Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 16: Meditations for Lent

Father Abraham, have pity on me. (Luke 16:24)
What’s in a name? Quite a lot, actually. Think about people who never seem able to remember your name. You notice, don’t you? By contrast, when someone calls you by your name, it helps you feel connected, valued, cared for.
So it’s interesting that the parable in today’s Gospel reading is the only parable in which one of the characters—the poor beggar, Lazarus—is actually named. The prodigal son, the vineyard owner, the sower with his seeds—none of these is named. Even the rich man in the story remains anonymous. Only Lazarus is dignified in this way.
Why Lazarus? Most likely it’s because of the special place that the poor have in God’s heart. God loves all his creation. He knows every person by name, and he wants to see us live in a way that affirms our common dignity. He wants us to build a society that supports the health and well-being of everyone. So when that didn’t happen for Lazarus in the story, God righted the injustice by bringing him right “to the bosom of Abraham” (Luke 16:22). This parable shows us how deeply grieved God is by the injustices that reduce his children to beggars longing in vain for scraps from their more fortunate neighbors.
We all know that as a society we must care for the poor and needy in our midst. But beyond simply providing for their physical needs, God is calling us into his heart for the poor. He is calling us to see everyone, even the poorest and most desperate, as our brothers and sisters—and to treat them with the dignity they all deserve.
Our heavenly Father doesn’t express his love in generalities, and neither should we. This is why the Lenten practice of almsgiving is so important. Helping out at a food bank, visiting those in a nursing home or in prison, participating in a clothing drive—these are just a few ways that we can reach out and touch our needy brothers and sisters. These are just a few ways that we can learn that we are all one in the Lord.
“Jesus, give me your heart for the Lazaruses in my life. Help me to see them as my brothers and sisters, your precious children. Lord, melt my heart!”

From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Day 56: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Do you ever feel alone or just abandoned? Well your not! Jesus is always at your side, comforting you and protecting you from all harm. Next time you feel alone, acknowledge His presence and relish the experience that you get to be alone with your God, the creator of the universe.

"Jesus said, 'Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" Matthew 28:20

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 15: Meditations for Lent

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus … wishing to ask him for something. (Matthew 20:20)
What bad timing! Jesus had just told his disciples about his coming passion, death, and resurrection. It must have been an emotionally charged moment, but that didn’t keep James and John’s mother from asking for a favor for her sons! Even the two brothers seemed oblivious as they eagerly offered to drink from Jesus’ cup, unaware of what that “cup” entailed! To make matters worse, the other disciples grumbled against them for trying to get special treatment.
But as awkward as it must have been, this woman’s timing was also providential. It gave Jesus the opportunity to teach the Twelve—again—that grasping for power is not a mark of a disciple. Greatness in God’s kingdom consists in self-giving, not in self-aggrandizement.
This is a lesson that everyone needs to hear over and over again, and Jesus had no problem repeating it. Like many of his teachings, Jesus knew that it wasn’t enough simply to state it once and then move on.
Why do we need so much repetition? It’s not that we are hard of hearing. It’s not that we are slow of mind. It’s that many of our fallen, sinful philosophies and expectations are so deeply held that nothing but continual reminders will dislodge them.
Jesus’ gospel is not just a minor variation on the ways of the world. It’s a whole new message. Rather than teaching revenge, he tells us to turn the other cheek. Rather than looking out for ourselves first, he asks us to give top priority to the poor and needy and defenseless. Rather than focus on our careers and comfort, he wants us to fix our eyes on heaven and on building his Church.
The good news is that we don’t have to figure this out all by ourselves. Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to write his words on our hearts. Yes, we need to learn all that Jesus taught. But we also need the Spirit to bring these truths to life for us. He alone has the power to transform our thinking so that we can become more like Jesus!
“Lord, help me to train my mind so that I can experience your transforming power!

Last Day: Novena for Stan

Thank you everyone who participated in praying for Stan. By the Grace of God he is getting better and I know that he benefited greatly by all of your prayers. On this last day of prayer please don't forget to remember Stan when you recite the rosary or any other chaplets you may be doing. Please offer them for him. I thank all of you very much. Yours in Christ, Nick

Day 56: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

God sent His only Son to die a horrible death on the cross in atonement for your sins. By His death the gates of heaven have been open to you and me. Just think of Gods love, He sent His Son to die for you! And Jesus filled with love submitted to the will of the Father and died for us, thus saving us from the sin that we have corrupted our lives with. .

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:10

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 8: Novena for Stan

We are approaching the closing of our novena, thank you all for participating in praying for Stan. I hope to go see him today and I pray that he will be alright. Please offer your rosary or any chaplets you may recite this day for him. Thank you. Blessings. NH

Day 14: Meditations for Lent

Learn to do good. Make justice your aim. (Isaiah 1:17)
In just a few words, the prophet Isaiah urged the Israelites to make a vital decision: “Wash yourselves clean! Cease doing evil!” Moments like this are a great grace, moments when we clearly see what we have done wrong and choose to deal with it. If I’ve stolen money, I should make restitution. If I’ve been swearing, I should resolve to stop. Whatever the situation, I need to do something. I may need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, seek forgiveness from someone I have hurt, or avoid a particular place or thing that endangers me.
But let’s be clear. Not all change occurs in dramatic moments. Most of the time, our goal is to “aim at” justice and “learn to do good” one step at a time. Perhaps God is inviting you to grow in kindness. There are many ways you can do this. You can take time to pray for a person who irritates you and then look for ways to compliment him or her. You can pause before you begin each new chore or activity and ask God to show you one small way that you can be helpful there.
Here’s another strategy: instead of focusing on the negative trait you are trying to overcome, try cultivating its opposite. If you tend toward passivity, cultivate zeal by stepping forward to help out. If you tend to be critical, practice appreciation by saying positive and encouraging things. If pride is your main temptation, cultivate humility by putting other people first. If you are impatient, cultivate patience by waiting longer before grumbling or even looking at your watch.
This kind of learning doesn’t happen overnight, and it can be challenging. But know this: your tiniest efforts bring a smile to God’s face. When you offer him even your desire to do better, he multiplies this little gift and fills it with the transforming power of his love. Just as a parent teaches a baby to talk by praising and repeating his first sounds, Jesus, our patient teacher, is eager to work with us as we grow in his love.
“Holy Spirit, I am still learning to know you and walk in your ways. Keep teaching me and forming me. Lord, I want to learn to do good!”

From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Day 55: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Jesus died a horrible death on the cross for you! He suffered and died in atonement for your sins and by His Blood you have been redeemed. You were not redeemed by anything else but the precious blood of Christ.

"It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed but with the precious blood of Christ." 1 Peter 1:18-19

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 7: Novena for Stan

Thank you all for praying for Stan! It has worked tremendously! Please continue to pray for him for another two days. Thank you so much :)

Jesus and Mary Prayer

Here is a nice prayer to say that our Lord gave to Servant of God Sr. Consolata Betrone the Victim Soul.

Jesus and Mary, I love you! Save souls!

Such a wonderful prayer! 

“There is a beautiful supplication, a quick prayer that our Lord gave to Sister Maria [Consolata] Betrone. It says- ‘Jesus and Mary, I love You. Save souls.’ It is very simple, but oh it carries a lot of weight.” -Mother M Angelica of EWTN

Day 13: Meditations for Lent

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36)
One day, a dad was playing with his young daughter, holding her above him in the air like an airplane. Looking into her father’s eyes, the daughter suddenly squealed with delight, “Daddy, I see me in your eyes!” The father grinned, “I see me in your eyes too.”
This is the kind of face-to-face encounter that God, our heavenly Father, wants to have with us. Just as children reflect their parents’ philosophies, dispositions, and even mannerisms, he wants us to reflect his own heart of compassion and mercy as we relate to the people in our lives. There is truth to the old saying “You may be the only Bible some people ever read!”
Of course, the most perfect reflection of the Father is Jesus himself—the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). As the perfect image of the Father, Jesus came to earth not only to reveal God’s compassionate heart but to teach us how we too could live as God’s children. In today’s Gospel reading, he gives us some very practical ways that we can show the world who our Father is. First, he gives us two things to stop: “Stop judging. Stop condemning.” Then he give us two things we should do: “Forgive” and “Give” (Luke 6:37-38).
But Jesus didn’t just tell us what to do. As the perfect image of God, he also taught by example, from halting the stoning of a woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) to dining with known “sinners” and prostitutes and ultimately to laying down his life to rescue us from sin.
So look into Jesus’ eyes today, and see yourself as he sees you—as a treasured child created in God’s own image and likeness. See the great capacity that God has woven into your very being, the capacity to forgive, to be generous, and to be an instrument of his peace. As you do, your heart will soften, and you’ll be able to see other people in the same light. Know that with the help of his Spirit, you really can put away judgments and condemnation. And always remember that your Father is proud of you!
“Father, I know that you love me. Help me to reflect your mercy and love to the world today.”
From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Day 54: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Do you ever worry or get scared? Don't be! Because your God loves you and is always watching over you and protecting you from all harm. He is your stronghold, you are safe in His presence. He will give you strength to push through difficult or scary situations.

"O Lord, be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress." Isaiah 33:2

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 12: Meditations for Lent

My joy and crown … stand firm in the Lord. (Philippians 4:1)
Not only was St. Paul passionate about his faith, he was also highly educated. He was well versed in the Hebrew Scriptures as well as in Jewish and Roman law. He was fluent in multiple languages and was an accomplished debater as well. But in spite of all these achievements, Paul considered the people he served to be his true “crown.” Every person, whether educated or uneducated, rich or poor, Jew or Greek, held a special place in his heart. In today’s second reading, as he encourages his friends in Philippi to stand firm, Paul can’t help but tell them how deeply he treasures them.
If these people were jewels in Paul’s crown, how much more are we all jewels in Jesus’ crown! Each one of us, regardless of our achievements, skills, history, or social status, is a precious treasure to the Lord. He considers each of us—yes, even you—worth his time and his energy. You are so valuable to him, in fact, that he became a man and willingly shed his own blood in order to win you back to his Father.
The thought that we are so valuable to Jesus can help us to stand firm—just as the Philippians stood firm. Knowing that the Lord of all creation considers us so important can strengthen us in the battle against temptation. It can reveal to us the great dignity that we have in Christ. It can convince us that we don’t have to settle for a lesser experience of God’s love and grace. If Jesus considers each of us worth dying for, surely we can consider him worth living for!
At Mass today, we will hear the story of Jesus’ transfiguration. As you do, picture yourself on that mountain with Jesus. Tell yourself that he went through the cross so that you could be transfigured with him in heaven. You are of infinite value to the Lord. You certainly can stand firm because of his love for you!
“Lord Jesus, show me how precious I am to you.”

Day 53: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Take refuge in the Lord and place your trust in Him for He will defend you and guard you. Do not be scared of anything because the Lord your God is always at your side protecting you. Run to the Lord and be safe for He loves you!

"My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

Day 6: Novena for Stan

Please continue praying for Stan, he is better but still needs our support through prayer. I thank all of you for praying for him, I really appreciate it and I am sure he and his family do too. Please offer any chaplet or your rosary for him today, thank you. God bless.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chaplet of St. Raphael the Archangel

The chaplet to St. Raphael the Archangel has a set of 9 beads and 3 end beads for a total of 12 beads over and above the medal.

On the medal, pray the following words:

"You are Raphael the Healer,
You are Raphael the Guide,
You are Raphael the Companion
Ever at human sorrow's aide."

On each of the 3 small beads, say the Hail Mary to Mary, the Queen of angels.

On each of the 9 following beads, in honour of the 9 angelic choirs, one in honour of each choir, (Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Principalities, Powers, Cherubim and Seraphim) say the following prayer:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your Glory!
Glory be to the Father:
Glory be to the Son;
Glory be to the Holy Spirit!

Conclude the Chaplet with the following prayer:

"Saint Raphael,
angel of health,
of love,
of joy
and light,
pray for us."

Day 11: Meditations for Lent

Love your enemies… . Be perfect. (Matthew 5:44, 48)
Wow! That’s a tall order, don’t you think? But don’t worry. Jesus isn’t expecting you to do this on your own. He knows that loving everyone as God does—especially loving people who disagree with you—is beyond any of us. He knows that our best hope comes as we spend time in his presence, giving him permission to fill our hearts with his own mercy, compassion, patience, and love.
Here’s something you may not think of right away: if you want to love your enemies, then pray for yourself. Not for things like debt relief or a winning lottery ticket. Rather, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and patience; kindness and gentleness; power and self-control—and, oh yes, for more of God’s love.
We all need the Spirit’s help to respond as the Father does. Make time for him, and ask him to teach you about the situations and circumstances you face. Your challenges are unique to who you are. They are not your spouse’s, your parents’, your neighbor’s, or anyone else’s. And God has specific answers just for you.
After you have prayed for yourself, go ahead and pray for your enemies. (You don’t have to seek out “enemies,” by the way. There are plenty of people around us who qualify for the title.) It’s always a good idea to come in touch with God’s love for you before you try to spread that love to someone else! You may find yourself interceding with greater kindness, understanding, or patience. You may sense God moving you to some act of kindness toward that person. You may feel him giving you a greater compassion for that person. God is infinitely creative, so be ready for him to move you in unexpected directions!
Jesus did not deliver an impossible command. Rather, he delivered a command designed to help you grow in his likeness. Right now, he is ready to give you whatever you need to love your “enemies.” Will you always get it right? No. But you will grow in his love and perfection as you try, and try, and try again.
“Jesus, let me know your love so that I can begin to love my enemies. Help me to become perfect as your Father is perfect!”

From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Day 5: Novena for Stan

Hello everyone and good morning. Hope you are all doing well. Today is day 5 of our Novena for Stan, please offer the recitation of your rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet for his recovery or just say a pray for him. I am sure he is very grateful for all of your prayers. Please share!

Day 52: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

We cannot save ourselves by the righteous things we do. God alone has the power to save us, we just have to choose to accept it by following Him and living a life without sin. 

"God saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." Titus 3:5

Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 51: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Are you ever frightened or scared? Don't be! God loves you and is always with you. He will never abandon you, he will be at your side protecting and taking care of you all of your life.

"Depend on the Lord; trust Him, and He will take care of you." Psalm 37:5

Day 4: Novena for Stan

Good morning everyone! Hope you are all doing well this day! Stan is getting better and I am sure he is greatly benefited by all of your prayers. So please if you have a chance to day say the rosary or the divine mercy chaplet and offer it for the recovery of Stan. Please share with you friends and family so that heaven my be bombarded with prayers for Stan.

Day 10: Meditations for Lent

You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16)
Sometimes a little inside information makes a big difference. Say you give your neighbor a friendly hello but get a frown in return. You’re miffed. Until you learn that the neighbor’s child has fallen critically ill. Doesn’t that change everything? Your heart swells with compassion, and you want to reach out—with prayer, encouragement, practical help … something! One piece of information has opened your eyes to a reality you hadn’t been able to see.
Something similar happened to Peter at Caesarea Philippi. And it was an awesome piece of inside information: Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God”! What’s more, the source of that information was even more awesome: it did not come from “flesh and blood” but from the Father himself (16:17).
Over time, this divine insight into Jesus’ hidden identity changed everything for Peter. His understanding of God, his relationships, worldview, his way of life—nothing would ever be the same. Neither would Peter’s view of himself. For on that same occasion, Jesus revealed another piece of inside information: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). From the earliest times, the Church has celebrated his choice as head shepherd of the flock in the feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
God didn’t want this revelation to Peter to remain a secret between the two of them. No, he meant it to be shared always, with everyone, to the ends of the earth. And so, through the ministry of Peter and his successors, this good news has come down to us. And it comes in a personal way, for here is Jesus, asking each of us, “Who do you say that I am? Do you take me as Lord of your life?”
One more thing. It’s not just Peter who needed insight into what God had created him to do and be. At every step of the way, we also need that revelation, guidance, and encouragement. So don’t be afraid to ask Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” His answer will transform your life too.
“Jesus, I confess that you are the Lord! May every part of me bear witness to this truth.”
From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 3: Novena for Stan

Hello everyone! Stan is doing alright today, he is still in the hospital and still needs our prayers. Please pray for him today by offering your rosary or whatever you have done for the health and recovery of Stan. Also please say an extra prayer for his wife, she needs all the support she can get. Please share with your friends and family.

Day 9: Meditations for Lent

Ask … seek … knock. (Matthew 7:7)
Christopher Columbus. Ferdinand Magellan. Vasco Da Gama. These men are considered some of history’s greatest explorers. But what enabled them to cross vast oceans at great risk just to reach their goal? Mostly it was their determination to succeed no matter what. It also took a lot of trust. They had to trust in their ships, in their navigational instruments and charts, and ultimately, in God.
This is the kind of attitude that Jesus is asking us to have in prayer. For there’s a certain level of tenacity implied in the advice he gives us today: ask, seek, and knock. Jesus is telling us that not only should we request things of God, we should actively seek him out for these things. In fact, he invites us to knock right on his front door! He tells us to be persistent as well. We can’t give up just because we don’t see tangible results right away. We need to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.
This means that trust has to be at the heart of our prayer—trust based on knowing how much the Lord cares for us. It’s a trust in his promise: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). It’s a trust based on the fact that our Father loves us so much that he sent his only Son to die a sinner’s death for us. It’s the trust that tells us that our God will never abandon us. He is our Father, not just our Maker, and he doesn’t hand out snakes to his children!
In prayer today, take a cue from the great explorers. You may have been seeking something for a long time—perhaps a job or healing from an illness. Don’t give up! Your persistence will pay off as you draw closer to God—and as he draws closer to you. So give your worries to him. Even if he doesn’t answer your prayer the way you had hoped, he will answer in the way that is best for you. The only thing he can’t do is ask for you—that part is up to you!
“Lord, teach me to pray with persistence and with faith in your love and care. Help me to trust that you are always with me—no matter what the challenge may be.”

From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Day 50: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Strengthen your heart and soul with God's power. That's the only way you will be able to endure whatever life brings you. There is joy in endurance through Christ's power.

"We pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need." Colossians 1:11

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 2: Novena for Stan

Today Stan goes in for heart surgery, by the Grace of God I hope me pray that he will be healed. Please offer your rosary for him this day and any other prayers you say, the power of prayer is priceless and we should always love to tell our loving Father of the needs of others and our own. Please pray for Stan!

Almighty God, in whom mercy is endless and the fount of life is abundant, look kindly upon your dear servant Stan who longs to do your will. Heal him and comfort him in his time of sorrow for we trust completely in you. Though our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Day 8: Meditations for Lent

No sign will be given … except the sign of Jonah. (Luke 11:29)

Public figures tend to speak candidly in smaller, private gatherings of firm supporters. But when they are in front of larger groups, they paint with broader brushstrokes and use crowd-pleasing language. Not so with Jesus! Upon seeing a crowd swelling, he decided to challenge his audience. They were looking for a supernatural sign, but he invited them to repentance and conversion instead.

Clearly, Jesus was very generous with miracles. Over the course of his public ministry, he healed countless people, drove out demons, even brought the dead back to life. But he didn’t perform these wonders to satisfy people’s curiosity. He did it to reveal his Father’s love and power—and he did it in response to their faith. In today’s Gospel, however, Jesus could tell that the people in this crowd were in greater need of having their hearts opened, not in witnessing yet another marvel.

So Jesus told them about the citizens of Nineveh, who repented when Jonah called them to put away their sin and turn to the Lord. Even though the Ninevites were Gentiles, and even though Jonah was a reluctant prophet, the people accepted his word and offered a very impressive display of public repentance. By recalling this Old Testament story, Jesus made it clear that the most powerful “sign” he could give was not a spectacular miracle but the sign of repentance and transformed lives.

Jesus is speaking the same message to us today, and sometimes he speaks it very directly and pointedly. Don’t shy away when he does! Instead, let it move you to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Come to confession so that he can shine his light on whatever darkness is lurking in your heart. Open your heart to him, trusting that he loves you too much to let you remain in a rut. His call to repentance is not a rebuke but an invitation to companionship. It’s an invitation to a new life. You don’t really need another sign, do you? Confess your sins. Embrace his mercy. As you do, you will find more than enough signs of his presence.

“Jesus, make me into a sign that will bring people to you. I want to embrace your mercy so that other people may see you and believe.”

Day 49: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

If you're holy you have a different purpose than people who don't know God. Serving God by being holy means to do whatever God wants regardless of what others are doing. It's hard but it's worth it!

"Be holy in all you do, just as God, the One who called you, is holy." 1Peter 1:15

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 1: Novena for Stan

Bishop Wester blesses Stan on Saturday at the Right of Election

Hello everyone. I have a friend who is going through RCIA and preparing to becoming Catholic. He was going to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil but he found out that he needs to have heart surgery. He received Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist and Sacrament of the Sick this last Sunday because the surgery could go wrong and he could die. His surgery will begin tomorrow, please join me in prayer for him over the next 9 days. Please tell your friends and family to pray for him.

Lord Jesus, we humbly ask you to please watch over Stan and help him survive his surgery tomorrow. He truly loves you and wishes to be united to you by becoming a Catholic, please in your mercy guide him through the surgery and ensure that he will be able to live to serve you for years to come.


Holy Mary, Pray for us.

Day 7: Meditations for Lent

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
When you were young, did you enjoy hearing firsthand accounts of where your parents or grandparents grew up? Didn’t it feel as if you could picture their homes because of the vivid way they described their younger years? Well, Jesus also had a firsthand account of the place where he came from—heaven.
When Jesus spoke about heaven, he wasn’t talking about a distant reality but a real place that is his home. He was talking about a reality that was as near to him as our world is to us. Jesus knew heaven as a place free from pain, weeping, and death (Revelation 21:4) He knew it as a place of everlasting joy and peace. He often spoke of the rewards stored in heaven for the righteous (Matthew 5:12; 6:20; 19:21). The very reason he became man was to testify to the reality of heaven and to make a way for everyone to join him there.
In all his preaching, as well as in his miracles and acts of forgiveness, Jesus sought to give the people a sense of hope: heaven had broken into earth, and everlasting life was now on the horizon! Through his death and resurrection, Jesus overcame the sin that had separated us from God. He brought us close to our heavenly Father and made it possible for us to become citizens of his heavenly kingdom. What’s more, by the gift of his Holy Spirit, he has made heaven a present reality for us. Each and every day, we can experience a touch of heaven as the Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts (Romans 5:5).
So what does this mean as we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?” Good news, that’s what! It means that as we try our best to do God’s will every day, we are aligning ourselves with heaven. It means that the reality and the rewards of heaven will flow into our lives. It means that we can experience all the blessings, gifts, and grace that God has stored up for us in heaven—right here, right now!
“Father, teach me to love heaven as my new and eternal home.”

From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Day 48: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

ALWAYS be joyful? That's impossible! Not really. It doesn't say always be happy. Happiness is based on circumstances - what's going on in your life. Joy is based on trust. You will rejoice when you know you can trust God.

"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 6: Meditations for Lent

I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)
In Leo Tolstoy’s tale “Martin the Cobbler,” Martin is told in a dream that Jesus will come to see him. He spends the next day nervously glancing out the window of his shop, looking for Jesus to walk down the street. Several times that day, Martin breaks away from his vigil to welcome and help needy passersby: a weary worker, a freezing mother and infant, and an old woman angry with a misbehaving boy. That night, Martin puzzles over why Jesus never showed up. Just then, he hears a voice asking, “Martin, don’t you know me?” Through the darkness he sees all his needy visitors, each one saying, “It is I.”
They could just as easily have been quoting today’s first reading, in which God tells the Israelites over and over, “I am the Lord.” When Moses reminded the Israelites not to steal or deal falsely with their neighbors, or slander or hate, each admonition reminded them that it was the Lord himself they would be offending. Similarly, in today’s Gospel, when Jesus told the people about the final judgment, he made the same point. Our actions done to even the least of his brethren are done to him.
In Jesus’ parable, the “goats” argued that since they had never seen the Lord, they shouldn't be faulted for failing to serve him. And the “sheep” were just as surprised to learn that their acts of kindness toward the needy were really actions done to the Lord. Just like Martin the cobbler, these folks learned that by taking care of the people who crossed their path, they were actually meeting Jesus.
We are at the beginning of our Lenten journey. Instead of wondering how Jesus will come to you this Lent, why not go out and meet him? You’ll find him in the eyes of your children. You’ll find him in the touch of your spouse. You’ll find him in the home of a lonely neighbor and in the face of the homeless man downtown. Go and meet him there, and you’ll find it much easier to discover him in the tabernacle at church and in the words you read in Scripture.
“Lord, I don’t want to be so busy looking for you that I fail to see you right before my eyes. Teach me how to find you. Jesus, draw me close to your heart!”

Day 47: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Never say that it doesn't matter to God what you do or say just because you're a kid. It's not true. God hopes that you will choose to obey Him, because it will make a big difference in your relationship with Him.

"The good or bad that children do shows that they are like." Proverbs 20:11

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day 46: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

You have a choice: Go with the flow and do what the crowd does, or ask yourself, "What does God want me to do?" Don't just follow everyone else. Don't let sin rule your life. Choose to serve and obey God.

"Do not let sin control your life here on earth so that you do what your sinful self wants to do." Romans 6:12

Day 5: Meditations for Lent

The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm. (Deuteronomy 26:8)
When we read the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, we may put brackets around it in our minds, thinking it’s not all that relevant to our own lives. After all, we’re not God’s divine Son. Sure, we may hunger for food, power, and recognition, but we aren’t about to turn stones to bread or throw ourselves off the roof to see if angels will catch us.
But God’s people have always had to face one fundamental temptation: forgetting the Lord and all the ways he has blessed us. The trouble is, when we forget our past, we tend to think that we’re alone in the present, that God isn’t with us to help us and guide us.
Because Jesus never forgot his people’s history, he was able to resist the devil’s temptation. He knew that the God who fed Israel in the desert would not let his Son starve. No, his Father would take care of him in exactly the right way at exactly the right time.
In today’s first reading, Moses exhorts the people to remember their history and to offer God their “first fruits” in gratitude. Each year at the beginning of the harvest, they were to recount their story and insert themselves personally into that story: God made us his own people, he delivered us from slavery, he fed us in the desert, he enabled us to defeat our enemies and settle in the Promised Land.
This is the kind of remembering that we do every time we celebrate the Eucharist. We remember Jesus’ love for us. We remember his teachings, his miracles, and his compassion. We remember his death and resurrection. We remember our own redemption. And as we remember, these events come alive again. We find new grace to resist temptation and continue our journey in faith. So remember the Lord today at Mass. Remember your heritage as an honored, beloved child of God.
“Father, may I never forget your many blessings. Come, Lord, and fill my heart with praise and gratitude.”

From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 45: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Do you think it would be cool to have a bodyguard? Well you do ... kind of. God orders His angels to protect you. You have a whole army of bodyguards watching out for you!

"God will order His angels to protect you wherever you go." Psalm 91:11

Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 3: Meditations for Lent

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish. (Isaiah 58:6)
Of the three practices that we focus on in Lent—prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—it’s the latter that we can find the most challenging. While many of us do give to the needy during Lent, it can be harder to find opportunities to serve the poor in person.
Often we begin Lent with a sincere desire to help the poor, but somehow the whole season gets away from us before we are able to find a way to serve. With today being just the third day of Lent, we still have plenty of time to make a concrete decision about what we will do!
Are you not sure where to start? Maybe a call to your parish office would be a good first step. Ask about opportunities to help with a parish clothing drive, a food pantry, or the local St. Vincent de Paul Society. More than simply giving a donation—which is always good—look for opportunities that bring you into direct contact with those less fortunate than you. That’s when your heart changes—when you look into the eyes of those you are serving and recognize them as your brothers and sisters.
If you don’t find something at first, keep looking. Check your diocesan newspaper or visit the local charities in your area. Catholic newspapers often have listings of area charities that are looking for volunteers. Who knows? Maybe you can even turn this into a permanent thing once Lent is over. After all, Jesus reminds us that the poor we will always have with us, not just during Lent!
Today’s passage from Isaiah is a dramatic reminder that Jesus is looking at the motives of our hearts more than just our outward actions. As much as he loves it when we fast, he is also looking for people who are seeking to set the oppressed free, share their bread with the hungry, shelter the homeless, and clothe the naked (Isaiah 58:6-7). What’s more, if we do this, God promises: “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall be quickly healed… . You shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!” (58:8-9).
“Jesus, I want to serve you in the poor and needy this Lent. Help me find a practical way to meet you as I reach out to those less fortunate in my community.”

From the WORD among us, Meditations for Catholics

Day 44: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Everything you consider good comes from God. So you can't take credit for the things you have because they're from God. So thank Him for His gifts and use them to the best of your ability.

"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes." James 1:17

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prayer for Lent

Let everything I do this day and in this season of Lent
come from you, be inspired by you.
I long to be closer to you.
Help me to remember that nothing is important in my life
unless it glorifies you in some way.
It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day of my life and keep saying,
"Tomorrow, I will spend more time in prayer,"
but now my longing meets your love and I want to do it now. 
Help me to rely on you for help.
The prayer asks you that I reach perfection.
Please, Lord, remind me that "perfection"
isn't the crazy, "successful" way I try to live my life,
but a perfection of my most authentic, real self.
My "perfection" might be holding my many flaws in my open hands,
asking you to help me accept them.
Heal me, Lord, and help me to find you in the darkness of my life. 
Let me reach out in this darkness and feel your hand and love there to guide me.
May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 

Catholic Valentine

Want to send a very Catholic Valentine to someone you love? 

Try this:

Grant, I beseech Thee, O almighty God, that (Name of loved one), who celebrates the heavenly birthday of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may by his intercession be delivered from all the evils that threaten (him/her). Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.

Or pick a nice verse from the Canticle of Canticles:

Chapter One

Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth: for thy breasts are better than wine, smelling sweet of the best ointments. Thy name is as oil poured out: therefore young maidens have loved thee. Draw me: we will run after thee to the odour of thy ointments. The king hath brought me into his storerooms: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, remembering thy breasts more than wine: the righteous love thee.

I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Do not consider me that I am brown, because the sun hath altered my colour: the sons of my mother have fought against me, they have made me the keeper in the vineyards: my vineyard I have not kept. Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou liest in the midday, lest I begin to wander after the flocks of thy companions. If thou know not thyself, O fairest among women, go forth, and follow after the steps of the flocks, and feed thy kids beside the tents of the shepherds.

To my company of horsemen, in Pharao's chariots, have I likened thee, O my love. Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's, thy neck as jewels. We will make thee chains of gold, inlaid with silver. While the king was at his repose, my spikenard sent forth the odour thereof. A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, he shall abide between my breasts. A cluster of cypress my love is to me, in the vineyards of Engaddi. Behold thou art fair, O my love, behold thou art fair, thy eyes are as those of doves. Behold thou art fair, my beloved, and comely.

Our bed is flourishing.The beams of our houses are of cedar, our rafters of cypress trees.

Chapter Two
I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate. He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.

I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the harts of the, fields, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please.

The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come: My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely. Catch us the little foxes that destroy the vines: for our vineyard hath flourished. My beloved to me, and I to him who feedeth among the lilies, till the day break, and the shadows retire. Return: be like, my beloved, to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

Chapter Three
In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and found him not. I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not. The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that bore me.

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the harts of the fields, that you stir not up, nor awake my beloved, till she please. Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer? Behold threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel, surrounded the bed of Solomon? All holding swords, and most expert in war: every man's sword upon his thigh, because of fears in the night.

King Solomon hath made him a litter of the wood of Libanus: The pillars thereof he made of silver, the seat of gold, the going up of purple: the midst he covered with charity for the daughters of Jerusalem. Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon in the diadem, wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the joy of his heart.

Chapter Four
How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou! thy eyes are doves' eyes, besides what is hid within. Thy hair is as flocks of goats, which Come up from mount Galaad. Thy teeth as flocks of sheep, that are shorn which come up from the washing, all with twins, and there is none barren among them. Thy lips are as a scarlet lace: and thy speech sweet. Thy cheeks are as a piece of a pomegranate, besides that which lieth hid within. Thy neck, is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men. Thy two breasts like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. Till the day break, and the shadows retire, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee. Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come: thou shalt be crowned from the top of Amana, from the top of Sanir and Hermon, from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck. How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! thy breasts are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments above all aromatical spices. Thy lips, my spouse, are as a dropping honeycomb, honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments, as the smell of frankincense.

My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up. Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the orchard. Cypress with spikenard. Spikenard and saffron, sweet cane and cinnamon, with all the trees of Libanus, myrrh and aloes with all the chief perfumes. The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus. Arise, O north wind, and come, O south wind, blow through my garden, and let the aromatical spices thereof flow.

Chapter Five
Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat the fruit of his apple trees.

I am come into my garden, O my sister, my spouse, I have gathered my myrrh, with my aromatical spices: I have eaten the honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved. I sleep, and my heart watcheth; the voice of my beloved knocking: Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is full of dew, and my locks of the drops of the nights. I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?

My beloved put his hand through the key hole, and my bowels were moved at his touch. I arose up to open to my beloved: my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers were full of the choicest myrrh. I opened the bolt of my door to my beloved: but he had turned aside, and was gone. My soul melted when he spoke: I sought him, and found him not: I called, and he did not answer me. The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him that I languish with love.

What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, that thou hast so adjured us? My beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands. His head is as the finest gold: his locks as branches of palm trees, black as a raven. His eyes as doves upon brooks of waters, which are washed with milk, and sit beside the plentiful streams. His cheeks are as beds of aromatical spices set by the perfumers. His lips are as lilies dropping choice myrrh. His hands are turned and as of gold, full of hyacinths. His belly as of ivory, set with sapphires. His legs as pillars of marble, that are set upon bases of gold. His form as of Libanus, excellent as the cedars. His throat most sweet, and he is all lovely: such is my beloved, and he is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.

Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside, and we will seek him with thee?

Chapter Six
My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the bed of aromatical spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I to my beloved, and my beloved to me, who feedeth among the lilies. Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem: terrible as an army set in array. Turn away thy eyes from me, for they have made me flee away. Thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from Galaad. Thy teeth as a flock of sheep, which come up from the washing, all with twins, and there is none barren among them. Thy cheeks are as the bark of a pomegranate, beside what is hidden within thee.

There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and young maidens without number. One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?

I went down into the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the valleys, and to look if the vineyard had flourished, and the pomegranates budded. I knew not: my soul troubled me for the chariots of Aminadab. Return, return, O Sulamitess: return, return that we may behold thee.

Chapter Seven
What shalt thou see in the Sulamitess but the companies of camps? How beautiful are thy steps in shoes, O prince's daughter! The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, that are made by the hand of a skillful workman. Thy navel is like a round bowl never wanting cups. Thy belly is like a heap of wheat, set about with lilies. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. Thy neck as a tower of ivory. Thy eyes like the fishpools in Hesebon, which are in the gate of the daughter of the multitude. Thy nose is as the tower of Libanus, that looketh toward Damascus. Thy head is like Carmel: and the hairs of thy head as the purple of the king bound in the channels.

How beautiful art thou, and how comely, my dearest, in delights! Thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said: I will go up into the palm tree, and will take hold of the fruit thereof: and thy breasts shall be as the clusters of the vine: and the odour of thy mouth like apples. Thy throat like the best wine, worthy for my beloved to drink, and for his lips and his teeth to ruminate.

I to my beloved, and his turning is towards me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field, let us abide in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vineyard flourish, if the flowers be ready to bring forth fruits, if the pomegranates flourish: there will I give thee my breasts. The mandrakes give a smell. In our gates are all fruits: the new and the old, my beloved, I have kept for thee.

Chapter Eight
Who shall give thee to me for my brother, sucking the breasts of my mother, that I may find thee without, and kiss thee, and now no man may despise me? I will take hold of thee, and bring thee into my mother's house: there thou shalt teach me, and I will give thee a cup of spiced wine and new wine of my pomegranates. His left hand under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up, nor awake my love till she please. Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I raised thee up: there thy mother was corrupted, there she was deflowered that bore thee. Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames. Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.

Our sister is little, and hath no breasts. What shall we do to our sister in the day when she is to be spoken to? If she be a wall: let us build upon it bulwarks of silver: if she be a door, let us join it together with boards or cedar. I am a wall: and my breasts are as a tower since I am become in his presence as one finding peace.

The peaceable had a vineyard, in that which hath people: he let out the same to keepers, every man bringeth for the fruit thereof a thousand pieces of silver. My vineyard is before me. A thousand are for thee, the peaceable, and two hundred for them that keep the fruit thereof. Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the friends hearken: make me hear thy voice. Flee away, O my beloved, and be like to the roe, and to the young hart upon the mountains of aromatical spices.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

St. Valentine

Status: Martyr
Born: c.235
Died: c.270
Symbols: Heart, heart pierced by arrow, pairs of birds.
Patron of Beekeepers, lovers, the betrothed, those courting; Terni, Italy

Despite his almost global recognition as the patron saint of love and romance, remarkably little is know about Valentine. He was a Roman (possibly a soldier or priest) who converted to Christianity and helped Christians to escape during the persecutions of Claudius or Valerian. He is said to have been martyred on the Flaminian Way in Rome, probably by crucifixion or burning.

Ancient martyrologies cite two Valentines on this day. The other was a bishop of Terni, Italy, who has also martyred in Rome, although his remains were translated to Terni. They may be one and the same person.

Valentine's cult date may relate to an ancient and widespread belief that, in the Northern Hemisphere, pairs of birds mate on February 14th. Some scholars believe that the date relates to the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which occurred on the ides of February (mid-month), a springtime feast of purification, health, and fertility. The tradition of choosing a Valentine, and sending a card anonymously, can be traced back to the 16th century.

St. Valentines Day, although suppressed by the revision of the General Roman Calendar in 1969, remains an outstanding example of an obscure ancient belief that has been thoroughly adopted into modern popular culture, likely encouraged by the commercial interests of printers, flower vendors and restaurant owners.

From the Book of Saints.

Day 2: Meditations for Lent

Choose life … (Deuteronomy 30:19)
The Israelites were just about to enter the Promised Land. Forty years of waiting and wandering had finally come to an end, and Moses was preparing the people for the next phase of their history: the time when God would bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey.
So standing before the Israelites, Moses issued them the most important challenge they would ever hear. Would they choose life by following Yahweh’s commands? Or would they choose death by following their own ways and the ways of the nations around them?
This challenge didn’t come out of nowhere. Moses had already spent much time reminding them of all the Lord had done. He reminded them how God had delivered them from Egypt and continued to offer them his protection. He spoke of how manna showed up every morning, and quail every evening. He told them that even their clothes did not wear out as they wandered in the desert. But now the time had come for the people to decide for themselves to live under God’s protection. The manna would stop, and so would the quail. God’s miraculous provision would end so that they could choose the way of life, the way of faithful obedience.
Today the Lord stands before us and offers us the same call and promise. He is asking us to choose life, not death. He is asking us to follow his commands and share his love with one another. And he is promising that if we do, he will be with us to strengthen us and lift us into his presence.
Our God has already performed so many miracles for us: he has risen from the dead; he has opened heaven to us; he has filled us with his Holy Spirit; he has given us every gift and blessing we need for our everyday lives.
Now the choice is ours. Will we choose life and live in his presence and know his love? Or will we choose death and live a life of isolation and loneliness?
“Father, you are the author of life. I choose to receive you today. I choose to follow you and heed your voice. Thank you for calling me and filling me with your infinite love.”

From the WORD among us, Daily Meditations for Catholics

Day 43: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

God is not a big Santa Claus who will give you whatever you want. Yes, He will bless your work and your efforts, but make sure you are doing what He wants you to do. Commit your actions to Him, pray for His guidance.

"Depend on the Lord in whatever you do, and you plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Hello everyone! And welcome to Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent. My dad and I went to morning mass this morning and the pews were filled up as if it were Sunday. We were so used to seeing daily mass with the regular 20 people, but it was wonderful that everyone could make it.

After that I watered the plants we have in the church and we headed over to the rectory with about 15 of the usual people who come over for Wednesday Breakfast. It was wonderful to be there and it was my first time brewing coffee there, now I know how to do it! Fr. Stan asked me to go take pictures of the church so I used his camera to take some shots of the interior so that he could upload them onto his computer to use for the Lent and Holy Week flyers. We spent about 40 minutes in his room looking over photos and watching a slide show he created from all the pictures he took. It was really fun!

After that I had to rush to the high school to make it to the only class I don't do homeschool for only to find out that it was moved back 1 hour. So I began walking back home and who did I see? Deacon Tom and his wife pulling up to see if I needed a ride. But my dad just pulled in as they asked it so I went home with my dad.

Today has been good so far!

Just remember 1 regular sized meal plus 2 smaller meals that do not equal up to the 1 regular sized meal.

Yours in Christ,

Nicholas +JMJ+

Day 1: Meditations for Lent

Return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he. (Joel 2:13)
So! Are you ready for Lent to begin? Have you decided what you’re going to give up? Have you ramped up your new, more aggressive schedule for prayer and Mass attendance? Have you decided how much money you’re going to give to the poor? Have you done enough? Planned enough? Resolved enough?
If these questions are making you anxious, take a deep breath. The last thing anyone wants to do is reduce this season of grace to a to-do list.
If you want to find the right tone and focus for this Lent, you don’t have to look any further than today’s first reading. Your heavenly Father is gracious and merciful. He is calling out to you so that he can bless you. Yes, there is “fasting, weeping, and mourning,” but not out of fear or anxiety (Joel 2:12). They are meant to arise from a heart that wants to know a deeper freedom from sin and fear—a heart that is looking to God for more of his love.
Here is the key to finding God this Lent—a soft heart. That’s why we are encouraged to fast, to pray, and to give alms during this season. They help prepare our hearts to receive God’s blessings. We don’t do them to prove ourselves to God or convince him to bless us. We do them because they can help us feel the presence of God. We do them because they can change our hearts and make us more like Jesus.
For the next forty days, we will have opportunity after opportunity to discover just how gracious and merciful our heavenly Father is. We will also have countless opportunities to respond to his grace and mercy—through repentance, generosity, worship, forgiveness, and acts of service. So let’s try our best to keep our hearts soft and open to the Lord, because that’s when the changes really happen.
“Father, thank you for inviting me to come to you this Lent. By your Spirit, help me to soften my heart toward you and the people around me.”

From the WORD among us, Daily Meditations for Catholics

Day 42: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Don't get discouraged if you find you are still worrying once in a while, remind yourself that God is watching over you and that you can trust Him. Peace will come as you trust Him more.

"I sleep and wake up refreshed because You, Lord, protect me." Psalm 3:5

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 41: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

People who have been called as missionaries for God need to be supported. Your offering can make a difference in someone's life on the other side of the world.

"On the first day of every week, each one of you should put aside money as you have been blessed." 1 Corinthians 16:2

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict the 16th's Resignation

Today is a sad day for me because I really liked Pope Benedict XVI, I remember sending him a letter and I got a picture of him back and a nice note saying he would pray for me. Such a wonderful Pope who has stirred faith in Jesus throughout the whole world. Let us pray for our Holy Father and pray that his health may be good and he will be safe from all rude comments and anything that may come in his way.

Our Lady of Lourdes Pray for us.

Full statement and video from our Holy Father, Pope Benedict the 16th.

Watch the video here:

“Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.”

Day 40: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Whatever happens, keep depending on God. Don't let anything pull you away from Him. You can trust Him because His power in mightier than anything else in this world.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His great power." Ephesians 6:10

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day 39: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

You are always "under construction." God is continually working on you. That's kind of cool when you think about it. He never stops working to help you be better.

"God is the One who began this good work in you, and I am certain that He won't stop before it is complete on that day that Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 38: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

How you do your chores and homework reflects your opinion of God. Always do you best and remember that you're doing it for God, not for people. Anything done for God deserves your best.

"Do you work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself." Colossians 3:23

Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 37: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

Do you think God loving you is nothing special? Stop and think about it. the God of the universe who created everything, the God who controls the oceans and holds the star in the sky loves YOU! Wow!

"The Lord your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in His love; He will sing and be joyful about you." Zephaniah 3:17

What is Lent?

What is lent? Well lent basically means "Spring" and is the season of preparation before we celebrate our Lords Glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Lent officially starts on Ash Wednesday, this is where we are crossed on the forehead with ashes that are actually burnt palms from the previous Palm Sunday. The ashes remind us of our morality and they call us to repentance, in the early Church Ash Wednesday was the day where sinners who wished to be accepted into the Church would begin their public penance. The ashes on our foreheads are a reminder of our own sinfulness and remind us to repent for our sins. Most Catholic wear the ashes all day on their forehead as a sign of humility, it is also a great way to evangelize. Most people will ask you about the smudge or cross on your forehead and it is a great time to say, "I am a Catholic and today is Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent," and you could explain that, "The season of lent is a time of preparation before the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday."

Lent is 40 days and ends on Holy Thursday which is the day we celebrate the Last Supper. If you count from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday you get 44 days but we don't count Sundays! "The Easter Triduum begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, reaches it high point in the Easter Vigil and closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday." from the USCCB, Committee of Divine Worship.

Fasting and Abstinence:

During Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent, Catholics are called to fast and abstain from meat. Catholics who are over the age of 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that you can only eat one complete meal and two smaller ones that equal to less than the complete meal. This means no snacking between meals. Most Catholics eat fish sticks or fillets on Fridays, it unites us with the people during Jesus' time because they didn't have steak or nice cuts of meat because livestock was so valuable to them and there wasn't a lot of livestock to be butchering. Most of the people back then like Peter were fisherman, so they ate a lot of fish, not eating meat on Fridays unites us with the poor and helps us understand what they go through.

The hunger you experience during fasting is meant to remind you why you are doing this, it is almost like an alarm. It is a reminder that you are doing this for God and it is also to help you be more prayerful. So make sure you are fasting for the right reasons and praying more often!


Lent is a good time to pray and to be united with God, in Lent we are trying to connect with God and leave behind our sinful ways. If you don't pray during the day, set up a time in the morning or after work when you get home. It can be 5, 10, 15 or however long you want but just pray, make sure that during Lent your relationship with God increases through prayer. If you do pray during the day try a new type of prayer like Adoration, meditation or pray the rosary for 40 days or just come up with something you feel comfortable with. How important is prayer? Well if Jesus did it, its pretty important.


Alms-giving is when you give money to the poor or charities, this means that the giving to the person standing on the side of the road with a "Anything with help" sign is giving Alms. Many people will say well they will just use it for drugs and alcohol that may be true but how are we to know if they truly need it? We are not to judge we are to just give them an amount of any size and God will take care of the rest. It is truly not up to use after we give them the money to determine what they do with it, only God will take care of it.

Hope this helps!

(From my other blog)