Consortium Newsletter - April 21, 2017

Father Fred Scinto's picture

Father Fred Scinto

April 21, 2017

CONSORTIUM NEWSLETTER

(APRIL 21, 2017)

 

EASTER SEASON

  • We are now in the most beautiful time of our spiritual/religious/Faith lives with this grace-filled new-life Season.Let us make use of this time and powerful grace to grow in our love of God, each other, my own self, and our beautiful God-given environment.

     

  • A few thoughts below to help us do this.

  • “What does it mean that Jesus is risen?It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom.The love of God can do this! (Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013)

  • “Loving God, how fitting that the Easter story opens in a garden in full bloom.[The background here is Matthew 28:1-10.]A garden where the words, ‘Do not be afraid!’ steady our hearts, take on fresh meaning.A garden that trumpets the message that sin and death will not have the last word.The tomb is empty, Jesus is alive.It is love that endures, now and forever.Alleluia!” (Pope Francis, reflection for the Easter Vigil in Pope Francis: Living Lent With Love – Encouragement and Daily Prayers)

     

    Text Box:   

  • “Life from death

    brought death to sin.

    We, in Christ,

    now live again.

     

    May we never cease to be AMAZED

         by the wonders of this

         GLORIOUS SEASON.”

    (a religious card by DaySpring Cards)

     

  • “Awake, you wintry earth –

              Fling off your sadness!

          Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth

               Your ancient gladness!

               Christ is risen.”

         (Thomas Blackburn, An Easter Hymn)

     

  • “In the bonds of Death He lay

         Who for our offence was slain;

    But the Lord is risen today,

         Christ has brought us life again,

    Wherefore let us all rejoice,

    Singing loud with cheerful voice,

         Hallelujah!”

    (Martin Luther, 1483-1546)

     

  • “Spring bursts today

    For Christ is risen, and all the earth’s at play”

    (Christina G. Rossetti, Easter Carol, 1830-1894).

     

  • Meditate and pray on Christ’s Resurrection as it impacts upon and changes you wondrously.See what it has done and does to you, and then share it with others as an Apostle (One-sent-forth) by the Risen One!

     

  • This is a backgrounder from a good friend of our Community, Anthony Mancini.

    “One of the most celebrated religious and historical holidays is Easter.

     

    The date for Easter on our calendar is based on a decision in 325 A.D. at the first Council of Nicea, a gathering of bishops.  They stipulated that Easter should always be celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first full moon of the spring equinox, when night and day are exactly the same length.

    The earliest date it can fall on is March 22 and the latest date is April 25th.

     

    Easter has become a celebration of the Risen Christ and springtime.  Eggs have become one of the symbols of new life.  We are reinvigorated after the harshness of winter.  New grass appears peeking through the brown grass.

     

    Easter is a good time for self-reflection, remembrance, and celebration.  We remember that Christ has died.  Christ has risen, Alleluia!

     

    A Very Happy and Blessed Easter [and Easter Season] to you.” (April 15, 2017)

     

     

    WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES??

    What IS Happening in the United States

     

  • < >info@saltandlighttv.org)

     

     

  • I have spent and continue to spend a lot of time researching the Trump phenomenon so that I can say some things about it that consider it from a Catholic/Christian viewpoint.I must confess that I am having difficulty in doing this; I also know that this needs to be done because of the phenomenon’s impact on today’s world and also on our Faith life.

  • In my struggle and research in this area, I ran across the beautiful prayer above that pointed out to me a possible way to do this scripturally.

  • Why not use the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) for this purpose?This can be done in the following way:

  • Before you begin going to the text, ask the Risen One’s Spirit to help you absorb and imbibe the text;

  • Take the beatitudes one by one; you probably will need to do this exercise a number of times before you finish all the beatitudes;

  • Read the beatitude a number of times and then just sit with it;

  • Ask yourself what the beatitude means?What is it saying?;

  • Then ask yourself what does it mean for you and what is it saying to you?;

  • Figure out what actions does the beatitude call for;

  • Then figure out what actions the beatitude calls you to do; you probably won’t be able to do personally all that the beatitude calls us as a community to do and that is okay;

  • Make your commitment to some of the action(s) called for by the beatitude;

  • Figure out how you are going to accomplish doing this and ask for God’s help;

  • At the end of your prayer time, thank God for this prayer time and what happened in it.

  • I am not going to give any examples here because I do not want to “contaminate” this prayer-action operation for you.But what I will say is please do not be surprised at what God will say to you personally when you do this: God will take you seriously and when this happens, good for you!

  • With this exercise, please renew your faith in what prayer can do for us and others!Thank you.

     

    QUEEN ELIZABETH II

  • Queen Elizabeth II is the queen of Great Britain but also the queen of Canada and some other Commonwealth countries.She is a monarch who has carried out her duties well and faithfully and has lived out her Christian Faith very well.(I am a monarchist if you are wondering!)She, simply put, has been and is a good queen!

  • She has turned 91 in this year on April 4.Also “this year will mark the 70th anniversary of the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and His Royal Highness Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, which took place on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, London [England]” (Stamp Bulletin, Australia Post, “Queen’s Birthday,” March-April 2017).This year also marks the Queen’s sapphire jubilee of her reign, marking her 65-year reign.A number of countries are issuing some very beautiful postage stamps to mark these occasions, e.g., Australia, Canada.

  • The Queen has met 12 American presidents over the years and 27 million people watched her coronation on television in 1952.

  • God bless our queen and continue to give her a long and fruitful life. Amen.

  • Please take a moment to remember her in your prayers this day.Thank you.

     

    POPE FRANCIS BEGS FORGIVENESS FOR THE CHURCH’S ROLE IN GENOCIDE

  • “Pope Francis on Monday [March 20, 2017] begged forgiveness for the ‘sins and failings of the church and its members’ during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide as the Holy See sought to open a new phase in relations nearly a quarter-century after the slaughter.

         “In an extraordinary statement after Pope Francis’ meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the Vatican acknowledged that the Church itself bore blame, as well as some Catholic priests and nuns who ‘succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission’ by participating in the genocide.” (“Vatican regrets role in Rwanda genocide,” The Globe and Mail, March 21, 2017).

  • During the 100-day genocide, more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered by extremists who were Hutus.

  • “Many of the genocide’s victims died at the hands of priests, clergymen and nuns, according to some accounts by survivors, and the Rwandan government says many died in the churches where they sought refuge.

         “During the 25-minute meeting in the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis ‘implored anew God’s forgiveness for the sins and failures of the Church and its members,’ the Vatican said.

         “The Rwandan government has long pressured the Church to apologize for its complicity in the genocide, but both the Vatican and the local Church have been reluctant to do so.  The Church has long said those Church officials who committed crimes acted individually.” (ibid.)

     

    GOOD PAPAL ADVICE

  • “Christians should care about reading God’s messages in the Bible as much as they care about checking messages on their cell phones, Pope Francis said.

         “As Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend themselves from temptation with the word of God if they ‘read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it’ into their lives, he said before praying the Angelus in Saint Peter’s Square March 5 [2017].

  • “‘The Bible contains the Word of God, which is always relevant and effective.Someone once said: what would happen if we treated the Bible like we treated our cell phones?What would happen if we always brought it with us, or at least a small pocket-sized Gospel?’ he asked.

    “While the comparison between the Bible and a cell phone is ‘paradoxical,’ he added, it is something that all Christians are called to reflect on” (Catholic News Service, “Check Bible as much as cellphone,” The Catholic Register, March 12, 2017).

     

    WHAT KIND OF GIFT DO YOU GET FOR THE POPE?? – ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

  • “Prince Charles [of England] has given Pope Francis a picnic basket full of tea and chocolate, sheepishly admitting ‘It’s impossible to know what to get Your Holiness!’ Charles and his wife, Camilla, offered the gift at the end of a half-hour meeting at the Vatican, the final day of their four-day trip through Italy as part of a Brexit-inspired fence-mending effort to reassure Britain’s allies.[Brexit is the exit of Great Britain from the European Union recently.]The British Embassy said the food from the Highgrove royal estate was meant to be shared with the poor.As they left, Camilla shook the Pope’s hand and quipped: ‘My husband talks a lot.I was not allowed to get a word!’” (“Vatican City; Prince to Pope: It’s impossible to know what to get you,” Waterloo Region Record, April 5, 2017)

     

    RESURRECTION AND NEW LIFE

  • We all are aware that Christ’s Resurrection means new life for all of us because of His great love for each and all of us.We are early in the Easter Season and this would be a good time for each of us to look at a few dimensions of this new life within us and prayerfully see what is happening and what more we might do because of this new life within us.Use the following guidelines as a way of doing this.Take your time!  And you probably will need a number of times to finish all there is here.

     

  • Let us begin with our relationship to God.

 

  • Is it possible for me to increase (at least a bit) the time I spend in prayer daily?

  • Basically, most of us read too much if we include the Internet material we constantly use.Am I doing any spiritual reading throughout the week?

  • Am I using the Scriptures enough in and for my life?

  • What am I lacking most in my relationship to God and that I am not praying for?

  • Am I constantly thanking God for all the blessings I receive?

     

  • Our approach to life has to be holistic and integral.So I need to look at how I am properly loving/treating myself because I belong to God and I am very precious to and desired by God.

  • We live in a culture that is too fast and overflowing with future shock.Do I really have any Sabbath time in my life?

  • Do I practice mindfulness, i.e., in a Christian context, am I aware of the present moment and focusing on it as the sacrament of the present moment?

  • Do I worry too much and thus not trusting God enough?

  • How do I “talk” to myself? Negatively or positively?Do I diminish my true God-given self-worth by how I talk to myself and look at myself?

  • What do I need the most for myself in prayer? Do I spend enough time praying for my needs, growth, life, etc.?

  • Do I spend enough time with Nature as God’s very precious gift to sustain me? Am I suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder, i.e., caused by lack of interaction with Nature?

  • About 80% of us are not breathing properly and so we suffer from stress on this account.What is my breathing like?In proper breathing (according to the professionals), I inhale deeply and exhale thoroughly, taking more time to exhale than to inhale.Try it and see the difference it makes.This will also “make God happier” because He/She loves you so thoroughly and fully and desires good self-care for yourself.

  • Most of us do not get enough sleep.Work on getting the sleep we all need; add a few extra minutes nightly slowly until you get closer to the sleep you need.A good way of taking care of ourselves for God’s sake!

  • And lastly, many of us do not get the exercise we need: try to move around more!

     

  • As followers of Christ, His Great Commandment includes loving the other too.

  • Do you need to forgive anyone or to ask anyone to forgive you?This is so central to Christianity that we need to work on this if it applies to us.Please do so.

  • Are you taking any person(s) in your life for granted?

  • Are you doing anything for the poor?Another cardinal plank in Christ’s commandment of love.

  • Are you active enough in organizations/communities that are very important in your life journey, e.g., parish?

  • Do you pray for our Holy Father and other Church leaders and the leaders in our secular society?

     

  • The last big element in this is our love for the earth/universe – a major part of Catholic Social Action and Justice.

  • Am I doing anything here at all?If not, start doing something – anything – in this very important area.

  • Do you know the basics about caring for our environment, and especially the basics of climate change?If not, start doing some reading/studying here.You may want to start with Pope Francis’ great encyclical on the matter, Laudato Siˊ.

  • Do you make any donations to organizations or groups who work to better matters in this area?

     

  • Much more could be given regarding the above but what is here is a good start to living out more fully Christ’s Resurrection and our own soon-to-be Resurrection.God bless you as you do your best to make Christ’s Resurrection more real and applicable in your own life.Amen!

 

 

This week’s Consortium Newsletter is shorter than most and this for a number of reasons:

  1. In this newsletter you are being asked to do a number of things that will require your time and a shorter newsletter here will help with that;

  2. You can use the extra time to catch up on some of the past reading of these newsletters if you need to do this;

  3. And hopefully this will also help you catch your breath and slow down a wee bit in our hectic lives.

     

    May the Risen One keep blessing you superabundantly during this rich and beautiful Easter Season.  Amen.

     

    Father Fred Scinto, C.R.,

    Resurrection Ministries,

    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

    (fscinto@rogers.com)

    (519-885-4370 or toll free 1-877-242-7935)