Sunday, March 2, 2014

Our Lady of Fatima - Benton

Good Evening All.  I was going to be reporting on a church visit in Tunica, MS (or thereabouts) but as you probably know, the weather turned sour so I went back to Little Rock.  It's currently sleeting while thundering.

I stayed relatively close and attended Our Lady of Fatima in Benton, which is almost like a suburb of Little Rock.  As luck would have it, the Knights of Columbus were having breakfast for the parish after Mass.

Our Lady of Fatima is a more recently built church.  The center of the church looks like an upside boat.  The one thing I didn't like was the clear glass door to the confessional...

Music was provided by a cantor and a guitarist who were up in the front instead of the loft aka balcony.
Opening:  Seek Ye First
Offertory:  Isaiah 49
Communion:  Only This I Want
Closing:  He is Exalted!

Before Mass, visitors and new members were asked to introduce themselves.  Luckily there was a nice column for me to hide behind.  Announcements were also made before Mass.  Additionally, everyone was reminded that Wednesday was a day of fasting and abstinence.

When we give someone a gift, we call it a present.  It is our presence contained within the present.  When we send an email or a tweet, we are present.  When we send a handwritten note, we are even more present.  Think of the difference between shaking hands, holding hands, and kissing.  (No kissing in church!) The more personal the present, the closer the two people.  Being with someone you love is the greatest treasure (awww)  To truly be present involves listening.  You must listen with your hearing and with your heart.  Heart speaks to heart. (Cardinal Newman!)  How is God present to us?  How do we expect His presence?  It is one thing to recite prayers and another thing to pray from the heart.  Our lives are filled with busyness and clutter.  Where do we look for God?  Where is His presence?  The world doesn't like God (that is an understatement...) God is present.  God loves us with a love beyond any other love.  We will never understand.  How do we know?  The crucifix.  God is present in Communion.  What kind of God is God?  What do we expect of God?  What does God expect of us?  To whom do I give my heart?  Where your treasure is, your heart is there (cliche!) In relationships, what do we look for others and what do we expect.  When we are ensnared in the world's treasures and set our heart on them, there is no room for God.  Isaiah 49, the Prophet is speaking to the people who were being lead out of captivity from Babylon.  It is a message of consolation.  The people should be glad.  Yahweh has consoled His people.  The Gospel speaks of God's love for us and that His love frees us from what holds us captive.  There are some ways we can find out what God expects.  We need to spend time reflecting on God and quiet time with God.  We have a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel (which is locked...) We need to spend time reading the Scripture and absorb them.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells at the Consecration.


Bell Tower

View From the Back Pew

Seven Sacrament

And now for everyone's favorite game:  Guess the Windows!  

Three Bags: St. Matthew? 
Saw:  St. James the Lesser

2 Fish:  St. Andrew

Keys:  St. Peter
Shell:  St. James

Scroll:  St. John?
Basket with T:  St. Philip

Book:  St. Paul
Arrows:  St. Philip

Bees:  St. Ambrose

Coins and bag:  Judas????  There are 30 Coins
Book and Axe: St. Matthias

Ship:  St. Jude
Fish with suitcase:  St. Simon the Zealot

Hey!  Where are the fish frys in Little Rock???

Our Lady of Fatima

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