Sunday, July 26, 2009

St. Caesarius of Arles - Sermon 5

In continuing to read St. Caesarius's sermons I find yet another entitled "An Admonition that, for the Salvation of One's Soul, Harsh Preaching Not Only Should Not Be Rejected, But Should Even Be Sought with Ardent Longing".

Seldom, in fact hardly ever, do I hear a strong sermon, or as we say today, homily. Pastors today, it would seem, are afraid to call their parishoners from sin for fear of loosing their Sunday collection. But as St. Caesarius would say we go to doctors to heal our bodily ills and at some times at great paid. But we are not willing to accept a strong word to heal our soul.

If you would like to read this sermon see the link below. It is in Word 2007.

Not So Sure - Health Care Reform

Saturday, July 25, 2009

St. Caesarius of Arles

I've just become acquainted with St. Caesarius of Arles. I have been reading the volumn on Mark in the "Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: series. In this series they take the various passages from the Bible and insert passages from the writings of the Church Fathers that relate to the text.

I've found it interesting to see what the various Fathers have said about the passages in Scripture. In doing so I've seen some selections from Caesarius of Arles, who I have not heard of before. So I did a little research via the internet and found some of his sermons.

In reading Sermon 1 I found it quite interesting as one of my pet peeves is what I call 'la la' homilies. In this sermon Caesarius exhorts his fellow bishops and priests to preach more often and at Mass as well. I guess in the Sixth Century it was not common for Priests to give homilies at Mass.

Having found this sermon rewarding, I thought I would share it. See the link below. Excuse any errors as I had to convert it from a pdf file to Word 2007.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Catholic Quick Start Guide

I think many of us know Catholics that don't practice their faith. I
ran across this short blog entry by "a minor friar" which I though
would be helpful. Why not pass it on to them?

Catholic Quick Start Guide

It's no secret that the average Catholic does not practice the faith.
For whatever reason, at this point in history there are huge numbers
of Catholics who fall into the category of 'baptized but un-
catechized.' After each moment of sacramental initiation, whether it
be Baptism, Holy Communion, or Confirmation, many are lost to the
praying assembly.

Occasionally it happens, though, that someone who has not practiced or
considered the faith since their first Holy Communion or Confirmation
is led back by circumstances or just ordinary grace. They range from
the cautious but curious to the overwhelming zealous and energetic.
Whatever their condition, they need a plan. So, having given this 'how
get going again in the faith' advice several times in confession or in
the parlor, I thought I would post it.

(N.B. This plan is for Catholics who have previously begun their
sacramental initation as infants or children, and are coming back to
the faith. The situation of catechumens--those who are adult
candidates for Baptism--and baptized Christians of other Churches and
ecclesial communities is a different case.)


Attend Sunday Mass as devoutly as you can. Get yourself a Sunday
Missal or Daily Roman Missal to help you prepare ahead of time as well
as become more familiar with the Mass in general. A good hand missal
will also have a lot of other good resources for your prayerful

Develop a practice of going to confession to receive the Sacrament of
Reconciliation. Once every couple of months, with extra effort for
Advent and Lent is a good minimum schedule for a devout soul. If you
don't have anything to say, either you have a bad memory or your sin
is that you aren't reflecting on your life. If you are struggling with
serious and habitual sins, go more often.

Pray each day. It doesn't matter how, though a mixture of formal
prayers and simple quiet before the Lord is good. Find the time of day
when you can pray with the least distraction. For many people this is
the peace of the early morning before things get crazy. For others
it's the evening after the day has been dealt with. For some with a bi-
phasic workday (like a parish priest) the afternoon might be the best
time for prayer. Try different forms and practices of prayer and
follow what catches your heart. If you don't have a rosary, get one.
If you have one on your car mirror, take it down and pray it instead.


If you are not an active member of your parish, become one. In most
cases you are a parishioner of the parish territory in which you live,
which is usually the closest Catholic church. However, you can also
make yourself a parishioner of a parish somewhere else simply by
registering there. Go where you feel your soul will be fed. Support
your parish with your prayer, your good example, and a weekly
financial contribution.


If you don't have your own copy of the Sacred Scriptures, get one. The
standard American English Bible for Catholics is called the New
American Bible.

Empower yourself by learning the faith and the teachings of the
Church. Pick up a catechism. For those in the States, the Catholic
Catechism for Adults by our bishops is very good, and is usually in
stock in regular bookstores. If you want to go first class, the
Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great reference, and is
available everywhere. When one person (even a priest!) says that the
Church teaches this or that, and someone else says the teaching is
something else, you don't have to wonder. Learn it yourself.

Visit a Catholic bookstore when you can, and browse the spiritual
books. If something grabs your attention, pick it up.

Discern and adjust your life

Through prayer and learning you will soon notice ways in which you
need to bring your life more in line with Catholic teaching.

If you have not completed your sacramental initiation, begin this
process right away. In many cases this means that Confirmation is
still lacking. Most parishes will have a program for this, or can
direct you to one.

If you are struggling with serious, habitual sin, find a confessor
whom you feel takes you seriously and can offer practical advice. Do a
little detective work on yourself. Ask what this sin does for you.
When does it happen? What are the occasions of the sin? What is the
opposite virtue and what are the practical means of acquiring it?

There are many lifestyle and marriage situations which may need
adjustment. Some marriages outside the Church are easily regularized
according to Catholic practice, while others may be more complicated.
Talk to a priest whom you trust, and then pray to the Holy Spirit to
show you opportunities to speak and pray with your spouse about it.
The same goes for those who are not married, but may be simulating
marriage through cohabitation. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you notice
opportunities to open the subject of the Church's expectations of the
two of you.

Above all

Take it easy! The plan for this life is to walk with the Lord, so
there's no need to run. This is a work of grace; it's not your own.
Your job is not to push, but to consent. Attend to the graces at hand,
stay grateful, and take it one day at a time.