Thursday, December 9, 2021

STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TO GIVE SOME PEOPLE FOR CHRISTMAS?

 HOW ABOUT A NICE DONATION TO THE NEW ST. THERESA FAMILY LIFE CENTER IN THEIR HONOR? 

I'll be glad to send a personal note acknowledging your gift on one of our logo cards to anyone you want to honor. Just tell me who you want to honor, how you want to honor them, where to send the card and who is making the gift. To speed up the process, simply e-mail me, text me or call me. I'll get right on it! My contact information is listed at the bottom of this page. 

(To view all our ST. THERESA HERITAGE PARTNERS NEWSLETTERS, click on the icon at the top, right, of this page.)



Sister Mary Ancilla - Sister Agnes Bernard - Sister Aloysius Gonzaga - Sister Rosalinda

A CHANCE TO EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE

A total of 97 Sisters of Charity served the Saint Theresa Community over 123 years. No, they were not all perfect! Yes, some of them were saints! Saints or not, every one of them gave their lives in service to our historic community! 

Think about the conditions they lived in, all the work they were asked to do and how little they were paid! We were certainly blessed to have had them as long as we did! 

Let's honor  their dedication to us by making a generous family donation this Christmas to help complete our new project which will enable us to carry on their work long after they are gone. What better way to show our appreciation, and to invest in the the health of today's families, than to insure that their work will be carried on for years to come! 

If you know friends who might be interested in this project, feel free to re-post this on your  FACE BOOK page, forward it to them by e-mail or print it off and mail it to them. Getting the word out is one of the most important steps to insure the success of this renewal project! 

SAINT THERESA FAMILY LIFE CENTER
Let's all work to get it finished so we can re-dedicate it on October 15, 2022
Feast of Saint Theresa of Avila 

GIVING OPPORTUNITIES 


The following project areas might be “adopted” by individuals, one family or several related families pooling their gifts together. These figures do not reflect actual costs. They are simply reflections of parts of the overall costs covering expenses for electrical, plumbing, lighting, finishes (flooring and painting) and furnishings.

Kitchen and Cafe/Lecture Hall - $20,000.00 -ADOPTED 
Hallway Photo Gallery - $10,000.00 - ADOPTED 
New flagpole - $1,000 - ADOPTED
7th and 8th Grade Classroom (Museum Space) - $10,000 - ADOPTED 

1st and 2nd Grade Classroom (Meeting Room) - $10,000 
3rd and 4th Grade Classroom (Meeting Room) - $10,000 
5th-6th Grade Classroom (3 Staff Offices) - $5,000 each - ONE STAFF OFFICE ADOPTED

 
Men’s Restroom - $10,000 
Women’s Restroom - $10,000 
Remodel of Storage and Supply Annex - $1,000 

Pastor’s Office and Furnishings - $10,000 
Parish Secretary’s Office and Furnishings - $8,000 
Entry Reception-Waiting Area - $1,000 

Large Flat Screen TV for the Café/Lecture Hall - $2,000 
Audio-Visual Equipment for 3 Classroom - $1,500 each 
Assortment of small kitchen appliances - $1,500 
Assortment of commercial pots and pans - $1,500 
Assortment of commercial dishes, glassware and flatware - $1,500 

New Saint Theresa Family Life Center Sign - $1,000 
5 Porch Planter Boxes - $300 each 
6 Sidewalk Path Lights - $200 each 
10 Porch rockers - $200 each

GENERAL CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHING EXPENSES 
Gifts can be as small or large as one is capable. 

OPERATIONAL ENDOWMENT AFTER COMPLETION 
Gifts can be as small or large as one is capable.

__________________________________________________________

To Get the Job Done We Need All Hands on Deck


Our new Saint Theresa Family Life Center is about to go into a critical second stage. Phase One (the outside) is basically finished and paid for and the plans for Phase Two (the inside) will be ready to go to construction soon, but we do not have all the funds needed. The Archdiocese will not give its approval to proceed until we have the funds in hand.

We need some large, medium and small donors. Consider donating personally and, if you cannot donate much, ask others you know with, or without, connections to St. Theresa to help us out. Try pooling your gifts with your extended family to “adopt” part of the project as a group. If your family is not that big, partner with other families to whom you are related. Usually, all it takes is for a couple of people to lead the process of contacting and asking the others.

I have done, and will continue to do, my part. Help us out here by doing your part in talking it up and doing as much asking as you can until we reach our goal. We have had a marvelous start. The families of this community need what our new Saint Theresa Family Life Center will be offering. Let’s all get behind protecting our rich history and securing its future. Yes, we can do this!

Make checks payable to ST. THERESA CHURCH and send to:
Rev. Ronald Knott
1271 Parkway Gardens Court #106
Louisville, KY 40217

1-502-303-4571
jrknott@bellouth.net

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A VERY SPECIAL PROJECT REMEMBERED

In Honor of Today's Marian Feast of the Immaculate Conception 



A PROJECT OF
R J MISSION PROJECTS 
(Ron and Jim)

Several years ago, my friend Jim Patterson II and I partnered to support several charitable projects: from helping international seminarians get through seminary, to building a "teaching kitchen" at Saint Meinrad Seminary to teach young priests to cook for themselves, to many projects in the Caribbean Missions (including sending island youth to World Youth Day in Poland, the renovation of the Pastoral Centre, the renovation of a couple of churches and vehicles for the Bishop and the Orphanage), to now helping get the St. Theresa Family Life Center established.  

One of our proudest achievements was the restoration of the Marian Shrine of Monte Cassino at Saint Meinrad Archabbey. (in honor of his mother) and a new Prayer Garden next to it (in honor of my mother). This little video explains it all.  Copy and paste in search box, if necessary. 
  

https://www.facebook.com/SaintMeinrad/videos/monte-cassino-shrine-restoration/10155869730400586/


The Patterson Family at the Dedication


My Youngest Brother, Mark, and Myself


If you have never seen this place, think about making a pilgrimage to Saint Meinrad to visit the Monte Cassino Shrine in person. Maybe you have a special "prayer intention" you would like to take with you.


Monday, December 6, 2021

FROM SAINT NICHOLAS TO SANTA CLAUS

Who is St. Nicholas?

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara in Asia Minor. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman’s father had to offer prospective husbands something of value—a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man’s daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.

One of the oldest stories showing St. Nicholas as a protector of children takes place long after his death. The townspeople of Myra were celebrating the good saint on the eve of his feast day when a band of Arab pirates from Crete came into the district. They stole treasures from the Church of Saint Nicholas to take away as booty. As they were leaving town, they snatched a young boy, Basilios, to make into a slave. The emir, or ruler, selected Basilios to be his personal cupbearer, as not knowing the language, Basilios would not understand what the king said to those around him. So, for the next year Basilios waited on the king, bringing his wine in a beautiful golden cup. For Basilios’ parents, devastated at the loss of their only child, the year passed slowly, filled with grief. As the next St. Nicholas’ feast day approached, Basilios’ mother would not join in the festivity, as it was now a day of tragedy. However, she was persuaded to have a simple observance at home—with quiet prayers for Basilios’ safekeeping. Meanwhile, as Basilios was fulfilling his tasks serving the emir, he was suddenly whisked up and away. St. Nicholas appeared to the terrified boy, blessed him, and set him down at his home back in Myra. Imagine the joy and wonderment when Basilios amazingly appeared before his parents, still holding the king’s golden cup. This is the first story told of St. Nicholas protecting children—which became his primary role in the West.

Another story tells of three theological students, traveling on their way to study in Athens. A wicked innkeeper robbed and murdered them, hiding their remains in a large pickling tub. It so happened that Bishop Nicholas, traveling along the same route, stopped at this very inn. In the night he dreamed of the crime, got up, and summoned the innkeeper. As Nicholas prayed earnestly to God the three boys were restored to life and wholeness. In France the story is told of three small children, wandering in their play until lost, lured, and captured by an evil butcher. St. Nicholas appears and appeals to God to return them to life and to their families. And so St. Nicholas is the patron and protector of children.

Other stories tell of Nicholas saving his people from famine, sparing the lives of those innocently accused, and much more. He did many kind and generous deeds in secret, expecting nothing in return. Within a century of his death he was celebrated as a saint. Today he is venerated in the East as wonder, or miracle worker and in the West as patron of a great variety of persons-children, mariners, bankers, pawn-brokers, scholars, orphans, laborers, travelers, merchants, judges, paupers, marriageable maidens, students, children, sailors, victims of judicial mistakes, captives, perfumers, even thieves and murderers! He is known as the friend and protector of all in trouble or need. Several stories tell of Nicholas and the sea. When he was young, Nicholas sought the holy by making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There as he walked where Jesus walked, he sought to more deeply experience Jesus’ life, passion, and resurrection. Returning by sea, a mighty storm threatened to wreck the ship. Nicholas calmly prayed. The terrified sailors were amazed when the wind and waves suddenly calmed, sparing them all. And so St. Nicholas is the patron of sailors and voyagers.

Sailors, claiming St. Nicholas as patron, carried stories of his favor and protection far and wide. St. Nicholas chapels were built in many seaports. As his popularity spread during the Middle Ages, he became the patron saint of Apulia (Italy), Sicily, Greece, and Lorraine (France), and many cities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Belgium, and the Netherlands (see list). Following his baptism, Grand Prince Vladimir I brought St. Nicholas’ stories and devotion to St. Nicholas to his homeland where Nicholas became the most beloved saint. Nicholas was so widely revered that thousands of churches were named for him, including three hundred in Belgium, thirty-four in Rome, twenty-three in the Netherlands and more than four hundred in England.

Nicholas’ tomb in Myra became a popular place of pilgrimage. Because of the many wars and attacks in the region, some Christians were concerned that access to the tomb might become difficult. For both the religious and commercial advantages of a major pilgrimage site, the Italian cities of Venice and Bari vied to get the Nicholas relics. In the spring of 1087, sailors from Bari succeeded in spiriting away the bones, bringing them to Bari, a seaport on the southeast coast of Italy. An impressive church was built over St. Nicholas’ crypt and many faithful journeyed to honor the saint who had rescued children, prisoners, sailors, famine victims, and many others through his compassion, generosity, and the countless miracles attributed to his intercession. The Nicholas shrine in Bari was one of medieval Europe’s great pilgrimage centers and Nicholas became known as “Saint in Bari.” To this day pilgrims and tourists visit Bari’s great Basilica di San Nicola.

Through the centuries St. Nicholas has continued to be venerated by Catholics and Orthodox and honored by Protestants. By his example of generosity to those in need, especially children, St. Nicholas continues to be a model for the compassionate life.

Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint’s horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child.

If you want to know how we got from St Nicholas to Santa Claus try saying this as fast as you can - 
"Sint-Nich-O-Laus!" = "Santa Claus!" 




Sunday, December 5, 2021

WARMING UP TO JOHN THE BAPTIST


Reprinted From
AN ENCOURAGING WORD

A Collection of Cathedral Homilies Given by Father Ronald Knott
Cathedral of the Assumption
Published in 1995


John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke 3:1-6

He had a beard, so he can't be all bad. In spite of his beard, John the Baptist has never been one of my favorite saints. Screaming men who wear fur coats and eat bugs make me very nervous. He was not the type of person you sit out on the deck and have a beer with. Before you could pop the top, he'd be giving you a lecture on the evils of drinking. He has always reminded me of those people who have just gotten back from making a Cursillo or a trip to Medjugorje and can’t wait to get in your face and redo your life for you. You know that condescending attitude that says; "I know the truth now and I’m sorry you're so defective." As soon as they start talking, I look for the nearest exit. I've always wanted to say to him: "John, buddy, lighten up! 

But as I have gotten older and wiser; I have begun to appreciate John a little more, In fact, maybe he could be a role model for today's American Catholic. John the Baptist stands out as a believer who is both critical and committed, the two essential ingredients most needed in today's church. He, above all, seems to have found a balance between those two poles.

As our church continues to undergo massive transformation, the tension between the left and the right continues to produce anxiety in the hearts of believers everywhere. It seems that zealots at both ends of the spectrum are claiming to own the truth. Somehow, we must cooperate and give up our competition, separatism, and fragments of the truth. Maybe John the Baptist can teach us to ignore zealots of every stripe and listen to the less shrill voices of reason and joy. Maybe we can find some common ground between the hypercritical and the blindly committed. Maybe John can teach us to be both critical and committed.

Criticism, without commitment, is cruelty. There is a growing number of Catholic people who have moved to the edges or left the church altogether to take potshots at the church from their safe positions of smug superiority. They have their well-documented lists of flaws and sins to justify their withdrawal from active church life and are willing to point them out on cue. They are like the people who look at a thorny bush with a single flower and see a thornbush rather than a rosebush. Behind their superior attitude is a belief that others are responsible for the health of the church, and they will not grace the church with their presence until it conforms to their point of view.

Just as dangerous are those who are committed without being critical. Even Pope John Paul II, when he was still Cardinal Wojtyla, wrote in 1969: “Conformism means the death of any community; a loyal opposition is a necessity in any community.” Blind commitment without question is also unhealthy for the church. There are those among us who would have us believe that anything our leaders say or do should be followed without question, without hesitation.

Sometimes the church's best friends are those who criticize it. A very respected spiritual writer in our church, Louis Evely; far from being a radical, has written: "The church is dying, and her murderers are those clerics who spend their lives repeating what was said before their time and redoing what was done when they were young. True fidelity is inventive. A faith that asks no questions is not faith. A faith that is not able to put up with questions is not faith. To have faith means to have enough light to be willing to tolerate certain areas of darkness." 

Read church history. Its history is darkest when its prophets were silenced. Prophets challenge too much belief in the status quo. Those who question some of the positions of the church may be its best friends. A case in point: the Vatican defended slavery during the American Civil War. Would disagreement with that position then make you a bad Catholic? No! It would actually make you a real Catholic! Our history is full of cases where we were saved from our own foolishness and cowardice by people who made waves. those who made "good trouble." 

Criticism without commitment is cruelty. Commitment without criticism is lazy, sentimental, and infantile. What is needed is the spirit of John the Baptist. He was both critical and committed. What we really need today is people who care enough and love enough to raise some questions. We need committed people who are willing, in the words of Saint Paul, to "profess the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). Those who drop out and attack from the outside are no help.  Those who stay and bury their heads in blind conformity are dangerous and destructive. What we need is people who are committed but vigilant and attentive, knowing in their hearts that this old church requires, in the words of Pope Paul VI, “that continual reformation of which she always has need.” What we need are people who are committed, not to forms and old ways of doing things, but to the gospel itself; people who understand that if we are too concerned with preserving our old wineskins, then we shall inevitably lose the new wine.

As a pastor, I was sometimes caught in a tug of war between the critical and the committed. I tried to model myself after John the Baptist. I have tried to model for you the marriage of those two perspectives. I have tried, especially in my preaching, to be both carefully critical and deeply committed. It's not always a comfortable position, but I believe it is a spiritually healthy position. After all, there is "this treasure we possess in earthen vessels" (2 Corinthians 4:7), and we need to know the difference between the treasure and the crock.


Saturday, December 4, 2021

JUST WHO WAS YOUR "SAINT TERESA OF AVILA" ANYWAY?

SHE WAS ONE TOUGH WOMAN

A Patron Saint of the Women's Movement

 “From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us."

Saint Teresa of Avila



Teresa of Ávila (born Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada on March 28, 1515), also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish noblewoman who was called to convent life as a Carmelite nun. She was a prominent mystic, religious reformer, author and theologian of the contemplative life and of mental prayer. She earned the rare distinction of being declared a Doctor of the Church, but not until over four centuries after her death. Active during the Catholic Reformation, she reformed the Carmelite Orders of both women and men. The movement she initiated was later joined by the younger Spanish Carmelite friar and mystic, John of the Cross. It led eventually to the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites. A formal papal decree adopting the split from the old order was issued in 1580.

Teresa, who had been a social celebrity in her home province, was dogged by early family losses and ill health. In her mature years, she became the central figure of a movement of spiritual and monastic renewal borne out of an inner conviction and honed by ascetic practice. She was also at the center of deep ecclesiastical controversy as she took on the pervasive laxity in her order against the background of the Protestant Reformation sweeping over Europe and the Spanish Inquisition asserting church discipline in her home country. The consequences were to last well beyond her life. One papal legate described her as a "restless wanderer, disobedient, and a stubborn femina who, under the title of devotion, invented bad doctrines, moving outside the cloister against the rules of the Council of Trent and her Bishops; teaching as a master against Saint Paul's orders that women should not teach."

Over time, Teresa found herself increasingly at odds with the spiritual malaise prevailing in her convent of the Incarnation. Among the 150 nuns living there, the observance of cloister designed to protect and strengthen spiritual practice and prayer, became so lax that it appeared to lose its purpose. The daily invasion of visitors, many of high social and political rank, disturbed the atmosphere with frivolous concerns and vacuous conversation. Such intrusions in the solitude essential to develop and sustain contemplative prayer so grieved Teresa that she longed to intervene.

The incentive to take the practical steps inspired by her inward motivation was supported by the Franciscan priest, Peter of Alcantara who met her early in 1560 and became her spiritual advisor. She resolved to found a "reformed" Carmelite convent, correcting the laxity which she had found at the Incarnation convent and elsewhere besides. Guimara de Ulloa, a woman of wealth and a friend, supplied the funds for the project.

The abject poverty of the new convent, established in 1562 and named San Jose, at first caused a scandal among the citizens and authorities of Ávila, and the small house with its chapel was in peril of suppression. However, powerful patrons, including the local bishop, coupled with the impression of well ordered subsistence and purpose, turned animosity into approval.

In March 1563, after Teresa had moved to the new convent house, she received papal sanctions for her primary principles of absolute poverty and renunciation of ownership of property, which she proceeded to formulate into a "constitution". Her plan was the revival of the earlier, stricter monastic rules, supplemented by new regulations including ceremonial flagellations and the discalceation (the wearing of sandals rather than shoes) of community members. For the first five years, Teresa remained in seclusion, mostly engaged in prayer and writing.

In 1567, Teresa received a patent from the Carmelite General, Rubeo de Ravenna, to establish further houses of the new order. This process required many visitations and long journeys across nearly all the provinces of Spain. Between 1567 and 1571, reformed convents were established in seven cities.

As part of the original patent, Teresa was given permission to set up two houses for men who wished to adopt the reforms. She convinced two Carmelite friars, John of the Cross and Anthony of Jesus to help with this.

In 1576, unreformed members of the Carmelite order began to persecute Teresa, her supporters and her reforms. Following a number of resolutions, the governing body of the order forbade all further founding of reformed convents. The general chapter instructed her to go into "voluntary" retirement at one of her institutions. She obeyed and chose St. Joseph's at Toledo. Meanwhile, her friends and associates were subjected to further attacks.

Several years later, her appeals by letter to King Phillip II of Spain secured relief. As a result, in 1579, the cases before the inquisition against her, Father Gracian and others, were dropped. This allowed the reform to resume. An edict from Pope Gregory XIII allowed the appointment of a special provincial for the newer branch of the Carmelite religious, and a royal decree created a "protective" board of four assessors for the reform.

During the last three years of her life, Teresa founded in total, seventeen convents, all but one founded by her, and as many men's monasteries, were owed to her reforms over twenty years.

Her final illness overtook her on one of her journeys from Burgos to Alba de Tormes. She died in 1582, just as Catholic Europe was making the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, which required the excision of the dates of 5–14 October from the calendar. She died either before midnight of 4 October or early in the morning of 15 October, which is celebrated as her feast day. According to the liturgical calendar then in use, she died on the 15th in any case. Her last words were: "My Lord, it is time to move on. Well then, may your will be done. O my Lord and my Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come. It is time to meet one another."

Since her death, her reputation has grown, leading to multiple portrayals. She continues to be widely noted as an inspiration to philosophers, theologians, historians, neurologists, fiction writers and artists, as well as to countless ordinary people interested in Christian spirituality and mysticism.

Forty years after her death, in 1622, Teresa was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. At the time she was considered a candidate for national patron saint of Spain, but this designation was awarded to St. James the Apostle. She has since become one of the patron saints of Spain. On 27 September 1970 Pope Paul VI proclaimed Teresa the first female Doctor of the Church in recognition of her centuries-long spiritual legacy.



“Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!”

"I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him!"

 “From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us."

Saint Theresa of Avila

Thursday, December 2, 2021

THE SANE CENTER



It occurred to me the other day that the "left" and the "right" in our political world and in our church world are both right and both wrong. The solution to these stand-offs is not compromise, watering down one's truth where each side "goes along to get along," but realizing that both sides stand for "a" truth, but neither side has the "only" truth -  that both positions have value and each represents one of two truths.

Political conservatives seem to be the champions of individualism, while political liberals seem to be the champions of communalism. (The commandment of Jesus was to "love your neighbor as yourself." It was not to love "one or the other," but "both together!") The good of individuals and the good of the community both have validity. 

Religious conservatives seem to be the champions of God's activity in the past, while religious liberals seem to be the champions of God's activity in the present. Both positions have value and represent one of two truths. God has been active in the past and is active in the present. Both are true! 

I have always heard that heresy is simply the truth exaggerated to the point of distortion. I tried to find out where I saw that, so I started a search.  I came across this quote from Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society, so it's probably a paraphrase of an insight from the great Catholic Englishman, G. K. Chesterton. Mr. Ahlquist says this, "A heresy is a small truth isolated from the whole truth and then exaggerated to the point that it overshadows the whole truth and even turns against it. A heresy is a truth gone mad. The madman goes mad not from being wrong, but from being right about one thing to the exclusion of all others."

The solution to most of our political fighting is not a war where one side or the other wins, but the bipartisanship that was manifested in the passage of the new infrastructure bill, one that respects both the good of individuals, as well as the good of the community. The solution to most of our ecclesial fighting is not a war where one side or the other wins, but the synodality that Pope Francis is proposing that respects both church leaders listening to the people of the church, as well as the people of the church listening to its leaders. We need the balance that the inclusion of both brings to the table.  

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, thank God, have been pulled back from another cliff, by not being persuaded by their radical right flank to turn the Eucharist into a political weapon. For now, they have found the "sane center" of Pope Francis on this issue. As the German-American theologian, Paul Tillich, said, "History has shown that the most terrible crimes against love have been committed in the name of fanatically defended doctrines." As the French theologian, Blaise Paschal, said, "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." As Bart Ehrman, American New Testament scholar, said, "There are few things more dangerous than inbred religious certainty." 

Let us pray! 
Dear God, help us find the "sane" center before our need to be "right" and our need to "win" leads to the heresy of  killing of each other in the name of truth!