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“Come Holy Spirit” Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit Fill the Hearts of Your Faithful And Kindle Them the Fire of Your Love Send Forth Your Spirit and They Shall Be Created And You Shall Renew the Face of the Earth !
O God, Who by the Light of the Holy Spirit, Did Instruct the Hearts of the Faithful Grant That by the Same Holy Spirit We May Be Truly Wise

It has been a while since we have written, it has been a while since we were together and much has happened to the world ! Everywhere we look people are having to adapt and adjust to life in the grip of a global pandemic. While we may not be able to worship together, or to play together, or even to work together, our communities have become quite resilient and are finding ways to mingle and commune. Sometimes digitally or virtually while others have found time to foster their familial relationships once again. This might be a blessing in disguise. The rapid fire life of pre Corona has had many people on a fast track to their very own isolation and for what?

There are so many good things happening right now (if we choose to look) but I’d like to focus on highlighting two of them. One came when our Holy Father Pope Francis offered us an extra ordinary “Urbi et Orbi message in an empty St Peters before Easter, when referencing the storm in which the disciples became scared. He said, “The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits, and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity. In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.

The other is simply from the Psalmist in our weekly night prayer of the Church, from Psalm 95, “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the plague that prowls in the darkness, nor the scourge that lays waste at noon…Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent”

I’m not suggesting for one minute that the many that have been lost to the virus were not believers or were being in some way punished. I am simply trying to fix my eyes on Him and reclaim the basic tenets of our faith. This place, this time, this body is temporal but we are promised something so much greater, so much more enduring, We have been promised a full inheritance in eternal life with Him, a state of utter satisfaction, a place where we can truly rest, where we can be fulfilled, content, satiated, if we only had eyes to see.
At least now we get a chance to put our spiritual eyes back on. A time to be home with our families, to consider the poor and the needy, to look in on our neighbors. We get to reset our prayer lives, our priorities, our response to the Lord. Even the planet is beginning to repair itself with fewer carbon emissions, clearer skies, clearer waters, wildlife is beginning to thrive in places it has not been seen for some time. This is a strange time but it is also a time to renew our commitments as brothers and sisters, a time to reclaim our faith and to choose Him above and beyond all other people, places and things. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus.
In many ways everything has changed and in some ways, nothing has changed. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. We are still called to love Him and to love one another, we are still called to follow Him, to trust in Him and to have hope in Him. We are still called to be holy! Our resurrected Lord now prepares us once again to receive The Holy Spirit and if we desire to be faithful to this calling, we need His gifts now more than ever. Come Lord Jesus,  Send Forth Your Spirit and They Shall Be Created And You Shall Renew the Face of the Earth !
AMEN !

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The Malachi Mission Project

Posted: February 27, 2020 in Uncategorized
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“ Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
The Malachi Mission Project is a movement that recognizes the importance of restoration in the family. Specifically in the role of fatherhood.

We live in a time when many roles have been reversed, what was once seen as good and beautiful is now seen as bad and ugly, and vice verca. Areas of life, such as work, that were once considered dignified are often thought of as inconvenient or oppressive. From coast to coast our climates are in reverse and from continent to continent the old “third world” is beginning to boom whereas the s0-called 1st world is almost spiritually bankrupt, (even the notion that there are three worlds and not one is a divisive remnant from the Cold War. . Gender too has turned, quite literally, with men becoming women and women becoming men, except for those of us who may identify as fluid. This is a time when absolutes no longer exist and relativism rules the land. If there is any room at all for God, He is quickly relegated to a lower case “g” and rather than God create man in His own image, man is creating God in his,her,its,their own image. It is all so very self-centric and can only breed a community that constantly asks what can you do for me, rather than what can I do to help? Within our western society we have become more and more concerned with ourselves and perhaps our (very) close network, that we fail to meet even the most basic needs of our neighbour.

Within the context of family many of our roles have become unclear and therefore our abilities to fulfill them can be drawn into question. We, as a community, as a global family are now unsure of the way forward, we are unsure of one another and we are unsure of ourselves. The role of fatherhood, particularly, has become muddied and our children recognize that there is a wound, and for some, it is festering. We all have a father, some of us are blessed to experience amazing relationships with them, others, not so much, but we all know someone who is “fatherless” on some level. The father wound affects every heart and The Malachi Mission Project is focussed on restoration and renewal, on reconciliation and return. Let us look to The Father for guidance, for courage, for strength and for love. It is only from a place of The Fathers love that we might be healed and begin to help heal our brothers and sisters .

Original Justice

Posted: February 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Hopefully as we arrive at the 1st Sunday of Lent we have not already faltered and find ourselves still on track with our Lenten disciplines and still trying to grow spiritually, to better ourselves mentally and maybe physically and to turn away from vice while entering more deeply into the life of heroic virtue. For this is what we are called to live and Lent is a great season for us to recommit ourselves to that end.
As we ponder the readings in this first week of Lent we are confronted with the story of our first parents, God, Adam and Eve and how original justice (living in complete harmony with The Creator) was changed by original sin (separating ourselves from The Creator). This event affects our whole existence and is the reason why Lent is so important. The recounting of this event sets up our reasons for Lenten disciplines and should motivate us throughout our lives. No matter what our goals for the Lenten season might be, the ensuing struggles can cause us to doubt our resolve. Whether we are fasting or almsgiving or praying, the desire to stop and revert back to easy street will come and it will be enticing, it will appear “pleasing to the eye and desirable”, but we must not falter. As Jesus was tempted during his sojourn in the wilderness, we must take comfort from His example, we must draw near to Him and call on the power of the same Spirit that led Jesus into the desert. We must live our Lenten journeys in deep faith that The Lord is always with us. Lent is a season that reveals our spiritual dehydration. As parched as we may feel, we must recognize the need to return to The Living Water if we are to be quenched ! If the desert resembles our struggles, the open tomb on Easter morning symbolizes our baptism, it symbolizes the grace of reconciliation. This is Gods desire, that He might be reunited with His children and that we might return to Original Justice.
Lent must never be about what we can do for God but what God desires to do for us. The Lord desires us to freely choose His love. Our prayer, fasting and almsgiving are not about impressing God but creating enough space for God to refill us with His love, His peace, His joy and His abundant grace and mercy so we might be one with him. Whatever our plans for Lent this year might be, let us continue to strive, to better ourselves, to empty ourselves like John The Baptist, so as we decrease He might increase. St. Augustine once claimed that God is always trying to give us good things but our hands are too full to receive them. As we journey together over the next 40 days, let us be emptied of our willfulness so that we might become entirely receptive to Gods divine will.
Lent should be transformational. Our hearts and minds and souls attuned to His glory, His Joy, His Love, so that souls might be saved and we might be one with Him again.

Light Of The World

Posted: February 11, 2020 in Uncategorized

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As we begin the weekend of the 5th Sunday on Ordinary Time, the seasonal liturgy offers us a reminder this week of the importance of light. In the gospel acclamation we are reminded that Jesus is The Light Of the World and in the gospel Jesus, Himself reminds us that we, too, are called to be the light of the world. It makes sense for those of us who follow Him. For we depend on Him for light and we depend on His Light to navigate through the darkness. With Jesus, we will have the light of life. We can, so often, feel surrounded by the darkness. That sense of foreboding as it pertains to family and friends’ hardships, fiscal matters, political climate or emotional states. The darkness can appear in all walks of life, from the digital life to the physical/material life, but it can also encroach on our spiritual lives. The darkness that is suffered due to blindness could just as easily be the darkness we suffer from our own lack of spiritual sensibilities. The lack of connection with God, or with our church community, the tendency to judge and to gossip and to be involved in scandalous acts. Even in our lethargy, our procrastination and our apathy. Darkness pervades our lives. We need the light of Christ to penetrate our inmost beings. To remind us of our purpose to strengthen and to heal. We need His light to rebuild our families and our communities. This is not a time for self centeredness it is a time for service. Isaiah reminds us in the first reading that we should share our bread, shelter the oppressed, clothe the naked, and not turn our back on our own. If we are able to do these things, according to the prophet, then the light shall rise for us in the darkness and the gloom shall be like the midday sun. Jesus desires us to display His light in our lives so that it might shine before others, that way, they will see our good works and will be able to glorify God.
When is the last time we allowed His light to shine forth in our lives? Through our words, our actions or even our silence! As we get closer to the fast approaching Lenten season, let us use this time to focus on how we might let His light shine in our lives. The Church is a community of light and of love, it continues the person and purpose of Christ in space and time. While it remains imperfect in its incarnate state, it remains inviolable, without spot and wrinkle for Christ is the Head of this mystical body. Let us use the next few weeks as a pre Lenten journey to ready ourselves for a new way of living. Let us join with St Augustine, proclaiming that our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee O Lord, and then we might join with Mother Theresa who reminds us to give God permission to come into our hearts Jesus and heal me of all that is not of you, so that we might be that light in the darkness and lead others to The Divine Physician and together we might be the vessels of Your light, Your love, Your peace and Your joy forever and ever Amen!

Do What He Tells You

Posted: May 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

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After an incredibly grace filled Mission with Fr Dave Pivonka where we were reminded of the importance of living in the freedom that comes from The Holy Spirit
this is the perfect time to enter into a new commitment as we journey closer towards Pentecost. Oftentimes, many of us can be so geared up throughout the Lenten season that we “take it down a notch” once Easter time comes. Lenten disciplines are supposed to better equip us for the Spiritual lifestyle that is demanded of all who are called to follow Christ, for all who are called to be saints, and that includes all of Gods creatures. Possibly the greatest example we can follow is the Holy Mary, spouse of the Spirit, the Blessed Mother, the perfect disciple.
Throughout the month of May we are encouraged to reflect upon her example and to invoke her intercession as we prepare to enter The Upper Room and experience our very own new Pentecost. Mary was open to God’s will throughout her witness in Sacred Scripture. From the beginning when she was visited by Archangel Gabriel, though she did not understand, she proclaimed “Let it be done unto me, according to Your will”, to the end when she remained present with her dying son at the foot of the cross. She was surely present in the upper room when the Spirit of God descended upon the disciples and must have journeyed with St John as he looked to proclaim the Good News.
Mary continues today as she did in the scriptures, by opening her hands and pointing the way to her son. It is, as it was at Cana, when approached, she will remind us to “do what He tells us”. Regardless of where we are on the journey, we can always approach our Mother Mary. She is the New Eve who stomps upon the head of the serpent and protects the child in the Book of Revelation. She is both Queen and Mother and yearns to greet us, her children, when we come home.

Jesus I Trust In You

Posted: April 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

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He is Risen Indeed , Alleluia !
According to St. Faustina, Our Lord promises to those who go to confession and communion on Divine Mercy Sunday, the remission of the guilt and the punishment of sins. “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.

– Diary of Sr. Faustina, 699 Let us take this to heart as we prepare to enter into our Parish mission with a youth and young adult, oriented MERCY XLT. This is indeed a grace-filled time. After celebrating the source and summit of our faith in the sacrifice of the mass, we will then take time to feed our bodies with food and fellowship. This will be followed by a return to the sanctuary to listen to the Word, to enter into a time of praise and worship before The Eucharistic Lord, to take the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconcilliation and to experience the intimacy of the laying on of hands.
Oftentimes after the initial joy of Easter Sunday, the family gathering, the Easter egg hunts, the food and the drink, we can easily fall out of the Lenten disciplines and forget the need to further prepare ourselves for The kingdom. Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR, once said to his friars (in an Easter Monday homily), “Fellas, Easter is over, its time to get to work”. He quite rightly knew that the witness of the Resurrected Lord, meant that we (the witnesses) now need to get out and about and spread the good news.
This is why it is so important to ask for the gifts we need to fulfill the holy obligation of sanctity. We need the power of The Holy Spirit, we need to be filled with His Divine Mercy, we need to be changed in order to bring the message of The Good News to the ends of the earth. This coming Sunday’s MERCY XLT will be a time when we come to Him in the spirit of the disciples in the upper room, or the woman with the hemorrhage, or the women in the garden, this will be a time when we can cling to His garment, we can cling to Him and ask Him to heal us, to guide us, to strengthen us, to fill us with the gifts we need to be faithful, to love Him and to witness to The One that makes sense of this this world and of our lives, the One that calls us to Himself and prepares a place for us at the eternal banqueting table.
Without Him, nothing makes sense, with Him everything makes sense, that is why we say,

Jesus I Trust in You!

I DID IT FOR YOU !

Posted: April 20, 2019 in Uncategorized
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I DID IT FOR YOU !

Christ Has risen, He has risen indeed, Alleluia !
I DID IT FOR YOU… These are the words that Mother Theresa heard on a train that changed the course of her life…and the lives of so many others. Recognizing that the resurrection was for each one of us is essential in the receiving the transformative power of Christs resurrection.
We absolutely have to break out of the ordinary, to recognize this extra ordinary moment. Jesus is alive. He has risen from the dead. He has set us free from sin and paved the way to eternal bliss ! How can we be silent, how can we not shout at the top of our voices ALLELUIA ! Whoever you are, whatever you have done, wherever you have been…everything is changed, EVERYTHING ! The Resurrection of Our Lord brings great hope, brings great excitement and brings great joy. Now we must recognize the importance of claiming the fruits of victory over death. Now we must turn to Him more than ever before. In this extra ordinary moment we must meet Him in an extra ordinary way.
As joy filled as the celestial community might be in this moment, so too are the fallen and the demonic, filled with anger. The fight for your soul has been won by Jesus but only if we respond to that grace. Prepare your hearts to receive The Holy Spirit so you might be emptied of all that is not from Him and filled with all that is from Him. Like never before, do not be conformed to the spirit of this age but rather put on the mind of Christ, that every thought, every word and every action might glorify Him. We must pray to receive the gifts and the fruits of The Spirit so we might better serve Him in this world and be with Him forever in the next.
Now is the time to get busy for there is much work to be done. We have already entered into the celebration of Divine Mercy through our novena, we are preparing to listen and be changed during the Parish Mission. We have an amazing Youth rally at Great Adventure in May, a Charismatic Rally in June and an awesome experience of Church at the Belong retreat in July! All these events are incredibly helpful but none of them compare to the moment when Christ dies and rises to save us and to draw us to Himself. Recognizing this we should go out and spread the Good News to the whole world, and we should do this with words and deeds. Love Him and Love one another, ALLELUIA !

Who are you?

Posted: April 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

HOLY-WEEK
It has gone so quickly, Lent may have passed you by this year but we have one more opportunity to enter into Holy Week and “get our holy on”!
Holy Week is not exclusively because Our Lord is holy. It is yet another reminder that we too are all called to be holy, we are called to be saints. We do not have the luxury to let Lent pass us by, or to wait for better circumstances, or even to expect holiness from others. It is our responsibility to be holy right now! Mother Theresa once claimed that “holiness is not a luxury for the few but an obligation for everyone”, this is the reason we were created and this is our purpose in life. All else fades into insignificance if holiness is not front and center. The conversion process is not simply a Lenten discipline it is a daily renewal of our hearts, minds and souls, A constant turning! We turn away from sin and towards Him who is all good! We turn to Him for our well being, for our courage, our perseverance, for our needs and for our eternal inheritance.
As this particular week begins, we might ask ourselves who are we? We might picture ourselves in the crowd sing “Hosannah, Blessed is He who comes”. There we are in with the crowd, waving our palms and rejoicing as Our Lord enters the holy city. But where will be on Thurs, when He is taken before the magistrates on false charges? Where will we be on Friday when He is finally falsely charged and convicted? Will we be singing Hosanna then or will we buckle under the pressure and cry out for Barabbas? And where will we be when He is nailed to the cross and breathes His last?
With all my heart I hope to be with Him but sometimes I wonder!
Sweet Lord, as we prepare to enter Holy Week this year, give us the strength to persevere, to carry our own crosses, to remain with you and Our Blessed Mother Mary on this, the most horrible of journeys. Jesus, send us Your Spirit that we might be created and You might renew the face of the earth. Father in Heaven, help us to be holy so we might continue the mission of extending Your Son’s Person and Purpose in space and time and be The Church You call us to be!
While our Lenten journey might be coming to an end, help us Lord to enter into your Passion and continue to prepare ourselves so we might fully embrace the glorious resurrection of that Easter morning where one day we hope to join the celestial community forever and ever !

More than a screen saver

Posted: April 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

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As I sit in my office typing out this weeks insert, I am drawn to my iMac going into random photo-screen saver mode. The screen saver offers up pictures of thousands of events over the past fifteen years. The events generally revolve around three main areas, Family, Life Teen and Tabor House. I love seeing so many wonderful moments captured on screen and have them take me back in time, producing smiles and a sense of awe at how things once were and how they are now. Every so often I am saddened as I see pictures of friends who are no longer with us. And images of memories that were not quite as happy as they seem. Time passes so quickly and random screen saver mode has me looking back and in reflective mode.
As we approach the fifth week of Lent we might be tempted to look back and think what a fine job we’ve done thus far. We might be slightly proud of the way we mastered particular disciplines. Thoughts of being on the homestretch and confidence in the realization that it should be plain sailing from hereon in. We may even afford ourselves the opportunity to look down on those unsavory people who cant get out of their sinful habits or those we dislike for their aggressive attitudes towards people like us! We may have had a disastrous time of it and cant wait for the season to be over. Thoughts such as these are all trap doors and should have us reconsidering not just our Lenten motivation but our reason for Christian discipleship in the first place. There is certainly no room for condemnation, either of ourselves of of others
Using this weeks Gospel as a reminder of those who condemn. When we sit at the feet of Jesus and our souls are bared, we too can beg for His mercy, He will also remind us (as He did the adulteress woman), “where are they (that condemn you) ?” and again, “Has no one condemned you?”, we will be able to answer, as she did,  “No one sir” and He will say to us, “Neither do I condemn you.” Whatever habits we have managed to curtail (or not) during this season and whatever virtues we have managed to display (or not), let us not grow overly confident, nor tired or weary in the practice of growing in holiness. Rather let us humbly ask Him for more ! More power, more protection, more gratitude, more compassion, more peace, more humility, more mercy, more love.
One day we will be a passing picture on a computer screen. A remembrance of someone whom once lived here. If we are able to stay the course until the end of days and follow Jesus’ command to “Go, and sin no more”, our memory should serve as an inspiration and a source of motivation for our future brothers and sisters who will carry on the Lenten tradition long after we have gone. Let this not simply be a seasonal tradition but a daily practice for our earthly lives, so that one day when He calls us. I pray that the fruit of our Lenten preparation, will serve us well in having prepared our souls for everlasting life in the Kingdom of Heaven !

The First Break Fast

Posted: March 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

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We are almost at the halfway point of our Lenten journey…already!
It’s truly flying by, at least that’s the way its going for me! The third Sunday of Lent is a time to do a mini reflection, a pre half time show (that takes place more realistically next week when we celebrate Laetare Sunday), it is a time to take stock and do inventory. How is it going? Am I on top of my disciplines, how’s the fasting, the prayer, the almsgiving? Do I need to do more, do better, change things up? Is it drawing me closer to the Lord, am I benefitting my brothers and sisters, am I a better disciple?

I have a rather long list of do’s and don’ts this year and have been doing rather well ( he said way too proudly), or so I thought. Recently I gave a spirituality day for a group of High School faculty members. I realized that my Lenten disciplines, though many, have been falling short. During my preparation I became transfixed with the idea of fasting. In the Book of Genesis, when God created everything, He claimed that it was good, and when He created His masterpiece, (our first parents) He claimed that it was very good. At that point in salvation history, we lived in complete harmony with the Lord and all was well. We could do whatever we wanted contingent on the first fast. God commanded Adam not to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This was a time of original justice. It is fair to say that the first breakfast seriously altered the course of history and changed original justice into original sin and history became salvation history. Throughout scripture, there have been many fasts since that one, Moses fasted before receiving the tablets, Elijah fasted before meeting The Lord on Mount Horeb and the most famous took place at the beginning of Christ’s public ministry. When the new Adam was driven out to the desert by The Spirit for a period of forty days where he ate nothing…and was hungry…and was tempted. This Lenten season is the predominant form of remembrance of that experience.

Fasting has a place in our modern world and has been embraced by many as a holistic form of therapy, while this is not necessarily a bad thing, Catholics ultimately, practice the fast as a way to embrace the grace that comes from His example in salvation history, when we fast from sinful things we draw closer to Him, we experience a type of kenosis. This emptying out has value only when we are refilled with, and by, by His life giving Spirit. In so being we are able to confer the fruits of our fast onto the whole community. This is central to our Lenten disciplines. We must reattune our senses, so that we conform again to the greatest of all the commandments, the commandment to Love God and our neighbor…and our enemy. Penance is as much about service as it is about sacrifice. The marriage of service and sacrifice, for the glory of god and the salvation of souls, this is the greatest Lenten discipline that we can practice.As we abstain from our dependence on created things, we must recognize our dependence on the Creator. Let us use this time of penance to draw closer to Him, to be of benefit to our brothers and sisters and to prepare well for the resurrection. We yearn to walk with Him again in original justice. We yearn to live with Him, in harmony once more, forever and ever, Amen !