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Showing posts from January, 2012

Looking to Lent

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It will soon be Lent. And again the Church will try to understand what it means to turn towards the cross. And people, touched by Christ, will try to walk the Jesus Way.

You might not get this immediately, given the way Lent focuses on our legacy of sin, and in accurately knowing where we are now.

But the season of Lent is inherently forward-looking.

“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.”
Anne Lamott

In Lent we look back not out of nostalgia, nor out of obsessive fixation. And we focus on where we really are not out of excess narcissism, nor to wallow in shame. We simply need to get our bearings. And we look ahead to the cross, because of the way it reveals not just the old ills, but the new life God is always bringing forth.

Picture: Release, by Random Cathy .
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Does Mitt Romney have another tax problem?

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Overlooked in the news over the large size of Governor Romney's income and small size of his tax bill is the issue of his faith, expressed in donations to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church).

Mr. Romney has served as a Mormon bishop (head of a local congregation) and as a stake president (head of a regional group of congregations, equivalent to a diocese). His faithful church membership has been part of his public resume.

Yet the tax returns reveal an interesting anomaly. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints practices a tithe as a requirement of its members. A Biblical tithe is usually thought of as 10% of income. While there is some debate within the LDS church as to what constitutes a tithe,* official church policy sets the tithe at 10% of gross income. "...[T]he simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their interest annually, which …

Eucharistic prayer - Epiphany

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Blessed are you, O God, giver of all good things. You bring forth order from chaos, abundance from scarcity. Your kingdom overflows with gifts. In Melchizedek, you gave bread and wine as a sign of your kingdom of peace. You gave children to Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Tamar, Ruth, and Hannah, blessing them and fulfilling your promise. Gifts dedicated your Tabernacle. You open the hearts of the righteous, freely scattering gifts to the poor. You gave seers of old the gift of prophecy, and let them see the coming of the Messiah. You led kings from the East to come and worship your gift to the world, God in human flesh.

On the night he was handed over to death, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people fo…

Eucharistic prayer - Baptism of Jesus

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Blessed are you, O holy God, Light and Life of the world. In the beginning, your voice flew over the mighty waters. You separated the waters and made the dry land, and brought forth life throughout creation. You led your people Israel through the sea and out of bondage, and through the river Jordan into the land of promise. You brought forth streams of water in the wilderness, and commanded your children to wash in the water for purification and for healing. You have given prophets and seers visions of the river flowing from the heavenly temple as balm and blessing. You sent your prophet John to prepare the way of the Lord, proclaiming a baptism of repentance. And in Jesus, you stepped into the raging waters, identifying with the penitent, and extending your hand of salvation.

In the night before his trial and death, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of…