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There is a story of a young woman who believes that God lives on top of a mountain at the ends of the earth.  She journeys to the mountain and begins the long climb to the top.  At the time she is beginning, God thinks “What can I do to show people on earth that I love them?”  God says, “I know, I will journey down the mountain and go to live among them.” Thus, when the young woman reaches the top of the mountain, God is not there.  She thinks, “God doesn’t live here!  Maybe God doesn’t even exist.”

Sometimes, we look for God in the wrong places.  We forget that God came down to live among us.  Jesus, God-made-man, shows us how to live in relationship with his Father.  An ancient Jewish saying tells us, “God dwells wherever we let him in.”  Where do I let God in?  Where do I look for God?  Where do I find God?

All of us have so much to be thankful for each day.  When we awake to a new day, when a friend is in touch with us, for the food we eat, for the water that flows into our homes,

for flowers, birds, trees, our health, for doctors close by who care for us: the list can go on and on.  Thanking God should be part of our daily lives.  It is also good to tell God about worries and concerns: about jobs, relationships, family, health, whatever comes to mind.  Sharing those thoughts with God will often help to lessen the burdens we carry.

Take time — lots of it — each day to talk to God in prayer. If you spend time with family members or friends, engage them in prayer with you, and listen to how they share their joys/concerns/thanks with God.

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

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We know that we face many uncertainties in our world, but our faith assures us of a certainty from which we cannot hide.  God has called us into life, has breathed his Spirit within us, gifts us with individual talents, with family and friends…and promises us eternal life.  We celebrate all the ways in which God calls us and blesses us, and know that in recognizing his presence in all the events of our life we are being true to our baptismal consecration.

“May you be wise in choices and decisions!  May you be caring in all relationships and compassionate to those in need.  May you meet life’s adventures with a clear mind and a bold heart.  May your integrity be a gift to the world, and may the Spirit of God be with you always” (blessing by Pat Bergen, CSJ)

 

 

 

 

October is a month filled with Church celebrations—and this week is especially meaningful:

On Monday, October 1, we celebrated the feast day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower and on Tuesday, we remembered our Guardian Angels.  So this week, we ask St. Therese to teach us her “little way”—a way of doing everything with love for Jesus.  We ask our Guardian Angels to protect us and to guard our children in all that they do. On Wednesday, we called to mind the great St. Francis of Assisi, whose love for God’s creation and his prayer for peace have impacted us in so many ways. We pray with St. Francis, asking God to make us instruments of His peace and to guide us in taking care of his creation. On Sunday, October 7, we celebrate the feast of Mary as Queen of the Rosary and ask Mary especially to intercede for all those in the military. With Mary, our Mother, we walk with Jesus through the mysteries of His life, death, and resurrection whenever we pray the rosary.  These prayerful reminders of each of these holy people support us in our daily lives as we ask their intercession for all of our needs and the needs of our world.

 

Jesus frequently went to homes. The Gospels record that Jesus went to the home of Jairus (Mark 5:40), the newlyweds in Cana (John 2:2), Peter in Capernaum (Mark 1: 29), Simon the Pharisee in Capernaum (Luke 7:36), Zaccheus in Jericho (Luke 19:5), Mary and Martha in Bethany (John

12:2), the two disciples in Emmaus (Luke 24:29). Each time Jesus visited a home, he left behind a blessing.

When did Jesus last visit my home? What blessing did he, perhaps, leave behind? When I visit the homes of others, am I a blessing to them? Do I carry the love of Jesus in my heart, in my words and in my actions? Do I consider how lonely the homebound might be? Can I bring them a word of hope, a gesture of compassion?

This week let us pray for blessings on our homes and those who live there.

Lord, visit our homes and bless them.

Bless the roofs, that they may protect us from winter cold and summer heat.

Bless the doors, that they may remain open to all those who need us.

Bless the rooms, that they may be places where peace and love abide.

Let us also pray for those who are homebound and those who care for them. We pray for the homeless or who live in environments that are not life-giving and safe. May all of us who care about the needs of others be generous in our sharing and in our prayers.

 

Last Friday was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and Saturday was the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I had a hard time trying to decide whether to feature these feasts of the parish Celebrations of Catechetical Sunday. I was reminded that the Cross is never far from the Church and the disciples of Jesus—and my blog on that topic could wait another week.

We are called to pick up our cross and follow Jesus; this takes many forms. We may be carrying the cross of personal illness or that of someone close to us. Ours may be the cross of misunderstanding or confusion or loneliness. It may be cross of a failed relationship or a lost job. It may be the cross of suffering on a larger scale—natural disaster, poverty, or the recent allegations of Church scandal and sufferings of victims. Whatever our cross, let us be reminded that we do not carry it alone. Jesus promised that he is with us always—on our life’s journey as well as on our road to Calvary. Let us pray as Church for all those in need of our prayers!

God of all power and peace, forgive us our sins. Comfort our sorrows. Grant us your wisdom to move forward, trusting that, for us as for Jesus, Calvary was followed by resurrection joy! May the Body of Christ be renewed here on earth and my your Holy Spirit energize and renew us in the truth of your Word. We ask this with renewed commitment in the name of Jesus our Lord.

This Sunday, Sept 16, is Catechetical Sunday and we celebrate the important contributions made to our parishes by all those who serve as teachers, aides, and support staff in our Religious Education programs, and our schools and adult programs. We thank all those who teach our children, teens, and adults, formally and informally, for all that they do to bring the message of Jesus and his Gospel to the people of God. Each of us has a role to play within the Church as this story illustrates:

A teacher had students take scissors and cut a piece from a poster that was covered over with paper. “Take your piece home, but don’t peek,” she said. “Bring it back next week.” When the class met the next time, the students returned to assemble the poster. To their dismay, it had a big hole in it. One little girl had forgotten her piece. The teacher hugged the tearful girl who forgot her piece and said, “Amy, I am glad you forgot, because it teaches better than I had expected how important each of us is in God’s plan. Each of us is called to witness to Jesus in some unique way, and if we forget, God’s plan loses some of its beauty, just like this poster.”

What is unique about my service to Jesus and his people—at home, in my place of work, in my parish and community, in my associations with those whom he sends into my life?

“Shepherd me, O God,

beyond my wants, beyond my fears,

from death into life.”

These words from the beautiful song by Marty Haugen remind me of the challenge each of us faces in readying ourselves and others for the final journey…we move from our earthly life through death to eternal life! Our entire purpose in living now is to LIVE eternally! During our earthly journey, we experience the joys, sorrows, dreams, and disappointments common to all human beings. We laugh, we cry, we question, we learn, over and over again. We prefer to think of the NOW as something that will last and last…but we know that there is only one entrance into FOREVER….We may spend hours and hours preparing for a special family event, give days for a wonderful vacation “away from it all,” but neglect to plan for the ultimate vacation! We spend so much time worrying about our financial situation, our health, the success of our children, the cares of the world, but Jesus tells us that no hair on our head goes unnumbered because our Father in heaven cares for us like he cares for the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. We know that there is so much “out of our control”—but that is not a bad thing if we believe that GOD NEVER LOSES CONTROL, that everything and everyone is in his loving hands. We are called to trust. We are called to know and love our God….Do these words sound familiar? ”Why did God make you?” “God made me to know him, to love him and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in heaven.” (Baltimore Catechism). Our current Catholic Catechism says the same in similar words: “God…created man to share in his own blessed life….He calls us to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. (1) The desire for God is written in the human heart because we are created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw us to himself”