Photo: Ron Dauphin via FlickrThe story of Lazarus found in John’s gospel is not just a story about Jesus’ total power over death.    It is about his total love as well.   This story is about his humanity, not just his divinity. 

Jesus did not weep for Lazarus. He did not weep when he heard that Lazarus had died.  He did not weep when Martha came and met him.  He wept when Mary came to him weeping.  His heart went out to Mary in her pain.

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Photo:  Janetze Hart


'Centering Prayer' is a phrase which has been generically applied to a wide variety of practices.    In the Carmelite world, it is a reference to a method for centering oneself on Christ, focusing one's heart and mind on Christ.    However, one must be very careful because not all 'Centering Prayer' is the same and it is commonly used to refer to practices of 'emptying the mind' and a pantheistic focus of Eastern origins.


Here is what our Catechism says (red highlight is mine):

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Your local parish church is not usually going to post a dress code.  They probably want people to feel free to come as they are.    But there is no denying that the Vatican has been quite clear about what is appropriate dress.

 "Access to Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter's Basilica is permitted only to visitors dressed appropriately (no sleeveless blouses, no miniskirts, no shorts, no hats allowed)."

Note that this is not just for audiences with the Pope or for Mass; even the museums expect this standard of proper dress.

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Q.  Why wear a veil?

A.  The veil is worn with the belief that Christ is truly present in the tabernacle, body, blood, soul, and divinity and, likewise, on the altar during the sacrifice of the Mass.  The veil is worn out of respect and reverence for Christ’s true presence, an act of humility and submission to the authority of God.  See First Corinthians Ch. 11.

Q.  But that scripture does not apply to us today.  Wasn’t that just addressing the appropriate fashions of St. Paul’s day?

A.  Taken in proper context, St. Paul was most certainly addressing proper reverence for Christ in the Eucharist.  Read the chapter before and the rest of Ch. 11 to see this is true. (Especially 1 Cor 10:15-16 & 1 Cor 11:27-29)

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Photo:  b.frahm via Flickr

My God and the Truths of my Catholic faith are more real and more solid than anything that I can touch or feel with human senses.   To rely on science alone is to rely, ultimately, on what can be measured with human senses.  The cloud cover that I have flown over looks as solid as can be, supremely opaque, like a thick blanket of snow.  But were I to jump on it, I would fall right through because there is not really anything there beyond the misleading perception of one of my senses.    But what about a real blanket of snow?  Now that is real.  That is something more substantial.  But have you ever jumped into a bank of snow?  You sink right into it.  It does not sustain you, unless, perhaps, it were to be covered with an invisible sheet of ice.  Then it might sustain you.  Ironic, isn’t it?   …that the invisible sheet of ice that you cannot see is, in some ways more real, more solid than the clouds and snow that you can see.

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