Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Year of Faith" Porta Fidei - Door of Faith

“The Open Door of Faith.” (Part I)
‘Review of Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei – Door of Faith’
Richard L. Lane, Catholic Evangelist

Yup, it's been almost TWO YEARS since I have Blogged. I know, and I am sorry. So much has transpired in the past two years and I thank God so very much for ALL the Blessings He has provided everyday. I PROMISE I will do better in the future, so here it goes.

Our Holy Father wrote an Apostolic Letter last year entitled Porta Fidei - "Door of Faith" which celebrates the new "Year of Faith" which opens for Catholic's around the world on October 11, 2012. The below article is Part I of a two Part Article which outlines or highlights part of this incredible document. Enjoy and please feel free to share.

Forward is more important than what's behind!
Have you ever wondered why the rear view mirror site picture is much smaller for the driver than the front view? What is in your PAST is not as important as what is AHEAD of you! If I have heard it once I have heard it a MILLION times; “I wish we could go back to the ‘good ol’ days’; why do we have to keep changin’ things up; I like it how things used to be.”

Since 2005, I have been blessed to travel the United States, preaching Parish Missions as well as Revivals North, South, East and West. When I do these I get a lot of prayer requests. While preaching a Lenten Revival in 2012, there were about 1,500 people in attendance. We had prayer lines for people to come forward for intercessory prayer. Do you know what almost 80% of all the requests were for? Healing of ailments? No. Cure for painful issues or circumstances? Nope. Relief from financial burdens, a job, a new job? NOPE! 80% of the requests were “for my children to come back to the Catholic Church; for my Grandkids to come into the Catholic Church.”

People are leaving the Church because of a myriad of different reasons, but most, the changes that have occurred as well as those changes that have not been embraced by the Church. The question I beg of you is this; “What is FAITH” in your PERSONAL experience; your daily PERSONAL life? How to you LIVE it, SHOW it and GIVE your Faith to others, not just weekly at the Parish, in your ministry (you have done for 30+ years and know you need to step down from and get some NEW blood in), lector; choir director; Eucharistic Minister; Knights & Ladies of Peter Claver?

The “Year of Faith”, October 11, 2012 through November 24, 2013, has been given to us by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI which give us an excellent view of why we should embrace this special year.

“This year will be a propitious occasion for the faithful to understand more profoundly that the foundation of Christian Faith is the ‘encounter with an event, and/or a person, which gives life a NEW horizon and a decisive direction” says Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, “Door of Faith.” Let me try to exegete (break open), if you will, part of this beautiful document.

God's Door is ALWAYS Open... He is waiting for YOU!
Faith is an ‘Open Door’ (Acts 14:27), a bridge if you will, from where you are now, to where God wants you to be. God is always trying to do something NEW in our lives, but yet we allow ourselves to be weighed down by our past, what we ‘used’ to do; what things ‘used’ to be like. I always love to preach this; “Only with GOD, your future is brighter than your past!” Yet are we truly living out our Faith in our Daily lives; are WE being that encounter for someone else; are WE being that event (in our Celebration of the Mass or outside) where someone else is ENCOUNTERING God in a NEW way, to give their life a NEW horizon; NEW meaning; and a NEW direction? This is AUTHENTIC ministry; this is how we bring people HOME to the Church; this is the ESSENCE of the ‘New Evangelization’.

The Holy Father continues,“In our days... faith is a gift to rediscover, to cultivate and to bear witness to...” He is trying to get us to rediscover the beauty of WHAT we (as Catholic’s) believe and WHY we believe it. For instance, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC, para 26 defines faith in this manner; “Faith is man’s [our] response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself [God] to man, at the same time, bringing a superabundant light, as he [man] searches for meaning in his life.”

How are we RESPONDING to GOD (in our Faith) DAILY? What MORE are we doing for our PERSONAL relationship with God? Are we receiving the Sacraments frequently; weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; just spending time with God? Are we spending MORE time watching TV, doing frivolous things rather than spending it with “the source and summit of our existence...” (Lumen Gentium)

If God reveals Himself to us as a Superabundant Light, then our job (daily... not just on Sunday’s) is to be that SUPERABUNDANT LIGHT in this world that is continually filled with darkness. Your Faith is a LIGHT that purifies and illuminates the world; “Beginning with ‘the light of Christ, which purifies, illuminates, and sanctifies in the celebration of the sacred liturgy and with His Divine Word’ (Dei Verbum), ... [we] elaborate on the intimate nature of the Church and [Her] relationship with the contemporary world.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI “Porta Fidei”.

The title of this awesome document is “Porta Fidei” or “Door of Faith”. St. Paul in many references in his letters uses “open door” as play on words, for us to realize that God’s Door is ALWAYS open to us, in our lives. “Behold I have left for you an Open Door...” (Revelation 3:8). But many of us are afraid of change; afraid to embrace what is VISIBLE and INVISIBLE in front of us. Our Holy Father is calling for us to embrace what we have; WE are called to be that encounter for others; WE are called to be the ‘door of faith’ that is open and illuminating the SUPERABUNDANT light of Christ, but brothers and sisters, that calls for CHANGE and RENEWAL.  “We are called to be credible and joyful witnesses...” to the Light of Christ.

We are called to go out into the world and be that LIGHT; to ‘enkindle the flame’ (2 Timothy 1:6) as St. Paul tells us, the FIRE that was given to us through the imposition of hands we (as Confirmed Catholics) have all received. People left the Church because the fire went out in US.... once we get it back then we would realize the NEED and TRUE commitment to evangelize others. “Today… there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to New Evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith.” (Porta Fidei).

"Set the World Ablaze with the Love of Christ!"
One of the things I love to do is to preach; Parish Missions as well as Revivals, because that is an opportunity for me to GIVE what I have received, the LIGHT that Christ has given me, to GIVE the JOY that I have discovered, to others. To take MY enthusiasm for the LOVE of God, and HIS One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, to others and set THEM ON FIRE! After all, “If you are who you are supposed to be, you will set the world ablaze!” ~ St. Catherine of Sienna

Take the time to read this beautiful document; take the time to REDISCOVER what we truly live out; and most importantly, take the time to SHARE YOUR Personal Faith with someone else. Remember, “Your Faith is the Bridge from where you are, to where God wants you to be!” Walk through God’s Open Door… He is waiting.

Part II of this article coming soon. God Love you and always.... “KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON!”

Catholic Evangelist Richard Lane

Evangelist Richard Lane

Mr. Lane has just completed a four-hour set of talks (Parish Mission / Lecture Style) on this particular document to help YOUR parish prepare for the “Year of Faith”. For more information or to book Evangelist Lane to come to YOUR Parish and conduct this workshop, please contact him directly at Richard@Qorban.net

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black History Month February 3, 2010...

I think we will start off Black History Month, this year, with one of St. Louis's own National Treasures that many don't know about. This article is a reprint of the one I did last year on Sister Anton Ebo, a Black Catholic Nun, who Marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the March in Selma. She is still living and in excellent spirit! Enjoy...

Richard Lane, Qorban Mininstries

"During the past few weeks Sister Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary, has been making national news—again. She and a number of Catholic sisters were pioneers in the struggle for civil rights in Selma, Alabama, back in 1965. Now a PBS documentary, Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change, is telling their story, 42 years later. The film, produced and directed by Los Angeles filmmaker Jayasri Majumdar Hart, is a look at the events that led to the protest. Along the way, it sets the context of Church renewal that led the sisters to take a controversial, public stand for civil rights.

Six sisters were part of the St. Louis delegation to Selma on Wednesday, March 10, 1965. It was three days after a peaceful protest march had been brutally attacked by white-supremacist local authorities, a shocking, widely publicized event that caused the day to be forever known as "Bloody Sunday." The sisters' appearance among the protesters in the following days—and especially African-American Sister Antona—made worldwide headlines.

St. Anthony Messenger caught up with this amazing 82-year-old at the world premiere of the film at the University of Dayton late in 2006. We spent some time with Sister Antona and producer Jayasri Hart. Here is the remarkable story of the woman who, when it was time to "put up or shut up," as Sister Antona says, flew on what she calls "a rickety plane" to Selma.

Introducing Sister Antona

The civil-rights struggle in Selma, Alabama, seems like ancient history to young people today. The Sisters of Selma film premiere at a University of Dayton auditorium drew a standing-room-only crowd of theology-class students at the Marianist university, most of whom—though attendance was mandatory—seemed fascinated by this old woman before them who had actually played a hand in history.

"They said they read about all this stuff," says Sister Antona, speaking of one of her many college audiences, "but they really didn't know anybody that really could tell them about the story." One of her young friends back home in St. Louis, Missouri, calls her "Grandma Sister," she quips. "I love to hear that."

This now-grandmotherly Franciscan Sister of Mary was 41, working at a hospital in St. Louis, where the community is based, when the Selma protest happened. What brought her to the Franciscan sisters is a story in itself, one that helps explain how she wound up in Selma. She tells her story not without humor.

Elizabeth Louise Ebo became Sister Mary Antona in 1947 a year after she entered the convent. She took the name Antona from a Sinsinawa Dominican sister who had taught her algebra and geometry. "When I got finished with her, she gave up teaching and went to a cloister out in California!" she says with a mischievous grin, and adds that another of her teachers followed to the cloister soon thereafter (they were starting a new foundation).

She credits her conversion to Catholicism as a young girl to a dare from a friend and the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Her mother had died when Elizabeth was only four, and the Great Depression had left her illiterate father unable to support his three children. So the three siblings grew up in McLean County Home for Colored Children, in their hometown of Bloomington, Illinois. When she was about nine, one of her childhood friends, Bish ("he was nicknamed Bishop because he wore his beads around his neck and told me that that was his rosary," she explains), convinced her to go with him inside St. Mary's Church (staffed by Franciscan friars of St. John the Baptist Province).

The young girl was fascinated and felt drawn to the Blessed Sacrament. Little could she imagine that, decades later, she would receive Communion directly from Pope John Paul II, during his 1999 visit to St. Louis. That's getting ahead of the story, but it shows what a gift her friend Bish was in her life. While she was waiting to receive Communion from the pope, she says, "I could only think, Bish brought me to this."

She recalls of the distant past, "When Bish and I were sent downtown to pick up the day-old bread from the bakery, on the way Bish said to me: 'If I go in that church, will you tell on me?' And I said, 'No.' Honey, and I went in that church! Bish went straight up to the Communion rail, knelt down and prayed.

"Then we had to run all the way to the bakery and run all the way back, but meanwhile, he's huffing and puffing and telling me why he was kneeling before that altar." She looked later in her "Baptist Bible" and read the words of Jesus offering his body and blood as real food and real drink. "As an adult," she says, "as I reflect on that story, I think we were on the way to pick up day-old bread for our body. And this child taught me about the bread of life that was on that altar."

A few years after that, young Elizabeth contracted tuberculosis and her thumb became badly infected. "I lost the thumb and got religion," she quips, because while she was isolated in the TB sanatorium, she took classes and ultimately became Catholic. Her love of the Eucharist and her desire to work as a nurse led her away from Bloomington to a segregated St. Louis convent, one of the few that would accept blacks. "We have a song that says, 'He's preparing me for everything that comes in my life'—and he prepared me."

Keep on Keepin' On!

Qorban Ministries

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"When Love Calls, You'd Better Answer..."

"When love calls, you'd better answer, cause it might be a big mistake, if you decide to hesitate..." The lyrics to this 1989 hit by Atlantic Starr truly resonate in this powerful witness to the Love of God's Calling in our lives.

Refreshing, to say the least, was a report of a young man leaving a potentially lucrative career in Major League Baseball to pursue a ‘higher calling’ in the Roman Catholic Priesthood.

It was reported by Fox Sports that Oakland A’s Minor League Prospect Grant Desme is officially retiring from Major League Baseball at the age of 23 to pursue a calling to not play against the Angels, Cardinals and Padres, but to join the Catholic A-Team of men, called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Ranked by Baseball America as the A’s 8th best prospect, Desme has chosen to forgo perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, in pursuing a calling to the Roman Catholic Priesthood, which is a refreshing bit of positive news in this truly relativistic and cynical world we currently live in.

Thousands of unknown young men have chosen to give their lives to the calling of the Priesthood and we thank them ALL for their gift to the Church in giving up a secular life; and with singling out Mr. Desme does not in any way diminish or lessen the sacrifice of other unnoticeable young men, but for someone to give up a life of potential luxury, fame, fortune, and secular glory is truly amazing and wonderful to read.

This is a true example of what not only our Church needs, but an example to the entire world, that God’s calling is more important than all the wealth and riches ‘this world’ can give. It seems as Mr. Desme is willing to sign the ultimate contract with the ultimate “A-Team” of God’s Chosen.

“The Year of the Priest” will officially conclude in Rome on or about June 11, 2010, in which we have and continue to celebrate and honor these Warriors of Christ, that have given up everything (secular) to receive what most feel is nothing; to live in austere conditions, living a celibate and chaste life, giving up marriage, even perhaps a vow of poverty, all for the Greater Glory of God; what a powerful and Glorious witness to the Power of the Calling of Christ in a young man’s life.

When the world tells us we can be anything we want, we must fend for ourselves, we must take our portion of the ‘dream’ that is rightfully ours; we see in not only this example, but literally the hundreds of thousands of unnamed Desme’s around the world, who have chosen to be concerned with the only “I” that matters; the “I” in Christ, who tells us that He will strengthen us when we are weak; He is the Way in our lives when we see other ways; it is the “I” in Christ that is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; and it is the “I” in Christ that leads all humanity to Eternal Glory and Peace.

"Here I stand with open arms, I'm offerin' my love to you; I want to do for you, all the things you want me to do" - I pray these lyrics from this song would be Prophet Words of Christ's calling not only to Desme, but to millions more young men around the world. Answer the Call of God in your life and let Him do all, you want Him to do for you!

So let us take not only this moment in time to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of men that have chosen answer God's Call in their lives and chosen the “I’s” in Christ; to the ‘real’ Padres and Cardinals, we say; “Thank you” for giving up everything, so that WE, the People of God, might receive Eternal Life. God’s continued Blessings & Peace to all.

Catholic Evangelist Richard Lane,

Qorban Ministries


*Note - Original reporting of this article was on Fox Sports. Lyrics from the Song courtesy of Rhapsody.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 11

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of my fellow Veterans of the Armed Forces. I spent almost 6 years in the United States Army, Military Police Corps, I want to say to my brothers and sisters; THANK YOU for giving of your life for all of us. I also thank the families of those service men and women who shed their blood for our freedoms we enjoy; thank YOU for your sacrifice of loved one(s).

We continue this month's celebration of Black Catholic History Month with celebrating the little known life of St. Rufus of Rome, son of St. Simon of Cyrene (featured yesterday).

St. Rufus' feast day is November 21st and lived in the first century, as a Roman and disciple of St. Paul the Apostle. St. Paul made mention of Rufus in his letter to the Romans 16:13: "Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord and his mother and mine." St. Rufus, in some traditions is also considered to have served as a Bishop of the Church.

St. Rufus of Rome... pray for us.

Blessings and Peace to you all this day, and never forget.... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Black Catholic History Month - November 10

We continue our celebration of Black Catholic History Month today, in telling the stories of those who have made a significant impact upon the Church. Those of African, African-American and those of non-color that have helped to advance the Gospel Message to millions around the world and especially in this Nation.

"And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross." (Matthew 27:32)

Today we reflect upon the life of St. Simon of Cyrene, although much is not known about this man 'of color', his small contribution is not only told in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew and Luke, but we also reflect upon his 'mission' in the 5th Station of the Cross.

As Simon was walking into the city of Jerusalem with his two sons, he noticed the hustle and bustle of the city, which was normal, but it seemed a bit different on this trip. As we in modern day society know with traffic accidents, things slow down and everyone wants to 'rubber neck' and watch; so was the case in this time. Simon, with his two sons in tow, moved closer to the commotion when he realized it was 'this Jesus', the reported Messiah; the Healer, the Preacher and the Teacher; the one who claimed to be 'the Son of God', had been arrested, beaten, set with a crown of thorns upon his head, and was being led to His execution; even forced to carry his own instrument of death - the Cross.

I place myself in the same position as Simon was in and thinking as a father would, with his children present, 'what should I do'? I would like to believe that I would have done the same as Simon; ensuring my children were safe and then press forward to see if there was anything (however little it might be) that I could do.

I am certain that Simon was appalled at what was transpiring and more than likely shouted at the Roman Soldiers, for doing what they were doing, when all of a sudden, a Soldier forced Simon 'into service'; demanding that he (Simon) pick up the Cross and carry it for Jesus. Imagine looking down upon Christ, broken, battered, bloodied and bruised; picking up this 'tree' that had fallen upon him and helping him (Christ) to his feet.

Let us learn from this great Saint our 'mission'; we too must bear our share of the burdens for the sake of the Gospel. We too must pick up the Cross of Christ and carry the Good News of Salvation into all the strata of humanity; extolling, Christ destroyed Death, so that we might LIVE IN HIM, forever more...

Thank you St. Simon of Cyrene for teaching us love and compassion; for giving us strength and courage to pick up the Cross of Jesus, for the sake of all mankind!

St. Simon of Cyrene, Pray for us!

Blessings and Peace, and remember... KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nightwatch Services - "How We Got Over"...

I have seen this on the internet several times and feel impelled to share it. This is part of the History of the United States, Black, White, Hispanic, et. al. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord and share in it's struggles and triumphs. This article is only a small portion of the strength, faith and love millions had and continue to have for this Nation. God bless you and God bless the United States of America!

Evangelist Richard Lane, Qorban Ministries

“Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of "Watch Night Services," the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year's Eve.

The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. To 10 p.m. And ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year.

Some folks come to church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve event. Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service -- made a bit more Afro centric because that's what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church.

Still, it seemed that predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs.
In fact, there were instances where clergy in mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year's Eve.

However, there is a reason for the importance of New Year's Eve services in African American congregations.

The Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve."
On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law.
Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free.

When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God.
Black folks have gathered in churches annually on New Year's Eve ever since, praising God for bringing us safely through another year.

It's been 145 years since that first Freedom's Eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to celebrate "how we got over."”