“Feast Day of Hope”

08-26-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

August 28th is what I like to call the “Feast Day of Hope.” It is actually the feast day of St. Augustine. (And with that, some of you already know where I’m going with this, but stick around anyway.)

Augustine of Hippo had a mom...as you do. Her name was Monica. She was incredibly holy, despite extensive suffering. Her husband was an adulterer with all violent temper. She wept for her son nightly. The young man took up non- Christian beliefs and Monica drove him from her home.

After a vision, she reconciled with her son. This doesn’t mean she approved of his beliefs and she continued her prayerful assault on Heaven on his behalf.

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I Am the Bread of Life

08-22-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

With the exception of our little (worthy) detour for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we’ve spent the last several weeks of Sunday Gospels in the Bread of Life Discourse (as found in John 6).

It began with Jesus establishing His own divinity. He does this by echoing the great prophet Elisha’s miracle found in 2 Kings 42-44, but literally multiplying the number fed. (John 6:5-14.) Then, Jesus further establishes his divinity by walking on water. (John 6:16-21)

In John 6:29, Jesus asks his followers to “believe in the one God has sent.” Hilariously, these folks actually ask, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?” JESUS JUST FED 5000 and WALKED ON WATER. It is never enough for us, is it? But they went on, “Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

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The Assumption of Mary

08-15-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

In this week’s Gospel, we take a break from John 6 to celebrate the Assumption of Mary.

Some people—most of all, our non-Catholic brothers and sisters—struggle with this teaching. And why wouldn’t they?

Many other denominations take the stance that the body is just a cage for a soul of infinite value. If that is the case, why would a bodily assumption of anyone but Jesus (whose very Flesh is divine) even matter? Why hoist a mere “cage” into heaven?

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Practicing Gratitude

08-08-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

The majority of the time, this space focuses on an aspect of Sunday’s Gospel. But this week, a tiny line from Psalm 34 caught my eye: “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.”

I suspect it grabbed my attention because of the tremendous challenge it contains.

It’s tempting to think that blessing the Lord in good times is a breeze. Not so. Reflect on health. What percentage of our days do we lift prayers of gratitude in times of good health? And what percentage of our days of poor health do we pray for healing?

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The Real Presence of Jesus Christ

08-01-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I recently attended a funeral for yet another former youth group teen. They are always difficult, but I find some comfort and solace when it is a young person who has given their lives to the Lord.

You’ve probably felt what I often feel when someone passes away: I cannot imagine the grief of people who have no hope of seeing their loved one again. What a bitter, final, and utterly hopeless farewell. How does the heart cope?

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Offer it to The Lord

07-25-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I’m feeling a bit exhausted as I write this. I’ve got an adorable child who should take up farming, because she is convinced the world needs to wake up when the sun rises, if not before. I just returned from a catechetical conference in Steubenville, Ohio, where the organizers schedule sessions from 9AM until 10PM. Whenever I’m out of the office for a week, the regular works backs up and awaits my return. I also have a side gig as an editor. (I know. I don’t catch mistakes in my own column. Even editors need editors.) Oh yeah… and I’m writing a sequel to my novel, Skull Valley.

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Extending Grace

07-18-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Is there a person who abandoned, avoided, or deserted you in your time of need?

How did you react? What impact did that have on the relationship? Did you find it in your heart to forgive?

It was only recently—I hate to admit—that I realized something very particular about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As he was arrested, scourged, and killed upon a cross, the vast majority of his disciples scattered. They did not stand with him. Only one showed up at the cross.

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What Does He Want You to Hear?

07-11-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Well. It’s July of 2021. And when this month was ushered in, this parish has now become the parish I’ve spent the most time as an employee. Of the previous five parishes, the record had been five years at both Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale and Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach, California. Your time in purgatory is now officially the longest.

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Get to Reading!

07-04-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Our parish is full of little treasures that are designed to help you in your walk with the Lord. It could be our Monday Bible Study that breaks down the context and deeper meaning of the coming Sunday’s readings. It might be the Mary Garden tucked between the Church and the Parish Office. It could be the free access to Formed.org the parish gives to every parishioner. Or it could be the parish library.

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Focusing on the Next Step

06-27-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Have you ever had the experience of being on a good mission (like picking up coffee for a coworker, picking up flowers for your spouse, or picking up bourbon for your director of faith formation) when the Lord puts something or someone else in your path?

I’ve had this happen. Often. And sadly, my thought is often less than ideal: I don’t have time for this, Lord!

It’s as if I’ve convinced myself that the Lord is calling me to something very specific and anything that gets in the way of that—or slows it down in any way—couldn’t possibly also be in God’s plan for my day.

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What is Your Storm?

06-20-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

What storms do you find yourself stuck within? Illness? An abusive home? Chronic pain? Depression? Loved ones who are struggling? Anxiety about the direction of the country and/or the world? Unfulfilled dreams or potential?

Mark 4 talks about a storm, “Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.” It goes on, “A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern...”

Let’s stop here and highlight something. Even in the midst of the squall (definition: a sudden, violent localized storm, especially one bringing rain, snow, or sleet) – Jesus was in the boat with them. He wasn’t on shore. He was with them in the storm.

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“Lord, It Is Good to Give Thanks to You.”

06-13-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Name five things you wish were different about your life right now. Snap your fingers and it is done. Big or small. Go! (I’ll wait right here.)

Maybe you went big right off the bat and tackled topics like eradicating Covid from the Earth, healing a parent, overcoming an addiction, or bringing a child back to the Catholic Faith. Maybe you ticked off some boxes that have been annoying you for years like squeaky stairs or losing that extra twenty pounds. (I’m sure those two biographical answers are COMPLETELY unrelated.) Or maybe you leveled up a few items like obtaining a nicer vehicle, getting that cabin, or being given that overdue promotion.

But now, let’s shift gears and name five things in your life you are grateful for right now. Big or small. Go! (I got nowhere to be. Do it.)

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Good Morning Lord

06-06-2021(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Sometimes, I wake up and struggle to say my favorite morning prayer, “Good morning Lord. What do you have for me to do today?”

I think happens when I forget a few basic truths: God knows what will happen in advance. If he knows what will happen in advance, he knows what will happen to me. If he knows what will happen to me, he must have a plan for me. And if he has a plan for me, he knows what I will need to accomplish it.

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