October 17, 2012
Modern Day Marginalization
During the time that Jesus walked the Earth in a human body about 2000 years ago there were some groups that were marginalized. This means that they were pushed out and away from the usual social activities of the day. It meant that they didn’t have power and they likely experienced discrimination. I think of the lepers, who had a horrible physical disease of the skin that was very contagious. People would run from them if they came near. There also were the Samaritans, who were rejected by the Jewish people. Jews of that time usually would not even speak to Samaritans. Jesus encountered people from each of these groups at various points in the scriptures and he brought healing to them. Who are the groups that are marginalized today in the United States? Read more at this link…
Year of Faith
Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “year of faith” spanning October 11, 2012 through November 24, 2013. We are encouraged during this time to take action to deepen our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but also to learn more about the teachings, values, and traditions of the Catholic Church. The Bible is an important part of conversing with God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC for short, is available free online or can be purchased. Every teen and adult Catholic should study the Bible as well as the CCC on a regular basis. Here is a link to an organization that will send a piece of the CCC to you every day via email, so that you will be able to read the entire text in the course of one year.
Zero to Three
This is a national organization for infants and toddlers and their families. They have a wealth of information on their web site (link here) and lots of free stuff you can download. You can sign up for a free email newsletter, and they regularly will offer a free article via Adobe pdf file for download. The most recent one is on the topic of self-regulation, which means controlling one’s emotions and behavior. This is something that children gradually learn to do (hopefully) and the interesting article talks about how it happens.
Dr. Ken's Movie of the Month Recommendation:
As we approach the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1st and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day) on November 2nd, the thought of death may naturally come to mind. We usually would rather not think about the possibility of our own death, but the scriptures tell us that as followers of Christ we need to keep our mortality in mind so that we will always be ready (see Matthew chapter 25 for the Parable of the 10 Virgins). We also may reflect on death during the season of Lent. The movie I am recommending this month may seem too morbid for some folks, but I think that it is an interesting concept and the presentation makes for good entertainment. The 1998 movie “Meet Joe Black” starred Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. In the film, Anthony Hopkins plays a very wealthy businessman (think Donald Trump), who learns that he is going to die very soon. Hopkins’ character however is given a few days to prepare, and so the film deals with his last days. Brad Pitt plays the character of “Joe Black” who is death personified, and who interacts with Hopkins’ character in those final days. The background music by Thomas Newman is really excellent in some places, particularly in the final scene. It is a movie for adults, so tuck the kids into bed before you put it on. I won’t give you any of the other details of the movie, so that you can enjoy it if you haven’t seen it. Some time for your meditation or prayer or journaling, consider what you would do if you were to find out that you had just a few days to live. How would you feel about your life? How and with whom would you spend your precious remaining time? After this exercise, is there something you need to reprioritize? In next month’s newsletter, watch for Dr. Ken’s “Book of the Month” recommendation.
On Sunday, October 21 the Church will establish several new saints, and among them is Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as "the Lily of the Mohawks." She is to be recognized as the first Native American saint. Read here for more information about her life.
I have been invited to present at Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus Catholic Church in Kingwood on the topic of the book 50 Shades of Grey on Tuesday, October the 30th at 7:30pm. This presentation is not for children, and will be held at the school campus (not the new church campus). There is no cost for attendees.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Election Day is Tuesday, November the 6th. Please vote! It is your duty as a Christian and as a citizen. This is a very important election.
Then I’ll be back at Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus Catholic Church in Kingwood on Tuesday, November the 13th to talk about “Pornography” at 7:30pm. This presentation is not for children, and will be at the school campus (not the new church campus). There is no cost for attendees.
Disclaimer: Gratia Plena and Dr. Ken do not receive any compensation or earthly benefits from recommending books, movies, music, websites, blogs, et cetera…