Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

I love this quote from Cardinal Sarah…
“There is never any more authentic relation with God than in an encounter with the poor.”
I love the time spent with the working poor and those struggling to make ends meet. They allow for Christ’s love to become concrete and visible in this world.

This 22nd Sunday of ordinary time our readings are focused on the Commandments.
“Jesus founded the Church to be his bride. It’s from Jesus that we get the great commandments of love of God and neighbor. It is Jesus who instituted the Sacraments. Jesus who taught us how to pray. Jesus who, especially in the Blessed Sacrament, inspires holiness in our own day.”

Although the law is bound in love of God and neighbor, Jesus Himself said He did not come to replace the law and commandments, but to fulfill them. A thought based on my homily today. Ask a child if they have the freedom to play the violin or any instrument. If they say yes, then give them the instrument and ask them to play. If they have never learned the rules and laws to play beautifully the chosen musical instrument, then the notes will come out as incoherent and rambling. Life is that way. Jesus teaches us the law and commandments so we can live freely and with abundance as we share our lives, gifts and virtues with our family, friends, and society at large. When we interact and engage with the world with an act of self gift, we become free and began to find fulfillment and happiness.

With that said – An anonymous family has donated to Sacred Heart Parish a new Book of the Gospels. The book was purchased IN MEMORY OF DEACON SIR KNIGHT VINCENT TRAINER. When I raise the Book before proclaiming the Word of God, may this intention be honored.

Our Lady’s Guild donated the Angels protecting the Tabernacle, and a dear friend dedicated our new Thurible and Incense Stand in honor of her husband.

These people are truly living free as they offer us gifts for liturgical use to enhance the beauty of our Liturgical Worship.
Pax – Fr. Vic

Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

Friends, I have a very simple quote for this week…

“Nothing is more tragic to an individual who once was wise than to lose his memory, and nothing is more tragic to a civilization than the loss of its tradition.” Venerable Fulton J. Sheen in Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Roadmap to Eternity Instead of giving a critique like I normally do, I would like us to just reflect on the beauty of our traditions—not only the timeless traditions that founded our nation—but those family traditions that link us to each other; thus, leading us to a deeper faith and to God. In Christ I remain… Fr. Vic

“Dear young people, the happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. Only He gives the fullness of life to humanity!” …Benedict

***Also don’t forget the Parish Pilgrimages to Medjugorje, October 2018, and The Holy Land, Spring 2019 with more information to come. ***

Statement from Bishop Zarama in Response to the Extensive Report of Clergy Abuse

08-17-2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the past few weeks we have been presented with a series of sad and shameful revelations about the conduct of some priests and their leadership in the Catholic Church. In the name of the Church, we ask for forgiveness that those entrusted with the pastoral care of others betrayed that trust and abused their positions and, in doing so, stole the dignity and faith of others.

As one of my fellow Bishops, Most Reverend Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., of the Diocese of Portland said recently in response to the reprehensible acts brought to light, “The vast majority of Catholic priests are men of integrity who are dedicated to unwavering good works and spreading the Good News of Jesus, but these past criminal and sinful acts diminish us all.”

Steps were taken in the early 2000s to ensure a safe environment for children and a proper response in the event of an allegation of child abuse by a member of the clergy. This renewed and stronger commitment is reflected in the recent report. I join with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and The Holy Father in encouraging continued additional reform and vigilance at all levels of the Catholic Church, to put ever stronger protection of minors and vulnerable adults in place and to hold accountable predators and anyone who is complicit.

I support the goals recently outlined by the USCCB to investigate, report and resolve recent accounts that have come to light and to do so under criteria that include independence and high­ level involvement of the laity.

Let us continue to pray for all victims of sexual abuse; they are our priority. Victims of Church abuse deserve not only support but thanks for shining a light in darkness. Through their courage, they are helping to ensure an environment for their own healing and for the safety of others.

If you or anyone you know has been harmed by ministry-related sexual abuse, please contact the Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the Diocese of Raleigh at 1-866-535-7233. Information given to the diocese will also be turned over to civil authorities.

I ask that you join me in praying that our Church will be resolute in next steps and renewed and transformed by the light and love of Christ.

In Christ,

† Luis Rafael Zarama, J.C.L., Bishop of Raleigh

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

What is the connection between minding our own affairs and growth in prayer?

St. Teresa of Avila explains that serious people are likely to be agitated and even shocked at all sorts of things that occur through the typical day. Their inner peace is unsettled, and prayer is hindered.

Another reason is that those who meddle in other people’s concerns are likely to make mistakes in their judgment and even to offer misguiding advice.

Thus, says Teresa, we ought to let God take care of his own. She observes likewise that pain is often enough caused to the one in whose business we are meddling, but the most pointed reason is that people who are minding others’ affairs are not minding their own.

If our mind is free enough to notice what others are doing, it is free enough to carry out what Scripture repeatedly tells us, namely, to keep our eyes always on the Lord, to sing to Him in our hearts always and everywhere.

The saint considers distress over the sins and failings of others in everyday life as a demonic temptation. The devil puts it into people’s heads that their meddling really arises from a desire that God be not offended and be better served. They usually focus on the petty faults of which the world is full. A pervasive concern disturbs peace. All the while meddlers consider that they are being virtuous in their preoccupations.

Teresa’s conclusion is that ‘the safe path for the soul that practices prayer will be not to bother about anything or anyone and to pay attention to itself and to pleasing God.’

May our Lord Bless you—Fr. Vic

Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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. ***

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

We would not have a gadget in our house five minutes without knowing what it was for; yet some live twenty or sixty years without knowing why they are here or where they are going. When life is meaningless, it is dull; the absence of a goal or purpose begets worries, anxieties, psychoses, and neuroses. What is the use of living unless we know the purpose of living?” Fulton J. Sheen from “Life Is Worth Living”

I love this quote from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. We are wired to know our creator and origins, just as a child desires to know their biological parents. The devil wants to create a climate where we become so busy and enamored with the material world that we cease to contemplate the bigger and deeper questions of life—the questions that lead us to God, Happiness, and Fulfillment.             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. ***

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“A lot of times cradle Catholics are envious of us converts, but I would give anything to have had access to the Sacraments from the time I was born. Baptism, Eucharist—from the time I was a child—I would give anything for that. You’ve received a tremendous blessing as cradle Catholics.” (Tim Staples—Catholic Answers) As your pastor I will add: May we continue to teach each other about the beauty of this ancient Catholic Faith in Jesus Christ. As a convert, cradle Catholics have taught me much about the traditions, the many pious prayers, and of saints who have preceded us. Pax Christi!

***Also remember the Parish Pilgrimages to Medjugorje, October 2018, and The Holy Land, Spring 2019.***

Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“A sign that our soul may be drawing closer to God is to realize that while we may be more content than ever in our life, we have also become more incapable of permanent satisfaction in anything this life can offer.” (Fr. Donald Haggerty-from Contemplative Provocations) Which reminds me… Each morning as I sit before the Blessed Sacrament or just spend time reflecting upon the love of God, the more He is beginning to instill a deeper joy and steadiness to handle each day’s responsibilities. The more I experience this inner steadiness, happiness, and joy, the more I realize it is not rooted in the material things of this world, but is solely a gift. And this gift allows use to engage the world with a contentment derived from a deeper inner joy of the Spirit.

Also please remember our upcoming church pilgrimages (spiritual retreats) to Medjugorje, the end of October 2018, and the Holy Land, the Spring of 2019.

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Below is a quote from Mystic Adrienne von Speyr’s book: “The Cross: Word and Sacrament.” Thus, when you visit the Sacred Heart Confessional you will not additional crucifixes added to help us contemplate the great love and mercy our Lord has for us. “When we look a the Cross in a contrite spirit before making our Confession—in spite of the sadness that afflicts us on account of our sins, in spite of the anxiety about not being able to recognize and recall everything—we know that we can be sure of the Lord’s help; we know that the Son immediately makes this help available in the presence of his Father by interposing himself, his sufferings, for the sake of the penitent. He steps in with the whole weight of his Passion so that the penitent can be encouraged to tread the path of the sacrament full of confidence and can also dare to look up to the Cross, which has for him absolute value. But in this word there is even more: an invitation from the Son to all sinners to participate in his Cross.”

Also please remember our upcoming church pilgrimages (spiritual retreats) to Medjugorje, the end of October 2018, and the Holy Land, the Spring of 2019. Pax—Father Vic

Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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.