Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Power of Prayer

            Hi there!  Just checking to see how everyone is doing with their New Years resolutions?  We’re living in difficult times. I know we are all hoping 2021 will be better.  Remember to begin every day anew. Something I have been focusing on this past week, is to “pray as if everything depends on God.”  (I believe St. Ignatius said this.)  Which is so true!  Your relationship with God and the power of intercessory prayer can truly make a difference. 

            Do you trust in God’s plan?  Do you offer up the good times and the bad to Him?  Everything you do has value.  So entrust yourself to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.  Every prayer, every time you unite your heart to theirs, your confidence will be all the greater.  Because God has a plan, and He wants you to be a part of it.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Jesus, A Humble Example

 Jesus, A Humble Example

Jesus, Your ministry on earth is about to begin.

You hear the voice of Your cousin, crying out in the wilderness.

“Prepare the way of the Lord!”

You see the signs of the times.  You go to John,

And he recognizes you, not just as kin, but as Our Lord,

Our savior.

He feels unworthy to baptize You, though You insist.

You want to assure others of this Way, by Your own example.

Hence, the heavens are opened.

From above the Father proclaims:

“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

 

Your cousin is soon after doubted; arrested.

You see the time has come.

The long awaited time, while in your earthly life, becomes a time to fulfill.

“This is the time of fulfillment.  The Kingdom of God is at hand.

Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

 

Now is the time. 

Since the beginning of Your calling us forth, some follow and others choose not.

What is Your calling, oh Jesus?

It is the calling, by Your very example, to be the servant rather than the preferred.

It is the call to prefer discomfort rather than comfort,

A penance from the comfortable.

Yet joy in Your healing and true meaning of Love.

For the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Grateful For Jesus

 Merry Christmas to All!

    It is my hope that all of you were able to attend Mass (whether in person or virtually) for this celebratory solemnity!  I also hope that this completed Advent Season has prepared your hearts for Love Incarnate!  You are all in my thoughts and prayers, as always.

    I'm not big on presents, but I thought I might share with you one, that I received.  It is a formatted, gratitude journal!  In spite of the restrictions and lockdowns because of Covid, etc. there is so much to be grateful for.  I'm sure you can name people and things that help keep you going.  But, more importantly, I invite you to reflect on your level of gratitude for Christ's birth.  It happened so many years ago, and yet it is still worth praising God for!  

    This Christmas Season, I invite you to look past the holiday food and presents, and visit Jesus in your nativity scene.  He has neither of these things (well, until the Wise Men came on Epiphany).  Look past the holiday decorations, and see Jesus for Jesus.  

    The Son of God, our Redeemer, comes into the world, to be a tangible Truth, because of His great love for us.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Fourth Week of Advent

 

                Happy Fourth Week of Advent!  I decided to post via letter, to make sure I also reach out to those who are following the blog. 

                As we make the final preparations for Christmas, I would like to reflect on Sunday’s gospel, written by St. Matthew.  Though it had taken place nine months earlier, it brings us back to the Mystery of the Annunciation.  I see this scene as something the Blessed Mother looks back on, just before the day she gives birth to Jesus, our Savior, in Bethlehem.  Then I hear in my head different songs artists have written, like “Mary Did You Know?” and “Breath of Heaven.”  It brings me to this interior conversation with her, and asking “What was going through your mind?”  I must also add the question, of “What was going through St. Joseph’s mind?”  It must have taken a lot of faith and trust, believing that this child his wife was to give birth to, was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

                In reflecting on these questions, we can ask ourselves how we can respond with Mary’s same fiat, and St. Joseph’s humble submission to the will of God, in Christ’s birth. 

                Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

We're Open!

     This past Sunday, I had the great joy of being able to participate in the Mass inside my church.  What a joy to be home again!  I continuously pray an act of thanksgiving to God for this reopening, and I hope to never take it for granted.  I rejoiced in the "Glory to God," and remember that He promises to never leave us.  Even in the midst of turmoil and confusion, He is here among us.  Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!

    I know that some of you are still celebrating the Mass outside.  It is my prayer that this incoming, cooler weather does not become a detriment for you.  I also hope that you are able to find a nearby, Catholic church that is able to open its doors to you.  It is not your parish's fault if you are unable to go inside your church.  May Jesus give you the strength to persevere during these difficult times.  Receive Jesus in the Sacraments of Confession and in Holy Communion, that you may have all the graces you need to strengthen yourselves in the Faith.  And in all things, may Jesus Christ be praised!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Word(s) of the Week

          And now for the Word of the Week: Holy Desires

          We have so many wants, preferences, and needs, don’t we?  Wants because we crave after something, preferences because we have an opinion, and needs because we are human.  They can be justifiable or selfish.  But what is it that we desire, for instance, for the good of others?

          Philippians 4:8 tells us “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

          Are our desires aimed toward the good of our peers and bringing them to Heaven?  Probably not all the time (I am included in this regard, being a sinner).  But we can still have great desires to love one another.  It does not come easy, but we can strive for it, right? 

          So, if we were to “wipe the slate clean,” what kind of desires can we pray for, and renew ourselves with? 

Lord, purify my desires.  Let them be honorable, right, pure, and lovely.  I want to bring others to You.  Work through me.  I want Your desires to be my desires too.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Keeping Watch Amidst the Storm

                 It was this previous Sunday’s Mass, and my parish was still forced to celebrate it outside on the school grounds.  As more and more people walked in with their folding/camping chairs, I hoped that they would remember to be reverent and only speak in lowered voices.  And they did.  Some chairs squeaked as they were unfolded, but that couldn’t be helped. 

                Mass began.  Ready to present the First Reading (from Isaiah), the lector approached the ambo and adjusted the microphone.  I prepared my heart to listen to the Word of God.

                But, just as she was about to begin, the cry of a nearby train shouted as it passed nearby.  Now remember, it was all the louder for the congregation, as we were outside and not within the enclosed walls of the church.  So the train was extra loud for us. 

                But the lector projected into the microphone, hoping she could be heard a little better.

                “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near.” 

                It was a bold cry to raise our hearts to God. 

                There are many distractions and fears in today’s world, and the train is a sure example of this.  It can cause us to resort to our own devices.  But I repeatedly remind myself to remain in God’s Presence and to trust Him, despite the many storms.  As I mentioned in a recent vlog, we must bring Jesus to others.  We must also seek Him out, and be strengthened by the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Confession. 

                We must remain vigilant before God, that He may reign in our hearts.  He comes in the abundance of His mercy and grace.  We must be like John the Baptist and “Prepare the Way of the Lord.”  God is faithful, and has not left His Church. 

                I do not like to get into politics on this blog, but let us continue to pray for one another.  Let us love our enemies, and that we may pass the test.  Let us remain confident and trust in God’s Plan, and be like Our Lady, who kept watch at the foot of the Cross.

                Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!

                Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!