Back by popular demand! Fr. James with his niece Addy (2) and nephew Sebbie (3)
Letters from a Pastor to His People- February 23, 2020
Paul's letter is pure gold. First, he gives the monumental line: "Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).
This is key for the spiritual life. This reality—that we are temples—is the foundation for all prayer.
I'm big into prayer, as you know. To me, it's the center of a priest's life. If a priest isn't praying, his life is meaningless. It's a train wreck. Why? Because prayer is relationship with God. Think of being married and never communicating with your spouse. Your life would be a contradiction. Same with a priest.
But also same with you. That is, if you are not praying--communicating authentically with God—your life can go off the rails.
When we pray, we descend into the temple of our soul where God dwells. There we express to him what we're thinking, feeling, desiring. We listen to him. One priest I know calls it "the prayer of the chair." Or "armchair mystic" is another terms he gives it. You've got to be able to sit in the chair. When you're sitting in the chair, not looking at your phone, not thumbing the rosary beads (that's a good prayer, don't get wrong, but for another occasion), but are simply with God in the temple in you, then you are praying authentically.
Don't let the busyness and chaos of the world keep you from prayer. Remember, "the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God" (1 Corinthians 3:19).
Thank you again for your patience and support of the Annual Catholic Appeal. If you missed last weekend, or have not had a chance to send in your envelope, you can drop it in the collection basket this weekend or mail it in to the parish. Please help us meet our goal of $65,010. We will put this money to good use around the parish.
Also, if you missed last week's bulletin, I proposed obtaining a new tabernacle for the church and relocating it behind the altar. Please read the letter for the rationale behind this idea. Ultimately it's intended to glorify God by helping the beauty of the church, assisting our prayer lives, and enhancing our worship experience. If you have any questions or comments, or would like to make a special donation to this project, please let me know—it would be greatly appreciated. We will keep the side altar and place a large statue to the Blessed Mother where the tabernacle is currently located.
In case you're wondering, we're also beginning to explore painting the ceiling in the church and fixing the lighting. We have had some proposals and the finance council has already had initial discussions. More to follow.
The recently started Saint Juliana Book Club will have its next meeting on Saturday, March 7th at 9:30am in the back parish center meeting rooms (note the date change from what was originally proposed). Please obtain The Road and start reading it if you haven't already!
This Wednesday, February 26th is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. We will have four Masses all in church that day: 7am, 8:30am (includes school), 1:30pm, and 7pm (includes RE). All weekday Masses (except for the 8:30am Friday School Mass) will continue on in the chapel as usual. On every Friday there will be Eucharistic Adoration and Stations of the Cross. Adoration will go from 9am-6pm in the parish center chapel (not the church). We will have Stations of the Cross at 9am in the church following Mass, and these will be led by the school students. We will also have Stations of the Cross at 6pm in the chapel.
And remember, no meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays. 'Tis the season of the filet o fish!
Yours in Christ,