October 8th, 2017

It’s hard to believe, but it’s October already and the leaves are falling and giving off their beautiful colors!  We do live in such a beautiful Valley with such grand nature all around us.  October means the “Month of the Holy Rosary”.  We need to prepare now for Advent and the Birth of Our Blessed Lord.  That means praying the Rosary every day and making a good Confession, especially if we hadn’t in awhile.  And speaking of the Sacrament of Confession, back in April of this year, Pope Francis said that each of us carries some kind of “tomb” inside our hearts, whether from sin or suffering, and we can either stay bogged down in misery, focusing only on ourselves, or allow Jesus to come into that place and heal it.

Much of the unhappiness in our lives, Pope Francis insisted, flows from what is within our minds and hearts, “because each of us has a small tomb, some area that is a little bit dead inside the heart, a wound, an injury suffered or done, a bitterness that does not let up, that returns, a sin that you cannot overcome”.  No one gets through life without carrying at least one such interior—“tomb”.  It is a great comfort and encouragement to hear the Holy Father speak in so understanding a way of this universal experience.

So pray the Rosary every day this “Month of the Holy Rosary” to our Blessed Lady, and ask her to help us open up that “tomb”, that has been bothering us for so long a time, and ask Jesus to heal us through the mercy of His great “Sacrament of Confession”.

God Bless and have a great week!
Deacon George +

September 10th, 2017

Our blessed Mother’s Birthday was just this past Friday, September 8th and with October just around the corner, which is the Month of the Holy Rosary, I could not forget the importance of the rosary, the prayer Our Holy Mother introduced herself, to Saint Dominic.  An important prayer it is, as it ranks third after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.  It is said to be “A Creative Prayer of Love.”

In his Apostolic letter “On the Most Holy Rosary,” St. Pope John Paul II writes: “With the rosary, the Christians people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate… the depths of (Christ’s) love.”  Unfortunately, a complaint people have about praying the rosary is the monotony they experience in repeating the same prayers many times.

Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen tells of a woman who expressed her disfavor of becoming a Catholic because, in prayer, we say the same words over and over, and she believed anyone who is so repetitive isn’t sincere.

Bishop Sheen asked her who was with her.  Her fiancé, she replied.  When asked if her fiancé love her, she answered “yes.”  The Bishop asked when was the last time he professed his love?  She replied, “about an hour ago!”  When pressed to recall if he had previously told her, she said he tells her daily.  Bishop Sheen the delivered his point:  “Don’t believe him.  He is repeating his words, he is not sincere.”

Love spoken from the heart is never monotonous.

In saying the rosary, at each decade we focus briefly on an event in Jesus’ life that speaks to us of his love for us.  And we are moved to say through Mary: “I love you, Jesus!”  Be creative, for we aren’t limited to meditating on the mysteries.  Choose five parables, miracles, or sayings of Jesus to help achieve the purpose of the rosary, which is to help us experience the love of Christ through His Mother Mary.

So the next time you may be challenged with those same words, remember Bishop Sheen’s response to this woman.

God Bless you and have a great week,

Deacon George +

September 3rd, 2017

With our Women’s Conference coming up soon, and all the retreats available to us, I came across this article written a long time ago, by a well known writer on religion and spirituality in the early 1900’s.  Her name was Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) and wanted to share it with all of you:

  “A first retreatant lately told me, that when she confessed to her husband what she intended to do, he took his pipe from his mouth and said earnestly, “Go, my dear.  Go by all means!  You’re just about due for a spot of re-birth.”

Most of us are bitterly conscious of the extent in which we are at the mercy of our surroundings, which grow ever more and more insistent in their pressure, their demands on our attention and time, less and less suggestive of reality, of God.  Our prayers become more and more like supernatural shopping lists, less and less like the conversation between one friend and another which is the ideal of Thomas “a Kempis. So we have reached this stage, nothing is going to save us but a spot of re-birth!    It sometimes happens that one goes to see a cathedral which is famous for the splendor of its glass, only to discover that, seen from outside the windows give no hint whatever of that which awaits us within.  They all look alike, dull, thick, grubby.   From this point of view we already realize that they are ancient, important, the proper objects of reverence and study.  But we cannot conceive that solemn colored mystery, that richness of beauty and meaning which is poured through them upon those who are inside the shrine.    Then we open the door and go inside.  We leave the outer world and enter the inner world, and at once we are surrounded by a radiance, a beauty, that lies beyond the fringe of speech.  The universal Light of God in which we live and move, and which in its reality always escapes us, pours through windows, bathes us in an inconceivable color and splendor, and shows us the things of which we never dreamed before.  In the same way, the deep mysteries of the Being of God and the all of the soul cannot be seen by us, until they have passed through a human medium, a human life.  Nor can that life, and all that is means as a revelation of God’s eternal truth and beauty, be realized by us from the outside.    It is only within the place of prayer, recollection, worship, and love, the place where the altar is, where sacrifice is made, that we can cleanse our vision, overcome our self-interested bias, and fully and truly receive the revelation of Reality, which is made to us in Christ.”   No matter a man or a women, one should in their lifetime go on a retreat and attend a religious conference, to discover with God’s help, who they really are and how they can change their very own lives for the better.  Have a Great Week,  

Deacon George + 

August 27th, 2017

After giving my Homily on the Feast of the Assumption, not long ago, it came upon me a question, asked of me some time ago from a woman, who had recently lost her husband.  She had been married to this man for over 50 years and longed to be reunited with him one day.  Her question was—“Will we know each other in Heaven?  First of all I offered her my sorrow for her loss.  And then proceeded to answer her,  “You most certainly will know each other in Heaven, and in a far more perfect and intimate way.”  There is a tendency to read too much into Jesus’ words that in heaven people neither marry nor are given in marriage.  The first meaning of Jesus’ words is that we cannot merely compare Heaven to earthly realities.  Heaven is richer.  Secondly, sexual intimacy will no longer have purpose, and we will live more like the Angels. But marital love is perfected in Heaven, not disregarded.  Thus your knowledge, love and intimacy with your husband and family members will be deeper, richer and stronger in Heaven, not less.  Yes, we will meet again by the grace of our Redeemer, when this life is finished.  God Bless each one of you and have a great week.

Deacon George +