Archives for February 2012

From the Pastor – February 26, 2012

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. (Mk. 1-12) I always look forward to Lent. And this year is no exception. Now that Lent is here, I'm happy to create my own little desert of calm by the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It's the perfect remedy for the last two weeks of noise, feasting and excess. One of the good disciplines of Lent is “giving something up.” When I was in seminary, I remember my rector publicly acknowledging that he gave up cigars during Lent. And then one Friday in Lent, I walked by his room and smelled cigar smoke. The next day I asked him about it, and he said that he decided to do something different that year because he felt like everyone knew he gave up cigars. He felt … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 19, 2012

Thus says the LORD: Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers. (Is. 43:18-19) Consider Our Lord. He is always doing something “new.” We might have heard the expression, “whenever the Lord closes a door, He opens another.” Isaiah's prophecy above points to a number of events. It points to the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, as they made their way to the Promised Land through the Red Sea. It points to Paschal Mystery by which Our Lord saved us from sin by offering Himself on the cross. And it points to the Holy Spirit – the true source of life by means our lives are renewed. And we are called to take part in this “renewal” … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 12, 2012

Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31) Over the next two weeks, many of us are going to do a fair amount of eating and drinking! And that's not a bad thing. Fat Tuesday is meant to be a time of feasting in preparation for the fasting and thin austerity of Lent. But that doesn't mean that Lent is a “holy” season and Mardi Gras is a “pagan” season. As St. Paul tells us above, everything should be done for the glory of God. Last year, the Lagniappe section of the Times Picayune had a question on the cover: “What vices are you giving up for Mardi Gras?” And then it listed a long list of “vices,” including among them “meat” and “alcohol.” Now it's certain that excessive drinking and obesity are unhealthy, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 5, 2012

Job spoke, saying: Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. (Job 7:4) Most of us know the story of Job. He was faithful to God, but God let the devil take away all of Job's possessions, kill all of his children and ruin his health. And despite his misfortunes, Job does not curse God. But that doesn't stop him from bemoaning his situation. The passage above reflects his poor attitude, but it speaks to a truth. The world often imposes on us many miseries. We get tired and frustrated with work. We get in arguments with family members and friends. We get sick, we can't pay the bills, and we worry … [Read more...]