Here's another take on ASH WEDNESDAY with a little bit more history.
And here's a link to PRAY YOUR WAY THROUGH LENT: Scriptural Reflections for each week/segment of Lent so that you can attend to Scripture and deepen your conversion experience in preparation for the Easter Vigil.
At the last RCIA Group meeting of 2014, I offered the group a suggestion to reflect upon Christmas Carols/Hymns. If there is one that particularly touches you or is memorable this time of year, you should go and look up the lyrics and meditate on the words.
The 12 Days of Christmas is one traditional song. The lyrics aren't terribly religious, but the idea of counting down the 12 days from Christmas Day to Epiphany (traditionally celebrated Jan. 6), does cover the majority of the Christmas Season.
I invite you to download this free reflection on the 12 days of Christmas. (Or Click on the Image)
Also, please READ MORE below and use this Blog Post to post reflections between now and when we meet again in January.
Please take 30 minutes or so to read the attached PDF on Christmas. Afterwards, please answer these questions and offer additional comments using the COMMENT function below.
You should have some familiarity now with looking at the celebration of Rites in the Catholic Church. When you looked at the Outline of the Mass, you saw a number of Rites placed into the overall pattern of the Mass. We also discussed in our last meeting the Four Basic Movements: Gathering, Sharing Stories, Sharing Meals, Sending Forth.
Download and take a look at the PDF entitled: FIRST RITE(S)
In case you did not receive or lost the Handout for the Basic Texts of the Mass, you can download the PDF from the right hand side menu.
Please be familiar with the 4 Basic parts of the Mass.
Try to "walk through" the mass starting from when the Opening Hymn is sung. Imagine in your head, write out on a piece of paper, or share in a group setting what happens step by step. Try to do this without looking at your Handouts. How many "catholic words" can you use to describe what is happening, who is doing the actions, what objects are being used, where in the church are these things happening, etc.?
Finally, what actions are the most meaningful or familiar to you? Which ones are the least familiar?
The Readings for today are located here: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/110214.cfm
There is also a video from USCCB that provides some reflection on the Readings and on what Catholics believe and celebrate on All Soul's Day. You can watch the video at this link: http://bcove.me/tps7dti4
Based on your own experiences and on any of the articles, discussions, or chapters in the One Faith, One Lord book, what actions, objects, people or relationships visible in our parish celebrate any of the same hopes and beliefs that are expressed in the Scripture Readings or the Video? In other words, are there visible signs demonstrated by parishioners here that show that we really do believe that we die into eternal life?
Here is a link to an article about the Confirmation Celebration this past Saturday, October 18:
At the bottom of the article are some suggested links. Two links of interest might be:
Sunday Oct. 12th
Here is the link to the Sunday Readings for Sunday, October 12th 2014.
The 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Question #1: Please answer this in the comment section below.
What do you make of the King's encounter with the person not dressed with the wedding garment? Why does the King throw him out? Does this reaction make sense to you or not?
Sunday Oct. 19th
Here is the link to the Sunday Readings for Sunday, October 19th 2014.
The 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Question #2: Please answer this in the comment section below.
How do you reconcile the saying "I am the Lord your God, there is no other" of the First Reading with what Jesus replies when asked if it is lawful to pay tribute to Caesar? (You can take a look at the Sunday Bulletin for some more insight).
Another article that was handed out at our first RCIA Meeting was Justified Reason by Adam D. Hincks and published in the Jesuit Magazine called AMERICA. In it, the Hincks describes a female friend who was getting ready to enter the catechumenate in order to become catholic. At the time she was getting ready to "check her head in at the door" in order to prepare herself to make room for belief. However, she eventually came to realize that Catholic belief is not set up in opposition to reason and that both reason and faith, believing and knowing are employed. The author goes on to talk about how faith and knowledge are related.
In the comment section below, can you identify and describe links between faith, reason, and knowledge. What kind of concrete examples does the author give? Can you provide any of your own examples from your own life?