Prayer can be a mixed bag. Sometimes there is deep joy and peace, other times there is dryness and distraction. Yet God is always teaching us something even if His method ofteaching changes. God’s ways can seem, not only mysterious but also ironic. We see God’ssense of humor most poignantly in the lives of the saints. In Abraham we see a man whowas to be a great nation, yet is called to sacrifice His only son. In St. Therese we see ayoung woman who desired to be a missionary yet died in a cloister. Even in Our Lady, wesee a woman called to be both Virgin and Mother. God transforms us little by little. But often it is not in the way we would choose. God’s ways are not our ways.
For two weeks in mid-June St. Magdalen’s hosts homeless families in the Family Promise program. Each family has a room in the Spiritual Formation Center. Air mattresses,bedding, and towels are provided. Volunteers greet the families upon arrival, others bring a meal. Youth Group members or volunteer's children spend time with the children and two volunteers sleep over each night. My daughter joined me for my first overnight. We slept well until about 6:50 the next morning when we heard the tap-tap of feet above us going to 7 am Mass. My daughter just wanted to sleep in and my comment to her was to thank God that we have a home to go to and that we will sleep in our own beds again the next night. Just imagine what it is like to move from place to place, to spend a week or two here and then move on again.READ MORE
It all began when Fr. Henry placed those little stewardship cards in the pews. The Church needed ushers,Eucharistic Ministers, etc. One of the options was for Bingo. I signed up. I began coming on Monday nights from 6-11:30pm. My wife, who was pregnant at the time with our second child, was not thrilled at the prospect of my leaving the house for an entire evening.READ MORE
God does nothing unnecessarily. While it is true that we can access God present inour hearts and through our prayer, there is something profoundly necessary aboutEucharistic Adoration. As creatures we need something tangible to ‘hold onto’. Godaccommodates this ‘need’ of the human heart by making Himself the Bread of Life.We gaze upon Him with our human eyes and He gazes back. We can take God intoour hands, into our mouths, and into our hearts. God allows us to interact with Himon our terms. He is truly with us.
Whenever I pray the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary I am aware, not only of the sacred moments which made up the life of Our Lord, but also of my own 'joyful mysteries' with my three daughters. When I meditate upon the Annunciation, I think about being in the doctor's office hearing, yes, I was indeed pregnant! I felt such joy and gratitude that my husband, Robert, and I would soon be entrusted with new life.READ MORE
Every Wednesday from 1:30 to 4:00 pm the St. Therese's room in the Parish Center is filled with an army of knitters and crocheters called the Purly Girls—laughing, socializing, small time of prayer and making something beautiful for God. Several years ago Barbara Assmann and Hilda Rocchetti ran into one another in Michaels craft store getting yarn and the idea to start a knitting group for the parish began.READ MORE
In my homily this weekend I spoke about an epidemic in Hunterdon County Did you know that Hunterdon County Heroin overdosesreported in 2015 rose 333% compared to 2014!
Remember what the lepers said today in the gospel reading? "Jesus, Master." They recognized Jesus Christ as their Master, the one who can relieve them of their suffering. My prayer and works with people who are addicted is the hope that they can turn away from the current 'master' in their lives, addiction, and turn towards thereal 'Master' in life, Jesus Christ.READ MORE
God’s Grace is Enough
Every day we encounter inconvenience, temptation, and the painful recognition ofour own weakness. These struggles can often feel like more than we can bear, sohow can we stay afloat? In Eucharistic Adoration Jesus strengthens us to ‘do battle’and to view the difficulties of daily life as a participation in His Cross. Not only dowe receive the vision to see reality—but also the hope necessary to endure faithfullyto the end. God’s grace is sufficient.
Distractions: Preparing Fertile Ground for the Lord
It is part of our struggle on earth to experience distractions in prayer and even toquestion God’s presence, yet we must be gentle with ourselves. Going over grocery lists, to-do lists, and thinking about what happened the hour before ourprayer time, will happen. Don’t be discouraged, just ask Jesus to help you ‘tokeep your eyes on the road.’ It often happens that when we feel scattered, Godcan use this to ‘scatter the seeds of life’ meaning, He uses our sacrifice of notfeeling like our prayer is ‘working’ to help someone else who is struggling. Wereceive simply by being present, and not just us, but everyone in the world becomes the beneficiaries of our prayer.
So often I forget that my spiritual life, my whole life really, is a battle. A battle that is fought in the spiritual arena and can only be fought with spiritual weapons. For me it is a battle for my mind, and how easily my mind gets distracted! How quick I am to run off to some "good" and even wholesome thing, while leaving the "best" for another day (which often never comes). How easy it is for me to be a Martha, busy about many things. How easy it is for me to get fooled into thinking I can find peace, joy and happiness, even rest and contentment in "other things" or other places rather than at the feet of Jesus. But God never abandons us and He continually provides means and ways for us to walk with Him one such way, for me, has been through my involvement in the ChristLife initiative.READ MORE