Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Try Courtesy as a Lenten Sacrifice

Courtesy as a Lenten SacrificeI don’t know about you, but I had to turn away from politics. I couldn’t stand the backbiting and vitriolic comments slung in every direction. Yesterday was super Tuesday, so in recent weeks, the political ads were coming at me ad nauseum. I live in North Carolina, one of the super Tuesday states with primaries. The lack of common courtesy, so prevalent, in our society today, especially in the political ads, gets me down, to the point where I need to walk away, close myself off, and regroup. Why can’t we be civil with each other? Maybe we should all try courtesy as a Lenten sacrifice.

Courtesy as a Lenten Sacrifice

Who would have thought that we would ever Continue reading

When Unable to Forgive, Seek Mercy First

Seek Mercy FirstIs there that certain someone in your life that you just can’t forgive? Do you believe their actions defy forgiveness? Or, is it that you just can’t bring yourself to the point where you can let go? If you can’t forgive, then seek Mercy first.  Mercy is the first step toward forgiveness. Ask God to give you what you need to grant mercy to the offender. Your Mercy is not forgiveness, but it is an attitude that causes you to react with kindness and compassion toward someone who offends you.

Seek Mercy First

God will grant mercy to each of us to the extent that we grant mercy to others; just as He will grant forgiveness to each of Continue reading

Ash Wednesday and Lent Begins!

Ash WednesdayWow! How time flies! It seems like it was Christmas, just yesterday. Today, we approach the solemn season of Lent. Throughout Lent, we engage in fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Why? Well, let’s start with Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday

On Ash Wednesday, we take the blessed palms received from the last Palm Sunday and we bring them back to our Church for burning. Once burned into blessed ashes, the priest, or designee, applies the blessed ashes on our foreheads, stating, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and unto dust you shall return.”  These ashes mark us as followers of Christ, for all to see. If you are Catholic, and have received ashes in the past, you know what I mean. Continue reading

Jesus Asks: What Have You Been Arguing About?

What have you been arguing aboutIn today’s Gospel reading, we see Jesus conduct an exorcism of an evil spirit from a young boy.  But, before He performs the exorcism, He takes note of the people arguing among themselves.  He asks the crowd, “What have you been arguing about?” (Mark 9:16). We’ll never know, because the father of the young man interrupts, asking Jesus to heal his son. Jesus finds more importance in the healing of the young man as compared to  the crowd’s argument with the scribes. He addresses the father’s plea and drops any discussion of His question.

What Have You Been Arguing About?

Imagine if Jesus came for the Second Coming and asked us what we have been Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Do You See Anything?

Do you see anythingIn today’s Gospel reading, we learn of Jesus’ healing of a blind man. As Jesus cures the man, He asks him, “Do you see anything?” (Mark 8:23). The man’s sight begins to clear, but not completely. Jesus lays His hands on the man to complete the process. How often in our lives have we seen gradual healing, like this blind man?

Do You See Anything?

Last fall, while I recuperated from my ankle fusion, at first, all I saw was lots of recuperation time ahead (four months). But, as time progressed, I began to see the healing aspects take place. God sent people to me who shared their love with me (friends, neighbors, and family). That outpouring of Continue reading

Why Does This Generation Seek A Sign?

Seek a SignIn today’s Gospel reading, the Pharisees test Jesus, by asking for signs from Heaven. With exasperation, Jesus retorts, “Why does this generation seek a sign?” (Mark 8:12). The Pharisees found Jesus’ previous miraculous acts insufficient proof of His divinity. In fact, they find Jesus to be suspiciously fraudulent.  Therefore, they seek human signs from someone who is both human and divine. They cannot understand the God-Man in their midst. The Pharisees can only see with their humanity and cannot fathom God in the flesh.

Do You Seek a Sign?

How often do you doubt the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of God in your life? Do you seek a sign of God’s power when all seems lost? Or Continue reading

Are You Without Understanding?

UnderstandingIn today’s Gospel from Mark we hear Jesus teach about the sinfulness of man coming from what is in the heart, not from what he eats. In accordance with Jewish law, certain foods had always been considered off limits and deemed “unclean.” Therefore, if a Jewish person ate an unclean food, then that person committed a sin. Yet, in this teaching, Jesus declares all foods clean. This is because it is not the food that we eat that separates us from God. Through Jesus’ teaching they gained an understanding of the causation of sin. For, it is our sin of words (our malicious speech, hatred, etc.) that make us move away from God.

Jesus could understand why the Jewish people Continue reading

Modesty Breeds Respect

Modesty Breeds RespectWhen you see someone approach you, wearing a low-cut blouse, showing her “wears,” do you rush to judgment? Do you think less of the woman? Odds are your answer is yes. Now, if a woman approaches you wearing a scooped-necked sundress, cut at the knee, do you even give her clothing a second thought? Or, might you be looking more at the whole person, the persona, instead? This example proves that modesty breeds respect because in the case of the woman in the sundress, no negative opinion rises to your consciousness. Rather, you look beyond the outfit and see the woman for who she wishes to be seen, as someone who deserves respect.

Modesty Breeds Respect

Embracing the virtue of Continue reading