Every First Friday Mass at 8am at the Cathedral except July ~ Board Meetings Follow Open to all Members ~ Zoom Available
Red Mass ~ Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Starts at 5:15pm at St. Mary Cathedral
Reception to immediately follow after pictures in St. Mary Cathedral Parish Hall.
The recipient of the St. Thomas More Award this year is Richard Thompson.
Richard Thompson is the President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. Thompson spent 24 years of his professional career at the executive level of law enforcement. As elected Oakland County, Michigan Prosecuting Attorney for eight years (from 1989 to 1996), Thompson directed a staff of 180 including 102 lawyers, and administered an annual budget of $12 million dollars. His accomplishments included: successfully defending the constitutionality of Michigan’s Mandatory Life Law for major drug dealers in the United States Supreme Court, creating the state’s first Child Sexual Assault Crimes Unit, and developing one of the nation’s toughest no plea bargaining policies–which achieved a 98 percent conviction rate.
Retreat ~ Saturday, May 8, 2021 ~ Reflections
Sojourning with Nicodemus, the Little Prince, the Little Flower, and Father Charlie:
Authentic Childhood, unto Fitness for the Kingdom of Heaven
1. Nicodemus is an interesting character in the Gospel of John. Three times we encounter him. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I see him as one like Father Charlie: Thinker, Mystic, Child. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a scholar of the law, “Teacher of Israel.” (Jn. 3:4). He was a thinker, a seeker, open to learning.
He came to Jesus at night and received more than his thinking mind could comprehend: “How can a man be born when he is old?”
But he did not forsake his seeking. He continued to ruminate on what Jesus said and did.
Later, when other Pharisees wanted to accuse and arrest Jesus, Nicodemus evidenced his openness by counseling in favor of due process and patience . . . and was mocked for it, but not deterred. (Jn. 7:50-52).
Finally, after witnessing the passion of Christ, Nicodemus seems to have surrendered to his Lord. Allied with Jesus’ followers, he was there to befriend Joseph of Arimathea and help him prepare the body for burial. (Jn. 19:39-40).
Is Nicodemus born again? Has he found his way to “fitness” for the Kingdom of Heaven?
- To the Little Prince (the charmer of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic tale by the same title), grown-ups mix everything together; they confuse everything! They swell up with pride over their artificially constructed “matters of consequence.”
“Friendship is important, lest one become like grown-ups.”
The Little Prince learned that friendship is the fruit of “taming,” the patient observance of certain rites, in spending time together.
“It is a good thing to have had a friend, if one is about to die.”
To the Little Prince, appreciating our responsibility for friends is integral to authentic childhood . . . a responsibility that could entail laying down one’s life for his friends. Hmm, where have we heard that before?
- St. Therése of Lisieux, the Little Flower, is well-known and well-loved for her “Little Way.” Like the Little Prince, she recognized that the world seduces grown-ups, leading them to fountains without water.
The good news, she recognized, is that “Jesus cherishes the prodigal child who returns to him. So let us love our littleness; Jesus will come to look for us and will transform us into flames of love.”
Therése understood that it was advantageous for her “to be as small as ever, smaller than ever,” to make it easier for Jesus to lift her up into His consoling arms.
And her goal, in being drawn ever closer in “the sweet fragrance of the Beloved,” was to draw others she loved after her . . . to save souls for Jesus . . . that He may be loved.
- Note how Nicodemus was challenged to move beyond his own self-assured thinking, to see with fresh eyes, to be born again. Note how both the Little Prince and the Little Flower, in their treatment of child-likeness and littleness, are moved, ultimately, by love for others. Now, compare this with wisdom from Fr. Charlie’s book, words we might read as a sort of final testament:
(By teaching us to pray, “Our Father”) “Jesus wants us to be assured of our identity as children of God. When we come to our senses and come home, we will not come home merely as servants, we will come home as children and will be His children always.”
But this living union with God in Christ is not just for our own good. Per Fr. Charlie, “it’s a life we share with the lives of others. We save our souls by sharing our souls in love, along with the gifts and treasures within them. For when we die, it’s not what we have that will matter; it’s what we have shared. How would God know you and recognize you if you arrived before His eyes without the others?”
Again . . . How would God know you and recognize you if you arrived before His eyes without the others?
I remember being stunned by these words from Fr. Charlie at one of our early Guild Retreats, long before he included them in his book.
- It seems to me that our dear Fr. Charlie, not unlike Nicodemus, and like the Little Prince and the Little Flower, understood that true child-likeness opens our hearts to the wonders of friendship with God and with our fellows. And because he cultivated friendships and shared his soul in love with his friends in the Guild, whom Fr. Charlie helped draw into the sweet fragrance of the Beloved, we know with confidence that he is now well recognized by his loving heavenly Father and is warmly welcomed . . . home.
Rest in peace, Fr. Charlie. May perpetual light shine upon you. (Reflection by Paul Brandenburg)
By the way, did you ever wonder what Fr. Charlie would look like in a turban and beard? He came to Jesus under cover of night, in disguise . . .
Unless We Become Like Children
Refrain: Unless we become like children, we are not fit . . . (Mt. 18:3)
But how can a man be born again? (Jn. 3:4)
Can he enter his mother’s womb?
If the wind blows wherever it will
How can we become Spirit-born? Refrain
Blessed are the pure of heart (Mt. 5:8)
For they shall see God
Blessed are the peacemakers
“God’s children” they are called Refrain
His yoke is easy and burden light (Mt. 11:29)
Meek and humble of heart is he
Yet whoever receives Jesus Christ (I Jn. 5:1)
Is become a child of God Refrain
My heart, good Lord, is not proud (Ps. 131)
“Matters of consequence” have I shunned
Like a child I have stilled my soul
To rest in you alone Refrain