I may not be posting much in the next few months. My hubby is having minor surgery next week and I have to have shoulder surgery in May. I am in quite a bit of pain and writing is a little difficult right now. So, please be patient with me as I get through this little bump in my process. God bless!!
I have noticed an interesting phenomenon among we mortals... We often ask God for physical healing. Okay, so that is a good thing. If God can do more with a physical healing in our lives than with some prolonged suffering, a physical healing would be great.
However, we often neglect to ask for healing from our spiritual flaws. Do I suffer from a spirit of pride, or one of bad attitude? Do I fall into gluttony or the sin of sloth? Do I bring others down with the wit God gave me as a gift to lift others?
As I reflect on my own sinfulness, I realize that I have a much stronger need for a spiritual healing than I ever could from a physical one. That is what I will ask God for today. God bless.
My kids have coined a phrase of hope when talking about friends or acquaintances who have received their sacraments, then have fallen away from the faith or started practicing another at a non-Catholic Church. My kids say these folks are, "Just a Confession away."
It's a good reminder that grace and a return to the Catholic Church is not very far away from any of us at any given time.
This Tuesday, my home Diocese of Rochester, NY will offer a chance to 'come home.' A Day of Penance will provide Confession opportunities at every parish from 12:30-7:30pm.http://www.catholiccourier.com/in-depth/previous-topics/year-of-faith/diocese-plans-day-of-penance/
Please prayerfully consider attending the beautiful Sacrament of Mercy and Grace right in time for Holy Week! I will be praying for all of you. God bless!
I love faith based retreats, praise and worship nights, spiritual conferences and Christian concerts! These overtly uplifting, exciting experiences appeal to my outgoing nature.
I recently heard someone describing one of these events as 'life-changing!' Not for me, nope, not-so-much.
When I ponder the moments of faith that have been life-changing (for me) they were almost always quiet. They usually took place in the silence of my soul, after receiving the Eucharist, when God would speak to my heart. They were profound, rare and never forgotten whispers that reconstructed my heart and redirected my faith journey.
This doesn't mean that others don't have these moments in the midst of the energy of an event, just that we should exercise caution when describing what to expect, because each person's interaction with the Lord is unique to them. So go, enjoy and grow spiritually in your own way! God bless.
Dear Youth Minister:
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all you do for our kids. The endless hours you make yourself available to them (and to the parents), the openess in supporting them when they reach out, the quality of the program you have created, and the opportunities for service and spiritual growth you have introduced them to.
I told you once that you had helped 'raise' our kids, it becomes more and more true everyday. You have patience with my children when my own patience has run dry. You encourage them to be the best version of themselves and you do not judge them.
You, more than most, understand that faith, real faith, is a journey and you always meet my kids where they are on that journey. Still, you always speak the truths of our Catholic Faith to them. You don't sugar coat things and you are not harsh. I trust that you will advise my children the way I would advise them (even though they are often more likely to listen to you). You cannot imagine what being able to fully trust an adult in a position of authority and influence over them means to me. Your understanding of the teachings of our shared Faith inpire and spark confidence in me.
I value you as a person, a leader, but most of all as a friend both to me and my children. God bless you.
Today is the Feast of St. Joseph the foster father of Jesus. My husband and I have been an unofficial foster parents to quite a few young people. I'd like to share how St. Joseph has inspired me in this role.
You are not the real parent. Get over it. I often think of St. Joseph finding Jesus in the temple. Jesus tells him, quite matter-of-factly, that of course He would be in His 'Father's' house. Ouch! That must have hurt. You act like a father, feel like a father, suffer and work for your kid like a father, and then you are reminded that the title belongs to someone else. As a foster-parent I have learned humility in that role. No matter how much a person struggles with their biological parents, those parents will still be the 'real' father or mother. It is a good lesson in loving without expectations.
You can spend years parenting someone else's child and be all but forgotten. St. Joseph didn't even get a feast day till around 1600 AD! He supported Christ, raised Him, loved Him and was barely even mentioned in Sacred Scripture. That is exactly how foster parenting can feel sometimes. Especially when those children become adults and really don't 'need' you anymore. You may be remembered in their thoughts, but don't wait by the mailbox on Mother's Day expecting a card that may or may not come. This isn't a bad thing, it means you have helped raise them to be independent. You did your job.
You can love someone you have no biological ties to just like you love your own flesh and blood. No explanation needed there.
Foster parenting is important, necessary and holy work. So many children need to find a place in a family. God recognized the importance of the family unit in which Christ would flourish. When we have an opportunity to provide that environment to a young person who does not have it, we should pray about opening our hearts to them. Just as dear St. Joseph did when the angel told him not to be afraid and to take Mary into his home and raise her son (conceived by the Holy Spirit).
I am grateful for every child who has stayed with us. They may have learned a little from us, but we grew and learned so much more from them. Thank you God for the opportunity and thank you St. Joseph for the example. Pray for us.
This is a very hard admission for me. I covet. Everyday, several times a day. Not so much what others posess, but I covet what they achieve.
When I hear a writer friend just signed a new book contract and my most recent manuscript was rejected, my first thought isn't, "Good for them!" It's, "What? They got a contract and I didn't!" I know, it's petty. It is small-minded, jealous and frankly, stupid... but it is the sad, embarrassing truth. What makes this fault especially shameful for me, is that my friends are 'Catholic' writers. Their work will encourage and help many others on their faith journey. Yet, there it is.
My sinfulness is not limited to book contracts either. Although I have a desire for everyone to become holy and grow in faith, when I see someone (I have struggled with) surpassing me in holiness, I'm intimidated. I should rejoice, but there is a part of me that is upset. Why?
Simple answer; I'm human. I am working hard with the grace of God (most visable to me through frequent confession) to overcome these shortcomings. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step to overcoming is to admit that you have a problem. I do. I have a problem of jealousy, and pride. Yikes. That hurt.
I'm hoping by putting this out there I will be accountable and I will covet one more thing actively... your prayers. Please. God bless.
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What started out as a good idea may have lost it's Lenten punch. In an effort to get people to deepen their prayer lives and reevaluate the ways they have not invested in their faith spiritually many priests and Deacons have encouraged us to add something during Lent. I believe that the idea of self denial has been diminished.
Most people I have chatted with lately have proudly told me that they are not giving anything up for Lent, they are adding things instead. So the focus has become what 'we' can do rather than what we are willing to do without.
Lent is supposed to be a time of increased prayer, alms giving and fasting. Christ went into the desert to pray and fast. Think about that for a minute. God (who in the person of the Father created the universe).... fasted. He denied Himself. He felt hunger. He was even tempted by the Devil to break this fast.
When we give things up and deny ourselves we are imitating Christ. Being uncomfortable reminds us that everything we have or enjoy comes from God. We are dependent on Him for all at all times. When we offer up our inconveniences and sufferings we are uniting ourselves to Jesus on the cross. The celebration of the resurrection at Easter will be even sweeter for it. God bless.