"I only want to be so Catholic....I don't want it to limit me too much…" Like a foolish child refusing to listen to his parents, I limit my trust in God. "Ignorance is bliss" and who doesn't like bliss — there are perhaps some things I don't want to know about Catholic teaching because it might burden me. I live in the "real world;" I am not a monk or a priest. I wish I could, but I can't always be "perfect." That is the job of the religious....no one expects lay people to be saints. If I get too "churchy" I will never have any fun. I have real problems I have to solve; if I don't worry about these issues I will be in big trouble...I need tograb control....READ MORE
Today we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven, we celebrate that Jesus went back home to the Father. This must be a day of celebration for us, because it is through the Resurrected Jesus ascending from earth into heaven that we have the ability to go to Heaven ourselves. And though we should see our lives here on earth as just a temporary pilgrimage to our everlasting Heavenly homeland, today I want to focus on the experience of the Apostles and see how for them, the Ascension is a kind of preparation for Pentecost in which they will receive the Holy Spirit, which we’ll celebrate next Sunday.READ MORE
© 2017 EWTN, www.ewtn.com/fatima
Leading their flock out from Aljustrel on the morning of the 13th of May, the feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, the three children passed Fátima, where the parish church and cemetery could be found, and proceeded north to the slopes of the Cova. Here they allowed their sheep to graze as they played in the pasture land. After having had their lunch they decided to pray a rosary, although in a somewhat truncated fashion, saying only the first words of each prayer. Shortly, they were startled by what they later described as "lightening in a clear sky." Thinking that a storm might be approaching they debated whether they should take the sheep and go home. Preparing to do so they were again surprised bya strange light.
And we began to go down the slope driving the sheep towards the road. When we were half-way down, near a holm oak there [the large tree which today is encircled with an iron fence], we saw another flash of lightening, and after a few steps we saw on a holm oak [a small one lower on the hillside] a lady dressed in white, shining brighter than the sun, giving out rays of clear and intense light, just like a crystal goblet full of pure water when the fiery sun passes through it. We stopped astounded by the Apparition.READ MORE
Last week we heard from John chapter 10 where Jesus revealed two titles. One, that He is the Good Shepherd who will seek and gather all the sheep, especially those that are lost; and second, Jesus said that He is the Gate- the only entry to salvation. Today we pick up a few chapters later, but we continue Jesus’ revelation of Himself and teaching to his disciples. If you look at John’s Gospel, beginning in chapter 13, we get an account of the Last Supper, and then in John chapters 14 through 17 we have what is sometimes called the farewell discourse. It’s Jesus's teachings to the apostles at the Last Supper, but not on the Eucharist per se, but rather on what their lives will be like and what they will be engaged in after he has died, risen and ascended into heaven. So let's peek into what's going on at the Last Supper and see what Jesus says to his disciples.READ MORE
© 2017 EWTN, www.ewtn.com/fatima
Beginning in the spring of 1916, three visitations of the Guardian Angel of Portugal served as preparation for the visits the next year of the Mother of God.
In rural Portugal of 1916, it would not have been unusual to see children leading their family flocks to pasture. This is what the children of the Marto and Santos families, cousins all, did on many days. Often it was Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta, who gladly undertook this chore, grateful for the chance to be outdoors and to play as the sheep silently grazed. They would take their families' few sheep to graze on small plots of land owned by their parents in different parts of the sera, the mountainous plateau on which was located the village of Fátima (where the parish church was) and Aljustrel (where the children actually resided).READ MORE
You might be aware that our Mass Intention book is now completely full for 2017. This hasn't been a problem in the past, but this year we have simply "run out of Masses." First of all, it warms my heart because it shows your love for your loved ones and also your deep faith in the power of the Mass. However, I am sorry as I know many have not been able to have a Mass said for someone and particularly not on the day you would like to have it.READ MORE
The 4th Sunday of Easter every year has become known as Good Shepherd Sunday, as the Gospel each year is taken from a section of John chapter 10, where Jesus uses the image of sheep and shepherd to teach his disciples. So today, we start to transition in our Gospel from the Resurrection accounts to prepare for Pentecost and the start of the Catholic Church. So let us prepare ourselves too.
To help understand the image Jesus uses today of the sheep and shepherd, at night the shepherds would put their sheep in a corral with stone walls to help keep the sheep contained. And there is only 1 gate to enter in and out of it, and a gatekeeper who knew the shepherds would stay in front of the gate. Therefore, any strangers or thieves would have to go over the walls because they couldn’t go through the gate. He would let the shepherds in though, and the shepherd would call his sheep by name, and the sheep knew and would follow the shepherds voice. This is such a powerful and meaningful image. But the disciples didn’t understand the meaning of this figure of speech. Therefore, Jesus clarified that He himself “is the gate, and anyone who goes through Him will be saved and will find pasture in eternal life”. Therefore, not only is Jesus the Good Shepherd who leads his flock to the green pasture of salvation, but He is also the gate- the only way entrance way to eternal life. However, this is not just nice imagery Jesus is using to instruct his disciples, but it is actually a fulfillment of the Old Testament in which God foreshadows that He will be the Good Shepherd who will seek and save the lost sheep.READ MORE
In this famous Gospel, 2 disciples are walking away to a town called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem. On the way they meet, they have a conversation with Jesus, and as they were listening to Jesus their hearts burn within them. Wouldn’t you like to have that same encounter? Good news is we can, and God desires us to. However, let’s be practical…walking 7 miles must have taken over 2 hours, sooo- we must be ready to invest our time also. I don’t mind- do you mind staying for 2 hours? Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us have the same kind of encounter with Jesus in the time that we have.READ MORE
Beginning with Holy Week, and through these first couple of weeks of Easter, I have been remindedof the joy of being Catholic. In particular, celebrating the Easter Vigil, which included baptizing twoyoung men and bringing 16 other people into full Communion with the Catholic Church, then when over60 of our children also became fully Catholic through the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharistthis weekend have been jubilant occasions. What a blessing it is to be a part of the Church founded byChrist, the vehicle through which God has called us and every person to holiness and eternal life inHeaven!READ MORE
Happy Easter everyone — our Lord is Risen, Alleluia! Today, the Deacons are preaching in order to give Fr. Rey and I a little break after Easter. I have the utmost confidence that our Deaconswill be preaching inspiringly on Divine Mercy and, in particular, on the Sacrament of Confession. Inour Gospel today, Jesus instituted this great sacrament when He gave the power to bind and loosesins to His disciples (the first bishops). Therefore, I wanted to share a little reflection based upon ourfirst reading for this Sunday that I heard from Dr. Brant Pitre, one of my favorite theologians. During theSeason of Easter, the first reading isn’t taken from the Old Testament, but instead, from the Acts ofthe Apostles. Today, the first verse of our first reading is key: Acts 2:42. Here are Dr. Brant Pitre’sinspiring comments:READ MORE
For those of you who may not know me, I am Matt Henry. I am a “cradle Catholic”. I have two loving and supportive parents and am one of five children. I have four sisters. I attended both parochial and public schools. I participated in C.E. and youth group.
In my youth, I remember my confirmation and Steubenville conference being powerful encounters with God.
As connected as I was to God and my faith then, I drifted away from God as I experienced college and early adulthood. I attended mass when it was convenient. I stopped receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
Happy Easter! What a glorious time this is. Our Lord, out oflove for each and every one of us, gave up his life for our sake,for our salvation, because that is what love does, it sacrificesand gives all for the one it loves. Christ has destroyed eternaldeath and we are not held bound anymore, because of whatthe Lord has done, now the death that we deserve because ofour sin is only temporary and not eternal. Our Lord has madeeternal life possible, but to attain what the Lord has made forus we must die to ourselves and live for Him. To die to ourselvesmeans that we are to die to our own selfish desires and seek to serve others, it means to worktowards detaching ourselves from sinful pleasures. To live for God means that we take time everyday in prayer and surrender our plans and desires, and we invite Him into every aspect of our lives,asking Him to take control so that His will can be done in our lives.READ MORE
We have come to Holy Week, let us make it the holiest week of the year. Now that we've cometo the last week of Lent, let us not limp but sprint in our love for God to the finish line. Let us Prayeven more and really intentionally pray from our hearts. Let us Fast even more and unite our sufferings and desires to the Cross of Christ for it is there that our sacrifices find meaning and purpose.Let us give even more in Almsgiving and not count the cost because our Lord who is never outdonein generosity is about to give His whole self out of love for us.READ MORE
From a sermon by Saint Gregory of Nazianzen
Recognize to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise, and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity. You have been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this, and from whom?READ MORE