Archive for May 1st, 2011

Today’s posts are four songs which are really stories and the Gospel from today’s mass.  First, the Gospel…
Today is the first Sunday after Easter.  That means it’s Doubting Thomas Sunday.  To most of the world that expression will mean nothing, but to those Christians and Catholics who’ve ever had a crisis of faith and then returned, this is, I believe, the most important Sunday of the year…
John Chapter 20: verses:19-31
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”   20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”  22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  23  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, [3] was not with them when Jesus came.  25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”  But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.  Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands;  and put out your hand, and place it in my side.  Do not disbelieve, but believe.”  28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
What is the meaning of faith?  I believe we must each be tested at some point in our lives to make our own personal determination about faith.  For some, there will be no belief without proof (whatever form that takes).  For others, faith itself justifies belief.  I am a modern, practicing Roman Catholic.  I believe in the God of the New Testament.  A God of LOVE, not retribution.  I was raised (more or less) as a scientist with a Libertarian / Enlightenment point of view.  As such, my logical mind questions everything in the Bible.  I’ve always had a hard time with fairy tales and miracles.  But I’ve never had a problem with love or its power.  I have faith in my God because I have no proof and as a scientist I do not believe there is or can be any proof.  And yet, my faith is sufficient.
Four Stories / Song Lyrics
Today, I’m also including the lyrics to four songs.  Of course, they are song lyrics to country songs which means they tell a story.  The first three are sung by Tim McGraw.  The first is about a man telling another man the thing which pushed him to live the way he always should have.  It’s titled:  “Live Like You Were Dyin’“.  The second is a story about a man who is celebrating a birthday and thinking about what he needs to do in the future.  It’s titled:  “My Next Thirty Years“.  The third McGraw song is about sometimes just being stupid and onery – which most of us can be sometimes, and which most of us hope to grow out of someday (yes, I’m still waiting).  It’s titled:  “Cowboy In Me“.  The fourth song is probably THE song which brought me back to Country music.  It’s titled:  “Silence On The Line“, and performed by Chris LeDoux.  In a world of “urban cowboys” (like me, I’m afraid), Chris was the real deal – a champion rodeo cowboy, a rancher, a husband and father, and a singer / songwriter.  My first recollection of hearing it was in the ’90’s while I was in Liverpool.  I was watching CMT on TV and saw the video.  It blew me away!  Next came Garth Brooks and a host of others to follow, but it started with Chris.  Unfortunately, Chris passed away in 2005 from cancer at the age of 56.  When I first heard about his passing, I was looking to see if I could find one of his gigs on the West Coast so I could hear him live.  I never got the chance…
As usual, enjoy reading the stories and then go hear them on the web or buy them wherever you get your music.  Life is too short to miss great stories / songs / music.

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[When] the pretended friends of religion lead infidel lives;  when they carry religion to market and offer it in exchange for luxuries and honors’ when they place it familiarly and constantly in the columns of newspapers, manifestly connected with electioneering purposes, and when they are offering it up as a morning and evening sacrifice on the altar of political party — these men are placing a firebrand to every meeting house and applying a torch to every bible.
    —    Abraham Bishop

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