Let God Take Care of the "What If's"

03-27-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Jesus calls us to be people who live in present tense. An average person’s anxiety is focused on:
40% things that will never happen
30% things about the past that can’t be changed
12% things about criticism by others, mostly untrue 10% about health, which gets worse with stress
8% about real problems that will be faced

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God Always Provides

03-27-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“No longer was there manna for the Israelites, who that year ate of the yield of the land of Canaan.” –Joshua 5:12

Over the forty years that the Israelites journeyed through the desert, God provided them with manna to eat. As soon as they were able to enjoy the fruits of the Promised Land, the manna ceased. Likewise, God’s blessings to us may change over the years, but it is important to trust that God will always provide His Stewards with all that we need.

What Have You Done with your Gifts?

03-20-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“…He said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none.’” –Luke 13:7

We can all be like the barren fig tree at times. Do you cling to what you have or do you live Stewardship by generously sharing with others? How will you respond when God asks you what you have done with all the gifts He has given you? Remember, not only are we called to be generous, we are called to develop and nurture our gifts, and return them with increase. Remember, we are called to be generous with all of our gifts; especially the ones that means the most to us.

The Ache of Longing

03-20-2022Gospel Meditation© LPi

Deserts can be lonely, isolated, and treacherous places. When a person wanders in a desert, they can easily get disoriented, dehydrated, confused, lost, and vulnerable. Temptation is at its peak, especially when confronted with something that may offer some respite or relief, even a mirage. Deserts can bring us to our weakest moment and tempt our faith.

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God's Promises

03-20-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

God promised peace to those on whom His favor rests. God has not promised skies always blue, Flower strewn pathways all our lives through; God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

God has not promised we shall not know toil and temptation, trouble and woe; He has not told us we shall not bear many a burden, many a care.

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Pruning is Necessary for Growth

03-13-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Every branch that bears fruit must be pruned to bear much more fruit. A friend of mine has a fruit tree that has been living for a number of years. Every winter the cold weather and heavy breeze kills more than half of the branches and leaves. If he does not prune the dead, it will spread and kill the whole tree. Therefore, he must prune what is wilted to save the rest of the tree. In turn, the tree grows bigger, stronger, and bears more fruit than before. The fruit doesn’t only multiply, but they are much more pleasing in their flavor.

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God has given each of us a home

03-13-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession.” –Genesis 15:7

Just as the Lord gave Abraham, Moses and the Israelites a land to possess, He has also given each of us a home. Whether your home is grand or humble, it is a gift from God. Abraham prepared a great sacrifice to the Lord in gratitude for the home God gave him. How do you show in your Stewardship, gratitude to God for the home He has given you? Do you make a sacrifice of any kind? Do you return any of your finances to God, investing equally in your eternal home just as you invest in your earthly home?

Discover the Sacred

03-13-2022Gospel Meditation© LPi

There is so much wisdom in the first commandment. The daily demands of life, current political ideologies and dynamics, social expectations, corporate philosophies, and even technology can easily become lesser gods. We can find ourselves beholden to and held captive by these secular constructs and systems. Even for those who profess a faith in the one true God, these lesser, attractive but false gods are a temptation. Being overly preoccupied and even obsessed with the state of our present lives, we lose sight of our real destiny and purpose.

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Three Things

03-06-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back:
1. Time
2. Words
3. Opportunity

Three things in life that can destroy a person:
1. Anger
2. Pride
3. Unforgiveness

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The Risk of Temptations

03-06-2022Gospel Meditation© LPi

One of the greatest temptations human beings face is leaving the truth of who they are, where they came from and who created them in pursuit of more personal satisfactions. When we consider all that desires our attention in a given day, there are many lures that attract us to illusions about ourselves. We can easily find ourselves distracted or tired, preoccupied with preserving our status in life, social relationships, current trends, and corporate demands, and intrigued by pursuing what we perceive to be the “path of least resistance.”

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Give Your First Fruits

03-06-2022Everyday Stewardship - Recognize God in Your Ordinary Moments

“I have now brought you the first fruits of the products of the soil which you, O Lord, have given me.” –Deuteronomy 26:10

This line from the Old Testament offers two challenges. First, do we live our Stewardship by giving to God from our “first fruits” the first and best that we have to offer, or do we give from what we have leftover? Second, do we realize that everything we have and that everything you are has been given to us by God? Ask God for a grateful and generous heart, every day, in all circumstances.

Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen

03-01-2022Recommended Reading

Widely proclaimed a classic work of Christian faith, Life of Christ has been hailed as the most eloquent of Fulton J. Sheen's many books. The fruit of many years of reflection, prayer, and research, it is a dramatic and moving recounting of the birth, life, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ, and a passionate portrait of the God Man, the teacher, the healer, and, most of all, the Savior, whose promise has sustained humanity for two millennia. An appealing blend of philosophy, history, and biblical exegesis, from the best known and most loved American Catholic leader of the twentieth century, Life of Christ has long been a source of inspiration and guidance. For those seeking to better understand the message of Jesus Christ, this vivid retelling of the greatest story ever lived is a must read.