23 Apr Acts 15:3 (western culture re-evangelization)
Posted on Wednesday 23 April, 2008
* Welcome God every morning before work by taking ~5 min to read this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (life-devotions.blogspot.com), which has snippets from Living Faith (livingfaith.com).
They were sent on their journey by the church…and brought great joy to all the brothers. Acts 15:3
Living Faith snippets: “[Saint] feast days serve as joyful reminders that [we] are each called to be a saint and that the Church stands ready to help.” by Rebecca Sande
* Chad snippets: “Franciscan Benediction: May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.” cougarsdaily.blogspot.com
* Our Western culture, in general, is in need of re-evangelization. The church in Europe is seriously declining. In America, from 1978 to 2005, the # of seminarians dropped from 9,021 to 4,603, while during that same period the # of major seminarians throughout the world increased from 63,882 to 114,439 (from Karl Keating). To give insight into this decline of faith in the western culture, here are snippets from an article by Hilary White (LifeSiteNews.com, 11 Mar)…”Hedonistic Secularist Mentality Pervades the Church [which] Leads to “spiritual atrophy” and “emptiness of heart”: The secularization that so characterizes many western societies has also found its way into the Church, Pope Benedict has warned. The pope said that “the lofty values of existence” must be reintroduced to contemporary cultures. The media has spread a “hedonistic” and consumerist mentality that promotes the idea that “there is no longer any need for God, to think of Him or to return to Him.”The dangers of this way of living, he said, are “the risk of falling into spiritual atrophy and emptiness of heart”. Without God at the centre, human life and intellectual endeavour “gives way to a sterile worship of the individual”. “In this cultural context, there is the risk of falling into spiritual atrophy and into an emptiness of heart, sometimes characterised by surrogate forms of religious membership and vague spiritualism.” Secularization, he said, “invades all aspects of daily life and causes the development of a mentality in which God is effectively absent, entirely or in part, from human life and conscience”. Benedict warned that this culture promotes, in both laity and clergy, “a drift towards superficiality and selfishness which damages ecclesial life”. The pope called on the faithful to fight these trends by re-introducing “the exalted values of existence which give meaning to life and can satisfy the disquiet of the human heart in its search for happiness.” These include “the dignity and freedom of the person, the equality of all mankind, and the sense of life and death and of what awaits us at the end of earthly existence”.”The phrase ‘etsi Deus non daretur’ [as if there were no God] is becoming a way of life which has its roots in a kind of ‘arrogance’ of reason.”The pope warned that the exaltation of reason above God, a characteristic of the 18th century’s “Enlightenment” philosophies, is now pervasive in society. But, he said, the Enlightenment inverted the real order. Reason he said, “was actually created and loved by God.”Now, however, it is “held to be sufficient unto itself and closes itself off from contemplating and seeking a Truth that lies beyond it”.Pope Benedict concluded, “Above all, I exhort pastors of the flock of God to a tireless and generous mission to counteract – in the field of dialogue and meeting between cultures, of announcement and testimony of the Gospel – the worrying phenomenon of secularization which weakens man and hinders his innate longing for the entire Truth”.”
* Voting: Stephanie Kemp shared the following link about Barack Obama’s shocking background (13 minutes), www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?RsrcID=2036.
* Juno movie: Although a bit quirky, it had a refreshing overriding ProLife message (unusual for Hollywood).
* Prayer: Please pray for the expansion of peace and freedom in the world…that our enemies have a change of heart and for the protection of our troops, including our fellow LIFE devotions group member Grant Croft who is serving in Iraq. Grant shared the following, “The [LIFE Devotions] blog has been insightful and encouraging to read as well as the prayer requests. A rocket landed about 100 yds away from my trailer this morning while I was in bed.” Thanks to Grant and all who serve to protect our freedom, especially the freedom to worship our Creator!
Saints Feast Day: St. George http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George and St. Adalbert http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalbert_of_Prague.
Through Christ for ProLife,
* Today’s Bible readings at www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml.
* Prayer: If you have a prayer request, simply send it to our distribution list at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, thereby changing us & helping others (so let’s pray daily!). Wayne Watson lyrics, “When God’s people pray, there is hope reborn, there is sin forgiven, and miracles you can’t explain await!” “If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead & see Him.”
* Defend the unborn: ProLife websites at life-devotions.blogspot.com. ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ Blessed Mother Teresa. Click for Prayer to End Abortion.
* Share the Good News: Let’s joyfully live out the Good News and gladly tell others about it (Mark 16:15)!