increase our personal silence so that we can hear the unexpressed meaning of what one in need is saying. It may be far better to give positive regard to someone we mistrust so that the best intentions may emerge.

            We have very many ways to increase our capacity to extend mercy to others, and the people around us need it. Let us use our Lenten offerings to consider the welfare of others and to make positive contributes to society. It is imperative that we spend more time using our spiritual resources to deepen our friendship with Jesus. Let mercy be your guiding principle this Lent. We do not understand what it costs us yet, but it does involve entering into the chaos of others’ lives. The life of Jesus was one of mercy, and we are called to imitate Jesus. Let’s put aside our self-designed sacrifices and pick up the cross of mercy that naturally extends towards others as we journey alongside Jesus as he teaches us trust in God.

Themes for this Week’s Masses

First Reading:
Monday: (Leviticus 19) The Lord gives Moses ten commandments that he inscribes on stone tablets.
Tuesday: (Isaiah 55) God’s word will issue forth from his mouth and shall not return until it has fulfilled his will.
Wednesday: (Jonah 3) Jonah set out to Nineveh asking them to proclaim a fast and then repent. The king does repent and the Lord dropped his threat because they turned from evil.
Thursday: (Esther 3) Queen Esther appeals to God for help in converting the king’s heart for hatred of the enemy that threatens them.
Friday: (Ezekiel 18) If the wicked turns from sinfulness and keeps the Lord’s statutes, he will surely live. Likewise, if a virtuous man becomes wicked, he shall die.
Saturday: (Deuteronomy 26) Moses tells the people to observe the Lord’s statutes and decrees with their whole heart and soul. The Lord will stand by you.

Monday: (Matthew 25) Jesus tells his disciples about the last judgment when the goats and sheep will be separated. The measuring stick is the mercy shown to the most vulnerable.
Tuesday: (Matthew 6) The disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. He tells them not to pray like the pagans, who seek honor and glory, and then gives them the Lord’s prayer.
Wednesday: (Luke 11) Jesus chastises the crowd that seeks a sign, but none will be given to them. Because of Jonah’s preaching, the king and people repented.
Thursday: (Matthew 7) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. The Father is generous, especially to those who love him.
Friday: (Matthew 5) Your righteousness must surpass the levels of the scribes and Pharisees in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Show righteousness by quickly settling disputes.
Saturday: (Matthew 5) Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Heavenly Father. Be perfect as the Father is perfect.

Saints of the Week

February 14: Cyril, monk, and Methodius, bishop (Ninth Century), were brothers who were born in Thessalonica, Greece. They became missionaries after they ended careers in teaching and government work. They moved to Ukraine and Moravia, a place between the Byzantium and Germanic peoples. Cyril (Constantine) created Slavonic alphabet so the liturgy and scriptures could be available to them. Cyril died during a visit to Rome and Methodius became a bishop and returned to Moravia.

February 15: Claude La Colombiere, S.J., religious (1641-1682), was a Jesuit missionary, ascetical writer, and confessor to Margaret Mary Alocoque at the Visitation Convent at Paray La Monial. As a Jesuit, he vowed to live strictly according to the Jesuit Constitutions to achieve utmost perfection. Together, they began a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

February 17: The Seven Founders of the Servites (Thirteenth Century) were from Florence and they joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin, who were also known as Praisers. They devoted their apostolate to prayer and service and withdrew to a deserted mountain to build a church and hermitage. After adopting a rule and gaining recruits, they changed their name to the Servants of Mary.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Feb 14, 1769. At Cadiz, 241 Jesuits from Chile were put on board a Swedish vessel to be deported to Italy as exiles.
·      Feb 15, 1732. Fr. Chamillard SJ, who had been reported by the Jansenists as having died a Jansenist and working miracles, suddenly appeared alive and well!
·      Feb 16, 1776. At Rome, the Jesuit prisoners in Castel S Angelo were restored to liberty. Fr. Romberg, the German assistant, aged 80, expressed a wish to remain in prison.
·      Feb 17, 1775. The French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Neapolitan Ambassadors in Rome intimate to the newly elected Pope Pius VI the will of their respective sovereigns that the Jesuits imprisoned in Castel S Angelo should not be released.
·      Feb 18, 1595. St Robert Southwell, after two and a half years imprisonment in the tower, was removed to Newgate and there thrust into a dungeon known as "Limbo."
·      Feb 19, 1581. The election of Fr. Claude Acquaviva as fifth general in the Fourth General Congregation. He was only 37 years of age and a Jesuit for only 14 years. He was general under eight popes. He had been a fellow novice with St Stanislaus.
·      Feb 20, 1860. Pope Pius IX visits the rooms of St Ignatius.

·      Feb 21, 1595. At Tyburn, the martyrdom of Robert Southwell after he had suffered brutal tortures in Topcliffe's house and in prison. He embraced the jailer who brought him word that he was to be executed. As he breathed his last, Lord Mountjoy, who presided over the execution, exclaimed: "May my soul be one day with that of this man."

Primer domingo de Cuaresma

Primer domingo de Cuaresma
14 de de febrero de, el año 2016
Deuteronomio 26: 4-10; Salmo 91; Romanos 10: 8-13; Lucas 4: 1-13

Cuaresma comienza como Jesús es llevado al desierto para ser tentado por el diablo. Su primer ensayo es muy físico. El morir de hambre, que es vulnerable a la tentación del diablo, pero Jesús confía en que su padre lo sostendrá durante todos los conflictos y ensayos. A continuación, se tienta con una potencia instantánea y dominio sobre Jerusalén, donde su éxodo final se lleva a cabo y también donde los poderes de la oscuridad son poderosamente en el trabajo.

Jesús se retira a un lugar tranquilo para fortificada porque sabe tentaciones se le asalto tremendamente. Es claro desde el principio que Dios aprueba su misión y que no puede hacerlo con la ayuda de Dios. Desde el principio hasta el final, Jesús confía en el apoyo inquebrantable de Dios aun cuando no es obvio.

Muchos de los fieles cristianos see Cuaresma como un tiempo cuando tienen que renunciar a algo que es algo significativo para ellos, como el chocolate, el café, el alcohol, la carne roja, o postres. Lo usamos para la auto-mejora o mejor-vida resoluciones. El problema es que decidimos por nosotros mismos cómo actuar en Cuaresma. Es mejor dejar que Dios nos dice cómo podemos confiar más plenamente. Con demasiada frecuencia, tomamos nuestras decisiones sin consultar a Cristo. El objetivo de la Cuaresma para Jesús iba a recibir el apoyo de muchos recursos espirituales para resistir pruebas y conflictos como una prueba de su obediencia a la fe.

Vamos a combinar nuestra Año de la Merced con nuestras prácticas cuaresmales. En primer lugar, pedir a Cristo en la oración a vivir durante este período. Tenemos muchos no hacemos ningún sacrificio en absoluto, porque la Escritura nos dice: Es la misericordia que requieren, no sacrificio. En su lugar, buscar la guía espiritual dentro de la dirección espiritual. Obtener ayuda profesional para reconciliar a sí mismo a una relación rota. Aprender nuevas técnicas de navegación conflicto si su actual forma de hacer frente a los problemas no funciona. Aumenta tu silencio personal para que pueda escuchar el significado de lo no expresado en una necesidad ya es decir. Dará consideración positiva a alguien que desconfiar de modo que las mejores intenciones pueden surgir.

Tenemos muchas maneras de aumentar nuestra capacidad de extender la misericordia a los demás. Utilice sus ofertas de Cuaresma tener en cuenta el bienestar de los demás y hacer que contribuye positivamente a la sociedad. Es imperativo que utilizan nuestros recursos espirituales para profundizar nuestra amistad con Jesús. Deje que la misericordia sea su principio rector. La vida de Jesús fue uno de piedad, y nosotros estamos llamados a imitar a Jesús. Dejemos de lado nuestros sacrificios de diseño propio y tomar la cruz de la misericordia que, naturalmente, se extiende hacia los demás, ya que caminar junto a Jesús que nos enseña la confianza en Dios.

Temas para las misas de esta semana

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Levítico 19) El Señor da mandamient que inscribe en tablas de piedra.
Martes: (Isaías 55) la palabra de Dios emitirá sale de su boca y no volverá hasta que haya cumplido su voluntad.
Miércoles: (Jonás 3) Jonás se levantó a Nínive pidiéndoles a anunciar un rápido y luego arrepentirse. El rey se arrepiente y el Señor dejó caer su amenaza porque se convirtieron de mal.
Jueves: (Ester 3) la reina Ester apela a Dios en busca de ayuda en la conversión del corazón del rey para el odio del enemigo que los amenaza.
Viernes: (Ezequiel 18) Si el impío se aparta de pecado y mantiene estatutos del Señor, de cierto vivirá. Del mismo modo, si un hombre virtuoso se vuelve malvado, morirá.
Sábado: (Deuteronomio 26) Moisés le dice al pueblo de observar los estatutos y decretos del Señor con todo el corazón y el alma. El Señor estará al lado de usted.

Lunes: (Mateo 25) Jesús dice a sus discípulos sobre el juicio final, cuando se separan las cabras y ovejas. La vara de medir es la misericordia mostrada a los más vulnerables.
Martes: (Mateo 6) Los discípulos piden a Jesús que les enseñara a orar. Él les dice que no rezar como los paganos, que buscan el honor y la gloria, y luego se les da la oración del Señor.
Miércoles: (Lucas 11) Jesús castiga a la gente que busca una señal, pero no le será dada a ellos. Debido a la predicación de Jonás, el rey y el pueblo se arrepintió.
Jueves: (Mateo 7) Pide y se les dará; Busca y encontrarás; llamad, y se os abrirá. El Padre es generosa, especialmente a los que le aman.
Viernes: (Mateo 5) Tu justicia debe superar los niveles de los escribas y fariseos con el fin de entrar en el reino de los cielos. Mostrar justicia por la solución de conflictos de forma rápida.
Sábado: (Mateo 5) Amen a sus enemigos y oren por quienes los persiguen, para que seáis hijos de vuestro Padre Celestial. Sed perfectos como el Padre es perfecto.

Santos de la Semana

14 de febrero: Cirilo, monje y Metodio, obispo (siglo IX), eran hermanos que nacieron en Tesalónica, Grecia. Se convirtieron en misioneros después de que terminó la carrera en la enseñanza y el trabajo del gobierno. Se trasladaron a Ucrania y Moravia, un lugar entre el Bizancio y germanos. Cirilo (Constantino) creado el alfabeto eslavo por lo que la liturgia y escrituras podrían estar disponibles para ellos. Cyril murió durante una visita a Roma y Metodio se convirtió en un obispo y regresó a Moravia.

15 de febrero: Claudio La Colombière, S. J., religiosa (1641-1682), fue un misionero jesuita, escritor ascético y confesor de Margarita María Alocoque en el Convento de la Visitación en Paray La Monial. Como jesuita, se comprometió a vivir estrictamente de acuerdo con las Constituciones de la Compañía para lograr mayor perfección. Juntos, comenzaron una devoción al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús.

17 de febrero: Los Siete Fundadores de los Servitas (siglo XIII) eran de Florencia y se unió a la Cofradía de la Virgen, que también se conoce como praisers. Se mantenían firmes en su apostolado de la oración y el servicio y se retiró a una montaña desierta para construir una iglesia y ermita. Después de la adopción de una norma y la obtención de reclutas, cambiaron su nombre por el de los Siervos de María.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 14 de febrero de 1769. En Cádiz, 241 jesuitas de Chile fueron puestos a bordo de un buque sueco a ser deportado a Italia como exiliados.
• 15 feb 1732. P. Chamillart SJ, que había sido informado por los jansenistas como habiendo muerto jansenista y hacen señales, de repente apareció vivo y bien!
• 16 feb, 1776. En Roma, los prisioneros jesuitas en Castel S Angelo recuperaron la libertad. P. Romberg, el ayudante alemán, 80 años, expresó su deseo de permanecer en prisión.
• Feb 17, 1775. El francés, español, portugués y napolitanos embajadores en Roma íntima con el recién elegido Papa Pío VI la voluntad de sus respectivos soberanos que los jesuitas presos en Castel S Angelo no deben ser liberados.
• 18 feb, 1595. San Roberto Southwell, después de dos años y medio años de prisión en la torre, se retiró a Newgate y no lanzado a un calabozo conocido como "Limbo".
• 19 feb 1581. La elección del P. Claude Acquaviva como el quinto general en la Cuarta Congregación General. Era tan sólo 37 años de edad y un jesuita de sólo 14 años. Él fue general bajo ocho papas. Había sido un compañero novato con San Estanislao.
• El 20 de febrero de 1860. El Papa Pío IX visita las habitaciones de San Ignacio.
• 21 de febrero de 1595. En Tyburn, el martirio de Robert Southwell después de haber sufrido torturas brutales en la casa de Topcliffe y en la cárcel. Abrazó al carcelero que le trajo la noticia de que iba a ser ejecutado. Como su último suspiro, Señor Mountjoy, que presidió la ejecución, exclamó: "Que mi alma sea un día con la de este hombre."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Hampshire Primary and the Jesuits

The New Hampshire primary is held today and one of the first precincts that votes is the township of Dixville Notch, with its nine voting citizens. Four Democratic votes were cast for Sanders; Three Republican votes were cast for Kasich and two for Trump.

What is the connection to the Jesuits? Well, really not that much, but often photographs are shown of the township that features an old hotel that is undergoing restoration. In the 1940s as the U.S. was entering deeper into World War Two, the U.S. government made overtures to the Jesuits to take over Campion Center in the town of Weston, MA as a training ground for officers.

To do that, the Jesuit theologate and philosophate needed to be relocated. The location? Dixville Notch in New Hampshire, of course. It would have only been a two year relocation. I've often heard older Jesuits speak of the remoteness of Campion Center; I can imagine the stories we would have heard if we moved several hundred Jesuits to this bustling community on nine adult voters.

Photo: Stark

Poem: “A Song for Mardi Gras” By Rolfe Humphries

I have loved loving you,
O my dear, my softly spoken.
Now the forty days draw near,
Vows are made, vows are broken,
Fare thee well, my little slim-waist –
Till Easter Monday all are chaste.

I have loved loving you,
O my fond, O my darling,
In the season and beyond,
Under moon, under star.
Now the time comes to fast –
Till Easter Monday all are chaste.

I have loved loving you,
O my linnet, O my dove.
God have mercy on a sinner!
Fare thee well and absent, love,
Moon and star must go to waste –
Till Easter Monday all are chaste.

I have loved loving you,
O my green, O my shadow,
In the ambush set between
Mountainside, moor, and meadow,
March begone; April haste –
Till Easter Monday all are chaste.

Source: The New Yorker, March 2, 1957, page 87.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Mystic Chapel

Mystic Chapel

Recently I was asked to review a new CD from The Project called Mystic Chapel released in December 2015 as a follow up to their first CD “Martyrs Prayers.”

Mystic Chapel asks a question to its listeners, “What if we still believed?” The audience targets the Christian faithful, but also reaches to those without faith and those who are finished with institutionalized religion. The searching extends to those who have simply given up on finding a community that expresses their faith.

The first track “Journey’s End” feels like the incarnation is happening. The world is the chapel and goodness exudes from every small note and activity. Words that arise during my listening are clarity, sensitivity, and truthfulness. While “Journey’s End” is first track, “Journey’s Start” is the final track. At the conclusion of the first track, I was reminded on Pink Floyd’s style in some of their 1970’s songs that I really liked. In the final seconds, we are brought into a stone abbey where God can meet the chaos of human beings.

“Come Let Us Worship” bursts forth in clarity of sounds, energy, and meaning. The purpose of this CD is to lead one to a deeper spiritual life through Jesus Christ. The music feels unified to itself and with its music. The music begins simply, but then gets appropriately complex. Some musical components brought to mind The Beatles, Billy Joel, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

“Joyous Light” has fine guitar playing in a more subdued track. The lyrics are certainly sensitive and thoughtful. Portions of the music remind me of some of the gems of the 1970s, like the Eagles and America, but it feels contemporary. The Project has accomplished musicians. The conclusion of the track leads us more deeply into the mystery of God’s light.

“Hypachoi” speaks of the resurrection and the angel that comes to announce, “He is Risen.” The music is electric and keeps the listening on edge as the confusion of the Resurrection is felt by the women and by us. The CD’s tone changes at this point because the world has been turned upside down and life has to be discovered anew.

“Death is Destroyed” is more tender and joyous and light. Great mercy is the theme. The guitar rifts are clever and they are instructive because they lead us to become introspective. Gratitude, lightness, and a stretching forth to God are what are brought forth in my experience. While I’ve recently experienced much death and suffering, I needed to be reminded that death is destroyed.

“We Sing With Angels” continues to emphasize the joy we are to feel as Christians because God has favored us. Heaven and earth are merged, and angels assist our worship, calling to mind all the spiritual resources we have. I’m reminded of the acoustic years of Sting. The singer’s voice conveys sensitivity and controlled passion because the story of Christ cannot be contained.

“From on High” is bright and cheery. I love the rift in the middle of the song, but I wanted more substantial lyrics in this tune. I may be naïve is saying so because it is simply a song of praise, which does not need many words. The musicians are quite accomplished and the music tells its own story, so I wanted more of the guitar playing because it felt like it was leading me somewhere.

“Holy Father” has great harmonizing of voices in a contemporary rendition of the Lord’s Prayer, but in words in which we can hear it again as if for the first time. It reminds us that we are a people who need God to hear our prayers. The song begins simply but in a harmony of voices lifts our prayers to the Abiding One who can tend to our needs.

“Journey’s Beginning” is a reprise of the first track, but it is undoubtedly more complex, while retaining its clarity. It is clear that the creators of this music poured their soul into this project and the conviction of their faith is strong. The closing seconds of the CD let us know that the Divine is at work in all things. The composers want to lead us to God and they make it clear that God will have the last word.

I appreciate that The Project produced this CD because I concluded that I really liked the composers and musicians because the tracks focus on details with great sensitivity and thoughtfulness. It is clear to me that The Project want to communicate their deep faith to others through their music gifts. They are sharing what is right with the faith to other seekers. They celebrate their faith and pass it on to us to enjoy.

If you would like to reach the composers, please see the contact information below.

The Project
Michael Glen Bell
Duane W.H. Arnold
5815 Lawrence Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana 46226
Contact: Duane Arnold (317) 331-5246