Daily Emails

https://predmoresj.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 27, 2023

Join our Online Book Review: Jesus of Nazareth: What He Wanted; Who He Was

Please join us for an in-depth book reading of Jesus of Nazareth by Gerhard Lohfink, a German priest-scholar, in his work on the historical Jesus. We meet by Zoom each Tuesday morning from 8:00 to 9:00. Send   Fr. Predmore a message at jpredmore@bchigh.edu to get the Zoom link. Join our online community for our adult education services. 

Tuesday Morning Adult Education: Jesus of Nazareth: What He Wanted, Who He was; Gerhard Lohfink

Lohfink takes seriously the fact that Jesus was a Jew and lived entirely in and out of Israel's faith experiences but at the same time brought those experiences to their goal and fulfillment. Lohfink engages the perceptions of the first witnesses of his life and ministry and those who handed on their testimony. Tuesdays 8-9:00 am

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Preaching at Mass

 For next week, think about these questions:

 

We know that the church and society are polarized. What might please us in a homily may anger another person or make them feel disconnected and disengaged. Some people like to hear about Pope Francis’s reforms of the church, while others will receive that news as a dagger to their dreams. We also have people who are in the 80’s and 90’s and are facing the late stages of life, while seven- and eight-year-olds are trying to find something interesting in what the priest says. We have young people looking for beauty and mystery, and middle-aged people looking for the blessings of the ordinary. We have people who are sick, getting ready for surgery, and those who are starting new jobs and careers. We have women and men who have not found a suitable person to be one’s spouse at the same time that we have young parents celebrating the pregnancy of their first child. There are people in the congregation with PhD’s and those who have not finished high school. Some have studied theology; others basically skipped Confirmation classes. We have people who are eager to learn from the congregation about this person, Jesus, who they just met, while others are virtually done with the church, and still others have been brought to church though they have no foundational faith in their background. We have those who are wealthy, white, like-minded, as well as those who are black or brown, discriminated against, and placed on the margins of society. Some people have mental illness, are nearly homeless, have addictions to alcohol and drugs, while others hold position of status and prestige in society and are quite generous to many causes. Many other categories of people sit in the pews. 

 

The question is: How does one preach?

 

A hermeneutic I use is:

 

                                                Does my preaching reach a person who is hearing about Jesus for the first time? 

                                                Does my preaching reach a person who will hear about Jesus for the last time? 

 

How does one preach to reach these different categories of people?

 

What should Catholic preaching focus upon?

 

What makes the preaching Catholic? What should a priest say in his homily? What should we tell our local priest we want to hear?

 

And, of course, the purpose of the homily is to move a person to deeper faith, increased holiness, to form a bond with God and the community.

 

Let’s discuss our thoughts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Winter Session on Compassionate Communications

 Dear friends,

 

Please feel free to share this notice with someone who may be interested.

 

 

Winter 2023 Class: Compassionate Communications in times of Difficult Conversations.

 

Director: John Predmore, SJ

 

Start : January 18th 4:00 pm -5:00 pm

 

This Wednesday online afternoon series uses Zoom to teach us how to keep ourselves balanced in the midst of difficult conversations. We will examine what sort of information to take in, and to notice when conversations experience a power imbalance. We will negotiate and set boundaries, especially when dealing with someone else’s anger. We will review deep-breathing techniques to listen meaningfully and to develop understanding. We will learn how to use right speech to bring to sustain meaningful relationships.

  

RSVP for this free series, come when you can, drop out when it is necessary. 

 

Topic: Compassionate Communications Zoom Meeting

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bchigh.zoom.us/j/88406666714?pwd=dC9nVnJqZHJTb1YwcS80UnBRQSszdz09

 

 

Meeting ID: 884 0666 6714

Passcode: 367817

 

Dates: Times – 4:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (After March 12th, Eastern Daylight Time)

 

January 18th

February 1st

February 15th

March 1st

March 15th

March 29th

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Why November is my favorite month

The month of November has arrived in Boston with temperatures that reached close to 70 degrees. It was a quite comfortable day. A pleasant weekend is on tap with continuing sunshine and warmth. November is often maligned and I want to share the reasons it is my favorite month.

As a photographer, I look for the best lighting to take photos. During a single day, the hour around dawn and dusk are the best times for lighting. One can capture plays of light and its accompanying shadows, and the best views of our world are captured during this time. Well, November is the dusk of the year, and therefore, it is a Golden month because of its lighting. The sublime lighting creates a reflective, subdued atmosphere that brings our thoughts to the divine.

With the angle of the sun creating softer lighting, we see that the foliage and landscape is quite rich. While October is often bold and brilliant, November's colors are sophisticated and varied, particularly located within scenic New England. We see tones and hues of browns, fading reds and yellows, and darker oranges. The golden strands of decorative grass accentuate the earthtones in pleasant complimentary arrangements. It is a choice artist's palette. It creates a peacefulness that the earth is in agreement with itself. It's time of change is over and the world can come to a place of rest, silence, and stillness.

For Christians, the celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day inaugurate the month of remembrance of All Souls, incorporating Veterans Day, a national day of memorial, and a time of thanks, the great feast of gratitude. We become more greatly attuned to the world around us, the world of the living and the dead, reminding ourselves that all are alive to God. It is a month of goodwill where we find our rightful place in the rhythm of the world that belongs to a Creator God. We are reminded of our mortality and see it as a natural occurrence in life. 

It is true that the clocks revert to standard time and we set our clocks back an hour that ushers in more darkness in the afternoon while gaining more daylight in the morning hours. Darkness seems to encroach and many people are reluctant to go outdoors for walks. When we befriend the darkness, we find there is so much life continues. In fact, we need the darkness to see the lights that are set up for Advent and Christmas as the last week of the month brings about wonder and delight as people decorate for the holidays. Mostly, we do not notice the darkness for long. 

Many people say that the month is windy and cold. Sure. We can have days of blustery winds, but it is warmer than people think. We might feel a biting wind while watching a football game, but the mistake is in not dressing warmly enough in the first place. Look at people as they go through November. They slow down, they walk through piles of crunchy leaves, they catch the twirling oak leaves while watching v-shaped parades of Canada geese, and they enjoy warm days drinking cider, hot chocolate, and pumpkin lattes. People enjoy the month more than they admit. 

November is a month of slowing down and taking deep breaths. We begin the month with All Saints Day, we get a day off to honor our military veterans, and then we take a collective pause for Thanksgiving Day. After our deep inhale, we turn our excitement to the holiday season and the joy associated with being with family and loved ones. 

November is easily my favorite month. 


Friday, October 21, 2022

I made a contract

As I was driving to an event from Dorchester to South Boston today, a sentence entered my mind. It was "I made a contract." I made a contract with society that I would keep my neighbor safe. This thought affects my driving and other aspects of my life.

I was at a red traffic light, and a woman in a SUV was positioned to my right. As the light turned green, she took off with great speed, and I said to myself, "I made a contract." A traffic stop sign was a short distance ahead. She and I both approached it, but she was far in front of me, and she did not slow down. She passed through the stop sign, perhaps because she was able to do so with getting caught. I stopped at the sign.

The next traffic light approached. It was green, then yellow, then red, for a few seconds, and she ran through it, and so did the car after her. I stopped and waited. 

I often want to say to people, "Wait your turn."

Just because you can disregard traffic signals doesn't mean it is the best thing for society. I made a contract with society. I have to choose what will make society run smoother. 

As I continued onward, another car parked half in a legal space and half in a prohibited space. If I were in that situation, I would find another parking space. I then watched a car zigzag down the side street swerving from left to right before he finally double-parked and walked into a brownstone. I made a contract that I would not block traffic for my own individual purpose. All in all, I traveled 3 miles. 

I would rather that driver slow it down on South Boston streets because you cannot tell when a pedestrian will appear in between cars to cross the road. I admit that many Bostonian pedestrians are brazen and entitled, but I made a contract to keep them safe.

I drive too fast at times on highways, and yet I try not to stay in the left lane except to pass. I do get annoyed when a car drives slowly in the left lane. I also get annoyed when people decide not to communicate with me by using one's directionals. Why would you not want to tell me that you are going to suddenly change lanes by using your signals? Often you put me in harm's way. 

I could take liberties as others do, but I made a contract with society when I got my license. I could disregard rules and get away with it, and I would not feel proud. I want to feel proud of society and each person's commitment to making society protect others. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

17th. Annual Agape Fundraiser

 This is an organization from a high school friend, Lynne Guhman Voggu, who left the financial industry to set up an AIDS orphanage in India. She is holding a fundraiser in Brookline, MA on October 14th. I hope you consider a donation of any size.  

17th. Annual Agape Fundraiser



Agape AIDS Orphanage

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Such Goodness









When I arrived at Greenport, Long Island two weeks ago, my friends took me to Aldo's Coffeehouse, the flagship store for their enterprising business. Aldo, the owner, has incredibly white wispy hair that has become a trademark of the coffee. The place is a roasterie for coffee that is sold nationally and internationally. They also sell crispy croissants and scones - no variety, just one type, and they are quite good. The roasting of the eans attracts the best coffee connoisseur to the cafe for a moment of goodness. 

After we received our order, we decided to sit outdoors in the back patio that was elevated by 1x4 wooden slats. The aroma of roasted coffee wafted through the roof and settled upon us refreshingly. John sat across from me while Renee rose to get some napkins. As John was talking, he lowered his arm and I saw something move, but I did not know what happened because it was all so quick. John panicked as his wedding ring flew off his finger and in between the slats. He could not imagine how it happened as he was not fiddling with it and it did not easily slide over his knuckles. He just lowered his arm and his ring slipped off. Underneath the slats were piles of leaves that accumulated over time.

John, Renee, and I got on our knees with our phone flashlights to see if we could spot the ring. Nothing. No signs. Finally, Don, a handyman worker at the shop noticed what we were doing and came over to ask questions. He rose and went into action. He retrieved a pry bar and hammer and he started lifting the slats that were affixed professionally to the base. He lifted up the first bar and saw nothing. He lifted up the second one and the ring that denoted 38 years of marriage was sitting upon a leaf as if it were waiting to be re-discovered. John and Renee so happy. 

Don refused any expression of gratitude except to receive words of thanks. He did not have to go above and beyond in his level of service, but he made one couple very happy. We were all left with this immense feeling of goodness that permeates the world and such positive memories of being helped by a good soul.