Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bless Me Doctor...

... for I have failed to floss as I should! I firmly resolve to floss more often and to amend my life when it comes to oral hygiene! Amen!
As I was sitting in the dentist chair preparing for my routine cleaning, it occurred to me that it was so much like going to confession. I went in knowing that I had intended to do better than last time when it came to flossing, but I also knew that I had failed yet again in spite of the fact that I had "firmly resolved" to do better the next time.

I dreaded to hear what the doctor was going to say to me about my recent dental indiscretions. Like a good priest, he gently reminded me to do better without making me feel terrible about it. For my penance, he gave me a new tooth brush, a small tube of toothpaste and some floss - always the floss - and a pep talk about the advantages of the sonic tooth brush!

Like a good confession, I felt cleaner on my way home with a renewed pledge to "avoid the near occasions of plaque" and to floss, floss, floss!
Here is my capable dental hygienist, Kaiya, digging in! Those instruments are sharp and she seems to be enjoying it waaaaay too much!

My wonderful dentist, Dr. Wilson Stemm  ( who took over from his father, Dr. Stephen Stemm, who took over from his father who was also a dentist. It's a family thing! It's worth the trip to New Albany and just a few blocks from the Sherman-Minton bridge.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wanna Help?

A Van This Christmas For the Missions?
$23,000 Down $10,000 To Go

As many of you know, I started volunteering to help Bishop Jason Gordon in his Diocese of Kingstown in the island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines last Holy Week. I will be going down again in December and again in February. I will be, among other things, working with some of the permanent deacon classes and maybe doing some ongoing formation with the priests.  I hope to expand my time gradually after these first three initial trips.
I am also continuing my work leading priest convocations, retreats and study days in the United States, Canada and beyond.

I am planning to donate the $10,000 that I will make in stipends for doing the above convocations, retreats and study days this fall to my new RJ MISSION PROJECTS FUND.

At the top of Bishop Gordon's list of priorities for my fund are two vans to transport people to church and other diocesan programs.
The island of St. Vincent, Diocese of Kingstown, SVG, West Indies and Bishop Jason Gordon

Does anyone want to help with the rest? If so, ........

Make your tax deductible donation by check made out to:
St. Bartholomew Catholic Church - SVG Mission Fund

Mail it to me at:
Rev. J. Ronald Knott
1271 Parkway Gardens Ct. #106
Louisville KY 40217

You will receive a letter of acknowledgment of your gift.
If you want to send the donation directly to St. Bartholomew, contact me.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Homily - 10-4-15

What God has joined together no human being must separate.
Mark 10

                                         Image result for divorce images

“A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
Mark 2:9-11

Hollywood tells us every day that love is about feeling good about somebody or something – strong feelings of attraction. The Bible says the opposite. The Bible says that love doesn’t always feel good. It says that love usually hurts and endures long after strong feelings have passed. No wonder everybody falls for the Hollywood lie and rejects what the Bible has to say!  

I always like to say that one is not really committed to priesthood until it stops being fun and one does not really commit to marriage until it stops feeling good. Then, and only then, is true love manifested because real love is other-focused, not self-focused.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear. Marriage and priesthood is about meeting the needs of other people, not one’s own needs. Both are Sacraments of service. Marriage partners are committed to meet the needs of their spouses and children. Priests are committed to meet the needs of the people of the parishes they serve.  Love is not a feeling, but a decision – a decision to do good things for others even when it does not feel good - especially when it does not feel good! 

There are many things I do for others as a priest that I don’t like to do! There are many things that you married people do for your spouses and children that you don’t like to do! We both do it out of love and quite often we have to rise above our feelings and do it anyway!

As St. Paul tell the people of Corinth, most of the time love has nothing to do with feeling good! Love is not jealous, pompous, inflated, rude, self-interested, quick-tempered, brooding nor happy about wrongdoing. It’s about not giving into jealously, when we feel jealous. It’s about not showing off when we could be the center of attention! It’s about not giving into pride when we feel like we have a right to be puffed up. It’s about not being rude when we feel like we have every right to rip some heads off. It’s about not being self-interested when we feel like we deserve to be treated better by others. It’s about keeping our cool when we feel like exploding. It’s about getting over it when we feel like brooding. It’s about not turning a blind eye to evil when it would be easier to ignore it.

All of you know that a priest is called to be a spiritual leader – called to lead parishioners to holiness of life, called to teach parishioners to do the right thing and follow the right path. What many of you might not know is that married people are also called to be spiritual leaders too – called to lead their partners and their children to holiness of life, called to lead them and teach them to do the right thing and follow the right path.

The men here are called to be good husbands and fathers. The women here are called to be good wives and mothers. My challenge to you, especially the students thinking about marriage, is this! Get it right! Being a good husband and father, a good wife and mother, is not something that is magically bestowed on you by a wedding ceremony. Neither I, nor any other priest or deacon, is a magician! You have to learn how to do it through focused practice – much like learning to play the piano.

If you goof off, miss practice and don’t show up, you will become a poor excuse for a piano player. The same is true about being a husband and father, wife and mother. If you are married and continue to act single, if you are not “there” for each other emotionally, if you avoid your responsibilities to set a good example for your children, you will become a poor excuse for a marriage partner and parent.

As I tell the seminarians whom I teach in their last semester before ordination, “It’s time to grow up! You will be a priest, now start acting like a priest!” As I tell brides and grooms, “It’s time to grow up! You will be married, now start acting like a married person.  Now start acting like a good parent! Start shutting up and putting up! Deliver on your vows and promises, not one year or two years, but for the rest of your life!

Friends. don’t look to TV and movie stars who talk endlessly about love, but don’t know what in the hell they are talking about. Don’t look to silly musicians who scream and yell lyrics about love but wouldn’t recognize it if it slapped them in the face. Look to the old timers here today. Look to the ones who are still together, the survivors of tragedies and sickness and loss and hard times, the ones who have been through hell and high water and lived to laugh about it.  They can show you what love and marriage are all about. They can tell you how to make it last!