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A Good Friday Reflection: I Thirst
Written by OLSOS Parish   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:08
From catholiconline.org:

The Word our Savior spoke just prior to his Last Word was, "I thirst." St. John tells us our Lord, "aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst" (Jn 19:28). John's gospel is filled with deep and wondrous symbolism. So too is our Lord's "thirst."

As we stand before the Cross this Good Friday, if we come there in purity of heart as our Blessed Mother clearly beckons us to do with her soft, prayerful hands, we will enter into a mystery of love beyond the world. See the Cross. See the innocent and kind Son of God hanging there, bloodied and battered, fastened to the tree of life with rusted, cruel spikes.

As we stand before the Cross this Good Friday, if we come there in purity of heart as our Blessed Mother clearly beckons us to do with her soft, prayerful hands, we will enter into a mystery of love beyond the world. See the Cross. See the innocent and kind Son of God hanging there, bloodied and battered, fastened to the tree of life with rusted, cruel spikes.


DENVER, CO (Catholic Online) - During these three most holy days—the Triduum—Catholics and other Christians are called to enter into a sublime place of great depth and magnitude, a realm beyond time and space in which our hope strives to join with Love for the satisfaction of our thirst. We journey to this sacred place without sight but not without vision, where we too, as with St. John, desire to lay our head on our Savior's breast and drink deeply from the inexhaustible well of his Sacred Heart. On Holy Thursday, we entered into the Upper Room and, along with the disciples at the Last Supper, received the incomprehensibly wondrous gift of the Eucharist—our Lord's true body, blood, soul and divinity. On this Good Friday, we go and stand along with the Mother of our Catholic Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the base of the Cross. And on Holy Saturday we wait in silence for that moment when the stone is rolled back from the tomb, that moment when our hearts are warmed in the fires of the Lord's resurrection, when we, along with the saints in heaven, cry out to ourselves and our brethren the world over: "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you" (Isaiah 60:1). As we stand before the Cross this Good Friday, if we come there in purity of heart as our Blessed Mother clearly beckons us to do with her soft, prayerful hands, we will enter into a mystery of love beyond the world. See the Cross. See the innocent and kind Son of God hanging there, bloodied and battered, fastened to the tree of life with rusted, cruel spikes. Our sacred and loving Lord willingly chose that brutal place of death, that stumbling block, that tree whose wood would in fact pierce the world with the divine sword of Love in order that we might be saved from ourselves. Through his Passion and Death on the Cross, enduring undeserved pain and agony, our God rescued us. He saved us from death—a death we fail to understand—without our asking, without our deserving it, without even our knowledge of it.

The Last Word our Lord uttered from that terrible yet wondrous Cross was: "It is finished" (Jn 19:30). This Last Word embodies Christ's entire mission of salvation: his sweet birth from the Virgin's womb as God Incarnate; his quiet, ascetic life within the most Holy Family at Nazareth; his countless and beautiful acts as Master and Teacher; and his selfless, radical love so blindingly evident in his Passion and Death. The Word our Savior spoke just prior to his Last Word was, "I thirst." St. John tells us our Lord, "aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst" (Jn 19:28). John's gospel is filled with deep and wondrous symbolism. So too is our Lord's "thirst." At hearing Christ was thirsty, "they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth." It is immediately after Jesus tastes of this wine that he says, "It is finished," and "bowing his head," he hands "over the spirit" (Jn 19:29-30). It was also a sprig of hyssop that Moses and the People Israel used to apply lambs' blood to the doorposts in order to save them from the destroyer. "You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will go by, striking down the Egyptians. Seeing the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and not let the destroyer come into your houses to strike you down" (Ex. 12:22-23). Christ thirsts on the Cross that his blood will be shed in order that the destroyer will pass over us. Our Lord thirsts for our salvation; Jesus thirsts to accomplish what the Father has willed, and also as he himself, the Son of the Living God, has willed to accomplish: the Final Covenant sealed in his own blood. From the Cross, in the final moments when Mercy, Love and Compassion Itself is on the threshold of completing the greatest act the universe will ever know, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity experiences his greatest thirst. And, at last, "It is finished" (Jn 19:30). Along with the disciples in the Upper Room, we too drink from the blood of the Final Covenant. The most pure, spotless Lamb, has given himself over to his Catholic Church, to the People of God, in an indescribable act of thirst and love. At every celebration of the Eucharist, our Lord's precious blood is mercifully poured out for us that we in our thirst, too, might one day on our deathbed joyfully exclaim: "It is finished." It is our Lord who has done all this for us. Come to the Cross. See, like the Samaritan Woman, that it is Christ who first asks for a drink that he may, then, offer us living water. It is Christ who thirsts that we thirst for him, the Paschal Lamb. It is in the Eucharist that we drink deeply from the well of Mercy which springs up into eternal life. The Eucharist is therefore the living water, it is the gift of God. Jesus says to each and every one of us: "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink', you would have asked and he would have given you living water." The Samaritan Woman at the well is astonished and wonders—as do many to this very day—where this "living water" is to be obtained, asking, "Where then, can you get this living water?" Jesus leads her further into the mystery of himself: "Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (Jn 4:10-14). Just a short while later—though many of his own disciples find his words preposterous—our Lord reveals the deeper truth about this "living water." The water which wells up into eternal life is his own flesh and blood: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him" (Jn 6:54-56). Let us not stand among those former disciples who quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (Jn 6:52). Let us, rather, come before the Cross this Good Friday and, along with our Blessed Mother, trust in what God has said he will do. Let us kneel at the Place of the Skull and thirst for He who first thirsted for us. Let us this Triduum, as the Samaritan Woman, say, "Sir, give me this water . . . ." (Jn 4:15).

The Venerable Pope John Paul II, in speaking to his general audience in April 2001, observed that the "sacred Triduum is the 'mystery of love without limit,' that is, the mystery of Jesus who 'having loved his own who were in the world . . . loved them to the end'" (Jn 13:1). It is Christ who thirstily loved us to the end—all of us. That is the message of Good Friday. It is Christ whose thirst to accomplish his Father's plan reached such immense proportions that he willingly endured the death of a common criminal on a Roman Cross. This type of thirst is radical indeed. It is most certainly beyond human. Stand below the Cross and see how God has thirsted for you; how he has selflessly and lovingly given himself in the Eucharist. Justice demands that you and I too thirst to give of ourselves to Christ, our Savior and our God.

"The Eucharist is an eloquent sign of this total, free and gratuitous love, and offers each person the joy of the presence of the One who enables us too to love 'to the end' in imitation of him. The love that Jesus proposes to his disciples is demanding"
—Pope John Paul II


The Cross challenges us, it troubles our consciences, it reveals in the light of reality our failings and sin. It demands change and repentance; it demands a new life of unity with Christ and his people. It demands love. Yet the Cross, too, brings us to a new beginning; one where, in sublime wonder, we see that God offers us salvation through his Son that we may forever live with the Holy Trinity. In view of our Lord's selfless act on the Cross, we might boldly claim that our own death has been put to death by Love. When standing before the Cross this Good Friday, let us not forget Christ thirsted to give of himself in the Eucharist. Let us remember that this Love who pours out his blood for us does so to transform us into something beyond ourselves. We are called to a new life. We are called to pick up our cross. But let us also meet Christ, there, on the Cross, in a new beginning. Let us live the Catholic life always and everywhere. Let us thirst for what we know. "He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows"—St. Gregory of Nyssa


----- F. K. Bartels believes his Catholic Faith is a treasure beyond words. He is managing editor of catholicpathways.com, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online
 
 
Surprised by a Sacrament
Written by OLSOS Parish   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 09:49
from northwest catholic:


 
Ron and Kayren Ohnhause
Ron and Kayren Ohnhaus in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Bremerton. Photo: Stephen Brashear


Standing outside the confessional clutching his stack of 3-by-5 cards,
Ron Ohnhaus felt like he was back in high school waiting for a wrestling match — nervous and clammy, but trying to get pumped up for the ordeal ahead.

To be honest, he wasn’t happy about having to confess nearly 50 years’ worth of sins to another person. He wished they would just let him join the Catholic Church and receive the Eucharist without having to dredge up the darker chapters of his life.

Ah, well. Ron entered the booth, knelt down and began telling the priest his sins. “I was very nervous and I was shaking just having to bring this stuff up and to tell somebody again,” he recalled. It took him a while to get through all his note cards, but finally he finished.

He was not prepared for what happened next.

Ron had grown up in a “troubled, dysfunctional home” with a string of alcoholic father figures. He was baptized in a Christian church at the age of 12, but didn’t considered himself a Christian. When he was 17, his girlfriend got pregnant. They quickly married, and in December of 1969 Ron joined the Navy to support his new family.

Toward the end of his eight-year stint as a sailor, Ron’s own alcoholism became a “major problem,” he said. His wife left him in 1980, taking their son and daughter with her. (The marriage was later annulled.) Ron was left “floundering” until he started seriously attending AA meetings the next year. (He hasn’t had a drink since Sept. 30, 1981.) Inspired by a televangelist, he “started a relationship with God” in 1983 and began attending a Nazarene church.

At a retreat in 1991, he met Kayren. She had been baptized Presbyterian as an infant, and had been a serious Christian since childhood. Ron and Kayren were married the next fall. For the next 20 years, they devoted themselves to their Protestant congregations, which they loved.

The Catholic Church wasn’t even on the Ohnhauses’ radar until they attended a funeral Mass at Bremerton’s Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in 2009. “I was very confused and slightly uncomfortable,” Kayren said. “We’re standing up, we’re sitting down, people are reading things, there’s a pageant going down the aisle, there’s all kinds of incense.”

But when the priest consecrated the Eucharist, Kayren “absolutely felt something wonderful and special.” She didn’t understand the sensation. She knew nothing of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation — that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ — and understood Communion as merely a symbol of Christ’s presence.

This was different, and Ron felt it too. It was powerful and intriguing enough that they grabbed a brochure for the parish’s RCIA program.

Two years later, they finally decided to check the classes out — but they had “no intention of becoming Catholic,” Kayren emphasized. “Of course we couldn’t be Catholic, right? Because you worship Mary, you think the pope is perfect, and it would be a cold day in you-know-where before I confessed my sins to a man, because he’s not qualified to forgive them” — only God is.

Ron was also skeptical, and wasn’t shy about “making some noise” if he didn’t understand or agree with what the RCIA instructors were teaching. But one by one, Ron and Kayren had their questions and misconceptions cleared up, and they began to see how all the pieces of the Catholic faith fit together like a puzzle.

But confession remained a stumbling block for them. One day, Kayren recalled, Father Derek Lappe was teaching about the sacrament of reconciliation. “And I thought, OK, here we go, this is going to be the reason I can’t be Catholic, because no matter how nice he is, no matter how smart he is, I can’t confess to him because … he can’t forgive me.”

As if on cue, Father Lappe said, “And you all know it’s not me who forgives you, right? Because I’m a man, and I’m not qualified,” Kayren recalled. She let out a squeak as he explained that it is God, working through the priest in the sacrament, who forgives sins.

 

By December of 2011, Ron and Kayren were convinced that they should become Catholic, and they were hungry for the Eucharist — “I was dying for it,” Ron said. They were onboard theologically, but the prospect of actually making their first confessions — covering everything from their baptisms to the present — loomed as a rather unpleasant obstacle.

“It meant all the darkness of my alcoholism had to be brought up again and confessed to somebody,” Ron said. “The real truth of the matter is, I was scared to do that again.”

As part of his 12-step program, Ron had already conducted an intensive moral inventory and confessed his wrongdoings to another person. He wasn’t eager to repeat the process, and he doubted the sacrament of reconciliation had anything new to offer him.

But he knew the rules, so one day in February of 2012 he got up his courage and entered the confessional. He nervously told Father Lappe all the sins he had written down on his 3-by-5 cards, and then …


Continue Reading….
 
The Light is on for You
Written by OLSOS Parish   
Saturday, 08 March 2014 11:02


"The Light Is On For You" is a new initiative from the Archdiocese of Seattle. During this Lent, the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered every Friday from 6:00pm-7:00pm

Pamphlets with the examination of conscience and other information are available in the vestibule of the church.

Watch "Surprised by the Sacrament" Video: 



 
Mass Music for the Advent & Lenten Season
Written by OLSOS Parish   
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00

The Church desires us to recognize the differences from one season to the next in the Liturgical Year. For example, different colors are used in different seasons, and, similarly, we hear and sing different things in different seasons. The Church has even given us specific Mass Ordinaries for some of these seasons, just as She has given us specific Mass Propers for each Sunday and feast day. Mass XVII is the Gregorian Chant Mass Ordinary specific to Advent and Lent. For this reason, we are learning this Mass setting together this Advent: so that we can honor the tradition of Holy Mother Church and enrich our own liturgy.

To help with this transition, here are a few videos to guide you through the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei which will be sung during the Advent and Lenten Season: 

 

Kyrie XVII-b, for Sundays in Advent and Lent, Vocals by Matthew J Curtis from St Antoine Daniel 

Sanctus XVII, for Sundays in Advent & Lent, Vocals by Matthew J Curtis from St Antoine Daniel 

Agnus Dei XVII, for Sundays in Advent & Lent, Vocals by Matthew J Curtis from St Antoine Daniel 

 
Sacred Story- 40 Week Daily Prayer Program
Written by OLSOS Parish   
Friday, 28 February 2014 14:52

Living Life As Sacred Story


A 2014 Daily Prayer Walk with the Lord 

Would you like more peace in your daily life? Would you like to learn to be a more loving person? Would you like to be closer to the Lord? Would you like to find time each day to pray?

Beginning in Lent (March 5, 2014) everyone in our parish is invited to begin a 40 week daily prayer program. It begins in Lent but does not end at Easter. With support of tools from the Sacred Story Institute, a daily plan for prayer and the mutual support of our community, we will begin a process used in other parishes in the Archdiocese that can be life changing using the book, Forty Weeks.

Fr. Bill Watson has had monthly articles in the Northwest Catholic on the work of the Sacred Story Institute. We encourage you to read Fr. Watson's articles and to consider joining us on a 40 week journey of prayer and grace starting in Lent and to end several weeks before Christmas, 2014!

 


What's your Sacred Story? Do you know who God is working in your life? Do you have time to find out?

 
The program developed by the Sacred Story Institute here in our Archdiocese includes daily prayer and parish support for a deeper expression of faith. You don't have to go anywhere. The Sacred Story is happening to you.

Beginning on the first Sunday of Lent,  we will have more Forty Weeks books available to purchase for only $10.00 as well as sign-ups for the program after Mass.  

Those who are participating are welcome to come to the small groups meeting beginning March 16th at 9:30 AM in Center Rooms 1 & 2

Click Here for the outline of how the Sacred Story Program works.

Click on the links below to listen to Fr. Lappe's Homilies on this topic:
Part 1 (February 16, 2014)
      
Part 2 (February 23, 2014)
 
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