From The Font
"The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his descendants. If the man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head.'"
So much of the Old Testament Law of Moses is really just basic safety. God's not trying to be a jerk by exiling lepers - He's protecting the community. The same with the prohibition against eating pork. Unlike beef and lamb, pork has to be cooked through to be safe to eat. By casting out the contagious and prohibiting the potentially poisonous, God protected this people in the most realistic and Earthy way that we can imagine. In the same way, God protected His people spiritually by condemning sins and insisting that the nefarious - those unwilling to repent - be cast out of the community.
In our modern world, physical protection is less necessary. We can cook our food and we can cure - or at least prevent contagion by quarantine - from almost any disease. There's no real physical reason to cast anyone out of the community. The physical world has changed much…
The spiritual world on the other hand never changes. There is no modern spiritual world. God's nature never changes. Neither does human nature. God is always on our side providing all that we need to know, love and serve Him and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. Thanks be to God that He has given us the sacraments! He has given the contrite the confessional and He has given the faithful the Holy Eucharist! He has given us purpose and direction in the Church and He has given us clear boundaries in the moral law.
Just as in the Law of Moses, though, we must be cautious of the potential dangers around us. It's not with the lack of love, but the abundance of it which God directs us to do good and avoid evil. His law is a commandment of love that seeks to protect us from harm just as His law against pork was to protect the Jews. So too, God's command to withhold His blessings from those who lack contrition is not a rejection, but a curative. Those who sin without sorrow are as contagious and dangerous as any leper ever was. When we see things as God would have us see them - we realize that all things really are ordered by the Lord.
Insights From Second Street
There are so many quotations, serious and comical, about love that it’s really impossible in only 300 words to pick any of them. The reason for the vast multitude of ideas about love is simply that it truly does make the world go ‘round. In the ancient world, they understood that love comes in various forms - some more important than others. The Greeks had four basic categories: Affection (Storge), Friendship (Philia), Passionate or Erotic (Eros) and Sacrificial (Agape). Each love, in its proper place, is good (in the deepest sense of the word “good”).
Love - in each of its forms - reveals the supernatural part of each of us. Affection and Friendship reveal our supernatural desire to be connected to other people and to love them for who they are. Erotic love reveals that part of ourselves that seeks ecstasy - to be more than just flesh. Erotic love is a constant symbol of prayer and the spiritual life - especially in the Bible (try reading the Song of Songs!). The greatest and most divine of all loves is Agape - sacrificial love. “Man has no greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
But, like all things in this life, love can be twisted. It can be stripped of its proper place and turned to evil. Disordered affection becomes stalking or same-sex attraction. Disordered friendship leads us to “falling in with a bad crowd” or leading others to sin. Disordered passion becomes lust and leads to pornography or objectifying another person. Disordered agape - the highest form of love - becomes a willingness to sacrifice not myself, but others. Agape is twisted to pride - the lowest of all the deadly sins.
If we are to order our love properly, we must always speak and think about love with reference to the one who is love. Valentine’s day ought not to be a day for selfish sharing between two people - it ought to be a day for selfless giving of two people to one another and to the Lord God! Invite Jesus to Valentine’s day… See what happens.
by: Tommy Myrick
February 14th is Valentine’s Day. This usually means that husbands, fiances, and boyfriends make mad dashes to procure flowers, chocolates, and restaurant reservations. Women in relationships expect their significant other to forget, and single women are either looking for a date or celebrating “Single Awareness Day”. So who is this St. Valentine that caused all of this romantic nonsense?
The reality is that we honestly don’t know. There are debates over whether there was one or several St. Valentines. The most famous account comes from the latter part of the third century. In this incarnation, St. Valentine was a priest who was assisting the Christians in Rome (a capital crime under Emperor Claudius II) by performing marriages and burying martyrs. He was captured by Claudius, who began to enjoy the conversation of his captive until St. Valentine attempted to convert the pagan emperor. He was then sentenced to being beat to death with clubs. When that didn’t work, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate.
There is also an account of St. Valentine healing the sight of his jailor’s daughter while under incarceration. According to legend, on the eve of his execution, St. Valentine wrote a letter to the girl which he signed, “From Your Valentine”. Supposedly, this is where the custom of giving Valentine’s Day Cards comes from.
St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses. Saint Valentine… Pray for us!
PARISH OFFICE & ST. MARY’S SCHOOL CLOSED Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 16th-17th, the Parish Office & St. Mary's School will be closed for Mardi Gras. The Office & School will re-open Wednesday, Feb. 18th, at 8am. We pray that everyone has fun-filled and safe holiday!
* The Special Collection on Feb. 18th (Ash Wednesday), is for Eastern Europe.
A DAY OF RENEWAL The DSC of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Alex. & CENLA Magnificat will host a Day of Renewal on Sat, 2/21, at St. Anthony's Church Hall in Natchitoches. Fr. John Pardue, Aggie Neck, & Joan Gahagan will be speaking. The day will begin with registration at 8:30 and Praise & Worship at 9. Breakfast & lunch is included in the $15 registration fee. The day will end with a Vigil Mass at 4p at St. Anthony's. This event is open to men & women. For more info on the event & on how to register, call Diane at 318-419-1547 or Mary at 318-359-7735. All registrations must be mailed in by 2/17. No on-site registration.
ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 18th It is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation, but it is a day of mandatory fasting and abstinence from meat and meat products. Everyone is encouraged to begin Lent right by observing the requirement to fast and, if possible, by attending Holy Mass and receiving your ashes. Masses will be offered on Wednesday at 6:30a and 6p in the Church and at 9a at St. Mary’s School.
KC FISH FRY Every Friday of Lent, Father will pray the Way of the Cross at 5:15p in the Church. Remember that every Friday of Lent is a day of Abstinence from meat and meat products. And so, the Knights of Columbus will be selling Fried Fish Plates every Friday afternoon (during Lent) immediately following the Way of the Cross. You can purchase a Fish Plate (including fish, sides, & a drink) for $10. On 2/20, plates can be picked up from the MBIC Rectory. On 2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, & 3/27, plates can be picked up from the MBIC Parish Hall.
FEBRUARY 23rd IS A BASILICAN FEAST DAY Monday, February 23rd, is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. A Plenary Indulgence has been extended by the Holy Father for our Church. We will have a simple Mass at 6:30a and a festal Mass at 6p. Both Masses will end with the proper prayers for the Plenary Indulgence. All are welcome!
CCD & WED. NIGHT ADULT CATECHISM
- Wed., 2/18: No CCD & No Wed. Night Adult Catechism. All adults and CCD students should attend an Ash Wednesday Mass instead.
- Wed., 2/25: No Wed. Night Adult Catechism, but students should still report to their CCD class at 6p as normal.
- Wed., 3/4: No CCD & No Wed. Night Adult Catechism. All adults and CCD students should attend the Seder Dinner instead.
- Wed., 3/11: No Wed. Night Adult Catechism - Adults should attend the Parish Lenten Mission instead. However, students should still report to their CCD class at 6p as normal.
ANNIVERSARY MASS With praise & thanksgiving to God for 50 years of joyful prayer & service in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, Fr. John Cunningham will celebrate Holy Mass at the MBIC on Fri., Feb. 20th, at 11am. A small reception will follow at Merci Beaucoup. All are invite to attend!
SEDER DINNER There will be a Lenten Passover meal (a Seder Dinner) for the CCD Students and for the entire parish on Wed, March 4th, at 6pm in the St. Mary's Gym. The meal is an adaptation of the traditional Jewish feast in which Jesus established the Holy Eucharist. All are heartily encouraged to attend!
- Mon-Tues, 2/16-2/17, MBIC Office & SMS Closed, Mardi Gras holiday
- Tues, 2/17, CDA Meeting, 6p
- Wed, 2/18, Ash Wednesday, 6:30a & 6p Mass @ MBIC
- Wed, 2/18, SMS All-School Mass, 9a
- Wed, 2/18, No CCD - CCD students should attend 6p Mass @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, Fr. Cunningham’s 50th Anniversary Mass, 11a @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, KC Fish Fry, 5:30-6:30p @ the Rectory
- Mon, 2/23, Basilican Feast Day: St. Peter’s Chair, 6:30a & 6p Indulgenced Mass
- Tue, 2/24, Confession, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Tue, 2/24, SVdP Meeting in Hall, 6:30p
- Wed, 2/25, CCD & NO Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Thu, 2/26, Stroke Scan Screening in Hall, 10a
- Thu, 2/26, KC1357 Social, 6p
- Fri, 2/27, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/27, KC Fish Fry, 5:30-6:30p @ Parish Hall
- Tue, 3/3, Confession, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Wed, 3/4, Seder Dinner, 6p in SMS Gym (No CCD)
- Fri, 3/6, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Fri, 3/6, KC Fish Fry, 5:30-6:30p @ Parish Hall
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 2/14 4p Laura Jo Johnson, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • D.Thibodaux, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/15 9a Michael King, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Elaine Bacon, John Cunningham, (EMHC-CH) • C.Cunningham, P.Vienne, M.Vienne, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/15 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Lucile Ingram, (EMHC-CI) • Patsy Melder, Linda Lee, (EMHC-CH) • V.Maggio, S.Maggio, W.Lee, (Altar Boys)
Sat 2/21 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Mickey Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/22 9a Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Michael King, (EMHC-CI) • Buddy Giering, Stephen Taylor, (EMHC-CH) • R.Cunningham, R.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/22 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CI) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • C.Fisher, A.Parker, J.Parker, (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: Donald Gongre and Red & Sadie Thomas
Sun 9a: Pro Populo
Sun 11a: James & Jean Lee and Mamie Jabbia
Sun 5p: Special Intentions
Mon 6:30a: Joel Hoffpauir
Mon 8a: NO MASS
Tue 6:30a: Buddy Masson
Wed 6:30a: Martha LaCaze
Wed 6p: Pro Populo
Thu 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
Fri 6:30a: Doris & Will Pierson and Elise James
Sat 8a: Mike Bouchie
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild their lives with dignity. And that, married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Irene Niette
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, Danny Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Sonya Campbell, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Elizabeth Governale, Ross Gwinn, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Frederick Hickman, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Jo Lapeyrouse, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr. Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel,Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly,Jessica Warner, Glen & Mary Williams, & Marilyn Williams