Remaining in Him

Do you ever feel like there is a general state of discontent in your household? One kid is  complaining about every little thing, the other doesn’t want to do his school work, the other has decided that copying every word that comes out of our mouths is funny, and they are all begging for new toys and video games that are not in our budget. 

I have tried getting them outside to get some Vitamin D and a change of attitude and they complain about that too. “I used to spend all day outside when I was kid!” I tell them, to no avail. I wonder why I was so excited to move to a house with a big fenced-in backyard when they don’t even want to step foot outside the door. 

At moments like these I recall something my brother mentioned telling his kids when they got whiny: “You don’t suffer enough.” And perhaps it’s true. Perhaps they can do without the individualized meals, the 50 stuffed animals, the weekly ice cream cone and the abundant hours of screen time. They are used to getting what they want and could use yet another lesson about sacrifice. 

In today’s Gospel Jesus states: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” Our Father prunes and refines us, just as we seek to prune and refine our children by teaching and directing them. Because in the end, we all could use a little pruning and we all could stand to sacrifice just a tad more. 

There is so much beauty in this process. When we allow ourselves to be pruned and adhere to the true vine, we will bear much fruit. “Remain in me, as I remain in you… If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” 

What an incredible promise! That is enough to turn any frown upside down! Remaining in Christ is not easy. It requires a continual focus and a periodic pruning, but when we do, Christ promises to be with us and respond to our every request!

Maybe I am not so different from my kids after all. Maybe I want certain things just as much as they do and get grumpy when I don’t get them. Maybe I don’t suffer enough either. Join me in remaining in Christ today so that we may bear much fruit and watch His many blessings unfold. 

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Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling projects, finding fun ways to keep her little ones occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at for Christian Healthcare Centers, is a guest blogger on and, runs her own blog at and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for over 20 years.

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World Peace

The acquisition of peace, from a secular framework, is a tricky topic. So many roads appear to lead to peace based on the sayings:

“If you want peace, prepare for war.”

“If you want peace, work for peace.”

“If you want peace, end poverty/hunger/homelessness/racism/social inequality.”

“If you want peace, stop fighting.”

“If you want peace, work for justice.”

How can all of these be true at once? While I’m not about to contradict a pope (that last observation belongs to Pope Paul VI), our Gospel today offers a very different understanding of where peace comes from. And spoiler alert, it’s not something that’s the fruit of our labors as these previous sayings imply. 

As Jesus is preparing His disciples for His Ascension, He explains another gift He is leaving them. Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” 

The world teaches us that peace must be earned before it can be received. “If you want peace, then you must do something.” This isn’t what Jesus expressed to His apostles. The peace that Jesus offers is something even greater than world peace. It is the state of a soul in right relationship with God the Father.

When we find ourselves out of relationship with God, it becomes very challenging to be in right relationship with our neighbors. There is a reason the first Great Commandment Jesus gave us is about our relationship with God. Then the second deals with everyone else. The world cannot give us this kind of peace. 

The world is concerned, and rightly so, with the peace between peoples. There are many avenues to peace, like the sayings I dictated earlier. There are many places where peace seems unavailable or impossible to achieve. Peace often is seen as a compromise where no one side wins and everyone is sacrificing something for a balance of peace. Peace of this kind takes work.

If only the world could see that the work would not be so arduous we first received the peace Jesus freely offers. Living in harmony with God naturally brings people into harmony with one another. We discover the unity in Christ that binds us together as part of the family of God. We are not all the same, but our differences are not meant to be divisive. 

I love this image from Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement. Chiara says,

“Let us imagine that God is like the sun. A ray from the sun falls on each one of us. Each ray is the divine will for me, for you, for everyone. Christians and all people of good will are called to move towards the sun, keeping to their own ray of light which is unique and distinct from all the others. By doing so, they will fulfill the wonderful and particular plan that God has for them. If you do the same, you will find yourself involved in a divine adventure you never even dreamed of. You will be, at the same time, both actor in and spectator of something great that God is accomplishing in you and through you in humanity” 

Doing the will of God, receiving the peace He has to give. These are the ways we will bring about world peace that is meaningful and lasting for all people.  

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Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at

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Whoever Follows God’s Commands Loves Him

In today’s Gospel, Jesus told His disciples: “Whoever has My commandments and observes them is the one who loves Me. Whoever loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” 

This is so very true! If we love God, we will follow His commandments—without hesitation and without complaint. For without God, we have nothing. And we can do nothing.

Yes, we may be able to be happy for a short period. We may have good fortune. Things may go well for a time. But if we don’t have God, if we don’t love Him, if we don’t follow His commands, we ultimately have nothing.

The goal of our lives is to spend eternity with God. Everything we do on earth should lead us down that path. If not, we are doing something wrong. It may feel right for a short time, but it will not actually be right.

He is the vine, and we are the branches. We grow through His goodness. And we must then take that goodness and allow it to bear fruit in our own lives as we spread His word. In other words, in all that we do, we must use the blessings He has given us to bring others to Him.

How do we do that? According to the Church, there are 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit. These are the “observable behaviors of people who have allowed the grace of the Holy Spirit to be effective in them.” These include charity, generosity, joy, gentleness, peace, faithfulness, patience, modesty, kindness, self-control, goodness, and chastity.

These characteristics are the fruits of a life rooted in Christ and that grow from His love and goodness. We just need to allow them to flow from us. 

All of these fruits are important, of course, but I think right now the most important are peace, charity, and faithfulness, for when we live a life filled with those three tenets, the others will naturally flow.

So let us think of the things we can do in our daily lives to produce these fruits in our families, in our communities, and at work. Let us spend today thinking about our actions and remember this: Before we act, let us ask ourselves whether these actions demonstrate that we are following God’s commandments. Let us also ask ourselves if God would be proud of the action we’re about to take. If not, that should tell us something.

When we live a life rooted in following God’s laws and commands, we will not only grow in holiness, but we will help others grow as well. And that is what God wants of us.

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Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 19 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Thirteen of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the executive editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program—an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students. You can reach her at

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He Makes All Things New

The Scripture readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter this year are jam-packed with so many great things. I feel as though we should celebrate this day and these words joyfully. In fact, I plan to celebrate later with a cake, and it might just have candles on it. But I digress.

Let’s start with the First Reading, from Acts of the Apostles. It seems like a greatest hits list of Paul and Barnabas, all the places they visited, all the disciples they made, all the success they saw. Lystra, Iconium, Pisidia, Pamphylia, Perga, Attalia — so many places to give a lector fits, but they show a pattern of success for these Apostles to the Gentiles. Still, Paul and Barnabas don’t see it that way, and neither should we. When they return to Antioch and report about their missionary trip, they didn’t tell the Church what they did. No, they “reported what God had done with them and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.” They put the credit firmly where it belongs, on God alone, doing the work through them. May we, in our discipleship, let God do His work through us.

Next, there’s the beautiful words from Revelation. It’s a book so often misunderstood or misinterpreted, but today’s message is very clear. “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be His people and God himself will always be with them as their God.” The line echoes several Old Testament passages where God called the Hebrews into covenant with Him. But now, it has a new twist — no more death or mourning, wailing or pain — because God “make(s) all things new.” May we, in our relationship with God, always remember his promise to be with us.

Then, in the Gospel from John, Jesus gives us his new commandment: love one another. We might ask, how can this be new? God has commanded us since the Old Testament to love others as we love ourselves. Again, God makes something new, taking the old commandment and transforming it. The key is in Jesus’ next line: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Our love is not to exist because the law tells us we have to, our love must exist because Jesus has loved us first. His love stems from a personal relationship, not a law. He cares for us and about us. May our love, then, be put into action for others, just the same way Jesus demonstrated his love for us, pouring out his very self for our sake.

It is a lot to ask. Paul recognized this, telling his new disciples, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Yet the reward is beyond our wildest dreams — beyond even the greatest birthday present a guy could ever hope for, unless that hope is to be with God forever. It’s definitely worth working for. Dear Jesus, help us, please.

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Mike Karpus is a regular guy. He grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, graduated from Michigan State University and works as an editor. He is married to a Catholic school principal, raised two daughters who became Catholic school teachers at points in their careers, and now relishes his two grandchildren, including the 3-year-old who teaches him what the colors of Father’s chasubles mean. He has served on a Catholic School board, a pastoral council and a parish stewardship committee. He currently is a lector at Mass, a Knight of Columbus, Adult Faith Formation Committee member and a board member of the local Habitat for Humanity organization. But mostly he’s a regular guy.

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I Call You My Friends, Abide In My Love

In this Gospel passage, Jesus invites us to a personal relationship with Him by abiding in His love. And how do we abide in His love? By keeping His commandments, which, as St. John explains in his first Epistle (I John 5:3), are not burdensome.  The two commandments which should be our daily focus are to love God with our whole heart and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mat 22: 37-40). There is a great promise attached to embracing these commandments: whatever we ask the Father in His name, He will give it to us.

Jesus states, that He loves us, asks us to return that love back to Him, and wants that same love to flow out to others. The greatest love that can be shown for a friend is to lay down your life for them. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by laying down His life for us on the Cross. True love is not abstract or passive, but active in service and sacrifice for others. 

Knowing that it was the eve of His passion and death for our sins, Jesus wants to emphasize what is most important in His final words. That message was for us to “love one another as I have loved you.” We are called to love with Christ’s love, not on our own. We can never love independently, but only when we are open to being a vessel of His love. This is how we experience the true joy which Christ promised. When we place other people’s needs ahead of ours, we show that friendship isn’t just found in our words but in our actions.

When we take the next step and suffer for our friends we are following the footsteps of Christ. Self-giving and self-sacrifice are an intimate pathway to growing closer to Christ, and when we offer them up to the Lord, it is redemptive. This is how we bear fruit that will abide and is the result of the Father pruning us as a branch in the vine of Christ. 

In the work I do at I rejoice when Catholics reach out to me and share how their family encountered healing, hope, and grace through the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. This simple self-directed ceremony is when Christ is welcomed into our life through enthroning Him on high, and we learn to live in union with His Most Sacred Heart. 

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic

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The Way To Our Forever Home

Remember your last big trip? Traveling takes a lot of mental and physical energy. There is the journey itself, of course – the map and the means of moving and the money. There is also the “stuff” we have to keep track of constantly to make sure nothing is left behind or dropped along the way or lost in the shuffle – the reservations, payments, passports, toiletries, itinerary, keys, snacks, tickets, exchange rates, souvenirs. For some people, traveling is the greatest and most joyful adventure; for others, it is a cause of anxiety and worry! Some of us are willing to take it as it comes and hope for the best; others are meticulous planners with folders and spreadsheets and timelines; still others of us try to be one or the other, but fall somewhere in the middle.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is going somewhere. He tells the disciples he is going to prepare a dwelling place – a HOME – for them, and that he will come back again and take them there too! Where is this place? The Father’s house. That is our home.

And he reminds the disciples that they already know the way there.

Thomas speaks for all of us when he says, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” The Father’s house? Where is THAT? How can we get THERE? There is a place prepared for us there, but we’ve never seen it, so how can we find it?

Jesus tells us the “insider secret” to traveling to this final Home: HIMSELF. The route and the means and all that we need along the way are found in HIM: “I am the way,” and there is no other way. If we are at last to reach the Father and dwell in the Father’s house, we have to go through HIM.

So, if we know Jesus, we DO know the way, because he himself IS the way. Walking with him, we are walking along the right way. Walking with him, we will make it securely to our destination, and we don’t have to worry about seeing the full map or charting our own trajectory or losing anything important along the way. In fact, if we know Jesus and learn to walk with him in trust, this journey can be joyful and life-giving, even when we are traveling through deserts and briar patches and dark nights, because we know we are moving in the direction of HOME. And home is what all of our hearts long for, because home is where we are completely safe and secure, known for who we truly are, valued and loved wholly, and are able to live and love freely.

If we know Jesus, we can say confidently at the end of our lives, just as Pope St. John Paul II did: “Let me go to the house of the Father,” and enter into our Home, the fullness of God’s embrace, at last.

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and four grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

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Becoming Part of The Story

In today’s First Reading, St. Paul recounts a short history of God’s chosen people. St. Paul knew that telling this story to the Jewish people in the synagogue would help them to understand how Jesus Christ was their long-awaited savior. Christ was the climax to the story! The more we Catholics of the 21st Century also come to know the history of the Israelite people and the beginnings of the early Christian Church, the more our own faith will make sense. And the more we will want to respond to God’s overtures of love, becoming part of the story ourselves. 

For the past two weeks, I have been giving the middle school children in our parish religious education program an overview of salvation history. As we began the lesson, I read to the children a one-page excerpt from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I did not mention the title of the book, nor did I give any explanation about what was happening in the story. The children had mixed responses to what I read: some wanted to hear more of the story, some were not really engaged, and several were excited, because they had read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and recognized the story.

I proceeded to draw a correlation between the children’s various reactions and our reactions to the stories from the Bible or the teachings of the Catholic Church. I explained to the children in a simplified way that unless they understand the big picture of salvation history, the things they hear and learn about their Catholic faith may not resonate with them. They will have no context in which to put new information, and they may even miss or misunderstand the life-saving Gospel message.

As the lesson went on, it became clear just how scattered the children’s understanding was. We started by discussing Creation, the Fall, and God’s first promise that he would send a redeemer to restore us to a loving relationship with Himself. At one point, an intelligent youngster exclaimed, “Now, wait a minute! Jesus is God? I thought he was God’s son!” 

We also talked about God’s continued faithfulness to His chosen people, even when they were unfaithful to Him. We discussed the fact that, throughout the Old Testament, God was setting the stage for the Redeemer to come and fix our sin problem. His plan was to restore us to a relationship with Him and to make us temples of the Holy Spirit. Finally, I referenced the role of the Catholic Church and the Sacraments, established by Christ to help us know and live the life to which God calls us.

As I taught this class over the past two weeks it became more clear to me that children and grown-ups alike need to learn about the big picture of salvation history a number of times and in different ways in order to allow it to penetrate into our hearts and minds.

When, in today’s First Reading, St. Paul preached to the Jewish people, they already had a deep sense of their own history. It didn’t take them long to start making connections about who Jesus was. Now, as Catholics, the history of the Jewish people has become our history, and we are privileged to learn it, along with the history of the early Christian Church. We are invited to respond to all that God has done for us and to become part of The Story. And we can encourage others to do the same!

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Christine Hanus is a thwarted idealist who, nevertheless, lives quite happily in Upstate NY. She is a wife and mother of five grown children.

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Our Supra-Reasonable Faith

Today’s Gospel seems to unfold in a beautiful two-part symphony with the doctrine of the Trinity being the prologue and relationship with the Trinity being the crescendo.

Beginning with the doctrine of the Trinity, one could explicate at length about this great mystery, and many have. The Trinity is the central mystery of the faith, as he is revealed through the Old and New Testament. God the Father is revealed as the first origin of everything and as a loving God to all his children. The New Testament then reveals Jesus, the Son of God, who is consubstantial or one and the same God. The Holy Spirit is then introduced by Jesus as a third person of the Trinity who is to be an advocate for all mankind. These teachings lead to the unveiling of God’s innermost secret, “God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.” -CCC #221

The Trinity can be explained even further through divine revelation as being one God in three persons. These persons are actually distinct from one another and at the same time each of them is God, whole and entire. The distinction of persons in the Trinity rests in their reciprocal relationship to one another, the Father to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both.

All of this is great if you are writing a dissertation on The Trinity, but as I have struggled with my entire life, at some point we need to move from knowledge to relationship. This is what we call faith, and the link between faith and reason is such that we can come to know God through our intellect, but we love him through faith. This is why the notion that faith is blind acceptance to something we cannot know is just silly. Faith is not only reasonable but it is supra-reasonable. That is to say, it goes beyond what we can possibly know by ourselves.

Think about going on a blind date with someone. You may look up all sorts of things about them before the date. You are gathering knowledge which can be very helpful as a beginning step. But at some point, that person will sit down and reveal themselves to you and it’s at this point you will decide whether or not to put your faith and trust in them or not. It’s the same with God. Through the Catholic Tradition we are not afraid of the intellectual process, just take one peak at Aquinas, but at some point we must go beyond reason and allow God to reveal himself to us. Even Aquinas after seeing the vision of God said all his works were straw in comparison.

I write all this today because I need the constant reminder and I hope it can be a reminder to you. I hope it reminds us all that we should learn as much as we can about God but at the same time we should listen as he reveals who he truly is in the depths of our hearts. Let’s all pray for the grace to go from information to transformation in our walk with the Lord.

“The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity. But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity: ‘If a man loves me’, says the Lord, ‘he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.’” -CCC 260

“O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action.” -CCC 260

 From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

Tommy Shultz is a Business Development Representative for Diocesan. In this role he is committed to bringing the best software to dioceses and parishes while helping them evangelize on the digital continent. Tommy has worked in various diocese and parish roles since his graduation from Franciscan University with a Theology degree. He hopes to use his skills in evangelization, marketing, and communications, to serve the Church and bring the Good News to all. His favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II, who said, “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”

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The Secure Situation Of Sheep

The “powers that be” keep the pressure on Jesus, trying to ensnare him with questions, catch him in an act for which they can condemn him as a fraud or blasphemer, and taunting him. You can hear their exasperation in today’s Gospel: “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly!”

Jesus is always free, always true, and never allows himself to get “sucked into” their drama; he is always able to maintain his separateness and independence and articulate the essential truth from a place above their desperate convolutions. And here, in response to their demands that they tell him plainly, he says plainly, “I told you and you do not believe…because you are not among my sheep.” Whoa. Poking right back with the Truth in response to their demand for an answer. “The Father and I are one.” Moments later (in the very next verse of this Gospel, which we will not hear), they pick up stones to kill him, accusing him of blasphemy because he claimed to be God. They demanded he tell them whether or not he was the Christ, and when he tells them, they move to kill him.

But Jesus was not only speaking truth to those who wanted to trap him and get rid of him. He was also speaking truth to those who DID believe in him, and would continue to believe in him, to you and to me. And what did they hear?

Not blasphemy; words of hope and love: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” This voice which had brought them so much peace and joy, these words that brought comfort and made sense of things that had stopped making sense, were surely those of the Good Shepherd leading them to verdant pastures and rest and overflowing cups! “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.” The security and confidence of being in the hands of the One who has the power to save, to give the ultimate eternal freedom – this is what attracted so many to follow him along the dusty roads even in their physical hunger and thirst, this is what they longed to hear and know, this is the loving spark that had been lost in the labyrinth of laws and rules and political posturing with the powers of this world.

And these are the words he speaks to us, above the spaghetti bowl of our own thinking and the confusions of our world and our personal situations: I know you; I give you eternal life, and you shall never perish. No one can take you out of my hand. Let us all walk in the light of this word of life, from the God who keeps his promises. 

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and four grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

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I Know My Sheep

Our practice is to attend 8:30 Sunday Mass but sometimes that doesn’t work out. One Monday after such a time, I ran into my priest and he asked where we were the preceding day. “I know my sheep,” he said with a smile. I knew he wasn’t chastising me. He cares about his parishioners. It feels good to be noticed and known. And missed.

I love the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. St Therese of Lisieux encourages us to be childlike in our love and trust of Jesus but I often feel more like a sheep than a child. Sheep aren’t really the brain trusts of the barnyard. Left alone, they become overly wooly. Their vision is impaired as is their movement. Recall Baarack, the Australian sheep found with over 75 pounds of wool weighing him down. 

This is a metaphor for the spiritual life. Left alone, my gaze shifts away from Jesus. When I am not diligent in prayer, when I wait too long between confessions, it becomes harder and harder to remember where I should be focusing my vision. It’s easy to get caught up in the issues being played out in the news or on social media. I find I am less patient, less charitable, and less nice. Instead of trying to see Christ in those around me, I see the negatives. My eyes become clouded with the wool of sin.  

I also find I am bearing the weight of my sins and stress.  In times of consolation, I can skip through my busy day of interruptions and tasks, and still feel good. I am energized by my life. Again, when I lose my habit of prayer, the stressors of life grow like uncontrolled wool and weigh me down. Everything is harder. I want to sleep.

Jesus is the shepherd who takes care of me. When I drag my wooly, weighted-down self to him, he shears off the sin and shows me the light again. I know his voice and he never ceases calling me to him. He is waiting patiently to help me. He desires to keep me safe. When I surrender to him, he sleeps at the gate of the sheepfold, protecting me from the wolves prowling outside. 

Jesus came so that we “may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). What a wonderful message! As we journey through this life, we have a shepherd who came for the express purpose of bringing us salvation and abundance. We know his voice. We know he wants us to follow him. It is hard and brings its own set of challenges in a world that has turned away from God, but we may be assured that our shepherd will always be there guiding, protecting, and shearing away the excess that gets in our way.

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Merridith Frediani loves words and is delighted by good sentences. She also loves Lake Michigan, dahlias, the first sip of hot coffee in the morning, millennials, and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three kids. She writes for Catholic Mom,, and her local Catholic Herald. Her first book Draw Close to Jesus: A Woman’s Guide to Adoration is available at Our Sunday Visitor and Amazon. You can learn more at

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