Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘God’

Love Is Not Like That

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 6, 2019

(Previously titled: Thoughts on Religious “Free Will”)

Recently, in conversation with friends over the evening meal (supper) at a nearby restaurant, a comment was made observing something to the effect of recent global events, specifically, Iraqi uprisings in that nation, which in turn quickly segued into a remark by that same one, which was something to the effect of “the LORD is doing wonderful things in that nation,” or very similar.

About two days later, in conversation with another different friend, I shared that experience, and the remarks, and commented that, “You know, it’s as if the people who say things like that are proud of their god, as it like they trained it. ‘Attaboy, god! You go! You’re doing such a good job! We’re proud of you!’ It’s as if they’re praising a child for doing something good, proper, or right.”

Additional remarks might be something like, ‘There you go, god! You’re doing a good job! Keep up the good work! You’re doing SO MUCH BETTER! Earlier, you weren’t worth a shit… but NOW!?! You’re doing FANTASTIC work!’

You see how absurd that is?

If a person has a god which is an omniscient, omnipotent being, why would that one need praise? It’s wholly, entirely, and totally absurd. People only praise those whom are doing things they approve of, and who have some semblance of commonality – who share an often-unifying common bond – either by sharing national origin, or some other similar factor.

Praise the astronauts who were the volunteer human subjects who sat atop rockets destined (hopefully) for outer space, for their heroic actions, and intestinal fortitude. But, they were mere men, as well. It’s the same thing for firefighters, who, instead of running out of a burning building, rush headlong INTO it.

It’s totally contrary to what our natural instincts (the preservation of life) are.

And yet, some even died in those processes – of space exploration, and saving others’ lives and property.

And if they survive, all of them age, and eventually later die.

And by golly, if a god is all that and a bag of chips, what’s the point?

Seriously.

Heaping praise for an omniscient, omnipotent being from those who are utterly the epitome of stupidity?

C’mon…

If that’s not a case of putting the cart before the horse, I don’t know what is.

It’d be like having a child heaping praise upon Albert Einstein (1879-1955) for developing the Theory of Relativity, or praising Robert Boyle (1627-1691) for discovering Boyle’s Law, or congratulating Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856) for discovering Avogadro’s number/constant.

It’s utterly inconsistent with the idea of praise for congratulations, adulation, or adoration to come from below. Properly, praise comes from above. Your boss, or supervisor praises you. Or, even a colleague praises you. But hardly ever does an inferior praise a superior. While it does, and has happened, it’s certainly not the norm.

But again, I digress.

The point I had hoped to express was about the idea of “free will” as often expressed by Baptists, and other right-wing extremist Christian faith traditions.

Over supper, I expressed my thoughts to the friend, that I Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Do We Own Relationships?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 4, 2019

In an email exchange with a long-time friend about human sexuality and religion, I expressed an idea which I’ve been developing for quite some time, but had never written it. Though I’d talked about it with others, I’d never written it.

The idea concerns itself with the proposal that our sexuality has been, and largely continues to be, a tool by which we are controlled for others’ purposes, most notably religious and political.

Christendom, and other religions – including the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, and Islam – have continually said “no” to the expression of human sexuality, even though sexual response and the orgasm itself is but a mere function of the autonomic nervous system, which is but one of many in a collection of bodily functions over which we have no control, including pupillary response, digestion, rate of respiration and heart rate, blood pressure, and micturition (the creation of urine), most notably.

So it seems more than odd that we should be punished by religions for something over which we largely have little-to-no control. And yet, within many religions, it is precisely that sort of thing which (the attempt to control one’s uncontrollable functions) has innervated religions for eons. We see it in the flagellation associated with the Passion of the Christ in annual displays worldwide. We see it in the writings of the Desert Fathers whose asceticism is renown. We see it even in the daily functions of Abrahamic religions. It is pervasive.

Raquel Welch, in Los Angeles, on a cross; 1970 photograph by British photographer Terry O’Neill; wearing a fur bikini from the 1966 motion picture “One Million Years B.C.,” in which she starred, which was a remake of the original 1940 “One Million B.C.”

As well, a sense of shame and guilt is brought with it in order to continue to subdue others. None of it makes any sense. And yet, amidst it all, faithful adherents are told to become “more Christlike,” or “godly” by taming other genuinely negative behaviors and expressions such as selfishness, anger, hatred, lying, and numerous other unbecoming attitudes.

However, the root cause of it all has largely, to date, undefined – though it has been touched upon in numerous homilies, sermons, and teachings.

And so, while it is largely unrefined, per se, the core of the idea which I have been long considering is expressed here below, and is excerpted from an email to a long-time friend.

––//––

The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that: Read the rest of this entry »

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“Take Back” Our Schools, Government, and Teach Mythology

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

For the record, while I receive their emailings, I have NEVER been a part of, nor have I EVER in any way supported the Family Resource Council. The reason I receive them is because it’s always good to know what kind of shenanigans your adversaries are up to. And, I’ve marveled, and continue to do marvel, at their, and other right-wingers’ “take back” this-that-or-the-other diatribes. The only problem with that is that they never say how far back they want to take whatever it is they want to steal. Before 18-year-olds had the right to vote? Before the Civil Rights Act? Before Women’s Suffrage? Before Alabama became the 27th state to ratify the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery? How far back? They never say.

But you see, by creating an “Us vs Them” mentality, they immediately establish a simplistic either/or “we’re the ‘good guys,’ and you’re the ‘bad guys'” mind set, which then also allows them to couch their the language of their argument as if some evil adversary stole something from them, i.e., “take back.”

How can anyone “steal” public schools? Steal from them by denying tax dollars, or funnel tax dollars to private corporations, I can see. But “steal” them? Hardly possible. Of course, that has never been the case – nor will it ever be the case – because no one stole anything.

Unfortunately, we also see that fallacious and petty mindset in politics, as in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, WTF | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fetal Heartbeat Bills, Citizenship, and Taxes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Here are a few thoughts and three points about so-called “fetal heartbeat” bills enacted by AL & a handful of other states:

1.) Our U.S. Constitution does NOT support the notion that a fetus is a person because – and as the Catholic Church has long taught – life begins at birth, NOT conception. AND, the Scripture clearly states that the Almighty breathed the “breath of life” at which point “the man became a living being” into Adam. So we see clearly from that religious text in Judaic scripture (the Genesis account) that breathing is equated with life, not conception.

For if life began at conception, then “personhood” and citizenship is imbued at that moment (of conception).

An example of the current (2000’s) CRBA (Consular Report of Birth Abroad).

What that effectively means, is that a fetus conceived overseas (to an immigrant couple, for example, who later became naturalized American citizens before giving birth), the conceived fetus would be a citizen of wherever it was conceived… EVEN IF the child was delivered/born in the U.S.A. Clearly, that is contrary to Read the rest of this entry »

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Saying Ciao to Chau

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 3, 2018

Increasingly, it seems highly unlikely that the mortal remains of John Alan Chau will ever be repatriated to the United States.

Chau was the 26-year-old missionary who illegally invaded North Sentinel Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Island chain east of India in the Bay of Bengal, then was killed while trespassing by the Stone Age tribe members who are thought to have resided there for 60,000 years.

John Allen Chau

So far, police have arrested 7 people, including the 6 fishermen who ferried him to North Sentinel Island.

Chau still didn’t act alone.

Dependra Pathak, Andaman Director General of Police, said “We are investigating the role of at least two Americans, a man and a woman, who met with the man who went to the island. These other two, who have since left the country, were reportedly into evangelical activities and encouraged him to visit the island.”

Though he neither identified them or their organization by name, Police Director Pathak said the two Americans who had Read the rest of this entry »

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Love Is Bigger Than Hurt

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 13, 2018

Joseph had it tough as the second youngest in a family of 12 brothers. Picked on and hated because he was his dad Jacob’s favorite, Joseph ended up sold into slavery by his brothers. After many years of separation from his family, he again met his brothers, only this time the tables were turned: Joseph was in a position of power, and his brothers were the vulnerable ones. It wouldn’t have taken much for Joseph to Read the rest of this entry »

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The Mother Of All Role Models

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (c. 374-444) was a scholar, writer and bishop who promoted the use of the title Theotokos (“God-bearer”) for Read the rest of this entry »

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Stepping Out For Jesus

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saint Philip Neri (1515-95) must have had a good cobbler, because he sure put a lot of miles on his shoes. He sauntered through Rome, striking up conversations with whomever he met, beggars or bankers, warming hearts as he talked about God. Often, he’d bid them walk and talk with him en route to Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Something Useful

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 20, 2018

Be honest: Do you think prayer is useful? While we might describe the act of Read the rest of this entry »

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Let Go And Love

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 14, 2018

Jesus’ Last Supper discourses are surely some of the most poignant passages in John’s gospel. You can almost hear the urgency in Jesus’ voice as he exhorts His disciples to carry on and always love one another. Just “love one another.” Three simple words, yet how difficult they are to live at times! Or at least we make them that way. We prefer to hold on to our anger, resentment, or that small slight from this morning. We are entitled to feel the way we do — right? Yet, how much Read the rest of this entry »

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Working In Absentia

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Henri NouwenMuch has been written about the importance of a “ministry of presence” – of being with people in times of need. Important as presence is, there is also a “ministry of absence,” said noted spirituality author Henri Nouwen. We should never forget that it is Read the rest of this entry »

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Find Your Own Path

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 27, 2018

Modern gurus abound on talk shows and blogs, full of advice about how you should live your life.

Some of their suggestions may be helpful; the best ones are borrowed from Read the rest of this entry »

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Your Turn To Serve

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 22, 2018

Wise. Brave. Humble. Seekers of the common good above personal ambition. The world can’t get enough good leaders, and the best way to acquire the leaders we need in every aspect of modern life is for all of us to strive to be leaders right where we are. On this 55th World Day of Read the rest of this entry »

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Let It Be

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 9, 2018

Mary is the mother of the church and the model of all Christians. At the message of an angel, she believed beyond all reason and offered her life in service of God’s plan. Her response, “let it be,” is the answer of every disciple who trusts in God’s word to make all things new. In the season of Read the rest of this entry »

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Be The Change

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 11, 2018

We all suffer from a rash of too much information. Having facts on hand is not equivalent to “getting it,” that is, truly perceiving, and understanding the ramifications of what we know. What are we supposed to do about famine, stranded refugees, and about the many humanitarian crises of our era? What’s to be done about natural disasters, gun violence, global warming, and the neglected and abused children in our own cities? Jesus comes to heal our blindness, and to bring us into the light. Once we see, we are called to do.

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Get Outside Your Self, Focus On The Bigger Picture

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 8, 2018

If there were ever a patron saint for people who jump to extremes and then find balance in their lives, it would be John of God (1495-1559). First he was a wild-living soldier nearly hanged after being accused of stealing from the army. After a reprieve, he was so grateful that he Read the rest of this entry »

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Love Is Free

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 15, 2018

HAPPY VALENTINE’s DAY… to EVERYONE!

Today is a day in which we pagans… er, did I write that? – celebrate love. And to be certain, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing… or so the movie, song, and teevee “soap-opera” series of years gone by told us.

Love, at least the way others and I have seen it, is an act, and it is not exclusively a sexual one, though it also encompasses the same. Love is giving; love is sharing; sharing is caring; and caring moves us, it motivates us with compassion to either ease another’s suffering, or to join in unity with them, either psychically, or physically, or both.

For example, who ever had sex mad? Anecdotally, I know of no one, nor have I ever read, nor heard of anyone ever confessing to the same. Everyone who has sex has happy sex. Although, I suppose it’s possible to have sex when one is sad to lift the mood.

Nevertheless, as has always been the case, people will Read the rest of this entry »

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Skeptical Of Authority

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

As any baker can tell you, a small amount of leaven — yeast — goes a long way, working its effect on a much larger mass of dough. For this reason Read the rest of this entry »

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Time For Trial

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 12, 2018

Everyone experiences difficulties at some point in their lives. No matter how fortunate a person may be, going a lifetime without Read the rest of this entry »

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Walk Into The Desert

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 11, 2018

Fans of Maria Muldaur recall the song “Midnight at the Oasis” and its incongruous line about Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Enjoy Early Retirement

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) led a full life, both before and after his relatively late decision to join the priesthood. In his era, a life of holiness was considered the domain of monks and nuns, certainly not of laypeople. But he believed God could and should be found in everyday life and was Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Your Call

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 14, 2018

Most of us are leery about accepting calls from unknown sources. In the happy age of Caller ID, it’s as if a virtual butler brings each visitor’s card on a silver tray into our drawing room. We can decline to be “home” to any undesirable contact. Still, people of Read the rest of this entry »

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Take In The Outcast

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 11, 2018

In the gospel era, lepers were considered rejects of society. According to the law of Moses, they had to announce their presence to everybody within earshot so they could be avoided. Yet, with a simple choice, a word, and a Read the rest of this entry »

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What possessed you?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 9, 2018

It’s worthy to note that the “unclean spirits” in the gospel stories speak in the plural: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” Why is that? The “possessed” person is Read the rest of this entry »

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Walking Through Darkness

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 14, 2017

Saint John of the Cross (1542–1591), aka ‘San Juan de la Cruz’ in Spanish, was a Spanish mystic most well known for writing the highly-regarded book “The Dark Night of the Soul,” which explores Read the rest of this entry »

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All At Once

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 7, 2017

When a dispute arose about who was to be the new bishop of Milan, Ambrose (c. 339-397) stepped in to try to mediate the dispute. Ambrose is also remembered as Read the rest of this entry »

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A Jolly Good Tradition

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Saint Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death (oil painting by Ilya Repin, 1888, State Russian Museum)Saint Nicholas spoke out against heresies and was imprisoned for a time for his Christian beliefs. His faithfulness is exemplary, but charity remains his signature virtue. What started with Nicholas tossing a few bags of coins into a poor family’s yard has been transformed over centuries of retelling, embellishing, grafting, and adapting into the magical tales of Ole Saint Nick (Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Kris Kringle), whose yearly ambition is to deliver gifts to every girl and boy. We may not Read the rest of this entry »

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Mindfulness 101

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Be aware of your surroundings. Look where you’re going. Think before you speak. Remember to breathe. Be here now. Pithy reminders to be mindful have been sprinkled into the popular diet for so long, they tend to Read the rest of this entry »

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Get Your Passport Stamped

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 26, 2017

The man often called the “good thief” turned his life around in the final hour when he encountered Jesus on the cross at Golgotha. One good act of Read the rest of this entry »

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Give It Your All

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 24, 2017

How much are you willing to give? Some make the ultimate sacrifice and give their very lives. Andrew Dung-Lac (1795-1839) was a priest and one of 117 saints martyred by Read the rest of this entry »

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Be Present To The Spirit

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How did the Virgin Mary come to be a woman “full of grace”? It was her close association with the holy Temple, as today’s feast (Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) reminds us. Although not recorded in the Bible, an early document attributed to the apostle James Read the rest of this entry »

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Dust Off Tradition

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 19, 2017

Three servants are entrusted with their master’s “talents”; the one who fearfully buries his is reprimanded, while those who grow theirs earn the “master’s happiness” and trust. Today we take the hint. We try to share the gifts God gives us. But earliest versions of the parable repeat the phrase Read the rest of this entry »

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God Is Mysterious, Naturally

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Today is the memorial of Albert Magnus, known as Albert the Great, Bishop, Doctor of the Church.

Albert was known for his vast knowledge in all areas of learning. He was Saint Thomas Aquinas’ tutor, a man skilled in all the sciences of his age. Albert did not fear science; for him there was no contradiction between what he learned about the natural world through scientific observation and what he believed as a person of faith. People of mature faith have nothing to Read the rest of this entry »

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Trust your calling

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 13, 2017

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the religious institute founded by the first U.S. citizen saint Frances Cabrini (1850-1917), say that it is not what Mother Cabrini accomplished or how far she traveled that Read the rest of this entry »

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Seek Wisely

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 10, 2017

Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is among or, in an equally valid translation of the Greek, within us. But how do we recognize the Kingdom that is among and within us? What do we look for? Solomon suggests a very good place for us to start, with his poetic words of praise for wisdom in the first reading. Where we find wisdom, we find the presence of God — within us and among us. Cultivate Read the rest of this entry »

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Come On In

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 9, 2017

Finding God in the marketplace is very difficult for most of us because we are easily distracted by the mundane or profane (from the Latin meaning “outside the temple”). A sacred place, like anything sacred, is something set apart or different from what is normal for us. When we Read the rest of this entry »

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RSVP

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

In the gospel parable of the great feast, many are invited, but one by one each declines the invitation. Sometimes saying “yes” feels too much like hard work. We’ve got so many other things to do! But are we really too busy? Maybe we just don’t Read the rest of this entry »

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Shaping Up Is An Ongoing Process

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 4, 2017

St. Charles Borromeo 1538-84 Administering The Sacrament To Plague Victims In Milan In 1576, Oil wood print, by Pierre Mignard (1612-95), a French painter known for his religious and mythological scenes and portraits.

Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was an instrument of the Holy Spirit in helping to keep the church on course through needed reforms in the 16th century. Had he been a participant in the Second Vatican Council rather than the Council of Trent, he may have Read the rest of this entry »

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Look Deeply For Dignity

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 3, 2017

Saint Martin de Porres (1579-1639) was a barbershop surgeon when he joined a Dominican monastery at age 15. Soon his success with medicinal herbs and miraculous healings earned him great fame as a healer. But Martin was famous for tending to small things, too. Once, he solved the monastery’s pest problem by Read the rest of this entry »

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At The Hour Of Our Death

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 2, 2017

A few years ago a church document had this to say about death: “Death, while starkly real and total, is the vehicle of that final offering of self which calls for the supreme act of faith in the Lord of Life.” Yes, death is Read the rest of this entry »

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Break some bread today

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Baking bread requires the virtues of patience and attention. It is hard work wrapped in warm smells and a tremendous sense of accomplishment when the job is done. The process seems undeniably Read the rest of this entry »

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Healing Leads To Praise

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 30, 2017

Stop to notice the content of your prayers. According to the early Christian thinker Origen, the noblest form of prayer we can make is Read the rest of this entry »

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Eyes On The Prize

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 29, 2017

According to Saint Augustine, the word angel (from the Greek angelos — “messenger”) is basically a job description — that is, angels serve as messengers of God’s purposes. They are reliable, says Jesus, because they “always behold the face of my father in heaven.” We can trust such messengers because they do not lose sight of God. Today we celebrate the feast of three archangels — Michael, who spoke regularly to the prophets; Gabriel, who announced the births of John the Baptist and Jesus; and Raphael, whose name means “God has healed.” Let’s learn from them to keep our eyes on God.

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There’s always more to be done

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

 Toward the end of his life, Vincent de Paul (1580-1660) sat with one of his many wealthy patronesses, who recounted all the good works of charity he had initiated and supervised throughout his priesthood. She asked him what else he could possibly hope to do. “More,” he replied benignly. His relentless enthusiasm for the relief of human suffering was infectious and led to the founding of the society that bears his name by layman Frederic Ozanam two centuries later. In his name—and through your generosity—the St. Vincent de Paul Society continues to do “more.”

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Quantum Hints Of God

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 25, 2017

In her book of devotions entitled Revelations of Divine Love, 14th-century mystic Julian of Norwich describes how she came to understand that God is light, Whom she described as, “our endless Day.” Seven centuries later, physicist Bernard Haisch came to the same understanding: “The solid, stable world of matter appears to be sustained at every instant by Read the rest of this entry »

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Women Belong In The Picture

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 22, 2017

Women, as today’s gospel (Luke 8:1-3) makes clear, accompanied Jesus in his ministry. They left their families to follow Him and offered financial support for His mission. They stood by Him at the cross, and all four gospels place women at the tomb when the resurrected Christ is revealed. As scripture scholar Elizabeth Johnson points out in her groundbreaking book Consider Jesus: Waves of Renewal in Christology, “Jesus Christ Read the rest of this entry »

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Please Be Seated

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 21, 2017

The names of the apostles are integral to our story of faith, but in truth, we know very little about many of them. Bits of information from the gospels and Acts of the Apostles do allow a glimpse of their lives in the first Christian community. The rest we can only prayerfully imagine. We know that Read the rest of this entry »

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Stretching Exercises

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Exercise physiology experts tell us that our physical bodies should be “warmed up” before engaging in any type of exercise – that we should gently stretch our muscles before beginning any exercise routine or competitive event. It’s not uncommon to see athletes “warming up” before games, and baseball pitchers in the “bull pen,” and football players on the sidelines will stretch and move about to get their muscles accustomed to the rigorous vigor of competition. Similarly, being an example of Read the rest of this entry »

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Faith Will See Us Through

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Martyrdom of Saint Januarius; Girolamo Pesce; circa 1727; Oil on canvas, 262 x 193 cm; Bishop’s Library, Vác, Hungary

The stories of early Christian saints are often larger-than-life. So it is with Saint Januarius (third century). According to legend, Januarius was thrown into a fiery furnace by the Romans during a time of intolerance toward Christians. To everyone’s amazement he emerged unscathed. Taken figuratively, the story says a lot about how faith can help us in the face of intolerance when it comes to things like race, gender, immigration status, and so on. We may be Read the rest of this entry »

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