A rebel without a cause:
Stop fighting against others and God
I consider myself a fairly easy-going person. Not many things bother me and I usually go with the flow of things.
Now, I cannot really explain why, but sometimes I rebel just for the sake of it - a rebel without a cause. When shopping with friends, one might suggest I try on a shirt she thinks would be cute on me. I might like it and even secretly agree with her, but despite this, I will still say "no."
Why? I couldn't tell you. Maybe I want to prove that I can make my own decisions. That's about the only reasoning I can come up with.
This ability for each of us to make our own decisions - our own free will - is important to us. Beginning as children we want to choose our own clothes for the day, or what color cup to drink from during lunch.
in Ordinary Time
(Sept. 25, 2005)
Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
Phil 2:1-11 or Phil 2:1-5
Making one's own choice is an important aspect in defining oneself. The decisions we make give others a peek into who we are on the inside.
When other people make a decision for me, or even suggest which decision I should make, I often immediately choose the opposite.
For example, my grandmother has very strong political views. The look she gave me the day I told her I would be voting opposite her in the presidential election was priceless. I voted for the same party as she did, but I was not about to let her think she could influence the independence of my decision.
This thinking, though, can cause problems. There are many times when it is much better to allow someone else to make a decision or give a suggestion. Sometimes letting go and giving someone else the control of a situation brings much more freedom.
With my job, I have often had to hand over a project to someone else and let them make all the decisions for it - a tough thing to do. But, you know, after I give over the decision-making tasks, and accept that I cannot make any suggestions about it, I really feel better: no more stress and I have more time to devote to other duties.
In what areas in my life can I give someone else control?
How can I begin to unite others through God's love?
The same holds true throughout our lives, especially in our relationship with God. When I stop fighting against what God seems to want, things really get a lot easier. God wants us all to be "of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing" (Phil 2:2).
To do this, we only have to freely follow God's will for us - to love all people the same as He loves us. Once we are united in God's love, we will begin to form the faith communities that He intended.
Beth Czarnecki, from New Berlin, Wis., is a junior at UW-Madison, majoring in accounting. She has been a student office manager at St. Paul University Catholic Center for two years.
St. Paul's Web site is www.stpaulscc.org
In a Nutshell
With religious freedom a person can choose to make a real commitment to God and take responsibility for that choice.
Religious freedom also allows us to contribute to society by expressing our religious values in the public square and political realm.
Vatican Council II in the 1960s dealt with the issue of religious freedom, issuing a declaration on the topic titled "Dignitatis Humanae."
Catholic News Service
3211 Fourth St NE
Washington DC 20017
Why religious freedom
By Father W. Thomas Faucher
is an awesome gift
Catholic News Service
I was in London July 7, 2005, when terrorists set off bombs on the underground trains and on a bus. Within hours the prime minister, Tony Blair, said it was the work of Islamic terrorists and then added that it should not be blamed on all Muslims.
The next day I had the chance to speak with a London Muslim, a cab driver, who was worried that despite the prime minister's words, many people in Britain would blame all Muslims for the work of a few people. He had been born in London; he was English through and through.
What possibilities freedom can create!
By Father Herbert Weber
Catholic News Service
During a discussion with Death Row inmates, the topic turned to freedom, and a prisoner, Larry, said, "I'm incarcerated, but I may be freer in here than I was outside." He said, "Out there I thought I was free, but I wasn't because of my way of life. Here I have learned to be free; they can't control my spirit."
Religious freedom is more than being able to practice one's faith. It is also the freedom that flows from the practice of that faith. For Larry, whom I visited for five years, weekly celebration of Eucharist was central. He often expressed thanks that he was allowed to practice his faith, which gave him an internal freedom.
The choice that is yours
By Daniel S. Mulhall
Catholic News Service
I was asked to attend a meeting hosted by a national Islamic organization a decade or so ago. Except for a few publishers' representatives and me, everyone at the meeting was Muslim. It was conducted according to Islamic customs.
The meeting began early, starting with Islamic prayer: The Muslims entered a room with rugs on the floor. Those who weren't Muslim weren't invited or expected to join in the prayer, but we could watch. After taking off their shoes, the Muslims began their prayer ritual.
Copyright © 2005 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
This week's readings
Week of Sept. 25 - Oct. 1, 2005
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005
Reading I: Ez 18:25-28
Reading II: Phil 2:1-11
Gospel: Mt 21:28-32
Monday, Sept. 26, 2005
Reading I: Zec 8:1-8
Gospel: Lk 9:46-50
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005
Reading I: Zec 8:20-23
Gospel: Lk 9:51-56
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005
Reading I: Neh 2:1-8
Gospel: Lk 9:57-62
Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005
Reading I: Dn 7:9-10, 13-14
Gospel: Jn 1:47-51
Friday, Sept. 30, 2005
Reading I: Bar 1:15-22
Gospel: Lk 10:13-16
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005
Reading I: Bar 4:5-12, 27-29
Gospel: Lk 10:17-24
Pope's Prayer Intentions
September General Intention
Religious freedom. That the right to religious freedom be respected by the governments of all peoples.
September Mission Intention
New Churches and culture. That the proclamation of the Christian message in the new Churches may ensure its thorough insertion into the existing cultures.
Prayer for victims of Hurricane Katrina
Merciful and ever-living God,
since the very dawn of creation
the waters that you created
have brought life from death:
the Great Flood purified our world
and brought forth a new generation;
you led your people Israel from bondage to freedom
through the Red Sea;
from the side of Christ, sacrificed for us on the cross,
water flowed with his precious blood;
and through the waters of baptism
you call us from darkness into your wonderful light.
Look with pity on your people
affected by the waters of Hurricane Katrina.
Calm their fears, comfort their sorrow,
heal their pain and mercifully welcome those
who have perished into your heavenly kingdom.
Strengthen all who are helping them,
and thwart all who seek to create chaos.
Inspire us to reach out to those who are afflicted
from the bounty you have bestowed on us
and, like you once did with the loaves and fishes,
increase our gifts far beyond what we can imagine.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The above is a prayer from the Diocese of Madison's Office of Worship. For more prayer resources for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, visit the Office of Worship's Web page at www.straphael.org/~office_of_worship/
(Click on the link on the main page.)