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Posts Tagged ‘souls’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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The famous Droeshout portrait of William Shake...

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I have had to write a few blogs on saying goodbye, I have had to say goodbye to both of my parents, to my grandparents and to a nephew along with my dog. Each of the goodbye’s offered me a lesson in life, and each, in there own way took a part of my

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Thomas Aquinas stained glass window.

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I am finding more and more the richness of the Holy Bible, the more I learn the more little nuggets of truth I discover. As I was listening to Catholic Talks on CD’s (yes I know I have been on about these CD’s for days’… but I just keep finding something new in them) I have be re-wakened the the depth of knowledge each little passage contains. It amazes me that one word or phrase can contain a life changing truth.

As the owner and creator* of STATIC Solutions, a Catholic company the produces educational materials for middle school youth, I am always on the look out for new ideas, new bits and pieces of truth that can be used to excite and deepen the faith life of the youth and the adults who are charged with imparting the truth. I find that it’s not hard to find that one passage or phrase the hard part is deciding what one.

I have just started to develop some new material, I am in the beginning stage were I need to play the concept out, I need to define what it is I am looking for (or as the case maybe, what God is trying to get me to do). This process involves the selection of the main theme that is to run through the book, what basic idea or truth is the book to depart. It is a long process, one that sometimes takes months or even years, yes I have a few ideas that have been sitting in my head for years.

It’s interesting, because as I listened to the CDs I discovered that I could write whole books, teach a whole class on just on passage or phrase. The depth of that phrase or passage could fill volumes. I could take the simple phrase “I Thirst” or “You are Peter” and build a course around them. This is my new dilemma…. What phrase or word or passage do I use, how do I use it and what do I do with it.

The concept of STATIC Solutions program is to take the youth deeper in to the faith, to really look at one area, to show them the richness of that phrase or person or book. Each of our classroom books look at a subsection of the over all concepts. For example the one of the books is entirely on the Exodus of the Israelites for Egypt. We spend five sessions doing nothing but recounting the Exodus and it’s meaning to us today and it’s part in Salvation History. We dive in to the mindset of the Israelites and Mosses, we place ourselves into the moment and feel the desert heat on our backs and the aches and pains of the long walk. Our hearts break over the sinfulness of Gods people, yet we can see ourselves in the humanity of them all. It is five sessions that truly take us back in time. Each of our course books deals with a subset such as that, rather than covering the whole Old Testament in five weeks or even fifteen, we choose to create an experience that will envelop the youth, take hold of their imaginations and souls and with God grace, create a conversation moment for them.

Our philosophy is why “dump” thousands of years of Salvation History on them, it is better to give them nuggets of truth that will excite them and enlighten them, than it is to drowned them is Christian history. If it has taken the Catholic Church over two thousand years to come to Her understanding of the faith, why should we expect our youth to do it in eight years? Is it not better to give them the thirst for knowledge and truth than to drowned them in it?

So as you can see my dilemma is how to take the beauty of the book of Job and turn it into a five session gem, or to take the phrase “I Thirst” and keep it to only five sessions. The glory of God and the Catholic Church can never be contained in the mind of man, yet alone in books. Yet this is what I attempt to do, this is the calling I have answered and the challenge I am tasked with.

The CDs are examples of this, year of the speakers could have went on for hours and hours, if not days. Yet they were confined to thirty minute or one hour at most. To take the vastness of Gods glory and condense it into a book or talk… The concept is truly, well its just mind blowing.

This is what I love about my faith, the fact that each day I can learn and grow, that a passage I have heard one hundred times before can suddenly take on a whole new meaning.  That the truth of the faith keeps growing or should I say that my understanding of the truth keeps growing. That the smallest of details sometimes are the greatest of truths.

The challenges given to me to create the programs I create are a life lesson in humility and faith, and yes the CDs I listened to reminded me of this very fact. They have created in me a new desire to research and learn and to create. As the STATIC Solutions tag line reads “Educate ~ Innovate ~ Create… that is me calling and one I am willing to answer.

God Bless

Paul

Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith
1 Corinthians 15:55-57“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, B...

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Tearful Pope… The link to the left is an AP article about the Pope and his heart felt feelings concerning the sex abuse and scandal of the Church.

My last blog about the scandal received a few comments, and none very positive. I know that this issue is sensitive at best and considered off limits by others, but the victims and the Church will not and can not heal if we act as if it never happened. On that note we must also be willing to accept that not all priest and bishops were involved and that many are holy men. Yet some, a very small percentage, are sick and in a grave state of sin.

The victims of this abuse need healing and understanding and a compassionate response to the loss of innocence. What the Church and the victims don’t need is media sensationalism. An honest investigation in to all allegations with the proper due process of the laws of the land. The Church needs to be forthright with all information and due process with in the Church needs to be swift. The media needs to allow the process to do its job, and they need to stop persecuting the Church for the acts of men.

The media acts as if the Pope and his predecessors sanctioned the acts of molestation, that the Church not only allowed it but encouraged it. They thrive on the news as if it was a shark feeding frenzy, they smell the blood of the Church and all rush in to get fresh food.

This harms no only the Church, which is there intention, but also the victims. True authentic healing can not take place in a bath of sharks, the blood flow and feeding frenzy needs to stop. The victims of abuse need compassion and understanding, not accusations and witch hunts. The lives of many are at stake here, and the souls of many more.

We  need to respect all parties involved, and we need to seek forgiveness and pray for healing. What we don’t need is more hate and violence. Violence of actions and of words, both can do harm and both can kill.

I pray that the Popes words and actions will start the healing process for all, and I hope and pray that the media will continue to investigate the scandal, but will do so in a fashion that is beneficial to all parties involved.

God Bless

Paul

Charity in Truth: Caritas in Veritate

 

Romans 10:9-10“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

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Well it happens, every now and than days come along that just allow you to rest, to refuel, and that’s what Sunday was for me, a day to rest. Saturday I was up early and spent the morning at a conference, than Saturday afternoon I puttzed on the computer and around the house, didn’t do much, but never felt relaxed. But Sunday, after church I found that grove, the one that allows you to relax and to enjoy the day just as it is. So that’s what I did. I say by my pond, read some newspapers, finished a book and read some other books I have going (I like to read 3 or 4 books at one time).

It was a perfect day in all regards here in Michigan, the sun was out there was a slight breeze and a calm in the air that held me captive. It was a wonderful thing! It was a day that allowed you to get lost in it, no that’s not it, allowed doesn’t really give the day justice, it was more of a beckoning kind of day.This day beckoned me, called to my soul and begged me to get lost in her rays of sunshine and her cool breeze that tantalized me and engulfed me.

Days like that are perfection, they allow the soul to rest in the perfection of nature and in the kindness of God. The resting of the soul is paramount to a body in harmony with creation and the creator, it is this harmony that allows the creative process to flow.

The ability to get lost in the day is the ability to allow the natural energy of creation to take over, to fill you with the radiance of God and His loving and healing embrace. This ability is a natural ability, but modern man, in all his greatness, has lost this ability. It is now an ability that is lost, one that use to come natural now needs to be taught.

As we have created a more productive society, we have also created a more detached society. Detached from family, from each other and our neighbors. But more importantly we are detached from creation, and from the creator, God himself. This detached state draws energy from us, causing us to wear our, for our souls to get exhausted and for us to become less than what we are. The ability to rest in the Lord is the ability to find peace of soul.

Often times we are told that we must find peace of mind, to allow our minds to gather energy and rest, to place behind us the unpleasant realities of the modern world. Well I would challenge you that it’s not peace of mind that we need, but more likely peace of soul. We need to once again connect with the Lord on a level of intimacy that is currently unknown to us. We need to allow the Spirit of God to consume us, to fill us and to over flow from with in us.

The quiet of the heart leads to the pleasure of the soul…

Paul

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