I Think and I Wonder
Did you ever sit in the dark? The dark is a lonely and scary place to be.
Why do people sit in the dark? Sometimes because they are afraid of the light. Sinners are afraid that their sin will be seen, so they hide in the dark. Those that take innocent life are afraid that the horror of their action will actually be seen, so they close their eyes to the truth and hide in the dark.
I think of the woman who works in an abortion clinic. Each day she sees women who are afraid to give birth to their children. She sees their tears and hears their anguish. Yet when their child is aborted, she looks away. She will not see the hands, the feet or imagine the silenced cry of a child. She looks away because it is too hard to see. She hides in the darkness.
I think of the woman whose daughter just told her she is pregnant. A Teenager! The horror overwhelms her. How could she ever… I’d have to… This means that… the Questions overflow and choke her heart. So painful is the fear, that she cannot imagine the littlest child whom she will never see. And so she drives her daughter to the clinic, holds her hand, and hides in the dark.
Ever since that dark day, there has been a twinge inside, where life used to be. It has never gone away. She prays for peace, for healing, forgiveness, and God will give it. But she weeps for all who hide in the dark, for it is a very painful place to be.
“The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.”
Hear the voice of Jesus:
“Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.”
~ Deacon Paul
Diocese of St. Augustine Respect Life Collection January 21 – 22, 2017.
This collection benefits 23 local pregnancy resource centers and 4 maternity homes it also helps support Respect Life in the Parish and Diocese. Last year in our diocese, over 11,000 women were served in the pregnancy centers and 102 women received housing.
There are extra envelopes available if you forget yours this weekend. Ask an usher for an envelope.
I highly encourage you to consider supporting women in the community and local pro-life work by giving to this collection.
If you would like to see more information, visit the Diocesan site: www.dcfl.org/collection.
2017 March for Life
On January 20, the 45th President of the United States
will be inaugurated to that position.
On January 27th the Annual March for Life
will take place in Washington.
What a perfect opportunity to call on our new President
to make a specific statement that he will defund
Planned Parenthood — remove all
federal funds from disbursement to this horrific organization.
Now is the time to do three things:
Locate a Novena and pray a Novena for the end to abortion.
Write your United States Representative and Senator asking
him or her to support legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood.
Write the President c/o the Whitehouse urging him
to make a public statement on January 27,
of his intent to defund Planned Parenthood.
~ Deacon Paul
Epiphany & Stewardship
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany. The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or “to make known.” What the Church celebrates today is the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the whole world; after being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem, He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him.
The Epiphany should be and is a great Feast for us. The joy we felt at the birth of Christ on Christmas must be renewed today (and every day for that matter). In a sense this is a second Christmas Day as it puts the Lord in a new light. This day manifests the divinity of Jesus. At Christmas it was a few shepherds who were invited by the Angels to go and witness and recognize the Lord.
However, today, at the Epiphany, the voice of God calls the whole world, each and every one of us, to adore Jesus, and to hear Him. The Epiphany or the realization of the divinity and saving grace of the Lord should lead us as individuals to a personal epiphany. In a sense an epiphany is representative of conversion, conversion to the truth.
If we accept Christ as our Savior and if we truly strive to live our lives as His disciples, we begin to pursue lives of stewardship, lives of love and service. Today of all days should help us in that realization and in that goal.
~ Deacon Paul
“Mary Kept all these things reflecting on them in her heart”
With Mary we are invited to ponder on the deeper meaning of the birth of Jesus. From the Feast of Christ the King we have been committing ourselves to our Lord. We have said ‘we believe,’ ‘we trust,’ we love,’ only God. But having said that, it becomes important — mandatory, for us to change and govern our lives in accordance with that statement of belief.
What does “I believe” mean, if it does not mean that we know we have to change our lives to live in accordance with Jesus’ teachings. If we do not conform our lives to live the teachings of Christ, then we are saying that we don’t really believe!
And so, like the Shepherds we ‘make haste to go where He is.’ We make haste to make our lives conform, not to this world, but to Christ, so that, with the shepherds, we may be moved to glorify and praise God — we go in peace glorifying and praising God by how we live our lives.
~ Deacon Paul
Posted in Catholic Teaching, Commentary, Scripture, Scripture Teaches Us, Uncategorized
Tagged Catholic, christianity, faith, faith in god, religion, Scripture, spirituality
News of Great Joy!
There is a tendency, at this time of year, for many to go on about the absence of Christ during the Christmas season. Of course, it is important to draw this distinction so that we might, as our Church Youth Group Christmas Float theme emphasizes, “Keep Christ in Christmas.” It is important to point out how commercial or pagan Christmas has become; but we shouldn’t forget that the first Christmas was somewhat less than ideal too. Jesus came into a pagan world precisely because it was a pagan world. Today it might be a good thing to go about our lives this Christmas reminding people that “Christ is in Christmas” — we have but to look and find him in the kindness of a friend, the generosity of our parishioners, the “Merry Christmas” of a stranger.
‘Behold, I bring you news of great joy. This day a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord’ — the message given by the angels to the shepherds. Today, through the voice of the Church, this marvelous message is announced to us too.
Let us open our minds and hearts to receive the ‘great joy.’
~ Deacon Paul