Both the first reading and the Gospel from Oct. 16 speak about the importance of persistent prayer. Moses is an Old Testament figure for intercessory prayer. In the first reading, he prays for Joshua and the army of Israelites who are in battle against the Amelkites. Moses’ two helpers, Aaron and Hur, are with him on top of a mountain during this time of prayer and ultimately, they hold his hands up so that the Israelites win the battle.
Q. My wife passed away three years ago, and I miss her very much. We were married for 63 years. What are the Church’s thoughts on the hereafter? Will we still be man and wife?
Q. In the Bible, I have just finished the story of David and Saul, and it strikes me that throughout the Old Testament (at least so far), God has been a bit of a warrior, delivering enemies into the hands of those who are faithful. Yet, when I come to the New Testament, Jesus seems to speak against violence. Why the change?
If you were to ask 100 random people on the street what Catholics are known for, what do you think they would say? Of all those people, how many do you think would say “generosity”? Unfortunately, my suspicion is that the number would be very few.
One of the greatest fears of my childhood was getting caught doing something bad and having to face my dad. It’s not that he was mean or abusive, it’s just that I did not want to disappoint him, and this caused a knee-jerk reaction of fear whenever such situations would arise.
– Where does the Church stand on parish priests counseling their parishioners?
– Can you explain the Church’s teaching on tithing?
I once had a priest tell me, “If you want good friends, you first have to be a good friend.” Since I heard this, I have tried to be a good friend when my friends call on me. That has included staying up late with friends who are going through a difficult time, dropping everything I’m doing to pick up someone who went walking and then got caught in the rain, and being vulnerable and asking for forgiveness when I have done something to offend a friend.
Q. You wrote about gossip earlier. But don’t people need to know certain “secret” things? Wouldn’t it be irresponsible of me to keep some things to myself?
During the Passover, after carrying out the instructions God revealed to Moses, the Israelites await their salvation. In their journey to the Promised Land, God reveals himself to his people, but this means the Israelites are called to adhere to the covenant. When they are faithful to the Word of God, they receive abundant blessings. When they turn away, they experience hardships, their enemies prevail, and they’re unhappy.
Q. Long ago, as a child, I remember saying prayers aloud for “the conversion of Russia” after every Mass. Why, in our troubled world, are we not doing the same thing now for Islamic extremists, who are surely in need of our prayers? And where would such a directive come from?