Thursday, April 09, 2020

We Are a People of Hope

Wow, what an amazing turn of events over the last few months or more.

Pope Francis has called us to pray for the Church in China for this month's intention. Our brothers and sisters there are suffering in silence since virtually nothing gets in or out of the country without the Communist Party's approval (think Great Firewall of China).

We here in the West are essentially shut in with little to no direction on what the future holds.

Many of us have no more income to pay for our rent, mortgage, loans, food, and utilities.

And yet, we are a People of Hope.

We have had, and have, an opportunity to spend time at the foot of the Cross. To truly live our Lent!

We can take this time to be stripped of all distractions, worries, and things while there. To be still and listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say. To take in the desert and all of its hidden beauty.

It is in this silence that we can discover that we are truly valuable to Him Who Loves Us.

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Matthew 6:26

Our Lord goes on to lecture about how God the Father will take care of us no matter what. He finishes with:

… seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Matthew 6:33

As a People of Hope, we _believe_ that promise will be fulfilled. We _trust_ Jesus at His Word.

If we don't, then we have work to do to open ourselves up to Him who loves us because He _is_ a Man of His Word. Truly.


John Everett

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Husband and Father, St. Joseph Held His Own in the Face of Adversity and Death

When we look to what little we find in the Scripture about Our Lord's Foster Father, we don't find a lot.

But what is there speaks mountains to the heart.

Jesus promises us:

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

How deep was St. Joseph's faith that he heard in his heart the whispers to leave Bethlehem given what was coming from Herod: Certain death for the Lord?

Our Lord promises _us_ that He will not leave _us_ orphaned.

Well, here we stand with the world in tumult and uncertainty abounding.

What does it all mean?

While there may be the occasional few that can see the big picture most of us remain in the dark.

Because of that, we must trust in the Lord. We must trust that He will protect us, guide us, and prepare us for whatever comes.

He did with St. Joseph. He will with us.

We need only do the following:

  • Pray the Rosary daily!
    • Ponder those mysteries!
    • Pick up the Scriptures to delve in deeper
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily
  • Spend time in quiet meditation listening for Him
    • This one takes much time and patience
    • Look to the Fathers and Mothers of the Desert for guidance if need-be
    • Sit with St. Mary Magdalene in the Garden when the Lord whispered, "Mary" and she recognized Him (John 20:16)
  • Open the Scriptures and choose the first spot the eyes rest on the pray over
  • Go to Confession
  • Adore the Lord
    • Make a Spiritual Communion
  • Keep a journal

Since many of us now have a lot of time on our hands, besides the above reach out to loved ones. Reach out and love them. Hug them virtually and spiritually.

And most especially, reconcile with them. Be humble. Make the first steps.

There is no personal hurt greater than the Love of Jesus Christ poured out for us in the Blood and Water from His side. Open the heart, mind, body, and spirit to the cleansing healing He has to offer.

Start with praying for those that hurt us. The Lord and Our Lady will inspire the next steps.

Now is the time for a deepening of prayer as there are many who without faith are terrified and seeking shelter and reassurance that only the Lord can provide.

Let us pray together through the intercession of St. Joseph and Our Lady …


John Everett

Feast of St. Joseph

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Our Hunger for Love

How many times do we have a reveal of God the Father expressing His Love for His Son in Scripture? The one that always seems to come to mind is in the Jordan when St. John the Baptist is baptizing Him.

Today's Breviary reading, Tuesday Week III, is from the first letter of St. John:

14 Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.

15 Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. 1 John 4:14-15

Jesus is indeed the Son of God and the Lord of our lives (1 Corinthians 12:3).

When contemplating the Father's words of love and pride it draws one out to realize that there is a need within us for same.

Our Love Languages

So many of us have lived with little to no expression of love in our families. Many times there's an assumption that the beloved just "knows" they are loved.

The reality though is nowhere near that.

We need to be loved in the way we are wired for love.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is an excellent way for us to learn how we need to be loved to "feel" it and "know" it.

  • Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Clearly, God the Father expresses His Love in words of affirmation here! ;)

Our Love Tanks

In a sense, we have two Love Tanks:

  1. Space filled by God's Love
  2. Space filled by those that love us

The first can be filled by anything but God's Love while the second may or may not be filled at all.

So where does that leave us with today's reading?

That God, Who is Love, is already resident in us. That we need to trust that He is truly present.

Getting to Know Love

How do we get to know His Presence and Love?

The best way is to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist and take the time to be silent with Him after receiving Him and then after Mass for at least five minutes.

The next best way is to sit with Him in Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament or while He resides in the tabernacle. We need to learn to adore Him and come to silence in mind, body, and spirit for He and His Holy Spirit speak in gentle whispers.

Another is to spend time with Him in the Scriptures or take the time to come to silence for 10-30 minutes each day to learn to listen to him.

Once that first tank starts to fill everything that blocks it from being so will come to light. This is _not_ an easy road to follow.

It requires much patience and perseverance in the face of our wounds, brokenness, and selfishness.

If the pain is such that it can't be handled alone then reach out to a professional. Most cities have Listening Centres where we can drop in and speak with a Psychologist.

Humility. It's required for this journey. Reaching out for help is in tandem with our reaching out to the Lord for His Help!

The Goal

Ultimately, what is the goal?

It is to know and love God and to know His Love for us.

To do so, we must humbly accept His guidance to remove all blocks, bitter roots, unforgiveness, possessions, and anything else that would stand between Him and His Love.

That leads us to the second tank.

For it to start filling _we_ must start to change _our_ ways.

There is no blame game in love only taking responsibility for who we are and what we do.

A start is to learn the Five Love Languages and share them. Work with loved ones to discover their Love Languages, don't be surprised if they are not the same, and work on loving them.

Forgiveness. We need to forgive those who have hurt us just as the Lord does each and every time we turn away from Him in sin.

And finally, the key in all of this is: Love your neighbour _as_ yourself. We can't love and be loved by others if we don't first love ourselves. Don't forget, we also need to _forgive_ ourselves!

So, how do we do that?

The answers are in the Whispers of the Holy Spirit within us and Our Lady's always willing arms of Love. :)

Oh, and visiting the Confessional as often as we need to in order for Our Lord's cleansing Blood and Water to do their work within us.


John Everett

Monday, February 17, 2020

Like a Kid in a Candy Store Post Conversion

This morning's Breviary reading (Monday Week II) is from Jeremiah:

When I found your words, I devoured them;

your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart,

Because I bear your name,

LORD, God of hosts. JEREMIAH 15:16

Around the time of my conversion I was working as a night auditor at one of the bigger hotels in the city.

The audit took a couple of hours though sometimes longer if the bar got a little "busy" outside.

Once finished, there was a lot of time left over. And, it was quiet.

So, out came the Rosary but most especially out came The Catechism Explained by Fr. Francis Spirago. The book was a gift from a Cistercian priest during a stay at his monastery (I spent many a Spring there).

To say that my mind and heart was voracious was an understatement. ;)

Read, pray, study. Read, pray, study.

This was the cycle for most of the first three years or so post conversion.

One Saturday morning near the end of my shift the hotel owner's son and his wife came in the front doors.

Being that it was usually busy I was at the front desk. The previous night's reading, prayer, and study was particularly neat so there was a "glow" if you will. ;)

After the morning pleasantries they walked away and I heard his wife say to him, "What does that guy have to be so happy about?"

… [it is] no longer I, but Christ [who] lives in me. Galatians 2:20

Indeed, as our faith develops and we discover more and more "candy" to dive in to, we can be overly focused on devouring it.

The moment that appetite became tempered was in a discussion with a fellow Catholic Christian about what they were reading at the time. This was probably three years or so from the Easter Vigil.

Their response was, "John, I realized that I needed to start to put into practice everything I was reading. So, I stopped the reading and started to practice it!"

Indeed. :)

SUGGESTION: Take up journaling. It can really help to process everything.


John Everett