From The Font
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
Fr. Joseph Pieper, a brilliant Jesuit thinker, called Leisure one of the pillars of holiness. Throughout the Bible, in both the Old Testament and New Testaments, leisure is praised as an essential balance for hard work and for trusting in God. From the very beginning, Genesis 1 praises God’s hard work in creating all things and then emphasizes His sacred rest. Genesis continues with stories of Adam and Eve both working in the garden and taking leisurely strolls with the Lord in the afternoon. The slavery stories of Exodus deride labor devoid of rest and the judges and prophets of the rest of the Old Testament do likewise. They tend to describe leisure as an act of trust in God as well as a necessary part of making work a truly human activity as opposed to an idol. The proverbs warn of working too hard and claim that “the love of money” (mammon) is the root of all evil.
Jesus often calls His hearers to task for working too hard and ignoring the Divine Providence shown to the sparrow and the flower in the field. He is often seen to insist that the spirit of the sabbath - as opposed to the letter of the law - be the basis for real judgement in matters of work and rest. St. Paul, too, is careful to establish a balance by insisting, on the one hand, that leisure not become laziness (“He who will not work should not eat) and, on the other hand, that those in need should be provided for without reference to cost.
In the early Church, St. Benedict called the first monks to balance “Ora et Labora” (prayer & work) with rest, intellectual formation and leisure. As the Church grew under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this spiritual notion of leisure has grown with Her. Nowadays, leisure is usually crammed into mind-numbing entertainment on the one hand or “crashing” of sheer exhaustion on the other. Many of us come home from vacations more worn out than when we left. How many of us are looking forward to first day of school so that we can get some rest?
Leisure ought to be something which is truly recreational (re-creation-al). It should be life-giving. It should bring about within us a connection with that which is true, good and and beautiful. It should literally involve stopping to smell the roses. Whatever that looks like, we’ll know we’ve found it when we can say “I’ve needed this!”
Insights From Second Street
Last week, I wrote a little about literature. This week, I want to add on to that by writing about spiritual reading. Spiritual reading - whether that’s reading the bible, the writings of a saint or just a book about spiritual matters - is technically a spiritual exercise. In the world of spiritual theology, we call it “lectio divina.” Just as prayer is an exercise for the soul, fasting is an exercise for the body and charitable works are an exercise for the will, spiritual reading is an exercise for the mind. It trains us to see things rightly. It trains us to ourselves rightly. It corrects our perception of God, Himself, of the Church and of our purpose in life.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen famously said, “there are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” I can’t tell you how many people have come to me in sadness or in rage or in despair about something that they misunderstood the Church to have taught. I can’t tell you how many people have come to confessional weighed down by guilt about something that wasn’t a sin.
Spiritual reading has the potential to free us from great burdens and to open up to us new avenues of grace that we never expected. Just as literature puts us in situations and circumstances that we'll never encounter in our lives, so spiritual reading puts us in touch with saintly perspectives, brilliant insights and spiritual exercises that we could never hope to discover on our own. It teaches us right belief and right practice without the need for theological degrees or scholarly debates.
I personally recommend a combination of spiritual fiction like Michael O'Brien's inspired "Father Elijah" and of spiritual non-fiction like St. Francis de Sales "Introduction to the Devout Life." There are also amazing resources like "Catholicism for Dummies" and "Letters to a Young Catholic" by George Weigel. Many great classics are available for free on the web (like the old Baltimore Catechism) or at a very low cost on Amazon (like "Orthodoxy" by GK Chesterton).
In addition to the good out there, it's important to be cautious. Lots of books claim to be Catholic and simply aren't. Also, lots of books put forth a pop-spirituality (like "The Shack" or "Heaven is for Real”) which usually tries to portray a Christianity without the cross. These books are entertaining, but are almost always misleading.
Truly excellent spiritual reading, like good literature is at the same time challenging and encouraging. It just feels real and correct at the very depths of ourselves.
By: Pope Benedict XVI
Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don't have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.
I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better - and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is the right kind of joy, when it is not egotistic, when it comes from the perception of the good, then it wants to communicate itself, and it gets passed on. In this connection, it always strikes me that in the poor neighborhoods of, say, South America, one sees many more laughing happy people than among us. Obviously, despite all their misery, they still have the perception of the good to which they cling and in which they can find encouragement and strength.
In this sense we have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately only faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and to be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news.
MBIC RECTORY STAFF VACATION Fr. Ryan Humphries & Susan Chesal will both be on vacation Mon.-Fri., 7/20-7/24. The rest of the Rectory Staff will be in Mon.-Thu., 7/20-7/23, from 8am-12pm handling basic day-to-day office needs. Friday, 7/24, the Rectory will be closed. In case of an emergency, please contact Fr. Stephen Soares at (318) 730-8114.
FREE BROWN SCAPULARS! Sat-Sun, 7/18-7/19, Deacon Whitehead will be offering the prayers for the Enrollment of the Brown Scapular for anyone interested after all of the weekend Masses at the MBIC. The MBIC has a supply of the basic brown scapular to give to those who would like to participate. Also, the MBIC Gift Shop has different styles of nicer scapulars for those interested in purchasing one. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
JULY 29th is a INDULGENCED FEAST DAY Wednesday, July 29th, is the anniversary of the Establishment of the Diocese of Natchitoches. 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!
UPCOMING SPECIAL COLLECTION The Diocese of Alexandria is announcing a Special Collection next weekend, 7/25-7/26, to assist those affected by the recent Earthquake in Nepal.
CCD TEACHERS NEEDED! Wednesday, Sept. 2nd, the MBIC Parish Supper, CCD Classes, & Wed. Night Adult Catch. for 2015-2016 will begin. The MBIC is in need of 2 adult volunteers to teach the 7th, 8th, 9th, & 10th grade CCD classes. For more information and/or to register as a volunteer, contact Susan Chesal at the MBIC Rectory at (318) 352-3422.
MBIC OFFICE SUMMER HOURS There will be new MBIC Office Hours for the months of June & July. The new office hours are Monday-Friday: 8am-12pm.
- Sat-Sun, 7/18-7/19, Enrollment of the Brown Scapular, after all weekend Masses @ MBIC
- Sat, 7/18, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 7/21, CDA Meeting, 6p
- Fri, 7/24, MBIC Parish Office CLOSED
- Sat, 7/25, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 7/28, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p @ Parish Hall
- Wed, 7/29, Indulgenced Feast Day: The Establishment of the Diocese of Natchitoches, Indulgenced Masses @ 6:30a & 6p
- Sat, 8/1, First Saturday - Vocations Club @ 8:45a
- Tue, 8/4, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Wed, 8/5, Indulgenced Feast Day: The Dedication of St. Mary Major, Indulgenced Masses @ 6:30a & 6p
- Fri, 8/7, First Friday - Benediction of the MBS @ 5:15p
- Fri, 8/7, First Friday - Talk by Fr. Ryan @ 5:30p
- Sat, 8/8, Day of Enrichment for Deacons in Honor of St. Lawrence
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 7/18 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Mickey Hennigan, Nita Maggio, (EMHC-CI) • None, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/19 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/19 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CI) • M. Leone, S. & V. Maggio, (Altar Boys)
Sat 7/25 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • J. Friedel, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/26 9a Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • James Barrios, (EMHC-CI) • M. McCart, JH & G. Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/26 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • A. & J. Parker, W. Lee, (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: Mike Bouchie, Robert Walker, & Ken Prudhomme, Sr.
- Sat 5:30p: Donald Gongre & Dr. Joe Bienvenu
- Sun 9a: Martha LaCaze, Cyril G. Mouch, Sr., Marjorie Maddie, & John Bacon
- Sun 11a: James Davis and Leo & Janis Abraham
- Sun 5p: Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a: Marva Cunningham
- Tue 6:30a: Red & Sadie Thomas
- Wed 6:30a: Mary Jean Thomas
- Thu 6:30a: Leo Abraham
- Fri 6:30a: Donald Gongre
- Sat 8a: Luther & Rae Laborde
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity. And that, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Mrs. Leola Walmsley
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, Flay Rose Balthazar, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Johnny Batten, Cletus Bauer, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Darlene Bynog, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Peggy Cooper, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Elizabeth Governale, Ross Gwinn, Tammy Hall, Andy Harrington, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Frederick Hickman, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Barbara Manshack, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Gary Murphy, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer