Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Call to Families: Raise your Kids Clinging to the Teachings of Christ

The following was posted by Courageous Priest.com about the resent Supreme Court ruling on marriage. I wanted to share some of it becuase of Archbishop Chaput's statement on what we must now do, even more so than ever...one family and one marriage at a time. God have mercy on us and bless our children, and help us have the courage to live the faith entirely, always.

"Following the Supreme Court’s ruling Friday that declared so-called same-sex “marriage” a constitutional right, multiple bishops have since voiced their opinions. While many have been forthright in their condemnation of the Supreme Court’s defenseless ruling, some have offered highly ambiguous statements, painting a strange moral equivalency between the faithful and faithless.

Immediately after the ruling, the USCCB issued its strongest statement yet, calling it a “tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us.” They also exclaimed that the definition of marriage will never change, regardless of what nine elected justices on the Supreme Court tell us.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia offered no concessions, saying that “the mistakes of the Court change nothing about the nature of men and women, and the truth of God’s Word. The task now for believers is to form our own families even more deeply in the love of God, and to rebuild a healthy marriage culture, one marriage at a time, from the debris of today’s decision.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

CrissCross

Our dear priest reminded us in his homily yesterday that everyone has some affliction, some concern, some suffering of one sort or another. And Jesus says to each of us, "Do not be afraid, just have faith." 

From one day to the next we each have a cross to carry. The one concern of mine that continued to come to my mind was my son. For those that know me, my son is all good things, almost. But moms still desire things for their children that are deeper. And we try to do much to get them to seek the deeper life with Christ. We want them to live for God and follow Him, no matter what. But how far do we carry our motherly role? When do they walk the road themselves? Do any of us?

I wish I had the answer. But answers usually do not come until after you lived through the situation, and since I am in it now, I can only share what I have only reflected. And once again it happens on the Way of the Cross: At the eighth station.

Approaching the eighth station, look at where you have been. With Christ you have tried to pick up your cross and dropped it; you have been misunderstood and wrongly understood; you've fallen yet rose again; you choose to stick by your children and have been encouraged by trusted friends; you have helped carry burdens, added budrens, and your burdens have been lightened by others; you tried to forgive and clean off the weary; you have gotten tripped up again, only to stand up stronger. Then one day you realize that all the while you have been carrying your cross, needing healing, and seeking to do right, your children have been at your side. They have learned from it all, whether they realize it or not. Now together you are face to face with Christ. Placing them before Christ, you beg for His blessing on them...that they will choose to follow Him, not as you do or did, but better, more lovingly, more prayerfully, more trustingly.  And then, silent waiting. You watch and wait to see what they do, and what you will do.

Then you realize, this is the station you leave them. If they are to go further, they need to choose Christ's Way on their own. And you? Questions arise: Is this what is meant by "do not be afraid. Just have faith"?  But did I do enough? Did I do too much wrong? Did I miss anything?  You need to go on and follow your set path marked by Him, if you still choose to. As you prepare your decision, you glance back again, "Did they learn what they needed to?" You now glance forward and see that what you must finish is for them, too. You will always pray for them, always stick by them, always try to comfort and guide them, but life has brought in a crossroad and your longing for Christ leads you on. You never can stop loving them, nor should you. Your role is just changing, as it should. And you repeat to them the blessed priests words of today, "To seek God is life's greatest adventure; To find Him, life's greatest achievement." May each of us live such lives.

Dear God, may I always be a witness to my children to seek and love You above all things. May you guide us so we are open to follow you and find you along the Way together. Spending eternity in union with You. Amen.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Keep Persevering

At the Eighth Station the women are given their mission. It requires of them to persevere in adversity and continue to seek Christ in their lives. In doing so we shepherd our children toward Him. But what if we try and we seem to be getting no where? No closer to Him?

Well, one piece of advice I read this morning in a book I am slowly reading. It is called The Spiritual Combat by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli. It is published by TAN boks. The author points out on page 12 for us to remember that Jesus does not stop searching for the lost sheep. This is the sheep that does not seek Him, yet Christ will not give up on it. The author points out how desirous Christ is to "communicate Himself to us and heap continual blessings on us."  Therefore, those of us already searching for Him and already opening the door to Him, would not Christ "finding the door open, and hearing us beg to be honored by His presence," do anything but grant us our request!?" 

So, let us persevere in seeking Christ in all the aspects of our lives; for He is already seeking us and desires to shower continual blessings on each of us. He will not ignre those who seek Him. Do not dispair. You are His treasure. Seek Him and trust He is with you already.

God bless your Lent.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Altar Girls...investigation

Please read this article,  http://www.adoremus.org/0302Altargirls.html   It refers to the history of altar servers, how permitting girls came about, and what the Holy See has really said on the matter in recent years. After reading this and the letter Congregation's letter linked in the article, please consider asking your girls to offer up the role of altar server to God so one boy may serve more often and answer a call to the priesthood. But first read further on the subject and decide from there. This is a bigger issue than we have been aware of. Thank you.

Here are other related links on th subject:

The first is the USCCB guidelines on altar servers. The first line reads,  "Although institution into the ministry of acolyte is reserved to lay men, the diocesan bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, men and women, boys and girls." 


 The second link is an article about a program development for altar servers, preferably for boys, but possibly for boys and girls separate; and the need for a program for true faith formation in them. This too the Holy See has tried to encourage.


http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/frequently-asked-questions/guidelines-for-altar-servers.cfm 

http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=dedestaca&id=570 

God bless.



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Raising the Future

All mothers are extremely blessed with the opportunity to give children life, but also to continue giving Life to them as they grow and become their unique selves. None of us find this journey easy or perfectly followed, but we have a Guide that made a special stop to meet us on the Way. At the Eighth Station Jesus specifically recognized the sorrow of the women and children. Why I ask? Why is it that he stopped to encourage us and ask us to focus on the future generations? What is it that we have been given that makes us so graced with this encounter and invitation? And did the children weep for Christ like the women? No, they wept because they saw their mothers sad. Isn't that how children are? They react as their moms react. So it is with the faith. And Christ draws us from our sins and sorrows and tells us to rise above it, for the sake of the children and future generations.

When my son recently left for college I found myself behaving in different ways than I have noticed before. I began dreaming of reminding him of all those little things that I seemed to have forgotten to tell him, and looking for little minutes to open those important talks about choosing the right friends and the spiritual necessities of avoiding drinking and other bad behaviors. We have had an open conversation all his years, but suddenly I was reacting to an inner desire to help him remember God's Way is the only one to follow, no matter how difficult. I was worried that I had not shown him all I should have. I wanted to make sure nothing was forgotten in preparing him to live his generation of life well and in God's Light. Now, being 18, he got a little annoyed. But I have a son who understands mom needs to be mom. We laugh at it with respect for the facts.  I do on to regret saying any of it. It is avoiding the conversations that now frighten me. Why? 

Well, recently and unknowingly, my son has shown without words how important it is for me to be Fully Mom, and not apologize for it.  I think my behavior before he left may shed some light on the desire of the moms heart to prepare and guide not only the body, but the soul of her children, and the necessity for us to engage in this action with God. It is not by chance, but by a seed planted by Christ into our souls that we mother, whether we have our own children or not. Christ with my son's innocent help has shown me this is a gifted task indeed and one that must be carried out unreservedly if I believe and follow Christ.

God wants us to help Him by prayer and work for the betterment of the next generations. If we become overwhelmed with the sadness in front of us, so will the young. With this seed of mothering, He gives us the ability to move onward and not dwell on what is facing us or the world, but to put all our soul and heart and body into creating a holy generation. He wants us to Live Hope so the young will Hope, too. With the Holy Spirit in our souls and with the Cross upon our shoulders we gather the young ones, pressing onward in hope; witnessing the Way, after Christ, teaching them by our example and words to hope and live by God's grace. Then when they go off on their own, they choose who to follow, and by God's grace, they will follow Him. But never is our task complete, we must keep working with God for our young and all the young. 

Women, we have a serious job indeed! A blessed task! Together we raise the world. And if we do it with Him, in His Church, in His Sacraments; we raise it up to Him "in one accord." A planted song of praise brought to fruitfulness in future generations. And no longer will our children weep because we weep, but they will Live because we first Lived with Christ.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

How can I express how REAL He is?

How can the work of God in the Catholic Church's Sacrements be described? To what can compare His action?

It is the difference between being told your broken arm will heal, and the physician actually mending it.
It is the difference between giving money to the poor, and the actually feeding the food to them.
It is the difference between saying you are sorry and being forgiven, versus being embraced with friendship restored.

There is no other Christian Church on this earth that actually carries in it the ACTUAL action of God in its fullness than the Catholic Church. When a Catholic goes to confession, he is not just listing the sins he is aware of, but he is REALLY mended by God, fed His strength of grace, and embraced with joy and love. A REAL interior healing takes place that forges the way to be able to strive harder to live His Way, in spite of our failings and brokenness. When a Catholic then goes to Holy Communion, he finds himself being fed Christ, consuming Him, and being restored. A restoration takes place that our soul needs, but is found in no other place on earth. Yes, there is the potential meeting of God with any person, in any place, and in any time, but no where so pristine, so eloquent, so sublime, and so consistently, so REAL as in the Eucharist. 

Why should you stay away? What keeps you away? Realize this: He heals if you desire and seek; if you seek to meet Him, go to the Sacraments, frequently. Be restored and Believe I like never before.

If we have desire, we cannot stay away, for He is the reason of our desire to be holy, and the source of that holiness. 

Dear Women of Christ and your loved ones,
            He stops to console us on the Way of the Cross, let Him heal you, too. Amen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hope for Peace

              "To live with Jesus is an endless hope; to live without Him...a hopeless end." -anonymous

Hello, it sure has been some time. I got a-little off track, but by God's grace I have hope to get back on again. And what a great day to recommit to Christ than on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene! She must have understood what the above quote meant from the bottom of her heart. So much so, she literally clung to Jesus when he revealed Himself to her outside the tomb. She knew she needed Him more than anything. She must have been confused when He had to do the Will of the Father and leave her sight, but I am sure the Holy Spirit taught her the meaning of Christ's words, "Whoever does the will of my Father is my brother and sister and mother." To live so close to Him just by doing His will!? To be family, not just friend!? 

With her we are asked to learn that all things are nothing compared to Christ and to live with Him, so He is literally with us, can happen in our daily lives. She knew it meant only to live His Way, day after day. How Brilliant! How Simple! And NOT impossible for us, but yes, difficult. But we are not alone in it. God's grace is always helping and showing us how. Sure, it can be humanly painful to change our lives, our priorities, and attitudes in order to follow His Way, yet when we do (day after day) the peace given is "not of this world." Mary Magdalene most certainly knew the mocking and advancements that came even after she committed to follow Christ, even after she gave up her previous living in order to learn the Way to live right. She shows us that no matter the sorrow or sin in our lives, no matter the hopes we have had broken, and no matter the earthly enjoyments we experience....no sin or sadness is too great to be removed by God's mercy; and no human joy so deep as to be compared to the peaceful joy of Living the Will of the Father and becoming the "sister and mother" of Christ with Him and to everyone we meet. How many women she must have comforted and given hope to in her travels beside Christ! And how many she models a holy life for today.

Here is part of a silent prayer offered for us to use right before receiving Holy Communion: "And like St. Mary's Magdalene, may I be delivered from all my evils and embrace Thee, my only Good." 

Mary Magdalene knew how worthwhile the confessions, efforts and sacrifices were in order to put her life back on track with Christ and to become His, whole and entire. I encourage you and myself to persevere in following her example and receive the same peace of Christ. May she pray for us. And if you found this post uplifting, please share it with someone who needs to hear it today. Thank you.