Archives for May 2008

Lack of Forgiveness Can Make You Sick

Jesus commands us to forgive others, or else God will not forgive us our sins. Every time we pray the “Our Father,” we acknowledge the importance of forgiving others: forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In other words, Christians should be the last people to hold grudges.

Not forgiving others certainly has its spiritual costs (such as God not forgiving us!), but scientific evidence suggests that it also has physical costs. Lack of forgiveness causes our bodies to be in a state of stress. This stress contributes to cardiovascular problems, leading to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and  thus increased risk of heart attack. Thus it seems that the sin of being unforgiving affects our whole person, soul and body, just as it strongly affects those whom we refuse to forgive. This is yet another good reason to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Christ.

Happy Memorial Day

To all of our American readers, a blessed Memorial Day to all of you. Many of us have the day off, and will be spending time with family.

I think today is a good time for Americans to contemplate our freedom, the sacrifices many of our friends, relatives, and ancestors have made for our freedom, and to pray for the peace of the world.

Image taken by me

Trinity Sunday

Rublev's Trinity Icon

Today is Trinity Sunday, one of my favorite Church holidays, because it celebrates my favorite reality – the Blessed Trinity. Now, I know that was worded a bit oddly…how many people have a favorite reality? Well, I wanted to say the Trinity was my favorite dogma, but I also wanted to clearly articulate that the Trinity is not simply learned about on paper, but known in worship.

I mentioned this in a previous post about the Trinity, but ever since I learned about it, I have been fascinated by the Trinity. I don’t recall thinking about the Trinity until around 6th grade. However, starting from this time, I have read a lot about the Trinity over the years, and was eventually pleased to discover that many liturgical churches specifically celebrate the Trinity on the Sunday after Pentecost every year (although virtually every facet of Catholic life and worship is Trinitarian, so it is not as if Trinity Sunday is all we got!). One reason I love the Church Year (and post about it so often) is because the Church Year allows us to celebrate and commemorate all sorts of biblical and traditional people, events, and realities, ensuring that they have a place in our everyday lives, and do not simply become cold, historical facts.

I wish all of our readers a blessed Trinity Sunday.

Back to Ordinary Time

Well, we have made it through the heart of the Church Year, and are liturgically now in Ordinary Time. I have to admit it: once Ordinary Time progresses into the late summer, I get a little tired of the season. I am ready for a change of color and a change of season. I yearn for the penitence of Lent, the magic of Christmas, or the joy of Easter.

But then again, I am ready for Ordinary Time now. I know it sounds weird, but I am glad we are in Ordinary Time. I have enjoyed using the beginning material in the Liturgy of the Hours for Lent, Easter, etc, but I am also excited about just getting back to the basic antiphons, prayers, and responsories of Ordinary Time for awhile (this may not make sense to those unfamiliar with the Liturgy of the Hours).

Of course, Ordinary Time is not meant to be a break from the Church Year. I remember growing up people would often take a summer vacation from church. Church attendance would thin out as people did other things on Sunday morning. We must resist this, because summer Ordinary Time is not meant to be a vacation from the mysteries of Christ’s life. Rather, the Church views Ordinary Time as “devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects.” Many feasts and holy days fall within Ordinary Time, so there are still many chances to experience the things that make other seasons of the liturgical year so memorable.

So I wish everyone a blessed Ordinary Time!