Sunday, November 13, 2016

What to do post-election?

Well, we have finally reached the end of a troubling election cycle here in the U.S.  

Some people are happy, some are angry.

Most are confused and now waiting to see what this all means.

But there is one piece of advice we should follow no matter what platform we believe in - PRAY.  

PRAY for our country and for all countries.  And PRAY for the Salvation of the World.


Prayer for the Salvation of the World

Father, hear our prayers for the salvation of the world. 
Grant Mercy to all souls that turned away from You. 
Open their hearts and minds with Your light.
Gather Your children from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
Have mercy O God on those who do not know You. 
Bring them out of darkness into Your light. 
You are our saving God Who leads us in our salvation. Protect us from evil.
Bless and praise You O Lord, hear our prayers and answer us. You, our Savior, are the hope of all the ends of the Earth and the distant seas. 
May Your way be known upon Earth; among all nations Your salvation.
We put the world in Your hands; fill us with Your love. Grant us peace through Christ, our Lord.
Amen  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Comprehending Marriage

In today's Gospel, some Sadducees give Jesus a hypothetical scenario where a woman marries seven brothers, one by one.  

They ask Him which of the seven will be the woman's husband at the time of the Resurrection.  

Jesus' answer, in essence, is that marriage is an earthly thing.  It is not "needed" in a Heaven without death - one where our relationship with God is paramount.  

This is hard to comprehend, especially for married folks.  But it is fair to say that we are just not capable of fully understanding these kinds of things yet.  

I equate it to when we were young children, and the thought of marrying someone was "gross".  We just didn't have the capacity at that time to appreciate how wonderful marriage could be, just like we do not now - at this point in our journey - have the capacity to fully appreciate what happiness in the Eternal Paradise is like. 

Hopefully some day we will, and it will be more beautiful and amazing than we ever thought possible.  

For now, we have Faith.

God Bless you.

 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Inspiration from St Paul and St JP2

It is easy to get discouraged these days.  

Between the poverty, suffering and endless bickering in society, it is not always easy to stay positive.

But the "stars" of this weekend give us hope.

Yesterday was the Feast Day of St. John Paul II (Oct 22) and some of his more famous quotes include:

Do not abandon yourself to despair.  We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our Song!
There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us.
From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary we learn to love Christ her Son and the Son of God.

And in today's second reading, St. Paul tells us:

But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom.

These positive and uplifting reminders are certainly welcome at times like these.  With them in mind, hopefully we can - like St. Paul - compete well, keep the faith and finish the race.

God Bless you. 
 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Quick Bytes: Where are the other nine(ty)?

I couldn't help but feel like today's Gospel was being re-enacted right in front of me today.  

From my Church's half-filled parking lot, to the empty pews during Mass, I could feel Jesus looking around, asking "what happened to the other nine(ty)?"  

The Lord gives so many gifts to us ... please pray that more people act like the Samaritan in today's Gospel and come back to praise Him.

God Bless you.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Twist on Poor Man / Rich Man

I was listening to Bishop Robert Barron's podcast on this weekend's Gospel, and he certainly gave me a lot to think about.  

This Gospel is one we all know well - about Lazarus, a poor man, and an unnamed rich man.  

First things first, I have always considered all of us the "rich man" in this reading.  After all, if you can read this blog, and type a response, you are richer than most of the world.  

Bishop Barron comments that being "wealthy" (remember, it is a relative term, and not just material) is not a bad thing.  Perhaps, he states, God has given us this wealth so that it gets to the people that need it most.    

What an inspirational comment!  Rather than feeling guilty that we have three meals a day (plus dessert!), can read and write, can afford a roof over our heads and a computer to blog ... we can act as stewards of God's treasures and be his "distribution arm" on earth.  

However, just when I had absorbed that thought, Bishop Barron turned that idea on its head.  He reflected that, perhaps, the rich are not just here to help the poor ... what if God also put the poor here to help the rich get to heaven?  What if all those beggars in the street, letters asking for donations, and volunteer emails are opportunities for us to take a step towards our Eternal Home?  

Either way, the guidance is clear.  Love one another, share your gifts, and care for those in need.  

God Bless you!

Monday, September 5, 2016

I reflected this weekend on the Gospel (where Jesus reminds us that the Father comes before anything else) and the Sainthood of Mother Teresa.  

I started thinking about St. Teresa, and all she did to help the poor and needy.  Of all the people she came in contact with - all the people God sent her way  - I wondered what percentage of them she helped.  Because she gave up so many worldly things so early, she probably helped a good percentage of them.  

I contrasted that with what my percentage would be.  I wondered how many opportunities I missed because I was preoccupied with other things.  I imagine I have missed as many as St. Teresa helped.  

As I began to despair over that fact, I came across this quote from her :

"Never worry about the numbers.  Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."

What an inspiring quote from our newest Saint.  

God Bless you.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Overheard at Mass: Humility

This week's Gospel was all about humility.  In the passage from Luke, Jesus talks about sitting at the lowest place at the table instead of the seat of honor.  

At Mass, we were reminded of an excellent quote by C.S. Lewis:

True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.

In that quote, lies an important distinction for us Catholics.  

God created us in His image - and gave us the gifts and tools we need to carry out His mission for us.  Therefore it is probably not a great idea to think less of what God created!  Besides that, sometimes this version of "humility" is forced and not genuine.  

Rather, true humility is spending more time thinking about God, and others, than ourselves. This will lead us to more appropriate actions, like generosity of talent and means, as well as servitude.     

God Bless you.