The Bread of Life

10-20-2019Eucharistic Adoration

God does nothing unnecessarily. While it is true that we can access God present in our hearts and through our prayer, there is something profoundly necessary about Eucharistic Adoration. As creatures we need something tangible to ‘hold onto’. God accommodates 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 into our hands, into our mouths, and into our hearts. God allows us to interact with Him on our terms. He is truly with us.

Prevalent aspects of our culture are very dangerous psychologically. But the Church has antidotes

10-20-2019Weekly Reflection Tom Hoopes

Suicide is not a problem mainly of the wealthy celebrity suicides that make the news. Nor is it limited to those suffering from depression or ongoing mental illness, as author Elizabeth Scalia points out.

As multi-faceted and complex as the epidemic is, there was a study two years ago that is still worth pondering.

Statistically for one group, suicide is a “vanishing phenomenon,” according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a study of nurses, “among the 6,999 Catholic women who said they attended Mass more than once a week, there was not a single suicide.”

It would be terribly wrong to draw from this statistic any idea that people who struggle with depression (or have lost Catholic family members to suicide) are somehow not Catholic enough. Faith is not itself a remedy for sickness, mental or physical.

READ MORE

God’s ways

10-13-2019Eucharistic Adoration

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 of teaching changes. God’s ways can seem, not only mysterious but also ironic. We see God’s sense of humor most poignantly in the lives of the saints. In Abraham we see a man who was to be a great nation, yet is called to sacrifice His only son. In St. Therese we see a young woman who desired to be a missionary yet died in a cloister. Even in Our Lady, we see 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.

That Sin, Again?

10-13-2019Liturgy CornerBr. Luke VanBerkum, O.P.

Have you ever confessed a sin and then, no matter how earnestly you intended to amend your life, had the desire to commit that sin again? Why aren’t we simply fixed after Confession?

Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confession that our sins may be forgiven and that we may return to friendship with him. He renews our souls, again filling them through the Holy Spirit with the many spiritual gifts first given to us at Baptism. Yet a certain inclination to sin—not the sin itself—remains. The Tradition calls this inclination the fomes peccati, the tinder for sin, or, we might say, the dregs (CCC 1264). These dregs of sin stick around in our minds through the memories of evil committed, and they also remain in our desires through the habitual bad decisions and actions that shape us. As the desires surface, they hurt quite a bit, but as long as they remain temptations we refrain from sinning.

READ MORE

God’s Grace is Enough

10-06-2019Eucharistic Adoration

Every day we encounter inconvenience, temptation, and the painful recognition of our own weakness. These struggles can often feel like more than we can bear, so how 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 do we receive the vision to see reality—but also the hope necessary to endure faithfully to the end. God’s grace is sufficient.

The 12 Promises in Daily Life

08-11-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

Dear Friends in Christ,

Now that we have the historical and theological basis for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I would like to demonstrate how this practice can affect ordinary family life. I recently read about a deadly tornado outbreak on May 31, 1985. It affected parts of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada. Eighty nine people died and more than 1,000 were injured; the damage was estimated over $600 million. In today’s cost of living situation it would be in the billions. A bombed out-battle-field was how one local weather service described the borough of Wheatland, PA.

READ MORE

Obeying His Will

08-04-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Kenneth Brighenti

My dear friends in Christ,

Last week we read about the 12 promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to those who keep 9 consecutive First Fridays. As with all of God’s graces, these promises are contingent on our obeying His Will for us through prayer, the sacraments, reading and studying about our faith, and listening to His Holy Spirit. This is not as difficult as it may sound. What it involves after all, is trying our best to live a good life pleasing to God, in obedience to Him, and sharing His love with others!

Think also of those parables in the Gospels in which Jesus spoke approvingly of the good and faithful servants who served their master diligently and thus were rewarded when he returned (Matt 24:45-47 and 25:14-30 ).

READ MORE