Friday, June 23, 2017

Truth


  Truth.  Some people try to cover it up.  Some people run from it.  Some people are scared to death of it.  How important is truth to you?
  As I was praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy this week, I found myself stuck in the conversation between Pilate and Jesus just before Pilate had Jesus scourged. 

  (John 18:37-38) So Pilate said to him, "Then your are a king?"  Jesus answered, "You say I am a king.  for this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

  To Pilate, truth was arbitrary.  Jesus, however, states the reason He was born was for others to hear the truth.  What puzzles me is that Pilate really didn't care.  I kept thinking about this.  Would Pilate have cared about the truth if it was his life that was on the line?  And then I wondered, if at the moment of Pilate's death,  did the Truth became crystal clear to him?  
  Truth is not arbitrary, it is essential. Truth is the key to unlocking the door to eternity.  My mom gave me some very good advice when I was younger.  She told me to always carry my house key with me, because you never know when you might need it.

-Susan

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bursting With Joy


  I remember being in line for Communion when Theresa was just a toddler.  As she watched me receive the Holy Eucharist, she would  reach her hands out as well, and then immediately begin crying when she was not able to receive the host.  She, of course, would continue to cry all the way back to our seats.  My husband would give me the look--the please make her stop look.  All I could do was hold her close and think, "Why wasn't everyone else crying out to receive the Eucharist?"  
  The living God stands before us at the alter waiting to enter into our hearts and lives, where is our excitement?  Do yourself a favor this week, as you walk towards the alter, allow your heart to blissfully expand with each step you take. Yes, we want to be reverent, but that doesn't mean we can't be bursting with pure joy as well. Go ahead and smile--God is totally in love with you!

-Susan
  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What An Amazing Father!



Love St. Joseph a lot.  He deserves your affection-and it will do you good to get to know him, because he has great power before the Lord and before the Mother of God.
St. Josemaria Escriva

  I sometimes think people overlook the amazing role of St. Joseph.
We don't know a lot of details about his life, but let's consider what we do know.  Of all the men during the history of the world, St. Joseph was the man God, himself, chose to protect and care for Mary and Jesus.  Joseph must have had an incredible faith life, because he demonstrated a complete trust in God.  His life of faithful prayer allowed him to recognize the messages in his dreams came from God.  Without Joseph, Mary's life, and The Life within her, would not have been protected.  Both Mary and Joseph had to give God their "Yes" in order for God's Plan for salvation to begin.
  I wonder how many smiles and laughs Joseph and Jesus shared over the years.  I wonder how proud Joseph must have been to call Jesus his son.  I wonder if he ever put Jesus on his shoulders, played catch with Him, or carried Him when his little legs were too tired.  And I wonder if the weight of keeping the Messiah safe from harm kept him up at night. 
  Today is Father's Day and I think it is appropriate to think about St. Joseph's fatherhood.  Being a good father requires endless sacrifices for the sake of the family.  It also requires a heart that loves beyond self interest in order to embrace the dreams and desires of his child.  Take some time today to ask St. Joseph to share his favorite memory of fatherhood.

-Susan

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

St. Anthony


  Today is the feast day of St. Anthony!  I am very inspired by St. Anthony, and he feels like a close friend to me.  Sure he has helped me find my lost items more times than I like to admit, but more importantly, he has helped me find God's love.  St. Anthony saw God in everything around him.  He encouraged others to discover God in the every day experiences of life, and his example inspires me to try to do the same.  I would like to share my prayer to St. Anthony:  


      Come find me St. Anthony 
       For I am lost; 
         Stumbling and distracted,
         Scared and selfish,
         I turned, and then turned away.
         Hear my cry-
         My pain and sorrow, 
         Return me back home
         To my loving Father.

                                                               -Susan



Friday, June 9, 2017

Make Room



  Lillian sat on her bed and stared at her reflection in the mirror.  She took a deep breath in and then let it out.  "I totally screwed up," she thought to herself.  "Why did I even do that?  I knew it was wrong.  I feel so bad."  She threw herself onto her pillow face first and began to cry.  After a few minutes she reached towards her dresser for the box of Kleenex.  As she pulled out the tissue, she saw the little statue of Jesus.  She picked up the statue and held it close to her heart.  "I'm sorry Jesus.  I'm really sorry.  Can you forgive me?"  Lillian curled up onto her side as she continued to hold Jesus close to her heart.  Twenty minutes went by as she prayed to Jesus.  She looked at the statue before setting it back on her dresser,  nodded her head, and then said, "I'll go ask Mom."
  Lillian walked downstairs and found her mom in the kitchen.  "Hey, Mom, do you think you could drive me to church?"
  Lillian's mom stopped cleaning the counter and looked up.  "Why?"
  "I think  I should go to Reconciliation."
  "Does this have something to do with why you came home so upset earlier?"
  Lillian really didn't want to talk about it with her mom.  "Yes....I said some things I really shouldn't have....I prayed about it, though.  Jesus said I should go to Reconciliation.  He said I need to get rid of this little sin because He has something bigger to put in its place."
  "Really?  What's that?"
  "His love, Mom.  He's going to help me heal so I can go heal my friendship with Sara.... Can you please take me?"
  "Sure.  You know I think I could make more room for Jesus in my heart, too.  Come on, let's go."

-Susan
 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Emergency Care


  Tom watched as they rolled a middle-aged man on a stretcher into the critical care bay.  The man seemed to be in a great deal of pain as he clutched his chest.  Tom shook his head hoping his assessment was wrong.  Tom had seen this situation too many times in the past few months.  He wished people paid attention to the warning symptoms before it got to this extreme.  Tom and the others rushed into place hoping their efforts were not going to be too late.
  "Sir, can you tell me your name?" Tom asked.
  "Clark Johnson.  Where am I?"
  "You are at St. Jude's.  Do you know how you got here?"
  "I'm not sure.  I was in so much pain.  I think I just collapsed."
  "It's okay, Clark, we are going to take good care of you."  Tom reached for Clark's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.
  "There's something wrong with my heart.  It doesn't feel right," admitted Clark.
  Tom placed his hand on Clark's heart.  "It feels pretty hard."
  "Am I going to die?"
  Tom knew he had to be completely honest.  "Clark, your heart is probably going to keep beating for a long time.  The real problem is that your soul is slowly dying, and that is a much more serious problem."
  "I don't understand?"
  "Clark when is the last time you prayed?" Tom asked.
  "What?!  I don't know.  Do people still really do that?" 
  "Yes, Clark, prayer is essential to the life of the soul.  What about church?  When was the last time you spent time in church?"
  Clark closed his eyes as he searched his memory.  "I have no idea.  It's been a really long time.  I"m a very busy person.  I don't understand what's going on. Why am I in so much pain?"
  "Clark, life without God is empty.  Problems become too difficult.  I'm going to guess that you have been blocking the love God has been trying to infuse into your soul.  You are actually starving the life of your soul and it has caused your heart to become hard.  Clark, my name is Father Tom, and if you are willing, I would like to help you."
  "How do you know it's not too late for me?"
  "Clark, God's love for each of us is way beyond our understanding. God can heal the hardest of hearts.  You just have to turn to Him in prayer.  Are you ready to begin?
  "Yes!"
  "Then let's begin in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit...."
  As Clark and Father Tom began to pray, Jesus smiled and placed His arms around both of them.

-Susan