From The Font
"The seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it.”
Very early on in the Christian era, within twenty years of Jesus’ death and resurrection, a group of heretics arose with a special, secret teaching. They promised that those who heard this teaching would be especially blessed by God and enter into Heaven. It was, they claimed, a special Christian message that only a few privileged people knew… And hey, you read today’s Gospel about how Jesus kept certain explanations from the ordinary people and only gave it to the apostles… Maybe that secret teaching is worth it! We call this group the Gnostics after the Greek word for knowledge (Gnosis).
But… Just as much as today’s Gospel is about the fact that Jesus held back some explanation of his teachings, it is about the fact that seed needs good soil to grow. In fact, the real heart of this parable is that Jesus is going to throw seed at each and every one of us nonstop. At this moment, we are being bombarded with seed from the Lord. And where we are good soil - we are being drawn nearer to God and to His will and to His command. Where we are bad soil, though, that seed is bouncing off of us and we find ourselves facing away from the Lord. Some parts of us are the path where the seed has no impact on us at all. Other parts of us are filled with thorns which strangle out the gifts and commands of the Lord in us.
Each of us is a mixture of soils… And each of us is, at the same time, longing for God and actively fighting against Him. There’s no secret teaching or book or sermon or anything else that can make the poor soil in us good. It takes old fashioned hard work. The only shortcut we have is the Holy Spirit at work in us through the good soil within us, through the Sacraments - especially Confession and Holy Communion- and through our trials and sufferings.
Good soil is actually a remarkably good metaphor for our receptivity to God. Good soil is good because of a mixture of God’s attention and human tending. It contains enough “fertilizer” and enough nutrients. It’s free from debris and bad influences. Whatever good soil is, it’s not a secret magic trick. God has told us exactly what we need to know to get ourselves ready to be used by him - now it’s up to us.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
During my trip to Wyoming, I took the time to read and reread poetry. Our modern world has so little time for poetry as we have lost ourselves in meaningless entertainment and 24 hour news. God-awful tripe like CNN and Tucker Carlson have replaced the rapier wit which could be heard only a generation ago.
There was a wonderful moment in which Sir Winston Churchill was arguing with another politician in parlement. The politician said something like “if I should have to spend much time with you at Mr. Churchill, I should certainly poison that tongue.” Churchill, without missing a beat, replied “if I should have to spend much time with you, sir, I should surely drink your poison!” Biting! Tough! But so much more human than attack journalism and maliciously trimmed film clips.
Poetry matters! It is considered. It takes time - to read and to write. It deepens our thought and it allows us to see another side of an issue or a concern. Poetry is worth it.
In this vein, I want to share one of my favorite little lyric poems of the 20th century, written by English poet JRR Tolkien. Tolkien is undoubtedly best known for his Lord of the Rings novels. But those novels are chock-full of poems of all sorts in no less than six languages! The man is a master poet of the highest order. This little unnamed poem is found in one of his larger works. It fits in a story about a king who is trying to reestablish himself as the rightful ruler or his kingdom. But it’s also about the Church and the Kingship of Christ and hope, itself:
All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.
How very simple and earthy! Pieces of this poem appear is all sorts of unexpected places. I reread it after seeing the second line appear in an old movie review for the Shawshank Redemption. The whole poem though - simple though it is - always gets my heart stirring… When hope seems lost, I realize that the fire is only sleeping and the light is only hiding. Blades (which are medieval symbols of divine mandate) can be made anew and the crown can be placed again.
Poetry weaves such a rich tapestry and there’s so much amazing poetry out there in English. There’s Shakespeare to be sure. But there’s also Milton and Donne. Wordsworth and Keates. There’s Dryden. There’s Chesterton and CS Lewis and Tolkien and Hopkins. And, almost all of it is free for the taking online. It’s easier than every to discover and to rediscover the beauty of poetry.
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.
CHANGE MASS SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER… Please mark your personal calendars now for August and September when Father Ryan will be helping out at Waterproof and St. Joseph while Father Peter is on vacation. Our Masses for those months will be Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
PASTORAL COUNCIL..will hold its regular meeting on TUESDAY, JULY 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. Parishioners are encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussions.
Members of the Council include 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.
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- June Budget $7,460
- June Income (Reg $7502; Bldg $541) $8,043
- June Actual Expenses $6,764
- July Budget $9,325
- Collection July 8/9 $2,449
- July Income to Date $3,760
Stewardship Today’s readings are about being chosen and sent. The prophet Amos was chosen by the Lord and sent to use his talents for the people of God. The Gospel recounts the story of the sending of the twelve disciples; and in the second reading, St Paul reminds us that we, too, are chosen. For what have I been chosen? To who have I been sent?
Special Collection Next weekend, there will be a special collection for Manna House in Alexandria. Manna House is an ecumenical community volunteer effort to feed the hungry in the area. Open 365 days a year, Manna House serves the hungry every single day of the year, "no questions asked." Please be generous and support this local ministry
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Colin Williams/BA Thompson
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Curley Mills/family
- Wed 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
- Thu 5:30p In memory of ConwayYarbrough/Murphy
- Fri 5:30p In memory of E. A. “Jim” Jumonville/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Norman Ernst/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Flowers this week are provided in memory of Jack Ellerbee
Altar Candles this week are provided by Betty Smith
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 7/15 5:30p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: L Bullard & A Keene
- 7/16 9:30a
- Servers: EL Marsh & C Marsh
- Lector: Bl Sullivan
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 7/22 5:30p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: A Keene & L Magoun
- 7/23 9:30a
- Servers: C Donham & M Wood
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: B Smith & Kendra Collins
- 7/29 5:30p
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: L Bullard & C VanderVieren
- 7/30 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & C Wood
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Sue Rome (July 16), Caroline Marsh (July 19), Kendra Collins (July 21), Preston Collins (July 22), Sue Scurria (July 22)
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, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), 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.