Author: Lisa Graas
•6/05/2003 09:23:00 AM
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Nelson Mandela said:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? [...] Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's
nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to
shine, as children do[...] it's in everyone. As we let our own light shine we give others permission to do the
same; as we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

God created each of us to be something special. Somewhere within each of us lives our true self, and this is the person God created you to be. In today's readings, St. Paul shows something of his true self as he courageously stands before the Sanhedrin convened to deal with him. Like Paul, we can stand before the things we fear and take courage saying, as the Psalm says:

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the Lord, "My Lord are you."
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.


Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

Fear separates us from Christ. One of the phrases most often said by Jesus was: "Fear not!" We are all called to be in union with Christ. We are called to be one with Him. He prayed to the Father that we would be one with Him, saying:

And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.

I recommend to you a chapter of the Pope's book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, which can be read online. The chapter is entitled, Be Not Afraid!

God Bless You.
Love from Lisa

Author: Lisa Graas
•6/04/2003 11:14:00 AM
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I dont' have much of a commentary today as I have to clean my carpet today! I will just note that today's readings show that Christ intended for there to be one Church, not many. Today in America and around the world there are thousands upon thousands of different brands of Christianity. People tend to pick the brand that most suits their own sentiments and persuasions. Paul referred to the preachers of these other religions as "savage wolves". He said that they will not spare the flock. Don't allow yourself to be led away by them.

According to the teaching of the Church, there is hope for the salvation of those in other religions, but no hope for a Catholic who has been led away unless he is invincibly ignorant. This is a truth that often hurts, and yet the truth is never harsh. It only hurts if we pull away from it.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
who has to go clean her carpet!!
Author: Lisa Graas
•6/03/2003 12:20:00 PM
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I'm sure that many of us, at one time or another, have heard someone say, "I live a quiet faith". How often do we hear someone say, "I live a loud faith"? Perhaps the solemn churches, cathedrals and basilicas of the Catholic Church are not the place for those who live a loud faith......... or are they?

St. Paul lived a very loud faith. The Scriptures don't seem to indicate whether or not he shouted at any time, but he was certainly very open with the Gospel. In today's reading he says:

"And so I solemnly declare to you this day

that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,

for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God."

How many of us would take the time to be educated enough to proclaim the teachings of the Church to others, and how many of us would do so as boldly as St. Paul?

I say to you that if you set out to do such a thing you will be reviled and rejected. No one will want anything to do with you. Few people want to meet someone who has a "loud faith". There will be much suffering of loneliness for you, but as the Psalm says:

"Blessed day by day be the Lord,

who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.

God is a saving God for us;

the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death."

No matter the depths of the pain, our Lord has suffered it for us and made our sufferings redemptive. Thanks be to God!

And what of those who reject you? Christ says in today's Gospel:

"I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,

because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours

and everything of yours is mine,

and I have been glorified in them."

Educate yourself. Try living a loud faith and graces will be poured out to you.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•6/01/2003 10:32:00 PM
I made a mistake in the previous post. I should have noted that Mr. Rudolph is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Please take this into consideration as you read my comments. Thank you and my apologies for the error.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•6/01/2003 10:10:00 PM
June 2, 2003
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"In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world."

We recently learned about the capture of Eric Rudolph, suspect in the bombings in Centennial Park, an abortion clinic, an office building and a night club. Many Christians have speculated about whether or not the abortion clinic bombing, at least, might have been a righteous act. Today's readings providentially give us the answer to this troubling question. Jesus said, "In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." Obviously, what Eric Rudolph did was a cowardly act and not a courageous one. Had he placed his trust in Jesus, he would never have taken this action even against those whose hands are covered in the blood of innocent children. He might have killed a room filled with pregnant women. What would this have accomplished? Fear not. All is not lost. No matter what manner of death and destruction we may see around us, Jesus has conquered the world. Christianity will not fail, and so we are to take courage and continue to work with the means still available to us -- outreach, education, and legislation. This three-pronged effort of the pro-life movement has not failed, so we have no right to declare war against those who commit acts of abortion. Other means are not only available to us, but they have also been very successful. While abortion is still legal in the United States, millions of babies that might otherwise have been aborted have been saved by the pro-life movement. Eric Rudolph has, arguably, saved no one.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•6/01/2003 09:45:00 AM
June 1, 2003
The Ascension of the Lord
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Things don't always turn out as we would like them to. People getting married don't plan on being abused and then getting divorced. Some who want to marry never get the opportunity. Some are widowed much too young. These feelings of emptiness are arguably quite similar, and probably similar to the emptiness felt by the apostles when Christ ascended into heaven.

When they had gathered together they asked him,
"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth."

It should always be enough for us to know that we are doing God's will. Despite our plans which seemingly go "awry", we are still on course when we are doing God's will. We have never strayed when we have remained in Him. It is not for us to know the times or seasons, but we have received power when we received the Holy Spirit and we are to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. This is the plan for us. Everything else is a stop along the way.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa