St. Monica Parish

St. Monica Parish
Why I Pray! Jesus is present in the Tabernacle. He promised to never leave us and his promise is true.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why I Pray!

The human condition is such that sin is always in our back pocket, waiting to take advantage of us. We humans don't fully realize how controlled we are by sin. How much it owns us and pushes us into the darkness. We think we are in control of our lives by what we say, think and do. But how much of what we say, think and do is all about us? Our wants, our needs, our desires! How often do we put another person down, thinking we have the answers to that other person's life. Thinking we know how that other person should live? And often we do not even know how we ourselves should live. We often put high importance on things of this life and little importance on things of eternal life. This life is passing - quickly! Our lives could be gone today and what do we leave behind? Do we spend our days thinking of ourselves or do we spend our days thinking of our creator and redeemer? How often is God, Our Father, in our thoughts? How often do we thank Jesus, Our Redeemer, for all that he has done for us? How much time do we spend in prayer versus how much time do we spend in front of a television, smartphone, computer, etc? Pray as if your life depends upon it, for it surely does! God bless!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Feast of St. Anselm

St. Anselm writes about sin and the forgiveness of sin. We must first recognize the sin in our own lives before we can be forgiven. Most of us are blind to sin, especially our own.

This writing of St. Anselm was taken from a meditation in the Magnificat:

"Lord, it was so with me, and this is what you have done for me. I was in darkness, knowing nothing of myself, in a slippery place, for I was weak and prone to fall into sin, I was descending into the chaos of hell, for in my first parents I had fallen from righteousness into wickedness, which is the way to hell, and from blessedness to temporal misery for ever. The weight of original sin dragged me downwards, and the unbearable burden of the judgment of God pressed upon me; my demon enemies thrust vehemently against me to make me do other damnable sins.

"When I was destitute of all help, you illuminated me, and showed me what I was, for when I was still unable to see this, you taught others the truth on my behalf and you showed it to me before I asked it. The load that dragged at me, the burden that weighed me down, the enemies that opposed me - you cast them all back when you removed the sin in which I was conceived and born and its condemnation. You forbade evil spirits to attack my soul. You  made me a Christian, called by your own name, by which I confessed you, and you acknowledged me to be among your redeemed. You have set me upright and raised me to the knowledge and love of yourself. You have made me sure of the salvation of my soul, for you have given your life for it, and you have promised me your glory if I follow you. And when I was not following you, but was still committing many sins which you had forbidden, you waited for me to follow you till you could give me what you promised." Saint Anselm

St. Augustine said: "Late have I loved thee." For many of us, our love for Jesus comes late in life.
God bless!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

2nd week of Easter - Monday

This is an excerpt from "A Heart on Fire" written by Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia.

"St. Augustine reminds us that the City of Man and the City of God intermingle. We have obligations to each. But our final home and our real citizenship are not in this world. Politics is important, but it's never the main focus or purpose of a Christian life. If we do not know and love Jesus Christ, and commit our lives to him, and act on what we claim to believe, everything else is empty. But if we do, so much else is possible - including the conversion of the world around us. The only question that finally matters to any of us is the one Jesus posed to his apostles: 'Who do you say I am?' (Mk 8:29). Everything depends on the answer. Faith leads in one direction, the lack of it in another. But the issue is faith - always and everywhere, whether we're scholars or doctors or priests or lawyers or mechanics. Do we really believe in Jesus Christ, or don't we? And if we do, what are we going to do about it?

"A genuinely Catholic life should feed the soul as well as the mind; should offer a vision of men and women made whole by the love of God, the knowledge of creation, and the reality of things unseen; should enable us to see the beauty of the world in the light of eternity; and should help us recapture the nobility of the human story and the dignity of the human person."

Enjoy the day! God bless!! And may he send many blessings upon you!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

2nd Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday

Today's Gospel story is about Doubting Thomas. Aren't we all like doubting Thomas. We want to see, feel, touch in order to believe. But Jesus tells us, " Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." He reveals himself to those who believe. Have faith! Believe! He is risen, Alleluia!! God bless!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Week of Easter - Thursday

Taken from the First Reading in today's Liturgy of the Hours - First Letter of the apostle Peter

"...all of you should be like-minded, sympathetic, loving toward one another, kindly disposed, and humble. Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult. Return a blessing instead. This you have been called to do, that you may receive a blessing as your inheritance."

Imagine this! A world where everyone loves everyone else, where there is no anger or resentment or jealousy or where each is trying to be better than the other but rather thinks the other to be better. Imagine what our highways would be like; imagine what our check out lines would be like; imagine what our schools and work places would be like. Imagine this!!

Keep this in mind as you journey through this one day! Give blessings to all those you meet! God bless!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1st Week of Easter - Wednesday

Today's Gospel reading is taken from Luke - the story of the Road to Emmaus. Hopefully all remember well this story of two men on the road to Emmaus who actually meet the risen Jesus but are blind to who he is until he shares a meal with them. It was in the breaking of bread that their eyes were opened. I pray that all will have their eyes opened today to the presence of the risen Jesus. He is present in all we meet this day! God bless!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Week in Easter - Tuesday

This is taken from Peter Kreeft's book, "Heaven, The Heart's Deepest Longing."

"Pascal comments, with this promise of Jesus in mind,
'There are three kinds of people: those who have sought God and found him, and these are reasonable and happy; those who seek God and have not yet found him, and these are reasonable and unhappy; and those who neither seek God nor find him, and these are unreasonable and unhappy.'

We all have to eventually examine our own lives and discover whether or not we are seeking God and whether or not we have found Him and whether or not we want to find Him.
God bless!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday - He is Risen!! He has truly Risen!!

Today is the day that makes our faith real! If Jesus did not rise from the dead, our faith would be in vain. Here are some words from Pope Benedict XVI from today's Magnificat:

"Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered. Through Jesus we do know 'the room where exiled love lays down its victory.' He himself is this place, and he calls us to be with him and in dependence on him. He calls us to keep this place open within the world so that he, the exiled love, may reappear over and over in the world... God exists: that is the real message of Easter. Anyone who even begins to grasp what this means also knows what it means to be redeemed."

Have a wonderful Joy filled Easter! And remember that Easter is just beginning. It will end on Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit comes! God bless!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Saturday - All is Silent

From the Liturgy of the Hours -

"Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear."

May all today reflect on the silence! God bless!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday - Reflect on Our Lord's Passion & Death

This was taken from a Catecheses by St. John Chrysostom, Bishop. It was the second reading in the Liturgy of the Hours, 4 volume edition.

"If we wish to understand the power of Christ's blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. 'Sacrifice a lamb without blemish, ' commanded Moses, 'and sprinkle its blood on your doors.' If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord's blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ."

As I sat in the Chapel last night (Holy Thursday), adoring my Lord and my God, I knew that I would drink of the wine in the Kingdom of God even now while still on earth. I will be without my Lord until Easter morning when I can once again receive His precious Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. How blessed I am to receive for so many today do not know how precious this sacrament is. So many today either do not receive Jesus' Body and Blood or receive Him not knowing His great power and might and, especially, His True Presence. He feeds us for the journey - only if we want to be fed. How I long for Sunday when I can receive Him again! God bless!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday: Mass of the Lord's Supper

Taken from the Magnificat, a writing by Pope Benedict XVI -

"When the Lord of the world comes and undertakes the slave's task of foot-washing - which is an illustration of the way he washes our feet all through our lives - we have a totally different picture. God doesn't want to trample on us, but kneels down before us so as to exalt us. The mystery of the greatness of God is seen precisely in the fact that he can be small... Only when power is changed from the inside, and we accept Jesus and his way of life, whose whole self is there in the action of foot-washing, only then can the world be healed and the people be able to live at peace with one another."

Today is Holy Thursday - the institution of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith. It is also when Jesus went down on his knees to wash the feet of his disciples. From John's Gospel -

"So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do."

Jesus teaches us to serve and to serve with great love. He not only washes our feet, but he feeds us with his very own body and blood! God bless!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Body, Soul, Spirit

This is from Peter Kreeft's book, "Heaven, The Heart's Deepest Longing."

pg 130 - "The soul makes the difference between life and death to the body, and the spirit makes the difference between life and death to the soul. A body without a soul is not a living body but a corpse."

pg 131 - "Spirit has only two choices: for or against God."

pg 134 - "Joy is in the spirit, not in the soul; and soul is at least partly under our control. Spirit is not. Spirit rules soul, but soul does not rule spirit. We can control pleasure and even happiness to an extent, but never joy; it is a sheer gift of God."

Most of us spend our lives under the influence of our bodies and its needs. Some venture deeper into self and find their soul. But few go deep enough to enter into their spirit which is where God dwells within each of us. It is only through deep prayer that we develop our relationship with God and discover who we really are and God's plan for us. We truly do have only two choices, either for God or against Him. Which is your choice? God bless!!