Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

Just wanted to wish anyone that drops by here a Merry Christmas!

I went to our children's Christmas event back on the 16th. The event itself was great but there were a couple people in the pew behind me discussing how great it would be to wake up tomorrow and have it be December 26th! It reminded me of that movie "Skipping Christmas". It also made me very grateful to be looking forward to Christmas this year and celebrating the birth of our Savior.

May all of you find peace and joy in knowing that, indeed, our Savior has been born!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Inexhaustible Cup

I took a few minutes this afternoon to run through a couple of the blogs that I frequent (see the list/links at bottom left). Since today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception many are posting article about Our Mother (Jesus' words, not mine! cf John 19:26-27). Over at "The Way of Our Fathers", Mike Aquilina had posted short piece entitled "Immaculate" to which a poster made a comment, "I’m sure you will find the 'Akathist to the Theotokos' of value, as well.

I tried to use the link but it was a dead-end so I started poking around at and found the right link. Give it a read, I think you'll enjoy it, too.

Then I did a Google search on "Akathist to the Theotokos" to see what else I could learn. I am not real familiar with the icons of the Orthodox Church though I find them beautiful. Our pastor had a beautiful one painted for our parish Church. So I started looking at the Google "hits" and found the beautiful icon above, Theotocos The Inexhaustible Cup. There is a wonderful story of recovery from "drunkenness" associated with the icon you can read here. The link also has the "Akathist", or hymn, associated with the icon which I think you will find equally beautiful.

I have been collecting religious items to eventually adorn the quiet room I intend to construct in my home and this icon will definitely be a part of it. Gotta run over to eBay now and find it!

Monday, December 7, 2009

True Freedom

Have you ever had one of those periods where a particular theme seems to be hammering away at you? I had that happen over the weekend and the theme was Freedom!

A couple of very close recovery friends and I travelled on Saturday to York, PA where we attended the monthly Calix Mass for the York group. We were blessed to have Bishop Kevin Rhoades, formerly of the Harrisburg Diocese and now with the Ft. Wayne/South Bend diocese of Indiana, as our celebrant.

During the two hour car ride the topic of freedom came up. Not the kind of freedom where a person is able "to do their own thing". Rather, the freedom to do what is right! Sobriety and Jesus Christ do exactly that. They give us the freedom to do the next right thing. Though we have the freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want, addictions take away that freedom. When we are able to find the 12 Steps and a spirituality that works, we now have the freedom to do what God intended for us to do from the beginning of time! We must exercise that freedom wisely, praying always "for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out".

As the conversation wrapped up in the car I played a couple songs from Darrell Evan's greatest hits CD, one of which was Freedom! You can give a listen here and the lyrics are short enough that I will post them:

Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom
Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom
There is peace there is love there is joy
It is for freedom you’ve set us free
It is for freedom you’ve set us free

I’m free, I’m free

We will walk in your freedom walk in your liberty
We will walk in your freedom walk in your liberty
We will dance in your freedom dance in your liberty
We will dance in your freedom dance in your liberty

Then we get to St. Patrick's in York to celebrate Mass. The Opening Prayer during the liturgy was:

"God our Father,
you loved the world so much
you gave your only Son to free us
from the ancient power of sin and death.
Help us who wait for his coming
and lead us to true liberty.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN!"

During Bishop Rhoades' wonderful homily he emphasized the freedom Jesus wants us to have. This freedom is not only gotten through the 12 Steps but, even more importantly, through the sacraments of the Catholic faith, primarily confession and the Eucharist.

I owe a debt of thanks to both the York group and Bishop Rhoades for driving home this theme for me this weekend. My prayer is that you will find His freedom, too!