image Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning February 23, 2014


Quote to carry in your heart for the week.
“The Lord is gracious.” Psalm 103

February 23rd is the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time. “What a daunting challenge Jesus puts to us today. He tells us we must love and pray for people who not only don’t love us, but who wish us harm or even work against us. Is that even possible? Maybe there are one or two saints who could pull it off, but most of us would find it too hard to resist the urge for payback when we feel we have been wronged. Yet Jesus is very clear: he is asking us to be perfect! But before giving up in dismay – after all, who is perfect? – let’s look at what else Jesus tells us. Every single day, the sun rises and gives warmth and light to everyone and everything: the young, the old, the sick, the healthy – and the good and the bad. The rain, too, doesn’t fall only in deserving places. It just falls – and cleans and nourishes whatever and whomever it lands on. Neither the sunshine nor the rain makes judgments about who should receive them and who should not. They simply offer to the world the goodness that is at the heart of their being. So we, too, should hold back on making judgments, no matter how appealing that might be. Instead, we are asked simply to offer our inner goodness to the world – kindness, generosity, prayer, forgiveness, love. This is not easy, but who said being a follower of Jesus would be easy?” Patrick Gallagher, February Living with Christ, page 115 As our Lenten journey approaches, inspire us Jesus to know from what we need to fast. Perhaps there is something in this Sunday’s readings for us to reflect on. Try today to reserve judgment and leave the judging to God. If it is very challenging, you may want to consider this a Lenten practice.

Serving in the Love of Christ – a quote for the week
“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet, righteousness and peace will kiss each other.” Ps. 85:10


New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education
Believing ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes
By the end of grade 8, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:
 Recognize in the saving story of the Christian faith God’s call to holiness;
 Appreciate the authority of the Magisterium in the interpretation of scripture and its message for contemporary Christian living;
 Actively reflect on Sacred Scripture as a means to grow in understanding and practice of the Catholic faith;
 Proclaim with confidence a belief in the mysteries of the Catholic faith, the Creed.

Grade Seven BL 2.1: Identify the significance and meaning of Jesus Christ’s redemptive death on the Cross in God’s Plan of Salvation (i.e. Jesus and Israel, the Law, the Messiah, the sacrifice of the Cross for our sins). At some point in human history, humans sinned against God, trying in some way to be God, in ways other than being made in God’s image. In the Scriptures we read this as the sin of Adam and Eve and refer to it as the original sin (when sin first enters our human story.) Adam and Eve are only archetypes of the humans who committed the first sin. From that point on, humans need to be saved from sin. In the Jewish tradition the Messiah (God’s anointed one) would come to renounce sin and bring God’s kingdom to earth. Many prophets from the Jewish tradition speak about the Messiah to come. Moses brought the Law (Ten Commandments) to the Chosen People and Jesus, the Messiah, fulfills the Law.

“From the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, certain Pharisees and partisans of Herod together with priest and scribes agreed to destroy [Jesus.] Because of certain of his acts – expelling demons, forgiving sins, healing on the Sabbath day, his novel interpretations of the precepts of the Law regarding purity, and his familiarity with tax collectors and public sinners – some ill-intentioned persons suspected Jesus of demonic possession. He is accused of blasphemy and false prophecy, religious crimes which the Law punished with death by stoning.” [547]

From the beginning of time God had a plan of Salvation.

“The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of ‘the righteous one, my Servant’ as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free everyone from the slavery of sin. …Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant. After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.” [601]

God loves us so much, from the beginning of time, that he gives us a gift of free will. We have the potential to live as God’s children in grace and beauty, however, we use this gift in ways that cause us to sin. So God comes up with another plan of Salvation. God asked Jesus to come to earth to show us the way to love like God. Jesus is willing to do what God asks, even to the point to dying on the Cross to save us, all of us, from our sins. We are redeemed by Jesus’ death and invited back into covenant with God. That is how much God loves us!

Grade Eight BL 1.3: Describe the Church’s understanding of the relationship between reason and faith, human intelligence and wisdom, and the role of the Holy Spirit in understanding and interpreting God’s plan of salvation (e.g. creation, the name of man, etc.).

“Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act [involves free will]. …In faith, the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace: Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace.” [154,155]

“Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.” [159]

Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit that assists us to understand the truths of God.

A Teaching from the Catholic Book of Days
“THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS continued …The scrolls found by Muhammad adh-Dhib proved to be but the beginning of the most remarkable manuscript discovery of modern times. By 1970, more than six hundred manuscripts, including ten complete documents and thousands of fragments, were found in eleven caves of the Desert of Juda west of the Dead Sea. With one exception, the scrolls are in Hebrew. A quarter are biblical texts, the remainder being commentaries, hymns, psalms and theological writings of the Qumram community, a branch of the Essenes, an ascetic, celibate brotherhood of Jews that first appeared two centuries before Christ. The great importance of the Dead Sea scrolls lies in the descriptions and insights they provide into Jewish history and Hebrew literature during the crucial transition period between the [Jewish] and [Christian Scriptures.] The scrolls by their antiquity also help confirm the time-fixing of certain books of the [Jewish Scriptures.] The Book of Isaiah scroll mentioned [in last week’s CCU], for instance, moved known Hebrew manuscripts of the tract back centuries. Hitherto the oldest known Hebrew manuscripts of the book dated from the tenth century C.E.. How did this wealth of scrolls ever come to be in such a remote place as the caves of a desert? No one knows for sure, though it is obvious pains were taken to conceal and preserve a vast library – perhaps for security against vandalism and plunder; perhaps to insure that after Hellenizing influences of the period had run their course there was a reliable record of true Judaism to refer back to. Who knows? The tragedy is that the library likely was considerably larger than that found. There is a third-century account, for instance, of a translation of the Psalms being found in a jar near Jericho, and in the year 800 the Nestorian patriarch Timothy I wrote of a “little house of books” being found near Jericho by a shepherd. There are other accounts of a similar sort. What seems certain is that someone got to the scrolls before the Bedouin goatherd Muhammad adh-Dhib – and alas, it’s all lost.” +John Deedy

28 Different Ways to Pray
“As Jesus taught us by His word and example, daily prayer is essential for all Christians. Our individual prayer life follows the rhythm of our daily life. ……Way #28 Media Prayer
A television documentary about environmental issues may make us more aware of the world as God’s gift to humanity and encourage a prayerful response as to how we are stewards of God’s creation. Listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, obtaining information from the Internet are effective ways to become cognizant that we do not live alone as isolated individuals. St. Paul’s image of the Body of Christ is a helpful social analogy that reminds us, “God has so constructed the body…that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If (one) part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:24-26).” Paulist Press page 142

Equity and Inclusive Education – Leadership for Equitable and Inclusive Schools

“Leadership for Equity at the School Level. School administrators work in schools where student have varying abilities, backgrounds, and traditions. …As school leaders, they are responsible for developing diverse school communities into caring and respectful learning environments. …Successful principals work with their staff and school community to set a clear vision for their school. Having a clear vision means that everyone knows where they are going and why. They see it as their moral responsibility to ensure that all students succeed and barriers to achievement are overcome. Shared leadership is a foundation for these principals; they empower those they work with to actively engage in setting school direction, determining goals, and implementing strategies to achieve those goals.” Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All, page 151.

Twenty-first Century Education > 100 – Year – Old Best Friends’ Hilarious Take on Our World – Cute Video – 3.70 min. Alice and Irene have been friends for 94 years, and their take on today’s culture say a lot about why they’ve remained friends so long. From Justin Beiber to selfies, their funny views will crack you up! > best kept secret for religious education teachers of every grade > a video to inservice teachers and others involved in education today. The video tells the stories of LGBTQ students and parents, teachers and others. It really gives you something to think about. Please do not show this video in your classroom. It is intended for use by teachers to hear the stories and to check our bias in relation to this group of students.

130 Fun Facts from God’s Wonder-Filled WORLD! by Bernadette McCarver Snyder
“The Name Game Again
Here are the meanings of some more names from the ‘name book’ …Susan means graceful, Clarence means famous, Melinda means gentle, Richard means powerful and Wanda means wanderer. And then there was a man who lived in Philadelphia and his name was Mr. Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, BUT it wasn’t his last name that was so interesting. In addition to that loooong last name, he had 26 FIRST names, one that began with each letter in the alphabet! His names began with Adolph, Blaine, Charles and ended with Xerxes, Yancy, and Zeus! Do you guess his parents gave him all those names or do you think he maybe got the idea to add that alphabet of names? How many names do YOU have? Most people just have one first name, one middle name, and one last name – like John Henry Jones – but some add a confirmation name or a nickname and most girls add a new name when they get married, so some people have more names than others. Is one of your names a saint’s name? It is isn’t, why don’t you pick out a saint you like and make that you “secret saint” name?” page 67

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?
CATHOLIC JEOPARDY : Do forget to give your answer in the form of a question.
The topic is LENT from RTJ’s creative catechist, February/March 2014

To prepare for the next liturgical season let’s test our basic knowledge of Lent.

  1. The day Lent starts. What is Ash Wednesday – March 5th, this year?
  2. The number of days in Lent. – What is 40 days? (Sundays are not included)
  3. The meaning of Laetare in Laetare Sunday. What is rejoice?
  4. The two solemnities we celebrate during Lent. What are feast of St. Joseph (March 19th) and the feast of the
  5. Annunciation? The Irish would include the feast of St. Patrick (March 17th) too.
  6. The days included in the Holy Triduum. What are Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday?

The topic is RECONCILIATION created by Sister Pat Carter

  1. The prayer that sinners say admitting their sorrow
  2. The reason a priest cannot say anything to anyone about what is shared in confession
  3. The act that the penitent does to show reconciliation
  4. The one who acts as God in forgiving sins of the penitent
  5. Part of Eucharistic liturgy when sinners pray for forgiveness

Weird Facts – how many people will read this far down the email…? Are you one who will?
“Chicken pox is more properly known as Varicella. ” Huh!

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