Paul and the Philippians remembered and supported one another in prayer.
A joyful, loving, and caring Catholic Community is one which keeps each other in prayer. Oftentimes, we fail to be a joyful, loving, caring Catholic Community because we fail to remember and support each other in prayer.READ MORE
“What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Matthew 16:26)
St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Remember, you are what you are in the eyes of God, and nothing else.” We often forget this stewardship wisdom when we spend all of our time, talent, and treasure to gain more of the world’s riches. We need to set our priorities based on God’s values and not the values of the material world.
Secular pursuits only bring a temporary amount of satisfaction and fulfillment. As much as we may think that achieving worldly success, economic security, personal well-being, and self-fulfillment are worthy goals to obtain, they all are dependent on external variables and can lead to emptiness. We are trained to be very pragmatic and productive. Unless we are able to check off all of the boxes or comply with specific measurable requirements, our value and worth becomes questionable. Corporations, educational institutions, systems, structures, and secular ideology rarely consider deeper, more spiritual, and human contributions a person can and needs to make.READ MORE
”Or who has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid?” (Romans 11:35)
St. Paul reminds us of a central fact of stewardship. We cannot give the Lord anything — God already owns it all. God made everything. All we can do is return a portion of God’s many gifts back to Him. Sincere gratitude for our gifts opens our hearts to joyful generosity! Through your generous sharing, you just may be the answer to someone’s prayer.
Do you remember the cartoon with Wiley Coyote and Ralph the sheep dog? I use to love that cartoon. Every morning Ralph and Wiley would meet at the time clock which was mounted on a tree. As they clocked in they would greet each other and then they would go to their respective departments.
Ralph the sheep dog went to his post on the cliff and took his position as head of the sheep protection department. Wiley, true to his nature, would slink away into the forest to plan his strategy as head of the sheep acquisition and consumption department.READ MORE
The only way to know God is to love God. Our minds will never fully grasp the mystery of God, but our hearts and souls can learn to love the mystery. Years ago, when life had a more innocent quality to it, we believed what we were told or witnessed, unless there was direct evidence otherwise. This was especially true if the information came from someone in authority. In a sense, we were a bit more gullible on one hand but also more trusting on the other. The latter is an admirable quality that sadly can be eroded when we realize we have been duped. With education and technological advances, we find ourselves more skeptical and less likely to too quickly accept and believe what we see and hear.READ MORE
We are hardwired for wholeness and crave it. When something is broken, we want it fixed. If a part of our body is not working properly, we want it healed. How often do we find ourselves saying, “I’m tired of struggling with this cold, I can’t wait for my surgery to heal, or I want my treatments to make me better.” Wholeness and healing restore our relationships and make us free to love as we desire. We know very well how our limitations, imperfections, and brokenness really limit us. They can easily prevent us from being and doing what we want to do.READ MORE
“For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)
God has a special mission in mind for each of us. He has given us the gifts we need to accomplish that mission. We are called to be Good stewards by usingthose gifts to do the work that He has planned for each of us. If we deny our gifts or fail to use them as God calls us to use them, then some part of His workWill be left undone.
A bishop friend of mine in Ireland recently sent this to me and I want to share it with you: Ten Commandments of "Human Relations"
1. Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
2. Smile at people. It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile.READ MORE
Silence is sacred. Silence speaks the language of the soul and is the foundation of all life and eternity itself. Silence takes us beyond the limits of our minds and allows us to seek and to love the essence of all love, perfect love, and being. In silence, we can be non-verbally present to things and to God in ways that words cannot accomplish. We can discover, encounter, and be present to truths that our minds struggle to conceive and then set aside the boxes we put around things when comprehending them is challenging. We can know the unknowable and touch eternity when we encounter the core silence in our souls.READ MORE
I once read a marvelous story about a country doctor in Ireland who had a very poor practice. Although his patients would pay him in eggs, chickens, vegetables at harvest, and meat at slaughtering time, his huge ledger book would contain many names, symptoms, treatments, and prescriptions, but a lot of empty boxes or columns where nothing was paid.READ MORE
“He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.” (Matthew 14:29)
When you hear Jesus calling, do you respondimmediately and trust that He knows what He’sdoing? If so, you are walking on water! Whenwe say “yes” to Jesus, we feel the power of Hispresence in our lives.We can feel the freedom it gives us!Listen to how Jesus is calling you to livethe extraordinary lifeHe has intended for you.
What does hope in God do for humanity?
Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetens while bitterness bites.
Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
“Jesus said to them, ‘There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves’.” (Matthew 14:16)
This is what Jesus said right before he fed thousand men. How often do we really place our trust in Jesus when the situation looks grim? With Jesus, no gift is too small or insignificant when offered with love. But, we have to do our part. We should trust that Jesus will provide all that we need. We need to believe that Jesus has a better plan in store for us.
Many people in our world are hungry and thirsty. This hunger and thirst go well beyond physical needs for food, security, and shelter. Many are emotionally and spiritually parched, too. Behind every act of violence is a soul who hungers. People live with relationships that actually starve them. They are abused, exploited, disrespected, laughed at, and marginalized. There is a lot of confusion and inner pain that needs to be acknowledged and expressed. We all long to be understood and loved, even when our inner demons or who I am make it difficult to be. Do you live with inner confusion and pain?READ MORE
A Catholic Magazine carried a story about four young men, Catholic College students, who were renting a house together. One Saturday morning someone knocked on their door. And when they opened it, there stood this bedraggled-looking old man. His eyes were kind of marbleized, and he had a silvery stub of whiskers on his face.READ MORE
A single mother who has a child with special needs works two jobs and sacrifices much of her own pleasures in order to be available for her son. Being the best mother possible is important to her and brings her joy. We are willing to make great and often heroic sacrifices for those people and things that matter most to us. Unless there is something of obvious importance to us in our immediate path, we can easily approach life in a more haphazard and chaotic way. We jump from one thing to another, responding to whatever it is that is competing for our attention at that moment. When everything is important, nothing is important.READ MORE
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Do you really trust God? Do you really believe that God will provide all that you need? Faith is a challenge for everyone at times. Putting our trust in God, in everything we do, in good times and in bad, means that God’s plan for our lives may be quite different than what we planned.
When one door closes, another one opens. Trust in God, His plan is always better.
Grace and sin, belief and unbelief, good and evil all exist together. While we wrestle with these two dimensions of reality inwardly, they are also witnessed in the actions and words of others. Many, all too often, beat themselves up because of their sin. We are also all to quick to pass judgement on others whom we perceive to be in error and walking down a wrong path. God does not make rash judgements, nor should we. Patience is the order of the day as is an understanding that God is ultimately the call of the shots.READ MORE
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field...He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.” (Matthew 13 ;24, 37-38)
As children of God, we are all “good seeds.” We are blessed by God with the potential to accomplish much good in the world. We fulfill God’s plan when we spend time in prayer everyday, use our skills to help others, and share our financial gifts to help build God’s kingdom on earth. Through our example of gratitude and generosity we sow “good seeds” on earth and ultimately help each other get to Heaven!
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.READ MORE
“The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word but then the cares of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.” (Matthew 13:22)
Does the lure of riches and material goods choke God out of your life? Are you so caught up in earthly activities that you have no time for God? Gratitude and generosity are virtues that we should strive to do on a daily basis. Every decision we make either takes us one step closer to God or one step further away. What we receive at Mass every Sunday should be shared with others all the other days of the week as well.
One day, two Irish monks, James and Patrick, were walking through the countryside.
They were on their way to another village to help bring in the crops.
As they walked, they spied an old woman sitting at the edge of a river. She was upset because there was no bridge, and she could not get across on her own.READ MORE
We are all familiar with the refrain, “You have put on Christ. In him you have been baptized. Alleluia, alleluia!” In Baptism, we “put on” Christ. In putting on Christ, we put on all that Christ is and represents: hope, faith, and love. We are no longer bound to the sins and failures of the flesh, that part of us that resists God and relies exclusively on human means. It also means that we are not in debt to our past, complete with its sins, failures, regrets, fears, and unfulfilled dreams. There is always hope. In putting on Christ, we put on God’s vision for the world, for all of His children and for us. We have been given a road map to guide our paths and a blueprint to follow for our life’s journey.READ MORE
Saint Theresa of Avila once said, "A growing Christian must have at his or her roots the life-giving waters of penitence.
The cultivation of a penitential spirit is absolutely essential to spiritual progress.
The lives of great saints teach us that self-distrust is vital to godliness.READ MORE