Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Day

New Day

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

 We gathered over the past few days to end Lent and begin the Easter Triduum. As Catholics we recognized the institution of the most Holy Eucharist given to us on Holy Thursday during our Lord’s Last Supper. The Eucharist becomes the central part of the mass and of the Catholic Faith. On Friday we gain strength from Jesus as we pick up our crosses and follow Him to Calvary. It is only when we die to ourselves that we are able to fully accept Jesus in our lives. Saturday we welcome new members of the Catholic Church through the sacred Sacraments. Then on Sunday we welcome the Risen Lord into our Church and Hearts. Through His resurrection we all gain new life. 

    For me this Lent has been a world wind and filled with graces and lessons. I do believe that I am not the same person I was just over forty days ago. New questions arose and new paths have been shown to me. I hope for you all that you also have changed in some way over these forty plus days. That Jesus has entered your heart, soul and mind in a new way. Take some time and look into yourself and write down those changes so you may see them. They do not have to be these great big changes, even the smallest changes help us move closer to Jesus. 

    Things will be settling down for myself since Lent is over. My “ Lenten Travels” as I will call it, are done and I will be returning to a “normal life” again. I now have to take all that I have learned and gained with the many talks, presentations, missions, retreat, conferences, prayer services and put them into action. Also I must understand that “Spiritual High” that I received from the silent retreat and kept for a few days and find that balance it gave me again. The up coming blogs will be reflecting on the lessons learned and the experiences from my Lenten Journey.  I ask for you to as well. Share with others what you have experienced. It is through our own faith experiences that 
we are able to share in the unity of the Trinity in our lives. 

     I will continue to pray for all our conversions of Heart, Mind and Soul and ask you to pray the same with me. This day starts our journey with the Resurrection of Jesus and continues in us as we now go out and share the word and testimony of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ. May the defeat over the cross bring new hope and life to you all these coming days and remember what you have gained. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we sing with the choir of angels that our Lord has Risen. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

12th, 13th, 14th Stations

 12th, 13th, &14th Stations Jesus' Death, Jesus' Taken Down from Cross, & Burial

  I wanted to combine the Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth station because it is that transition from this life to the next. Jesus takes His last breath on the cross and dies, then He is taken down from the cross and placed in the arms of His Mother, Mary. After She holds Her Son, He is placed in the tomb. The end has come to Jesus’ mission here on earth but the mission continues on. 

   Jesus’ human side can no longer survive the pain and torture of this world and commends His spirit into His Father’s hands. It is His last act before taking His last breath.  Jesus may not be physically on earth but His spirit resides in all those who hears His voice and picks up their cross and follows after Him. 

   His Mother, Mary, watches as Her Son dies for all of our sins. The pain and suffering she felt is unimaginable. Mary waits by the cross and as Her son is taken down from the cross, so She may hold Her Son one last time before being placed in the tomb. We see Jesus as our Savior, yet Mary sees Him as Her only Son. 

    It is very difficult when we loss those who are close to us. We all suffer during those days that may lead up to their passing and suffer the days that follow the passing. There are no words to express the pain that is felt. We gather together to honor, remember and lay them in peace. We leave them but they never leave our hearts and minds. 

     We can turn to Mary when we are feeling that loss stronger then other days. She understands what it is to lose and feel pain. She watched Her Son suffer, die for things that He did not do and understood this was to be the path for both of Them. We focus on Jesus’ path to the cross but I always wondered how was that path for Mary. I know painful but what were Her stations of the cross? As Her son fell, did She as well? Who was there  to help Mary as Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus? Who wiped Her tears like Veronica did for Jesus? 

      Jesus is laid in the tomb and many thought that this may be the end of His mission. The mission was not only not over but was just the catalyst and start of the Catholic Church. Those who followed Jesus gathered and waited. What was to come has continued for 2000 years. This should give us all hope. That even though our loved ones are not with us here on earth, that we all will be reunited because Jesus saved us and gave us salvation. 

       I want to take this time to wish you all a blessed Triduum and the next few days I will only be posting pictures and not writing an official blog until Easter Sunday. May God bless you all and I ask that over the next few days to come closer to Jesus and Mary.

Until Easter Sunday, God Bless, and may your Lent have brought you closer to the Trinity, your Faith and the Church. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

  Jesus is nailed to the cross. With each hit of the hammer it drives the nails deeper and deeper through Jesus and the wood. Each time the hammer hits the nails our Lord cries out in pain. He is taking this pain and suffering for us. Our sins are the nails that hold Him on the cross and our sins aid in nailing Him to the cross.

   The suffering of Jesus is coming to an end. He has carried all of our sins with Him on this journey. Now He is lifted up on the cross for all around to see the Savior. He is looking down at all those who He has helped, healed, feed, gave council and taken their sins. Jesus does not curse them for what they do but says “ Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. He asks for the forgiveness for them from His Father. How many of us could do that? How many of us could forgive those who have wronged us? 

    In the midst of suffering on the cross, Jesus still ministers to the other men on the cross. He does not turn from God, His Father, but continues on His mission of salvation of the people. How many times do we stop working in ministry because we are to tired to go on? Turn away because of the few that make it difficult for us? Leave so we can have it easier? I know I was guilty of this. It is not easy to do the work of Jesus sometimes. It is draining and challenging at times. Yet, we must go on. We have to reach those who do not know Him. Reach those who have left. Reach those who are struggling. Reach those who doubt. It will not be easy but it is rewarding and pleasing to God. 

    Sometimes we are not carrying our own cross but are being nailed to them because of what we believe. Being a Catholic is not always excepted. Our faith is nailed to the cross over things that a small portion of the clergy and laity do. Each time our faith is attacked and nailed, we are as well. I believe times will come where we have to stand taller for the faith and we are lucky in the United States where we can practice the faith openly. Think of those who are crucified and die for the faith. Each time blood is shed for the faith we must lift our heads on the cross and cry out to Jesus to help us and strengthen us and the church. 

     Whether we are carrying our crosses or being nailed to them, know that Jesus did it first. That we can turn to Him and ask Him to give us the strength to carry on and make a difference in the world. Jesus is not asking us to do anything He has not already done for us. Turn to Him. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember the journey you have already taken till this point and carry on. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

  Jesus has come to the spot where He will lose His life. He is tired and beaten down. Now as He stands there before the masses He is stripped of His garments. He stands before them exposed and humiliated. 

   Before Jesus is nailed to the cross for forgiveness of our sins He is stripped down, almost naked. Almost fully exposed to the world. There are a few ways that come to mind about being stripped down and exposed. 

   The first is with confession/ reconciliation.  This is how we need to be when we are asking for forgiveness and God’s Love. We need to strip away those sins and expose who is under all those layers to Jesus so we may know and feel that sense of forgiveness and love. The idea of going to confession bothers some because they feel they are like Jesus and will be exposed. That the Priest will hold them to those sins that we are confessing. Yes, I must admit sometimes it is hard to expose my sins but after it is done there is that feeling of release. 

    The second is part of my retreat experience this past weekend. I was stripped of those outside connections to the world. Stripped of the noises and voices. I was stripped of , not only, my connections to the world but of a voice for the weekend. I am someone who’s phone is constantly checked, used to text, and check facebook. When I am home the TV is on, the phone is by my side and the computer is on. There is that constant chatter. Yet, this weekend, those things were silent. I needed those things to be stripped from me so I can focus and be disconnected to the world so I may reconnect with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and Mary. 

     If someone asked you “ Who are you? Tell me about yourself ? Explain to me what makes you, you?” What would you say? Would you list your occupation? Your Marital status? Children? Religion? Where you live? Would you say what you own and have? Each one of these are layers that we place on ourselves or allow them to be placed on us by others. If you now strip all of that away, who are you? What is at your core? It is only when we strip all of the titles or categories can we see that at the core we are all children of God. All of the titles and layers we add, shape how we are and viewed in the world. We have to be exposed and stripped so others see first and foremost that we belong to God. That we are not ashamed of being who we truly are meant to be in the world. 

      We do not want to be stripped and exposed because we do not want to see the mocking glances of others, hear their whispers or face rejection of who we really are inside. Jesus stood as He was stripped of the earthly garments to not expose Himself but the sins of the world. When we go before God we will be stripped of all those things that are of this secular world so we may hope to gain the Heavenly Kingdom. Really look at yourself and strip down all those things that bind you to this world so you can stand before God. Strip down so you may gain forgiveness and salvation.    

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you expose your true self to not only others but to yourself as well.   

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ninth Station: Jesus falls a third time.

Ninth Station: Jesus falls a third time.

   Jesus falls for the third time as He gets closer to Calvary and  He will take His last breath. The road is getting harder and harder to continue on but He knows how this must end so we may live. His life needs to end so we can live in the next life.

     There are things in each of our lives that continue to bring us down and take us from where or what we need to be doing. Others around us may yell, mock, or look down on us because we have “fallen” again. Those people are like those who watched Jesus fall again and pushed, beat, and yelled at Him to continue on. This does not help those who have fallen but only helps with keeping them down. It is hard enough to get back up on your own but when those who are around you, do nothing to help but criticize, it becomes even harder to get back up. 

     It is easier to stay down when we fall. Easier to just keep on sinning because “ Why not, I have already sinned anyway”. This idea only keeps that gap that is between us and God from closing. This idea only promotes destruction and does nothing to close or bridge that gap. That bridge or that thing that closes the gap is confession of our sins and admitting to ourselves what causes us to fall. Look sin dead on and challenge yourself to gain control over it. 

     I know I beat myself over some sins over and over because I feel I should have by now a better understanding on how to avoid those things that bring me closer to sin then to God. Once those sins start around me it is easier to fall back to them and allow those sins to multiply. This is where I need to grow and ask those to help and even pray for me in the areas. It is in my weakness that I have to be strong in Jesus as well as each of us do. The strength is in the getting back up each time and continuing on the journey to heaven. 

     Our crosses get heavier when we are at our weakest and lighter when we are at our strongest. It does not mean we have more to deal with always, it can be that we are just tired from the weight of the problems or sins in our lives. The more we sin the weaker we get and the harder it is to carry our crosses. To get that strength we have to keep sin at a distance so we can stay focussed on the path we want to take. The path that will lead us to the eternal life. 

        Now matter if it is the third time you have fallen or the thirtieth, Jesus is there for you. Remember that. Jesus will be there, is there, and forever will be there. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we all continue fighting to stay the course and not fall. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekend Away

Weekend Away

  The silent weekend retreat is just hours away and there will be no blog again until after this weekend. I ask that you pray for me as I will be praying for all of you and for the future of the blog as well. 

     This weekend will be a different experience for myself and also it has been a long time since I have been on a retreat. Some people have asked “ What do I hope to get from the weekend?” To be honest, I really do not have a goal or something I want for once. I just hope I am open to God and to myself this weekend. 

Until the silence is ended, God Bless, and may you have a blessed Palm Sunday.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eight Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Eight Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

  Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem. Those who Jesus counted as close friends are nowhere to be found as He continues to carry His cross. There are those, like the women of Jerusalem who are there as He continues on His journey. 

    Sometimes the people in our lives disappoint us and are not there when we feel they should be there by our side. It is hard for us when this happens and we may become angry and bitter at those people. We expect them to be there because maybe we have been there for them and expect the same in return. It is natural to feel hurt because there is an expectation that you feel has not been fulfilled and that you are not as important to that person. When this happens we need to step back and look at the whole picture.

    The next part of course applies to our own personal relationships and not that of the relationship between Jesus and the apostles. We have to talk to that person and see what happened. Maybe they did not know what was going on? Maybe things were also going on for them that they couldn’t be there? Maybe our expectations are to high for that person? Maybe they may not feel the same way as we do? No matter what one of these questions it involves, there still needs to be a conversation.

     We need to be honest with ourselves and with that person. An open discussion needs to happen so a resolution can happen. It may not be the resolution you expected or wanted. Sometimes people will get caught up in what is going on with them and not see what is going on with others around them. Sometimes people may feel it is not there place to step in or that you do not want them there. Sometimes we expect more from people then what they are able or want to give. It is hard to get over these feelings and answers and sometimes there really is not a resolution that both people can except.  The relationship will change when this happens and it can either get better or worse. It is up to both people to see where they go on from here.

     The same is said when it comes to how God and Jesus are in our lives. We all have disappointed them in our lives. The disappointment comes from and out of the sins we commit. Yet, when we ask for forgiveness we are forgiven and move on from there. We will always be forgiven, as long as we are truly sorry. Think about that when someone disappoints you and they are asking for forgiveness or for you to just move past this and move on. Do not get me wrong and think that every time this happens we need to just forgive and move on with the relationship. Sometimes all we can do is wish a person well and pray for them. Only you can decide for yourself what you feel in your heart and soul is right. 

     Disappoints will come in this life. There is nothing that we can do to prevent people from disappointing at times but it is how we handle them that make us who we are. You can forgive and move on with the relationship, forgive and the relationship changes or forgive and go your separate ways. In each of those cases, the act of forgiving is there. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and forgive as you would like to be forgiven. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick Breastplate Prayer

St. Patrick Breastplate Prayer

  The prayer of the Breastplate of Saint Patrick is a prayer that I will be weaving into my prayer life. It is a prayer that states many aspects of our faith. The faith that we live and how we need to be living it. It also shows us how to allow the Trinity to work in our lives and how it is not us by ourselves but the Trinity that is working through us. The prayer includes those of heaven and of earth that are united to love, serve and protect those who seek the kingdom of God. 
     There is power in the prayer as I read it aloud. I have read this many times but when you hear what you are saying the words seem, to me anyway, to go to my mind, soul, and heart. Read the prayer out loud and do not rush the prayer but pause and reflect on each paragraph and let it sink into your soul. I have included the full version below so you may have it to read.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the prayer of St. Patrick’s Breastplate bring you peace. 

The Breastplate of Saint Patrick
I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.
I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial,
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.
I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim
in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendor of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.
I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and a near, alone and in a crowd.
I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul, against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick

St. Patrick

Feast day: March 17
Patron of Ireland
387 - 461

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints.
Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.
Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone's Irish.
There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.
Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies.
As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.
During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote
"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain, where he reunited with his family.
He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."
He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.
Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.
Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.
Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).
Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.
He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.
Why a shamrock?
Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.
In His Footsteps:
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time

Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time

   Jesus falls for the second time as He is carrying the cross to Calvary. The weight of the cross is becoming heavier and heavier as Jesus becomes weaker and weaker. The soldiers force Jesus back up by yelling and beating Him to get back up. 

    With Jesus falling a second time we see again the human side of Him. It helps to remind us that He was not only Devine but Human as well. Jesus is an example of no matter how many times we fall carrying our cross, He understands and is there to help us.  

    We fall many times in our lives and sometimes it is the same sins that aid us in our falling. Each time sin comes our way, it brings with it the chance of us falling away from God, Jesus and the church. When we do fall we need to get back up as quick as we can. It gets harder to get back up the longer we wait. Time goes by and you may grow further and further away from the life you were leading. The new fallen life starts to become the norm in your life and it gets harder to see the way back. 

    One of the ways for us to not fall and to stay on track is to go to confession. Confession is that antibiotic to the sins in our lives. It gets rid of that virus that goes through to our souls and gets us off track. You will find that the more you go to confession the easier the life becomes and the less you fall.

    We are reminded that carrying our crosses are never easy and we will fall many times but just as Jesus got back up so can we. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and receive the vaccine of confession as often as you can. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Saint Francis

Saint Francis

With our new Pope taking the same of St. Francis I decided to give a brief bio of the blessed Saint. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we all strive to be Saints. 

Saint Francis is called the little poor man of Assisi. He was born in the year 1182 in the town of Assisi in Italy. His father's name was Bernadone. Bernadone was a very wealthy merchant of Assisi. Francis was a very good-looking boy. He was merry and soft-hearted. So he had many friends. All the noble men's sons were his companions.
Francis was brought up in luxury and gaiety. He spent a considerable portion of his wealth in extravagant pleasures. He used to drink with the young princes of the land.
One day Francis was joking and laughing with his friends. A beggar came along crying for alms. Francis, who was soft-hearted, gave whatever he had in his pocket to the beggar. His companions mocked at him for his charitable act. Dispassion dawned in his heart. The sight of the beggar set him thinking about the poverty and misery of mundane life. He gave much money to the poor. His father thought that Francis was wasting his money and rebuked him.
Sometime after this, Francis was laid up in bed for many months on account of some serious disease. He was about to die. But the Lord saved him as he had to carry out a definite mission in his life. The nature of Francis was entirely changed. Francis prayed to the Lord for light and guidance as to his future. He had a vision of Lord Jesus. He made a strong determination to renounce his old way of living to tread a life of purity and to dedicate his life to the service of humanity.
As soon as Francis got well, he informed his parents of his determination. They were disappointed. They became angry with Francis. Francis gave up his old ways and habits and set up to serve God. He distributed clothes, goods and money to the poor. His father was very much annoyed towards his son. He said, "Is this the gratitude you show to me ? I laboured hard and amassed wealth. You are lavishly wasting it on these miserable wretches".
Francis' friends mocked at him and teased him. His father turned him out of the house. Francis lived like a beggar. His old friends even pelted him with stones and mud. He bore everything with patience. He wore a coarse dress and ate simple food.
Francis lived in a cave in the mountains of Assisi and spent his time in prayer and meditation for two years. Some kind people gave him food, but very often he had to starve.
Francis called the body 'brother ass'. He kept this brother ass under perfect discipline and control. Sometimes he kept this brother ass without food and water and denied it some special food that it liked very much.
Francis was humble. He loved God's creatures. He loved birds and beasts. He loved the depressed and the outcastes. He treated the birds, the beasts and all beings as brothers and sisters.
Francis went from village to village preaching the love of God. He invited people to join him in his life of service if they were willing. Bernard, a rich man of Assisi, was very much attracted by the saintliness of Francis. He joined Francis. He was the first follower of Francis. He placed all his wealth at the altar of God. Eleven others also joined Francis. They distributed all their wealth to the poor. Francis and his followers went all over Italy preaching, teaching, healing and blessing wherever they went.
The gospel of kindness and love of Francis soon spread all over Europe and earned for him the name of St. Francis. People called him the little poor man of Assisi. He lived for ever in the hearts of all men.
St. Francis collected many followers and founded the Order of Mendicant Friars or Franciscans. The members of this Order have to take a vow of poverty, chastity, love and obedience.
St. Francis gave up his mortal coil in 1228.
The followers of St. Francis built a beautiful church round him on the hill of Assisi, the hill he so dearly loved. The influence of St. Francis and the sweet aroma of the life he lived will last for ever.
Glory to St. Francis, the little poor man of Assisi, but an illustrious saint !
The Prayer of Saint Francis
"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved
as to love; for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

 Today the Seat of Peter has been filled and our new Pontiff is Pope Francis. In the days ahead we will see and learn more about the new Pontiff. Continue to pray for the guide of the Holy Spirit to move and stir in Pope Francis. I have included Pope Francis’s  first address to the people of faith below.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we all rest easier now that the Chair has been filled.

Brothers and sisters, good evening!
You know that it was the duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop.  It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... but here we are... I thank you for your welcome.  The diocesan community of Rome now has its Bishop.  Thank you!      And first of all, I would like to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI.  Let us pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may keep him. 
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...
And now, we take up this journey:  Bishop and People.  This journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches.  A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us.  Let us always pray for one another.  Let us pray for the whole world, that there may be a great spirit of fraternity.  It is my hope for you that this journey of the Church, which we start today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar, here present, will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this most beautiful city. 
And now I would like to give the blessing, but first - first I ask a favour of you: before the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop.  Let us make, in silence, this prayer:  your prayer over me. 
Now I will give the Blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I leave you now.  Thank you for your welcome.  Pray for me and until we meet again.  We will see each other soon.  Tomorrow I wish to go and pray to Our Lady, that she may watch over all of Rome.  Good night and sleep well!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Carry My Cross

Carry My Cross - Third Day 

    The images and lyrics to this song are so moving. With just over a week till Holy Week lets start to prepare for the ending of the Journey of Jesus here on earth. Please take this time to ready yourself foe that final walk to Calvary with Him. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and pray for the soon to be Pope. 

"Carry My Cross"

As long as I remember 
I've been walking through the wilderness 
Praying to the Father 
And waiting for my time 
I've come here with a mission 
And soon I'll give my life for this world 

I'm praying in the garden 
And I'm looking for a miracle 
I find the journey hard but 
It's the reason I was born 
Can this cup be passed on 
Lord, I pray your will be done 
In this world 

So I'll carry my cross 
And I'll carry the shame 
To the end of the road 
Through the struggle and pain 
And I'll do it for love 
No, it won't be in vain 
Yes, I'll carry my cross 
And I'll carry the shame 

I feel like I'm alone here 
And I'm treated like a criminal 
The time has come for me now 
Even though I've done no wrong 
Father, please forgive them 
They know not what they've done 
In this world 

Three more days and I'll be coming back again 
Three more days and I'll be coming back again

Monday, March 11, 2013

And it begins....

And it begins.... 

We are just hours away from the start of the Conclave to elect our new Pontiff. This is an Historic time in the church and we must remember to be strong and fervent in our prayers. Offer up your prayers, rosary, mass and pray to the Holy Spirit to guide the Conclave.  I am looking forward to seeing the white smoke and hear the bells ring. I must admit I have signed up to get a text when the Pope is elected so I know right away. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and my the spirit guide. 

Prayer for the Election of New Pope

O God, eternal shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care. 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. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

St. Louise de Marillac

St. Louise de Marillac

Feast day: March 15
Died: 1660

Louise de Marillac was born probably at Ferrieres-en-Brie near Meux, France, on August 12, 1591. She was educated by the Dominican nuns at Poissy. She desired to become a nun but on the advice of her confessor, she married Antony LeGras, an official in the Queen's service, in 1613. After Antony's death in 1625, she met St. Vincent de Paul, who became her spiritual adviser. She devoted the rest of her life to working with him. She helped direct his Ladies of Charity in their work of caring for the sick, the poor, and the neglected. In 1633 she set up a training center, of which she was Directress in her own home, for candidates seeking to help in her work. This was the beginning of the Sisters (or Daughters, as Vincent preferred) of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (though it was not formally approved until 1655). She took her vows in 1634 and attracted great numbers of candidates. She wrote a rule for the community, and in 1642, Vincent allowed four of the members to take vows. Formal approval placed the community under Vincent and his Congregation of the Missions, with Louise as Superior. She traveled all over France establishing her Sisters in hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions. By the time of her death in Paris on March 15, the Congregation had more than forty houses in France. Since then they have spread all over the world. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934, and was declared Patroness of Social Workers by Pope John XXIII in 1960. Her feast day is March 15th.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

   Veronica steps from the crowd so she can wipe the blood and sweat from Jesus’s forehead and face. By doing this she showed her love and concern for Jesus. It was not much some may say but Veronica did what she could to help Jesus. 

     We are all called to help one another, even in the smallest of ways. Just smiling at someone or holding the door is an act of kindness. When we think of doing charity work, we think of doing grand things like soup kitchens, clothing drives, etc.. They are all great things but not everyone can do them for their own reasons. Yet there are other things we all can do. 

   What are someways that someone just out a smile on your face when you were down? Has someone told you that you made their day and you have no idea what you did? These questions happen more then we know. The little things in life helps us to move on sometimes when we do not think anyone cares or understands. They are the extra push that we need. 

    Veronica did what anyone else in the crowd could have done. The difference is that she did it when no one else did. She stepped away from the norm of the crowd to do something kind for Jesus. Sometimes we need to step from the norm of the crowd to do what is right. When someone drops what they are carrying, help them pick them up instead of laughing. Lend a helping hand instead of a pointing finger. You see a mother trying to open the door and get the stroller in the store, hold the door for her. There are many many little things we can do each day for others. Once you start it will be just part of the normal day to help others.

    It is not just in doing extraordinary things that we can be the Hands and Feet of Jesus but it is also in the small day to day things we can do as Jesus asks of us. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember Jesus in the grand and small things. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Conclave Date Set

Conclave Date Set

    The Conclave date has been set for Tuesday, March 12th. This weekend I ask for all of us to offer up our prayers and mass for all the Cardinals Say a rosary or two. Go to adoration for some time. This is how we are able to be a part of this time of transition. The Catholic Faith is that of a Universal Faith. The Faith is one and as one united body we need to come together and offer ourselves to the church body and unite for the soon to be new Pontiff. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the Holy Spirit guide us all. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Saint Thomas

Saint Thomas

Feast day: July 3
Patron of architects

St. Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities. At the Last Supper, when Christ told His Apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way, Thomas pleaded that they did not understand and received the beautiful assurance that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But St. Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of his Master. Thomas' unwillingness to believe that the other Apostles had seen their risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday merited for him the title of "doubting Thomas." Eight days later, on Christ's second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his skepticism and furnished with the evidence he had demanded - seeing in Christ's hands the point of the nails and putting his fingers in the place of the nails and his hand into His side. At this, St. Thomas became convinced of the truth of the Resurrection and exclaimed: "My Lord and My God," thus making a public Profession of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus. St. Thomas is also mentioned as being present at another Resurrection appearance of Jesus - at Lake Tiberias when a miraculous catch of fish occurred. This is all that we know about St. Thomas from the New Testament. Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves "Christians of St. Thomas." He capped his left by shedding his blood for his Master, speared to death at a place called Calamine. His feast day is July 3rd and he is the patron of architects.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Church to Pray

Church to Pray

    The Vatican today invited the entire Church to pray with cardinals when they dedicate tomorrow afternoon to prayer and adoration in St. Peter's basilica for the upcoming papal election. The prayers begin at 5pm Rome time (11a.m. EST). I ask that we join in Union in our hearts and souls with the Cardinals. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the spirit guide us all. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chipping Away

Chipping Away

    Have you ever just stopped whatever you were doing and sighed then looked around and just got a feeling of God or Jesus out of no where? They were not on your mind at that time but a feeling just comes over you and it is like you are transported to another place where it s calm and you start to search your soul? Well, it has happened a few times for me and just a while ago that feeling came over me.  

    I know for some I may sound a bit crazy or just slightly out there but please humor me and listen with an open mind and heart. I debated about sharing this because it is more on a deeper personal level but is it not that deeper personal level we are seeking with God and Jesus? So, how can I not. 

     As I said Lent is my time of working on myself daily and chipping away at myself so I may find Jesus with in me. I have more to chip away since being away. More sin to chip away. More doubts to chip. More anger to chip. More misunderstandings to chip. With each hit of the hammer and chisel I try to take more and more of myself away so that Jesus can shine through me. I was walking through my home and I just stopped and let out a sigh and a feeling of calm and warmth came over me. For a little while, problems and decisions seemed to be clearer in my head. Things seemed to settle in my heart, mind and soul. For the first time in a long time I felt I was on the right path to God. The doubts were gone and the path was straight. 

      It did not last long but knowing for just a few moments my life was in line with God and Jesus was calming and the fears of going the wrong way was gone. My greatest fear in my life is not of sin but of going that wrong way and not being on the right path. That I am not serving God and Jesus in the right way. Tonight it was getting that bit of confirmation, that seal of approval I have been worried about. 

     Is there some decisions or areas of your life that you pray are in line with God and Jesus? That you pray that you get some confirmation on? I pray that you get those confirmations. It was like a sigh of relief tonight for me. That God is working in me and I am chipping away to find Jesus in me. A lot is to be done still and it never becomes perfection till we are all in His presence in all His glory and grace. 

       I was not searching or praying for that confirmation tonight but that is part of how God and Jesus works. We may not get those answers or confirmations when we are seeking them but will get them when we are not expecting them. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we all feel that sigh of God’s Love and Jesus’ Grace. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tony Melendez

Tony Melendez

Tonight I went to see the Tony Melendez concert. He is a man of God who seeks to show God’s grace and love to others. Tonight instead of a normal blog I am just posting some of his videos because there are just no words that can explain his ministry. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stop Look Listen

Stop Look Listen

  I bet as we all were growing up we were told to Stop, Look, Listen before we crossed the street. It was ingrained in us. Our parents said it over and over and over again an we would yell back I KNOW!!! We always felt we knew better and some of us just might had some close calls with the car because we did the quick version of Stop, Look, Listen and that was Pause, Look one way, Yell to friend across street. 

   We need to do the same with our relationship with God. Stop, Look, Listen. Each one is just as important as the other.  Without doing all three we are putting ourself at risk of getting run over  in our lives. We also risk missing opportunities because we are not paying attention. Each time we pray and ask for guidance or answers we have to Stop, Look, Listen. 

     First thing to do after we pray is that  we have to Stop. Stop everything. Stop the phone, the texts, the tv, the thoughts, the distractions. Stop doing things also. It may feel like the world stopped turning but trust me it will still turn even without all of these things being on in your life. This does not mean we have to remove these things forever but to stop and turn them off now and again so we can do the next part and that is to look. 

      Second we need to Look. Look around you and see the miracles and signs from God. We zoom through life and miss the signs and miracles around us. We miss the “everyday”. Think about those around you and see the blessings they are in your life. What do they bring to your life? What are the miracles around you? They do not have to be just the grand miracles like healing but can just be the simple ones like getting out of bed, being able to see, walking etc... Make a list of some of the miracles you see around you and when you feel life is hard, look them over. Now the signs in your life. Look for them each day. God may not answer right away or make a great grand parting of the Red Sea kind of sign but He will answer you. Just look and then to the next is to listen. 

      Third is to Listen. Listen to your heart and soul. Listen to all the signs around you. Sometimes the answer may come in a song, words of a friend, bible passage, etc.. When we listen with our whole heart and whole soul we are able to be open to hear the message from God. Do not just listen to what you want to hear but listen to everything. We may not like an answer but we still need to listen to it. 

     When we incorporate Stop, Look, Listen into our prayer lives we are able to create the opportunity to come closer to God and understand what He wants for us and has done for us. If we decide to do the quick version we will miss the everyday miracles and signs from God. We need to take the time to do this right so we will have the graces upon us.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember Stop, Look. Listen. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

St. Casimir

St. Casimir

Feast day: March 4
Patron of Poland and Lithuania
1461 - 1484

Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a prince of Poland, the second son of King Casimir IV and Elizabeth of Austria, his life was scheduled to cement his father's authority and increase Poland's power.
Casimir realized from an early age that his life belonged to someone else, but to a much higher King than his father. Despite pressure, humiliation, and rejection, he stood by that loyalty through his whole life.
Born the third of thirteen children in 1461, Casimir was committed to God from childhood. Some of that commitment was the result of a tutor, John Dlugosz, whose holiness encouraged Casimir on his own journey.
It may be hard for us to imagine royal luxury as a pressure. But for Casimir, the riches around him were temptations to forget his true loyalties. Rebelling against the rich, fashionable clothes he was expected to enjoy, he wore the plainest of clothes.
Rejecting even ordinary comforts, he slept little, spending his nights in prayer. And when he did sleep, he lay on the floor not on a royal bed. Even though he was a prince, many of those around him must have laughed and joked at his choices. Yet, in the face of any pressure, Casimir was always friendly and calm.
Though his father must have wondered about him, he must have seen and admired Casimir's strength. He showed that he misunderstood this strength when he sent Casimir as head of an army to take over the throne of Hungary at the request of some nobles there. Casimir felt the whole expedition was wrong but was convinced to go out of obedience to his father. He could not help but feel at every step that it was disobedient to his other Father. So when soldiers started deserting, he was only too glad to listen to the advice of his officers and turn back home. His feelings were confirmed when he discovered that Pope Sixtus IV had opposed the move.
His father, however, was furious at being deterred from his plans and banished Casimir to a castle in Dobzki, hoping that imprisonment would change Casimir's mind. Casimir's commitment to what he believed was right only grew stronger in his exile and he refused to cooperate with his father's plans any more despite the pressure to give in. He even rejected a marriage alliance his father tried to form. He participated in his true King's plans wholeheartedly by praying, studying, and helping the poor.
He died at the age of 23 in 1484 from lung disease. He was buried with his favorite song, a Latin hymn to Mary called "Omni die dic Mariae" which we know as "Daily, Daily Sing to Mary." Because of his love for the song, it is known as the Hymn of St. Casimir though he didn't write it.
Casimir is patron saint of Poland and Lithuania.
In His Footsteps:
Where do your loyalties lie? Is there a part of your life where you feel your loyalties divided and feel pressure to follow worldly commitment? Today choose the action that best serves Christ the King.
Saint Casimir, help us to remember that our true King is Jesus Christ and always serve him with joy and love. Help us to turn to our true Father for guidance and protection. Amen