Thought Provokers for Sunday, August 28, 2016

invite the poor the crippled

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall;
the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall.

Francis Bacon

* * * * * * * * * *

Some years ago, a bishop visited a parochial school. When he asked the little boys if they would like to be priests when they grew up, several boys raised their hands. Then he asked how many would like to be bishops. One little boy raised his hand.

The other boys began to giggle at something that was going on behind the bishop’s back. When the bishop looked around, he saw several priests standing on either side of the altars with their hands raised.

* * * * * * * * * *

Heaven-gates are not so highly arch’d
As princes’ palaces;
They that enter there
Must go upon their knees.

John Webster

* * * * * * * * * *

The Church’s own littleness is the key to its greatness.
God wishes to show that man’s salvation is His work, and not man’s.

John La Farge

* * * * * * * * * *

Be humble,
that you may not be humbled.

The Talmud

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thoughts Provokers for the week ending Sunday, July 31, 2016

rich fool248

The Gospel for this Sunday is Luke 12:13-21, the parable of the rich fool.
____________________________________________________

If you think nobody cares if you’re alive,
try missing a couple of car payments.

* * * * * * * * * *

It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy,
but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while
and make sure you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.

George Horace Lorimer

* * * * * * * * * *

He that is of opinion money will do everything
may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

Benjamin Franklin

* * * * * * * * * *

Tell me what you think about money,
and I can tell you what you think about God,
for these two are closely related.
A person’s heart is closer to his wallet
than almost anything else.

Billy Graham

* * * * * * * * * *

Tell him too much money has killed men
and left them dead years before burial:
and quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
has twisted good enough men
sometimes into dry thwarted worms.

Carl Sandburg, “The People, Yes”

* * * * * * * * * *

Gathered by Dick Donovan

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, July 24, 2016

ask seek knock

The Gospel for this Sunday is Luke 11:1-13
************************************************

As a sixteenth century mystic said,
“Prayer is not to ask what we wish of God,
but what God wishes of us.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick

* * * * * * * * * *

It is in fact one of the most precious things in life
that we can take the simple, ordinary things to God,
that God is not only the God of the great world-shaking, epoch-making events,
but that he is also the God who cares
that his humblest child may have daily bread to eat.

William Barclay

* * * * * * * * * *

Man finds it hard to get what he wants,
because he does not want the best;
God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best,
and man will not take it.

George MacDonald

* * * * * * * * * *

O, do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be stronger.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks.

Phillips Brooks

* * * * * * * * * *

Love to pray.
Feel often during the day the need for prayer,
and take trouble to pray.
Prayer enlarges the heart
until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself.
Ask and seek,
and your heart will grow big enough to receive Him
and keep Him as your own.

Mother Teresa

* * * * * * * * * *

[Gathered by Dick Donovan]

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Thought Provokers for the week leading to Sunday, July 17, 2016

one-thing is necessary
T
hese Thought Provokers may help you meditate on the text of the Gospel for this Sunday, Luke 10:38-42

When we have met our Lord
in the silent intimacy of our prayer,
then we will also meet him in the campo,
in the market,
and in the town square.
But when we have not met him
in the center of our own hearts,
we cannot expect to meet him
in the busyness of our daily lives.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Gracias! A Latin American Journal

* * * * * * * * * *

Prayer should be the key of the morning
and the lock of the night.

Owen Felltham

* * * * * * * * * *

Just as husband and wife live out their lives against the backdrop of being married, so do we live out the entirety of our lives against the backdrop of a constant relationship with God. He is always there, always loving us, always ready to listen to us. As we recognize his unwavering commitment to us, we are able to live in the day to day adventure and challenge of his presence. We enjoy the dialogue. It’s as if we say, “Oh, I must talk to him about this!”

John Guest

* * * * * * * * * *

Christ always lives where there is room for him.
If there is room in your heart for Christ, he lives there;
if there is room in a law office for Christ, he lives there;
if there is room on a locomotive engine, he will be there;
if there is room in a baggage car, he will be there.

Sam Jones

* * * * * * * * * *

I felt God’s presence on the moon
more than I have ever felt it here on earth.

James B. Irwin, astronaut

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers

good samaritan5586
These Thought Provokers may help you meditate on the Gospel for this coming Sunday, July 10, 2016. Luke 10:25-37
*************************************************************
He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.

Edwin Markham

* * * * * * * * * *

It is discouraging to try to be a good neighbor
in a bad neighborhood.

William Castle

* * * * * * * * * *

Love thy neighbor,
even when he plays the trombone.

Jewish proverb

* * * * * * * * * *

Faith without consequences is a lie.
God does not need our sacrifices
but has, nevertheless, appointed a representative to receive them,
namely our neighbor.
The neighbor always represents the invisible Christ.

J.S. Whale

* * * * * * * * * *

When asked what a person should do when they felt the onset of a nervous breakdown, Dr. Karl Menninger replied:

“Lock up your house,
go across the railroad tracks,
find someone in need,
and do something for them.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Compiled by Dick Donovan

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Thought Provokers to read before Sunday, july 3, 2016

jesus sending seventy

This Thought Provokers may help you meditate on the Gospel reading for Sunday, July 3, 2016: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of a ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest! I will not equivocate! I will not excuse! I will not retreat a single inch! AND I WILL BE HEARD!

The abolitionist editor, William Lloyd Garrison, as he began his fight against slavery.

* * * * * * * * * *

Some people decide to be saved at the eleventh hour,
and die at ten-thirty.

Author unknown

* * * * * * * * * *

Mark Jacobson is a novelist and a columnist, a very sophisticated fellow. He didn’t count himself an atheist, but neither did he have much to do with the church. Then he heard his five-year-old daughter, Rae, say, “God does not exist, and it’s dumb to believe he does.” He asked her who had told her that, and she said, “No one, I just think it.”

That got his attention. He said to his wife, “Who does she think she is with this no God stuff; some five-year-old Albert Camus?” He decided that he needed to get serious about her religious training–which meant that he also had to get serious about his own Christian commitment. He says:

For if a value system is going to be involuntarily absorbed by a kid of mine,
I’d rather it be a 2,500 year old system,
the product of the constant working and reworking
of the most creative minds of a culture
than a tinny narrative worked up during a twenty-minute meeting
in a sleek-lined NBC story-conference room.

Beyond that is the crazy thought it might be possible
that one of my children has a special talent for accepting God,
knowing him, loving him.
It’s something parents should do.

What a weird way it would be to return to the fold.

* * * * * * * * * *

Does not the Church, in spite of her eternally heightened prestige,
often seem rather to be lingering on
as a mere decoration for certain private and public occasions?
How much does she really have to say, spiritually,
in that central area of modern life
where the questions essential to present and future are decided?

Hans Kung

* * * * * * * * * *

One cannot speak of God
simply by speaking of man in a loud voice.

Karl Barth, The Word of God and the Word of Man

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, June 26, 2016

FollowingJesus_Front
Read here the Bible passages for this Sunday

I am shocked to find how many people in our churches
have never anywhere made a decisive Christian commitment.
They oozed into church membership on a conventional kind of basis,
but no one has ever effectively dealt with them spiritually,
or helped them to make a Christian decision.

Sam Shoemaker,
the Episcopal priest who co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous

* * * * * * * * * *

In his play, Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw gives us an insight into true commitment. “The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.”

* * * * * * * * * *

If a man says with Pascal, “Lord, I give You everything,”
and in a tone that really commits him,
his friends can expect or fear anything from him
save that he will turn his life into a farce.

Francois Mauriac, God and Mammon

* * * * * * * * * *

Self-discipline never means giving up anything,
for giving up is a loss.
Our Lord did not ask us to give up the things of earth,
but to exchange them for better things.

Fulton J. Sheen

* * * * * * * * * *

The kamikaze pilot who flew 50 missions was involved–
but never committed.

Lou Holtz,
former Notre Dame football coach

* * * * * * * * * *

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, June 18, 2016

jesus and demoniac

The Gospel reading for this Sunday is John 20:1-18 (Click here to read it).
****************************************************************

Certain it is that we are saved, not by one cross, but by two–
Christ’s and our own.
We must be crucified with Christ, must die with him,
and rise with him into a new way of life and being.

Arthur John Gossip

* * * * * * * * * *

You will not be saved by General Motors
or the prefabricated house.
You will not be saved by Vitamin D
or the expanding universe.

Stephen Vincent Benet

NOTE: The false saviors in this quotation are dated, but the principle remains true. We will not be saved by faster computer chips–or modern medicine (except temporarily)–or cell phones–or Google–or anything else in all creation other than Christ our Lord.

* * * * * * * * * *

If you read history,
you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world
were those who thought most of the next.
It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world
that they have become ineffective in this world.
Aim at heaven, and you get earth thrown in.
Aim at earth and you get neither.

C.S. Lewis

* * * * * * * * * *

We all long for heaven where God is,
but we have it in our power to be in heaven with Him right now–
to be happy with Him at this very moment.
But being happy with Him now means:

Loving as he loves;
Helping as He helps;
Giving as He gives;
Serving as He serves;
Rescuing as He rescues;
Being in touch with Him for all the twenty-four hours,
and touching him in His distressing disguise.

Mother Teresa

* * * * * * * * * *

Saving knowledge is diffused over the earth,
not like sunlight but like torchlight,
which is passed from hand to hand.

James Strachan

* * * * * * * * * *

 

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, June 12, 2016 (parable of the two debtors)

jesus parable two debtors Jean_Beraud_Simon_the_Pharisee

Carl Jung, the great psychologist, once remarked regarding the Christian claim to be able to change anyone into a new creature, living life in a different and higher way:

“We can’t laugh it out of court, for it has done it.
And every day we meet such new creatures on the street.”

* * * * * * * * * *

I think I may have to go through the agony
of hearing all my sins recited in the presence of God.
But I believe it will be like this–
Jesus will come over and lay his hand across my shoulders
and say to God, “Yes, all these things are true,
but I’m here to cover up for Peter.
He is sorry for all his sins,
and by a transaction made between us,
I am now solely responsible for them.”

Peter Marshall

* * * * * * * * * *

A soldier asked a holy monk if God accepted repentance.
He said, “Tell me, if your cloak is torn, do you throw it away?”
The soldier replied, “No, I mend it and use it again.”
The old man said to him, “If you are so careful about your cloak,
will not God be equally careful about his creature?”

Author unknown

* * * * * * * * * *

For all that we know of you, O God, we give you thanks,
and for all you are which is beyond our knowing.
Stretch forth the right hand of your mighty power
against everything that stands in the way of your will:
against us, if it must be,
and redeem us out of our fears and failures
into what you would have us be in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Paul Scherer, Love is a Spendthrift

* * * * * * * * * *

Since the Lord has won us over, we (are different).
Before this time we valued above all else the piling on of wealth and possessions.
And now?
Now we bring what we have into a common stock
and communicate to everyone in need.
In other times we hated and destroyed each other;
we would not even share hospitality with men of another race,
because of their different customs.
And now?
We live on intimate terms with them.
We pray for our enemies.
And we try to persuade those who hate us
to live according to the good teachings of Christ
so that they may share with us the same joyful hope.

Justin Martyr

* * * * * * * * * *

 

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Thought Provokers for Sunday, May 29, 2016

jesus centurion-and-jesus

Belief is not faith without evidence,
but commitment without reservation.

Leighton Ford

* * * * * * * * * *

Understanding is the reward of faith.
Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe,
but believe that you may understand.

Augustine

* * * * * * * * * *

The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you.

Robert Louis Stevenson

* * * * * * * * * *

Do you remember Arthur Ashe, the tennis champion? Before they started testing blood transfusions for the HIV virus, they gave Ashe a transfusion–and he ended up with AIDS. That was before there were remedies for AIDS. It was a death sentence. But in his book, Days of Grace, Ashe wrote:

“I am a fortunate, blessed man. Aside from AIDS and heart disease, I have no problems. My stepmother, about whom I care deeply both for my sake and for my dead father’s, is in fine health; my wife is in fine health; my daughter radiates vitality. I have loving friends in abundance. I have the support of skilled doctors and nurses. I need nothing that money can buy. So why should I complain? And beyond them, I have God to help me.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience, and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.

Joseph Addison

* * * * * * * * * *

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