"...I will show you the way to heaven."-St. John-Marie Vianney

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The sun shall rise again

Rain, rain, Go away, come again another day...
     Here I sit in my basement staring at a screen projecting news into my face. The usual murders, robberies, celebrity nonsense; as I wonder why I bother looking for some thing positive something strikes me. I have always been one of those crazy optimists who see the silver lining, who keep their eyes on the horizon, who doesn't think the light at the end of the tunnel is always a train, but lately I am not so sure about optimism. Does it pay? Am I just kidding myself? In a world such as this, am I searching in vain for some glimmer of hope that all of humanity is not rotting in a cesspool of selfishness and sin?

      "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  Our Lord tells us this in the closing remarks of His Last Supper discourse. Our Lord has not promised us that we would be peaceful in the world apart from Him but only in Him. If we are not in Jesus then we will not have peace. Not some phony baloney, feel good, pussy-willow and balloons type peace but a real profound peace that remains with us even in the darkest of trials. Some of us think peace is only peace if there are no tribulations or temptations or trials or the like to upset us and derail us from the straight and narrow. I disagree wholeheartedly. Peace is what gives us the courage to deal with all the stuff that is thrown at us daily. This peace that comes from Christ, that we as catholic Christians should personify, is the fuel that will take us to heaven. We receive this peace through faith in Christ Jesus, through our hope of what is to come and from our being loved by Him Who is Love and then giving that love to each other. Through this gift of peace, which is the fruit of a Sacramental life in Christ Jesus, we will start to see this world differently. Sin used to anger me to the point of my own detriment. I was so zealous in fighting sin I seemed to forget I am a sinner and was once living a life in ignorance of Christ also. My zeal consumed me, but not in a holy way. It made me judgmental and uncompassionate. Much like Frollo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame I "longed to purge the world of vice and sin, looking everywhere except within." (Disney Version) The peace I had was of the world and it was fragile. It was not until I allowed God to pierce my heart so violently with His Love that I would understand sin. I came to understand peace. I learned about suffering and love; the tender embrace of the cross, the union of His love with our hearts. Painful though it was, I finally recognized Jesus and His most sacred Heart. I learned to suffer is to love and true Christian compassion can be as painful as martyrdom. In the crucible of pain and suffering that we call learning I finally was able to feel peace, His peace, and I was shocked at the force of such peace, at the reality of such peace. I was not only at peace but in it, and not only I in it, But peace truly was in me.

       So I watch the news. I see the homosexuals fight for rights. The pro-abortion fight for rights. Our people starve, they murder, and they sell themselves for enough money to have a hot meal. And I weep. I am sorry. I feel sorry. I feel their pain, their desperation, their loss, their anger. Why? Because I love them. I pray for them. I pray not for peace in their hearts but for understanding. I pray that they might see their pain and want to understand why they feel it. I pray that after they seek the cause of pain, they seek the cure also. Then peace can come. Only after we realize that we need supernatural peace to bring order and understanding to this natural world, we will as a Nation, as a people, as a race come to know the one true God and His Joy. But what about we, what about now when we suffer watching our brothers and sisters search the world in vain for a love that only God can give? What about our grief in seeing the sin, death and despair? What about us who hunger and thirst for righteousness? Can we continue on in this state bearing the sins of the world upon our shoulders? Can we keep the peace in our hearts amidst all this war and hatred? Can we love amidst all this utilitarianism? Can we find joy in the middle of the dark muck of despair?
“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you."  These words of Our Lord resonate deep within my heart. For He will see me again when the bell tolls calling all souls to Holy Mass; as the sun rises to dispel the darkness of night so too did our God rise to dispel the darkness of sin and death. Our joy, our love, our peace our God, Emmanuel, truly present in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar as we receive Him our hearts rejoice and no one, not even satan himself can take Him from us.

 "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written,
“for your sake we are being put to death all day long,
we are as sheep being led to the slaughter",
but in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8) So what about the rain? Let it come, let it pour, let the floodgates open and throw wave upon wave at the church it shall be in vain. The gates of hell shall not prevail; the darkness shall not overcome. The rain will slowly let up, the wind will cease to howl, the night will give way to day and the sun shall rise again.

Men of God... Will you answer His call?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Fireproof" Monday July 18th

At work, inside burning buildings, Capt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. At home, in the cooling embers of his marriage, he lives by his own rules.

Growing up, Catherine Holt always dreamed of marrying a loving, brave firefighter...just like her daddy. Now, after seven years of marriage, Catherine wonders when she stopped being "good enough" for her husband.

Regular arguments ove...r jobs, finances, housework, and outside interests have readied them both to move on to something with more sparks.

As the couple prepares to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's father challenges his son to commit to a 40-day experiment: "The Love Dare." Wondering if it's even worth the effort, Caleb agrees-for his father's sake more than for his marriage. When Caleb discovers the book's daily challenges are tied into his parents' newfound faith, his already limited interest is further dampened.

While trying to stay true to his promise, Caleb becomes frustrated time and again. He finally asks his father, "How am I supposed to show love to somebody who constantly rejects me?"

When his father explains that this is the love Christ shows to us, Caleb makes a life-changing commitment to love God. And with God's help he begins to understand what it means to truly love his wife.

But is it too late to fireproof his marriage? His job is to rescue others. Now Caleb Holt is ready to face his toughest job ever...rescuing his wife's heart.

Monday Night
July 18th