March 17, 2019 – Thoughts by Rev Kev

Today we reflect on the Transfiguration of the Lord. Lent invites us also to look into our lives for changes. I pray that you may find yourself understanding how you are special in God’s eyes and that through these days of lent you will find God’s loving Mercy. Why are you special? Take a moment to reflect on the readings to-day and understand how we too can be transfigured!
As Abraham looks up into the night sky and sees the radiant stars, God promises him that his descendants will be just as countless. This moves Abraham to put his faith in the Lord. As Peter, John and James look to the mountaintop and see the transfigured Jesus radiating like a star, God makes a promise; “This is my chosen Son.” The Father asks us to put our faith in Christ; “Listen to him.” let us fall silent in these days of Lenten Retreat and in our faith filled adoration, gazing at Jesus alone for the transfiguration that we witness is des-tined to transfigure us; “he will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body.”

March 17, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

I have been reading some of the booklets for the Stations of the Cross. One of these booklets is “Mary’s Way of the Cross.” It looks at Jesus’ Way of the Cross through the eyes of Mary’s perspective.
In the Second Station, the reflection looks at how Mary, looking at Jesus carrying His cross, wanted to take it off His shoulders and bear it herself, to relieve His pain. How often do we do the same for others? We see our spouse suffering, and there’s nothing we can do. We see our children in pain, and there’s nothing we can really do. We feel helpless; we want to do something.
Last weeks suggestion was to “Offer it up.” We would offer our pain and sufferings, so that others may not have to undergo anything. This aspect was what I was expecting the reflection for this station. However, it was the opposite. The reflection for the Second Station reflects:
Lord, Jesus, I beg you to forgive me for the many times I have added more weight to your cross by closing my eyes to the pain and loneliness of my neighbor. Forgive me for gossiping about others and for always trying to find excuses to avoid certain people who wish to talk with me. Help me to be like Mary, always seeking to lighten the crosses of others. Forgive me, Jesus.
Instead of carrying our cross, how often do we try to lighten the load? How often do we try to get rid of our crosses because they are too much of a burden? We bypass the needs of others because that would cause us to help. We give ourselves the excuse “There’s nothing I can do to relieve that person’s pain, so why think about it?”.
If we feel the weight of the cross in our pockets, how can we take the burdens of others off their shoulders? If we aren’t willing to carry our own cross, how can we carry the cross of others? If we are not willing to carry our own cross, how can we be a disciple of the Lord?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

March 17, 2019 – Reflections by Deacon Al

The road less taken is a choice many take because of distractions, doubts or even thoughts of something better out there…
In this season of Lent 2019, if you see someone struggling, please leave them this message. “All are welcomed” to share in His Love, Peace, Serenity and the fullness of Life with Christ in the Church, as we focus this Season on His Cross, Repentance, Prayer, Forgiveness and Hope in Mercy.
You just might help someone find their one true self with Him. Lenten Blessings

March 10, 2019 – Thoughts by Rev Kev

During Lent the whole Church goes on a retreat together. At this time, we try to step away from whatever distracts us from our spiritual life. As Catholics we are preparing for the most holy days of the year- – – the Triduum, which begins on Holy Thursday and ends on Easter Sunday.
Liturgy helps us enter into this retreat time. During Lent you will notice the purple vestment, music that is restrained (as we do not sing the Alleluia), the scripture reading offers a rich and basic Catholic faith. There is the opportunity for devotions such as the Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic Adoration and extra opportunities of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Please consider joining our parish in this retreat personally, as a couple or even the entire family.

March 10, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

For the Season of Lent, I will be pausing in my normal course of events for Ruminations so that I can concentrate on the theme that we will be looking at this Lent: Carry the Cross.
One of the aspects of carrying one’s cross is the notion of offering. When Jesus carried His cross, he was doing so to Offer Himself to the Father for the forgiveness of our sins. I would suggest that in our own way we do the same.
My mother used to tell me to “offer it up.” She would tell me especially when I was having some difficulty. Her meaning would be in line with what Jesus, Himself, was doing. Sometimes when we hear “offer it up,” we think about “sucking it up,” or “dealing with it.” The difficulty is something we have to endure, no matter how much we do not like it. That type of thinking is not what Jesus was doing. He would be Offering Himself, as the Son of God, for the reparation of the world.
In our own way, we can do the same as Jesus did. When we finger our little cross in our pocket, every time we feel the wood of the cross, we can offer our sufferings, offer our frailties to the Lord, for the benefit of others. We can say, “Lord, my sickness is causing me pain today, but I offer that pain so that others may not feel any.” “Lord, I offer you my anger and discomforts today, so that others may not have any.” “Lord, I offer you my love today for those who do not have love.”
There can be a reason why these crosses do not have a corpus on them: we are meant to be that body on the cross, along with Jesus. When we are in church and are in prayer before the crucifix, we see Jesus suffering for us. What we can also do is picture ourselves along with the Lord. With His sufferings and pains, we superimpose ours with His.
In the station booklet “Everyone’s way of the Cross,” it states:
My Jesus, Lord, I take my daily cross. I welcome the monotony that often marks my day, discomforts of all kinds, the summer’s heat, the winter’s cold, my disappointments, tensions, setbacks, cares. Remind me often that in carrying my cross, I carry yours with you. And though I bear a sliver only of your cross, you carry all of mine, except a sliver, in return.

March 3, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

This week we begin the Holy Season of Lent.
Lent has ancient origins. In the early Church, Lent has its origins with the preparation of Catechumens pre-paring for Baptism. We know that practice today as RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). While the preparation for Baptism was a long process, sometimes lasting years, the time before the Reception of the Baptismal Sacraments was meant to be an intense discipline reflection of one’s life and how Jesus has changed that life.
Lent is 40 days. The number “40” has always had special spiritual significance regarding preparation. On Mount Sinai, preparing to receive the Ten Commandments, “Moses stayed there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights, without eating any food or drinking any water” (Ex 34:28). Elijah walked “40 days and 40 nights” to the mountain of the Lord, Mount Horeb. Most importantly, Jesus fasted and prayed for “40 days and 40 nights” in the desert before He began His public ministry (Mt 4:2). “40” is a complete and perfect number, according to a biblical way of thinking. It is a combination of several “perfect” numbers, making it a superlative perfect number.
The liturgical use of ashes originates in Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. Many people of the Old Testament repented with “sackcloth and ashes.” The early Church continued the usage of ashes for the same symbolic reasons. In his book, De Poenitentia, Tertullian (c. 160-220) prescribed that the penitent must “live without joy in the roughness of sackcloth and the squalor of ashes.”
Eventually, the use of ashes was adapted to mark the beginning of Lent, the 40-day preparation period for Easter. About the year 1000, an Anglo-Saxon priest named Aelfric preached: “We read in the books, both in the Old Law and in the New, that the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten fast.”
May our prayer, fasting, and alms-giving prepare us for the joys of Easter and its celebrations.

March 3, 2019 – Thoughts by Rev Kev

I would like to invite each of us to begin to think of how we are able to see the grace of God’s love in our daily lives this Lenten Season. How are we willing to carry the Cross and take time to REFLECT and prepare for the chance to renew our Catholic Faith?
Take a moment for yourself, with your spouse, with your family and even a friend and think about these thoughts:
There is a restlessness in us that keeps us perpetually distracted, searching, and groping for
something more. There’s an empty place within us that cries out to be filled full, and in the course of time we try filling it with all manner of things. How often are we only half present to people or events. How often our bodies are there only because our heads have already moved on in the endless search for something more. How ironic is it that we dash on in search of an undefined “something” that we fear we are missing and we end up missing the heart of life.

February 24, 2019 – Thoughts by Rev Kev

Recently I have been asked about Prayer and Holy Hour.
First, let’s look at the word “Prayer,” defined as an exercise of Faith and Hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord. The Bible speaks much of prayer.
The most basic definition of prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not mediation or passive reflection; it is a direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for those in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.
Prayer can be audible or silent, private or public, formal or informal. All prayer must be offered in Faith (James 1:6), in the name of the Lord Jesus (John 16:23), and in the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). An interesting common fact is that the wicked have no desire to pray (Psalm 10:4), but the children of God have a natural desire to pray (Luke 11:1).
Prayer is described in the Bible as seeking God’s favor (Exodus 32:11), pouring out one’s soul to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:15), crying out to heaven (2 Chronicles 32:20), drawing near to God (Psalm 73:28, KJV), and kneeling before the father (Ephesians 3:14).
Coming before our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament is a gift that you have as a chance to see GOD’S true presence in the Monstrance. Your personal time before the Blessed Sacrament in a Holy Hour can be spent in silence, in praying out loud communally with the prayer or devotions. There is no wrong way, rather it is your own personal time with God.

Febraury 24, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

I’m no expert in raising children, but I have talked to many who are. When children start discovering themselves and their
relationship to the world around them, one of the ways they assert themselves is by saying “No!” They don’t want to be held; they don’t want to eat their vegetables, etc. For those reading this article who had children, do you remember this stage? Do you
remember how you handled it?
At this stage in life, parents sometimes establish rules. “No, you can’t have desert unless you eat your vegetables first…You have to play nice, or you will get a Time Out (my parents didn’t know what a Time Out was; they, however did know what a strap was ). Parents establish rules so that the family can work coherently together.
So it was with the Israelites. The Patriarchal system wasn’t working anymore. People did what they wanted to do, regardless of how they affected people. In the end, they were enslaved by the Egyptians. God punished them for their lack of obedience and Faith, for not following what He wanted of them.
When God saved the Israelites, He sent Moses. Moses would later give them the Law via the Ten Commandments. If they followed the Law, they would have life; if not, they would die. The Israelites accepted the Law. This pattern would later be broken, when the Israelites would once again reject God.
For your meditation, how do you react to laws, secular and religious? People break secular laws and are sometimes bewildered that they have to pay a price when caught. They were not thinking about how the transgression affected other people. How about Church Law? Through trial and error over the centuries, the Church has enacted laws to help people. The wisdom behind them is sound. Following them gives people challenges. There are people who are “Cafeteria” Catholics, following whatever they want, ignoring the rest. They are also bewildered, when the Church denies them something, like a Sponsor Certificate, because they aren’t following the laws of the Church – for example, by living in an Invalid Marriage.
How many “temper-tantrums” do you have because people or the Church don’t cater to your wants and desires? How many people DO you affect when you say “NO!” to God. As we approach Lent, think of how we can turn ourselves around and align our-selves with what God wants, rather than what we want.

February 24, 2019 – Reflections by Deacon Al

So fitting with our Gospel this week.
One day, a man, whose heart was filled with grief, went walking in the woods. As he thought about his life, he knew many things weren’t right. He thought about those who had told lies against him when he used to have a job. He thought about those had stolen from him and cheated him. He’d thought about family that had passed on along with the disease he now had that there was no medical cure for. And the man became filled with anger, resentment and frustration.
Stopping at a large old oak tree, he began searching for answers which he could not find. As sorrow began to take over his soul, the man fell to his knees and cried out in prayer – “Lord, you have done many marvelous things in my life. Any-time that I felt you place things on my heart to complete, I feel I have accomplished and happily obeyed you. Today, you brings these things to mind and I feel you’re asking me to for-give, and I am sad because I just don’t know how and feel as though I cannot. It’s just not fair, my anger is so deep I fear I may not hear you. I pray you can teach me to do the one thing I’ve never been able to do… FORGIVE
As the man remained kneeling quietly at the base of the old tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He’d opened his eyes slowly, and in the corner of his eye, he spotted a red mark on his shirt. As he turned back to the tree it had become the Cross of Jesus. He could see the thorns in our Lord’s crown, the spikes that pierced his hands and feet, the gash in His side and the marks to his flesh from the severe beatings he had experienced.
Jesus looked down to the man and began to speak: My child have you ever lied? Have you ever been given too much change while shopping, thinking it was your lucky day but gave no mind to the clerk who would lose their job for being sort on the register? Have you ever taken something from your work that wasn’t yours? Have you ever sworn in vain using my Father’s name? Along with these, our Lord continued with many more questions to which the man began sobbing and crying out, Yes Lord you know I have done many of these things!
At this point, the man felt another something fall on his shoulder. Looking up, he realized it was the Blood of Jesus and he caught sight of those beautiful eyes of Christ. He’d felt a Love he’d never known before and Jesus spoke… These things of yours have been covered by my blood, and washed away with the water from my side. You now know forgiveness, and I asked you to forgive, as I have forgiven those who have done this to me.
Always remember, it may be hard to see how you’ll get through life’s challenges. At times our troubles may outweigh the good. But realize, if God brings you to it, He’ll always bring you through it. He uses those He loves and calls to help others who are suffering the same as you. His Body working through yours… Amen?