Articles by Al Mansfield

THE WORD OF GOD: IGNORE AT YOUR OWN PERIL!

I remember Christmas Eve 1976. Why? Because there are photos of me trying to put together a toy motorcycle for our first child. I guess I didn’t pay (sufficient) attention to the assembly instructions because the front wheel somehow ended up on top of the handlebars! I also remember taking trips when I didn’t pay (sufficient) attention to the driving directions. I either got hopelessly lost or ended up at a completely different destination. Some of us have to learn the hard way that instructions, directions, rules and laws are there for a reason. This is all the more the case when it comes to God’s word in Sacred Scripture. It is a gift to teach us the truths of what to believe and how to live. We ignore it at our own peril.

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“HEY, FRIEND, DO YOU STILL LOVE JESUS?”

The voice was uncomfortably loud and came from someone behind him in line at the airport. “Hey, Pepe, do you still love Jesus?” Evangelist and Bible teacher Jose (Pepe) Prado Flores turned to face a rather imposing woman who asked him yet again, more loudly than before, “Pepe, do you still love Jesus?” Pepe answered, perhaps in self-defense, “Yes!”  The woman, who was actually an old friend and fellow evangelist, just nodded and said, “Good, good!”, and proceeded on her way. Pepe says he has encountered her several times since then, and always heard the same question: “Hey, Pepe, do you still love Jesus?”

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“CCRNO…I LOVE THAT!”

My wife Patti went to the UPS Store to ship a package with a CCRNO return address label on it. The clerk, a young woman in her twenties, pointed to the CCRNO red dove and exclaimed: “CCRNO…I know what that is. I love that!” Apparently, she used to attend events with the CCRNO youth group and really enjoyed it. This kind of incident has occurred many times over the 50-year history of CCRNO, since its beginning in 1969.  As we celebrate this “Golden Anniversary,” let’s look back, remember, and give thanks.

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EVANGELIZATION – WHAT IT IS AND IS NOT

My wife Patti and I once served on a committee of about 20 people to assess evangelization in our Archdiocese. At one point each person was asked what he or she thought evangelization was. There were as many concepts as there were people – vastly different and sometimes almost contradictory!

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NOT TO US, O LORD…NON NOBIS, DOMINE

“I don’t think the teacher will let me say that, Mom.” Our son had the lead in a school play- a musical – many years ago. He did a lot of singing and dancing and was pretty good at it. He came to enjoy the appreciation, compliments, and crowd response he was receiving. His mother, concerned about his “hat size”, had counseled him to recite Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.”

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