Archive for the ‘Fatherly Advice’ Category

Jan 25 – Homily: The World is Passing Away

Jan 25 – Homily: The World is Passing Away

Given the vanity of all things, everyone who can, should abandon the world and become a religious. Ave Maria! Mass: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF Readings: 1st: jon 3:1-5,…
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Jan 25 – Homily: Prophet Sunday

Fr. Elias dubs this day, “Prophet Sunday” because all three readings refer to the prophetic message to repent because the end is near. Father focuses on the fact that the people of Nineveh…
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Death with Dignity

Such a powerful video!

March for Life 2015

This is a syndicated post from On This Rock. [Read the original article...] (17)

Jan 24 – Homily: St Francis de Sales, Devout Missionary

Jan 24 – Homily: St Francis de Sales, Devout Missionary

Fr. Elias on the life of St. Francis de Sales and how he promoted the devout life among his flock and in so doing was an effective missionary to the Calvinists in Switzerland. Ave Maria! Mass:….

Mk 3:20-21 Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

By JENNIFER BURGIN

Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

 I’m sure at one time or another someone labeled you as “crazy” for something you did, said, or believed in.  Oftentimes we embarrass our friends and family. We go about doingour own thing clueless how our words and actions affect others.
My mother reminds me of my own childhood craziness.  I threw terrible temper tantrums as a little girl, especially in the grocery store.  When I didn’t get candy I wanted, I screamed my little blonde head off.  I dropped to the floor and threw a hissy fit with arms, legs, and pigtails flailing about.  My mom “scolded” by walking away in silence. With my mom out of sight, I didn’t feel the need to cry anymore.  I immediately lost focus on that candy bar:  Poof, out of mind!
Jesus Christ’s own relatives thought he was “out of his mind” for preaching to large crowds and hanging out with lowly sinners.  Hard to believe but true! Christ could have easily shooed away the crowds, eating with his disciples in peace; but, he decided against it.  His ministry took precedence over any personal comforts.

At first glance, it appears like the relatives set out to seize Jesus for their own selfish reasons; however, most likely they wanted to protect Our Lord.  They were concerned about his safety and well-being.  Maybe if he was taken out of sight then the crowds will go away, and the chief Scribes and Pharisees will keep Jesus out of mind.  If Christ pushed his luck with so-called blasphemy, certain death loomed.
Thomas a Kempis wrote:  ”Out of sight, out of mind.  The absent are always in the wrong.”  When we fail to pay attention to our environment, and the people around us, we make false assumptions.  We label someone as a “little off the rocker” when we haven’t taken the time to get to know the person.  We may even go so far as dump a whole group of people into “the loony bin” because their ideas and beliefs are so different from our own. We block out what we don’t want to see or hear.
If we wish to be better Christians, we must remain in sight and mind.  Be on the lookoutfor ways to help others instead of condemn.  Don’t discount those who may have strange ideas and perceptions.  We may learn something new which will enhance our spiritual lives.
Pay attention!  Keep eyes open and minds sharp as Disciples of Christ!  
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Francis de Sales who is one of my favorite Doctors of the Church.  Here are a few quotes to reflect on this coming week:
“The bee collects honey from the flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.
“Always be as gentle as you can, and remember that more flies are caught with a spoonful of honey than with a hundred barrels of vinegar.”
“We are not drawn to God by iron chains, but by sweet attractions and holy inspirations.”
St. Francis de Sales, Pray for Us! 
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin.  Please follow her blog:  Jennifer’s Spectrum of Spirituality

Hebrews 8:6-13 Sins and Toys R’ Us

Friday if the Second Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

By GABY HUNDZA

But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming , declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after the time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
I’d really like to spend my time with this meditation focusing on verse 12: For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. God will always forgive our sins. It doesn’t matter what we do, He is understanding and compassionate.
Think of sin like toy blocks: if you stacked all of your sin up, you could easily see how you compare to everyone else. No one’s stack is the same height from our point of view – we either take pride in the fact that our own sin stack is not too tall, or we are shameful because it is taller than the others. The problem here is that we either see this as an accomplishment for not having the tallest stack or we worry too much because we believe our stack is too tall – we feel inferior or superior to others depending on how they compare to us. Now, if we look at it from God’s perspective, he watches over us from above, so the stacks that all seem so different to us are exactly the same in his eyes: we all have sinned, but no sinner is greater than another. We are all equal.
The reason I decided to try and explain that little metaphor is because we often are ashamed of the things we have done and it seems like we will be judged by God for how tall our stack is, but first of all, God will never judge us harshly for the sins we commit – he loves us and hopes that we will go to him when we mess up. Second of all, God can’t judge us or compare us to others like we so often do when we all have the same stacks in his eyes. We are his children and he wants us to come to him when we have done wrong, because he has the power to forgive and can release the weight of the sin from our souls. We should never turn away from God when we are fearful of what he will think of our sin, because we are not strong enough to hold on to our own sin – Christ died on the cross for us for this very reason.
It’s important to understand this, because at times we turn away from the Lord to help us with our struggles: we are ashamed. When we feel shame for this, we are choosing to walk away and hide from God. The more you hold on to these feelings, the heavier the sin will feel (spoiler alert: no matter how long you hold on to this sin or how bad it may seem, God will always forgive you!!). God tells the people “I will forgive their wickedness” – I don’t know how else to say it, but he is literally telling them that he will forgive all for their bad deeds. God is an all-powerful and compassionate father – he cares deeply for each and every one of us, and he wants to be the one we go to when we have done something bad; he’s the only one that can bear the weight of our sin.
He does not get angry when we commit a sin, but he rejoices when we come to him for forgiveness and guidance in these situations. Take time to talk to him about the struggles and weaknesses you have, because the only thing that will ever last is his love for us, and he desires to help us grow and help us conquer the pain and weakness that is holding us down. Choosing to hide from God when we are ashamed of our sin is like letting the sin control us. Don’t let the sin and shame take over when we have a wonderful God who always forgives and will always be with us through the hard times!
We can never do anything that will cause God to love us any less – he will always forgive us, always love us, and always care for us.

A Witness To Life

By SOPHIE DRUFFNER

Today is the forty-second anniversary of Roe versus Wade. Today, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal through the first three months of a pregnancy, and with the accompanying case of Doe v. Bolton, nine months.

But I don’t want to talk about abortion. I want to talk about time and hope. I want to take you back to a time where organized killing of a certain group of people was legal, a time which is now left to history books, empty concentration camps, and acertain Diary of a Young Girl.

The lie was cast in iron, invincible, unchanged since the seventy years past when those who entered the camp saw it for the first time—“Arbeit macht frei.” But it was not the lie which was so shocking, for I had seen it written in accounts and stories. Instead, it was the bigness, the largesse, the endless space of the area which we were standing it. The camp was millions of meters of light gray gravel, extending into eternity. I wondered how many thousands or millions of feet had marched here, had been wounded here, had died here. I looked around and saw the barbed wire, separated from the gravel by several feet of blooming green grass. The grass was so green, so lively, against the grayness of the area and the sadness of the bright day. Then the tour guide told our orchestral group that people had run across that short feet of grass into the electric fence, wishing to end their pain once and for all. And then I saw to my right a horrid portrayal of corpses in the fence, also in blackened iron, two stories tall, and even the grass lost its allure. The stick figures were twisted and writhing, at once part of the fence but also apart from it. Although the figures had no faces, I could picture their screams.
Then there were the Blocks which the people of Dachau had burned after the Nazis had left. The townspeople wished to burn the evidence of their hate so that the world would wear blinkers. They wished to eradicate the memories of the corpses, built up in graves, because the coal supply had run out at the crematorium. They wished to take away the memories of the American soldiers’ liberation, and the subsequent forced march of the German people of Dachau into the camp—Look at what you have done, look at what your indifference has wrought. Look what happened when you were warm in your beds, when you complained about having to go with less because of the war. Look and see.
I looked and I saw too but I survived. I looked at my sin, and my friends’ sin, and the sin of all who look and refuse to see. For it was not just the Germans who did this to the hapless political prisoners, homosexuals, Jews, and other lost ones in the camp. It was the time that I and my smirking sixth-grade friend wrote ten things that we hated about a boy in my class, and then showed it to him. It was the time that I had gossiped about how a girl a grade above me talked so properly, so fake, without knowing that she had undergone years of speech pathology because of a defect in her upper lip. It was all the times that my immaturity and indifference had caused some to laugh at the expense of others.

I looked again and saw the altar just outside of the crematoriums on which people of all faiths had celebrated Easter Mass together on the day of liberation of the Dachau camp—Easter Sunday. It was right outside of the gas chamber, directly in front of the ovens. It was small and white and had words written in all languages on it, words of joy and hope. For these people too were resurrected from the dirt and death; they had become new through the life of liberation.

This is our hope, our future. Outside of the gas chambers, outside of the instruments of torture and killing, stood the place the prisoners had forgiven their captors. Here, the prisoners forgave the thieves in the night, the Reich which had stolen their family, friends, and homes.  

We, too, need to forgive. It is easy to look upon those who advocate to destroy young lives with hate. But that is not what Jesus called us to do. Jesus, the ultimate Innocent, was killed on the cross, and yet he and his disciples forgave us, we who killed him with very time we chose not to love God, self, or neighbor. One day the fight against abortion will be won, but today, we need to forgive those who fight against us; they know not what they do.

Mk 3:7:12 March for Life 2015

Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time(Click here for readings)By JENNIFER BURGINJesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large nu…

Jan 18 – Homily: God’s Personal Call

Each one of us is called to be a follower of Jesus in a particular state in life. A personal relationship with the Lord is all about receiving and giving; and just as He is there for us, we…
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