Articles by Al Mansfield

“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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“YOU CAN’T HURT ME – I’M ALREADY DEAD”

I remember hearing this rather striking statement years ago from a friend of mine who ministered with me in the Charismatic Renewal. He meant that his “old man”, his “sin nature”, his “flesh”, was “dead with Christ,” and could therefore feel no more pain from insults, slights, etc. And in his case, it was really true! A deeply Christian man and full of the Holy Spirit, he not only “talked the talk” but “walked the walk” as well. He exemplified virtue, holiness and the fruit of the Spirit.

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“AIN’T DERE NO MORE”

Have you ever heard the song by Benny Grunch and the Bunch called “Ain’t Dere No More”? It’s about some iconic New Orleans stores that are no longer in business, such as Maison Blanche, K&B Drugs, Schwegmann’s, etc. I sometimes have a vague feeling like that when I hear homilies and other religious talks. I wonder why certain subjects so rarely, if ever, get attention. It’s like they “ain’t dere no more….”

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GOD’S WAY OR MAN’S WAY?

Imagine that you have come to a fork in the road. (I’m reminded of Yogi Berra’s famous saying, “When you come to a fork in the road – take it!”) Anyway, we do come to many forks in the road – matters to decide, choices to be made, changes to consider, etc. Now imagine two signs: one saying God’s Way and the other Man’s Way. You would be tempted to think, that’s a simple choice, right? Wrong!

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MEMORIES OF FR. GEORGE KOSICKI, CSB

Fr. George Kosicki had a brilliant intellect as well as a spirit that was drawn to God as metal to a magnet. He was, by education and profession, a biochemist as well as a priest. His training in scientific research served him well after he was baptized in the Spirit and left biochemistry to focus exclusively on preaching, teaching, and writing on spiritual topics.

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WHAT DO YOU DELIGHT IN?

A good question to ask as we begin a new year is, “What do you delight in? What do I delight in?” When Patti and I got married in 1973, we received a Scripture as our “marriage verse.” We used it in our wedding invitations, the program leaflet for our wedding, and indeed, claimed it for our entire married life. The verse is Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

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LET YOUR FAITH RISE

Just over a year ago, November 3, 2017, to be exact, I was praying. I was very concerned about some things in the Church, in our country and in the world. I admit that I was tending to feel somewhat discouraged and lacking in faith and hope. Then I was surprised to sense the Lord speaking a word to my heart. The following is what I heard:

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WHAT IS THE SPIRIT SAYING TODAY? – Part Two

“For such a time as this” the Lord is offering us wisdom from his Word. This Month we continue exploring some Scripture verses that seem to be especially relevant today. Guard these words in your heart for hope and encouragement.

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Wisdom of  the Saints

 

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