Cannonballs

07-25-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Once armies carried cannonballs with them, afraid they would meet the enemy somewhere and have nothing to shoot at it.

In terms of specific gravity, grudges are about as heavy as cannonballs.

But it makes little sense to carry them.

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Anguish, not Anger

07-18-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

In the twentieth century Will Rogers was known for his laughter, but he also knew how to weep. One day he was entertaining at the Milton H. Berry Institute in Los Angeles, a hospital that specialized in rehabilitating polio victims and people with broken backs and other extreme physical handicaps. Of course, Rogers had everybody laughing, even patients in really bad condition; but then he suddenly left the platform and went to the restroom. Milton Berry followed him to give him a towel; and when he opened the door, he saw Will Rogers leaning against the wall, sobbing like a child.

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God is Here. All is Good.

07-18-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

There’s an ordinary pine grove located on a tree farm not too far from town where life’s stresses and demands seem to melt away. It is here that all that seemed so important out there no longer is and one can get lost in the rows of trees and majestic beauty. God is here and all is good. We need to connect with the Divine Source of all that is in order to understand what it is we are doing and why we are doing it. Otherwise, things stop making sense and bitterness can overcome one’s spirit. It’s okay to play once in a while and to discover that place of profound life and peace. People always have needs and there is constantly something to do. And while all of that is necessary and we are needed, there is also that inner solitude within that needs to be celebrated and released.

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Rest a While

07-18-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

"He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." Mark 6:31

Do you spend time, every day, alone and in silence listening to how God is calling you? If not, you are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to develop a more personal relationship with Him. Unless we talk and more importantly, listen to God every day, how else will we know how He is calling us? Consider making a retreat this year, spend some "alone" time with God.

A Message of Joy and Hope

07-11-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

Maybe the work is best left to the professionals. That’s how many people view the preaching of the Gospel. That’s the stuff priests, religious, deacons, lay ministers, and other professional Church people do. It has little to do with me. Well, that’s not really true. The fact of the matter is that preaching the Gospel has everything to do with you, with all of us who are baptized members of the Body of Christ. Nobody gets off the hook from that job. The question is, however, how do we do it? Well, there’s a safe way, which many choose, to preach the Gospel — and the risky way. The safe way pretty much keeps the Gospel in church and around like-minded people. I say my prayers, go to Mass, contribute to the food pantry, tithe, and attend Bible Study. That pretty much covers the bases, right? Wrong.

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Take Nothing

07-11-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick - no food, no sack, no money in their belts." – Mark 6:8

Imagine taking nothing but a stick when Think of all the material things "we can't live without" in today's world. We make our life's journey more difficult because of all the material baggage that we drag along. Putting God first in everything and putting our money and possessions second gives us freedom because we don't become "slaves" to wanting to acquire more things.

Do Anything to Save a Human Life

07-11-2021The 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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God's Life-Giving Presence

07-04-2021Gospel Meditation© LPi

It’s all so ordinary that we can easily miss it. The seagulls hunting and diving for mollusks at the beach offer a display of determination and precision as they gather their food for the day. It’s simply what these creatures do. Yet, there’s a magical artfulness and skill to their work that speaks volumes about the One who breathed life into their being. This is pretty much the way it is with God’s presence. God comes in common ways through common things and ordinary people. Sadly, we are so engulfed in our little worlds of order and ideas to notice the beauty and wonder of it all. Many have numbed themselves to the Divine spark at the essence of all life because that’s just the way it is. What’s so special about it? A sunset is a sunset and a seagull is a seagull. That’s precisely what they thought about Jesus too. After all, isn’t he just the carpenter’s son? What merit can his words possibly have?

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Making Restitution

07-04-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

A lady in the north of Ireland said that every time she got down before God to pray, five bottles of wine came up before her mind. She had taken them wrongfully one time when she was a housekeeper, and had not been able to pray since. She was advised by her pastor, Father Hearn, to make restitution.

"But the person is dead," she said.

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God Has a Stewardship Plan for Each of Us

07-04-2021Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

"As the Lord spoke to me, the spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I heard the one who was speaking say to me, 'Son of man, I am sending you..." Ez 2:2-3

God has a Stewardship plan for each of us. He calls us to do something for Him. But, He doesn't leave us on our own to figure it out. He gives us the resources we need to do His work. Are you listening for God's call? When you hear it, do you get on your feet and do the work He asks of you? Do not be afraid. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. Answer His call.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: An Ordinary Christian by Maria DiLorenzo

07-01-2021Recommended Reading

Athletic, handsome, and always good for a laugh, Pier Giorgio Frassati was the charismatic leader of a band of rowdy friends. He smoked, pulled pranks, relished extreme sports, fiercely debated politics into the night....and secretly gave away his wealth to help the poor: a mother unexpectedly widowed, a homeless invalid, a boy without warm clothes....and plunged eagerly into intense experiences of Eucharistic prayer.

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