Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year


May you all have a blessed New Year 
May God bless you in 2013.
May You draw closer to God this year.
May Christ embrace You.
May the Holy Spirit Guide You.
May You grow deeper in your Faith.
May Your faith be your lifeline.

Until the New Year, God Bless you and yours. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resolutions

Resolutions

“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17


     The end of the year is just hours away and with that comes the question that many people ask, “Are you making any resolutions this year?” Then it is followed by “ what are they?”  Most of the time we all have similar ideas. They may involve body issues, relationship issues or job issues. Each of them we want to change and what better time then the New Year. It is a fresh start. A new time. A clean slate. 

      It is a great thing that we want to change things but for it to work we need to really want them. If we don’t and we are just doing them for others then odds are we will fail. Now, what does resolutions have to do with God and why am I blogging on this? It is simple. really. We can also change and make resolutions for inner changes and not just external. As it says in 2 Corinthians “ We are a new creation in Christ”. Once we take Christ in us, we start that process of the new things to come. Why not start this as part of our resolutions. Grow closer to the Trinity and deeper in our faith. How many people really think of God or their Spirituality as a New Years Resolution? 

      We can commit to praying more, attending mass, reading more, talking more, living more and practicing more. It is not something we want to lose but add more to. When the Ball drops and it starts the New Year we have 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8765 hours, 525949 minutes, or 31,536,000 seconds to see the resolutions put into action. That is a lot of time. We give in to quickly. When we fall, we need to get back up and start again.

      The great thing with God is that we can relive that New Year each day if we needed to. He will always let us start anew and resolve to turn from sin and return to Him. We do not have to wait till the next year to make a new resolution and hope that this time we do not fall this time. 

       This year when you sit and think or better yet, pray, on what you want to work on this year, ask God for some guidance. See where He takes your thoughts. You may be surprised where you may end up. Then write them down and hold them to yourself. Sometimes it is easier to get back up when others do not know we fell in the first place. If you want to share it, choose people who will help build you up then tear you down. Some may just wait and jump on the chance to point out how your not keeping to your resolutions and bask in that, while others will help guide you and lend that helping hand with your resolutions. 

       Resolutions can be a great thing, but make them attainable. Do not set goals so high that there is no way you can make them but also make them something that you have to work at. Nothing in life that is important is easy. It has to be worked on and effort made to make it worth it. I would normally say “ Best of Luck” but with God there is no luck, its perseverance and blessings. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may a resolution be a deeper and richer prayer life with God. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

St. Frederick

Saint Frederick


Feastday: July 18
Patron against deafness
Died: 838

St. Frederick, Bishop of Utrecht, Martyr Frederick was trained in piety and sacred learning among the clergy of the Church of Utrecht. Being ordained priest, he was charged by Bishop Ricfried with the care of instructing converts, and about 825 he was chosen to succeed him as bishop of Utrecht. The new bishop at once began to establish order everywhere, and sent St. Odulf and other zealous and virtuous labourers into the northern parts to dispel the paganism which still subsisted there.
According to tradition St. Frederick became involved in the difficulties between the sons of the emperor, Louis the Debonair, and their father and step-mother. During these disturbances the party of the young princes charged the Empress Judith with numerous immoralities. Whatever may have been the truth of these stories, St. Frederick is said to have admonished her of them, with charity but with the effect of drawing upon himself the fury and resentment of the empress. He also got himself disliked elsewhere. The inhabitants of Walcheren were barbarous and most averse from the Gospel. On which account, St. Frederick, when he sent priests in the northern part of his diocese, took this most dangerous and difficult part chiefly to himself; and nothing gave him more trouble than marriages contracted within the forbidden decrees and the separation of the parties (that the union of Louis and Judith was itself incestuous was an afterthought of hagiographers).
The story goes on that, on July 18, 838, after St. Frederick had celebrated Mass and was about to make his thanksgiving, he was stabbed by two assassins. He died in a few minutes, reciting that verse of Psalm 144, "I will praise the Lord in the land of the living". The eleventh century author of his life says that these assassins were employed by the Empress Judith, who could not pardon the liberty he had taken to reprove her sins, and was incited thereto by her husband. William of Malmesbury and others repeat the same; but later writers, such as Baronius and Mabillon, think that they were rather sent by some of the inhabitants of Walcheren. And this seems the more likely opinion: for no contemporary makes the charge against Judith and it is not at all in consonance with the attitude of Louis towards episcopal authority and Christian conduct. St.
Frederick composed a prayer to the Blessed Trinity which for many ages was used in the Netherlands. The reputation of his sanctity appears from a poem of Rabanus Maurus, his contemporary, in praise of his virtues.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, let the saints help you on your journey.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Deeper Creed

Deeper Creed

“Let them all praise the LORD’s name;
for he commanded and they were created” ~Psalms 148:5 

   
    The Nicene Creed is the basis of what the Catholic Faith is based on. It is said at the mass of the faithful as they gather around the table of our Lord Jesus Christ. There has been some changes of the years but the changes never change the message of the creed but have enhanced the creed along the way. 

      In the beginning of the prayer we establish the monotheistic view of the faith. That there is One and Only one God. In that One God, He and He alone created all things. That here on earth as it is in heaven, for all that is seen and not has been created by Him. 

       We believe in one and only one Son of God and that is Jesus Christ. That Jesus was begotten and not made. In this, Jesus was fathered and not made like Adam. For all of our salvation, He came down from heaven. It was due to the Holy Spirit that He became flesh through the Virgin Mary. The word had now become flesh to save us from our sins. 

       Jesus was crucified and suffered death and then was buried. He rose again in accordance with the old testament. Then Jesus ascended to Heaven and took His seat at God’s right hand. Jesus will come again to judge us, both the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end because He reigns in Heaven and Heaven is everlasting. 

        The Holy Spirit comes from the Father and Son and is one with them. As we adore and praise God and Jesus, we are to do the same for the Holy Spirit. It is because of the Holy Sprit that the prophets spoke. 

        I have to add here that the next line is my favorite in the prayer. “ I believe in one, holy and apostolic Church”. The idea that we are one church and it is that one church from the apostles till now is amazing. We are united under the banner of Catholic. We believe in one Baptism for the forgiveness of our sins in our lives. We look forward to the resurrection of those who gone before us and the life of the world to come. 

       It is important for us to understand what and why we believe as Catholics. If we fail at this then we are not being examples to our faith. Our faith is one of life and for it to expand we need to expand our knowledge and share that with other. I hope to bring more knowledge to the blog and to incorporate more education of the faith. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the Holy Spirit help us all to be speak up for and about our faith. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed


 Tonight I wanted to add one of the most important prayers in the Catholic Faith. It declares what beliefs We, as Catholics, hold dear to our hearts and souls. I first wanted to just post the prayer then tomorrow go into more detail about the prayer. This way we can focus first on the words then on the meanings. 

      Recite out loud the prayer. Listen to each sentence and pause after each one. Take out the keys words and reflect on them. To understand this prayer is to understand the core of our Catholic Beliefs. All Catholics recite this prayer each week. It does not matter where in the world We are. 

       Sometimes we just get into a routine and say the prayers without hearing what it means. We all need to stop and take apart the prayers so we can stand a bit taller, speak a bit louder and clearer when we say it this weekend. Below I have copied the prayer for us all to reflect on. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and take the time to hear the words of our faith. 

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After

The Day After

“And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” ~ Luke 1: 46 - 49

   For most of us the day after Christmas means back to the normal again. Maybe it’s back to work or maybe enjoy some extra few days off. It may be that we are back in the stores returning some of our gifts or using our gift cards and looking for another great deal and sale. I have always wondered what was it like for Mary the next day. Was it back to normal for them? What was Her knowledge of what ,not only, the next days would hold but the years to come? 

    The song “ Mary did you know” always makes me wonder what did she know. I really never saw it as a Christmas song but the Day After song. The day when all of reality sets in for both Mary and Joseph. What did They know? Did Mary realize what that yes really meant or did She think that after she gave birth things were set and done? 

     Mary was a faithful woman, who said yes to God’s Plan and followed her heart from the cradle to the cross for God’s Plan. We know that Mary would have heard the prophesies from the Old Testament about what will happen to the Savior. That He will be   pierced, betrayed, suffer, beaten, lots will be cast, and so much more. All of this was known but still She said yes to God. Mary knew this part but there is more to what was ahead for Her Son. It was told the savior will set them free but did she know that it would change the world? 

     Think of all of the miracles that Jesus did, all of the lives that He saved and lessons that He taught. Did Mary know that this is what Her Son was going to do as she held Him that next day? When she looked into His eyes did she see the future that laid before Him and if so did she hold Him a bit closer and tighter because of it? In this life I do not think we can answer for certain either way but give us something to reflect on for ourselves.

     We know what Jesus did and what was then done to Him and we still question the love of God. Mary may or may not have known everything that was to come but said Yes to God regardless of what knowledge was had. That is unyielding faith. We should look and pray for Mary’s guidance when our faith is weak and we need it to be stronger. 

     When things start to dim think of Mary holding her son after the miracle of the birth and ask yourself what did she see when she looked into her Son”s eyes? Was it a Savior, Lord, God, Hope, Love, Peace, Forgiveness, or Her son? I think Mary saw her son that will offer all of that from His Heart and Soul to each and every person. 

      If I would ever come face to face with Mary, I would ask Her “ Did you know all that was to come?”. It would not change how I think of Mary but would be interesting what was known. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and reflect on what you know of Mary and what Her yes meant to your life.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas


    Merry Christmas to you and yours. This for me has been a very blessed time. Being back in the Church and God has made this Christmas shine brighter and shined for the right reasons and not just those of the material world. Also for it being my godson’s first Christmas has also made it so blessed. 

    I hope that you all had a blessed day filled with joy and laughter and that you were able to spend time with your families and friends. Thank You for joining me this Advent and these past months as I have rediscovered the journey of my faith. It has been some great eye opening times and I look forward to continue on this journey with you all. 


Until tomorrow, God Bless, and continue with the Christmas spirit in your soul. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Story

Christmas Story

Luke 2 : 1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus* that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 
      While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son.* She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 
     The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Until Tomorrow, God Bless, and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent Week 4

Advent Week 4


     With just over 24 hours till Christmas, our last candle has been lit on the Advent Wreath.  The last is Love.  I have always found it interesting that Love is the last one because if it was not for the Love of God for all of us the birth of Jesus would not have come to pass. He set redemption for us on course with the birth of His Son.  

     So, then why is it the last one? Love is what gathers us together on Christmas Day to honor and worship our Lord. It is the Love of God that comes into the world on Christmas.  If we are open to that love we will be able to accept the other gifts and blessings that God gives us the rest of the year. If you have not prepared or open your heart to receive the baby Jesus into your heart this Christmas, please use the next 24 hours to do so. You will not want to exchange or regift this most precious gift.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the love of God open your heart. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica


Feast day: February 10
Died: 543

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode in the neighborhood at Plombariola, where she founded and governed a monastery of nuns, about five miles from that of St. Benedict, who, it appears, also directed his sister and her nuns. She visited her brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went in company with some of his brethren to meet her at a house some distance away. These visits were spent in conferring together on spiritual matters. On one occasion they had passed the time as usual in prayer and pious conversation and in the evening they sat down to take their reflection. St. Scholastica begged her brother to remain until the next day. St. Benedict refused to spend the night outside his monastery. She had recourse to prayer and a furious thunderstorm burst so that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could return home. They spent the night in spiritual conferences. The next morning they parted to meet no more on earth. Three days later St. Scholastica died, and her holy brother beheld her soul in a vision as it ascended into heaven. He sent his brethren to bring her body to his monastery and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. She died about the year 543, and St. Benedict followed her soon after. Her feast day is February 10th.


Until tomorrow,  God Bless, and remember the lives of the Saints.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What Child is This

What Child is This


What Child is This is another favorite of mine. It is amazing that God came down in the form of a baby. He could have come in any way He had wanted. It is in the humble and most innocent way He came. A baby relies on those around him for his needs. 

      I wonder what it was like for Mary and Joseph. Did they know what this truly was going to be like for them? This child of God was here and they were trusted with His care.  It goes to show how much God trusted them to raise Jesus. Below is the video by Bebo Norman. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you know the baby Christ that is to come. 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three Churches One Message

Three Churches One Message

"We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near." ~ Hebrews 10:24-25


 This past weekend I attended three different events at three different faith based churches. A play was one at an Assembly of God church. Another event was a choral and band event at a Methodist and the last was mass at a Catholic Church that did the Latin High Mass. Each event was very different and yet the message of Christ was at each one in a special way. 

     Sometimes we get caught up in our own church that we do not look at others and see how special they are as well. Of course for me mass will always be at a catholic church over a weekend but that does not mean we can not learn from each other as well. Jesus did not only deal and associate with His Jewish brethren but others as well. In a society where we seem to lose more and more of the messages of Jesus, why can’t we share our talents and gifts with one another regardless of where the pew is we sit on each sunday. 

      Jesus came to unify the people, not tear them apart. When we can, we should also do that as well. I am not saying compromise what your faith teaches you or what you feel in your heart. Just an open mind of how we each come to Jesus each week and how we represent Him within our faith. 

       If I stayed closed minded then I would have missed a great play and an amazing musical event this weekend. Each one shed a new light of Jesus and the Christmas season and that is what it is about. We are to open our hearts and allow the infant Jesus to find shelter and comfort in our hearts and soul. There is one Jesus but many paths to Him. I hope to expand some more this year with exploring how others come to Jesus and learn from them. I also wish the same for each one of you. 

      It is a new beginning with the birth of Our Lord. Let the Christ Child rest in you and as He grows let your heart and soul grow with Him this season. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and explore new ways of seeing Jesus this year. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week 3 Advent

Week 3 of Advent

Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. ~ Romans 12:12

    We are now in the third week of advent and for a lot of us that means trying to finish or even start our Christmas shopping. We are going a mile a minute and trying to get everything done. It is east at this point to kind of push aside the reason why we are all doing this. 

     For some this is also a hard time to feel that joy of the season because their loved ones may not be around or have died and it makes it a bitter sweet holiday. This year for many in Newtown Conn. The loss of all those lives will forever change the lives of those left behind and even more so forever will change the Christmas Season. As many of us will be experiencing joy, they will be burring those who gave them the joy. There are no words that can express the pain of the sorry that is felt by so many. 

     This week hold onto those people who bring you joy in your life and make time to bring some joy into those lives of the people around you. Find what brings you joy and share that with people around you. Also try and bring joy into other lives as well. Maybe buy an extra gift and drop it off to the church for those in need. Drop off some extra food to the food bank. Extend an invite to someone who does not have any family around. Something so simple can bring so much joy to those around you. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and share the joy inside you with those around you. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

St. Stephen

Saint Stephen


Feast day: December 26
Patron of Stonemasons

Stephen's name means "crown," and he was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. The apostles had found that they needed helpers to look after the care of the widows and the poor. So they ordained seven deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these.
God worked many miracles through St. Stephen and he spoke with such wisdom and grace that many of his hearers became followers of Jesus. The enemies of the Church of Jesus were furious to see how successful Stephen's preaching was. At last, they laid a plot for him. They could not answer his wise argument, so they got men to lie about him, saying that he had spoken sinfully against God. St. Stephen faced that great assembly of enemies without fear. In fact, the Holy Bible says that his face looked like the face of an angel.
The saint spoke about Jesus, showing that He is the Savior, God had promised to send. He scolded his enemies for not having believed in Jesus. At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted at him. But Stephen looked up to Heaven and said that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
His hearers plugged their ears and refused to listen to another word. They dragged St. Stephen outside the city of Jerusalem and stoned him to death. The saint prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Then he fell to his knees and begged God not to punish his enemies for killing him.
After such an expression of love, the holy martyr went to his heavenly reward. His feast day is December 26th.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and gain strength from knowing there are those who will die for the faith. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Newtown

Prayers Needed


    Tonight I am asking for people to keep those in Newtown Con in your prayers tonight. Please pray for the families that lost their children and those who lost their lives protecting them as well. There is no words that can comfort those in this time. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Power Supply

Power Supply

"But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the holy Spirit" ~ Jude 1:20

There comes a time when we all need to recharge and just take it in. We are always on the go. Heading from one thing to the next and not stopping along the way. That is how I felt yesterday. All these things going on and new decisions to be made. I needed to step back and just take the time to charge.

      God does not want us to be stressed when it comes to the life. It is not His want for us. We put more on ourselves then God ever will. I know I do for sure. We get wrapped up on how or what we are to be doing then doing it and living it. It really is not as complicated as we make it out to be. 

      There are times where this life can get complicated and it is not always in our hands but those are the times when it is best to step back and take the time. I am not even so sure when those times are happening do we need to open the bible or pray extra. I think honestly those times we need to just step back and take it in and relax. 

       God does not have a number in His head to the amount of times we need to pray, read the bible or say the rosary. All of those things are for us and we create that stress of what we need or should be doing. Yes, He wants us to turn to Him but there is not a set amount of times or ways to do it. If you are feeling stressed out that you are not doing your best, understand that is coming from within yourself. 

      When we start to feel this, stop and step back. Realize what you have done and where you have come from. Look at what you have done and gain that strength and power from those good things and let the bad go by the wayside. It is about what we focus on and we either gain or lose power from it. Many things drain us and you need to find out what gives you power vs what does not. 

       Start to power up by making a list that makes you gain and keep that handy. When you start to feel drained look at that list and start to do some of them. It does not just have to be spiritual things. It may be just doing a hobby that you enjoy. Everything in life will take a hit if you do not have the power to supply to it. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and find a power source. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Plugging In

Plugging In

"But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the holy Spirit" ~ Jude 1:20


 Tonight there will not be a traditional blog. I am in need of plugging into some good old prayer time tonight. There is times when we really do need to recharge and get things back to 100%. I am looking forward to some extra time tonight to get recharged and be able to get back to the normal. Of course I will be reflecting on how to recharge ourselves for the next blog. 

 Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you get the chance to recharge. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe


Our Lady of Guadalupe

   With it being the night before the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe I felt the need to post about it. It is my favorite of all the images of Mary. I hope that you all have a blessed and holy feast day today. May God Bless you all. 

Feastday: December 12
Patron of the Americas

Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12 (USA) When we reflect on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we learn two important lessons, one of faith and one of understanding.
Missionaries who first came to Mexico with the conquistadors had little success in the beginning. After nearly a generation, only a few hundred Native Mexicans had converted to the Christian faith. Whether they simply did not understand what the missionaries had to offer or whether they resented these people who made them slaves, Christianity was not popular among the native people.
Then in 1531 miracles began to happen. Jesus' own mother appeared to humble Juan Diego. The signs -- of the roses, of the uncle miraculously cured of a deadly illness, and especially of her beautiful image on Juan's mantle -- convinced the people there was something to be considered in Christianity. Within a short time, six million Native Mexicans had themselves baptized as Christians.
The first lesson is that God has chosen Mary to lead us to Jesus. No matter what critics may say of the devotion of Mexicans (and Mexican descendants) to Our Lady of Guadalupe, they owe their Christianity to her influence. If it were not for her, they would not know her son, and so they are eternally grateful. The second lesson we take from Mary herself. Mary appeared to Juan Diego not as a European madonna but as a beautiful Aztec princess speaking to him in his own Aztec language. If we want to help someone appreciate the gospel we bring, we must appreciate the culture and the mentality in which they live their lives. By understanding them, we can help them to understand and know Christ. Our Lady of Guadalupe is patron of the Americas.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may Our Lady wrap you in Her Mantle of peace and love.

Monday, December 10, 2012

O, Come All Ye Faithful

O, Come All Ye Faithful

  Tonight coming home, O, Come All Ye Faithful came on and I started thinking this really is a song to keep us focused. It is a call for all of us to come and adore Him. This is a time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. That all of us, the faithful, are saved because of the miracle of the birth of our Savior. 

    It is easy to get caught up in all of the shopping and running around to push aside what the true gift was all these years ago. God’s gift for us is one that we all can choose to except and believe in or not. We can put that gift in our back closets and never open or use that gift in our lives.

    I hope that this song will help remind us all that as the “Faithful” we are to come and adore Him in this season and for the rest of the year. Below you will see the video for Chris Tomlin's version of O, Come All Ye Faithful.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may your faith show you the way to adore Christ this season. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week 2 of Advent

Week 2 of Advent

Welcome to the second week of Advent. This weeks message is that of Peace. Most of the time when we hear the word Peace we associate it with war. That there is now no more violence and things are calm. In the case of Advent we have to take it to another level, that inner peace as well. 

      Inner Peace is something that we all need in our lives but not as easy to get. We all have internal struggles. There are things that we hold inside ourselves that makes that full inner peace hard to achieve. It may be that we hold resentment, anger, frustration, or hate for the people that are in our lives or that were in our lives. To have that inner peace all those things need to decrease so that peace can increase. 

     It is hard to let go of those things that people have done or said to you and to forgive and let go. Those feelings hold us down and control us. That control keeps us from moving forward in all of the areas of our lives. The weight of those things drag us under and we can drown in our own anger and hate. This advent try and decrease those things so that Jesus can increase in your life. 

     As Jesus increases in your life those things will get easier and easier to decrease. Start that increase during Advent and welcome that peace for the New Year.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and let the peace of Advent increase. 

We long for your peace, and trust in your promise; we hear your call to turn toward you, to change our lives and welcome you in. Meet us here and fill our minds with your wisdom and our hearts with your peace, that our worship together may open us to the challenge of your dream of wholeness for all. In the Name of the One who is coming, we pray. Amen

Saturday, December 8, 2012

St. Bernadette

Saint Bernadette


Feast Day: April 16
Died: 1879

On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she was known within her order -- died in the Sainte Croix (Holy Cross) Infirmary of the Convent of Saint-Gildard. She was thirty-five.

Born into a humble family which little by little fell into extreme poverty, Bernadette had always been a frail child. Quite young, she had already suffered from digestive trouble, then after having just escaped being a victim of the cholera epidemic of 1855, she experienced painful attacks of asthma, and her ill health almost caused her to be cut off for ever from the religious life. When asked by Monsignor Forcade to take Bernadette, Louise Ferrand, the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Nevers, replied: "Monsignor, she will be a pillar of the infirmary".

At least three times during her short life-time, she received the last Sacraments. She was gradually struck by other illnesses as well as asthma: among them, tuberculosis of the lung and a tubercular tumor on her right knee. On Wednesday, April 16, 1879, her pain got much worse. Shortly after eleven she seemed to be almost suffocating and was carried to an armchair, where she sat with her feet on a footstool in front of a blazing fire. She died at about 3.15 in the afternoon.

The civil authorities permitted her body to remain on view to be venerated by the public until Saturday, April 19. Then it was "placed in a double coffin of lead and oak which was sealed in the presence of witnesses who signed a record of the events". Among the witnesses were "inspector of the peace, Devraine, and constables Saget and Moyen".

The nuns of Saint-Gildard, with the support of the bishop of Nevers, applied to the civil authorities for permission to bury Bernadette's body in a small chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph which was within the confines of the convent. The permission was granted on April 25, 1879, and on April 30, the local Prefect pronounced his approval of the choice of the site for burial. Immediately they set to work on preparing the vault. On May 30, 1879, Bernadette's coffin was finally transferred to the crypt of the chapel of Saint Joseph. A very simple ceremony was held to commemorate the event.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and let the lives of the Saints inspire you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Running Late

Running Late

“You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” ~ Luke 12: 40

    Tonight I was cutting it close and being late to the mass for the Immaculate Conception. I got there and walked in just as the priest was walking down to the alter. I was so glad that I was not late to mass. As I stood there I thought about how blessed I am that I was not late to turn back to God and the church. With all the hype that some say that this is the year the world ends (side note: I do not believe this for a minute) I am  glad where I am. 

     I did not return to God and the church because of this by any means but it added to my thoughts on being late. What if I did not and the world did end? Would I stand before God and Jesus and say “ I was just about to come back, if you only extended this another year or two.” What would They say in return? It is that list of  cliches that rolled through my head : Should’ve Would’ve Could’ve, Hindsight is 20/20, If only I would have known I would have done things differently...etc... WIth all of them dealing with what was  and not what is, the last cliche that came to me was “ There is no time like the present”. 

     As the Gospel of Luke said “ You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,the Son of Man will come”. That fits very nicely with “ There is no time like the present”. We do not know when that day may come or when we will leave this earth. Salvation should not be a second thought in this life but that focus to have a continual life. That is the benefit of following and turning to God, Salvation. There will not be a countdown like on New Years Eve that will end this world or our lives. We have to get back on the right track in our lives and keep that focus on God. 

     I do not want this to be a blog of fear but one of a “reality check”. God does not want us to fear what can be but love what is. This is something that you do not want to be late to. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and set your clock and soul ahead so you will not be late. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception

December 8th

It’s important to understand what the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is and what it is not. Some people think the term refers to Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb without the intervention of a human father; but that is the Virgin Birth. Others think the Immaculate Conception means Mary was conceived "by the power of the Holy Spirit," in the way Jesus was, but that, too, is incorrect. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what "immaculate" means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings. 
When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference may be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary. 
The traditional translation, "full of grace," is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of "highly favored daughter." Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for "daughter"). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind.Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence. 
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and take time to open yourself to Mary this Advent.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

  Music is very important to me and it can set or change my mood in no time. It also is something that goes straight to my soul. With that in mind I have decided to include music once a week up until Christmas and from there I may try and incorporate some great music that I hope will speak to your soul as it has spoken to mine.

     Tonights song is O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Jeremy Camp. It has to be my all time favorite song for Christmas. Even when I was away from God, I still had to listen it during the holidays. 

      The song speaks of us longing for the Christ child to be born. We are asking for Him to free us from Satan and open the Heavenly Gates. It is a song of hope and salvation. It is only through Him, can we achieve salvation.  Below you will find a video of the song.


Until tomorrow, God Bless, and let the song of salvation lead you to Christ.



Monday, December 3, 2012

Fever

Fever

Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? ~ 1Corinthians 3:16

There are times we are not our normal 100% selves and a bit under the weather. It may have happen because we let our guard down and did not take our vitamins or wash our hands as much as we should have. There are ways that we can keep our immune system up and can fight off an illness or at least lesson the time of it. The same can be said about sin in our lives. 

   We can help ward off sin if we are spiritually healthy and have our guard up as well. You know the basic ways of staying spiritually healthy, go to mass, have a prayer life, read the bible, and find spiritual readings. Those are basic ways but what even goes further is to look around you. What and Who is around you? Do they support the life that you want to lead? If they do not then some things will need to change. This is not an excuse to get rid of people in your life but be smart about it. No one can make you sin but yourself. Other people can make it easier for you by presenting the sin but that is where it ends. 

    It is up to us to keep our guard up and be watchful for what is around us. We either allow or block those things that cause us to step over the line and sin. It has always bothered me when people blame others for their own sins. It is easier to do that then deal that it is in ourselves that allowed us to sin. We are human and there are times that we will sin. That is a fact of life because we are not perfect but it is in the way we handle the sins that define us. 

    If we hold onto the sins and not release them in reconciliation we can become spiritually unhealthy. It is easier to continue down that path of sin if we do not seek healing and turn away from it. This is a perfect time during advent to do this. It is a new beginning and a new year for you. Take this advent and make yourself spiritually healthier then you did during the year.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and take your daily dose of God to keep your sin immunity up.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Week of Advent

First Week of Advent

     With the new start of the church year and the start of Advent we start to get ready for the coming of Jesus. These four weeks we are to prepare our homes and our heart to receive Jesus. The first week we light the candle that symbolizes Hope. The hope of salvation and to be redeemed. 

      We are to prepare our hearts and souls so that Jesus can rest in us. We do this by cleaning out the debris of the past year to make room for Jesus. There will be reconciliation services over the next four weeks to help us to do this. We also need to go deeper into ourselves and search for that star that we may follow to find Jesus inside ourselves. Each day we can light that inner advent candle so that we may carry that hope each day with us. It will remind us what truly is important this advent season. 

     When we carry that light of hope with us in the world we are showing others what this season means and who is really coming on December 25th. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and let the light of hope be in you this advent. 

Advent Prayer
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

St. Andrew

Saint Andrew


Feastday: November 30
Patron of Fisherman

Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He became a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist, but when John pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" Andrew understood that Jesus was greater. At once he left John to follow the Divine Master. Jesus knew that Andrew was walking behind him, and turning back, he asked, "what do you seek?" When Andrew answered that he would like to know where Jesus lived, Our Lord replied, "Come and see." Andrew had been only a little time with Jesus when he realized that this was truly the Messiah.
From then on, he chose to follow Jesus. Andrew was thus the first disciple of Christ. Next, Andrew brought his brother Simon (St. Peter) to Jesus and Jesus received him, too, as His disciple. At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good. It is believed that after Our Lord ascended into Heaven, St. Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel. He is said to have been put to death on a cross, to which he was tied, not nailed. He lived two days in that state of suffering, still preaching to the people who gathered around their beloved Apostle. Two countries have chosen St. Andrew as their patron - Russia and Scotland.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and live like a saint today.