Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Time Has Come For Great Christian Witnesses....

The time has come where God is separating the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the goats.  It is time for each of us to cling closely to Christ and gird our loins for being great and courageous Christian witnesses of our Faith!  Do not be afraid to go out into the deep with Christ.

Many Christians no longer stand with Christ in the area of morality as laid out in Holy Scripture and the 10 Commandments, believing that mercy killing (Euthanasia), homosexual acts and unions, contraception and abortion are good for society and should be legal and hence are no longer Christian.

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. -

"We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the Antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God's Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.

We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Dishonest Steward...

In the 1st reading for this Sunday’s Mass, Our Lord warns those who are dishonest and take advantage of the poor and the needy. God then goes on to say that never will He forget what they have done. In the Gospel, we find another dishonest steward who has squandered his master’s property. Knowing that he is about to lose everything, the steward then sets off to prepare for his ultimate demise so he has at least some benefit coming to him after he loses his job. Our Lord is not praising this dishonest steward’s behavior but rather offering him as a lesson to each of us in regards to our spiritual life. This dishonest man is at least looking to his future after all he has done and preparing himself for it and this man is willing to do almost anything to ensure his future. If this dishonest man is doing this in regards to his future welfare, how much more should we be determined and prepared for our own spiritual future once our earthly life has come to an end at death. How are we being accountable for what we have received from our Master in regards to what we own, our gifts and talents, and even more so the spiritual gifts we have received?

Our Lord is teaching us that there should be an aspect of urgency in our daily life of preparing ourselves for eternal life. We, as the Catechism teaches us, have only a limited time to bring our own lives to fulfillment. How are we using the gifts and talents God has given to us for building up the Kingdom of God around us realizing we that each one of us will have to give an accounting before God with what we have received from Him and what we have done with His gifts. Rather than using our wealth and possessions for own benefit, how are we sharing it with those who are most in need? Am I seeking friends with the poor who will pray for me and even poorer, the souls in purgatory who await for our prayers and need our assistance in helping them to be free so they can more quickly go to Heaven? How thankful will these spiritual friends be in pleading our cause from the other side?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1007: Death is the end of earthly life. Our lives are measured by time, in the course of which we change, grow old and, as with all living beings on earth, death seems like the normal end of life. That aspect of death lends urgency to our lives: remembering our mortality helps us realize that we have only a limited time in which to bring our lives to fulfillment: “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, . . . before the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

We have been entrusted with much… our families, our relationships with our friends, the spiritual gifts we receive such as our life in Baptism, our prayer life, Holy Scripture which guides us in our daily life, the Sacrament of Confession, the gift of the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Eucharist, our own personal talents that can be used to help others and to build up the Church… Our Lord is asking us to recall what we have received from Him and realize that we, like this earthly steward, must prepare ourselves for when our own time in this life has come to an end and we have to give an accounting before Our Master.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Only Awe... A 1st Hand Witness of 9/11

No words... only awe at what the first responders witnessed and endured in their attempts to save life in the midst of such a dark day...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

If God is real, why do bad things happen?

If God is real, why do bad things happen? Why is there depression and cancer and other bad stuff?
He is real and does want us to be happy. Most of the pain and suffering we see is caused by us and by our bad habits... by our not helping one another, forgiving, sharing, and opening our hearts to Him and His plans for us. It is by rejecting Him that we cause each other pain. Sickness, pain, and suffering of the body is also a result of the fall of man from God by sin. Corruption comes because we rejected His plan and what He desires for us in the beginning. It is like God pointing out good fruit for us to eat for life and we put our hands to what is poisonous and then we blame God for getting sick.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Counting the Cost of Following Christ

Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? When we seek to follow Christ, we need to examine our life daily. It is easy to just get into the habit of daily life as if Christ were not our model and example to follow… just following our own daily plans and what we wish our life to be like. 
But being a Christian is much different than this. Our Lord tells us that if we desire to follow Him, we must sit down and reflect on our life to see if we are willing to bring it to completion…. To conform our daily life, in other words, to His and to count the true cost of discipleship. 
What is discipleship and what does it mean to follow Our Lord and be a Christian? · It is more than just following the Commandments, otherwise we would just be following the Jewish line of thought in just doing what the Law of the Old Testament offers us. It means not only accepting Christ, but seeking to not only follow His teachings but also to imitate, as much as we are able with the help of His grace, to follow His own way of life. This includes a real and concrete detachment to the spirit of this world. Not seeking “more and a better way of life for ourselves by building bigger barns or a comfortable way of life” but concretely looking at the Cross and realizing that Our Lord really and truly wants us to deny ourselves and to follow Him… to think of the needs of others before ourselves. If we have two cloaks… to offer the other for the person who has none. To give not only from our abundance, but to also make a personal sacrifice in giving to the poor and to the Church. The widow who comes in to the church and offers her own offering which was a small amount in the eyes of others… but nonetheless, was all she had left to give… and she thought of giving to God before her own needs. 
Christianity is literally about seeking to walk with Our Lord in our daily life… to be taught by the examples He gives us in the Gospels not only through His words but also by His own way of life and to make them our own. This is counting the cost.
I often think in my own life, before I buy something, “Do I really need this? Is it more than I need?” Am I accountable for what I have and what I share with others, including what I receive for work and services? Do I try to keep my heart and thoughts pure? Seeking to turn away from negative thoughts of others and to pray for them instead? Do I try to examine my life each day and see whether or not I am actually following Our Lord, making time for prayer and to be led by Him, or seeking to do my own thing… or go my own way, so to speak.
Our Lord desires to lead us into an authentic Christian way of life. May our hearts and minds be open to truly reflect on what it means to be His disciple and whether or not we are really willing to count the cost in our daily life.