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Summer Signs and Wonders

Then Mordecai said: ‘This is the Work of God. I recall the dream I had about these very things and not a single detail has been unfulfilled.” ~ EST F:1 Over this past month, July 2017, I have witnessed many different aspects of the God interacting with His people. As a Youth Minister, I walked with a group of teenagers on a six-day mission trip to Kewaskum, WI and served the elderly suffering from loneliness in a nursing home, spending time and listening to the wisdom of their life experiences; all their joys and sufferings. In our work with the elderly I felt like I was on a spiritual seesaw. As we alleviated the pain of loneliness, we lifted them up, and they in turn lifted us up by pouring out a treasure of wisdom into our souls. It was a profound Christ-centered exchange for all of us involved.

Returning from the mission I had the opportunity to travel Pittsburgh for the Golden Jubilee Anniversary Celebration of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Thousands of Catholics, and even…

The Heart of Jesus: A Prayer

God’s Heart has many qualities, and it was fully revealed to us through the incarnation of Jesus. The Heart of Christ is the Heart of God. Let us take a moment to reflect upon the qualities of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Infant Heart of Jesus, Innocent and Pure, Sanctify Us.
Childhood Heart of Jesus, Attentive and Obedient, Listen to Us.
Baptized Heart of Jesus, Righteous and Beloved, Prepare Us.
Tempted Heart of Jesus, Fortified and Steadfast, Strengthen Us.
Professed Heart of Jesus, Wise and Compassionate, Guide Us.
Miraculous Heart of Jesus, Powerful and Healing, Cure Us.
Betrayed Heart of Jesus, Abandoned and Alone, Support Us.
Scourged Heart of Jesus, Wounded and Scarred, Perfect Us.
Crucified Heart of Jesus, Exhausted and Dying, Redeem Us.
Risen Heart of Jesus, Restored and Living, Renew Us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pray For Us.

Amen

Click the player below to hear a song composed by Jeff Jones of Sunknight Music based upon this prayer.

Mary Poppins and The Mighty Wind

“Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:14
As Bert, the beloved chimney sweep in Mary Poppins, feels the winds change in the opening scene of the movie he chants; “Winds in the east, there's a mist comin' in, like somethin' is brewin' and 'bout to begin. Can't put me finger on what lies in store, but I feel what's to happen all happened before.” He alludes to the arrival of the world’s most famous nanny - who soon floats onto the doorstep of the Bank’s home to animate the lives of Jane and Michael and answer the plea of their father George for a qualified and diligent caretaker.

Her unexpected arrival is a pleasant surprise to almost everyone involved. She solves problems with a touch of magic and routinely suspends the laws of reality, to provide those whom she comes in contact with a reality check. Her iconic bag is filled with a unique combination of advocacy, orderliness and spontaneity. With the…

May, We Celebrate

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. ~ Philippians 4:4
I think the month of May was given to us by God for celebrations. Star Wars fans begin the month wishing well to one another, saying “May the fourth be with you.” Mexicans celebrate a victory in their struggle for independence a day later on Cinco de Mayo. A few weeks later we celebrate Mother’s Day. Finally, on the month’s last Monday we memorialize all those who have died defending the United States of America. That is just the societal celebrations, we haven’t mentioned high school and college graduations and proms or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation. It goes without saying there are many reasons to celebrate this month.

As the weather gets warmer, these events and occasions give us reason to gather with family and friends to share in some silliness like Star Wars day, give thanks to our mothers for blessing us with the gift of life, celebrate the accomplishments of loved ones and honor those w…

Pete Sampras Mad at His Neighbors vs. Easter

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; in Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the Church; He is the beginning, the first-born of the dead, that in everything He might be pre-eminent  ~ Colossians 1:15-18 It was an early spring Friday afternoon, my little brother and I got off the school bus and walked the familiar two blocks home. As we approached our house we could hear the sound of chainsaws and soon noticed a crew of so-called “landscaping professionals” just about finishing the removal of our neighbor's apple tree. While the roots of this particular tree were definitively on our neighbor's property, the branches hung over a fence by our vegetable garden providing some shade and blocked the view to an ugl…

The Successful Failure

Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize Jesus Christ is in you? - unless, of course, you fail the test. I hope you will discover we have not failed. ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5-6“Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here” were the words of command module pilot John Swigert aboard the space shuttle Apollo 13when an oxygen tank exploded during their mission to the moon on April 13, 1970. The in-flight explosion resulted in abandoning the planned trip to the moon and instead getting home alive. In the minutes, hours and days that followed, the circumstance of relying on a spaceship for life-support that was on life-support itself tested, challenged and demonstrated the ingenuity and perseverance of a team determined not to be defeated by the disaster. If you’ve watched the popular 1995 film you’ve got an idea about how NASA engineers and scientists helped the trio of astronauts beat the odds and make it home safely, albeit with a little creat…

Pull up a Chair

Today, February 22nd the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Peter’s Chair. Some of you are probably thinking “that has got to be one expensive piece of furniture, to have its own feast day!” While there is a physical chair, traditionally attributed to the first pope in St. Peter’s Basilica; the wooden chair, now housed in an ornamented bronze enclosure, actually dates back to the year 875 A.D and is a gift from Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII. So it is a real longshot that the Apostle himself ever used the chair, but still I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for the Vatican to list it on eBay if you are in the market for second-hand apartment d├ęcor.
Long before a bald emperor was assembling his latest Ikea purchase, the Church was venerating the Chair of St. Peter, as a symbol of the unbroken succession of the Papal authority and Christian unity. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke of this significance during a papal audience on February 22, 2006. So, wha…