Mardi Gras, Joker, Carnival Figure

Image by Pixabay

 

One day, all masks must fall, all roles too must come to an end, all the parts that we play before the world and before ourselves.

Ladislaus Boros

Quote of the Week: Masks

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Deacon Lincoln’s Log 2-26-17

Goose, Goose Breast, Fry, Food, Christmas Food, Feast“There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink and find enjoyment, for these are from the hand of God.”
Ecclesiastes 2:24

“One will have to give account in the judgment day of every good thing which one might have enjoyed and did not.”
The Talmud

Lent is nearly upon us, but before we began our time of fasting, we have the time of feasting known as Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday). Mardi Gras is not a time of overindulgence or immorality as it is sometimes portrayed. Instead, at its heart, Mardi Gras is about enjoying the gifts God has given us to the fullest. It is a time of gratitude and thanks.

I priest in the diocese recently shared his favorite Mardi Gras prayer, which gets at the sensuousness and delight of Mardi Gras.

O Lord, refresh our sensibilities.  Give us this day our daily taste. Restore to us soups that spoons will not sink in, and sauces which are never the same twice.  Raise up among us stews with more gravy than we have bread to blot it with, and casseroles that put starch and substance in our limp modernity. Take away our fear of fat, and make us glad of the oil which ran upon Aaron’s beard.  Give us pasta with a hundred fillings, and rice in a thousand variations.  Above all, give us grace to live as true folk – to fast till we come to a refreshed sense of what we have and then to dine gratefully on all that comes to hand.  Drive far from us, O Most Bountiful, all creatures of air and darkness; cast out the demons that possess us; deliver us from the fear of calories and the bondage of nutrition; and set us free once more in our own land, where we shall serve thee as thou hast blessed us – with the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. (Robert Farrar Capon)

May the next few days be days of great joy and gratitude in your life as we prepare for the coming lenten fast.

“Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and make use of the creation to the full as in youth. Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no flower of spring pass us by. Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither. Et none of us fail to share in our revelry; because this is our portion, and this is our lot” (Wisdom 2:6-9).

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

 

A prayer to help get ready for lent…

Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never

refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother

whose hands never cease to serve your beloved

children because they are moved by the divine love

and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your

compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl

of knots that exist in my life.

You know very well how desperate I am, my pain

and how I am bound by these knots.

Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing

of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust

into your hands the ribbon of my life.

No one, not even the Evil One himself, can take it

away from your precious care. In your hands, there

is no knot that cannot be undone.

Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power

with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your

hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for

the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope

O, my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me,

the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment

of my destitution and with Christ the

freedom from my chains.

Hear my plea

Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Quote of the Week: Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 2-19-17

commandments-49012_640“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Mt. 5:48

“Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.”
Lv. 19:2

Today’s readings challenge us to be like God.

Yes, you read that right. Today’s readings challenge us to be like God. Leviticus tells us to be holy as God is Holy. Jesus tells us in the Gospel to be perfect as the Father is perfect.

How is it possible to be like God?

The short answer is one word: love!

Love changes us. On a human level, we see this all the time. Fulton Sheen reminds us, “We become like that which we love. If we love what is base, we become base; but if we love what is noble, we become noble.” If we surround ourselves with things that are beautiful and noble, we start to become nobler ourselves. However, if we surround ourselves with things that are wicked and dishonorable, we quickly find ourselves descending to their level. This is especially true of our friendships.

It is even more true on a spiritual level. St. Paul reminds us, “Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him” 1 Cor. 6:17. Our love for the Lord binds us to Him and we become like Him. Rooted in the gift of faith given at our baptism and the other sacraments, our love for the Lord makes all the difference in our lives.

Love is how we become holy, as God is Holy. Love is the key to becoming perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. The greater our love for the Lord, the more we become like Him. This is the core of Jesus’ teaching on the Law that we’ve been reading the last several weeks. The Law is a matter of the heart. It is a matter of love.

May we continue to grow in love for the Lord so that we can become like Him in all things!

 

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

With God there is nothing without purpose, nothing without its meaning and reason. Thus the people of Israel used to dedicate tithes of their possessions. But those who have been given freedom devote what they possess to the Lord’s use. They give it all to him, not simply what is of lesser value, cheerfully and freely because they hope for greater things, like the poor widow who put into God’s treasury her whole livelihood.

St. Irenaeus, bishop +202

Quote of the Week 2-14-17 Stewardship in the Early Church

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 2-12-17

Picture from Pixabay

“If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.”
Sir. 15:15

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
Mt. 5:17

Jesus came to fulfill the law. What does this mean?

The Law Jesus is talking about is the Old Testament. Jesus fulfills this law in His life, death, and resurrection. He inaugurates the Kingdom of God and institutes the New Law of the Kingdom.

The New Law of Jesus has many names.

  • First, the New Law of Jesus is called the law of love. As disciples of Jesus, we are moved by the Holy Spirit. We are motivated by love, not fear. The Lord has given us His commandments to show us how to live a joyful and happy life. He has given us His Spirit to prompt us with love and inspire us to act for love alone.
  • Second, the New Law is the law of grace. This New Law does not only motivate us, but it empowers us. The Law is often seen as forbidding behavior, but the law, as it is fulfilled by Jesus, enables us to act. God’s grace makes it possible for us to follow Jesus which is the fulfillment of the Law.
  • Third, Jesus fulfills the Law making it the law of freedom. We are no longer bound by the rituals and customs of the Old Law. Instead, we are free to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Love is the source of freedom. We are not only free from the punishments of the Old Law, but, more importantly, we are free to love in the way God loves.

The ultimate goal of Jesus fulfilling the Law is to make us transform us by the power of His Spirit.  We are no longer slaves, cowering from the Law. We are friends, living in the Kingdom. Following the New Law of Jesus makes of loving, empowered, and free.

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

*Picture from pixabay