Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Saint Joseph & the Marianists

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From its very beginnings Saint Joseph served as the patron protector of the Marianists:

Father Leo Meyer, S.M., and Brother Charles Schultz, S.M., set sail for the United States on May 28, 1849. Their boat landed in New York on July 4, 1849, and on July 16 they arrived in Cincinnati,  hio. Because of the cholera epidemic then taking its toll on the inhabitants of Cincinnati, Meyer and Schultz traveled to Dayton, Ohio, where they worked at Emmanuel Parish and cared for people suffering the effects of the epidemic. (Members of the Society of Mary still serve the needs of the parish community today).

At the end of July 1849, Father Meyer met John Stuart who owned 125 acres of land close to Emmanuel Parish. Stuart was eager to sell his proper- ty and return to France. He informed Father Meyer that he would sell him the property for $12,000. Though he had no money, Father Meyer agreed to buy the property. His first payment was a medal of Saint Joseph which was accepted by Stuart. Father Meyer was able to pay off the debt in 1861. The newly acquired property was called Nazareth
.

SOCIETY OF MARY: MARIANISTS
JOHN HABJAN, S.M.
Marianist Province of the United States

Monday, March 18, 2019

Marianist Monday


page1image3029814032Rev. Thomas Cardone
Chaplain, Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale

On the Second Sunday of Lent we also commemorate St. Patrick. This day is often associated with soda bread, shamrocks and spirits; however, there is also a spirituality that flows from this outstanding missionary that can be seen in a prayer that is attributed to him called the “Breastplate of Saint Patrick.” In this prayer, we first learn about the power of the Trinity in our lives: “I bind unto myself today / The strong Name of the Trinity ...” When we call upon the Trinity — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit — we are confident in God’s protection to guide us every step of the way.

Secondly, St. Patrick reminds us to be missionaries confident that God serves as our teacher who touches our minds and hearts: “I bind unto myself today / The power of God to hold and lead ... / His hand to guide, His shield to ward, / The word of God to give me speech, / His heavenly host to be my guard.”

St. Patrick teaches us that God works with, through and in us. And, finally, we see through St. Patrick how Christ is ever present, around us, within us and in our brothers and sisters: “Christ be with me, Christ within me, / Christ behind me, Christ before me ... / Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, / Christ in hearts of all that love me, / Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

May we remember this Lent to be like St. Patrick, to be open to a spirit of conversion and to grow in greater awareness of the loving God in our lives. St. Patrick, pray for us!

Asking the Clergy
Newsday
March 17, 2019


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Operation Fiat

Image result for marianists meribah\

The Province of Meribah is hosting their Spring OPERATION FIAT at the Chaminade High School - Mineola Community on Thursday, March 21st from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 pm.

Come and explore the Marianists through Evening Prayer, Adoration, Talk, and Dinner.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Liberate the heart

Image result for pope francis ash wednesday lent 2019

“Lent is a time of grace that liberates the heart from vanity” Pope Francis said on Ash Wednesday, “It is a time of healing from addictions that seduce us. It is a time to fix our gaze on what abides”.

The Pope concluded his lenten homily inviting Christians to fix their gaze upon the Crucified one saying “Jesus on the cross is life’s compass, which directs us to heaven”.

“From the cross, Jesus teaches us the great courage involved in renunciation” he said, urging us to “free ourselves from the clutches of consumerism and the snares of selfishness, from always wanting more, from never being satisfied, and from a heart closed to the needs of the poor”.

It is difficult to live as He asks, the Pope said, but it leads us to our goal and “if we take the path of love, then we will embrace the life that never ends. And we will be full of joy”.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Restoring beauty

Image result for pope francis to roman clergy

Speaking to the Roman clergy Pope Francis had words of hope and encouragement for the clergy saying “Let us not be discouraged, the Lord is purifying his Bride”. He said He is converting us all to Himself, He is putting us to the test and making us understand that without Him we are dust. He is saving us from hypocrisy, from the spirituality of appearances. He is blowing his Spirit “to restore beauty to his Bride”.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Cross

Related imageThere is one image on which we should look: “Let us look at a crucifix and go before the Holy One. That image is the remedy for all the poison we have ingested so that we may with Jesus “pass from this world to the Father” (Jn. 13:1).

Fr.  Cantalamessa

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Battleground we call faith


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“Faith is the primary battleground between the Christian and the world. It is through faith that the Christian is no longer ‘of’ the world,” Fr Cantalamessa says. Morally speaking, the world can be defined as “those who refuse to believe.” The world can put people to sleep and suck out “all their  piritual energy.” The remedy is that someone shout “Wake up!” which is “what the Word of God does on so many occasions and which the liturgy of the Church makes us hear again precisely at the beginning of Lent: ‘Awake, O sleeper’ (Eph 5:14); ‘it is full time now for you to wake from sleep’ (Rom 13:11).
Fr. Cantalamessa

Monday, March 11, 2019

True fasting

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“When you share your bread with someone who is hungry, invite into your home someone who doesn’t have one or is a migrant, when you look for clothing for someone who is without - when you focus on that, you are truly fasting.”

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Go forward with humility

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“Ask the Lord for strength and go forward with humility, doing what you can. But don't put make-up on your soul, because the Lord won't recognize you. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to be consistent, not to be vain, not to want to appear more worthy than we are. Let us ask for this grace, during this Lent: the coherence between formality and the reality, between who we are and how we want to appear”.

Pope Francis 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Lent = spring training


Image result for cardinal dolan lent
Cardinal Timothy Dolan has compared the Lenten season that began Wednesday to baseball's "spring training."

"Lent is spiritual spring training — we get the flab out, we get the sins out," he said Wednesday after the rite at St. Patrick's Cathedral. "Our fight is not against the Red Sox or the Cardinals; it's against Satan and sin and selfishness."

On Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season, thousands packed the cathedral for the noontime Mass or to have their forehead marked with Lenten ashes — some by the cardinal himself.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Refocus this lent

Our Lent journey has begun. It is a season for refocusing on the suffering and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we will be ready to embrace the good news of the Resurrection.

Why such an emphasis on suffering? Because Christ saved us through an act of suffering. He bore in his own person the weight of our sin and died for us on the cross, where suffering and love coincided.

And the Church is the Body of Christ, which participates in Christ. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that we will be called upon to suffer out of love. In the economy of grace, God may use our suffering to bear the burden of another member of the Body of Christ, just as one system can take up the work of another, or one organ can support another.

So as we begin our Lent together, let us resolve to focus on Christ’s suffering, and to unite our own suffering–through fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and reflection on the Stations of the Cross–with the suffering members of the Church. It is not the destination but the journey that will ultimately transform us.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Perfection

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The late C.S. Lewis wrote about this matter of God bringing us to perfection. He said that when we seek Christ’s help in being the person God wants us to be, Christ doesn’t settle for giving us just a little.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Marianist Monday

March, 2019

My dear graduates of Chaminade, Kellenberg Memorial, and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School,

I know that, by the time you are reading this, it is already March. Lent is around the corner, or, if postal service to your mailing address is particularly slow, Lent just begun. But I composed my thoughts just before Valentine’s Day, so bear with me if the first part of my letter seems like a more fitting reflection for February than for March.

While I was wondering what to write about, the question “What is love?” popped into my head, and I proceeded to ignore it with a “Baby, don’t hurt me . . . ,” thus pushing the question aside. The question kept surfacing, however, and I realized that an inquiry into the nature of love was not only something that popped into my head during the early days of February, but was also good question to meditate on during Lent as well. So I ask you, “What is love?”

I have been rather impressed recently with how some modern movies and TV shows have been tackling the question of love. ​A Quiet Place​ and ​Bird Box​, for example,​ ​both incorporate intense displays of parental love in the form of self-sacrifice. ​*spoiler alert*​ When John Krasinski’s character sacrifices himself to save his children, screaming so they they might live, and Sandra Bullock risks her safety by choosing to see the river for the sake of the children, most people can point to those actions and clearly identify them as examples of love.

True love means total self-giving, and parents are well equipped to sacrifice for their children. St. Paul explained to us in 1st Corinthians the many observable aspects of love. In that iconic nuptial Mass reading, Paul describes love as patient and kind; it is neither envious, nor boastful, nor self-seeking. ​Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

All the various aspects of love cited in 1st Corinthians take root in the willingness to sacrifice oneself for the good of another. In the previous examples from the movies, the Krasinski and Bullock characters face life-threatening, supernatural dangers that calls for for heroic virtue. Both characters demonstrate self-sacrificial love on a grand scale.

But what about love and self-sacrifice in the routines of our everyday lives? Where can we turn for a good example of self-sacrificing love as it occurs in everyday, ordinary lives.

I thought of NBC’s ​The Good Place. B​ anished to Hell, several characters undergo real, authentic transformation as they work to become better people. Revolving around Kristen Bell’s character, who desires to improve herself by becoming less selfish, the cast all face their personal flaws and setbacks and work to spread love and become better, more loving people.

Little acts of self-sacrifice done for the good of another person, as seen in ​The Good Place,show that same fundamental self-giving as portrayed in ​Bird Box ​or​ A Quiet Place, a​ lthough on a less epic scale. But whether we give of ourselves in everyday matters or in epic circumstances, embracing love is hard, since it requires a death to self. And who of us really wants to die to ourselves?

lent
Now you might be saying, “I get it: you watch Netflix, Bro Peter. But how does this relate to Lent at all?” And you’re right; maybe I do spent too much time absorbed in Netflix. Still, it strikes me that self-sacrificial love is actually what Lent is all about.

Traditionally, the Church has recommended three penitential practices for the season of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Prayer is an act of love, since prayer is a willing offering of one’s heart to be in conversation and union with God. In prayer, we sacrifice time -- time on our own terms -- to spend time with the Lord, and, in return, reap the reward of closer communion with Him.

Fasting asks us to recall Jesus’ sacrifice for us. He gave His very life for the for us and for our good! When we fast, we participate in the self-sacrificial love of Christ, although admittedly on a smaller scale. That ​physical​ sacrifice that fasting entails is an act of love which, hopefully, helps us to open our hearts up to God.

Lastly, almsgiving is charity, which by definition is lovingly helping another person, often incorporating some sort of willing sacrifice on our part. Jesus is our model of sacrificial love, performing the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation.

During Lent, especially as we draw closer to Holy Week and the Triduum, we are blessed with the opportunity to reflect deeply on this sacrifice and feel the love of the Saving Victim poured out for us. All the movies and TV shows depicting sacrificial love pale in comparison to the great love of Christ on the Cross.

Let us look for examples of love -- real, godly love -- wherever we might find them. And may we be grounded in the act of love that is the Passion and Death of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

God Bless you all, and may Mary protect you under her mantle. On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers,

Bro. Peter Sennert

Sunday, March 3, 2019

By it I see everything else

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C.S. Lewis once famously commented that he believed in Christianity just like he believed in the sun: “Not only because I see it,” he said, “but because by it I see everything else.” 

Remarking on Lewis’ comment, Brandon Ambrosino, who covers culture and religion for Vox.com, wrote, “That’s how I see Jesus’ resurrection; not so much an event I look at, as an event I look through. For me, it remains the interpretive key to the entire universe. And though it might seem improbable and primitive, we’re all aware that the idea is writ large across both our imaginations and even the cosmos. Each morning, the sun is reborn; each spring, harvests come back to life; after each disappointment, our dashed hopes are reanimated, and soar to even newer heights. For all the death and evil and greed and ugliness of our world, I can’t shake the fact that every last atom of this place is pulsing in time with the rhythm of resurrection”

Saturday, March 2, 2019

How does God work?

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C.S. Lewis’ account of his conversion from atheism to Christianity is called, Surprised by Joy. Joy is the term he used to describe an intense but fleeting sensation he experienced sometime in his youth, and which he spent a lot of time and energy seeking again in his young adult years. But along the way in his search, he incidentally found something else: a relationship with Christ.

He wrote the following at the end of the book: “But what ... of Joy? for that, after all, is what the [account in the book] has mainly been about. To tell the truth, the subject has lost nearly all interest for me since I became a Christian. ... now I know that the experience [of Joy] ... never had the kind of importance I once gave it. It was valuable only as pointer to something other and outer. While that other was in doubt, the pointer naturally loomed large in my thoughts. When we are lost in the woods that sight of a signpost is a great matter. ... But when we have found the road and are passing signposts every few miles, we shall not stop and stare.”

Is there something you believe critical to your inner well-being that you’re looking for but can’t quite find? Don’t give up the search. But also, don’t be surprised if, while looking for an answer, you find something that turns your search on its head and sends you in a new direction.

God sometimes works with us that way.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Lay Down Your Life


Jesus ends up revealing to us a beautiful mystery when it comes to our suffering, especially in the Gospel of John where he says to his disciples:

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13

The most significant aspect of this verse is that Jesus doesn’t just say this to his disciples, but he lived it out by choosing to die for us on the cross. His sacrifice, His willingness to go through all of that humiliation, torture, and sorrow for you and for me, shows us that, out of suffering comes authentic love. In a season where we wholeheartedly place Christ in the center of our lives, we’re called to reflect on His unconditional love for us. During this time of Lent, through the personal sacrifices we choose to make, Christ invites us to enter into His unconditional love, through what the church calls “redemptive suffering.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes redemptive suffering as the uniting of personal sacrifices with the sacrifice of the cross of Jesus Christ. This unification carries significant merit for the reparation of the physical and spiritual health of others (CCC 1502, 1505, 1521).


Noah Salas
Lifeteen

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Sainthood Begins Now



MY FAITH
You’re Not Too Young: Sainthood Begins NowSaints in the Making

You and I have been called from before we were in our mother’s wombs to be holy saints. God has a plan for us, and that plan is now. You see, the youth ministry program that I came from has been running with young teens as their core members for over a decade. If you are a high school teen and want to get involved in some way for your church, I highly recommend asking your youth minister where you can help and how you can get more involved. All we have is now; we are not promised another day, so why wait? God desires all of you right here, right now, precisely at the age you are. There is nothing He wants from us more than to give ourselves to Him fully, in every phase of life we live.

We are all “saints in the making” and if we remember our daily call to sainthood then maybe, just maybe, we could all be “little s” saints of today, until we become the “big s” saints of tomorrow! You have so much potential and are more than capable of attaining this today. Seek grace through confession, holy friendships, prayer, and above all the Mass. You’re not too young for sainthood.
You can do it, VIVA CRISTO REY!

Lifeteen

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Prepare for Lent

Seven days from now it will be Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday can seem to appear out of nowhere. For many, the first notion of Lent's beginning comes just three days before, at Church on the prior Sunday. And for non-Church goers, the first notice of Ash Wednesday might be the ashes on a coworker's forehead!

So with only 7 days before Ash Wednesday, it's not too early to begin to give Lent some thought. Here are some starter questions for your prayer and reflection...

1) Lent is a kind of spiritual spring training for Christians. What has grown weak, what's out of shape in my spiritual life? in my prayer life? in my relationship with Jesus? How do I need to exercise my spiritual life to condition and strengthen it? What in my spiritual life needs stretching and working out? What small steps might I take every day in Lent to develop a discipline, a routine in my prayer?

2) Lent is a time for fasting and going without. What fills me up? What food and drink, what leisure and entertainment, what work and activity stuffs my body, my heart, mind and imagination, my days and nights, my self? If I experienced in my body the hunger of fasting and giving things up for Lent, might I discover a hunger for more satisfying, substantive food for my soul?

3) Lent is a time for giving to the poor (almsgiving). What's my attitude to the poor? my prejudices about them? Over the course of the year, how much do I give to the poor? How much of my time do I give to serving the poor? When I complain about what I don't have, do I take an honest look at all I do have? Could it be that I actually have more than I really need? How might I simplify my life this Lent - and how would that free me to give more to others?

Lent is a time to live for forty days the way a Christian should live all year round!

So, these are some questions and thoughts to help us begin to prepare for Lent, a season of 40 days intended to help us prepare to celebrate Easter with minds, hearts and habits refreshed and renewed by the Word and sacraments, by our Lenten practice - by the grace of God.

Please take some time to give this some thought. I'll be posting similar reminders between now and Ash Wednesday - just 7 days away!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Marianist Monday

PRAYER FOR THE CANONIZATION OF WILLIAM JOSEPH CHAMINADE

O Lord, you are constantly at work in your Church and, through individuals and communities, you manifest your Spirit for the good of your people. In a special way you bestowed your spirit on your Servant, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade so that he might live fully according to the Gospel and with love devote himself to your saving work. You have inspired communities of men and women to follow his example by consecrating themselves to you to serve the Church under the leadership of Mary. We now pray to you to give us visible signs of your grace and holiness in his life by granting us the special favors we ask through his intercession. May the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen

Sunday, February 24, 2019

This Wondrous Glory



Ducio Transfiguarion.jpgThe Transfiguration

Quicunque Christum quæritis

O YE who seek the Lord,
    Lift up your eyes on high,
For there He doth the Sign accord
    Of His bright majesty.

We see a dazzling sight
    That shall outlive all time,
Older than depth or starry height,
    Limitless and sublime.

‘Tis He for Israel’s fold
    And heathen tribes decreed,
The King to Abraham pledged of old
    And his unfailing seed.

Prophets foretold His birth,
    And witness’d when He came,
The Father speaks to all the earth
    To hear, and own His name.

To Jesus, who displays
    To babes His beaming face,
Be, with the Father, endless praise,
    And with the Spirit of grace. Amen.

A Matins Hymn
John Henry Newman

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Proclaim the Gospel


Pope Francis during one of his homilies at Mass at the Casa Santa Martha said that as Christians we are called to proclaim the Gospel with humility.

Taking his cue from the Gospel which recounts the tragic death of John the Baptist, the Pope said John was the man God had sent to prepare the way for his son.

He, Pope Francis continued, was a man in the court of Herod, filled with corruption and vices who urged everyone to convert.

The Holy Father recalled how this great Saint firstly, proclaimed Jesus Christ. John had the chance to say he was the Messiah, added the Pope, but he did not. Secondly, said Pope Francis, John the Baptist was “a man of Truth.”

The third thing John did, underlined the Holy Father was to imitate Jesus in his humility, in his suffering and humiliation.

The Pope also stressed that like other religious figures such as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, John the Baptist had dark moments, moments of anguish and doubt sending his disciples to ask Jesus : ' But tell me, is it you, or am I wrong and there is another?

Pope Francis explained that John the “icon of a disciple” because he is "the man who proclaims Jesus Christ… and follows the way of Jesus Christ ."

Concluding his homily the Holy Father said we should not take advantage of our condition as Christians, as if it were a privilege. Instead we are called proclaim the Gospel message with humility without seizing on the prophecy.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Psalm 5


Psalm 5 is an open outcry: "Give ear to my words, O LORD; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray."


The psalmist is crying to God, asking for help. Facing the threat of violence, he begs God to destroy those who are telling lies. Perhaps he has been accused of wrongdoing himself, and is now pleading his case to God. The psalm can be used today by anyone being threatened by wicked, evil, boastful, bloodthirsty or deceitful people.

You know them: Friends who are really enemies -- "frenemies." High school gangs. Street thugs. Unfaithful spouses. Unethical co-workers. Substance-abusing relatives who lie to you. Put-down artists. Adversaries who try to undermine and destroy you. Sleazy salespeople and unscrupulous loan officers. Anyone who lies, cheats and steals, showing no regard for the welfare of others.

In short, the people who make you want to scream. All of us have them in our lives, every one of us. But yelling at such people face to face is not always an appropriate or productive thing to do.

That's why Psalm 5 encourages us to make an Open Outcry first to God.

"O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice," says the psalmist; "in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you."

Believe it or not, we can gain relief simply by speaking honestly about our troubles. "Talk therapy" is the technical term, and it can do a lot of good for people feeling depressed, stressed or anxious. Professional therapists all agree that talking, articulating, voicing, speaking or otherwise expressing our ideas, thoughts and feelings is a good thing.

So why not talk about your feelings with God, who is the Ultimate Listener? In the morning, plead your case -- ask for help with frenemies, spouses, co-workers and relatives. Pray for strength to face the challenges of the day, knowing that the Lord is "not a God who delights in wickedness.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Trust in God's grace


I just finished talking to one of our students in the hallway. He mentioned how proud he was of his father. For years his father was focused outside the family. The focus led him to areas that was not helpful to the growth of the family or even his father's personal growth. But since that time, his father has had a complete conversion. He has reorganized his life. He takes his family members seriously. He has begun a relationship with his God.

Now before Jesus called his very first disciples, he was already calling people to faith. Faithfulness is actually the Christians' "thumbs-up" sign. We have no way of knowing if the course ahead of us carries smooth air or turbulence and storms. We have no special foreknowledge if the skies will be friendly or filled with hostility and danger.

What we all do have is faith--faith in the love of Christ, faith in the eternal closeness of God's presence and God's kingdom. Jesus proclaims that the correct response to the gospel news is faith. He gives us the "thumbs-up" signal first. It is then essential that we return a "thumbs-up" sign of trust in God's grace and faithfulness to us.

Can we let go and let God take us into the wild blue yonder? Can we let go and trust God enough to lift us into stratospheres of spirituality and service we never knew even existed? Can we get out of the way and let God be God in our lives?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

It's your call


It's your call. You are chosen material, though you might not know it.

Most of us spend quite a bit of time shopping around before we finally find, or fall into, a profession that seems to suit our personality. The most popular childhood careers of firefighter, football player, doctor and astronaut are not reflected in the numbers of adults actually involved in those pursuits. Instead we "settle" for jobs that need to be done or are the most available. When's the last time you heard a kid dreaming about growing up to be an office manager or a banker or an electrical line repairer. But all those jobs must be done and done well by someone, if we are to keep our businesses, our banks, our communities and our homes running smoothly.

One author put it this way: God often calls us when we are running errands, doing the mundane, thankless chores of life. When we least expect it, we are elected. Moses, hiding out on the back side of the Midian desert, was running an errand when a bush started burning that would not be consumed until he faced Pharaoh. Isaiah was somewhere in the temple, performing his regular priestly duties, when the heavens came down and the Holy commissioned him to go to the valley. Ezekiel, performing his pastoral tasks in the Exile, was transported by divine limousine service to a valley filled with dry bones. Amos was out herding sheep and keeping sycamore trees when the voice came and compelled him to go to the valley. And, Andrew and Peter were fishing out on the Sea of Galilee when the Master called them from fishing to the valley.

God is calling you right now. Are you going to respond?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Washington's Birthday or President's Day?

George Washington's Birthday or Presidents Day 2019?

Depending on where and when you grew up, you've probably heard the same February holiday called both George Washington's Birthday and Presidents Day. So which name is correct? While it may be hotly contested, the third Monday in February is officially called George Washington's Birthday.

The observance of Washington's Birthday goes back to the 1800s. It was initially a day of remembrance for George Washington, the first, and many believe the greatest, president of the United States. The holiday took place each February 22, the actual day of George Washington's birth in 1732. Washington's Birthday became an officially recognized holiday for all federal employees in 1885.

In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed the observance of Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday in February. About this time, advertisers began promoting the holiday as Presidents Day.

Celebrating Washington's Birthday on a different day than his actual birthday became an opportunity to remember all presidents, not just Washington. Though there are not many traditions associated with the holiday, it remains a patriotic celebration.

There have been many attempts to change the official name of the holiday, but George Washon's Birthday remains the official name. In 2019, we will celebrate Washington's Birthday on Monday, February 18.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Psalm 5

Psalm 5 is an open outcry: "Give ear to my words, O LORD; give heed to my sighing. Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray."

The psalmist is crying to God, asking for help. Facing the threat of violence, he begs God to destroy those who are telling lies. Perhaps he has been accused of wrongdoing himself, and is now pleading his case to God. The psalm can be used today by anyone being threatened by wicked, evil, boastful, bloodthirsty or deceitful people.

You know them: Friends who are really enemies -- "frenemies." High school gangs. Street thugs. Unfaithful spouses. Unethical co-workers. Substance-abusing relatives who lie to you. Put-down artists. Adversaries who try to undermine and destroy you. Sleazy salespeople and unscrupulous loan officers. Anyone who lies, cheats and steals, showing no regard for the welfare of others.

In short, the people who make you want to scream. All of us have them in our lives, every one of us. But yelling at such people face to face is not always an appropriate or productive thing to do.

That's why Psalm 5 encourages us to make an Open Outcry first to God.

"O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice," says the psalmist; "in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you."

Believe it or not, we can gain relief simply by speaking honestly about our troubles. "Talk therapy" is the technical term, and it can do a lot of good for people feeling depressed, stressed or anxious. Professional therapists all agree that talking, articulating, voicing, speaking or otherwise expressing our ideas, thoughts and feelings is a good thing.

So why not talk about your feelings with God, who is the Ultimate Listener? In the morning, plead your case -- ask for help with frenemies, spouses, co-workers and relatives. Pray for strength to face the challenges of the day, knowing that the Lord is "not a God who delights in wickedness.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Master's Touch

Luke 5:12-5:16

Image result for Jesus' touch
JESUS TOUCHES
The key element in this story about Jesus and the leper is that Jesus reached out and touched the leper. By doing that, Jesus broke a multitude of social and religious mores. Lepers were outcasts. To touch a leper made one socially and religiously unclean. It was thought at that time that to touch a leper put your life at risk. Jesus went against the conventional wisdom of the day, and broke the rules. He reached out and touched the leper and when he did so, he communicated awareness, acceptance, love, and a power that produced health.

TOUCH IN OUR LIVES
We appreciate and desire touch in our lives. We like to hold hands, to receive a hug at the appropriate time, or to have a pat on the back. There are times, however, when we avoid touch. We avoid touch when we hurt. There are times when we have the flu or other illness that we don’t want anyone touching us because it hurts. We also avoid touch of reality because we fear it would be too painful. · We don’t allow others to touch us as a defensive mechanism. We don’t want others to get too close to us, or they might discover some things about us that we don’t want them to. Even, we don’t even want to get to close to ourselves, because we don’t want to know the harsh reality of our condition. · We don’t allow others to touch us because we are angry at them. How often we have said, “Don’t touch me! I don’t like what you said, or what you did.”We avoid touch at the very time we need desperately to be touched. How comforting it is in the midst of our sickness to feel the gentle caress of a hand. As much as we don’t want to be known, we crave touch and to be known intimately. Even in our anger we desire the touch of reconciliation.

ASK FOR THE TOUCH
The text today invites us to follow the lead of the leper, and ask Jesus to touch our lives. Like the leper, when we ask God if God wills to heal us, God always replies in the affirmative. We are invited to enter into God’s presence and open ourselves up to a loving God. In God’s presence we are able to confess our hurt, lower our defenses, and release our anger. This passage of scripture invites us to open ourselves to God’s healing touch in our lives, wherever that healing touch is needed. So brothers, Jesus invites us to come to him now in prayer, and share with him our need to be healed. Like the leper whom Jesus healed, so Jesus will say “Yes,” to us, and we touch our lives in ways we have never been touched before.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine Day

You Don't Know Jack?

February 14th — why is it known as Valentine’s Day? Why do those in love send each other valentines? And what feast does the Catholic Church celebrate on this day? Think you know the answers? Think again, because the truth is a lot more surprising than you’d imagine. Watch friend of Busted Halo, Fr. Jack Collins, CSP, wander the streets of New York asking the city’s star-crossed lovers if they know why we celebrate Valentine’s Day.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Genesis

Genesis

We are tiny and God is great, all powerful, all sovereign and all good.

"the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Consecrated Person

Image result for benedict XVI
The Consecrated Person: A Bridge

Pope Benedict's homily for Vespers on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord was a model of liturgical preaching. Below is shared a small excerpt of the Holy Father's message. Consecrated men and women, be they hidden in the cloister, or engaged in the Church's mission to the world, are associated to the Lord Jesus and called, at every moment, to remain close to Him, at "the throne of grace."
If Christ was not truly God, and was not, at the same time, fully man, the foundation of Christian life as such would come to naught, and in an altogether particular way, the foundation of every Christian consecration of man and woman would come to naught. Consecrated life, in fact, witnesses and expresses in a "powerful" way the reciprocal seeking of God and man, the love that attracts them to one another. The consecrated person, by the very fact of his or her being, represents something like a "bridge" to God for all those he or she meets -- a call, a return. And all this by virtue of the mediation of Jesus Christ, the Father's Consecrated One. He is the foundation! He who shared our frailty so that we could participate in his divine nature.

Our text insists on more than on faith, but rather on "trust" with which we can approach the "throne of grace," from the moment that our high priest was himself "put to the test in everything like us." We can approach to "receive mercy," "find grace," and "to be helped in the opportune moment." It seems to me that these words contain a great truth and also a great comfort for us who have received the gift and commitment of a special consecration in the Church.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Our Lady of Lourdes




O ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Sunday Word


In the fifth chapter of Luke, Jesus is standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd is pressing in on Him to hear the word of God. At the shore of the lake, he sees two boats — empty because the fishermen had left them to wash their nets. Jesus gets into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asks him to push the boat away from the shore. There Jesus keeps a safe distance from the smothering press of the crowd and is able to teach them.


When Jesus finishes, he decides to extend his lesson with a dramatic illustration. He challenges Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.

Put out into the deep water, says Jesus. Jesus doesn’t say, "Hey, it’s shallow over here, try this." He’s saying that the real possibilities exist where life gets deep and risky. He invites us to venture out, take a chance, be active and adventurous.

"Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing," laments Simon. He sounds like he wants to stay close to shore, safe and comfortable because his time on the water hasn’t yielded any fish. But Simon isn’t going to be stubborn about this. "Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets," he offers. And he does.

The result? Simon and his fellow fishermen catch so many fish that their nets are beginning to break. They call for their partners in the other boat to come and help, and they end up filling both boats to the point that they’re beginning to sink.

It’s an unexpected, amazing and overwhelmingly abundant catch. All because they’re willing to follow Jesus’ words and scout the deep water.

That’s the challenge for us today: to venture beyond our comfort zones and put out into the deep water in lives of discipleship. Too often we stay close to shore, safe and comfortable, when Jesus is calling us to be active, adventurous and willing to explore new territory. That’s where the fish are. That’s where the growth happens. That’s where we can make surprising discoveries about ourselves and the world around us.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Your vocation starts today

I feel like this year’s Super Bowl was just too soon.

I realize that there was a lot of excitement about brother-coaches, deer antler spray, and a quarterback covered in Biblical tattoos, but I just couldn’t get into it. Let’s face it: most decent people in America are still mourning the Steelers’ loss to the Packers in the Super Bowl two years ago.

I remember watching a post-game interview with Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, where he was asked about one of his touchdown passes. The reporter remarked that Rodgers’ accuracy that night was phenomenal and proceeded to ask him how he was able to make such a clutch play. Without any hesitation, Rodgers just explained that the pass was easy to throw because he and his receivers had practiced it hundreds of times throughout the season.

Though Aaron Rodgers and his teammates are the source of such a deep wound in my life, I’ve thought about his answer a lot since then.

As Catholics we believe that everyone has a vocation from God, a divine calling and a specific path to holiness that each of us is made for. Because God made our hearts, He calls each of us to the vocation that makes our hearts the most fully alive. All vocations will come with their own share of suffering and challenges, but we believe that embracing God’s call to holiness is also embracing God’s call to joy and peace.

You’ve probably heard this before. I remember hearing plenty of people talk about vocations when I was in high school, but I tuned most of them out. I knew that I wouldn’t be ready for any sort of long term commitment for awhile, so I thought I’d just figure it out later. I didn’t realize that my actions, my habits, and my choices would be preparing me for my vocation.

I was shocked to find out that my selfishness, my insensitivity, and a host of other shortcomings didn’t magically disappear once I got married.

When we hear the stories of the saints, the men and women who loved with all their hearts and responded to God’s call with everything they had, it’s like watching a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. The heroic examples of the saints are not some random occurrences that just kind of happen; they are the products of lives spent learning to say “yes” to God’s call in a thousand small ways. Before Saint Agnes or Saint Maximilian Kolbe ultimately gave their lives as martyrs, they had been practicing sacrifice and learning to trust God in the small things of daily life.

How are you preparing for your vocation? No matter which vocation you’re called to, it’s going to require selflessness, sacrifice, and a strong prayer life.

What you do today actually matters because God is calling you to greatness. He’s not just going to call you to something years from now, He’s calling you today to practice and prepare so that you can be ready to respond with love when the pressure’s on. When we learn to say “yes” to God, we find that His grace really is enough and that He can do the impossible in our lives.

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the Lord, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you."
By Brian Kissinger
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