From The Font
"Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?”
Who does God allow bad things to happen? It’s a question that is asked by believers and unbelievers alike. And the question really does come in two distinct parts. First, why doesn’t God intervene in so-called “natural disasters” like weather, earthquakes and certain kinds of disease. Second, why doesn’t God stop bad people from doing bad things.
The first part is Biblical, but unsatisfying. Put as simply as possible, original sin damaged this world beyond repair. Ever since the moment of the first sin, all things have tended toward entropy and passing away. Modern science types don’t like this definition because it sounds too much like superstition, but it’s simply the real truth that this world is passing away and that deterioration has consequences. Undoubtedly, this reality offers at least a partial explanation as to why Jesus chose to redeem the world through suffering and death rather than by crinkling his nose like Samantha the witch.
The second part of the question is a little more simple and a little less easy to take. Simply put, you can’t be made in the image and likeness of God without freedom. Love isn’t love if it isn’t freely chosen. Think about any fairy tale involving a love potion… Love just isn’t love without the freedom to walk away. If God has made us in His likeness with His freedom to love, then that same freedom can be twisted to excess self-love which causes us to neglect our duty to love God and neighbor. Could God whoosh in and save the day like Superman? Surely! And sometimes He does. There are a lot of miracles in this little world of ours. But, if God started messing with people’s freedom to do evil, He would be depriving them of the freedom to do good and that would deprive them of their nature as having been made in the image and likeness of God, Himself.
So, God, who sees all things and knew what He was getting into, chose and continues to choose to help us to endure both “natural” evils and human evils and to find in these crosses a means to salvation. And, honestly, how else could God write straight with the crooked lines that Adam and Eve screwed up for all of us?
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
One of my favorite “tensions” (things that seem like contradictions, but actually aren’t) within our faith is the reality that our faith is both very simple and, at the same time, very complex. A deep understanding of what God has revealed about Himself and what that revelation means in terms of our humanity takes a lifetime to comprehend! In a real way, all of theology, philosophy, science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, literature and every other academic pursuit boils down to the search for self-understanding in the light of a universe which is what it is.
The greatest minds in history spent their entire lives searching for a deeper and deeper understanding of themselves, the world as they experience it and God. And their entirely lives weren’t even remotely long enough for that search! Think about that! The world is complex enough for minds like Plato, Virgil, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis de Sales, Sir Francis Bacon and others to consider for a lifetime without getting to the bottom.
At the same time, this life is simple. God asks us to know Him, love Him and serve Him in order that we might be happy forever with Him in Heaven. And, how do we do that? We go to His Church - the Catholic Church. (Christ only founded the one, visible, apostolic Church, after all.) We obey the moral law - which is quite straightforward and clear. We repent of our sins and humble ourselves before God. We pray, fast and do works of mercy. We love God as an internal choice and as an external choice.
That really is the whole story. And that’s where the tension lies. The faith is simple enough for the simplest child to follow and complex enough for the greatest mind to delve. The moral law can be considered and reconsidered from a hundred perspectives in a thousand specific scenarios, but it can be communicated with a “thou shalt” or a “thou shalt not.” Personal prayer can be memorized or spontaneous. It can be intellectual or not. Fasting can be severe or mild. Charity can begin at home or it can take us to the missions of Africa. Folks can attend Mass with deep understanding or they can sit in awe and wonder that Jesus is truly present on the altar.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a “right” and a “wrong” way to attend Mass and to pray, fast and do works of mercy. There are several right ways and there are plenty of wrong ways. We don’t necessarily have to be intellectually engaged at Mass, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to chitchat at Mass. It’s not. In fact, it’s venially sinful. We can’t just put on a CD of Christian music in the background and call that praying. But, music of all sorts can lead us into prayer. Offering a Rosary during a boring sermon can be a good thing. Just because the faith can be lived simply doesn’t mean that God hasn’t given you a special gifts and talents and a call to action to go with them.
The tension will always be a tension, but it’s a tension worth thinking on and considering deeply.
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:
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.
SEMINARIAN BARBEQUE….Sunday, July 23,at St Mary Catholic Church, Winnsboro. Bishop Talley will offer Mass at 4 p.m. followed by barbeque. See the brochure on the table at the entrance of church.
THANKS FOR THE GENEROSITY OF THE FAITH FAMILY OF ST. EDWARD...As a result of your giving, we were able to present Father Derek Ducote with two sets of vestments on the weekend when he visited following his Ordination to the priesthood. Additionally, a burse for seminarian education in the amount of $350 was established in Father Derek’s name in the Diocese of Alexandria..
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 15/16 $2,188
- July Income to Date $5,948
Stewardship Good stewards in a parish are like the yeast in today’s Gospel. Their selfless gifts of time and talent help the parish grow and thrive, and their example inspires others to become good stewards, too.
Special Collection This weekend, there will be a special collection for a special ministry located in Alexandria -- Manna House. Manna House is an ecumenical community volunteer effort to feed the hungry in the area. Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Manna House serves the hungry every single day of the year, and "no questions asked." Please be generous and support this local ministry.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Norman Ernst/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p No Mass due to Clergy Event in Alexandria
- Wed 9:00a In memory of Willie Guzman (death anniversary on 25th/Florence Olive Branch
- Thu 5:30p In memory of John and Marie Johnson/family
- Fri 5:30p In memory of SeSe and Racer Holstead (anniversary)/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Roemary Rousell/Florence and for healing for Gary Thompson/Bullard
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Betty Smith
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 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 & K 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
- 8/5 5:30p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: A Farlow & L Magoun
- 8/6 9:30a
- Servers: C Sullivan & H Ellerbee
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: A Keene & B Smith
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Preston Collins (July 22), Sue Scurria (July 22), Nap Book (July 26), Edmond Copes (July 30)
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), 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 collegiates: 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.