Thursday, March 23, 2017


As part of my Lenten journey this year I am receiving emails from Fr. Richard Heilman.

His emails are called Nineveh 90 and are preparing us for the 100th anniversary of our Blessed Mother's apparitions in Fatima, Portugal.

Today's email went straight to my heart and exactly describes what it going on inside of me this Lent.

'The "one thing necessary" constitutes the essential foundation for the interior life and consists in hearing the word of God and living by it (I will serve!). It stems from the story of Martha and Mary (Lk 10:38-42), where we first see that, amazingly, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was sitting right in their living room. Now, Martha remains busy with the good and noble protocol of hospitality while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, her eyes locked on his holy face, peering into his soul, hanging on his every word. Mary is actually in adoration, soaking in everything our Lord wants to give her. I like to say that she is "Mary-nating" - soaking in the gusher of God's graces. ' (Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ by Fr Richard M Heilman)

Yes, a new book will grace my life soon! I need to delve more deeply into what Fr. Heilman has to say.

As for being in adoration of the Second Person of the Trinity, the opportunity avails itself readily to us.  Christ is there in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church one enters.  He is available in every Adoration chapel, as well.  When the monstrance is placed on the altar (or even when Jesus is reposed in the tabernacle) HE is present.  He longs for us to come and "soak in everything Our Lord want to give [us]."

If you have never been to adoration, I encourage you to find a Church, or adoration chapel soon.  Go "waste some time with the Lord." (Fr. John Riccardo)  You will find that that "wasted" time was the best part of your day. And you will most likely find that your heart calls you back there again and again.  What more could we ask of this Lent, than to grow closer to the heart of the One who loves us best.  Go ahead--"Mary-nate".  You and Christ will be glad you did.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Light in the Darkness

We had quite a windstorm yesterday which caused fires, downed trees, and power outages.

Since our high schooler is home sick, I decided to go to early Mass.

When I pulled up to the church it was obvious that there was no electricity on the campus.

There was a gentleman standing at the entrance to our Adoration Chapel, flashlight in hand, leading us to the tiny 16 seat chapel.  When Father looked up from his morning prayer and saw that there was a standing-room only crowd, he hesitantly decided to move the Mass in the main church with the admonitions to be careful, and that he did not want to get sued!

With the glow of cell phone flashlights leading the way, we uncharacteristically squished into the first several pews, side-by-side to begin Mass.

Father had a goose-neck lamp on the altar so he could read the prayers.

The altar server generously held a flashlight so that the lector could hold the lectionary and read without having to wrangle a light as well.

He then did the same for Father for the Gospel.

Mass progressed nicely and as it did so, the sun began to rise and shed it's light through the stained glass window making the sanctuary visible enough to make the reception of Communion easy and a lot less dangerous than it would have been in the dark.

It was a lovely way to start the day with everyones' patience and generosity with their lights showing true Christian charity.

I've sent up a prayer that the electricity will soon be restored as it is a cold day and many are without heat or a way to fix their dinners.

Thank you, Jesus, that you come to us even in the dark times of our lives.  You are always our Light in the darkness.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Your God-Shaped Hole

If you do a Google search on God-shaped hole, you come up with many explanations about the origin of the term; from a quote from a book by Blaise Paschal to St. Augustine's famous "our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in you."

I have been contemplating this empty space in us that only God can fill, and I come up with my own explanation.

If you look in a full-length mirror you can see how large the space that God longs to fill is.  It is our whole being.

He longs to fill our mind with His word; Sacred Scripture.  He wants us to learn about Him and His ways so that we will follow them.

He longs for our eyes to look upon His creation both in nature and in each other and be in awe, so much so that we refuse to look upon things that are abhorrent to Him so as not to offend Him.

He wants our mouth to be full of Him; praying without ceasing, singing His praises, bringing Him to others whom we meet by a kind word or an "I'll pray for you."

He wants our ears to hear only that which is life-giving and affirming.  We don't need to be a part of gossip or trash talk.

He wants our heart to be full of love for Him and to long for heaven and union with the Beloved.

Our hands are to be His hands on earth.  We can find a thousand ways to serve Him if we only look for ways to incorporate the corporal works of mercy into each day.

Our arms are His arms for hugging a crying child or a friend in need.

Our feet are His feet.  They take us to His Church for Mass, to hospitals and nursing homes to care for those who are lonely and ill. They take us to soup kitchens were our help is needed to serve the homeless and hungry.

Our whole being cries out for God to fill us with Him so that we can be His light in the darkness of the world.

Dear Lord Jesus, fill me with You!  Let all who encounter me know that you are the center of my life. Amen.