Friday, February 23, 2018

LENT - A new heart

God wants a new heart from us this Lent.

The old heart, the old engine, the old nature -- whatever you call it -- is beyond repair. The psalmist asks for a replacement. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me."

Well, God can do this. Saint Paul writes, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

If there is a cost, this is it: acknowledging that we need help, and accepting the help that is offered. "The sacrifice [or cost] acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

To be like Him

O most tender and gentle Lord Jesus, teach me so to contemplate you that I may become like you and love you sincerely and simply as you have loved me. Amen.
--John Henry Newman

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Sunday Word

Our Gospel from St. Mark gives a swift and brief look at the temptations of Christ. He doesn’t expound much on the temptations that Jesus faced out in the wilderness, but Matthew and Luke certainly do. 
Satan takes the moment to taunt. Just like a bullying kid standing at the base of a plywood ramp, Satan double-dog dares Jesus to do something risky. Using Scripture, Jesus doesn’t take the leap:

Satan says, “Satisfy your hunger and turn these stones to bread.” Jesus puts on the shell of self-denial, recognizing that everything comes from God and that God provides.

They go to the pinnacle of the temple. “Jump off,” says the bully, “and land unharmed. If you’re so great, God’ll protect you.” Jesus uses a little common sense and says that people who have real power don’t need to show it off or use it to suit their own ends.

Then there’s the big one — “All the kingdoms of the world can be yours,” says Satan, “if you’ll only worship me.” Jesus humbly says that God is the only one worth serving.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

3 Simple Steps for Continual Conversion

3 Simple Steps for Continual Conversion

To me, conversion is like a never ending Slip ‘N Slide. The long strip of plastic is your life, the soapy water being God’s mercy and the giant pool at the end being Heaven. While sliding on this 9,698,378 mile long Slip ‘N Slide you might sometimes veer off the soapy-water-lathered plastic and hurt yourself – this represents sin. Getting up, wiping off the blood and running back onto the Slip ‘N Slide is your conversion – turning away from sin and and running toward God.

If you are a sinner like me, you sin all the time. This calls for continuous conversion or continually turning your heart away from sin and toward God. St. John Paul The Great says “We ourselves are to be converted anew every day.” So here are three simple steps to help your continual growth and conversion toward Christ.

1. Be Curious

Curiosity never killed a dog. That’s it! Sniff around curiously like a dog!

Ask questions. If you don’t know something – seek out the answer. It is okay – in fact you’re encouraged – to question your faith. The key is to research and find answers. Feed your curiosity with seeking answers.

2. Be Knowledgeable.

Jesus is always the answer. Even on Math tests. A) Jesus B) Jesus C) Jesus D) Jesus. Jesus is always the answer.

Clergy: My favorite Charism of the Spirit is Knowledge. We have these fountains of knowledge, in the Church, known as clergy (Priest, Deacons, Sisters, Youth Ministers – who aren’t clergy but are a great resource, etc) – gain counsel from them. Ask them questions.

Internet: We have this amazing technology known as the internet – look it up. New Advent. Vatican Website. USCCB. Just to name a few.

Books: There are also these ancient texts known as books – look up your question. (Catechism of the Catholic Church = Best friend)

Remember! Don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t get discouraged – we have 2,000+ years of knowledge to soak up. Only bite off as much as you can chew. Just ensure you wait 30 minutes before you go swimming.

3. Be Faithful.

‘Cause you gotta have faith…

Pray: Praying is conversation with God. We have COUNTLESS ways to pray and COUNTLESS people to pray for/with us. Don’t forget: Mass is THE highest form of prayer. #dailyMassrocksmysocks

The Bible: Soak yourself in Scripture. Christ is The Word made flesh. This should also piggy back on prayer. Try Lectio Divina or an Ignatian Contemplation with your favorite biblical verse, parable or

Sacraments: Root your continuous conversion in the Sacraments. The Eucharist (Jesus) and Reconciliation are two that we can partake in every day, if we wanted. Find your nearest Catholic Church and GO!

Believe: I know this step seems simple, but the longest journey you will take is from your head to your heart. The Church has the truth, even if people don’t believe She does. Don’t allow yourself to be persuaded by the false world. Stay steadfast in the Church’s infinite wisdom.

When all else fails, just be Pope Francis.

I mean check out this guy! #PapaFrankyistheman

Pretty simple, right?
Don’t worry, trust in His will and everything will work out.