21 October 2009

The Holy Trinity

Dear Villagers,

Thank you to Village Volunteer Laura, for an inspiring talk on Worship this past Sunday! Worshiping God is acknowledging our own littleness and recognizing God as infinite- as merciful Love itself. We are called to worship God through the Mass, through praise and worship music, and through vocal prayer. That said, St Paul challenges us to live our whole lives as worship- “I urge you therefore, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people.” In order to offer our very lives to God, we had a beautiful time of Eucharistic Adoration following Laura's talk with our Pastor, Father Bill. We can all use more time in front of the Jesus- present in the Eucharist!

This Sunday, we're focusing in on the Holy Trinity: Gift & Mystery. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life (Catechism of the Catholic Church #234). In addition, God's inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone (Catechism of the Catholic Church #237). In other words, the Trinity is both the most essential teaching of our faith and a mystery about which we cannot know everything. That said, we can certainly know more than we do now! Join us at Village this Sunday to hear Guest Speaker and St Thomas Director of Faith Formation, Monica Pope, on the beauty and truth of the Most Blessed Trinity.

---This Thursday Night from 7-8pm, our Dead Theologians Society is focusing on St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr.

---Your Question of the Week is, "Is it a sin to think about sex?"

You are in my prayers,

The Village News

This Thursday: Dead Theologians Society
This week our dead theologian is Saint Cecilia! Join us this Thursday from 7-8pm for our (now) regular DTS meeting! We will gather in Beth’s office for snacks and social time starting at 6:30, move to the Church Choir Loft at 7pm, and have more snacks and social time from 8 to 8:30pm. If things are busy, feel free to skip social time. Through the Saints of yesterday, the Dead Theologians Society, or DTS, inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow!

Next Sunday 10/25: The Holy Trinity: Gift & Mystery
The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the most fundamental of our faith! The Trinity is a mystery in the sense that it is a religious truth about which we can't know everything. That said, we can certainly know and understand more than we do now! Join us Sunday from 5-6:30 to discover the Most Blessed Trinity and the surprising implications for our social & personal lives.

The Village Fall Retreat, December 11-13th
Did you know that every single Village Retreat is modeled after a World Youth Day? This semester we’re focusing on World Youth Day, 1996, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”! These words come from the Gospel of John Chapter 6, after Jesus proclaims Himself to be the living bread sent down from heaven to give life to the world! Jesus promises to give His Body in the Eucharist, and many of his disciples think he has lost it. Many of his disciples stopped following him, and Jesus turns to his remaining disciples with the question- “Do you also want to leave?” The Apostle Peter replies, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

More about The Village
Our mission is to prepare each of us for our encounter with the Risen Christ, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Some of us may have doubts like our patron St Thomas did. Others have already joined St Thomas in those words of faith, "My Lord and My God!” Like St Thomas, we are asking real questions, having real dialogue, and developing real faith. The Village meets on Sunday nights from 5-6:30pm, in addition to having socials and service days. The highlight over and above all of these activities will be our Fall Retreat! Check us out online at www.findthevillage.com for more info. Youth Minister Beth Spizarny can be reached at St Thomas at 761-8606. For anything of an immediate nature you can call or text her cell, (734) 545-0827.

Your Question of the Week: Is it a sin to think about sex?
Each week I answer one of the very real questions you have asked me about living our Catholic Faith. This week, our question is a bit stickier than usual! Just thinking about sex is not a sin. We are sexual beings, and part of that is human nature and perfectly normal. Even St Augustine, a Bishop and Doctor of the Church, (and our Dead Theologian from last week!) struggled with thoughts about sex and lust. That said- we are also intelligent and spiritual beings, and we have the ability to control our fantasies and emotions. Many of our thoughts are random, but we have to learn to quickly discard those that can potentially be sinful. If sexual thoughts arise, we need reject these thoughts, recognizing that these thoughts may lead us to sin.

As Catholics we need to especially remember that we are created to know, love, and serve God. In addition to this call, we know from Theology of the Body that we are also called to love as He loves. Loving as God loves means that in the context of our vocation (marriage, religious life, single life, and priesthood) we are called to love faithfully, totally, and fruitfully. In the context of marriage, loving as God loves is possible through the faithful (loving your spouse for life!), total (not holding anything back!) and fruitful (open to life) gift of self in sexual love.

When we nurture thoughts about sex we objectify the opposite sex, wrongly see sexual love as self-gratification instead of a gift of self to your spouse, and we can even be tempted to self-centered forms of sexual love. Continually thinking about these things can create an unhealthy attachment to some pretty fleshly and lust-centered sins!

We need to learn to control our thoughts. Unlike animals, we as humans can not act on each and every urge that come along. St Alphonsus Liguori advised, “When an evil thought is presented to the mind, we must immediately endeavor to turn our thoughts to God, or to something which is indifferent. But the best rule is, instantly to invoke the names of Jesus and Mary, and to continue to invoke them until the temptation ceases."

Here’s another good prayer for times of temptation: "Father God, please wash my thoughts with the blood of Jesus and help me die to any sinful pleasure I have in them. Please forgive me for any sin I have committed in my thoughts. Thank you, Father. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

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