Be a "Prepper"

12-27-2015Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

…the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser people are forthcoming. —St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, n. 8

In a few days 2015 will be the year that was. I have a deep sense that by the time I write my final letter of 2016 it will not have been an easy year. We are headed into a Presidential election and who knows how that will pan out, if at all. Who knows what the US will look like at the end of 2016? But with a stumbling economy, the pall of terrorism that has descended over the world and leaders who are more concerned with carbon than with dynamite, well everything is not coming up roses and daffodils.

So what do you do if our government ceases to function for an extended period of time? If the lights go out for several months? This is not a call to build a bunker or rush out and stock up on supplies. And I am not channeling Glenn Beck or rehearsing for a spot on "Doomsday Preppers" reality TV show. But asking you to think of what really would get you through such a tough period? What really do you need to survive?

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Obama the new Bush?

12-13-2015Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I figured it would eventually happen: one day Barack Obama would wake up and realize he was George Bush. Or maybe more like Luke Skywalker finding out Darth Vader was his father. More specifically, that the same miserable options that George Bush had to choose from to deal with terrorism are the same miserable options that Barack Obama has to choose from. History indeed has its own historical ironies in the fire.

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Will they know you are a Christian?

12-06-2015Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

You are hereby summoned by the order of His Holiness, Pope Francis to participate in the Jubilee of Mercy beginning on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (It is a Holy Day of Obligation in the USA.)

I put it that way because participation in the Jubilee Year is not optional but constitutive of being a Christian. This is not a matter of Christians ramping up their good deeds. Pope Francis wants to shape the way we do Church and practice religion in the 21st century.

When Jesus spoke to St. Faustina, guding her to give us the Divine Mercy teaching, He told her that he had opened up the door of His Mercy and that all are invited to walk through it while it is open. But there would come a time when the door is closed and then the only option would be to walk through the door of His Justice. Pope Francis will open the Holy Doors in the four-major Basilica's of Rome, which normally remain sealed up except when a Jubilee Year is declared. I think in many ways this is a symbolic way to visually remind us to take seriously the invitation to open ourselves to mercy and to practice mercy while there is still time.

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