Finding God in this World of Chaos reblogged

Finding God in a World Full of Chaos

How to return from the disorder, division and disintegration of a life absent from God



To repeat continually “for his mercy endures forever,” as the psalm does, seems to break through the dimensions of space and time, inserting everything into the eternal mystery of love. It is as if to say that not only in history, but for all eternity man will always be under the merciful gaze of the Father.

—Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, para. 7

“Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.” That reminder begins every class and every assembly at St. Paul’s School, the Catholic high school that my 16-year-old son, Benjamin, attends.

We are in the holy presence of God. Do we believe it? Do we live as though it’s true?

As the world seemingly spins out of control, we can wonder: Where is God in all this? Caught in the vortex of the world’s chaos, we can feel our center slipping. How do we find rest?

To begin with, we must be intentional about how we spend our time, living with a lively awareness of whether what we do with our time facilitates internal peace or chaos in our lives. We can develop chaos-free habits of living, the most important of which is spending time with God daily in prayer (which, ironically, is the thing we often avoid most). Indeed, “wasting” precious time with God in prayer is the most important thing we can “do” on any given day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Jesus spent lavish time in prayer regularly — he “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). If the God-man needed to pray, how much more do we pitiful sinners need to?

Prayer awakens us to the presence of God, who is always with us. Prayer calls us to center ourselves on God, who, as St. Augustine said, “is closer to us that we are to ourselves.” Prayer intentionally pushes back the unholy pandemonium in our lives by reordering our hearts and minds to God. Because the chaos in our lives is often a reflection of the chaos in our hearts and heads. In fact, when our insides become a place of mayhem, our outsides generally follow suit.

It seems that the more chaotic we feel inside, the more we experience ourselves as being “scattered.” Jesus said: “Whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23). It is interesting to note that the New Testament term for the dark power, ho diabolos, from which we derive the word “devil,” literally means “the scatterer.”* The “scatterer” specializes in chaos, disorder, division and disintegration — in keeping us dispersed in umpteen ways until we are beside ourselves.

The good news is that God’s promise is to gather us in from “every place where we [are] scattered” (Ezekiel 34:12). He continually invites us to intimacy with him, to peace, order and integrity. He invites us to slow down, settle down and look up, praying with the psalmist: “I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence” (Psalm 15:8–9).

A powerful remedy for chaos is to gather with God, and in so doing, allow him to gather us back from all of the places to which we have been scattered. As problems press in from every side, let us remember Christ’s words to anxious Martha that sitting at his feet is the one thing necessary (Luke 10:42) — one concrete act that can lead to peace, both in ourselves and in the world around us.

“The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5–7).

*Thanks to Bishop Robert Barron for this insight.


Judy Landrieu Klein is an author, theologian, inspirational speaker, widow and newlywed whose book, Miracle Man, was an Amazon Kindle Bestseller in Catholicism. Her blog, “Holy Hope,” can be found at



DO we? A brief stroll though the Mass by Patrick Miron

Do We?

A Brief Stroll through the Mass [We’ll only hit the highlights]

Another I AM a Catholic Lesson

by Patrick Miron

It is easy to fall into a sense of routine when attending Mass; to be there in body; but perhaps not fully engaged in mind and spirit. If and when we permit to happen to us we miss a most privileged encounter with our God. Our God who has been patiently awaiting our return.

This lesson aims to renew our understanding and to quicken our heats desire so as not to be caught unaware; or worse; not truly caring where we are; and why we are here at Mass. The Mass; like God Himself exist for our benefit, not our God’s.

Do WE?

Do we regularly recall at the beginning of Mass just why we make the “sign of the Cross?” What it means; and what it ought to bring to mind; and why we begin the Mass this way? Or that making the sign of the Cross with holy water has graces attached to it; and exactly what and why we do this?

When we first enter Church; we are confronted with a Holy Water font: most us [myself at times included] mindlessly dip our fingers; “cross ourselves” and quick look to see if OUR spot has been taken by someone else [heaven forbid]. In doing so we miss a “graced opportunity”. Holy Water is a “sacramental”; a source of grace when we use it consciously. And even more importantly we have missed our clue to “enter into the very Sacrifice on the Cross” that Jesus Died on. We also missed a reminder that the Early Church too had a “cross-themselves” tradition. We ought to be mindful that ours is the Faith; ours is the Church and the Mass is Christ Gift of remembrance; the tie that binds us in Tradition & in practice to our 2,000 year old past. Historically by the year 150 A D the Mass had already taken much of its current form. [CCC 1345] PAUSE momentary when you enter Church; and THANK God for this Blessing.

The Mass is always a RE-presentation of the one-original Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. That means that the very sacrifice of Jesus is made present to US; time and time again until time immortal. But now in an unbloodied manner: [CCC 1382] and by signing ourselves with The Cross we are personally & collectively entering into that very original Sacrifice of Jesus Dying for us on His Cross.

Do WE?

Do we understand the New language of the Mass & it’s all too common responses?

Priest: The Lord be with YOU

People: “And with YOUR Spirit”. We use to reply “and with you.”  … Why the difference?

This is not a casual; Hi! How are you doing? No; these words are intended to convey that GOD is in our midst! [Mt. 18:20] Our priest [God’s chosen emissary] here is modeling Almighty God’s greeting to the early Fathers like Abraham, Moses, and David; and later, also to Mary and Joseph. We are to be mindful of our Family Tree; our connection to them through our God whose presence we have now entered into. God is always first-seeking a relationship with us; long before we in turn seek a relationship with Him.

By intoning “And with YOUR Spirit”. We acknowledge the Holy Spirit being in our midst AND the essential Role of the Holy Spirit acting through His priest at Mass.

Do WE?

Do we actively engage in praying with the priest AND the community of believers: “I CONFESS ……. “

This prayer and it’s placement at the beginning of Mass [when we are without unconfessed / unforgiven Mortal sins], prepares our minds, hearts and our very Souls for an intimate and soon sublime-union with our God. This prayer beckons us to reflect and seek forgiveness for our past infidelities; perhaps minor to us, but not so for our God.  We beg forgiveness for what we have done against God; and also what we have failed to do For God. This prayer has the effect of remitting our Venial sins and thus “making ready the Way of the Lord.” [Mt. 3:3]

Do WE?

Do we actually mean it; are we conscience of what we’re saying & praying? The term “Mercy” here means unmerited forgiveness.”

Priest: Lord have Mercy

People: Lord have Mercy

Priest: Christ have Mercy

People: Christ have Mercy

Priest: Lord have Mercy

People: Lord have Mercy

Here we invoke the Blessed Trinity: God the Father; God the Son & God the Holy Spirit to take pity upon us. And they will; and they DO!

Do WE?

Do we get the connection here; especially as it relates to the Son of God; The Gift of the Father BY the Holy Spirit? This prayer; especially when it is sung; makes evident a primary difference in  Sunday “Worship” when compared to Sunday meetings or gatherings of our Protestant Brethren. GOD alone is worthy of Worship. We venerate Mary and the Saints; but give heartfelt Divine Worship to God; so we ask again: Do WE? Make this evident? Do we actively participate? Do we?

Isaiah 9: 1-2; 6-7 [1] “But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. [2] The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. … [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [7] Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” [“GLORY TO GOD IN THEE HIGHEST; AND ON EARTH [HIS] PEACE! TO all people of “goodwill” [Which means Obedience”]  

Do WE?

Do we prepare to encounter the two forms of our One God?

Do we understand that each of us individually must answer the Jesus Question for ourselves? C S Lewis in his book: Mere Christianity poses the question. Cf. either he is the Son of God [& therefore God] or he is a lunatic. You can shut him up as a fool-madman or something worse or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God…”

If God is not Real; if the Real Presence isn’t THEE Real Presence; then there is no reason for man to exist.

God’s Word is God as much as the Eucharist is Jesus! These are the two “inseperatable-parts” of the One same Reality

John.1:1-2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…” John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”

An interesting FACT about the “readings” is that in the Church’s three-year-cycle; were one Blessed to be able to attend daily Mass, the teachings of the entire bible would be laid open to us. What a Blessing.

Weekday Mass usually has two reading; normally one OT & one NT reading, with the NT reading from the Gospels being the most critical for the teaching and learning of our Faith. Sunday’s and Holyday’s usually have three. Most often an OT reading; then an NT Epistle [means “letter] reading followed by the Gospel [“the Good News.”] This then is followed by a homily; [by an Ordained minister] where the reading are further tied together and explained with greater detail and depth; making application to our lives. This is a time where the Holy Spirit desires to be let into our minds and into our hearts. God is speaking to us; we’d better listen.

Being in God’s Presence; it is a good idea to say a short prayer to the Holy Spirit to grant us fuller insights and memory recall. Active participation at the Readings; means to be actively engaged in both listening carefully to the readings and likewise to the homily. Which can be challenge overcome with God’s assistance.

2nd. Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Matthew 4: 4But Jesus answered, “It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’.”

In a sense; the Readings are begging us to actually KNOW God; and not settle for just knowing “about Him.” … These reading and the homily are intended to prepare us for meeting our God in a manner not even granted to the Angels…. COMING SOOM TO YOU IN PERSON: GOD the Son of the Father! You have heard his WORD; now prepare to confront Him in Person.

Do WE?

Do we understand just why we pray our Creed each week?

Our Catholics Creeds [The Apostles Creed & or the Nicene Creed] are summaries of our Catholic Beliefs. The Apostles Creed is thought to have originated either from the Apostles themselves; or perhaps by others in that time period who knew the Apostles. The Nicene Creed dates from the Church Council at Nicea in 325 A. D.

This prayer too takes us back to our past, then brings us into the present and even extends into the future. It affirms OUR Faith; it articulates our core-beliefs; and we are to understand that each time we recite this prayer; we are part of the Universal Church [Mt. 28:18-19] that Jesus desired and instituted. That we do recognize these beliefs; that we accept them as true and that we agree to live and to share them as God presents us with the opportunity to do so. Each time we recite this prayer we personally are reaffirming our personal-relationship with our God through His Church. Amen!

Do WE?

Do we know our role in the “Prayers of the Faithful?”

This could also be termed “the unity prayer.” That my friends is its focus. It’s the Church’s way to get us “out of ourselves” and connect with the worldwide Catholic Church; those at a distance and those surrounding us at Mass. Then it even goes a step further; and it presents a window of opportunity to each of us to make an offering of all that we have [as it all comes from God] as a faithful and faith-filled recognition that God is, as God ought to be; in charge of our lives. We therefore offer back to God all that we are and all that he has given to us; to be used as he would have us use it.

Do WE?

Do we know WHY the gifts of bread & wine; and our tithings are brought from the back of church to the altar?

This act dates at least as far back to St Justin Martyr in 155 A. D.; where todays Mass had largely already taken its form. [CCC #1345].

This act is closely tied into the prayer of the faithful for a reason. Once again we are given the opportunity to “give to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is Due to our God”. [Mt 22:21] The “first fruits” of our labors; always with a grateful heart knowing that God rewards a cheerful giver; and that God’s generosity cannot be outdone. Critical here is understanding that these gifts represent “works from our labor.” Labor imposed in Divine Justice yes; but also a gift from God, to be able to work for a living.

Do WE?

Do we know just how we are intimately connected to the preparation of the gifts?

In the Old Testament bread was far more than a side-dish. It was seen as a necessity in order to sustain life itself. And it was through this very fact that God tested them to “give back” a portion of the bread as a sacrifice to God demonstrating both our faith in God AND tour reliance on God. So too wine was associated with the meal. A sustenance that stemmed from “the work of their hands”; BUT as any farmer will quickly attest; one that is only possible from God’s providence.

This sacred Tradition dates back to Father Abram [even before God changed his name to Abraham]; some 4,000 years in our past.

Gen. 14: 19-24 “[19] And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth; [20] and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” [21] And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” [22] But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, [23] that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, `I have made Abram rich.’ [24] I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me; let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.” And God using priest dates to this same event: Ps.110: The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchiz’edek.” [Also Heb. 5:6 & 7: 3, 17, 21]. It is highly signifient that so much of our history is contained in Our Mass.


Then God providing both bread [manna & flesh: doves] for the people in exile of course leads to the sum; and the very Summit of Catholic Beliefs.  Exo. 16: 31-33 “[31] Now the house of Israel called its name manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. [32] And Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: `Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.'” [33] And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations.” Numbers 11: 18 “And say to the people, `Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat.”


The fact that both bread and wine require “sweat labor” and must also have God’s weather and soil blessings is too relevant. It is at the same time a sign of God’s love and our acknowledgment that we are truly the “work of His hand.” Psalm 18: 2 the heavens shew forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands.”

Do WE?

Do we my friends understand the mixing of water & wine and its significance?

In Sacred Tradition it dates back to common Jewish practice to weaken the alcoholic effects normally associated with wine consumption.  But it has great significance to us Catholics [and Orthodox as well] to the miracle at Canna where to forego embarrassment to the new Bride and Groom; and at the request of his Mother who; BTW, Jesus Address as “women”; NOT “mother” [also a sign of future events when on the Cross Jesus gives His mother to all of humanity so that she can aid them in their relationship with Christ her Son. [John 19:25-27] “So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Then there is also the correlation with this miracle of demonstrated Godly control over the very substance of “things” and the later Real Presence of the Most Holy Eucharist.

In this Sacred Tradition God is represented by the wine and we; each of us is represented by the water. There is a highly signifient “co-mingling” of the water and wine; representing both God’s desire to unified within us, AND we in Him. This is often graphically presented by some priest [a personal option] by just adding a drop or two of water to the wine he has already poured into the chalice for the soon to be Traunsbstanuation. The miraculous transformation of what WAS real wine; and has now become really Christ Blood; the Blood of His Glorified Body. God IN us; and we IN our God!

Listen carefully, actively and attentively to the words the priest say’s out loud; so that we cannot but marvel at how much; and how evidently God does love us. This begins a period where we need to show great gratitude & true Worship for so humble of a God; that He would stoop so low just to be united in and with us.


Do WE?

Do we understand that our priest who will soon become in front of our very eyes: an “alter-Christi”; that is, literally for the instants of the Traunsbstanuation; “another Christ?” And that he is about to enter into the commemoration of the Old Testament “HOLY OF HOLIES”  represented by the washing of his hands; bringing to our minds the OT ritual washings of the High priest before entering into such a Holy space?

Do WE?

Do we understand that we too are called to have an ACTIVE roll in being; not merely spectators; but active participants in what is about to take place: the priest says “pray brethren, that MY sacrifice AND YOUR’S may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.” And we then affirm this reality with our own invocation:

“May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of His name; for OUR good and the good of all His Holy Church?”

And here friends is precisely why this is of critical importance to each of us:

Isaiah 43 verses 7 & 21 [7] “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” & [21] the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

What is taking before our very eyes is the opportunity to fulfill the very reason for our existence! We ought to make the most of this grace.

There is a theological sense of unity; of active participation here.

Do WE?

De we understand the Sacred Tradition of the “Eucharistic Prayer?”

It is rooted in Jewish “table prayers” recited at every meal. What an intimate connection this brings us to with our history and our past.

This prayer has four separate elements:

The [1] Preface: The Lord be with you; Lift up your hearts; & Let us give thanks to our God. Our replies are: And with your spirit; we lift them up to the Lord & it is right and just.

Each petition begs our participation and awareness of what in unfolding before our very eyes.

Next we are requested to Glorify our God though [2] the Sanctus: Holy; Holy, Holy is our GOD! Like Moses at the burning bush, we are in a very real manner; now in the Presence of our God.

Then we hear [3] the Epiclesis [meaning the invocation upon] where the Priest calls down the Holy Spirit to make Jesus present to us.

The Eucharist is:

FROM God the Father

OF God the Son

BY God the Holy Spirit

This beckoning of the Holy Spirit then leads us to The Words of Institution & Consecration [the Traunsbstanuation] which though the actions of the priest and the intercession of the Holy Spirit makes Jesus present to us. This reality is the sum and the summit of our Catholic Faith. Our priest who at the instants of Consecration become “alter Christi”; literally another “Christ”. We are witnessing not one’ but two miracles in this sequence of prayers. Now what was unleavened bread become for us the “entire Christ.” And the chalice of wine is now the Sacred Blood of the Glorified Christ.

We should understand that what we witness is the “RE-presentation”; that is to say; the making present at every Mass the one and original [same] Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross; time and time again until the End Times. This then is the third miracle that we witness at every Mass. Not as some would suggest; a mere sign, or only a symbol of remembrance; NO! This dear friend is Jesus; “Really; Truly & Substanually made present to us: the “Entire Jesus” in his “Glorified Body; Soul and Divinity.”

The Priest then prays [4] the anamnesis [offering-prayer] which can take several forms:

Eucharistic prayer III: “We offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice”


Which is given up for you….

Take this all of you, and drink from it;

For this is the chalice of MY Blood,

The Blood of the New and Eternal Covenant,

Which will be poured out for you and for many

For the Forgiveness of sins [venial, but not mortal sins In its effects]

Do THIS is Remembrance [in memory] of Me”

From St John Gospel: Chapter 6:

[47] Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. [48] I am the bread of life. [51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” [55] For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.  … This verse expresses precisely what takes place in Catholic Holy Communion. GOD in us; and we IN our God.

And from the “13th Apostle: St Paul [a convert]

1st. Corinthians 11: 23-30

[23] For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, [24] and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” [25] In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” [26] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. [27] Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. [28] Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. [29] For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.[Which is to say Condemns themselves]  [30] that is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. [Speaking here of a spiritual death: Hell] … “Amen” [I Believe!]


Our Catechism: #1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.” [Our Sacrifice]

Do WE?

Do we friend, permit ourselves to become distracted by what happens now; before Holy Communion? We must resist this tendency with prayer.

Before Holy Communion;

The priest makes intercessory prayers on his and our behalf. This is followed by the “Great Amen” [I BELIEVE!]

Next is the prayer Jesus taught us: Lord’s Prayer…

“Hallowed be THY name …..” [In other words: GLORY to God]

“THY Will BE done” [who’s in charge of your life?  … you or God? It cannot be a shared responsibility: YOU or God.]

“Forgive us our trespasses’” [BUT only to the same degree that I forgive everyone else]

…… AMEN! Is telling God:  that we understand; we accept & we believe. Do WE?

Do WE?

Do we dear friends understand the “to do’s” and NOT “to do’s” in the Rite of Peace

This practice too dates back to at least 155 A D, and was a common practice whenever Catholic-Christians met [and no Romans are other persecutors were evident]. Like the Sign of the cross it identified the Christian community.

The correct manner of doing this is to:

Limit it to ONLY those in very-close proximity to you; be as BRIEF and non-disturbing as possible; do not leave your location to greet others not near you. You need not share the sign with the ENTIRE church and all those present. While this remains an important sharing; it ought NOT to distract from the Divine Presence: Jesus/ our-GOD in our midst.

Do WE?

Do we actively and consciously participate in the “Lamb of God?”

Next is the “Agnus Dei” … The “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: have Mercy on us”; which is repeated three times [for the Father; Son & Holy Spirit] with the third response being “Grant US [your] peace.”

This prayer, often sung is a three-times repeated: Lord have Mercy on me a sinner. Nothing we could ever do; or have ever done can make us TRULY- worthy of what God now invites us with contrite expectations to participate in. We are invited to the “Supper of the Lamb.”

While this prayer is taking place the priest “fractures” the large Host. This is where the Sacred Tradition of “Breaking the Bread-churches” comes from.

In the very early Church; before the theological term of “Eucharist” came into being; this Miracle of all Miracles was termed “the Breaking of the Bread” [Act of the Apostles 2:42] “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”


A very early Church practice was to have the Bishops actually break the bread they Consecrated and send a small portion of it to all of his diocese –churches as a sign of unity / Brotherhood. In our time if we are paying attention as we ought; we will take notice of the priest breaking a small portion of the large host and place it in his Chalice of Consecrated “Wine” [the Blood of Christ]; following a similar sign of unity with the Universal Catholic Church.

The priest holds up the “fractured” Host and proclaims:





Following are the essential conditions of receiving Catholic Holy Communion

  1. One Must be a believing Catholic in the “state of God’s grace” [no unconfessed or unforgiven mortal sins]
  2. Unless excused by age [60 or older] and in “good health” we ARE expected [commanded] to fast from all solid food and drink [except water] for 1 hour before receiving Holy Communion.

Holy Communion/ Jesus may be received either on the tongue [Receiving Jesus] OR in one’s hand [taking Jesus]. BOTH are acceptable. However receiving our God on our tongues is a more humble and is often a more respectful manner to do so.

BEFORE receiving Jesus we are to make a sign of both humility and Glorification before our God. One can choose to genuflect [bending the knee to the ground WHILE the person in front of you receives;] OR opt for a “PROFOUND Bow.” A bow from the waist; NOT simply nodding one’s head casually. THIS IS OUR GOD WE ARE RECEIVING. Even the Angels in heaven are NOT grated this Gift; this Grace. Again a genuflection is the more humble of the two choices IF one is able to do so.

Our demeanor; our thoughts both in going up for Holy Communion; and even more-so having received Jesus into our body must reflect our BELIEF that we are now in the most astounding and intimate UNION with our God possible! This TRULY is a foretaste of Heaven on Earth. Like the Apostle John shares in chapter 6: [56] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” We are in God and God is in us. Amen!

The time immediately following our invitation of Jesus into our very minds; hearts and Souls is a time of enormous benefit to:

Thank God profusely for this unearned; unmerited Gift of Himself

This is the time to lay-open our hearts and our needs and wants [AFTER having given sincere thanks]

This is the time to pray for family and friends and all of our special needs.

Never is God closer or more attuned to hearing us than these moments following inviting God into our very selves.

As a FYI: GOD remains in us for about one hour after having received Him. Act accordingly.

THEN we have the Final Blessing; say our personal “good by” to Jesus and are sent forth to SHARE the good-news; BY our actions; even more so than our words.

Do We?

Do we dear friends know that GOD was satisfied with our knowing and active participation at His Mass?

So Do We?

Pray much my friends; pray very much!

God Bless you and yours,


So Who’s in charge of YOUR Life? by Patrick Miron

So who’s in charge of YOUR life?

A Gospel refection of Mark 3: 13-19& today’s first reading: 1 Samuel 24: 3-21 [edited for space]

by Patrick Miron

God in infinite wisdom try’s to provide the answer to this critically important question for us by providing us only one choice: Either we permit God to run our lives or we assume this grave obligation for ourselves. It’s that simple and that profound. The responsibility cannot be split and shared.

Like other Catholics that I know, and know of; I find myself stressing about Pope Francis and some of the position he express’s, and some of the changes he is publically considering.

This morning at Mass Father’s Homily was on Mark’s Gospel 3:13-19 & today’s First Reading which was from 1 Samuel 24: 13-19; and it was for me a much needed Epiphany. So much so that I felt it would be appropriate to share it.

Mk. 3:13-19

“And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him.
And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach  and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-aner’ges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean,
and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”


1Samuel 24: 3-19 [shortened for space]

“And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the LORD said to you, `Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.'” Then David arose and stealthily cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe. And afterward David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’S anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words, and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave, and went upon his way. Afterward David also arose, and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and did obeisance. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, `Behold, David seeks your hurt’? Lo, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave; and some bade me kill you, but I spared you. I said, `I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’S anointed.’
See, my father, see the skirt of your robe in my hand; for by the fact that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. May the LORD Judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me upon you; but my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, `Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you”


What Father pointed out without asking my Question of “who’s in charge of your life”; is that it is GOD who chooses and anoints those men He selects for service. The three key words here being: God; Chooses & Anoints.  


Father pointed out that it was GOD who choose the Apostles [they did not at first choose Him; they did however answer His call.] And that if it were WE making the selection; there would have been many different men chosen. The Apostles at different times disappointed God; failed to understand His teachings and even denied [directly or in directly] God in His Passion. And Judas; one of the twelve’s betrayal even lead directly to Christ Crucifixion. And yet; God NEVER gave up on them. Even addressing Judas as “friend” at the moment of betrayal. These were GOD’S anointed and chosen ones!

While Father was teaching us these two other passages came to my mind:  1st. Cor. 1:25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.& John 15:16

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”


Father went on to stress that like Saul [Israel’s 1st. King]; who turned out also to be a very bad choice [can God actually error?… NO!], BUT Saul too was the anointed one of GOD. And David, Israel’s second king was to be their most God-fearing and cherished king; [even though he too was to disappoint God; but later repented]; a king of such importance that Jesus the Messiah was to come from “David’s Line.”


I was humbled and reminded that it is GOD who is, and it is GOD who remains in charge. Clearly God’s ways are NOT always our way’s. 1st. Cor. 1:25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” But the practice of religion is termed “Faith”; and Faith is defined by St Paul as: Heb. 11: 1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” It is GOD who provides the necessary grace to enable us to meet, or fail the “God-test.” The men HE chooses are expected to follow a certain path, a certain way. That choice is not forced upon them; BUT is made available to them to freely choose it, IF, if they accept and apply God’s offered grace.


So I had to ask myself: SELF… “Do you have Faith; can you believe that God IS IN charge?” And friend; whether we answer yes or no doesn’t matter. The truth; always singular per defined issues is that GOD is, and God does remain in charge. Amen! God’s WILL … will always in the end be accomplished. SHALOM!

Seek First: Reblogged from Journey with God


But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
~ Matthew 6:33-34


If you seek Me, you will find Me
If you ask, I will give to you freely
If you knock, the door will be opened to you
If you desire, I will be in all that you do
If you examine, My truth you will find
If you trust, know that you will be refined
If you follow, my abundant blessings will flow
If you listen, you will hear Me wherever you go
If you challenge, you will rise above
If you pursue, you will feel My love
If you pray, My answer you will receive
If you claim, My freedom I will give
If you serve, in life you will rejoice
If you rest, you will hear My quiet voice
If you praise, a cheerful heart you will possess
If you love, you will find true happiness
If you hope, deep joy you will develop
If you surrender, My peace will envelop

All my love and may you seek God first in all that you do, for when He is the center of your life, all else falls into place.  May the God of peace, mercy, and grace hold you in His arms now and always!  ❤

The wedding Feast @ Cana Reblogged from Dr M. D’Ambrosio

The Wedding Feast at Cana 

by: Marcellino D’Ambrosio, PhD

Everyone knows the story of the first of the Lord’s “signs” — how Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana at the request of Mary, his mother.  But there is more to the story than at first meets the eye.

Epiphany, to most of us, means the three kings.  But the term Epiphany means “manifestation” or “revelation,” and traditionally the Feast of the Epiphany celebrates three revelatory events, the Magi’s visit, the Lord’s baptism, and the wedding feast at Cana.

The link is not hard to see.  The Magi’s homage shows divinity of this child-king who is to die for his people.  Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan reveals a glimpse of God’s inner life as Trinity.  And the wedding feast of Cana reveals the divine power at work in this carpenter from Nazareth.  And it does so smack dab in the middle of everyday life, at a wedding reception.

The fourth gospel calls the Lord’s miracles “signs.”  They all point to Jesus’ divinity. But they also profoundly symbolize what it is that he has come into this world to do for us.  At Cana, he transforms water into wine.  Now water is good but rather ordinary.  It does not have much taste.  Wine in ancient Israel was special, generally reserved for feasts and Sabbaths.  It is a symbol of joy, and the exhilaration it provides is a great blessing.  Note that the wine Jesus provided was rich, flavorful, and of the very best quality.

The Old Covenant was good.  It was good to know that God is one that the way to please him is through just actions.  That’s really what the ten commandments are all about–justice to God, who alone deserves our worship, and justice to other human beings who all deserve our respect, seeing that they are made in God’s image.  But this covenant did not tell the whole story–the inner life of God as Trinity, this is present there only in hints and shadows.  Neither does the Old Covenant provide people with the power to live the commandments.  The law is written on stone tablets, and people must try to live it through sheer will power.

Jesus transforms this situation.  Religious life now becomes intimacy with God, sharing in the eternal celebration of love between Father, Son and Spirit.  And the new law is written in hearts by the Holy Spirit who empowers Christians to live it.  Natural human life is good.  But the new supernatural life brought by Christ is richer and much more flavorful.

How does Jesus work this transformation?  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that transformed chaos into paradise, a virgin into the mother of the messiah, and bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

Christ was anointed with this wonder-working Spirit following his baptism.  We share in this anointing through confirmation.  So why do we think that the gifts of the Spirit were only for New Testament times?  Or why would we think that they are only given to the greatest saints?  St. Paul in I Corinthians 12 says that there are different works of the Spirit but it is the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone.  And then, “to each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church officially taught that the charisms of the Holy Spirit were not limited to the apostolic era but are essential equipment for all times and are poured out upon all the faithful through baptism and confirmation.  That means that we Catholics belong to the largest Pentecostal Church in the world.

So what is needed to awaken the wonder-working power of the Spirit that lies dormant in the lives of so many Catholics?  Going back to Cana, it seems to me that if Mary’s intercession could be a catalyst for the first miracle, it could be the catalyst for many more.

This originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection on the Mass Readings for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle C (Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-12) and is republished here by permission of the author.


Understanding the POWER of Prayer reblogged by Father longdecker

Understanding the Power of Prayer

by Fr. Dwight Longenecker 01/12/2016 Comments (1)

We’re supposed to pray. In fact the New Testament says we’re supposed to “pray without ceasing.” (I Thess. 5:16-18) How do you do that and what do you mean by ‘prayer’ to start with? If you thought it was asking God for stuff you’re not completely wrong. We’re supposed to ask God for our needs, and I think it’s just fine to ask God for the particular things like, “Dear God, please heal my son.” or “Please God we need money to pay the bills.”


However, these sorts of prayers are really a means to an end rather than an end in themselves. When we pray for specific things we are putting it all into God’s hands. We may say, “Give us this day our daily bread” but we also say, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we do both together we join our will with God’s will and great power can be the result. The power I’m talking about is the power to change the world, and even more miraculous—the power to change ourselves.


Of course, when I say “power to change ourselves” I really mean God’s power is released through prayer for the transformation of our lives. The first thing that is transformed in our lives in this way, is our viewpoint. By prayer we gradually shift from judging everything according to how it impacts us to judging everything according to God’s will.


This step is very important because it is only when this paradigm shift takes place that we can begin to see that some of the stuff in our lives which we find unpleasant or difficult is actually there for a different purpose. Perhaps God is using the difficult situation to teach us a lesson, to show us our faults and to help us get better. It could be that what we perceive as a nuisance and a bother and a difficulty is the way forward, but in a different direction than we had anticipated. When something is taken away from us it could be that God is making way to give us something better. Prayer helps us to see things in this new way and step by step begin living by faith and trust in divine providence.


Before long we start to live within the guidance of God and then, gradually, as we begin seeing things God’s way we start praying for the things that God really wants. Wow! When that happens the power is really unleashed and we begin to see great answers to prayer.


When we pray for God’s will to be done and we understand what God’s will is, then our actions and our prayers—our life and our faith—begin working together in tandem. Faith and works become one faith-full action. Things come together. Life harmonizes. All if provided. All are protected.


Living within this harmonious state is something which is achieved by grace-fueled action.


So Believe. Be. Live. Be alive. Suddenly we start to realize that we are actually living in the state of grace that we longed for.


Suddenly we begin to understand that marvelous and mysterious verse from Scripture, “All things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to his purpose.”


This is where we should be headed and prayer is the power that gets us there. End quotes

10 Ways Satan attacks REBLOGGED from Father Longdeckers site

Ten Tricks of the Devil to Watch Out For

January 10, 2016 by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Image Creative Commons Wikkipedia

Satan is a snake. Remember that.

He is a liar and the Father of Lies.

He is at work in your life trying to tempt you into sin and to draw you away from God, but he is also at work in the world, trying to deceive you, confuse you. He wants you to lose your faith and turn away from God.

Here are ten of his tricks. Watch them and be aware of what he is up to.

1.Relativism – Relativism is the idea that there is no such thing as truth. The devil doesn’t want you to believe in truth because if there is not truth, then there is also no right and wrong, and if there is no right and wrong, then anything goes. He can tempt you into sin much more easily if he can first get you to believe there is no such thing as sin. Relativism is everywhere in our society. It takes many different forms. The other tricks of the devil in this post explain some of the different forms of relativism that are traps you can fall into.


  1. Indifferentism – This is the idea that all religions are pretty much the same and it doesn’t matter which one you follow. Indifferentism is common within Protestantism. How often have you heard someone say. “It doesn’t matter what church you go to as long as you love Jesus”? This indifferentism extends to multi culturalism as well. People say it doesn’t matter if you are Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Buddhist, Catholic–whatever. “We’re all climbing the same mountain but by different paths.” Well maybe so in a way, but some paths are better than others because they’re more true and to be honest, some of the paths are going down the mountain not up. Be clear. Jesus Christ is the fullest and most complete and final revelation of God to the human race and Catholicism is the fullest, most ancient and most complete union with that unique revelation of God in Jesus Christ.


  1. Eclecticism – This is a close cousin of Indifferentism. Eclecticism is the idea that you can mix and match different religions and spiritualities all together–kind of like those places where you make your own ice cream sundae. People think this is possible because they have already subscribed to indifferentism. Think it through. You can’t mix up Islam with Christianity or Buddhist spirituality with Catholic prayer. It’s not like making your own sundae. It’s more like putting ketchup on ice cream or using white paint as coffee creamer. Don’t bother.


  1. Sentimentalism – This is basing moral choices and belief choices based on emotion rather than eternal truths. It can be good emotion or bad emotion. You get mad at someone or some choice someone has made so you base your moral or faith decision on your anger. Or you might feel syrupy and nice about something so you base your emotional choice on that. Here’s an example: Two guys want to get “married”and you say, “Aww, Ronnie and Donnie are such nice guys! Why shouldn’t they get married just like everyone else?” You’re basing your decision on your emotions about Ronnie and Donnie, your desire to be a “nice” person and sentimental ideas about weddings and celebrations and big days. Don’t make important decisions only on your emotions. That way chaos and darkness lies.


  1. Utilitarianism – This is basing moral choices and belief choices only on what seems to be effective, efficient and economical. Mom’s in a rest home. She has dementia. Its expensive to keep her there. The doctors offer to give her an injection so “Her problems will be over.” Don’t do it. Utilitarianism is why we kill millions of babies through abortion. It seems like the easy thing to do. Observe how utilitarianism is usually linked with sentimentalism: “You wouldn’t want your mother to suffer any further would you? Why you wouldn’t even treat your dog this way!” You see where this goes.


  1. Incrementalism – This is just a long word for “drip, drip, drip.” In other words, the devil doesn’t put his plan in place all at once. He takes over brick by brick. It is one little lie, then one little half truth, then one more little lie, then one more little half truth. Be clear what he is doing from the start and don’t give in. He will get you to give in to his ways through sentimentalism here, utilitarian arguments there, here a bit of indifferentism, there a bit of relativism. He’s working all the time, nibbling away, never sleeping, never at rest. Continue Reading




  1. Materialism – I’m not talking about going to the mall to shop until you drop. That’s a minor form of materialism. The deeper problem is the growing conviction that there is no supernatural realm. God, the angels, demons, heaven and hell? They’re all just a myth. There s not invisible world. The sacraments are just symbols. The church is just a human institution. The priests are no more than social workers dressed in black. Marriage is just a piece of paper, confession is no more than therapy and self help and baptism and confirmation are just nice rites of passage for our kids. That’s materialism. Do you recognize it? Repudiate it with all your heart. It’s a lie.


  1. Scientism – This is the idea that the only kind of truth you can know is scientific truth. Nobody states this as such. It’s a powerful lie of Satan because it is one of those things which is simply assumed in society. “We all know that science has disproved the Bible right?” Wrong. All truth is God’s truth and true science is always the sister of true theology. Scientism is an offshoot of assumed atheism. “There isn’t a God. There is just the laws of science. That’s all.” Spot it and name it.


  1. Situational Ethics – This is another name for moral relativism. The idea is that nothing is right or wrong except for the intentions and circumstances of the moral choice. If you mean well and the circumstances justify it, then what you’ve chosen to do is okay. Huge numbers of Catholics have accepted first artificial contraception and then abortion because of situational ethics. It’s easy to see that this form of relativism is usually linked with sentimentalism and utilitarianism to bring people to the point of choosing mortal sin, but never admitting it and justifying their choice. It’s not Catholic. Don’t fall for it. If you are faced with a difficult moral decision talk to your priest or a good spiritual advisor.


  1. Universalism – This poison straight from hell is the idea that God is so loving, kind and merciful that he won’t send anyone to hell. In other words, everybody will be saved. This not only directly contradicts Sacred Scripture, but it contradicts all the teaching of the church for the last two thousand years. It has lulled thousands into the false security that in the end it doesn’t matter what they do and what they choose because they will all make it to heaven at last. Satan loves universalism because he gets to dress up his lie in the clothes of the Father’s greatest attribute: the Divine Mercy. The best way to repudiate this lie is to fear hell.


By Father Longdecker REBLOGGED

Prophecies for 2016 reblogged by Father Antinio Feghali

Biblical Prophecies for 2016

Fr. Antonio Feghali offers predictions for your life in the New Year


JANUARY 8, 2016

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center CC

With the start of each new year, the media bring us a plethora of “predictions” from astrologers and alleged soothsayers.

But the only real prophecy is contained in the Bible, and here is what it says for 2016:

To begin: If you were born between January 1 and December 31, you are under the influence of God’s own grace, “Bringer of salvation to all men” (Titus 2: 11).

Since that is true, you shall know

Good Fortune: The Morning Star is Jesus Christ and “In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78–79).

Love: Your happiness lies in being loved by God and loving him in return, for “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).

Travel: “The Lord will guard your going and your coming both now and forever more” (Psalm 120:8).

Health: “This is an trustworthy and certain truth: If we die with him, we will also live with him” (2


Timothy 2:11), and “Do not be anxious about anything. At all times bring your concerns to God through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving” (Philippians 4:6).

Material Needs: “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19), and “I learned to content myself with what I have”(Philippians 4:11).

Deliverance: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Matthew 24:6), and “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”(Matthew 24:14).

Certainty: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), and “What shall we say then? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Fr. Feghali concludes: “These teachings are not linked to any lunar influence. You can make them yours forever, in any place or situation. Live with peace and joy of the Lord!”


Translated from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Scalia.


Meeting Truth blogged by Sr. Aleheia Noble

Open Your Life to the Inconvenience of Baffling Truth

“[The Magi] are forerunners, preparers of the way, seekers after truth, such as we find in every age” – Benedict XVI

Photo credit: bobosh_t via / CC BY-SA

The kings followed the star in the hopes that it would lead them to the truth. They expected to find a king, but they found a babe in a trough.

Were they disappointed?

Or were they so in love with truth that they already knew it to be unexpected, surprising and far beyond human reasoning? Were they so in love with truth that when they saw the baffling scene, they simply bowed in adoration of the ineffable truth?

What did Mary and Joseph think when these foreign, Gentile men appeared at their door bearing gifts fit for King Solomon? Were they shocked? Did they wonder what kind of Jewish Messiah brings Gentiles to their door? Or were they so in love with the truth that they docilely accepted surprise and pondered it in their hearts?

How do I pursue truth in my life and allow myself to be pursued by it, by something greater than myself?

Do I have a mind that is flexible enough to change in the face of God’s action in my life and in the life of the Church?

Do I love truth enough that I let it change the course of my  life as the wise men changed their route after meeting Jesus?

The magi left for their own country by another way (Matthew 2:12).

Do I let Truth invite me on unexpected adventures, even ones that force me to reach out to others, and strain my plans, my bank account, and my goals? Do I allow Truth to inconvenience me with the problems of others as a sign that I follow a Savior who came to save everyone, not just people like me, people I like, or even people who share my faith?

Do I plan my life around the Truth – ready at a moment’s notice to gather my things and set off on a journey to follow a star or go to a foreign land? Does my life pivot around one person, one thing, one reality – that Truth is born and he wants me to follow him?

Truth is born and he wants me to follow him into the unexpected, the mundane, the monotonous, and the shocking. Truth is born and he asks us to trust him, to plan our life around his will, even when it brings us to unexpected places and in relation with unexpected people who are an inconvenience to our routine, our plans and our ideas of what God’s plan should look like.

Truth is born.

Am I willing to leave my most treasured possessions, like the shepherds left their sheep, and my home like the Magi left their homeland and my plans like Mary and Joseph dropped everything, to do the one thing that matters – to follow the Truth?