A Great Article About The Feast of Immaculate Conception
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. It is a great day which commemorates the sinless perfection of the blessed mother. This dogma is unfortunately misunderstood especially by our Protestant brethren. I have to admit that I, myself even doubted the validity of this dogma, it just didn't make any sense. Why have a holy day of obligation right in the midst of the Christmas Holiday which is supposed to be centered on Christ? Why is it mandatory for me to believe in something which has little to no biblical basis? Why make it an obligation instead of just a feast day? I also have received many questions by others asking me to explain this solemnity. Fortunately today I was able to find this informative article which does a great job in explaining the reasons for this solemnity. To read the article click here.
The book of Sirach is a book that is often overlooked in the bible. This is unfortunate since this book contains many wise, practical saying on how to live a virtous life. The book was believed to have been written between 200-175 B.C.E.
Here are ten quotes that I feel best reflect this timeless work.
1."Do not become a beggar by feasting with\borrowed money, when you have nothing in your purse." Sirach 18:33
2."In all you do remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." 7:36
3.."Glory and dishonor come from speaking; a man's tongue is his downfall." 5:13" 4."A wise man is cautious in everything." 18:27
5."One who trusts others is light minded." 19:4 6."If you pursue justice, you will obtain it and wear it as a glorious robe." 27:8 7."Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but no many as have fallen because of the tongue." 28:18 8." In all of your work be industrious and no sickness will…
I was stunned, as was most of the world was when I heard about the passing of George Michael on Christmas day. Michael possessed enormous talent was and one of the most successful acts in the 1980's and early 90's
Shortly after Carrie Fisher died. Fisher was famous for her legendary role as princess Leia from the Star Wars movies. Strangely her mother also died the day after.
2016 was notable year for celebrity deaths.
Some names include: Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie, Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali.
As a Catholic these deaths got me thinking about the transient nature of life, and the inevitability of death.
Marcus Aurelius, the stoic, emperor, philosopher king wrote about the passing nature of life as he reflected, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."
There is famous scene in the bible where Jacob wrestles with God. Jacob fights with God until God takes out a bone from Jacob's thigh. Interestingly, God eventually relents and stops fighting with Jacob. After this dramatic incident Jacob is renamed Israel which literally means, "he who struggles with God."
I can relate to this story. Many times in my life I have argued with God. I still do. (my wife can attest to that.) Many times I have criticized his tactics, his ways, and his wisdom. In my worst moments I have even used choice language. I have a complicated relationship with God. Like Jacob I have wrestled with God. (thigh bone still intact)
Recently I approached a priest friend of mine and told him of my struggles with God. I expected that he would chide me for my lack of respect and informality. What this priest said was illuminating and encouraging. He told me that it was OK at times to be angry with God, God understood. He in fact encouraged this honesty and o…