True Intentions of our Hearts

02-27-2022Gospel Meditation© LPi

“What we say and how we say it reveals the true intentions of our hearts. The content and manner of our speech is a window into the recesses of our souls. Our consciences, attitudes, sentiments, weaknesses, and motives are displayed. As much as we think we can hide the truth of our lives from others, we cannot. Who we really are is not only expressed on our lips but is written on our faces. Jesus says precisely this, “For every tree is known by its own fruit.” What does the fruit of our lives say about us?

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Bear Good Fruit

02-27-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.” –Luke 6:43

Are you living Stewardship by using your gifts in the way God intended? Have you asked God how He would like you to use them? Do you compare yourself to others and complain about what you don’t have instead of being thankful for what you do have? God gives each of us unique gifts and a unique plan. Listen to how God is calling you to use your gifts, to bear good fruit, for the glory of His name.

Sin Bought to the Light in Confession

02-27-2022The 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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Let the "Burden" Go

02-20-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

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. James, the first monk kindly offered, "We will carry you across if you would like." "Thank you," she said gratefully, accepting their help. So the two men joined hands, lifted her between them and carried her across the river. When they got to the other side, they set her down, and she went on her way.

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Pray for your Enemies

02-20-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend without expecting anything back…” –Luke 6:35

Easier said than done, right? But, if we are to imitate Christ, most of us need to practice mercy and compassion more frequently. Start with the little daily annoyances that we experience, the unkind word or hateful glance we receive. Instead of plotting revenge on that person, try saying a quick prayer for that person. Praying for our enemies doesn’t change them, it changes us. Mercy and compassion will keep us as Stewards on the path to holiness.

Love Your Enemies

02-20-2022Gospel Meditation© LPi

Sometimes, Jesus’ teachings don’t seem to make practical sense. When we hear things like love your enemies and do good to them, turn the other cheek when struck, give to anyone who asks, do to others as you would have them do to you, be merciful, stop judging, forgive, and give to others, we get a bit unsettled. After all, it’s okay for God to do all of these things, but does He really want us to do them, too? Many good-hearted Christians really draw the line with some of these ideals and say, “No way!” They even remark that if someone did something hurtful to someone they loved, they would have no reservations seeking severe retribution. There is still this persistent thinking, even among those who consider themselves Christian, that a violent action deserves a violent response. Somehow, we continue to justify this.

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Don't Give Up Questioning

02-13-2022Gospel Meditation© LPi

“What has been the most difficult challenge you faced in your life? Many difficult human experiences can “turn up the heat” in our lives, causing us to question the why of things or even fall into despair. Some people just somewhat passively accept what life brings, even death, and chalk difficult experiences up to happening “because they do.” They seemingly endure and move on. Taking life at face value, there really is no ultimate meaning to things.

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Responding to Negative Comments

02-13-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“Blessed are you when people hate you,… exclude and insult you, and denounce your name…on account of the Son of Man.” – Lk 6:22

All of us have been in situations when someone has made a negative comment or joke about God or our faithful Stewardship. How did you respond? Did you stay silent or pretend to go along with the crowd because you didn’t want to cause waves and then, later, you felt bad? Know that God is with you all the time; the Holy Spirit will put the right words in your mouth. Pray for the strength and courage to proclaim our faith to others, especially during uncomfortable situations.

Turning Failure into Success

02-13-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

The great inventor Charles Kettering suggested that we must learn to fail intelligently.

He said, "Once you've failed analyze the problem and find out why, because each failure is one more step leading up to the cathedral of success. The only time you don't want to fail is the last time you try."

Here are three suggestions for turning failure into success:

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Whom Shall I Send?

02-06-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?’ ‘Here I am,’ I said, ‘send me!’” (Isaiah 6:8)

Every day, in little ways and in big ways, God asks, “Whom shall I send?” Whether it is someone to take on a new Stewardship ministry, to give a friendly smile to a stranger or to say a word of encouragement to a friend, God constantly provides opportunities to help someone in need. God is always talking to us; we just need to pay more attention. When you hear God calling have the courage to walk through the door and say “Here I am, Lord.”

God Doesn't Seek the Perfect Vessels

02-06-2022Gospel Meditation© LPi

“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man,” these words, uttered by Simon Peter, can be found on any one of our lips. What real significance do I have in the big picture of God’s Divine plan? Even though we try our best to hide it, we all suffer from a lack of faith. We get tired, confused, and often lack any sincere desire to put anything into our relationship with God. It’s easier to simply reap whatever benefits the world has to offer and call it a day.

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Don't Forget Your Prayers

02-06-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Pope Saint John XXIII often reminded people, "Do not forget your prayers. These may be as short as you wish if you find long prayers too hard, but do not forget them. Even a sign can be a prayer. " We all have our routine and we don't always want to change it. Nevertheless we can find more time for prayer, if we just look at our daily routine.

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God Is All Joy Life Of St Teresa of Andes by Jennifer Moorcroft

02-01-2022Recommended Reading

Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, Chile's first canonized saint, was a vibrant young woman who loved sports and music and had a wide circle of friends. She entered Carmel and died only eleven months later at the age of nineteen. Each year more than 100,000 visitors flock to her shrine, many of them young people. What is it about this young woman, barely out of school, that draws so many people to her and that is so outstanding that she is now a canonized saint? Because she is one of them, her own people love her.

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