Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Road Ahead

We're getting there....less than  two weeks left in our Lenten Journey. time to buckle down and finish strong. What do I have left to accomplish? Whatever it may be, I trust that Jesus is there to guide me to completion. 

Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Just One Half Hour?

For many American Catholics, morning Mass is typical, with Mass offered in many parishes only in the morning on weekdays; consequently, this poses a problem for a lot of the faithful’s schedules.

Well I made it again to Adoration today. It was just a few minutes with 3 of my children after work, but it was time well spent with Our Lord and each other. It is a great blessing that our parish has Adoration from after the 7AM Mass, until 9PM. It allows many to attend  at a time that works with their schedules. Now as I said in my last post, I shouldn't make excuses for why I don't go often, but I am fortunate to have a nearby chapel that's open when I'm free. 

I also like to attend daily Mass when I can, but the reality of Mass times versus my work/home/other times usually doesn't work out. I leave the house for my hour-long commute around 6-6:30 AM and hope to get home before 5. By the time my wife and I get the children (and grandparents) settled after dinner, it's time for prayer and we get them to bed. This is usually around 7,  not counting if if I have a rehearsal or my wife needs to run errands. 

Most parishes around here have daily Mass between 7-9 AM on weekdays. With the exception of Saturday, getting to Mass is impossible. Yes, God is first in my life but I need to attend to the temporal welfare of my family, i.e. get to work on time to pay the bills.

Is a 5:15 during the week too much to ask???

I know our priests are stretched but maybe some variety in parish schedule would be helpful. If not, daily Mass will remain limited to mostly retirees. In an article for The National Catholic Register, writer John Grondelsk explains just that. He also mentions how Confession should be offered more than just prior to 4PM Mass on Saturday. I couldn't have expressed this better myself. If we really want to bet serious about evangelizing and bringing in those on the periphery, we need to schedule Sacraments when people are available, even if it falls outside of "normal business hours." 

I am thankful that a new pastor local to me has done some of this with his confession schedule. Let's hope this trend continues. 

Have a blessed week....

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Just One Hour?

I was blessed to have had a few precious minutes with Our Lord in my parish's Adoration Chapel this evening. I admit it, I don't spend enough time with Jesus in Adoration. I can blame work, being too busy, or countless other excuses. Sadly, when I arrived, Jesus was alone, covered by the shade used when no one is there. And sadly, I had to cover Him when it was time to leave. I need to go more often. No excuses, no reasons not to. 

Have a blessed week.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I am with you

A meditation from the diary of St. Faustia:

Suddenly I saw the Lord interiorly, and He said to me, Fear not, My daughter; I am with you. In that single moment, all the darkness and torments vanished, my senses were inundated with unspeakable joy, [and] the faculties of my soul filled with light (Diary, 103).

Satan always takes advantage of such moments; thoughts of discouragement began to rise to the surface for your faithfulness and sincerity this is your reward. How can one be sincere when one is so misunderstood? Jesus, Jesus, I cannot go on any longer. Again I fell to the ground under this weight, and I broke out in a sweat, and fear began to overcome me. I had no one to lean on interiorly. Suddenly I heard a voice within my soul, Do not fear; I am with you. And an unusual light illumined my mind, and I understood that I should not give in to such sorrows. I was filled with a certain strength and left my cell with new courage to suffer (Diary, 129).

My Prayer Response:
Lord Jesus, help me to hear Your word of encouragement when I need it: Do not fear; I am with you.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Where Are You Going?

Where are you going? Like the disciples in my last post, I don't really know the answer to that question. That last post was almost a year ago, yet it seems like yesterday. While a lot has happened since then, I feel as part of me is still in the same place. I've thought of many blog posts since, but none of them ever got past a few lines. I've had a lot to say, but I somehow can't put it into words. 

Now Lent is upon me again. I'm making strides to be "the best version of myself," to borrow a phrase from a well known apologist from Austrailia. I'm trying to make more time for prayer, make small sacrifices, and trying express that radical love which distinguish us as followers of Christ. I still have a long way to go in my journey and am trying to get by my "Lenten ADD," by trying to focus on one aspect of my faith life rather than everything all at once. 

Yes, a lot has happened, and I have a lot to say but that going to have to wait for now. Pray that I can focus on what I need to during this Lenten retreat and can give myself fully for what Jesus is calling me to do. Right now however, I need sleep. 

Be blessed!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Have a Blessed Easter Season!

Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted 
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread
(Lk. 24:34-35)

It has been an amazing few weeks since Easter. So amazing that words won't do it justice. I've instead chosen a few pictures that hopefully share that amazement and joy. Have a blessed week!
The Light of Christ

My parish, Holy Name, Fall River, MA

Easter Morning
My view from the loft

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, Fall River, MA

St. Joseph/ Divine Mercy

An amazing moment  

Proof the Church is dying out.

A small gathering in Rome. 

St. Gianna, pray for us. 

Our Lady's Altar

Marian Procession

May Crowning
Have a blessed Easter Season

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: The Last Confession of the Vampire Judas Iscariot

Caravaggio - Taking of Christ in the Garden
What if Judas was a Vampire?

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
             I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith

I'll never forget a homily I heard on Spy Wednesday of  Holy Week where the priest asked "What if Judas asked for forgiveness? What if he turned back and went to the cross and accepted Jesus' Mercy? What if he professed faith in the Giver of Life himself and not chosen death instead? We'd now be calling him St. Judas the Penitent instead of a traitor and a thief." 

                                                        And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate

Washed his hands and sealed his fate 

Judas, like us, had two paths to choose from - one easy, one hard. He could choose the tree or the cross. Our faith tells in that no matter what we do, Jesus will forgive us if we are truly sorry and we ask for it. Through the ministry of the Church in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God will grant us pardon if we are truly sorry, but that's not always the easy choice. To overcome sin, we must swallow our pride, be contrite, and desire to sin no more. Of course we know from the Gospels which path he ultimately chose.

Pleased to meet you,
hope you guess my name!

David Vermont's novel, The Last Confession of the Vampire Judas Iscariot, Judas' story didn't end by hanging from a rope that day in Jerusalem. "He is restored to life by the Devil and made into a vampire apostle. The Devil teaches Judas to manipulate men and history. He becomes a king, a general, a teacher and a blacksmith, whatever is needed to effect the outcome of history and move it towards the goal of his new master."  The author takes us on a tour through Christian history and weaves a story of heroic virtue, suffering, and the hope of salvation, from 33AD to the present day. In the end, he sets his sights on laicized priest to try to obtain the one thing the Devil cannot give him. 

The book is enjoyable to read and moves quickly. It also makes the reader think about more than the action and storyline - mainly life, death, Heaven, and Hell, but not to the point of being overwhelming. It allows you to relate to the main characters- both good and bad. I found myself experiencing the humanity of Fr. Breviary, almost weeping with him in his personal sorrow and part of me also understood the confusion and despair of Judas, who despite his superhuman abilities, still found himself longing for what he could never attain on his own. 

Although it can be considered to be in the vampire genre, it's not really about vampires. It is, however, very Catholic, which is refreshing given some recently popular novels which I will not mention. In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided a copy in exchange for a review. I give the author credit for tackling such a story and it was a welcome addition to my lenten reading this year. As I meditate on the Passion of our Lord on this Good Friday, I'm sure at some point I will think about Judas and all the "what if's" and what could have been. Of course we know that only God has the answers and everything, including the reasons for our own sufferings and joys, are according to His plan, done in His time, for the good of all his people. 

Have a blessed Holy Week! 

Holy Name Church, Fall River, MA. 

Sympathy for the Devil
Writer(s): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
Copyright: Mirage Music Int. Ltd. c/o Essex Music Int. Ltd., Mirage Music Int. Ltd. c/o Essex Music Int. L