From The Font
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.”
For most of the past fifty years, a good, weekly Massgoing Catholic may have heard their priest say something like: “Jesus wants us to be happy. He wants us to love our families, love God and see the good in the world around us.” In the more recent past - maybe the past twenty years - televangelists and “prosperity gospel” preachers - have taken that a step further to “Jesus wants us to be happy in this world, period.” Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to hear a Christian preacher say something like “Jesus ONLY wants us to be happy and if there is ANY suffering or negativity in our life, we have to stamp it out.”
This gospel of naive optimism and self-centered living is just not to be found in the Bible. Surely Jesus wants us to be happy in the life, but not to the exclusion of taking up our cross and following Him. Surely, Jesus wants us to love our families, but not to the point of idolatry. There’s been a slow, insidious turn from love God THEN love others to love others and THEN love God. But love comes from God and so if we try to love anything - even our families - before we love God, then we’re not loving - not really.
No matter how much we might think that what we’re doing is loving, we can only love others by letting our love for God overflow onto them. We have to love God first and let him multiply that love into something life-giving for them. If we try to love others on our own power, we’re simply giving them a substandard imitation of love…
In the Garden, the devil tricked Eve by telling her that she could have God’s abundance on her own terms. We’re being fooled by the same trick today… We think that we know how to love those around us better than God… But that kind of love becomes a cheap imitation like helicopter parenting. It turns into living out our past fantasies through our kids. We force our kids into sports or advanced classes “for their own good.” We refuse to moderate or discipline our kids because we recall how much fun we had back then.
True love and true happiness aren’t found loving God second - they’re only found when we love God first - even before our families.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
Few words are more misunderstood today in the Church than the word “Mercy.” All too often, people tend to speak and think of mercy as a type of tolerance, rather than a type of pardon.
Let’s think of three courtroom scenarios:
Scenario 1: Sarah is accused of something she didn’t do. She proves she didn’t do it and so she is set free because she is innocent. The judge isn’t showing any mercy here. Sarah isn’t punished because Sarah doesn’t deserve punishment.
Scenario 2: Mike is accused of something he did and he’s found guilty. Throughout his trial Mike has been tearful and has begged the people he hurt for forgiveness. When he was questioned on the witness stand, he admitted his crime and seemed genuinely sorry. The judge would usually give someone who did what Mike did six months in jail, but because of Mike’s behavior, the judge gives Mike one month instead. Here, we have mercy! The judge has the authority, the power and the justification to punish Mike, but the judge shows mercy because Mike is repentant.
Scenario 3: Sandy is accused of something he did in a very public and high profile way. Everyone knows he’s guilty. The judge accepts the case and when Sandy’s lawyer asks the judge to dismiss all charges because the system is unfair and the laws aren’t just, the judge agrees and dismisses all charges. Sandy is free to go. In this case, though, there is no mercy. Sandy is not repentant and the judge isn’t forgiving him. But even though Sandy is free to go, he hasn’t been shown mercy. What Sandy got was injustice that happened to benefit him. He got lucky, not mercy.
Today, many people want to divorce mercy from the sin and evil that make it necessary. They want use mercy as a way to bypass justice and claim that it’s wrong to judge people who act wrongly. They speak of mercy as just another word for tolerance, niceness and - ultimately - disbelief in the authority of Jesus to tell us that which is good for us and that which is bad. What those people tend to forget is that while we seem to have authority on this tiny rock spinning around that tiny sun, Jesus is Lord of the universe! He isn’t likely to be persuaded that we are right and that his teaching is out of date. It’s because “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever,” that we have to keep our wits about us in a world that simply doesn’t believe that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” Mercy is what Jesus offers to those who repent of their sins and ask forgiveness.
Without repentance and without asking - there cannot be mercy. It’s not merciful to leave someone rotting in sin. It’s an act of cowardice. That doesn’t mean that we have to rush in fingers wagging and call them a sinner! There’s more than one way to assist someone who’s struggling! Ultimately, though, love demands that we think about mercy rightly. Love of God and love of neighbor demand that we desire that sinners be saved and not destroyed. And salvation begins, Jesus tells us, with the command to “Repent, and turn away from sin.
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Wed, Fri & Sat from 5p until Mass at 5:30p and on Sun from 9a until 9:30a 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
For Your Information:
CONTACT INFORMATION...Seminarian Jacob Cass is spending June and July with us before returning to St Joseph Seminary in Covington in August. To reach him, you may call 318-264-3227.
FIRST FRIDAY…JUNE 2…Holy Hour and Mass....5:30 p.m. ...make a special devotion to the Sacred Heart and attend first Friday devotions for nine consecutive months
ALTAR SOCIETY… will meet on TUESDAY, JULY 11, AFTER 5:30 p.m. Mass in the Church Center. All the ladies of the church are asked to make special effort to attend this meeting as a support to the spiritual life of our church as well as support to the physical needs in the Sanctuary of the church! Please be in prayer for the success of this group as there are many spiritual needs for which this group can lend support.
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- May Budget $7,460
- May Income (Reg $5,807; Bldg $376) $6,183
- May Actual Expenses $6,332
- June Budget $7,460
- Collection June 24/25 $1,972
- June Income to Date $5,478
Stewardship “Both the first reading and the Gospel today speak of hospitality and welcome. Our ministers of hospitality are a most visible example of using one’s time and talents to welcome the people of God. But the Gospel assures us that all who give even just “a cup of cold water” to one of His lowliest ones will be rewarded.
Special Collection This weekend’s second collection is our once-a-month Building Fund collection
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.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Michael Mills (death anni 2nd)/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of C.L. Keene/family
- Wed 9:00a In memory of May DiTomasso Olive Branch
- Thu 5:30p In memory of Conway Yarbrough/Murphy
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Paul VanderVieren (birth anni)/
- Sat 5:30p In memory o Bruce Dorbeck/Andrews
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Margo Corulla
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Josephine Hodge (July 7)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; our Bishop David and Bishop-Emeritus Ronald. Our President, our Governor, our Mayor and our national, state and local elected representatives.
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Billy Hodge, Juanita Storey, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Dale Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue Rome, Sue Scurria and Delia Trichell.
Our parishioners who are under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo. Also, Jim Farrell and James Speyerer of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, and 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, Ruthie Boudreaux (Storey), Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Allison Crotwell (A Ginn), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Kyle and Marti Dukes Dill, Carol Dipert (Rome), Reba Duncan, Renee Edwards and parents (VanderVieren), George Eisworth family (Dyer), Pat Fairchild, Joe Farlow, Matt Farlow, Betina Finlayson, Madge and Don Finney (Dyer), Tracy Jones Fortenberry (Donham), Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Alan Henley (Copes), Rudy Hernandez (Hodge), Monroe Hill (K Dukes), Bo Holloway, Lou Horath (Hernandez), Kenlie Jackson (Dyer), Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jim Johnson(Dyer), Ben Legendre (Gilfoil), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Will and Michelle (MS) McGuire (Gilfoil), Paul Meeks, Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Julia Moberly, Marie Phillips Michelle (Hodge), Lindsay Mills, Debbie Mullin (Dyer), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Andy Sevier, Chon Shiers and Deborah Shiers Stewart (Hall), Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), David Thompson (Wilks), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Rusty White (Bullard), Jeremy Wilkins and family(Afghanistan), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegeates: Ethan Beene, Courtney Ernst, Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Matt Hall, Nick Hall, Chris Hall, Kathleen Oliver, Maddie Oliver, Blake Sullivan, Lori Sullivan, Brice Wood
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and our local Detention Centers and for their families and loved ones.
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.