On the Inside; On the Outside


From Me to the One Who Made Me

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During deacon formation, I was required to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church for one of my classes. While reading this document, I came across a beautiful prayer from St. Nicholas of Flue. It is a prayer that has become one of my favorites and it is one that I often use when I give talks at other parishes. This is the prayer:

My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you.
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.

This prayer continues to touch me every time I read it. It is very simple, yet hits me where I need it the most. It’s about transforming my thinking from being about “me” to being about the One who made me. It’s about placing our focus on serving the Lord without getting caught up in the distractions of our world.

This is an extremely powerful prayer and yet it’s a very difficult prayer. Why? Because we tend to make things about ourselves – and we often get wrapped up with our own drama. When we place all of our thoughts, actions and energies toward ourselves – everything about me and what I want, there is simply no room for God. We in fact become our own God.

But when we take the time to center ourselves and refocus on our one true God, our perspective slowly begins to change. We become less self-centered and more Christ-centered.

When we allow God to “re-become” the center of our lives, everything simply falls into place. It’s just like St. Teresa of Jesus wrote:

Let nothing trouble you. Let nothing frighten you.
Everything passes. God never changes. Patience obtains all.
Whoever has God wants for nothing. God alone is enough.

Worth the Wait

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Last Sunday, we experienced something that hasn’t happened in quite some time; something that may not happen again anytime soon. Our three young adult sons were all home at the same time! Due to work schedules, college schedules, and the fact that each resides in a different state, it is becoming increasingly difficult to have all three at home together. So we took this opportunity to plan an early family Christmas celebration.

As we were watching the weather reports for the impending snow storm, we were very hopeful that all would be able to travel home safely. So we patiently waited for their coming. Despite snowy roads, all arrived safe and sound and we had a very enjoyable day together as a family. It was certainly worth the wait!

Today’s readings instill within us a deep and passionate desire for God. Just as we were anxious for our boys to come home, so must we be anxious for Jesus’ coming with that same desire and passion. But often times we find our patience being challenged during our waiting.

We are challenged in so many ways, and we often find that Advent (that season of hoping and waiting) is not always an easy thing to live out. In our world, we face the threat of war, terrorism, and violence. In our society, there is a lack of respect for life and for the dignity of all people. In our own lives, we struggle with family issues, work stress, illness, and trying to do the right thing. Our patience often runs thin when we are forced to wait for an answer.

But there is some good news: regardless of our hardships, Advent cultivates hope for each of us to carry on. We know as a people of faith that Jesus is always with us; both in our joys and in our sufferings. We are never left alone.

In these remaining days of Advent, let us prepare the way of the Lord. No one is greater, and no one is more worthy of our praise. Jesus is coming, and he is certainly worth the wait!

Who Ya Gonna Call?

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There’s something strange in the neighborhood. Who Ya Gonna Call?
There’s something weird and it don’t look good. Who Ya Gonna Call?

Most of you probably know the song and the movie quite well. Ghostbusters was a huge hit back in the day and the new version is doing quite well in theaters now. If there was ever any dreadful danger or spooky situations, the Ghostbusters were the best at saving the day. The song is still great and the movies are still funny, but spooky ghosts and goblins aren’t real. Proton packs and ghost traps don’t exist. There’s nothing spooky to be afraid of. Read More

Prayer of Spouses for Each Other

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Prayer of Spouses for Each Other

Lord Jesus, grant that my spouse and I may have a true and understanding love for each other. Grant that we may both be filled with faith and trust. Give us the grace to live with each other in peace and harmony.

May we always bear with one another’s weaknesses and grow from each others strengths. Help us to forgive one another’s failings and grant us patience, kindness, cheerfulness and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of one’s self.

May the love that brought us together grow and mature with each passing year. Bring us both ever closer to you through our love for each other. Let our love grown to perfection. Amen.

Patiently Waiting

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What are we waiting for?

Holy Saturday is a time of waiting, of living in the uncomfortable middle between the necessary death of Jesus and his Resurrection. It’s a day of grief and mourning, of patient waiting and hoping. It is a day of holy waiting, which requires a spirit of patience and prayerfulness. Yet, for most of us, we are so busy with Easter baking, last minute cleaning, preparing for guests, or prepping for Easter liturgies. So how can we hold onto the spirit of patience and prayerfulness in the midst of such busyness? Read More

Patience, Patience, Patience!

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Am I glad to see Friday! This has been one of those weeks; you know, the type of week where you were tested and tried, poked and pried, basted and fried. It was one of those weeks when your patience is put to the test, day after day. And, I’m sad to say, I did not handle that patience piece very well at all!

My activities surrounding my job search were quite active this week. There was also a lot of activity surrounding some family health challenges. And don’t even get me started on the lack of sunshine this week! The skies were constantly dark and cloudy, it was cold and raining – and my patience was running thin! Read More

Prayer for Frustrated Catholics

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This was printed in America Magazine, written by Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Dear God, sometimes I get so frustrated with your church.

I know that I’m not alone.  So many people who love your church feel frustrated with the Body of Christ on earth.  Priests and deacons, and brothers and sisters, can feel frustrated, too.  And I’ll bet that even bishops and popes feel frustrated.  We grow worried and concerned and bothered and angry and sometimes scandalized because your divine institution, our home, is filled with human beings who are sinful.  Just like me. Read More
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