15 February 2010

Lent is (almost) here!

Dear Villagers,

Twenty of us had a sweet time bowling this past Friday night, with Rob Peters putting the rest of us to shame with a 182! Checkout the attached pictures. More random Village hangouts to come in the near future!

Last night at Village we dug around in 20 pounds of dirt to discover rocks with crosses engraved on the side. It was dirty, wet, and squishy! Sometimes we need something sensational to bring us back to the basics of our faith. The Church needs Lent- each of us needs Lent to rediscover the Cross of Jesus!

As Pope John Paul once said, “Lent is a time of profound truth which brings conversion, restores hope and by putting everything in proper order brings peace and optimism.” We each need the reminder, that the self-denial that so often accompanies Lent brings peace and optimism. Our Lenten observances "put everything in proper order." When we thoughtfully increase our devotions to prayer, fasting and almsgiving- we are more closely united with Jesus and His Cross. Let us carry the Cross with Jesus this Lent!

In Deuteronomy we hear the promise, "It is the LORD who marches before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed." (31:8) Remember that Our Lord is with you! Let us to set out courageously on the journey towards Good Friday and Easter Sunday!

---St Paul Miki and Companions @ DTS this Thursday

---Next Sunday @ Village: Eucharistic Adoration, Short Talk on Satan

---A Few Spaces Remain for Steubenville; Spring Retreat is coming soon (3/19-3/21)

---Your Question of the Week: Is it a sin to listen to music pertaining to sex?

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” -Joel 2: 12-13

The Village News 2/14

This Thursday, 7-8pm: St Paul Miki @ the Dead Theologians Society

Come out this week to meet the courageous man who as he was being martyred for the faith, looked to heaven and said “Lord into your hands I commend my spirit. Come to meet me, ye saints of God.”
--6:30pm: socializing in the Parish Offices
--7-8pm: gather in the Church choir loft for prayer (the Elizabeth St door is always open)
--8-8:30pm: return to Parish Offices for hot cocoa & snacks

Next Sunday, 2/21: Eucharistic Adoration Night
J R R Tolkien once said, "Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament...There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth.” The Village has a special devotion to the Eucharist– and we have a time of Eucharistic Adoration once each month! The topic you’ve selected for next week: What’s the story on Satan?

Steubenville High School Youth Conference, July 9-11th
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”(John 1:14) Join us this summer for a transformative weekend! Cost for participation is $235, all-inclusive. Registration is due ASAP with a $70 deposit. Spaces are still available, but going fast. The remaining $135 is not due until April 18th. Register soon!

Spring Retreat is Coming Soon- March 19th-21st, Save the Date!

Your Question of the Week: Is listening to music pertaining to sex a sin?
Great question! A sin is “an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience- it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1849) Listening to music with sexually explicit lyrics and themes may be a sin, but it is certainly an occasion to sin.

Fr. John A. Hardon writes in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, that an occasion to sin is "Any person, place, or thing that of its nature or because of human frailty can lead one to do wrong, thereby committing sin." Certain things, such as pornographic images, are always, by their nature, occasions of sin, while other things may only be an occasion of sin for some. Perhaps the best way to think of near occasions of sin is to treat them as the moral equivalent of physical dangers. Just as we know we should stay alert when we're walking through a bad part of town at night, we need to be aware of the moral threats around us. Repeatedly refusing to avoid the near occasion of sin can be a sin itself. We aren't allowed deliberately to put our soul in peril. If a parent forbids a child from walking on top of a high stone wall, for fear that he might hurt himself, yet the child does so anyway, the child has sinned, even if he doesn't hurt himself. We should treat near occasions of sin in the same way.

Listening to sexually explicit music is an occasion to sin because it works against the normal formation of a healthy conscience. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “The education of the conscience is a lifelong task.” (#1784) While there are some circumstances in which one’s poorly formed conscience is not one’s own fault (Catechism #1792-1793), we also know that we are responsible for our own poorly formed conscience when we “take little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when our conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” (#1791)

Sexually explicit music destroys a healthy conscience by glorifying pre-marital sex as well as the objectification of both men and women. We know that sexual love is the ultimate gift of self- the promise to love another person faithfully for life, fruitfully, freely, and totally. Sexual love is reserved for the consummation of the Sacrament of Marriage! Any other message presented through the media is the counterfeit of true love, based on use. The opposite of love is not hatred- but rather use (Theology of the Body, Pope John Paul II). As far as objectification goes, it is a way of looking at men or women as objects for one’s own sexual gratification (using others), instead of sons and daughters of God with innate dignity.

Personally, there are some songs that I definitely won’t listen to. There are others that I simply turn the volume down for most of the song and listen only to one part. There are so many legit songs and artists out there, you can be choosy! Choose to stand up for your faith and the dignity of men & women with what you listen to! As Saint Paul says, “do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” –Romans 12:2


marylea said...

Nice reminders! Happy Lent to you!

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