From The Font
"God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him."
In the world in which we live, there is little or no long-term thinking. And so, for our modern culture, any questioning or lack of full-throated approval is received as condemnation. But even a quick look at the text shows that "condemnation" for Christ Jesus is the opposite not of worldly approval, but the opposite of eternal salvation. And so for the Christian, avoiding condemnation is not about avoiding unpleasant attitudes or mean words, it's about getting to heaven. In fact, getting into heaven may - almost certainly will - require some harsh realizations and those realizations may - almost certainly will - require some tough, mean-sounding words. Avoiding the eternal condemnation that is Hell will require the worldly condemnation of sin, temptation and Satan.
Nowadays, anyone who says anything that is considered politically incorrect or confrontational or impolite is condemning someone. But in the eyes of the Lord, anyone who, because of fear, refuses to challenge or confront someone is leaving them to wander toward eternal condemnation. And that fearful person may well be inviting condemnation upon himself!
But what about Matthew 7? "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get…" Who am I, after all, to cast judgement? What makes me qualified to decide what is to be condemned and praised? And it's very true, none of us - from the pope to the drug dealer - is qualified to speak on his own power about right and wrong. But… As Christians, we don't preach our own gospel. We repeat the commands of God. We speak not by our power or wisdom but with the direction and wisdom of God. What's more, what we speak are not judgements, but wisdom and direction from God. And, of course, we know that harsh words or politically incorrect speech are not really condemnation, they are the teaching of Jesus. And so long as we share rather than accuse or assail, then we’re doing the work of the Lord. Our purpose is not to direct someone's life, but to shine light where there may be darkness…
What God wants for us is heaven! He wants us to take up our cross and follow after Him. He wants us to discover, like the psalmist, that the human heart deeply loves the commands of God and finds freedom in them. Jesus' teaching all points together to the truth that God wants to save us and gives us all the tools that we need to attain it!
Insights From Second Street
The modern world is defined by skepticism. The ancient world was defined by wonder. We have wrongly gambled that “historical accuracy” and “scientism” will, in some way, improve life… But the world in which we find ourselves is neither happier, more peaceful nor more utopian. The bloodiest centuries in human history have come about at the same time that technology has potentially made us able to live without bloodshed at all!
In the ancient world, wonders were welcome and so it was that St. Helena had the means to travel to the Holy Land and seek out the great relics of Christ. And her search bore fruit in the True Cross of Jesus Christ in the late third century. Small slivers of that same cross are enshrined in the golden cross on the altar of sacrifice at Immaculate and in the small reliquary beneath the tabernacle at St. Mary’s. Despite the non-scientific claim of skeptics nowadays, surprisingly few relics of the true cross are to be found. It is demonstrably false to argue that if all the relics of the true cross were gathered, you’d have a forest. When you’re talking about how many one centimeter slivers of wood you can make from a 20’ long 8”x8” post and an 8’ - 10’ crossbeam… Well, it’s a lot!
Even if we didn’t have the upper hand scientifically, we’d have it morally. The world is in need of wonder! That’s why more traditional kinds of liturgy and religious practice are thriving while more modern types are waning. Relics connect us with something beyond the banality of science and the observable. After all, science is incomplete in itself. Science has no understanding of love or sacrifice or goodness. Science can’t really explain that profound, horrific moment of looking at a body that was alive just moments ago. What makes it different? Why does the lack of blood-flow and respiration change things that much?
The scriptures call “Awe and Wonder” gifts of the Holy Spirit. And so it would be wise on this feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross to look beyond merely that which is observable or scientific to that which is wonderful and astounding. It would be wise in our prayers to refuse to settle for a merely intellectual meditation. It may well be essential for our faith to embrace more mystery and less intellect in all aspects of our Church. Simply because what we don’t see is much greater than what we do!
by: Tommy Myrick
The Feast of the Exaltation of the True Cross celebrates three events in Christian history: the finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the dedication of two churches built by Constantine at the sites of the Holy Sepulchre and Mt. Calvary, and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem by Emperor Heraclius II. In a more spiritual since, this feast celebrates the Cross as the instrument of our salvation. This symbol of torture used to degrade the worst of criminals has become the life giving tree that reversed the curse of Adam when he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
According to St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Helena, late in life, under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to excavate the Holy Sepulchre and find the True Cross. After the death and resurrection of Christ, the Jewish and Roman authorities attempted to obscure the location of the Sepulchre and the Cross by burying them and constructing a temple of Venus there. St. Helena had the pagan temple destroyed and the site excavated, and they discovered the Sepulchre and three crosses. Legend says that to determine which cross had borne the body of Christ, a woman suffering from illness touched the three crosses, and when she placed her hand on the True Cross, her affliction left her.
In celebration of this discovery, Emperor Constantine ordered the construction of two churches: one at the site of the Holy Sepulchre, and one on Mt. Calvary. These churches were dedicated on September 13th and 14th, 335 AD, and the celebration of the feast began on the latter date. Honoring the feast quickly spread from Jerusalem and became a universal celebration by 720 AD.
PASTORAL COUNCIL MEETING SEPTEMBER 16TH Our next Pastoral Council Meeting will be Tuesday, September 16th, at 6p. Council members are: Michael King, Lester Lee, Carol Green, Sonny Sklar, Sydney Frederick, Ken Gardener, Dwayne Brossett, Laura Friedel, Jennifer Maggio, Kent Hare, and Henry Maggio. If you have a concern or an idea, please share it with a Council Member.
EMBER WEEK The week following the Triumph of the Cross is traditionally an “Ember” week which signifies the arrival of the temporal season of Fall. This change is traditionally marked by extra prayers and by simple fasting on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. While there are no requirements for this, it’s a worthy spiritual exercise to offer to the Lord!
ST. MARY’S FOOTBALL The next SMS Football game will be Fri., 9/19, against Winnfield. Kickoff is at 7p at Winnfield High School. Pray for a safe, fun and victorious season. GO TIGERS!
SMS QUIZBOWL Saturday, 9/20, some of our SMS students will be traveling to LSUA to compete in a Quizbowl Tournament. Please pray for their success and safe travels.
WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER’S CELEBRATION OF LIFE DINNER IS SEPTEMBER 25th Our only Crisis pregnancy center in the area will host its annual Celebration of Life Fundraising Gala on Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Events Center. Comedian Gordon Douglas will be the guest speaker. The program that starts at 6:30 p.m. Douglas has made a name for himself as a comedian and speaker with a passion for family who inspires others to see the humor and joy all around no matter what the circumstance. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by calling (318) 357-8888.
TAA GUN RAFFLE The St. Mary’s Tiger Athletic Association is sponsoring a year long gun raffle. There are 105 prizes and every ticket has 105 chances to win. Guns range from 9mm handguns to hunting rifles to Shotguns. A complete list of prizes and draw dates can be obtained from St. Mary’s School, the MBIC Parish Office, or from any member of the TAA. Tickets are limited and cost $100 each. The 1st drawing will be Wednesday, October 1st.
- Wed, 9/17, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 9/19, SMS vs. Winnfield, 7p (Away)
- Mon-Fri, 9/22-9/26, SMS Homecoming Week
- Wed, 9/24, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Thu, 9/25, Women's Resource Center Gala, 5:30p
- Fri, 9/26, Homecoming Game - SMS vs. Arcadia, 7p @ Turpin Stadium
- Wed, 10/1, Parish Supper, CCD, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/3, SMS vs. Haughton, 7p (Away)
- Wed, 10/8, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Thu, 10/9, SMS vs. Block, 7p @ Turpin Stadium
- Wed, 10/15, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/17, SMS vs. Montgomery, 7p (Away)
- Mon-Wed, 10/20-10/29, 1st MBIC Pilgrimage to Italy
- Wed, 10/22, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/24, SMS vs. Logansport, 7p (Away)
- Wed, 10/29, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/31, Senior Night - SMS vs. LaSalle, 7p @ Turpin Stadium
- Wed, 11/5, Parish Supper, CCD, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 11/7, SMS vs. Northwood, 7p (Away)
Within the Sanctuary
Sat, 9/13 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/14 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • Cissy Picou, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, (EMHC-CH) • M.McCart, B.Behrendsen, C.Cunningham, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/14 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • Cecilia Cook, Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CH) • E.Norwood, M.V.Leone, D.Thompson, (Altar Boys)
Sat, 9/20 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/21 9a Joe Cunningham Sr., (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Stephen Taylor, Michael King, (EMHC-CH) • G.&J.H.Ingrish, G.Fidelak, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/21 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Barbara Laborde, (EMHC-CI) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • S.&V.Maggio, C.Fisher, (Altar Boys)
*Altar Boys who are not scheduled may serve if space permits. Come to the Sacristy 10 minutes before Mass.
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
- Sat 4p: Red & Sadie Thomas, Alison Breaxeale Webb, & Helen Bostick
- Sun 9a: Essie Mae Huckaby & Terry Scott
- Sun 11a: Pro Populo
- Sun 5p: R.J. Ducote
- Mon 6:30a: Lambre Family
- Mon 8a: Lucien Branch
- Tue 6:30a: Calvert Scott
- Wed 6:30a: Rebekah Johnson
- Thu 6:30a: Janell de Vargas
- Fri 6:30a: Jimmy Scott
- Sat 8a: Mary M. Gordon
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life. And that, Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Cayleigh Braud, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Sonya Campbell, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Lauren Clancey, Emilia Cofio, Woody Cox, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Angela Eversall, Marguerite Felchle, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Christi Gootee, Elizabeth Governale, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Martha LaCaze, Jheanny Ladao, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Mary Frances Lowrey, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Lillian Ryals, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Glen & Mary Williams