From The Font
“As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight.”
The modern world has managed to create in the minds of most people a division between body and spirit. That has led to a branch of Christian thinking which holds that the spirit and the spiritual has little or no effect on the body and that the body has little or no effect on the spirit. Common sense and basic science tells us the opposite. “Spiritual” realities like love or fear have powerful physical effects.
Judaism and Catholicism have long experience with the close connection between the physical and the spiritual. Large gestures like fasting or physical mortification can have profound effect on the soul. So, too, can small gestures like the way we dress for Mass, the posture in which we pray and the simple act of closing our eyes.
While the physical position of Moses’ hands may not be pleasing or offensive to God in our first reading today, the symbolic effect upon us as readers of this story thousands of years later is signficant. The gesture and posture of our prayer means something.
Whether it’s the official postures that we are asked to assume during Mass (standing, sitting, etc) or the postures and gestures we choose for ourselves (eyes open or closed, hands folded, etc), these gestures are ways of making physical the inner spiritual realities that we experience. Just like a child may bring flowers to a beloved parent, so with our gestures and our posture, we express what’s going on inside. Kneeling, a bowed head or downcast eyes express our humility and submsision to the Lord. Silence and closed eyes express our focus. The choice to receive Holy Communion on the tounge or in the hand speaks of what we believe about the Lord.
As with the story of Moses, whether or not the physical gesture is pleasing or displeasing to the Lord on its own, no physical act can be divorced from it’s spiritual reality. As such, our gestures matter. They are truly both physical and spiritual and so they have real effect.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
Only living things heal. Broken rocks don’t heal. Flat tires don’t heal. Dead plants don’t heal. Only living things experience the utterly unique and miraculous reality that we call healing. When I think of the great needs of the world today, my mind goes quickly from abstract philosophical realities to the simple need for healing. We need physical healing to be sure. Our nation needs to reconsider what we eat and how we pollute our world and the risks that we take and the trust that we place in our technology. But far more than the physical, we - as a human race under God - need spiritual healing. Intellectually, we are spinning ourselves into circles trying to make contrary and contradictory ideas fit together in the name of tolerance, political correctness and what passes for science. Emotionally, we are being strangled by entertainment, information overload, dehumanizing sexuality and the pseudo-religion of liberal big government. Religiously, we are overwhelmed by discord in our Catholic Hierarchy, by a mishmash of people calling themselves Christian teachers and prophets, by a powerful neo-paganism masquerading as scientific humanism and self-empowerment and by a modern resurgence of simple Satanism in a hundred different disguises.
The greatest block to the healing that God wants to offer us - physically and spiritually - is denial. As with so many things, one who doesn’t want to get better simply can’t get better. Losing weight can be as simple as identifying what not to eat and then avoiding it. Emotional healing can be as simple as turning off the TV. The Church knows from experience that religious healing happens so, so fast when we want it. Holy Mass, Confession, the Rosary, spiritual reading and the simple Catholic spiritual life of prayer, fasting and works of mercy can transform basically anyone in a matter of weeks and months!
The Good News is that the Lord created us - physically and spiritually - as beings which experience His healing powerfully! Generally, if we do what the doctor tells us to do, we will get better physically. If we do what Jesus tells us to do, we will get better spiritually. If, on the other hand, we insist on doing it our own way… If we take our medicine only sporadically or insist that we know what we really need, physically or spiritually, we become our own worst enemy.
The simple spirit of rebellion, which got Adam and Eve into trouble and which got Judas into trouble and which got every other person who has ever drawn breath in the history of the world into trouble is our worst enemy. Like St. Paul says, “What can separate us from the Love of God?” The answer, of course, is nothing but ourselves.
God’s healing is here for the taking! Thanks be to God for it. As I return from my pilgrimage, I am just so blown away by the freeness with which God offers us every good gift. God’s goodness and generosity are just so overwhelming and so free. The beauty of Lourdes was simply that Jesus sent His mother to offer healing through the ordinary and every-day medium of water. How wondrous is that? God made us - in every cell in our body - to experience His love and His healing.
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Wed & Fri from 5p until Mass at 5:30p, 30m before weekend Masses
- Youth Mass on the third Sunday of the Month, Coffee & Donuts in the center after Mass
- Pastoral Council meeting monthly on the third Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
- Altar Society meeting every other month on the second Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
- October 16 Youth Mass – Coffee, juice, and doughnuts in Parish Hall following Mass. All are invited to participate
- October 18 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- October Finance Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m.
- Nov 19 Thanksgiving Bake Sale - Parish Hall - 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Nov 20 Community Thanksgiving Service - First United Methodist Church -- 6 p.m.
For Your Information:
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR OUR CHILDREN classes will meet on SUNDAY following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
PASTORAL COUNCIL will hold its regular meeting on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, at 6:00 p.m. (after 5:30 p.m. Mass) in the Church Center. All members are requested to make special effort to attend. Members of the Council: Libby Bullard, Kendra Collins, Dana Dukes, Michael Lancaster, Stephenie Marsh, Terry Murphy, Betty Smith, and Blanche Wilks. Appointed as Trustees by the Bishop are Brian Johnson and Dale Magoun. Appointed by the pastor to serve as Finance Council Chair is Darryl Ellerbee. Additionally, serving on the Council in an ex-officio capacity as President of the Altar Society will be Cathy VanderVieren. Parishioners are encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussions.
YOUTH MASS is being observed today and coffee, juice, and do-nuts will be served in the Church Center immediately following the 9:30 a.m. Mass. Please join us!
THANKSGIVING BAKE SALE On SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, our Faith Family will have a Bake Sale to benefit our recent repairs to the church. This will be a parish-wide function and we ask that everyone plan to contribute and assist. The event will be held in the Parish Hall from 10 a.m. to 12 noon very similar to our Easter event. Please mark your calendar and begin planning how you can help!
CHRISTMAS FUNDRAISER “Christmas Party on the Bayou” has been selected as the theme for our upcoming Fundraiser to support our recent church renovations. Beth Sullivan and Libby Bullard will be chairing this event and will appreciate your assistance in making this successful. A galvanized container on a metal stand which doubles as a wine rack will be the bases of the party items. If you have or know of any Louisiana/Bayou/Christmas items that could be added to the party container, please give one of the organizers a phone call. Libby will soon be distributing raffle tickets and your help is needed in selling these raffle tickets.
The Voice of the Basket
Please reference the printed bulletin for info this week
Stewardship Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time… Today’s theme is perseverence--Moses keeping his hands upraised throughout the battle, Paul urgingTimothy to stay with the task of preaching and teaching, and the widow appealing to the corrupt judge. To be faithful stewards of god’s gifts, we too mustpersevere in the roles to which we are called.
STEWARDSHIP OF TIME AND TALENT Would you like to serve our faith family as a Lector or as a Eucharistic Minister?? If so, please contact Libby Bullard (574-1736) for training. Parents…if you would like your child to be an Altar Server, please contact Cathy VanderVieren (341-2138) to arrange for training. Also, if any adults are willing to be trained as Altar Servers, Cathy would be willing to do that training as well.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of John C. B. “Skeezix” Jumonville (death)/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Elvina Roussel (death)/Florence
- Wed 5:30p In memory of May DiTommaso
- Thu 9:00a In memory of Paul VanderVieren/family (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Curley Mills (death 1976)/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of WillieGuzman (death)/Florence
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday William Marsh (Oct 16), Kathleen Oliver (Oct 17), Terry Murphy (Oct 18), Billy Hodge (Oct 21)
In Our Daily Prayers…
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, and the leaders of our church, including Bishop Ronald Herzog Bishop David P. Talley; our President, and the leaders of our nation as they and other world leaders seek peace in the world; our Governor and our legislators; success of our religious education program, safe travel for all those on the highways; good weather for our farmers; our friends and family in the Philippines;
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or in other need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Angela Vilardo Lusk, Dale Magoun, Stephenie and Lance Marsh, Kathleen Mills, Sue Rome, Sue Scurria, Delia Trichell,
Our parishioners who are in the nursing home: Billy Hodge, Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, AND Jim Farrell, and James Speyerer of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh, Lake Providence, and our family members and friends, Jean Cantrell, Geneva Russell
Our friends and relatives who need our prayers: Lee Adams (Smith), Ashley Weimer Alexander (Regan), Jenna Faye Allen (Florence), Margaret Baker (Magoun), Marie Farlow Bellard, Tommy Bishop, Ruthie Boudreaux (Storey), Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Sarah Cannon (Gilfoil), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Savannah Payne and her parents, Tim and Stephanie, Allison Crotwell (A Ginn), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Reba Duncan, Renee Edwards and parents (VanderVieren), George Eisworth family (Dyer), Joe Farlow, Rosemarie Finn (Hodge), Madge and Don Finney (Dyer), Tracy Jones Fortenberry (Donham), Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Jerry Ann Harmon (Hodge), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Alan Henley (Copes), Monroe Hill (K Dukes), Bo Holloway, Lou Horath (Hernandez), Kenlie Jackson (Dyer), Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jim Johnson(Dyer), Patsy Lancaster, Ben Legendre (Gilfoil), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Ann Maxwell (Gilfoil), Will and Michelle (MS) McGuire (Gilfoil), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Marie Phillips Michelle (Hodge), Lindsay Mills, Ashley Priest Moberly, Loyd Moore (Donham), Debbie Mullin (Dyer), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Savannah Payne and her family, Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Yvonne Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Betty Sanders (Gilfoil), Andy Sevier, Michael Stamper (Wilks), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Elizabeth, Randy and Camille Watts and Betty Kurfiss, Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our college students Will Donham, Courtney Ernst, Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Emily Ginn, Matt Hall, Josh Hall, Eric Nguyen, Roland Nguyen, Kathleen Oliver, Lori Sullivan
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and Madison Detention Center and the families of all of these.
PLEASE LET US KNOW OF ANYONE WHO IS ILL OR HOSPITALIZED OR WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A VISIT.
PLEASE HELP US TO UP-DATE OUR PRAYER LIST BY ADVISING US OF ANYONE WHO SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE PRAYER LIST.