Lessons in Prudence- Or the lack thereof

Dear Friends,

If you caught the post from Monday evening (I have since deleted it) I wanted to take a moment to apologize and didn’t mean to alarm people. That should have been something I kept for spiritual direction.

It’s amazing how a series of events can temporarily fog your judgment and vision. It all serves to remind me that I have a long way to go before the virtue of Prudence and I are good buddies!

Thanks to some rest, wonderful Scripture readings, prayers, and good friends, I am in a very different place.

I still feel the Door Prophecy is important and wanted to share that as a means of encouragement to anyone who is feeling out of of sorts and wondering why God is allowing certain things to happen in their lives, the world, Church, etc. I really do believe special graces are going to be available for us and I don’t know about you, but I sure want to accept everything the Lord offers us “for such a time as this” (cf. Esther 4:14).

Here is the Door Prophecy:

I see these two massive doors, something like what you would see on a medieval castle.  These doors are swinging open and the Lord says this,

“I grant you access to a new place, I call you to a new land.

And these doors no man can open, they can only open at my word. 

But I grant you access and I open these doors wide for you and I call you to come in.

I call you to enter to a place that no one can go without my permission. 

But not only do I grant you permission, I call you to come here.

So I call you to come through these great doors. 

What the world cannot open with its wisdom, what the world cannot open with its might, what the world cannot open with its money or its power, to them it will remain shut but to those whom I grant access, the entrance is open.

Come into a new place my people, live in a new land, dwell in a new reality, enter into the place I have prepared for you. 

You do not have to wait until you die before you enter this realm.

You do not have to wait until you die before you can live in a heavenly reality.

Enter in here and now, for by my word and by my decree these doors are now open, and you have access. 

Enter in my people.

Enter in to the privilege that I have granted you that the world does not have access to because they do not know me. 

Those who know me, I open the doors and say enter in.”

Another Day of Work in the Vineyard

The elections are over. I will refrain from commenting on the results and was reminded during Morning Prayer, that regardless of who won or what initiatives passed, the work of a disciple remains the same. Think of the countless souls who surround us everyday who don’t know the joy of claiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. Think of the church going people who worship from a distance, not engaging with their hearts, and how dramatically things could change if they got baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Vineyard is in desperate need of faithful workers. Hopefully, we all rolled (or crawled) out of bed with an open heart and desire to do the Lord’s work for the day.

Politicians come and go. Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever! I now have the privilege of celebrating this Truth during Daily Mass.

Have a blessed day!

A Great Weekend

I was really moved by the ordination yesterday of 22 men from our Archdiocese into the permanent diaconate. Diaconal ministry is very important for the life of the Church and I was thrilled to learn about a month ago, that one of these 22 men was being assigned to St. Brendan parish to assist with ministry.

Our new deacon’s name is José Blakely. He and his wife, Lucy have been active members in our parish for a number of years. During the 4 year program of formation for deacons, the wives accompany their husbands in the classes and preparation. This provides a great opportunity for the wives to learn more about their own faith but also to understand how their husband’s ministry will impact their marriage and family. Lucy was the only wife  to complete all of the homework and papers over the  4 years of formation. The rest dropped out and many thought why should they do all this work when they weren’t being ordained. Lucy’s dedication and perseverance will help her in her work and ministry as a catechist for Confirmation and in the other ministries she serves in. Congratulations for sticking to your promise!

It sure felt great for me to work with José over the past few years and to watch him grow and prepare for diaconal ministry. I will look forward to working with him in the years ahead.

On another note, I already sent out the Daily Thought for today, but as I was reading In Conversation with God, I found a couple of paragraphs I really enjoyed and I wanted to share them in this post.

God passes alongside the lives of men giving his light and joy. In today’s First Reading the Lord rejoices at the salvation of the remnant of Israel on their return from exile to the Promised Land: See, I will bring them back from the land of the North and gather them from the far ends of earth. .. the blind and the lame. .. a great company returning here. After so much suffering, the Prophet announces the blessings of the Lord upon his People. They had left in tears, I will comfort them as I lead them back; I will guide them to streams of water, by a smooth path where they will not stumble.

Jesus fulfils all of these prophecies. He went about the world doing good,  even for those who did not ask his help. Christ is the revelation of the fullness of divine mercy to the most needy. No form of misery could separate men from Christ. He gave sight to the blind. He cured leprosy. He healed the lame and paralytics. He fed hungry multitudes. He expelled demons … He approached people who had the greatest suffering in soul or body. We are the ones who have to go to Jesus. Our eyes have been blind. .. We have lain paralysed on our mats, incapable of reaching the grandeur of God. This is why our most lovable Saviour and Healer of souls has descended from on high.

We must have complete faith in the one who saves us, in this divine Doctor who was sent with the express purpose of curing us, and the more serious or hopeless our illness is the stronger our faith has to be. There will be times in our lives when we experience more hardship than usual. We will have moments of greater temptation. We will grow weary of the struggle. We will have periods of interior darkness and trial. These are moments when we must tum to Jesus, who is always by our side. We must have a humble and sincere faith like the sick and the suffering people of the Gospels. Then we will cry out to the Master: ‘Lord, put not your trust in me. But I, I put my trust in you’. Then, as we sense in our hearts the love, the compassion, the tenderness of Christ’s gaze upon us, for he never abandons us, we shall come to understand the full meaning of those words of St Paul: ‘virtus in infirmitate petficitur’ (2 Cor 12:9). If we have faith in Our Lord, in spite of our failings – or, rather, with our failings – we shall be faithful to our Father, God; his divine power will shine forth in us, sustaining us in our weakness. What a great comfort it is for us to know that Christ is near us!

I will post the homily either tonight or tomorrow morning. I am kind of running out of steam after a busy weekend so it will most likely be tomorrow.

Have a blessed week!

Deception

I received a postcard in the mail yesterday from a supposed “Catholic” politician who is bragging about being pro-abortion. Someday we all have to give an account for our lives.

After about 13 years of serving in Project Rachel ministry (Post-Abortion healing) I don’t see how people can support that agenda when you see how it ruins and destroys people’s lives.

Someday this politician will stand before the Lord and have to give an account for her support of this. God have mercy on her soul.

The Struggle To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle and Ministry

As part of my work in spiritual direction, my director has asked me to do a better job of keeping boundaries and having clear breaks from the parish. As a result of this counsel, I am no longer going to be receiving work emails on my iPhone or Ipad. I had an experience this past week which makes me realize this is a wise plan. Some of the emails that come in are very mean-spirited and lacking charity. I wish I could brag about having such tough skin that things like that don’t bother me, but the truth is they do. We are supposed to be holding ourselves to Christian principles when it comes to communication and interaction with one another. A lot of people completely tune this out.

I had a conversation with my dad today and told him how much I admired him because he was always able to leave work at work and be present to his family when he had  time off. As much as I like technology I am beginning to see that without some guidelines and moral principals, it has the power to seriously undermine any kind of state of good health and well-being. This is part of the reason I also changed my cell phone number. I had given the number out to way too many people and it was ringing and buzzing constantly throughout the day. That is now a thing of the past.

I am totally aware that many people struggle with this issue, especially parents. They have incredibly busy schedules with their marriages, family, and work. We all have to try and give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves and have quiet and “down time” from all the busy things in life. I am realizing more and more that you can’t rely on others to take care of yourself. I have actually been making great strides spiritually in this area of my life and I am grateful for all the grace God is giving me.  There is nothing too, like a little advice from one’s parents 🙂 And I didn’t even have to ask for it!

Bambi Is Safe From The Northrop Family

We arrived home yesterday after an unsuccessful hunting trip. My brother sent me a report from the Washington State Department of Wildlife indicating this should be a record year with the deer counts of bucks being higher than many years past. We actually didn’t see that many deer and wondered how accurate the report was. It looks like those who were praying for Bambi won out this year. 🙂

It was still fun to have a few days with my dad and brother. My dad brought his new boat up to fish on Lake Bonaparte. The fishing was really slow but I sure like the new boat. I found a picture online although my dad’s boat is black and silver.

I decided to take the North Cascades Hwy to get to Tonaskat which was 20 miles below our camp area. That was my first trip and it was very scenic. I had brought my camera to take pictures along the way but because I was three and a half hours late I didn’t take any. I’ll have to travel that way again sometime soon.

On the way home we did stop at Dry Falls and take a few pictures.

My new Iphone 5 has a panorama feature which allows you to move in a circle and it stitches the photos together. Here is one shot with my brother Joe.

Lastly, we ate at the lodge a couple of times and I really liked the nature photographs that were hanging on the wall. The first day, the artist who took the pictures stopped in. His name is James T. Jones and he is from Stanwood, WA. I ended up buying a neat picture of a cougar to hang in my office. James’ website is http://www.jamestjones.com The photo below is a little blurry because the photograph is in glass and I didn’t want to take it out.