Weekly Spiritual Newsletter
If you love me, you will keep my commandments...
This week in each of the readings, minus the Psalms, we hear about the Spirit entering us and becoming one with us and God only if we accept it. It reminds me of any decision that you have to make, but a group is watching you, and you are afraid to make the wrong decision for fear of hurting someone, or multiple people in the group. What I love further is that you have an individual in each reading sharing their passion for the Spirit and trying to share it in their own special way, but it does not always come across as the
(totally guilty of this!).
I want to start with our second reading, 1 Peter, because I love what is written in
The Paulist Biblical Commentary
“The narrative turns to the story and the person of Noah. Deliverance obtained in the flood (curiously mentioned in both letters that bear the name of Peter) is a figure of baptism, which is not limited to a removal of dirt from the flesh, but rather is the flow of grace through the strength of prayer for a clear conscience.”
You might be wondering where this is all coming from, and you see the exact words in the scripture passage this Sunday, but this is all a play on Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, and a reminder of the Isaian prophecy of Christ's suffering.
What I love about these lines from the
the flow of grace through the strength of prayer for a clear conscience
. I love this particular line, and it is especially fitting for this weekend’s readings, because it fits with the theme of Spirit and the sacrament of Baptism. When we are Baptized, the original sin we were born with is washed away, allowing the Spirit and
flow of grace through the strength of prayer for a clear conscience
to come into ourselves. I just love the visualization of the flow of grace through prayer, because that is exactly what happens during Baptism. The flow of so much comes in during Baptism and with original sin being washed away,
a clear conscience
If we go up to the first reading from Acts, we hear about Philip going to Samaria and trying to instill the Holy Spirit on the people of Samaria. What we know about the town of Samaria is that they were the outcasts that no one wanted to be around or talk to. What was interesting in reading the
Paulist Biblical Commentary
, was reading about the Holy Spirit being magic.
"Simon's magic had impressed many Samarians, who called him 'the power of God that is called Great.' But even Simon joined many others who believed Philip and were baptized. Especially amazed by Philip's signs and miracles..."
This too, the image of magic, signs, and miracles, I love.
The Holy Spirit is magical. We don’t see it, we cannot touch it, or feel it, or know how it works, but we have to trust our eyes, our experiences, and know that the Holy Spirit is working through us and through those around us. Now in this first reading, and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, it is being debated about when the Holy Spirit actually comes to the people. Is it before Baptism? After Baptism? Or somewhere inbetween or much later? The Holy Spirit works like that. We never know when It will show up, but when
, It does and you know it.
As we get closer and closer to Pentecost, it is a great time to reflect on the laying of hands and the Holy Spirit. Sadly, we did not get to experience the traditional Easter Vigil that many of us are accustomed to, so the Diocese is looking at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Disciples in the upper room. While social distancing will still be practiced, we all know the power of the Holy Spirit and laying of hands no matter if you are 6 feet apart or 6 centimeters apart, the Holy Spirit is going to come upon the one being Baptized and Confirmed and It will be the one to fire up the soul and bring life to whomever It encounters. I am looking forward to this new ritual and the life that the Holy Spirit brings out of the people that it inhabits.
Calling all Saints!
Calling all Saints! Please help St. Austin prep for Pentecost by submitting a picture of you, your name, your Saint name, and why your Saint is important to you to Rachel Vaughn at
. Please submit these no later than Tuesday, May 26 for a Parish wide video of St. Austin parade of Saints!
St. Austin School, we would LOVE to see current and past Second Graders dressed up and their reports from All Saints Day Mass!
Mass Readings Explained
Here are the background to this upcoming Mass readings. Here is the
and here is the
written script of the explanations
. These are great tools to use with older grades to talk about the readings and give them more historical context to the readings.
Here are some family backgrounds on the readings:
Alive in Christ Family
Connecting with the Gospel with Family Dinner Question
Background Readings for Families and Grades 1-8
Resources from Fr. Chuck, Fr. Rich and the Paulist Fathers
Fr. Chuck's Blog
Fr. Rich's Blog
St. Austin Catholic Church Children's Liturgy of the Word Resources
Michael Evernden, CSP Podcast on the daily Gospel's
Paulist Novice and Seminarians HomeBound YouTube Program
Teaching Catholic Kids
Mass booklet for home
Daily Prayer from Liturgy Training Publication
Solidarity during Social Distancing
Catholic Women Preach: Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM
From Beyond our walls
Are you struggling to find the romance or how to communicate with your partner during this time of COVID-19 with your marriage? I know I am! Join me on Wednesday, May 13 at 7:30pm with St. Catherine of Siena's Family Ministry Director, Kendall Antosh, for a follow up discussion from Vagdevi Meunier's video from last Wednesday. Vagdevi is a licensed psychologist, Clinical Assistant Professor at
The University of Texas
in Austin, Texas and an adjunct professor at St.Edwards University. She has a private clinical and consulting practice in Austin where she specializes in couples and family therapy, couples workshops, training and supervision, and organizational consultation. Vagdevi has extensive experience with multicultural psychology, especially eastern influences on psychological practice, and cross-cultural research on relationships..
7:30pm Marriage Webinar
How the Vaughn's are doing Mass at home! Parent's you are not the only ones struggling!
This month's prayer is the
Join us in Virtual Prayer!
Wednesday, May 20 3:30pm Virtual Rosary
(NOTE NEW DAY AND TIME)
Friday, May 15 8am via Facebook live
Sunday, May 17 8:45am Facebook live St. Austin Mass
Prayer for a Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart … I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
St. Austin YouTube Masses
on Wednesday, May 13 at 4:59PM