As we continue to move into the New Year of 2019, and enter into February…I have 2 questions…1. Did you create New Years Resolutions…2. If you did…How are they going?… If you have failed already here are some tips…
General New Years Resolutions like…(This year I will get in shape)…(Or this year I will grow closer to God) are doomed to failure.
New Years Resolutions have to be specific & Measurable to find success.
You actually have to join a gym & then, as a beginner, hire a personal trainer…You might start with 2 trips a week…This you can monitor to know if you are keeping up.
If you are interested in growing closer to God this year…Here is a short list to help you start…You can measure your progress and adjust to be successful…Any of these will change your life…
1.Go to an extra Daily Mass other than Sunday…Start with getting the Parish App, which has the Sacred Heart Mass Schedule, and also tools to find other Mass schedules while traveling. Start with one extra Mass per week.
2.Pray the Rosary…After the prayer of the Holy Mass…The Rosary is a most powerful prayer…Mary, at Fatima, told the children to pray the Rosary daily…Start out weekly & then move towards adding days…It will change your life…Look up the 15 promises offered to those who pray the Rosary daily.
3.Read Scripture Daily…Start with 1 chapter a day…Perhaps start with the Gospels…Before you know it, you will be through the 4 Gospels…Then move to the New Testament Letters…You choose…It is also measurable.
4.Attend Sacred Heart’s Wednesday and/or 1st Friday “Eucharistic Adoration”…Perhaps begin with once a month and then move towards a weekly Holy Hour…If you are not use to silence…Start with 10 to 15 minutes and move towards a Holy Hour. It will change your life.
5.Listen to Wilmington Catholic Radio…Is inspiring and will help you to grow spiritually. Start with a day per week…
6.Come to hear Dr. Allen Hunt, of Dynamic Catholic, speak on “Finding Your Greatness” at Sacred Heart on February 16.
While hearing Advent Confessions – I know some people are hurting…
-Concerned with their church…
I’m reminded that…From the beginning – Judas, and the apostles deny & reject Jesus’ cross – Other than St. John, Mary, & a few others, the apostles ran and hid during the crucifixion of their Lord…Yet, at Pentecost they were inspired by the Holy Spirit & then began to receive the Sacraments that changed their lives & help to renew their hearts.
-I’m reminded of the 4th century Arian Heresy, & the many early heresies that confused & weakened the early church & allowed other religions to grow in influence – Yet The Holy Spirit spoke through the 4th century councils to say that Jesus is Lord & God – Mary is His mother; Theotokos (The mother of God)…
-Mary is our model – She never left Jesus – She saw Judas give him up for silver – She saw the first Pope deny him and flee the trouble of the cross – But she stayed close to him – Stayed at the foot of the cross – She took her Son into her heart.
-When Jesus was crucified she didn’t leave the apostles – She stayed with St. John, & then stayed close to the church, her Son, Jesus founded.
-Jesus’ birth brings light – And the 7 Sacraments sustain that light within us.
-The hierarchy & people do not make the church Holy, but must be made Holy by the core & center of the church. What makes the church Holy? Jesus in His Word & Sacrament via the Holy Spirit – When we stop looking up – To God – We, for a time, may lose our way – But the 7 Sacraments, especially CONFESSION, THE EUCHARIST, & THE HOLY MASS, the Light of Jesus, will always be the core of the Church that He founded.
So, why do I stay close to the Church?
-Mary’s perpetual Virginity – Stays a virgin, yet still conceives – God has done impossible things before. He does them even today, turning hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, making ordinary bread & wine into the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ – Offering forgiveness for ‘unforgivable’ sins that are then forgotten & blotted out – God wants to do impossible things in our hearts & lives as well, using the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish these amazing wonders.
COME LORD JESUS THIS ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS – FATHER VIC
Sometimes we can make our Christian walk complex when it can be very simple beginning with this quote from a book of “Spiritual Direction of St. Claude de la Colombière” who was canonized by St. John Paul II. “Jesus is in the midst of us in the Blessed Sacrament. What a consolation to live in the same house where He dwells! Yet does it not seem as though we often ignore this happiness? Do we visit Him often? Do we go to Him with our needs and consult Him in our plans? Do we bring Him our little sorrows instead of talking about them by complaining and murmuring to others?” I will add…as I spend more time with Jesus both in prayer and Eucharistic Adoration, it is so much easier NOT ONLY TO BRING ALL my needs and concerns to Him, but the wisdom to focus on those most important at a given moment. What follows is more peace and less anxiety. Pax—Fr. Vic.
***Also don’t forget the Parish Pilgrimages to Medjugorje, October 2018, and The Holy Land, Spring 2019 with more information to come. ***
Dr. Scott Hahn—from: “Why a Protestant Pastor became Catholic” For two weeks straight I went to Mass. I can’t begin to tell you what I was experiencing. I was falling head over heels in love with Jesus Christ as though it was the first time. Only in this case, it was the Holy Eucharist, it was the Blessed Sacrament, it was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And I was watching as the Bible just came to life.
Sometimes I think we take the Holy Mass for granted. We do not realize it is Heaven come down to earth, and that we are immersed in the Sacred Scriptures. At other times we want to make the Mass about us, forgetting that by just being present we are uniting ourselves to the very heart and prayers of Jesus Himself as He intercedes for our intentions and needs. It does not matter how you feel emotionally, or if you are up or down, you are in the very presence of Jesus Himself. I feel sorry for some who decide to leave early, because they miss being Blessed by Jesus Himself through His priest. This blessing allows us strength for the week ahead. Blessings and Peace, Father Vic.