Sheep in Wolves Clothing

05-30-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

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 great 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 in to the forest to plan his strategy as head of the sheep acquisition and consumption department.

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Heirs of God

05-30-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

"The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ..." Romans 8:16-17

If we are heirs to the kingdom of God, shouldn't we work to build up His Kingdom? Shouldn't we be good stewards of our inheritance, using our time in prayer, our talent in charitable works and our treasure to care for the Church that God has left to us? Our church is a reassure heirloom from God. Do we treat it that way?

Let God Be Who God Is

05-30-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

Let God be who God is. This is often one of the hardest things to do. Rather than allowing the mystery of being created in the image and likeness of God unfold and take root in our lives, we change the dynamic. We want to be the creators who want to make God into the image and likeness we need God to be. We have a hard-enough time letting the people in our lives be who they are. We struggle even more so with God. It is almost as if we want God to be our imaginary friend who is not only with us whenever we need but becomes the Being we need God to be. Who is it that we want God to be today? A protector, disciplinarian, champion for justice, healer, advocate for our cause, grantor of prayers, guardian of my life, or the avenger? Our prayers tell an interesting story. When you pray, what does God look like?

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Our Gift Back to God

05-23-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6

All of us are blessed, regardless of our own individual circumstances. God has given each of us many gifts. How we use those gifts is our gift back to God. For God’s plan to work, each must do what we are called to do. Guess what? We are not all called to do the same thing! For God’s plan to work you have to do what God is calling you to do and I have to do what God is calling me to do.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

05-23-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Let me suggest a few "Definitions" that flow from the Gifts of The Holy Spirit:

Prophecy: setting before people the Word and wisdom of God persuasively.

Encouragement: drawing alongside to comfort, encourage, and lead someone into insight toward action.

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Come Holy Spirit

05-23-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

“Begin by taking a moment to calm yourself, focus on your breathing and become aware of the life force that flows through your veins. Center yourself in the words and affections of St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit, “Breath in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.”

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How strong is your faith?

05-16-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." 1 John 4:15

How strong is your faith? When you have an opportunity to either defend or clarify a question about our Catholic faith, do you do it? Or, do you remain silent so that others don't think you are weird? Pray for the courage to be strong in all circumstances and to joyfully share your witness with others.

Baseball in Heaven

05-16-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Bob and Stan were good buddies and baseball friends. One day at a ballgame, they made a vow to each other that, whichever friend died first, that friend would send a message back to earth to let the other friend know if there was baseball in Heaven.

Sure enough, one-day Bob died. After a while, he sent a message back to earth to Stan: "Hey, Stan, this is your old baseball buddy, Bob. I have good news and I have bad news for you from Heaven."

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God Loves Through Us

05-09-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

“Remain in my love,” and, “I call you friends,” are powerful words that are found in John’s Gospel. Most of us probably have them committed to memory or have at least heard them proclaimed dozens of times. They are words that can easily become trite and quickly glossed over without fully pondering and digesting their profound beauty. When we take the time to immerse ourselves in them, they can radically change our lives and our relationships. They can open up new doors of adventure and hold countless possibilities for meaning.

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Love One Another

05-09-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

"The is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:12-13

Do you love Jesus? Do you consider Him your friend? Jesus says that if we love Him we would be willing to offer whatever we have to Him, not because we want praise and glory, but simply because we love Him. Does your giving seem mechanical out of obligation or do you share freely out of love?

Happy Mother's Day

05-09-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the loving God, who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary.

I believe in the love Mary gave her son, that caused her to follow him in his ministry and stand by his cross as he died.

I believe in the love of all mothers, and its importance in the lives of the children, they bear.

It is stronger than steel, softer than down, and more resilient than a green sapling on the hillside.

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Jesus is the vine upon which we grow

05-02-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

"Spiraling out of control," is a phrase that can easily describe the current display of human existence. In addition to the violence, unrest, uneasiness and turmoil that are common elements of our daily news, other essential pieces are misplaced or missing. Many lack an objective center around which to order and structure their lives or a clear set of definable goals or mores to act as guideposts and life directives. It appears that "feelings" have become a "new god" and traditional structures and ideals set aside. It is almost as if history only shows that we got this whole thing wrong and many are determined to finally set things right. The real truth, however, is that while wrongs and errors are certainly a part of our often-checkered past, it is hardly the case that all was wrong. It is not our task to rewrite the history of our lives, but to learn from mistakes that were made, and preserve the perennial wisdom at the root of our successes. Learning is an essential part of being human.

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Do You "Walk the Talk"?

05-02-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

"Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:18

Regarding our Catholic faith, do you "walk the talk?" Do your actions reflect what it means to be a good disciple? Are you an active participant at Sunday Mass? Are you joyful when participating in parish ministry? Do you give gratefully and generously with your financial support to your parish and other Church needs? If no, it's not too late to start!

God is so good!

05-02-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

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. His clothes were ragged and torn. His shoes did not match. In fact, they were both for the same foot. And he carried a wicker basket full of unappealing vegetables that he was trying to sell.

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Why the Rosary Why Now? by Gretchen R Crowe (Editor)

05-01-2021Recommended Reading

Without a doubt, one of the most familiar and beloved prayers within the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church is the Rosary. But do Catholics today have a clear comprehension of the benefits of this centuries - old devotion? Using the eloquent and inspiring writings of holy men and women who share a love of, and commitment to, the Marian prayer, Editor Gretchen R. Crowe makes a compelling case for why praying the Rosary is more critical in today's 21st - century world than ever before.

Why the Rosary, Why Now? is an accessible and inspiring compilation of texts woven together with personal anecdotes that outline persuasive reasons why the Rosary should be an essential part of every Catholic's life. Why the Rosary, Why Now? is not a typical how to book about the Rosary. This is the why to book that will inspire you to reach for your Rosary more often, and in doing so to receive the gifts it offers to each of us and the world.