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Cougar Dad's Club

Cougar Dads Bible Study

Next meeting: Friday, February 15, 2019, 7:30-8:00am
Location: Karen Vickery office (Main floor - Lower School Intermediate Bldg)

Questions?  Contact Jason Neff, jneff01@gmail.com or 785.383.0927

Study Notes for Friday (2/15/19) meeting

Printable packet:

Study notes.15Feb19.pdf

READ: Luke 6:17; 20-26

 

17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; 

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 

21 “Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. 

“Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. 

22 “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. 

24 “But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation. 

25 “Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger. 

“Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 “Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

 

 

PERSONAL MEDITATION - Fr. John Bartunek, from The Better Part

 

The Way to Go

 

“The more one contemplates him with sincere and unprejudiced mind, the clearer does it become that there can be nothing more salutary than his law, more divine than his teaching.”

 

– Pope Leo XIII

 

 

Christ the Teacher

 

In this context “blessed” means truly happy, filled with lasting joy. In a shocking reversal of ordinary standards, Jesus links true happiness with struggle and hardship, suffering and opposition. Those who set their sights merely on what this world has to offer and pursue it with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength will attain it, but that is all they will attain – and it won’t be enough to satisfy them. Those who are full now will be hungry later; those who make merry now will be sad later; those who are popular now will experience rejection later. In other words, the human spirit was made to find its fulfillment by living in communion with God, and that can only happen if we use created realities in order to bring us closer to God. If, on the other hand, we set our hearts on the gifts of God in and of themselves (all the pleasures of the created world), we will certainly find enjoyment in them, but we will miss the point; our reservoir of happiness will eventually run dry, because we will have cut ourselves off from the source.

 

This lesson has to be re-learned continually. Because of our fallen nature, we always tend to think we can find heaven on earth by putting together just the right combination of possessions, praise, and power. But since we can’t, as our Lord makes perfectly clear, the mature Christian will always avoid the temptation to put his faith and his virtue on cruise control. There is no such amenity in the spiritual life. We are members of the Church militant for as long as we journey here on earth, and that means we need to keep our armor on and our supply lines protected, lest we fall into the enemy’s traps.

 

 

DAD’S MEDITATION

 

Whenever I read the beatitudes, I’m reminded of Bishop Barron’s preaching on them in his Catholicism series:

 

“One of the most fundamental problems in the spiritual order is that we sense within ourselves the hunger for God, but we attempt to satisfy it with some created good that is less than God. Thomas Aquinas said that the four typical substitutes for God are wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. Sensing the void within, we attempt to fill it up with some combination of these four things, but only by emptying out the self in love can we make the space for God to fill us. The classical tradition referred to this errant desire as "concupiscence," but I believe that we could neatly express the same idea with the more contemporary term "addiction." When we try to satisfy the hunger for God with something less than God, we will naturally be frustrated, and then in our frustration, we will convince ourselves that we need more of that finite good, so we will struggle to achieve it, only to find ourselves again, necessarily, dissatisfied. At this point, a sort of spiritual panic sets in, and we can find ourselves turning obsessively around this creaturely good that can never in principle make us happy.”

 

As a Dad, it’s easy to use these attachments to try and fill the void that only God can fill.  We can even try to fill that void with our family…a situation that will ultimately be very damaging to our relationships, because even our families can’t fill the infinite void that can only be filled by God.  No human being (or family) can live up to the weight of that expectation. When God is allowed to fill that void, our family life becomes more joyous and energetic.

 

Later in the same talk, Barron points out that the happy man is the one free of these material attachments.  To be happy and poor is to be free from the attachment to money.  To be happy and hungry is to be free of the attachment to gluttony (pleasure).  To be happy and weeping is to be free of an inordinate attachment to “good feelings.” To be happy and persecuted is to be free of the attachment to honor.  Ultimately, this is why Jesus, even on the cross, is the truly happy man – the one who has freed himself of all attachment except to God.

 

 

REFLECT:

 

  1. What attachments exist in your own life that you use to fill the void that should be filled by God?  Do they tend to be wealth, pleasure, power, or honor-related?

 

  1. How can we help our kids to avoid the devastating mistake of assuming that material things can fill the infinite void within – a mistake that leads to addiction and unhappiness?

 

  1. St. Augustine once said – “the chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”  How is that applicable here?

 

  1. What is one specific action you can undertake to free yourself of your most troublesome attachment, starting today?

 

 

FURTHER STUDY: Catechism and Ignatius Bible Study Notes

 

Catechism:

 

544The kingdom belongs to the poor and lowly, which means those who have accepted it with humble hearts. Jesus is sent to “preach good news to the poor”; he declares them blessed, for “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”254To them—the “little ones”—the Father is pleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise and the learned. Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst, and privation.256Jesus identifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love toward them the condition for entering his kingdom. (709; 2443; 2546)

 

 

Ignatius Bible Study notes:

 

6:17 Tyre and Sidon: Two coastal cities north of Palestine in Phoenicia. People from these areas are predominantly Gentiles—a fact that highlights Jesus’ popularity outside Israel (2:31–32).

 

6:20–26 The Beatitudes (6:20–22) stand opposite the covenant curses, or Woes (6:24–26; Deut 30:19–20). Jesus envisions the conditions of this life being overturned in the next, where the blessed can expect their present suffering to give way to future peace, and the prosperous can expect divine curses if wealth and notoriety have smothered their love for God. See notes on Mt 5:3–10.

The Cougar Dads Club is open to all HSP men!  

The Dads Club offers HSP Dads an opportunity to interact and contribute through:

  • Periodic social activities - School kickoff social, Braves night, Pig Roast, and more!
  • Faith formation through bi-weekly Scripture reflections on the Sunday mass readings - our "Dads Cougar Convers(at)ions" (Friday mornings from 7:30-8 in the Vickery office at the Lower School Intermediate Bldg - main floor)
  • Cougar Dads service day at HSP

Our biweekly newsletter - the Cougar Dad Cave - is designed to keep Dads appraised of Dads Club and Dad-oriented HSP activities, as well as provide ongoing faith formation through Scripture, the Church, and other media relevant for fathers.

Email Jason Neff, Cougar Dads Club leader at jneff01@gmail.com for more information.