Fr. Vic Gournas
January 19, 2020
Brothers and Sisters - I really love these quotes and will refrain from commenting on them - why?
1. They speak for themselves
2. No commentary can allow for our reflections to be, WELL, "Our Reflections."
"Prayer makes your heart bigger, until it is capable of containing the gift of God Himself" (St. Mother Teresa).
"If you cannot find God's will in this moment, you will never be able to find God's will, because God's will is only for this moment. He doesn't have a will for your past. He only has a will for you right now" (Father Mike Schmitz - from How to Make Great Decisions).
"The decisions that we make today matter tremendously. Don't lie to yourselves! What you do day in and day out matters. God loves you! He wants to use you! Don't sell yourself short! You're important to the Kingdom of God" (from Crystalina Evert - From Woman Made New).
"When it comes upon me how late I am trying to serve the Church, the obvious answer is, even saints, such as St. Augustine, St. Ignatius, did not begin in earnest till a late age" (Saint John Henry Newman).
"To many people, the Bible is simply a giant book that doesn't make a lot of sense. That's a shame, because it's actually a beautiful story. It's a story of where we come from, what went wrong, and God's incredible merciful plan to save us, and make everything right again" (Matthew Leanard - From Genesis to Jesus).
"Descriptions by eyewitnesses of the miracles associated with the saints in their lifetimes are just as dependable and clear as any other evidence of historical events. There is no ground to reject them other than a dogmatic belief that there is no Almighty God who is able to alter the course of an individual life" (Sigrid Undset - From Catherine of Siena).
Blessings in this New Year - Father Vic
January 5, 2020
Epiphany Homily Notes
“The Magi were Spiritual Seekers who notice a star that points them to Religion & The (DP) - Divine Plan (Jesus) – Which gives concrete Form to their Spirituality.”
-I chuckle when I hear people say – I’m Spiritual but not Religious – Hold that thought...
-During a recent priest retreat – a priest was showing me the exact positions of certain constellations and which way they were tracking.
-I have always been fascinated with the heavens.
A Kid in Raleigh gazing up at the Milky Way – A night-sky lit up by a shooting-star – With my telescope in hand – The Heavens – Drawing me to think about the Spiritual – Our Purpose – Where does all this come from?
-This passion dimmed – adult responsibilities – frenetic pace – Obscure Sky.
-I still enjoy finding the planets – especially Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter.
-These lights are always bright and steady among the twinkling stars.
-For the Magi The Heavens was not just a light show. (Nineveh – Astronomers)
-The night-sky was ‘literally” a guide – Tracking the stars told them much about time, motion, the seasons – Where they were heading – It was a part of their Spirituality – Science led them to the Spiritual – And I will argue – the Spiritual will ultimately lead to Religion – If we pursue to the natural end.
-On the night of the Nativity – Something had shifted – Was different – Some experts think the star was perhaps an alignment of Planets – or Supernova - whatever – The Star got their attention as astronomers – So they followed without question – They were Spiritual Seekers of Truth.
-What’s unique about this story...
The Magi represent The Spiritual and Religion – They begin with a Spiritual quest – Unlike today – they didn’t deny the Spiritual – Nor stop at the Spiritual – They were not sure where to go – But the quest begins via Astronomy & The Star – The Star to the aid of Religious Scholars – Those chosen by God – Who point them towards Bethlehem – To a Concrete Person.
-So the Star (Science) leads the (Spiritual) Magi to Jesus – Who Fulfills the Divine Plan – Our Salvation – This DP/R given to the Patriarchs – The Prophets – And (Jesus/God) – Who gives His Church the Authority to protect, proclaim and teach this Divine Plan – The Church He founded contains the Bible/Canons – The Beatitudes – A moral compass – Right from Wrong – What is Acceptable Behavior (Virtues and Commandments) – All life is sacred – Marriage – Family – Children – A Path of Charity/Love that guides and shows us How to engage with the World.
-Being a seeker is not just stopping at the Spiritual – It should move us to Religion - To Christ the King – Who via the Sacraments – Gives us Himself - Opens our eyes to the truth around us – The God of Revelation seeks us – Wants to guide us to Bethlehem – To God in the Flesh.
I will argue that It is precisely Our Catholic Religion – Grounded in God’s Revelation (DP) and Commandments that guides us to the proper path to navigate a fast paced, frenetic world with unlimited choices – some that enslave us – others that point towards God and Truth – To Christ and His Church – To the Divine plan that reveals Authentic Freedom & Choice – To The One Person & King that can give us true Peace and Purpose – Jesus the Christ.