God's Living Light
One e-mail sent to me this month was from "sunny Puerto
Rico." It came from a kind woman who picked up on my seeing
the Internet as a "positive force for good" and as
an expression of God's loving presence around the world.
"I, too, see the Internet as an extension of the Church,"
she affirmed. "We can communicate with our brothers and
sisters around the world in a matter of minutes."
The Internet can be an instrument for good or evil--for the
"glory of God" or "the work of Satan," she
added. Others commented on the potential of the Internet "to
be God's 'body.'" But they also warned that we should be
aware of the moral dangers. In this regard, pornography was
mentioned or hinted at more than once in the e-mails sent to
I think I can accurately express the sentiments of many of
you by saying, "The God of light is everywhere, but anyone
can chose to reject the Light."
As part of my getting up routine most mornings, I try to cheer
myself with the following exercise. I open my venetian blinds
and "drink in" with my eyes the light of the morning
sky, perhaps even the radiant sun. I let it invade my soul.
I ask God to take away any darkness or gloom from my heart that
I may try my best to serve God cheerfully and with an ever-lighter
Light is such a wonderful symbol of God. It helps us see God
not so much as a gloomy moralist, but primarily as our wonderful
source of light and beauty and overflowing goodness--which is
much closer to the truth and avoids being an insult to our All-Good
Creator, who said "Let there be light!"
St. Francis had a fascination with God's light. You'll find
my reflection on Francis and light at the end of this e-mail,
so read on.
"Every Day Catholic" is a NEW interactive publication
from St. Anthony Messenger Press. Each month, readers are invited
to further explore topics and themes online by:
* Casting their vote online to that month's poll question
* Offering their insights into and answers to questions from
Father Richard Rohr's Scripture article
* Responding to Judith Dunlap's Family Corner, which includes
activities for family members.
Check it out by casting your vote online to this month's poll
question: What story from Scripture has helped you deal with
rejection in your life? http://www.EveryDayCatholic.org/
BLACK CATHOLICS: LEADERS TODAY AND YESTERDAY:
February's St. Anthony Messenger Online features "'Opening
the Doors': Black Catholics in the U.S." Members of the
Black Catholic community offer a much-needed gift to the Church.
This article offers a history of their role in the Church and
current work to raise new leaders.
By Mandy Erickson http://www.AmericanCatholic.org/Messenger/Feb2001/Feature1.asp
PARISH WEB SITE PARADOX?:
Locate parishes that are finding clever ways to build community
Also, John Bookser Feister thanks those of you who sent suggestions
of great Catholic Web sites for consideration in his Web Catholic
column. Send your new ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MINISTERING IN A MEDIA AGE:
Consider reading a fascinating new book that looks at the use
of the media in Christian ministry. In Screen
Saved: Peril and Promise of Media in Ministry,
Dan Andriacco defines the dangers of media and provides the
tools to make it a powerful ally. Learn how TV, advertising,
print and the Internet create and define our culture by embarking
on a media "fast." Understand which media can be effective
in ministry and which should be left out--and why. Transform
your ministry by becoming a medium through which Christ reaches
SEND A VALENTINE FOR CHASTITY:
CatholicGreetings.org has a NEW e-Greeting this month for the
National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry portion of "Seize
the Net," a Valentine's Day chastity promotion for teens.
Encourage any teen you know to send this NEW "True Love
Waits" pledge e-Greeting to encourage chastity among teens.
CatholicGreetings.org is also offering several NEW Valentine's
Day cards featuring the beautiful nature photography of Don
QUESTIONS FOR LENT:
In February, Father Pat's "Ask a Franciscan" answers
various questions about the Stations of the Cross, meatless
Fridays and confessing to a priest instead of Jesus. Find out
more at http://www.AmericanCatholic.org/Messenger/Feb2001/Wiseman.asp.
As always, please continue to submit your questions about the Catholic faith to "Ask a Franciscan."
MORE LENTEN RESOURCES:
Anthony Help Me Find... more resources for your Lenten journey!
Ash Wednesday is February 28 so consider perusing this "Lent"
search at AmericanCatholic.org.
FRIAR JACK'S CHOSEN SITE:
Learn about the horrors of Christian persecution and even slavery
in Sudan from the exiled Catholic bishop's Web site: http://www.petersvoice.org/gassis/.
Read a timely editorial about what Catholics can do at: http://www.AmericanCatholic.org/Messenger/Feb2001/Editorial.asp
CONCLUSION TO FRIAR JACK'S MUSINGS:
St. Francis had a fascination with God's light. In his "Canticle
of Brother Sun," in which he praises God through all creatures,
Francis praises God, first of all, through the "beauty"
and "radiant splendor" of Brother Sun--which is a
marvelous image of God according to Francis. My advice is: Do
yourself a favor and open yourself to the light of God by soaking
up the light of Brother Sun. Do this in the gentle spirit of
the following poem received from a kind e-mail-writer in response
to my reflections on "God as light" in last month's
E-spirations. It is reprinted with the author's permission:
Open Like a Flower
Open like a flower, Receive the morning sun; Let the light
shine through Til the day is done. -- Helen M. Nowak
"It is truly wonderful," Helen adds, "to let
our Lord's light shine through us!"
Join me in saying: Amen! --Friar Jack
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions via e-mail:
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