Sunday, October 19, 2014

Truly Ancient History

Ignatius House
[Priests' Residence]
St. Matthias Parish
Lanham, MD

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians 1:1-5b

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians
in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
grace to you and peace.
We give thanks to God always for all of you,
remembering you in our prayers,
unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love
and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ,
before our God and Father,
knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God,
how you were chosen.
For our gospel did not come to you in word alone,
but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.

Can I have your complete attention?  I intend to bring to you information that may rock your boat.  Surely it may make you question my scriptural training.  My purpose is to stop your thinking that the four gospels were the earliest writings of the New Testament.  Ready?  Most scripture gurus believe Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians contains the first words ever written for the New Testament.  If you were to try to paint the New Testament as a building, this letter, these words of this Pauline letter would be the foundation course of the entire New Testament.  These same scholars estimate that Paul wrote this letter in 50 AD … several years before the earliest of the gospels and earlier than Paul’s other letters.
Grace to you and peace to you.
These words became St. Paul’s signature.  He starts almost every letter with these words of greetings.  Paul believed his mission was to expand Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, joining together both Jewish people and Greeks into a single Church.  So, here is the very first use of this oft-heard greeting. It was for St. Paul his way of bringing Jews and Greeks and their religious backgrounds together to mutual respect and acceptance of each other.  Paul speaks of the need for endurance in hope.
Faith … Hope … Love
Hopefully you recognize this trilogy of virtues as characteristics of the Christian Church.  In this letter Paul draws attention to hope but does not forget to bring to mind the other two gifts.

For Paul faith saves us and leads us to work.  Love is a genuine labor.  It does not come easily for most of us, true love that is.  Love demands so much from all of us if we are honest about our relationships with others.  This virtue of hope is much more than lackadaisical, easy come, easy go wishful thinking.  It is important to recognize that hope holds us.  It is not us who hold hope!  Paul wants all followers of Jesus to realize that hope is more than believing things will get better.  Hope is being centered in Jesus Christ himself.
You Were Chosen

Paul refers to his fellow Christians as “chosen ones, the elect of God.  It was this chosen status.  Chosen for what?, you might ask.  Well, it is rather simple but more often than not forgotten.  We are chosen to be conveyors of God’s graces.  The graces we do recognize as what we are receiving are not for us to hold tight for ourselves but to pass them on through us to entire community.

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ignatius House
St. Matthias Parish
Lanham, Maryland

Pope Francis' Reflection                    Sacred Scripture

Dear Friends,

In today's homily at St. Martha Chapel, Pope Francis, celebrating Mass honoring St. Ignatius of Antioch, a martyr, speaks about the beginning of our heavenly life here on this earth.  The "seal of the Holy Spirit" which we receive during the celebration of our own baptism is the "ticket" for us to earn our way into God's heavenly kingdom.

It is God's gift to us in our beginning days as a child or as adult later coming to the Sacrament of Baptism.  The Holy Father also point out that this seal of the Holy Spirit is indeed our characteristic.  It is our identity.

The Pope reminds us that we do have a free will at the same time because we can become "lukewarm Christians" when we "dull down" our identity as Christian men and women sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Believing in the Gospel preached by Jesus Christ, we are marked with the Christian identity.  This is the heart of the message that St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that is contained in the first reading from today's liturgy.

St. Paul and Pope Francis also remind the Christians that there are very definite gifts that this sealing, this identifying by the Holy Spirit are given to us to strengthen us on our faith journey.  "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And this is our path to Heaven, it is our road, so that Heaven may begin here..."

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Prayer of Praise!

Ignatius House

Today's 1st Reading
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
(Ephesians 1:3-6)

Dear Friends,

St. Paul is encouraging the people of Ephesus as well as us to realize what it means to offer a prayer of blessing to God.  As Pope Francis noted this morning in his homily, praying a prayer of blessing God is not an easy kind of prayer.  In true Ignatian format the Pope offers what the author of the Spiritual Exercises would call "three points" for meditation.  Anyone with any experience of Jesuit prayer knows Ignatius offered three points for almost every meditation he offered.

Francis offers us these three points about this rather unfamiliar kind of prayer: (1) prayer of joy, (2) prayer of remembrance, and lastly (3) prayer to the Holy Spirit to have the grace to enter into the mystery of the Eucharist.

Prayer of joy:  praising God in our prayer will bring us to a state of joy, of happiness

Prayer of remembrance:  remembering that before the creation of the world, before the coming of Adam and Eve, God knew you.  Your name was in his heart.  Believing this is the mark of a true Christian.  The Christian is a chosen one, chosen by God's heart.  This reality when considered slowly and prayerfully will bring joy and confidence to the heart.  If you knew that you held a lottery ticket in your hand that is the winning ticket, you would indeed by happy, joy filled, and perhaps a little nervous!

Prayer to Holy Spirit to enter the mystery of the Eucharist: Seeking to become be deeply aware of the mystery of the Eucharist, the very presence of Jesus Christ on the altar during a Eucharistic liturgy or during a time of adoration, the mystery of his becoming a part of who your are each time you receive the Eucharist, these should be thoughts that bring great happiness and comfort to the believer.  Likewise it should be another way of realizing that you have been chosen by God.

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Delayed Reflection

Ignatius House

Hopefully my reflection will be ready after midday.
In the meantime, here are today's scripture readings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Ignatius House

Dear Friends,

Good morning.  Let me share with you thoughts from Pope Francis' homily at his morning Mass today.

Throughout the world there is heard so often a call for transparency.  The Holy Father today spoke about the reality that authenticity in living one's faith should be the mark of Christians of these times. At the outset of his homily Pope Francis said that authentic Christian living is active charity.

Luke's gospel verses today present the well-known scene where Jesus is criticized by his dinner host when he reclined at the table without following the prescribed ritual ablutions.  Jesus knew that the host, a Pharisee, wanted to embarrass Jesus publicly by appearing to look good in following the ablution ritual.

Pope Francis called attention to "good manners and bad habits" that mark the lives of many want to appear as authentic when in fact they are not.  He asks his hearers and those who read his homily to examine their own lives.  It is so easy for us today to try to look good, to try to impress others about our own spirituality.   It is one thing to be gathered in prayer, thumbing rosary beads.  It is quite another to leave the prayer mode and then become a person living a different lifestyle.

Papa Francisco then reminds us "every disordered desire distances us from Jesus Christ."

Again this successor of St. Peter, kindly but surely puts before us the kinds of temptations that face Christians in our world today where authenticity is often passed over easily.

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Monday, October 13, 2014

Our God of Surprises!

Ignatius House

Photo LucioGrande

Dear Friends,

As the Synod of Bishops meeting to discuss the issues that confront families in today's world, the following thoughts are prompted by the homily of Pope Francis from his Mass.  The Holy Father urged that we not be closed to the signs of the times.  Likewise the Pope reminded his hearers not to forget that holy law is not an end in itself.

What is important is that all the faithful, not just the lawyers among us, should walk with the Lord not solely with our own preferential judgements.  Speaking about the Jewish Doctors of the Law who were debating with Jesus about aspects of the Law and Jesus' preaching, the Pope said that these scholars of law were blind to the signs of the times.  They had demanded that Jesus produce extraordinary signs for them to justify what he had been teaching.

We should inquire "Why did these scholars not accept Jesus' teachings?"  These legal scholars had taken all the Jewish laws and standards and crafted them into a very clear and distinct set of laws that impacted every aspect of Jewish life.  This legal system they had created was their feathered nest.  Living a life tied up within rather severe and all encompassing laws made them feel safe. [This author's thought:  What we see in our society today, especially among the political leaders who feel the law is theirs to handle, is a close reproduction of the mores of these lawyers of Jesus' times.]

This surety, however, the Pope said has made them blind and deaf to the God of surprises!  This is the  God who is always putting surprises before us.  What these legals of Jesus time missed is the reality that all who come into the world are on a journey.  What they seemed to forget or recognize is that when anyone is on a journey there must be an openness to what is encountered along the way of the journey: meeting what has been unknown.

These geniuses of the law again failed to realize that their locking the law in one interpretation did not lead to Jesus Christ.  If the law does not lead to Jesus, the law is dead.  So this contest between Jesus and the lawyers should make us ask ourselves if we are too strongly attached to "my things," "my way or the highway" thinking.

In essence what Jesus  asks each of us every day on our journey is "am I open to the signs of the times and what message Jesus sends to us through these previously unknown signs?"

Let us continue to pray for all those participating in the Synod of Bishops and for ourselves that we nurture well a heart that loves the law, the law that belongs to God.  Let us never reject the God of surprises and how this God our ours teach us in our times with HIS signs.

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Sunday, October 12, 2014

From the Synod

Ignatius House
The Importance of Mercy

Dear Friends,
In the early days of his pontificate, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of mercy.  In one of his speeches to the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, the new Pope spoke about the writings of one of a any pope's collaborators, one of the Cardinals.  Specifically the Pope mentioned that he had recently read a book written by Cardinal Walter Kasper --  Mercy: the Essence of the Gospel and Key to Christian Life.  The following thoughts are taken from an interview the Cardinal granted to a Canadian Catholic news service, Salt & Light.  Because the Cardinal's message is so important, I wish to share one of his insights.  He proposed a very simple, yet powerful message concerning one of the problems the current Synod of Bishops (and a group of the laity invited to participate in the  dialog) concerning the family.

Why so much concern about mercy?  We must realize that mercy is central to holy scripture.  It is a fundamental of the preaching and teaching of Jesus Christ.  Pope Francis and others are speaking about mercy because in our times there is so much misery that impacts the life of the family.  Economic troubles, immigration, physical torture and murders and many other issues make life very difficult for families around the world.

Just a few days before the recent conclave got under way, Cardinal Kasper presented then Cardinal Broglio a copy of his book on mercy.  Kasper recalls Broglio's immediate response to the gift:  "Mercy is the name of our God."  In his interview last week, Kaspar said that the Church needs to give all families a message of hope.  The Church needs to help families, young and old, achieve happiness.
(Cardinal Kasper photo by Boston College)

An interesting reply by Cardinal Kasper to the question presented by the interviewer inquiring if he has seen any changes in Pope Francis since his election as Pope.  Striking to this hearer was the reply.  "... he has become younger.... Old men can be wise and they can also grow younger!"

The Cardinal said what the Pope said to the Synod participants on the first day of their meeting:  there must be real communication that is not so boring and formal!  Pope Francis seems to have no fear in addressing the participants about what has always been a typical Roman style in such gatherings.  Likewise Cardinal Kasper noted that the participant must realize that the clergy had to realize that they had to listen to the messages brought by family through the participating laity and bishops who are presenting descriptions of the miseries in their home diocese.  There are so many serious pastoral needs families have today that need to be honestly and opening addressed by the Synod participants.  Kasper was to the point:  the Synod needs to make "an honest assessment of reality."  He then turned his attention to the issue of the doctrinal directive prohibiting men and women in "irregular" marriage situations, e.g marriages not witnessed by the Church, etc.  Around the world about 50% of Roman Catholics are in such situations, he noted.  To prevent the heads of such families from receiving Holy Communion impacts not only the married couple but their children as well.  The cardinal sees an entire generation of Catholics having no interest in receiving communion.  As he said, the Church has to take people where they are and walk with them.  The leaders of our Church must have an understanding of the people of God and where they are today.  The leaders must not be guided by fear, he said.  He cites what he calls "doctrinal fears".  That is a fear of adapting doctrine to the complex situations of human life.  The Church must be pastoral!  There can be no situation in human life where the Church does not help the married couple resolve their difficulties.

Let me close with this encouragement:  follow what is happening in Rome during the days of the Synod.  Again, I have turned to the pages of Jesuit Creighton University's Daily Reflection.  There the editors have establish a link to the Synod.  It is worthy of whatever time you can give to the various points that are developing in Rome.  Especially in this year when we are making ready for the international gathering to be conducted in Philadelphia next September to celebrate the Family. 

It is my hope and prayer that what I have shared with you today will stimulate an interest in furthering your understanding of the Synod and the historic significance of this event.  Likewise I encourage a visit to Global Pulse  which is an up to date Catholic news service containing exquisite articles and insights into a Catholic perspective of world events.

Oremus pro invicem et participatores Synodi (Let us pray for each other and the participants at the Synod.)

Fr. Milt

Friday, October 10, 2014

Exhaling and Inhaling

Ignatius House

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest 
but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
(Luke 11: 24-26)

Dear Friends,

Good morning!  

Luke recalls for us one of Jesus' teaching moments.  When something or someone departs from the life of someone by whatever means possible, it goes about seeking another place to take up residence.  But the arid regions, places where the people strive for holiness and prevent evil from their lives, gave no quarter.  So the evil spirit makes it way back to where it had been with the hope that it can regain entry into that person's life.  The evil spirit returns and finds a house that has been cleaned and better organized.  Grace has been at work in that person's life.  So evil invites other evil spirits to come because there is room in that person's house for other weaknesses and evils.  As a result the person who had cleaned house must have grown lonely for the evil ways that had been in the house.  Now there are several evil ways tempting the person.

Out and in.  Exhale and inhale.  We need to expel from our own homes any evil that takes up residence.  We have to exhale the evil and breath in the good that God offers us each day.

The Church provides us with the instruments of driving the evil away and refreshing our lives with good.  These aides are the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.  We have means to cleans our spiritual homes of its evils and refill it with the graces that come through the Eucharist.  

This emptying and refilling is a daily challenge for most human beings.  But it will not be as difficult as most would imagine as long as we make a frequent visit to the Spiritual Gas Station!  Empty the evils that weigh us down and refill the spirit with the graces and good things that God puts before us.  He wants to help us each day with the means to keep our spiritual houses clean and supportive to a peaceful life.

May your weekend be restful and peaceful.

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ye Ole Comfort Zones

St. Ignatius House

Dear Friends,

Good morning!  In his letter to the Galatians, Paul puts before the people a challenge to their faith.  His words also address us, living in our world of so many distractions, options and genuine challenges.

What does Paul challenge in our lives?  Simple, simple, simple:  our comfort zones!  Each of us needs to see what in our comfort zones holds us back from enjoying the fullest experience of our faith, our relationship with God.  In his teachings and examples, Jesus is calling us from comfort to faith fidelity.

A simple question:  "Do you allow Jesus Christ to work in your life?"  As we read in today's gospel the phrase all of us have heard and read:  "Seek and you will find."  The Holy Spirit is forever present to us to be our guide, our inspiration.  His whisperings in our hearts are the road signs guiding us to the Father.

Thanksgiving.  Yes, not far down the calendar now.  Yet, thanksgiving today and tomorrow.  Do we take a few moments each day to give thanks to God for what has been given to us?

Challenging the comfort zones of our lives is making the effort to surrender whatever we feel we cannot live without.  There it is!  

PS.  I have come upon a fascinating publication that you can find on line.  It is free from the remainder of the month of October.  In its pages and articles you can find well-prepared insights into the pulse of our Church around the world.  To get to Global Pulse, go to Google but add the word Catholic after the title of the publication.  There are many operations that use the title Global Pulse.  I hope you find it interesting and helpful to your faith journey especially in this year of preparation for the September 2015 gathering in Philadelphia to celebrate the Family.  So, it is Global Pulse Catholic that will lead you to the website.  Enjoy.

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Milt

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Your Kingdom Come

From Ignatius House

Dear Friends,

Good morning.  Once again we read of the disciples' desire to learn how to pray.  Obviously Jesus' personal life was making an impact on his followers.  We can presume that these followers found something in the way Jesus lived that brought him a genuine peace.  They wanted that same peacefulness in their lives.

And are we not the same?  How many times do we ask ourselves how do I achieve the peace and strength that Jesus, saints, and noble men and women achieve the peace we see manifest in their lives?  What and when and where is this kingdom that Jesus taught the disciples in his prayer?  Surely God, the creator of all that is, will have his kingdom as long as there is this world we live in.

What we are praying for is that God's kingdom will become a reality within each of our lives.  Likewise we pray that we will find ourselves in his kingdom.  Yes, we are praying for ourselves that we may ultimately live in the kingdom of God, a gift that is given to all of the saints.

When we pray "Thy kingdom come," we are praying for ourselves that the life we live will be worthy of our being a part of the kingdom.

Of course, there are so many who pray the Lord's prayer each day, men and women who are forced to live lives where they have not voice, lives where they are forced to suffer persecution or deprivation.  It is these men and women and even children in our times who experience the helplessness of Jesus Christ.

Such a person is Penny Lernoux.  Penny's life you can read about on the Internet.  She was a journalist in South and Latin America speaking out for the poor and helpless.  She became a person who could speak of the kingdom of God to those suffering in Latin and South American in the second half of the 20th century.  This noble woman died of cancer on October 8, 1989, just 25 years ago.

Let me close with a quote from her journalistic work:

You can look at a slum or peasant village, but it is only by entering into that world --
by living it
that you begin to understand what it is like
to be powerless,
to be like Christ.
(from Give Us This Day, October, p 85)

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Better Part

From Ignatius House

Dear Friends,

"Lord, I want to hear all about it!"  We might sum up Lazarus' sister's attitude toward life, so very different from sister Martha's approach to fussing over every detail and missing so much of the treasure that others can bring to us when they are given the opportunity.

Perhaps it is good to hear this gospel story again.  Even better,  perhaps we should add a new scripture verse citation on the refrigerator door:  (LK 10:38-42).  This would be a good reminder that there are two ways of living: hustle, bustle or let me listen.  The same example in these Lucan verses might also help us strengthen our relationships with family, colleagues and friends.

Knowing when to hustle about, running at the mouth or to open one's mind and heart to another person's desires to share some of his/her experiences.  Yes, there are moments for "doing dishes" but perhaps just inviting someone to share his/her story is the better part.  And, you know, the dishes will still be there after the guest has departed!

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Means to Divine Care

From Ignatius House

Guardian Angels/The Vineyard Allegory

Dear Friends,

Let's consider this together:  the feast celebrated on October 2nd, the Guardian Angels, and the story of the vineyard told by Jesus.  There is a relationship that exists for us today as well as in the times Jesus speaks about ... Old Testament and very early New Testament days.

Jesus speaks about the vineyard as the Kingdom of Israel.  Throughout the olden days there was much sin and unethical practice that marred God's kingdom on earth.  Prophets were enlightened by God to give notice, one might say, to the people to restore order and do away with evils that were bringing damage to the people of God.  Likewise there is a foretelling of Jesus' own life story:  the son of the vineyard owner is murdered by those entrusted with the care of the vineyard.

Because there was a rejection of the message of many of the prophets and ultimately a total rejection of the Son of God by a number of people, God's reaction brought an end to those who brought damage and harm to his kingdom.  Last week we were given stories that made some question the fairness of God in the way some people were treated, some groups of people.  It was a reminder that all of us need to examine our lives to see how we are living out the Ten Commandments.

Now God did not leave us alone in this world.  As early as the 3rd and 4th centuries there was preaching that God had placed angels to watch over his people.  Through the centuries a number of Popes and religious orders worked to instill in the hearts of the faithful the reality of this divine gift, the angelic care of each person in this world.

As the years progress in what we might call the contemporary, modern era, the importance of the Guardian Angels seems to have faded among the followers of Jesus Christ.  I can recall the serious efforts of the Sisters who taught us throughout the first eight years of our learning experience to instill in our hearts a special trust in the Guardian Angels.  Unfortunately, I believe, that little treasure of our Catholic religion has diminished to the point where many young Catholic children have not idea what a Guardian Angel is.  Even adults seem to have forgotten about these God-given protectors.  Some may still recall St. Michael and his God-given responsibility to be a defender for us in the struggles that we encounter, usually as a nation.

In my own time of reflection on Guardian Angel day, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind a question:  has the forgetting of the special blessings of these very special angels removed something of the protection these divinely created angels were ready to provide for us.

As I reflected on this, I realized that a daily prayer to the special angel charged with my care was remembered rarely.  However, there have been a number of times that I personally felt the protection and care of an angel in my work.  I even gave my angel a name so that I felt I did have a personal relationship with to angel God wanted to watch over me.  I know for the last two months, since taking over the administrative responsibilities of St. Matthias Parish, I have turned many days to my angel with petitions for guidance.  Let me assure of this much.  There are days as I walk back from my office in the Hughes Center (formerly the Rectory) to Ignatius House, I felt that my angel had been with me in special ways.  Because of that I felt I was truly blessed by God and his care for me because my angel was interceding for me.

Would our world, our Church, be different today had devotion to the Guardian Angels been maintained?  It is a question worthy of every Catholic person's attention.  Perhaps the "misery" that seems to have infiltrated the hearts of so many in all the advancement of our times might be so much less had we not forgotten:
Angel of God 
My guardian dear 
To Whom His love 
Commits me here 
Ever this day 
Be at my side 
To light and guard 
To rule and guide. Amen

Friday, October 3, 2014

Earthless and Still

From Ignatius House

To Live with the Spirit
From The Selected Poems of Jessica Powers
Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a listener.
It is to keep the vigil of mystery,
earthless and still.
One leans to catch the stirring of the Spirit,
strange as the wind’s will.

Dear Friends,

Perhaps a little poetry to bring the work week to a peaceful conclusion.  Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit has used her God-given talents to help lift the spirit and souls of those who take the time to ponder her writings.

Take a little time to "google" the first line of this poem and you can read its entirety.  It is a powerful poem that brings the reality of the power of the Holy Spirit into your life.  You can also "google" Sister's name which will lead you to some of her writings, her experiences with God.

With Sister Miriam, aka Jessica Powers, lean "to catch the stirring of the Spirit."  "Lean"?  To me it brings to mind how I sometimes find myself in a deeper experience of prayer, bent forward with my head down and my heart open.

Let this woman's encounter with her namesake help you bring yourself and your soul closer to the Holy Spirit.  Enjoy the "earthless and still."

May your weekend be filled with peace.

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Milt

Thursday, October 2, 2014

To Light, To Guide, To Rule

From Ignatius House

Foyer of Ignatius House

Dear Friends,

In an hour I will be with the Faculty, the parents and students of the Academy in St. Matthias Parish.  To be celebrate the feast of the Guardian Angels brings our academic community together in these early days of another year of learning ... for all of us.

No doubt speaking to the young people for K through 8th grade will be much easier than trying to defend the existence of these messengers of God.  For you who are adults, my mind immediately went to a book on my current read list, Rediscover Catholicism, written by Matthew Kelly.  You will not be bored if you take the time to read it.

It is a blessing for me to have this statue in the foyer of Ignatius House.  It serves me well each time I pass by, coming in our going out, a momentary prayer of thanks for what may have been since a momentary stop the last time going out and a prayer of petition to be with me and what I have ahead of me.

Those of us who were educated by many good religious women, learned about these heavenly characters who were always with us.  Remember to leave a little room on on side of your classroom seat for your Guardian Angel.

Many adults to at times avert to the presence of a divine assistant when something major has been accomplished.  Surely our lives would probably be so much better if we took the time each day to rememer what Sister taught us:

Angel of God,
my guardian dear
to whom God's love commits me.
Ever this day be at my side
to light and guard,
to rule, to guide.

Short and sweet!  Let me assure you that I truly rely on the angel assigned to take care of me.  He/she has one challenge every hour of every day.  He/she stands in the foyer of Ignatius House because I am not ashamed to say, "I do believe."  Since being able to bring the statue to the residence lifting up my needs, much goodness and happiness have filled my days.  You may not be able to have a statue like this in your foyer, but a picture?????  Even Hallmark will offer you angelic photos on cards.  Pin it where you will pass it each day.  "Okay, Angel, God has me in your care.  Today I need your help, your guidance your prayer with what lies ahead.  Thanks in advance.  Amen."

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Walking With Me

From Ignatius House

Dear Friends,

Apologies for missing a few thoughts yesterday.  I was called to be a witness in a legal matter in the local courthouse ... and involved in the matter from 8:00 AM until 6:30!  What a day!  Along with five others called to testify, I sat outside the courtroom waiting to be called.  No such luck.  We have to return on November 24th!  Hopefully being Thanksgiving Week, the trial will be concluded before bird day!  Now to prayer.

Are there not hours even days when we are aware that our lives are cross-bound.  No matter who we are, regardless of our state in life, we encounter crosses quite regularly.  To expect or hope that each day of our lives would be free of one kind of challenge or another would be no different than the individuals mentioned in the gospel.

How many times in your personal prayer have you promised Jesus, "Yes, I will follow you ... wherever you lead me"?  Probably the answer would be some like this if we are honest:  "I can't remember.  It's at least once each day."   How many mornings, as we might pray to a guardian angel, do we feel that there is a challenge or a cross to carry?   None of us is free of such a life.

Why should we be different from the Lord Jesus who came to this earth to save us, to redeem our sinfulness?  Each day Jesus had to think about what was ahead for him.

Today pray to him especially for the graces you need to carry your cross not in a spirit of annoyance but rather with an awareness that Jesus is there with you, to assist you, to strengthen your resolutions and your fidelity to our Father.

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Milt