Friday, October 31, 2014

Jesus, Loneliness and the Holidays



As an adult every November that I have been single and not had a girlfriend has been very hard. It is that time of year when a single person becomes even more aware that there is no one to hold hands with, no one to hold in their arms, no one to Christmas shop with, and no really special person to be joyful with. I am talking about loneliness.

In prayer this morning I realized that this year I feel different. I admit that I seem to be preparing myself for those old feelings of loneliness because I don’t have a girlfriend. So why don’t I feel painfully lonely? I have been getting a lot of questions from my female friends about why I am still single. I have thought about this and determined that I have had to overcome a lot of dysfunctionality. Now I feel that I have come through it and therefore not afraid of any relationship with a woman, it still has not happened. Upon deep self-analysis, I am not insecure about anything that I can think of. It is a perfect time for girlfriend right? So why has it not happened? The holidays are upon us. Why don’t I feel sad and lonely?

I have a great many married friends. Most of their marriages are very strong, very loving and a lot of work. They sacrifice themselves for their spouse. Their “pain” is caused by their giving of themselves for the benefit of the marriage. Their “gain” is someone doing the same thing for them. If they have children, both of them sacrifice for the offspring.  A single persons “pain” is loneliness. A single persons “gain” is the freedom to do what they want at any time. In both situations there is pain and gain.

Married people are occupied by doing God’s will within the marriage and family. Single people are occupied by doing God’s will in other ways. For example: when I cook or do any activity for the Knights of Columbus, I am there for the entire event. I do this so that the married volunteers can spend more time with their families. When I do anything with others I make them aware that I am willing to help them any way I can. I am free to love others because I do not have a family that comes first.

From my recent posts you have seen a dramatic change in me because of my recognition, submission, invitation and acceptance of Christ living within me. God’s will is paramount for me. I have given my will to Him and now I observed Him within me. This year I do not feel lonely because I am not alone.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Out of Darkness



I’m sorry for missing last week. It seems that if you want to take a step forward, sometimes God allows you to see some of your faults in the worst possible ways so you can learn before that forward step. As you know from reading this blog, I have made it my obsession to have God run my life. God’s methods are very strange when he is starts answering the “big little prayer” (Change me). During this process God shows you some of your faults and then teaches you in the best possible way for you to understand. It is a fair guess to say that the method He uses is different for each one of us because we are different from each other.

These last two weeks God has shown me a lot of my insecurities, how they came to be, and why they are unnecessary. He has helped me fix bad character traits for years. Self-examination of a behavior, seeing the origin of the behavior from childhood and understanding the wrongful association of that behavior is the key. For example: I have been able to identify the fact that as a child I associated successful people with prideful arrogance. So I had to discover that you can be successful without prideful arrogance and with humble confidence.

By doing this method over and over again to myself, and in prayer, I can then be silent and let the Holy Spirit gave me perspective. The insecurities that I discovered these last two weeks, saw with an adult mind, and with the help of God, cleaned out and reprogrammed my mind and subconscious are too personal to discuss on a blog post. I did feel the need to share the methodology and to let all of you know that I am all right. I thank you for your concerns.

Many people come to me because I have the gift to guide them through this process.

I believe I am at a point in my spiritual journey where I am once again at peace. Those of you that read this blog and are my personal friends will notice a change in my personality. If you ask me about it, I will answer.

During these last few months I have seen the worst and the best of myself, questioned God’s methods and blindly trusted Him. It has paid off. I’m still digesting the insights of the new me. I said in one of my past posts that I did not know myself because God lives in me and I do not know God. That is still true; however I have a good grasp of who “we” are. I do not know the future, because I have given my future to Him. When I have digested this more, I am sure the Holy Spirit will guide me to post about it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Learning God within Me



I said in one of my past posts, that I do not know myself because God lives in me now and I do not know God that well. I have been praying to the Holy Spirit about the discovery process. One of the revelations that came to me was that I should stop asking for God’s will and start accepting His will being played out through me.

In prayer in the morning I always relive my actions from the day before. I reviewed them to see how I could have done things differently, how much good God did (with my cooperation) and always to find lessons or corrections that God wishes to reveal to me (what part of myself do I still need to get to God).

As you know from reading this blog my trust level in God is at an all-time high and I’m trying to get used to it. In this effort it appears to me that I may have been too pushy in wanting friendships, or deepening existing friendships. I have a good friend that was pushed by a church lady when he was a small boy. From that point on he rejected the church. Last week I actually apologize to some of my existing friends for wanting a deeper friendship at a faster pace than they were ready for or perhaps wished for. Their response was quite the opposite of what I expected. They said that they did not see it that way. Whether they were being polite or not, I may never to know. I failed to look at things from their perspective (as much as I can understand them).

In this reflection I also discovered that I love people so much, and respect their free will so much, that I just want God’s will for them, whether I am in their life or not. Furthermore, I don’t even care how much I am in their life as long as it’s God’s will.

Isn’t that how God sees all of us? He says to us: “Here I am. I am your best friend. I will answer any question you have. I will help you anyway I can (because it’s God provided it in your best interest). All you have to do is ask me.” Then God it waits patiently. He loves us so much that He respects our free will. He may prod us.

I have to do the same thing with people. I admit I’ve had to learn this lesson many, many times over the course of my life. My love for people drives me. Because God lives in me, I am discovering that He loves them, and me, enough to wait for us to say yes to Him. I am now accepting God living in me. That means that people will see Christ in me and the Holy Spirit will guide my actions to them. It also means that I will get used to being patient because of my love and acceptance of who each individual person is. I must let all of my pushiness go. The Holy Spirit and God can prod each one of us according to God’s will.

God living in me will show Himself to each individual I encounter as He sees fit. Then we wait. It is a proposition to each individual I meet.
“Here I am. I am your best friend. I will answer any question you have. I will help you anyway I can (because I am not God) provided it does not go against God. All you have to do is ask me.”
Then I give it to God and offer any pain as a prayer for them and for more me to trust in God more.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

November is Near



I am working this weekend so here is an article from March 2012.



-- Catholic Post

Full text of Bishop Jenky's homily at men's march and Mass

Editor's note: Following is the full text of the homily of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, at the Mass during the April 14 "A Call to Catholic Men of Faith" in Peoria. A podcast audio version of the homily is available at
The Bishop's Podcasts.
For a story on the annual march and Mass click here.
For several photos from the event, visit The Catholic Post's site on Facebook.
------
There is only one basic reason why Christianity exists and that is the fact that Jesus Christ truly rose from the grave.
The disciples never expected the resurrection. The unanimous testimony of all four Gospels is that the terrible death of Jesus on the cross entirely dashed all their hopes about Jesus and about his message. He was dead, and that was the end of it. They looked for nothing more, and they expected nothing more. 

So as much as they had loved him, in their eyes Jesus was a failed messiah. His dying seemed to entirely rob both his teaching and even his miracles of any lasting significance.
And they were clearly terrified that his awful fate, at the hands of the Sanhedrin and the Romans, could easily become their awful fate. So they hid, trembling with terror, behind shuttered windows and locked doors.

When the Risen Christ suddenly appeared in their midst, their reaction was shocked incredulity. They simply could not believe their own eyes. 

Reality only very slowly began to penetrate their consciousness when Jesus offers proof of his resurrection. He shows them the wounds on his hands, his feet, and his side. Jesus even allowed them to touch him. He breaks bread with them and eats with them. And only then could they admit to themselves what had seemed absolutely impossible – the one who had truly died had truly risen! The Crucified now stood before them as their Risen, glorious, triumphant Lord.

His rising from the grave was every bit as real as his dying on the cross. The resurrection was the manifest proof of the invincible power of Almighty God. The inescapable fact of the resurrection confirmed every word Jesus had ever spoken and every work Jesus had ever done.
The Gospel was the truth. Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel. Jesus was the Savior of the world. Jesus was the very Son of God.

There is no other explanation for Christianity. It should have died out and entirely disappeared when Christ died and was buried, except for the fact that Christ was truly risen, and that during the 40 days before his Ascension, he interacted with his Apostles and disciples, and on one occasion even with hundreds of his followers.

Today’s appointed Gospel reading for this Saturday in the Octave of Easter is taken from the 16th Chapter of Mark. It concludes with a command from the lips of Jesus, given to his disciples, given to the whole Church, given to you and me assembled here today: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

We heard in today’s Second Reading from the Acts of the Apostles that the same Sanhedrin that had condemned Jesus was amazed at the boldness of Peter and John. Perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they recognized them as companions of Jesus. They warned them never again to teach, or speak to anyone, in the name of Jesus. 

But the elders and the scribes might as well have tried to turn back the tide, or hold back an avalanche. Peter and John had seen the Risen Christ with their own eyes. Peter and John were filled with the Holy Spirit. They asked whether it is right “in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”
And Peter and John and all the Apostles, starting first in Jerusalem in Judea and Galilee and then to the very ends of the earth, announced the Resurrection and the Good News to everyone they encountered.

According to the clear testimony of the Scriptures, these Apostles had once been rather ordinary men – like you and me. Their faith hadn’t always been strong. They made mistakes. They committed sins. They were often afraid and confused.
But meeting the Risen Lord had changed everything about these first disciples, and knowing the Risen Lord should also change everything about us.
You know, it has never been easy to be a Christian and it’s not supposed to be easy! The world, the flesh, and the devil will always love their own, and will always hate us. As Jesus once predicted, they hated me, they will certainly hate you. 

But our Faith, when it is fully lived, is a fighting faith and a fearless faith. Grounded in the power of the resurrection, there is nothing in this world, and nothing in hell, that can ultimately defeat God’s one, true, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.

The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism.
And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.
The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS, and of the current majority of the federal Senate.

May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.

As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and always be ready to fight for the Faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction. 

In our own families, in our parishes, where we live and where we work – like that very first apostolic generation – we must be bold witnesses to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We must be a fearless army of Catholic men, ready to give everything we have for the Lord, who gave everything for our salvation.

Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.
In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his “Kulturkampf,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.
Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.
Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.

This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries -- only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb. 

No Catholic ministry – and yes, Mr. President, for Catholics our schools and hospitals are ministries – can remain faithful to the Lordship of the Risen Christ and to his glorious Gospel of Life if they are forced to pay for abortions.

Now remember what was the life-changing experience that utterly transformed those fearful and quaking disciples into fearless, heroic apostles. They encountered the Risen Christ. They reverenced his sacred wounds. They ate and drank with him. 

Is that not what we do here together, this morning at this annual men’s march Mass?
This is the Saturday of the Octave of Easter, a solemnity so great and central to our Catholic faith that Easter Day is celebrated for eight full days, and the Easter season is joyously observed as the Great 50 Days of Easter. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ – risen from the grave – is in our midst. His Holy Word teaches us the truth. His Sacred Body and Blood becomes our food and drink.
The Risen Christ is our Eternal Lord; the Head of his Body, the Church; our High Priest; our Teacher; our Captain in the well-fought fight.

We have nothing to fear, but we have a world to win for him. We have nothing to fear, for we have an eternal destiny in heaven. We have nothing to fear, though the earth may quake, kingdoms may rise and fall, demons may rage, but St. Michael the Archangel, and all the hosts of heaven, fight on our behalf.

No matter what happens in this passing moment, at the end of time and history, our God is God and Jesus is Lord, forever and ever.
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!
Christ wins! Christ reigns! Christ commands!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Who Am I?



Thank you for all your prayers. The unusually intense attacks are over. I am also in a place that I have never been before. Before these attacks I was getting closer to God than I have ever been. I’m a very different person today, although most people around me may not even notice.

I have been praying for God to totally possess me. If you have read some of my past posts, you know that part of that process was for me to allow myself to be happy and accept the good things that were happening to me. Another big component was the total trust in God that I have long sought for.

Just before these attacks, a lot of these changes in me were close to completion. Then with a very large amount of help from God, I eliminated three sinful habits. This opened the door of my heart to receive God even more. I cannot even begin to describe how much I love God right now.

I do not know what’s going to happen next with anyone or anything in my life. I do not even know what my next actions may be, because I just don’t plan that much anymore. Yes, I still have the ‘to do’ list and my desk is full of work related things to do. I also have a sense, or reality, that God is in complete control and I trust Him.

I am in great pain and joy at the same time. It is a funny thing, that even when you lose unhealthy parts of yourself it is painful. I do not know who I am anymore. I cry out of joy from my love of God, my “YES” to God, and my loss of identity. The total trust I have for Him is what keeps me going. One morning in prayer, I asked Christ: “Who am I?” It came to me, that I do not know because God lives in me now and I am incapable of knowing God. It is true that I know enough about God to participate in His love for others. I just don’t know how, when, and all of the other questions that go with trying to understand something that is so much greater, so much more loving,…

I am also scared. I get the impression, from prayer, that I have to rediscover myself. In any and all events, people, work related tasks, friends, and anything else in my life; if God’s will (Providence) is done I win. My will, my total fulfillment, my cause and my full potential are God’s will. It is that total trust and surrender to Him that makes me aware of the Holy Spirit burning inside me.

So I just have to get used to this. It is hard for me to describe all the different emotions that I’m going through. Nobody ever said this was going to be easy. I do not know what’s going to happen next. I do know that it will be another expression of God’s love.