Gossip

04-25-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis recently gave an important pastoral instruction.

Gossip, he explained, is one of the most dangerous sins because it is so subtle and ambiguous -- many are unable to recognize it. Be on alert against gossip whenever you hear of “secret information” being circulated, or if you hear anyone else’s name is used in a conversation. Gossip exists whenever persons “talk about others” in less than a favorable way.

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God Unlocks the Door

04-18-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

In his book The Pressure’s Off, psychologist Larry Crabb tells this story from his childhood.

"One Saturday afternoon, I decided I was a big boy and could use the bathroom without anyone’s help. So I climbed the stairs, closed and locked the door behind me, and for the next few minutes felt very self-sufficient.

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Sin and The Sacrament of Confession

04-11-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear friend,

Sin demands to have a person be alone. It withdraws the individual from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him or her, and the more deeply the person becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is the isolation.

Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of the unexpressed, it poisons the whole being of a person.

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Christ has risen, Alleluia!

04-04-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friends,

Margaret Cregg, my high school classmate, wrote that in the mid-1990’s her uncle, Father Walter Sangster, began to notice some uneasiness in his throat and a dragging in his leg. When he went to the doctor, he found that he had an incurable disease that caused progressive muscular atrophy. His muscles would gradually waste away, his voice would fail, and his throat would soon become unable to swallow.

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God's Voicemail

03-28-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Most of us have now learned to live with voicemail as a necessary part of our daily lives. But have you ever wondered what it would be like if God decided to install voicemail?

Imagine praying and hearing the following:

Thank you for calling Heaven.
For English, Press 1.
For Spanish, press 2.
For all other languages, press 0.

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Jesus is Crying for You

03-21-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Yvette, who is a young mother in Washington, D.C., recently told me her remarkable story, she wrote:

"It was the end. I knew it. I could no longer fight. I sat here emotionless. I was totally alone. Others had tried to help -- doctors, nurses, parents, husband, children. But they were gone. Hours earlier I had come into the hospital on an emergency basis. I had back pain so severe that at times, it dropped me to my knees. This was not my first hospital stay. I had been sick for a long time it seemed...

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Give It Up Permanently

03-14-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Lent is a time of refreshment and renewal. The word “Lent” comes from the old English, “lencten," which means spring. Lent is meant to be a "springtime" for the church. In Lent we participate in works of charity, prayer, and penance. Oftentimes people give up something in Lent and this is certainly a laudable practice. However, it is also good to do more prayer, more works of charity, etc.

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The Difference Between Heaven and Hell

03-07-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

C. S. Lewis once provided a powerful image of the difference between heaven and hell.

He described hungry people sitting at a huge banquet loaded with delicious food. Every person had a meter-long fork and knife attached to their hands (that’s about three feet long). The scene in hell was one of anger, frustration, and fighting as people scrambled to feed themselves. They could reach the food with the long knives and forks, but they were too long to feed themselves. The conflict, screaming, and unfulfilled hunger continued for eternity--that is hell.

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Temptations

02-28-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Think how many temptations we might face in an ordinary day.

Growling at the breakfast table - the temptation to unkindness.

Arguing over who should change the baby this time - the temptation to selfishness.

Starting work late without permission - the temptation to slothfulness.

Losing your temper when a co-worker crashes your computer - the temptation to impatience.

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Tell God all that is on your heart

02-21-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic writer said this about prayer: "Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend.

Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability.

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Don't be an Inactive Bystander

02-14-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

When Rosina Hernandez was in college, she once attended a rock concert at which one young man was brutally beaten by another. No one made an attempt to stop the beating. The next day she was struck dumb to learn that the youth had died as a result of the pounding. Yet neither she nor anyone else had raised a hand to help him. She could never forget the incident or her responsibility as an inactive bystander.

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The Huddle

02-07-2021The Pastor's PenRev. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

In football they have a "huddle."

The goal of the huddle is to give you thirty seconds to call the play, that is why they give you a huddle.

At a professional football game there may be sixty thousand people watching you huddle, they don’t mind you taking thirty seconds to call the play.

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