Whoever loses his life for me will save it.

12-04-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Johann Sebastian Bach was born into the musical family of Bachs in 1685. By the age of ten, both of his parents were dead. Early in his friction filled life, young Johann determined he would write music … music for the glory of God … and this he did. Most of Bach’s works are explicitly Biblical. Albert Schweitzer referred to him as the fifth evangelist, thus comparing him to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

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Pay Your Debts

11-27-2022The 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 cases of Irish Whiskey 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 to make restitution by her pastor, Father Hearn.

"But the person is dead," she said.
"Are not some of the heirs living?"
"Yes, a son."
"Then go to that son and pay him back."

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Seeing the Image of God in Others

11-20-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

A pastor friend wrote to me about an article in a campus publication where a young nurse writes of her pilgrimage of learning to see in a patient the image of God beneath a very “distressing disguise.”

Eileen was one of her first patients, a person who was totally helpless. “A cerebral aneurysm (broken blood vessels in the brain) had left her with no conscious control over her body,” the nurse writes. As near as the doctors could tell Eileen was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain and unaware of anything going on around her.

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Save a Life

11-13-2022The 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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Desolation

11-06-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Desolation. What does this mean?

Desolation has been defined as follows: “Darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad and as if separated from his Creator and Lord” (Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 317).

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Grudges

10-30-2022The 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. Most likely, the "enemy" is unaware of your enmity, and surely would be surprised to learn that you've been stalking him with a cannonball in your pocket.

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How Young People Learn

10-23-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Pope John Paul I stated that a problem with educating young people in the church stems from a failure to understand how young people learn. He claimed that adults learn in the following pattern: 1) acceptance of absolutes; 2) subordination of attitudes and actions to absolutes; 3) application of truth received to life experience. Knowing something as an adult is based primarily upon remembering information and intellectual learning.

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Suffering

10-16-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

As the mother of the Son of God, Mary participated in and revealed the mercy of God by sharing most intimately in her Son’s redeeming mission. And so, she experienced pain and suffering in her earthly life as the Mother of Sorrows, as Simeon had prophesied at the Presentation of the Lord in the temple. As the Sorrowful Mother who stood at the cross of her suffering son, Mary still stands by the members of her Son’s Body who in their own suffering bear the signs of his passion.

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God's Blessings

10-09-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen enumerated some of God's blessings:

An acceptance that can never be questioned. (Ephesians 1:6).

An inheritance that can never be lost (I Peter 1:3-5).

A deliverance that can never be excelled (2 Corinthians l:10).

A grace that can never be limited (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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What the world needs now is...

10-02-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

THE WORLD NEEDS WOMEN AND MEN...
who cannot be bought;
whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
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