A Message Of Hope

Romans 8:18

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.”

I thought I would share today’s verse that gives me great hope. Each day when I tell my Lord that I will accept all that He permits to happen to me, it reminds me that all the evil He permits to happen in the world will somehow come to glorify the Lord. I can hope, with the help of His grace, to be faithful to my daily prayers and especially the words, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

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A Message Of Hope

A Gospel Rant

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Today’s Gospel from Luke 11 kind of ticks me off. I try to understand the context of what is going on and put myself into the situation and think about how I would react. I get pretty sick of the crowds that gather around Jesus because they do not have any common sense. He does miracles, heals people and cares for everyone and these people say He is from the Devil. How idiotic is that?

We have people today doing the same thing. I’m getting sick of all of you too but Jesus says I have to love you so I will, for the sake of Jesus. I will pray for you like people prayed for me when I did not believe. The people who were probably sick of me prayed for Jesus’ sake and by the grace of God, I love my Lord and Savior. That in itself is a great miracle and it did not come from Satan. That liar still tries to mess me up all the time.

I thought what Jesus said at the end of today’s Gospel is so true and I can attest to it in my life and I have to be on guard daily to stay close to Jesus and battle with the help of the Holy Spirit. Read this:

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”

How many people have you heard say, after a bout with cancer, that I am cancer free? Then in time, short or long, it is back and the results are worse, even death. I think it’s like that with sin. By the grace of God, we overcome a sin. We move on in holiness but those temptations seem to come back. For me years ago, after a confession that I will remember forever, I was pretty much told that the sin I keep confessing over and over is not that big of a deal because it has become so habit forming that the church understands. What? It’s a mortal sin. I do not want a free pass to Hell. Again by the grace of God, I left that day with the desire to not sin again. And I beat that sin, or at least I thought so.

It may have been years, I do not know exactly how long but that damn sin is back and I am struggling with it. The temptation seems worse to me just like today’s Gospel said it would even though I think I am more prepared to fight. I think I have been given a great, growing faith in God and Satan is playing with me. Satan and all the fallen angels are much smarter than me and I do not have a chance to beat them. They can crush me so easily. They have no chance though against God, who created them. My only hope is in God and as St. Paul said, “it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me.”

So I will keep working on myself to be the best version of a child of God that I can be. My sins have helped to screw up this world and I am not happy about my role in putting Jesus on the cross. But I can tell you that I have had a lot of help from my brothers and sisters in the world and unless we knock it off, we are going down. So all of you that do not give a %$^(, I will pray for you.

A Gospel Rant

Gifts Of Love

Wow, it has been a long day. Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. I have been saying a daily Rosary for a very long time. It is one of my greatest devotions to Jesus. The Rosary is all about the life of Jesus and meditating on His life while reciting the many Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s and the Apostles Creed. It is my inclusion to a great morning of prayer. The Rosary is a great gift of love from Jesus and Mother Mary.

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So today was another challenging day at work. When I left, I was pretty beaten down and tired but looking so forward to my choir rehearsal tonight. We play at Mass this Saturday and tonight was the only night we were able to get all six of us together. So when I arrived, I pulled out my raggedy $150 keyboard that I have been using for many years and headed into rehearsal. My group SIGN, Singing In God’s Name is a gift of love from God to me. These holy men share their great God-given talents with our community. They are a true gift of love from God to me.

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Tonight, when I entered practice, this keyboard was waiting for me. I was told it was a gift from the group for leading them and going above and beyond in my work for this group. I cried. I did not know what to say. I am unworthy of this. I lead the group because God asked me to. I work on music because God asked me to. I try to do everything for the love of God. In that love, I love my group. I was given this gift out of love. It’s sometimes very hard to accept love from others. I still am shocked! Thank you Jesus. Thank you SIGN.

Gifts Of Love

Choosing The Better Part

O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do. Give me your orders. I promise to submit to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Amen.

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Today’s Gospel from Luke 10 pumps some Mary and Martha into my blood. I relate with Mary. I want to sit at the feet of Jesus. I want to listen to Him, to follow Him and to love Him 24/7. I guess I have become the “Jesus Freak” that used to scare me away. I am still a busy man and do a lot, especially at work so I have some Martha within me also. Martha was anxious though about serving and tending to the needs of others. In a sense, Jesus kind of warns us about that when He says,

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

I have chosen the better part. I too often have chosen the lesser parts in my life and I do not want them anymore. I have shared that my marriage is broken and in need of great healing. I have a beautiful wife that I have hurt and it will be a long road to recovery so you know I want the better part. I have no hope without Jesus. I will sit at His feet forever. I believe the words of Jesus…”There is need of only one thing.” I choose the one thing.

Have you ever just sat in a Chapel, in front of the Blessed Sacrament and just sat there. Sitting only in the presence of God, not talking, not praying, just sitting. I do it, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours. It’s Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus. I like it. It has changed my life. Now the world thinks I am crazy and if I told my family, extended family and friends what I like to do with my time, they would most likely think it a waste of time that I could be doing things, even fun things.

My opinion of the world I live in is that most are doing, doing and doing. I look at my Facebook friends and they are on the go, dinner here, shows there, amusement parks here, sporting events there, parties here, eating there, drinking here and event after event and in my case with my friends usually with some alcohol in hand. As my former beloved friend and priest Fr. Tom would say, “peace be to ya” and I would say God bless you!

Anyway, God is good and He loves the Mary’s and the Martha’s. He loves you and He loves me. What an awesome thought to keep in mind every day whether we are in the Martha or Mary mode. I’m thinking that maybe age but I hope wisdom has me choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus. There ain’t no better thing that I would rather “do” than to “do” the will of God and choose the better part.

Choosing The Better Part

A Little Jonah In All Of Us?

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O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do. Give me your orders. I promise to submit to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Amen.

I have been praying the above Holy Spirit prayer a lot since I heard a talk from Fr. Larry Richards. I believe it will change my life. Surrender is what I need, not my will but God’s will be done. It is tough having complete faith in my surrender because I have failed so many times. I wake up strong, thankful and full of life. And before I lay my head on the pillow at night, I am tired and weak, seeking God’s love and mercy, thankful for my successes, sorrowful for my failures but in complete trust that God loves me and is working in me.

So Jonah today in the first reading is running away from God. He does not want to go to Nineveh and preach repentance. It is such a great story to me. Whether or not one believes that Jonah was actually swallowed and in the belly of a fish for 3 days and 3 nights is up to you. I think the significance of what God is trying to tell us today is much more important. Do I run? Do I repent? Do I trust?

I hear the message of trust. God speaks and when I do not like what He says or I think I am not the one to do what He asks, I run and lack trust. I have a great relationship with God, not because of me, but because of Jesus who loves me unconditionally. He is always faithful, I am not. So if I want to surrender, it has to come with trust and save running for the purpose of exercise.

Putting myself in Jonah’s situation today, could I go out into the streets of Los Angeles and talk to strangers about repentance? I think not because all these thoughts come to mind about being shunned and how uncomfortable even I feel in the presence of sidewalk preachers with bull horns warning us that Jesus is coming. It’s not the way I am comfortable with evangelization. This is when I must not think of my comfort but the will of God and trust Him. If God wants it, I must surrender to it. I think though so far, that I have been given different gifts to bring Christ to the world and I look forward each day to the opportunities I am given. I write, I sing, I compose, I joke, I laugh, I smile and I serve using what God has given me.

Yes, I have some Jonah in me and thanks to Jonah, I do not want to run but repent and share the Good News with all whom God sends my way. Thanks be to God.

A Little Jonah In All Of Us?

Saint Therese Of Lisieux

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Today is the Memorial of Saint Therese Of The Child Jesus, Virgin And Doctor Of The Church.

I want to be a Saint, not as the world thinks of Saints but like Jesus calls me to be a Saint. My post tonight is short and uplifting for me. I know my sins and they offend God and I am so sorry in my weakness and desire to repent and accept God’s mercy.

Tonight, the quote from a Saint, Saint Therese is something I do well everyday and for the right reason, the glory of God who is love. It feels good to do something “Saintly” that is pleasing to God. I forget too often and dwell too much on my sin.

I thank you St. Therese for this wisdom shared. Please pray for us!

Saint Therese Of Lisieux