October 15:  If someone were to ask you “Why do Catholics believe in Purgatory?” what would be your best answer?  Using my Sheltie knowledge (and my Dad’s Catechism book),     I thought I’d offer a theological perspective to this awesome question!

The Catholic Church’s belief in the existence of Purgatory is indeed scriptural!  First of all, it is important to understand what the Church believes Purgatory is. The Catechism describes Purgatory like this: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (CCC 1030). Note that the Church believes that Purgatory is not an eternal state, but rather a state of purification before entering eternal life with God in heaven. Scripture teaches us that nothing unclean can enter heaven (Revelation 21:27). Scripture also describes a place where a man goes and suffers loss, yet is still saved, but only through fire (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). Purgatory is this place that cleanses us of whatever impurity we have when we die, allowing us to enter into God’s presence without the stain of sin.

Personally, I think Purgatory is one of the most awesome dogmas of the Catholic Church.  It makes heaven an even more awesome place knowing that we’ll all be purified and more Godly for All Of Eternity!!  And we can all look forward to that!! 

October 8:  My Dad was asked this week “If I were to join Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, would there be any ministries I could become involved in?”  First of all, my Dad ALWAYS loves it when people actually come to him and inquire about being more involved in Sacred Heart!  I overheard his response and thinking it would be good to remind everyone just how involved they could be here at Sacred Heart Cathedral! 
One of the first ministries my Dad asked was “Can you sing?  Can you play an instrument?  Would you like to be in our awesome choir?”  Knowing that beautiful music enhances our celebrations, SHC welcomes all musicians to join our choir and/or accompany our services! 
Dad’s list went on with just some of the ministries and involvements which included:  Minister of Hospitality, Eucharistic Minister, Reader, Server,  Volunteer with Office Staff, Bible Study after Mass on Sunday morning and Wednesday mornings (food is always provided!! yeah)  ADORATION, RE teacher, Salvation Army dinner, Food Pantry, Clothing Pantry, helping volunteers clean the church Monday mornings (donuts also provided, yeah!), St. Margaret’s Society, Knights of Columbus, funeral dinners and luncheons, Holy Communion to the homebound, visiting those in the hospital and more and more and more.  How can you be more involved in your parish family?  This is a good question I keep asking the squirrels as busy as they are collecting nuts and food for the upcoming winter months.  It seems everyone is always keeping busy doing something, but what can we do and how can we help in our service to the Creator who gave us our work and show our thanks and appreciation for all we have.  As my Dad says, Amen??! 

October 1:  My most favorite Saint of all the world is St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Shelties and all animals and even the environment! St Francis also could be viewed as the original Earth Day advocate. Francis' devotion to God was expressed through his love for all of God's creation, especially Shelties and even squirrels. St. Francis cared for the poor and sick, he preached sermons to animals, and praised all creatures as brothers and sisters under God. 

Just the other day I was telling the squirrels how he was born in Italy around 1181. He was wild as a kid, but had a conversion experience that caused him to change his ways and give his life to God! Wealthy though he was, he decided to give all his money back to his family and practice poverty, humility, obedience, patience and compassion. This attracted a group of followers that to this day keep his namesake alive! They are known as the Franciscans!

St. Francis preached to everyone, even to animals! How cool is that! One of his favorite sayings is “Preach the Gospel atall times!  If necessary, use words!”  He even received the stigmata (the wounds of Christ crucified!) Francis died October 4, 1226 and was quickly canonized by Pope Gregory IX.

So today, let’s remember ALL the cool saints but especially my favorite, St. Francis!!!!! 

September 24:                                         
                                                                              The Layman's 10 Commandments.

Someone has written these beautiful words that may be likened to the ten commandments to follow in one’s daily life.  It reads as thus:

 1] Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout the journey.

 2] So why is a Car's Windshield so large & the Rear View Mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.

 3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.

 4] All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.

 5] Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

 6] Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!”

 7] When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

  8] A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"

 9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

 10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.

For more of Maggie's musings, see our online bulletin archives.  Maggie's column appears on page 3.