Fighting the demons of regret

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 Fighting the demons of regret. (Mt 19:26)

Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all ​​things are possible.”

 

I think I am beginning to understand two church teachings. The first is there are many demons. One of the signs of holiness is unity; There is one God, there is one Church, Jesus Christ is one person with two natures both God and man. Where as, the sign for evil is many; it fractures, tears apart, divides.

 

With regret the enemy uses our dominant flaw and multiplies it (hence the many) by bringing forth old and new regret.  So it begins with ‘if only I had ….’ And then is multiplied so that by the end of an hour I have hundreds of regrets and am cast into despair, anxiety and crippled with fear.  So now, when the first regret comes to mind I say ‘Please Dearest Mother Mary let me learn from my past mistakes’ followed with 3 Hail Mary’s.

 

The second is to fight vice with virtue. One of my faults is to wish my life away. Wishing can lead to regret unless action is taken to obtain the desired wish. In the past, once the action called for sacrifice the action was often abandoned and the wish for the future was replaced with some immediate satisfaction which never lasted, was not fulfilling, did not truly satisfy my wants nor meet my desires but ultimately left me empty,unfulfilled, wanting more wishing for better and being unhappy.

 

The Church teaches us to use the virtue of prudence when fighting the vice of greed, the precursor to regret.  So, the first thing I should do is consider my wish, examine it and take time to evaluate how and if it is realistic. If after careful consideration, it is deemed prudent to pursue and now it is realistic, where I can manage to stay the course, incur the sacrifices, therefore make my wish a reality and thus achieving my goal achieving success and the feeling of fulfillment. All the while, thanking God for his many graces and for the gift of prudence.

 

LET US PRAY:

All praise to you dear Lord Jesus Christ.
When all is dark and the sins of my past deeds lay heavy upon my soul and threaten to extinguish the light of my hope, You dear Christ lift me up.

Your divine love and promise for eternal life can not be snatched away from me. Although, the scratching claws of the enemy reaches out to grasp away any hope and suck away all life leaving nothing else but despair and death for me to feed upon, You dear Christ give me your body in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

 

How could I, one who has received so much love, life and hope not be restored in faith through your divine intervention?

 

Dearest savior do not let me fall prey to self doubts, pity and past regrets but may I look to you. Keep my eyes upon your face and may I be delivered from this present danger.

Amen

 

A Blessed Easter!

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On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.

John 20:1-9

Good Friday? No, the BEST Friday!

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Good Friday, the day of the cross. The day our Savior gave Himself so we could have eternal life. What a brutal and barbaric way to suffer. Kinda gives me pause of just how great humanity (including me!) has sinned against the Father. It’s not just a cross, it’s HIS Cross

 

I must admit I am not a constant viewer of EWTN but will watch at certain times, especially if there is a great homilist praying the Mass.  After the conclusion of Mass one day this week, I caught a reflection by the late great Fr. Benedict Groeschel.  In it he speaks of a youngish mother who was distraught with grief over losing her young child.  She is quoted as saying “if you gathered all the crosses in the world together this cross of losing my child I would never choose”. How poignant and so sad. 


Now the same could be said for parents who have children experiencing same sex attraction.  Ask any of us, we would say the same thing, that we would not ever choose this cross.  Not for us and certainly not for our child.  Yet, putting it in perspective, our cross pales in comparison to that mother.  We still have our child.  We have opportunity to reunite with them if we are estranged.  We have more time try to help the, and pray, our secret weapon!


So next time we bemoan our cross, remember we still can do something to lighten our burden.  God have allowed us time and opportunity.  We have the gift of our loved one still with us.  We have it because of the willingness of our Lord to bear His Cross for us!

 

God Bless and Happy Easter!

Hitting the Nail on the Head

Is there anyone in this era more sage than Bishop Robert Barron?  He is our generation’s Fulton Sheen.  During Lent, his team sends out daily meditations and today’s really hit home for all of us who carry the message for apostolate of Encourage.  If not for Christ, then who?

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The task of every disciple is just the same: to be a “Christopher,” a bearer of Christ to the world. Might we be unnoticed in this? Yes. Might we be laughed at? Of course. But the Master has need of us and so we perform our essential task.”

 

 

 

Stay Strong In Your Beliefs

  • Every so often I am reminded of how much I run counter to popular culture.  Many times I feel I am the only one who is willing to uphold the teachings of my faith.  Family and friends tell me how out of touch I am. They ask what is the harm if my son lives with his boyfriend?  Or even for that matter my daughter moving in with her boyfriend? When it seems to get overwhelming and swimming against the tide makes me feel like I got caught by an undertow, the wise words of Veneable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen flash in my mind. I hope you can benefit from them also.

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Woman Caught In Adultery: Why is it relevant?

 

Saint John’s gospel tells us of the woman accused of adultry.  The Scribes and Pharisees want Jesus to judge her, especially in their favor. Ahh the foolish men!  How long do they need to be around our Lord to know they will not outwit him?

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJqTufzNoQA%5B/embedyt%5D

 

We all know the story, above is a visual of the encounter, below the excerpt from scripture.  So what does this all mean to us?

 

 

In our hearts we feel our family members who suffer Same Sex Attraction are violating God’s law.  Our issue is we judge them as if we have that right, the right the Pharasses thought they had, the right the Father gave only to the Son.  That is not our job as parents or siblings.

 

 

Our role is to to keep the Faith.  Faith that our prayers we offer for our loved ones will be answered by God. Hope that our loved ones will see God’s way and be strong enough, brave enough to act upon it.  Love, love our family members unconditionally and without judgement. Always accept that to judge is a Divine right not ours.  What IS our right is the ability to ensure they stay in our lives and not to abandon them.  This however, comes with a huge caviat.  We have to have the courage to be rooted in our faith and to believe and live by our faith.  Even though we love our child or other relative in the lifestyle, we must not accept or approve their life choice,even if everyone else condones it.  If we do, we may as well walk away from Jesus like the Pharisees.

 

 

God Bless You All!

 

 

A Woman Caught in Adultery.*

Then each went to his own house,
1
while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.* a
2
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them.
3
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.
4
They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.
5
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.* So what do you say?”b
6
They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.*
7
* But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them,c “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
9
And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.
10
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”d
11
She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.”]

Today’s Gospel Sunday March 6

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Sometimes there is a gospel passage that just always resonates with me.  Today most certainly is one.

 

As my spiritual life develops, I love to research the greats when it comes to homilies.  Nothing better than to get the wise words of a Timothy Cardinal Dolan or a Bishop Robert Barron or Msgr. Charles Pope.  I urge everyone to google them in conjunction with the Prodical son.  Simply amazing!

 

When I was younger, I always thought the younger son was the bad guy of the story.  More recently, the older son, whom I initially felt sorry for, became more suspicious to be due to understanding his behavior better.

 

Yesterday at mass, in his homily, my pastor introduced me to a new concept. That the focus of view of the parable was intended to be the father but as the years progressed and theologians dissected the story, the focus shifted. The story takes new shape when considering that detail.

 

So what does it mean to us?  It would be natural for us to think as parents we would be the welcoming father.  Very understandable for sure.  I submit that in our family situation in dealing with Same Sex Attraction, we as parents are the embodiment of the older son.

 

Why do I say that?  Well we, to some extent, we take for granted the gifts of the Father.  In our anxiety for our children we take for granted all we have, especially spiritually.  If we are honest with ourselves, we know we all have cried out “Why me Lord?” displaying our humanness and momentarily questioning our faith.

 

Of course it is almost too obvious that our kids are the younger son.  We pray constantly they will “come to their senses” and return to the Church.  That should be our prayer.  Once they are back, we need to surrender to the Holy Spirit to finish the job.

 

Ever notice there is no ending to the parable?  It is what makes a parable timeless and relevant to us some 2000 years later.  Our actions will write the ending.  Just like the Prodical son, we need to run back to the Father’s arms and melt into his embrace trusting that His will be done.