Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bottom or Top

As we approach the 1-year mark of the point that I was blessed to receive the gift of a car, I find myself more dependent on that car than I ever expected to be.  I didn't realize just how much I did rely on that car until last week when it broke down on me.  There comes a point when it just isn't worth putting more money into a car that still won't get me everywhere I need to go.

While attempting to do the repairs myself, I found a possible replacement that might be a better option.  This weekend is full of faith filled moments, between dealing with a car situation and working and a very busy weekend for the RCIA.  I am happy to be sponsoring someone this year and we had a retreat plus the rite of Acceptance/Welcome.

It's amazing how things can be so crazy busy things can be and seem to be hitting the bottom, but at the same time they are better than ever.  I guess it just proves once again how much faith can do.  Jesus I Trust in You!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunrise in New York

This Thanksgiving was one that will be remembered for a lifetime!  Long drives and getting together with family that has not been together in many years.  God blessed the journey with gorgeous weather, and beautiful scenery.  We had a light snow on the last day just to remind us what time of year it really is.

Friday morning my daughter and I watched the Sun rise together!  I couldn't have asked for a better back drop.  Only God could paint a picture like this, and I was able to watch it and to watch her watch it.  Thank you Lord for the abundant fruits of my life...Thank you for opportunities like this to help me slow down and appreciate this amazing creation of yours and share it with my children.  You are Glorious!

This trip reminded me not to get so wrapped up in the mechanics of worship and prayer that you forget to be present in this life and celebrate what He made for us.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In light of the Dark!

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years approaching, the focus should be on faith and family, and filled with joy, peace, and happiness.  For many people this merely means higher stress levels and loneliness with a side order of depression.  For a large part of my life, I have fallen into the later of these categories.

The biggest stress for me and for many has always been making enough money to pay for all this STUFF.  Sometimes its even just to pay back debts.  Then there are all the charities that are asking for our money this time of year, knowing that this is the time when people are the most "giving."  I prefer to offer myself instead of the money that in many ways, already belongs to someone else.

If all these local priests in their 70's and 80's can keep serving our parishes where we need help, there is no reason the rest of us can't serve them.  I could easily spend more hours working and make more money and faster to cover my budget strain, but if I did, I wouldn't have time to do what God asks of me.  If I'm not doing His will, I won't get very far!  Experience tells me that much, at least.

Through faith and prayer, I am not worried about this year at all.  I am looking forward to seeing my children twice in the next two months, and I'm even not really dreading the long drive.  With 3,800 miles of driving to do in the next two months, I think its time for an audio bible or other inspirational talks that will keep my mind from wondering to bad places.  I know that God will get me through whatever weather I encounter and any struggles will be another opportunity to grow.  The same rules apply to every other day of the year.  Bring it on!  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hello again!

It was brought to my attention this morning that I haven't posted anything for quite some time.  It's possible that I was a bit more ambitious about this project from the start than later on.  It really testifies to the reality of our spiritual lives.

It doesn't take long to come up with the words to get a message out there, especially when you call upon the help of the Holy Spirit.  The time can be found anywhere, so it really tends to be about the motivation and memory.  By now, I'm sure that you can tell that I have a busy life.

The truth is, I work two jobs, serve at Mass daily, help with our parish RCIA, provide spiritual reflections for our local Knights of Columbus council, pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily, try to volunteer with other various projects throughout the year, and now I'm trying to get this blog going too.  And that's what I do while my kids are at their mother's house.

My next goal is to get back to school.  I know that I am perfectly capable of making time for it...and knowing me, I will try to keep up all the other stuff too...but the fact remains that I'm not quite sure how I will pay for it.  Surely, God will provide!  I will be looking into and applying for a local school in the near future, and I only ask for prayers.  The more prayers the better...It's going to be a difficult road ahead...Jesus and I will be able to get through it.

May the Lord bless all those who bear their cross and gladly take on more for the good of all!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Journaling and Listening

Do you ever sit down and try to start writing a journal?  Does it ever seem strange that you seem to struggle with what to write?  My biggest issue is remembering to take the time to do it, but when I first started, it helped to look at it from the perspective of, "All I have to do is just make my thoughts show up on this page."

That didn't turn out to be as easy as I thought, but getting the thoughts out of the head, make it so much easier to just sit and be silent.  Most people (myself included) don't take enough time to just sit and listen in silence.  How can we expect to get an answer from God if we just talk to him, but never take the time to listen?  Sure, He shows us things throughout the course of our lives, but to get a prayerful answer to a question, He has to speak to us.

I am convinced that, while He may not run on at the mouth as much as I do, God is always talking to us.  How can we possibly hear Him if we never shut-up and listen.  Next time you take some time for prayer, take a notebook, write down a few thoughts, and then just spend a while listening.  You might be amazed at what He has to tell you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nothing More!

Today I was greeted with a generous and unexpected gift.  After setting up everything for Mass this morning, I was sitting in a chair in the sacristy, "trying to finish my morning prayer."  When father came in, we started talking which meant my prayers would be postponed.  As I took another attempt at finishing this office before Mass, another face entered the sacristy with a large grin carrying a nice long white surplice.  His son is a 1st year Theology student, and knew someone who had an extra large he could not use.  "He thought it might fit you,"  he said.

I spent the rest of the morning, unable to contain my own grin.  I was even drawn to tears of joy as I gazed upon the face of Jesus on the cross after communion.  I am at a loss for how to express my gratitude to these wonderful young men for their generosity, I can only believe that each of them will make a wonderful Priest in the years to come.

I can only pray that I be as open to God's will as they have surely been.  Many people have been asking me lately, "What is your official role here?"  My answer to them is that I am just one of the Lord's many servants, and nothing more.  Even if the He has something special planned for my future, I hope that I will always remember those words.  "Nothing More!"

Friday, October 5, 2012

God is There!

Well, So much for every Day!  It's amazing how much our priorities change on such a daily basis.  While the over all picture may remain the same the details adjust.  I have been very busy lately with work and prayer and even a little sleep.  I hadn't realized how much time has been passing by.

Yesterday, I took the first part of the morning off work so that I could attend a beautiful celebration of the Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi.  It became quite clear to me that the things I do now are what matter more than those I feel like I could do in the future.  I finally got to talk with my children whom I have been having trouble reaching, and even managed to find time for all my daily prayers.

Unfortunately I awoke too late this morning to attend Mass per usual, but I think I may go exploring this afternoon and find a local church that has a daily 5:00 Mass.  Life is always throwing curves at us and God is always there to guide us on the path.  We need only to open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts.  Thank you God for the blessings and the struggles I experience each day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Sometimes it's difficult to accept that we have our priorities a little randomized.  The best I can explain this is that, maybe we have prioritized things, but not planned out our schedules appropriately to reflect those priorities.  

For example, my part-time job requires me to work full-time job has me getting up early.  While I really enjoy beginning my day with Mass, I have to get up even earlier in order to do so.  This all winds up leaving me so exhausted between jobs that I end up dosing off, and not really getting anything done.

I have decided that the solution is to find a daily Mass in the evening that I can attend and preferably serve at after my day job, thus allowing for more consecutive time sleeping.  This logical conclusion may seem simple, but it has been difficult to come to.

I realized tonight that perhaps I have become so attached to serving at one church, that the thought of going elsewhere had eluded me all this time.  I pray that I can find a daily evening Mass close by with folks who are as eager to let me serve as those at my current parish.  For the time being I will continue to endure this suffering for Christ.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trusting in Him!

I am so honored that for almost the last year, I have been blessed to share my thoughts with our local Knights of Columbus council.  Several months after being ordained Deacon, our previous council Lecturer, asked me if I would take over for him.  After reading many people's interpretation of this position, I have come to feel that it has taken on a richer meaning here.  Each month, I try to present those brother knight of our council who can make it with a reflection of sorts.

Tonight will be a little different than the way I have done this in the past.  Usually I spend some reflective time in prayer and let the Lord write something for me to share.  This time I have been guided to a topic but given no words.  I feel confident that the words are within me and I will allow the Holy Spirit to bring them out as I speak.  My fear of public speaking should help prevent me from going too long.  I can't wait to see what He will say through me tonight!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Heavenly Father...Thank you for forgiveness and another day!  Each day is a blessing that we sometimes forget to appreciate.  Please help me battle the wickedness in the world and in my own heart, especially as we remember those who lost their lives in NY 11 years ago this day.  Thank you for the strength of all the brave men and women who searched for survivors and those who have since that time put their lives on the line and even given them up to remind us of the sacrifices that must be made for freedom!  May God bless America!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Open your eyes!

Another amazing weekend full of volunteer work, great food, great spiritual conversations, and great people.  God did a great job of reminding me this weekend, that while I am definitely open to the possibility of being called to the clergy, I need to remain open to the possibility for a relationship.  Though it was not the first time, I was presented with a person I felt attracted to this weekend, and as usual I'm pretty sure I blew that by leaving even though I saw a sparkle in her eyes that I have only seen a few times in my life.  I can be open to the "possibility" all I want, but that doesn't mean that I have the courage to open my mouth.

Most of the time these situations have presented themselves recently (and been passed right on by), I have found out soon after that it was not likely a good idea anyway.  In recent times this has also been accompanied by confusion of what is in store for my future.  I realized today though that I truly feel that God is reminding me to be open to all possibilities, and He will show me the right path when the time comes.

Lord, Keep my eyes open to all the doors that you unlock.  Help me to experience all that you wish for me on my journey in this life.  Amen!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Sometimes we get a bit caught up in looking to the future, or looking at our past.  I am probably one of the most guilty of this as anybody.  It's easy to get hung up on the choices of the past, forgetting that those struggles have made us who we are.  It's easy to look into to the future for the direction we hope for it to take.

The important thing to remember is to focus on today!  Are we holier, or closer to where we want to be today, than we were yesterday?  If not, what do we need to do about that?

The best approach that I can think to use is to; look to the future for a goal, remember the struggles of the past, and make each day a step closer to the goal.  If we focus on the goal or the struggles, we become discouraged.  If we focus on the here and now that we can control, we have already met the goal, because we are doing the best we can.  Even just a small step will be a giant leap, because God will take the larger step from His end.

I am a 4th degree Knight of Columbus who tries to help bring a spiritual side to our monthly 3rd degree meetings, and a daily altar server.  If I deepen one other persons spiritual life, or inspire one young man to stay close to the altar and pursue the seminary, I will count my life as a success.  My goal is to do much more than that, but the most important part for me is that I achieve what God wants me to achieve.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Today has been an incredible day!  I had one of my most productive days at work in a long time.  After work, I donated my 8th pint of blood in the last two years.  It was an odd realization to know that I have donated a gallon of blood in such a short amount of time.  I can only hope that it has been helpful.

When I arrived at home, my nephew informed me that our last name means "dove."  With this knowledge I realized that my full name means "Christ like noble dove."  I can only hope that in the end I can live up to my own name.  With my volunteer work and blood donations and service to the church, I feel that I am taking a small step in the right direction.  I say small because I believe I have a long way to go.  I just want to enjoy the journey and with Jesus at my side, I know I will.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Irish Fest

It was so great yesterday to see the number of people who willingly came out and embraced the heavenly rain we had in Kansas City last night.  As a volunteer, I was so happy to see so many having a good time.  What really makes it even better from my perspective is that I realized that part of Sunday morning's agenda for the Irish festival includes Mass at 9:30.  How great is it that such a large public event downtown, includes Mass?

As much as this world seems to be turning its back on God, it is incredible to see such a great opportunity to share our faith.  I can only hope that celebrations such as these can provide a powerful witness to those who may be choosing to reject or ignore the Will of God.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


It's funny how things can be twisted and warped in the world.  Relationships, work, and life in general get so confusing and difficult when your focus shifts from where it should be.  The important things that matter are often more in the background than the simple little details that are not.

Some times we just need to "wake up" and realize what is more important.  If we get wrapped up in the little things, we become like the Pharisees and Sadducees that were so caught up in obeying the laws, that they forgot the purpose of it all.

Love one another!  I have been through some difficult things, especially in recent years, but I still have Love even for those who have caused me the most pain.  I will never be as loving as Christ, but I try to model myself after Him.  I have failed and will fail in the future, but I will not give up!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Somebody brought it to my attention today that I could be viewed by some as overzealous in my faith.  My initial reaction was slightly disturbed that this person felt this way.  As I was also dealing with some other emotional issues at that moment, the only thing I could think to do was pray about it.  I know, what a conundrum!

After that I decided to go for a walk.  While doing so, I had some time to think and ask God, "Why must I endure this suffering and persecution?"  I was reminded of the fact that today is the day that the church remembers the beheading of John the Baptist.  As was said by a priest in the past, "His persecutor had not demanded that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth."  John the baptist spent his whole life spreading the truth, and I feel that not doing so, would be the same as denying Him.

I don't really want to die for what I believe, but I don't want to lose everything I have left either.  That said, I cannot deny Christ by not sharing what I believe either.  When we go through dark periods of our life, we may do so because we have lost sight of the truth for a time.  That does not mean that we should have to be separated from those who entered our lives during that dark time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Divine Mercy

If that Devil gets any little hook in you, he will yank on it and pull you further down.  It may seem all the worse when you are already lifted up.  These are the most important times for prayer, especially when an important phone call gets no answer, an event looked forward to gets canceled, and someone gets upset with you over something silly all about the same time.  

My favorite prayer at those low moments, is that of Divine Mercy..."Jesus, I trust in you!"  These simple words are extremely powerful.  They can be a tiny doorway back into a realm of peace.  Remember them always and let them come from deep in your heart.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Excitement and Reflection

My children started back to school today.  I called and talked to my daughter, who gave me a rundown of her first day.  It's amazing the way one child will tell you almost everything that happened at school, and the other you can't even get on the phone.

Amid their excitement, I managed to get my "new" cassock adjusted to a point that it will fit comfortably.  It will always be a bit big for me, but as I don't have the money for a custom fit, or know anyone who has time to make one for me, it will have to do.  I believe it will work just fine.  Now my surplice looks a little silly, but that is a matter for another time.

These exciting things going on only serve to deepen my reflection on discerning my purpose.  The level of comfort and peace I feel, when I am the church, just doesn't compare with anything else I do.  I have yet to feel anything that steers me away from my desire to be a deacon, but as I still feel like I might also be called to the priesthood, the powers that be have asked me to wait and pray about it some more.  I will gladly continue to do so and hope that all who read this will pray for me as well.  

May GOD bless you all!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Get over here!

I can really tell that my help is appreciated at church, when right before my Sunday morning Bible study, Father looked at me from across the church a just gives the motion with his index finger that says, "Come Here!"  He already knew that I was scheduled to serve at the later Mass, but there were only ten minutes to the first one and no servers.  I happily agreed to help, and no sooner was I vested did four more show up.

After our second Mass together this morning, I pointed out that the cassock I have been wearing is starting to come apart and that I am hoping to try to find a way to purchase something more durable, since I use it almost every day.  He asked me to try on one of his in the closet, and then told me I could have it.  After re-securing a few buttons and pinning the back to take it in a bit, its still too big, but I think it will work.

Maybe some day I'll get one that wasn't either made for a kid or a man with a much larger chest and neck.  This evening I have also been asked to come back and help with another Mass, as two of the scheduled servers are unable to be there.  I guess I will get the chance to see right away how well my alteration attempt turned out.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Prayer vs Evil

My mother offered me a bumper sticker for my car today!  I haven't had a bumper sticker on my car in years.  I think she realized that if I was going to put anything on my car, this would be it.  It says "Prayer, Our Best Defense Against Evil" and I think I'm actually going to put it on my car.  

This is something I have learned quite well over recent years.  Whenever things are going wrong, and my thoughts are turning to evil, I like to bring myself back to the Lord with a bit of prayer.  I think this is what I like so much about praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  By design, it is meant to bring us back to prayer multiple times a day.  Five to seven times a day we come back and read a bit, offer praise, sing hymns, and just re-focus our day.

You know, it just blows me away to realize that so many people feel that it is only for priests and religious.  It is meant for us all, as we are all asked to pray without ceasing.  It is an obligation for priests and religious, but it is also recommended for the laity.  I have made a promise to myself, as well as a commitment when I became an Oblate of Conception Abbey, to pray this daily as well.  It frustrates me when others do not take my commitment seriously because its not a "vow."  It's still a commitment to the Lord, and one I intend to keep...even if its not always easy.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Exhausted & Happy

Recently, I decided that I needed to get back in shape.  I had started to gain a significant amount of weight from a lack of physical activity.  Between working two jobs and serving at daily Mass early in the morning, I just didn't have the energy left to go for a run anymore.  I decided last week that I would start with walking, and I enjoyed it so much during the first two days, I went for a run on the third.

That bordered on being a mistake.  I was miserable by the end, but the whole time something just kept telling me, "Just push through it."  I realized tonight that it must have been the devil I was listening to.  As I went for a 6 mile walk this evening after mowing two lawns, I made excellent use of a great app on my phone.  I have been praying the Liturgy of the Hours daily and this app has it as mp3 files, which meant I was able to pray and walk at the same time. 

It occurs to me that God will provide you with an abundance of energy, when you follow the plan.  I might be exhausted now, but I feel better than I have in a long time.  I still have a long way to go, but this is just like everything else.  I just need to keep following the plan, and have patience.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wake up Sleepy Head!

There's nothing quite like rolling over and learning that you were supposed to be at work 15 minutes ago!  Some could easily say that it sets the tone for your whole day.  Then, as you pull into the parking lot at work, you realize that you've forgotten your badge as well.

My thoughts this morning started out as, "Oh great, this isn't going to be a good day."  When break time came along, I realized yet again that I had left my phone and my prayer books at home.  At this point I offered it all up to God and said, "Apparently, I needed the extra sleep today," asking Jesus to carry me through.  I may have gotten way behind on my routine daily prayers, but my spontaneous prayer prospered.

At lunch, I was able to get home and at least get my phone, and I made some CD's for a little evangelism with some co-workers.  My afternoon consisted of more driven initiative than I have put forth in some time.  All this was followed up this evening with an opportunity to watch an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney which actually helped put my mind at ease about him as a presidential candidate.

I still feel like I missed out a little today, by not making it to Mass, but God had other plans for today and I will be back there again tomorrow.  It's great to have peace following me around even on a day that seemed to start out pretty rough.  Thank you, GOD!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just have faith and be productive!

Today's Mass gave us an interesting parable to ponder.  When we receive the same pay as someone who doesn't work nearly as hard as we feel that we have, we feel cheated.  Shouldn't we rather be proud that we have accomplished more?

It seems that the subject of money has always been a source of great struggle.  Those that know me well, know that money has been, and will continue to be a source of great stress for me for some time.  When a 34 year-old father of two has to go live with his parents for three years, it creates immense tension between him and his family.  The children suffer from the fathers lack of resources to make the best of the time they have together.  Eventually he must make that leap of faith to strike out on his own once again.  That stress can be deeply compounded by juggling remaining debt, pressure to move out, and working two jobs to make it all work, and knowing that it still may not be enough.

Please don't take this post as a request for money, as I am not asking for a handout.  I only ask for continued prayers as I move forward into an unknown future with head held high, knowing that if it gets too rough, Jesus will carry me.  Whenever a challenge is thrown at me, may I face it head on and know that He is at my side. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Excitement explosion

Each new day is a blessing from God!  Did you ever notice how much easier it is to say that and really feel like you mean it after you have been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation?  How often do you take advantage of such a blessed sacrament?  While I am working on developing the habit of going every other week, and eventually once a week, I have been blessed to have established a once a month habit.  I like to go on Tuesday evenings, as our parish has a regularly scheduled Confession time right before Mass.

Serving at Mass is made even more amazing when preceded by Reconciliation.  Today, it became evident to me that the simple things that I do at church have a larger impact on our priests than I knew.  I enjoy being useful to the Parish, even though it doesn't always seem that way.  I got a special treat tonight to find out that we had a special Mass to welcome the Teachers and the Parents back to school for the new year.  Father asked me to help him with it, and I just felt wonderfully needed.

I'll thank you to forgive me for my thoughts today as they are an explosion of joy having just come from the excitement.  Sometimes I fear that this joy borders on vanity, however I then ask Jesus to shield me from the devil and remember that my joy comes from the benefit I have been to others.

Monday, August 20, 2012


"If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then com, follow me."

In today's Gospel, we hear these words, and like the young man that Jesus said these words to, we are sad as we have many possessions.  However, there are many ways that we can follow this message and be closer to "perfection."  How often do we find ourselves, watching television when we could be praying the rosary?  How many times would we rather read a novel than scripture?  If we just take some of that time and give up what we want for what brings us closer to Christ, is that not following this teaching?

I have found that many a day I will catch myself falling slave to these earthly things and they take hold of my life.  While this brings happiness on the surface, it ultimately causes misery.  When I step back and listen to God's message, I understand further the reality that being a servant of the Lord brings us true freedom.  This freedom is the freedom from the misery that the devil wishes upon us through his efforts to convince us to partake in earthly pleasures.

Sometimes we let these things draw us in so far, it seems hopeless to break the cycle.  These are the times that our faith is most important.  Put your faith in the Lord and he will carry you through.  Take that one step toward Him, and He will take the other 999.

Prayer vs Mass

Last night while stuck working an overnight shift at my part-time job, I was discussing with a fellow Catholic, the difficulty approaching in the morning with making it through Mass without passing out from sheer exhaustion.  Another co-worker suggested that we go home and lie in bed with the gospel channel on the television.  When I told her that, that isn't the same as attending Mass, she looked at me and said, "You don't have to be in a church to pray!"

I couldn't help but feel sorry for this person as she doesn't seem to understand that there is a difference between Mass and prayer.  "I may attend Mass daily," I told her, "but that is only a fraction of my prayer."  It saddens me to realize that people of that mentality believe that those who attend a church regularly only pray while they are there.

As it turned out, not only did I remain awake during Mass, but Father asked me to serve as usual, and I managed to focus better this morning than many others.  I thank God for helping me through this weekend and believe that my prayers were answered.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A connection through faith!

This morning I came to the understanding that, as I increase my devotions, and continue to serve at church, my life affects more people than I knew.  Someone asked me the other day if I had given any more thought to being a deacon.  I told this person that I am continuing to pray about it and that for now the office of the diaconate has told me No.

This morning the same person share with me how upset it makes her when she sees people who are very devout turned away from something it seems they would do very well.  She was nearly in tears, so I shared with her that there are reasons behind why I was told no...I am only 34, my children are young, and I am still discerning the possibility of the priesthood.  At this point she lit up and said, "I was just thinking to myself yesterday, 'Gosh, he'd make a great Priest!'"  I felt the need to remind her that God knows what He's doing, and if it is truly His will, no man will stand in the way...He will open the right doors at the right time.

I found myself beaming, not that she thought I'd make a great Priest, (although that was flattering) but that I was able to comfort her, and help lessen some of the ill feelings she was starting to feel with some of our leaders in the church.  I have no doubt that God is guiding them as well!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some random thoughts

Last night before Mass, a young girl altar server asked me, "Are you studying to be a Deacon, or a Priest?"  I replied, "Neither, I'm just a server, like you."  Her response was, "That's Cool."  At the end of Mass, before the recessional hymn, our Priest said he wanted to thank me...and the servers for our help.  I went to him and said, "Father, you don't need to single me out like that."  He responded, "Well you're more than just a server."  

I realized later that I have been questioned about this quite frequently lately, and my answer always seems to deny the way I feel inside.  However, I do not want to claim anything that is not so.  With that thought, I decided to start giving a new, more appropriate answer.  From now on, the answer is, "That remains to be seen."

Its hard to come up with something to talk about everyday, and keep it interesting.  You have to give those priests props for being able to take those daily readings of scripture and find a message to share with us.  In the spirit of continuing with daily posts, I decided I needed to share something today.  As I reflected on the day and what to share, I came to the realization that my mother and step-father were married 26 years ago today.  Congratulations to them!  That's no easy task in this difficult modern society in which we live.  

With a fast growing culture attacking marriage and family life, its also easy for people whose marriages were not meant to be to feel as though they made mistakes.  I attempted marriage, and I have no regrets.  If I hadn't made that attempt, I would not have been blessed with my two wonderful children.  That said, I also know that it was only a part of the Plan.  

I still don't know what the rest of the plan is, but I will keep doing the best I can to follow it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Do you ever have those days when you just don’t want to get out of bed?  After working a part-time job until 1:30 in the morning, the 4:30am alarm is really early!  Fortunately, today happens to be the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  As much as I would have liked to have been at Mass this morning, I know that I have the opportunity to go to the 6:00 evening Mass.  I was already planning to go and serve, but now, since I didn’t get out of bed until 7:00am, I have made it an obligation.

Many people tell me that I am doing too much and I shouldn’t try to get up and go to Mass so early every day, but what I understand and they do not, is that Mass and morning prayers are the “glue” that holds everything else together.  I couldn’t work two jobs like I do, if I didn’t have Jesus carrying me through.  I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t offer my all to give thanks.

     Almighty God, you gave a humble virgin the privilege of
     being the mother of your Son, and crowned her with the
     glory of heaven.  May the prayers of the Virgin Mary
     bring us to the salvation of Christ and raise us up to
     eternal life.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
     your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
     Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  AMEN

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sisters of Saint Francis of the Martyr Saint George

When I think of religious orders, I used to think of old monks staring into a book or chanting and living in some over dramatized castle-like place in the mountains.  Recently I have met many religious, who have helped me come to the realization that there is so much more to religious life.

These ladies are very hard working and deserve much love respect for all the hard work and prayers that they as well as many other religious provide for, not only their own communities, but also wherever they find the need and can make themselves useful.

We have been blessed in our parish recently to have some of these very ladies helping out with the elementary school and parish.  They returned a couple months ago to prepare for their profession of perpetual vows.

I pray that they are able to continue their good work and prayers and faithfully make their final commitment for life.  I can only hope to be as faithful to God's will as these precious women have been.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Divine Mercy

While praying the Divine Mercy chaplet yesterday, I found myself in a state of peace.   Even though I don’t always feel a strong desire to stop my busy life to pray, I recognize that Jesus is the one that carries me through that long day or night at work, and then gets me up in the morning to start it all over again.

What better way to honor the Lord than to pray for Divine Mercy.  “Jesus, I trust in you” is a phrase that I use most often when I feel like my own strength is not enough.  We often times take the credit for the things that we do even though we are being carried through.  It’s easy to ask God for help in our hour of need, but how often do we take time out to really thank Him.

A quick “Thanks God,” is not quite what I mean.  When another person does something simple for us we don’t hesitate to say “Thank you,” and when it is a major help, we usually sit down and write a note or purchase a gift.  Isn’t it worth doing a bit more than that for God?

Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ…In atonement for our sins, and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion…have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

An introduction

When I was growing up, ending up a 34 year-old, divorced father of two that lives 800 miles away from his kids couldn’t have been further from my radar.  

I was the typical kid who dreamed of growing up and being just like my dad, only my marriage was going to be one that lasted.  For a brief time I thought about what it might be like to be a priest, but that was just wishful thinking.  Soon after, I found myself in a desolate separation from the church, married to an unbeliever, and raising two kids that would not know God.  In the misery that followed, my bad marriage fell apart, God led me back to the church, my marriage was found to be invalid, and I started to teach my faith to my children from a distance.  This has brought a change in my life that I never thought possible.

The truth is most people don’t plan for their life to turn out with divorce, separation by distance from children, job loss, and basically starting life over.  It can happen more often than we care to admit in this twisted world we have built for ourselves.

What happens to us when we don’t listen to God’s call, and follow a path to a different vocation?  Doesn’t it stand to reason that, once we find our way back to Christ, He will put us on a path to where He wants us, even if it doesn’t seem appropriate to others?

I don’t really know what will come next, but for now I am struggling to get out of debt while raising my children from afar.  I feel that I may be called to the priesthood and/or religious life and plan to share here what I learn on my journey.


Benedict MAC