“Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are you He who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
One Christmas a boy in a remote far away village gave his teacher an exquisite seashell as a gift. He had walked many difficult miles over treacherous terrain to find it, to a special bay, the only place such shells could be found.
The teacher was quite moved by the boy’s gift, and understood where it had come from and the difficulty involved in obtaining it: “What a beautiful shell. You must have walked many difficult and dangerous miles for it. I am deeply grateful for your gift,” the teacher said.Continue reading →
“They stripped and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead.”
Today’s gospel speaks to us of Jesus’ great concern and love for the sick and dying. Throughout His public ministry, Jesus’ compassion and love for the sick shines through. In several instances, we read how Jesus cured the sick and restored them to friendship with His Father. The Church continues Jesus’ ministry of caring for the sick and dying with deep compassion and respect for human dignity.
The Church especially continues Christ’s ministry to the sick and dying through the Sacraments. In offering the Sacrament of Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum, which is Holy Communion of the Sick and Dying, the priest brings to those who are ill the loving and redeeming embrace of Jesus. In these moments rich with grace, the priest acting in the Person of Christ brings to the patient, forgiveness, inner healing and strength for what lies ahead. Together with deacons, religious, lay ministers, and volunteers, the priest shares with the patient, and with the patient’s family, the Good News of Jesus, the Gospel of life and salvation. Through the grace of God, patients are enabled to unite their sufferings with the Lord’s so as to share His everlasting joy and glory. So also the Church reaches out to families facing the serious illnesses of loved ones with deep respect for the precious gift of life and with the hope for the gift of eternal life.Continue reading →
“… her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
For almost two years Peter and Susan traveled together through the terrifying wilderness of serious illness.
Susan had just returned home from playing tennis when she suddenly dropped to the kitchen floor. She was rushed to the emergency room of the local hospital, where she was stabilized. As her husband Peter and their children Jacob and Rachel watched helplessly, Susan was put on life support before being airlifted to a university hospital. Susan had suffered a brain aneurysm.
It was the beginning of an 18-month odyssey for Susan and Peter and their family that including three brain surgeries, devastating setbacks, frustrating rehab, erratic mood swings — and waiting – and struggling to pray.Continue reading →
We are halfway through the Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy and yet many people are not fully aware of it and its implications. Fewer yet seem to have taken advantage of what Pope Francis and the Holy Year has offered us. This particular Holy Year is very unique in two areas that include its treatment of abortion and the ease of a pilgrimage to the Holy Door. Please give me a few minutes of your time so I can explain what the Holy Year is and how we can take advantage of it.
Pope Francis opened the Holy Door (Porta Sancta) at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on December 8, 2015 to inaugurate this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was also present as were numerous others. Pope Francis earlier said “On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and instills hope.”
There were two reasons given by Pope Francis for selecting this particular date. One reason is that this date marks the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Francis points out that this represents God’s action in choosing Mary as the mother of man’s Redeemer. A second reason is that it represents the 50th anniversary of the closing date of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Church feels a great need to keep this date alive. Continue reading →
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me …”
Every evening she could hear the newborn in the apartment next door cry and cry. The parents put the child to sleep alone in the dark. The baby cries for a long time; the exhausted parents clearly are oblivious to their child’s anguish or are at a loss as to what to do.
What can or should she do? She’s not sure. Speaking to the parents might make what is just an annoying situation into something much worse.
So, in her struggle and anguish, she decides to pray. And lo and behold; during her earnest prayer, God’s good grace inspires her to sing!Continue reading →
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
It was the great Roman boast: Ara Pacis Augustae – which means, “the era of Augustus’ peace.”
During the first and second centuries of the common era, the Roman empire, from Iberia to Greece, enjoyed a period of relative prosperity and tranquility. In one of the great propaganda campaigns of history, Caesar Augustus was hailed as a “god” and the “savior of the world” for the peace he enforced.Continue reading →
Catholic Church And School Vandalized on Halloween – Students Respond On All Saints Day-
Rockford, Il – (ProLifeCorner.com) – By James- 11-1-2013 – Dozens of windows and doors at St. Bernadette Catholic Church and School in Rockford IL, were shot out on Halloween night. The destruction was extensive as very large windows in the school were destroyed along with a stained glass window in the Church and large glass doors were shattered. Continue reading →