God Makes a Start- Genesis 1-11

08-27-2018Book Review

It is what it is!

It is not an accident that Genesis is the first book of the Bible. Divinely selected, every aspect of plot, symbolism, character and even cataclysm sets the stage for all that comes afterward. It is a simple matter to be mesmerized by the dramatic events of the Pentateuch’s most renowned book. The first 11 chapters, often referenced as the prologue or the primitive or primeval history, offer the reader a feast of action and adventure: creation out of nothing, paradise and the fall of humankind, the first murder in Cain and Abel, patriarchs, giants, flood, Noah and sons and the Tower of Babel. The narrative attacks every sense and every emotion. From the lush and intoxicating scents of the Garden of Eden to the shocking and unexpected brutality of fratricide, Genesis introduces the ultimate plotline of human history.

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God's Design for Marriage

08-26-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

You may have heard that Marriage is meant to remind us of Christ's love for the Church. This is not just a fancy poetic idea. When we see how the two are connected, it makes sense why the Church insists that couples don't just shack up together but pledge their love for each other in a Church wedding. A couple's love is a Holy union.

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Celebratring 85 years of helping the most vulnerable

08-26-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next month Catholic Charities Community Services-the charitable arm of the Diocese-is commemorating its 85th Anniversary by celebrating Catholic Charities Awareness Month. We will help them with bulletin articles and with our prayers at Mass.

Please take the time to read and learn about the incredible work they are doing in your name. I have served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities many years ago and I know what great work they do.

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Learn from Adam

08-26-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

When Adam first saw Eve in the garden, he was delighted and said, "At last, here is one of my own kind, bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" (Gen 2:23). Adam could relate to Eve. They had a relationship with each other; their bodies were complimentary. Like the happy bride and groom on their wedding day, they were filled with joy and thankful to God. But like all brides and grooms, they were unaware of the cunning seduction of the evil one. Adam was given the responsibility to guard the garden, but failed.

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An Open Door Policy

08-19-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

A secular idea that has permeated our culture is the idea of privacy, especially for children, in order to separate them from parents, faith and God. Children want privacy to disobey parents or try something their parents would not allow, just as adults want privacy to disobey the civil law or the moral law of God, thinking it is ok just so no one finds out.

A Catholic home must have an open door policy. Doors are closed for the purpose of modesty; knocking before entering is appropriate. We would never think of trusting our finances to someone who said, “Give me your money and I will take care of it privately, no need for you to check on me.” Are we supposed to allow our children, whom God has entrusted to us, live a private life knowing sin and vice are pervasive? Children can be easily influenced into serious sin and illegal activities. “Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be found and brought light” (Lk.8:17).

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The Eucharist

08-19-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Eucharist is our deepest desires satisfied. How much closer to Jesus can we get? The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ comes into our very bodies and by some beautiful mystery I, along with you . . . We . . . become His body! And through our union with Him we become one with each other too!

Eucharist is community. The Perfect Community of the Holy Trinity joins the Saints and Angels of all ages, and the faithful of every tongue and tribe and nation. Together we enter into the very mysteries of the Incarnation, and the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. We die to selfishness and rise to a new life of service.

For many years, I longed for Jesus in the Eucharist and didn’t even know it. I thought if I wasn’t satisfied it meant either something was wrong with me, or I would have to wait for heaven to feel satisfied. Now I can “taste and see the goodness of the Lord. . .”, and I never want to sit outside the banquet hall and survive on beggar’s crumbs again.

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Good news from the Diocese!

08-19-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

This is our last weekend with Gabriel, our summer seminarian. He will leave next week for a little vacation and then to Rome to continue his studies. Please thank him and remember him in prayer this year. We have been blessed this summer to again have seminarians with us.

Also, I received a letter this week from the diocese congratulating us on our successful campaign: Together Let us Go Forth -Juntos Sigamos Adelante. The letter also said that we would be receiving our first check for $24,000 this month. This will not be enough to start any of the work we promised, so we will put it into savings until we receive our next check in six months.

The amount we receive is based on actual base received by the diocese, so please continue with your monthly pledges. As you can see, it pays off for us here as well as in the diocese as a whole.

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What is a "Holy Moment?"

08-12-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

St. John Marie Vianney wrote, “My little children, reflect on these words: the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven. Our thoughts, then, ought to be directed to where our treasure is. This is the glorious duty of man: to pray and to love. If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies.”

I have read a new book by Matthew Kelly entitled: The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity. What is that lie? It is that you cannot be truly holy; holiness is impossible. He writes that no saint was always holy. The answer is what he calls “holy moments”. A holy moment is any time you are united with God; a moment of prayer, awareness of a beautiful sunset, a random act of love or kindness. My friends, we all have “holy moments” throughout our lives.

Think of how much better the world would be if all Christians tried to have more “ holy moments” each day! How about today? Let us all try to increase our “holy moments” one day at a time.

Pax,

Father Mike

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Parental Vigilance

08-12-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Secularism is the exclusion of God. Our Catholic faith built on love of and obedience to Christ and His Church. Secularism excludes the one true God, embracing New Age crystals, Eastern religions, superstitions of the occult and demonic including witchcraft and vampires. Jesus said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life” (Jn. 14, 6). There is no other way to God, no other truth about God. Jesus taught us how to live by His own life and sacrificial death.

Parents need to be vigilant and educate their children about the things that do not belong in a Catholic home. God warned Israel, “Don’t let your people practice divination or look for omens or use spells or charms, and don’t let them consult the spirits of the dead. The Lord God hates people who do these disgusting things” (Dt 18:9-12). Clean house if these things have entered your home: pagan statuary as decoration or art, ouiji boards and tarot cards as children’s games, palm readers and fortunetellers as curiosity or hobby, spells and incantations as fascinating ways to receive information. The media and schools introduce books to children with fun, adventurous
“good” witches including incantations and spells while teenagers are in love with handsome, romantic vampires.

“Then Saul also known as Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician and said, you son of the Devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of evil tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord’s truths into lies!” (Acts 13:9).

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Th Aroma of our Sacrifices

08-12-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Don’t we delight in seeing our children imitate their parents and grandparents?

So, too, God delights in our efforts to imitate Christ, especially when we give ourselves in a sacrificial offering for others like Jesus did.

Sometimes we imagine that the sacrifice he requires of us is big or far away, but the sacrifice he wants from us is moment by moment, each and every day.

God wants to supply the kindness and compassion we need as we empty the dishwasher, fold laundry, care for our children, and listen here and now.

Our life will then emit a pleasant fragrance, often unnoticed by others. But God notices. The aroma of our sacrifices is sweet to God. In and through them he sees us being formed into the image of his beloved Son.

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Bound By Obedient Love

08-05-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

The Blessed Trinity is a mystery, one God in three Persons. The Father, Jesus, His only begotten Son and the Holy Spirit are one. They are a community of persons bound together by faithful, fruitful love. Theirs is a Divine intimacy.

In the Holy Sacrament of marriage, we too are called into a divine intimacy with Christ and our spouse, dedicated to faithful, fruitful, permanent love. This takes a lifetime to master. The holy waters of baptism washed away the original sin of disobedience we inherited from our first parents, but left us with a personal inclination to selfishness and sinful pride. Our cooperation with the graces available from the Sacraments including marriage helps us to grow in selfless love for our beloved. We are separate persons that are one in our submission to all that Christ and His Church teaches, in our mission to be heaven bound and in our fruitful love. Spouses bound together by Jesus’ love for the Father are united in prayer and in obedient love. Jesus is God, yet He always did as His Father instructed Him. The night before His ultimate gift of loving sacrifice, He again turned to His Father in prayer and said,“Not my will Father but yours” (Lk.22:42).

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Let us join with Catholics around the country in the USCCB Call to Prayer

08-05-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I received this from the USCCB:

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on July 19, 2018, inviting all people of good will to join in a prayer campaign that the change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.

“As soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, we can and should raise grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade. We must pray.

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Bread of Life

08-05-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Food is a big deal to most of us. Whether it’s homemade bread, tortillas, cake, tamales, menudo, or meat cooked just the way we like it, every family has our favorites.

Most of us also know what it’s like to eat too much of our favorite food. Even while wanting to eat more, there comes a point when we can no longer enjoy it.

Jesus knows we need food, but He also knows earthly food can never completely satisfy us. Our unsatisfied hunger and the pleasure of earthly food are signs meant to point us to the only Bread that can satisfy.

Lord, Jesus, thank you for coming to us as the Bread of Life. Please help us allow you to satisfy the longings in us that can never be satisfied by earthly pleasures.

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