201701.08
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Positive and Happy start to our new year

Praying that we are all off to a Positive and Happy start to our new year. With one week under our belts and 51 more to go, the “Happy” part is totally within our control.  The loving  grace  of God abounds  all throughout  our trials  and our triumphs, hopefully sparking our freedom to choose to live in accord with our Catholic Faith (and be happy)… or dismiss it’s clear moral guidelines in yet another futile search for happiness in what our society  has been serving up  these past decades. We are unfortunately mired in an American society that is increasingly accepting immorality as the norm.

I have looked hopefully, every new year, for signs that the “Culture of Life” has gained ground in the battle to protect God’s creation as well as the moral law. And, I will have to admit, here-to-fore, gains have been very hard to detect. In 2016 we saw tremendous division in our society, almost as if it were being carried out by some “master plan”. We were told 8 years ago, by our incoming president, that we were no longer a Christian nation…and to back it  up he terminated the 21st Annual National Day of Prayer. Quite brash, but the gates of hell shall not prevail against God’s Church.  Let us no longer be passive with that kind of religious bullying, going forward.  Live, profess, and act in accord with your Christianity, and you will experience peace and happiness. We must remain steadfast in our faith keeping God front and center in our Christian lives. We are reminded in Romans 8:31…”If God is for us, who can be against us?” And again in Mark 10:27, “… for all things are possible with God.” So why not, in this “New Year of Grace”, buy into Matthew Kelly’s compelling logic and stimulate your genuine happiness by more adherence to God’s ways and by being more desirous and open to His abundant graces.

As far as looking, in this new year, for signs that the “Culture of Life” has gained ground goes, this year unlike the last 8, exudes with “pro-life” promise. A “pro-life” platform has finally been empowered by our nation, but that will amount to nothing…unless we all redouble our efforts to bring an end to abortion.  We can’t sit back and “leave the driving” solely to the initiative of government. Your efforts and my efforts will have much more impact with this 180 degree attitudinal change towards protecting the sanctity of life, from conception to natural death. Next Saturday morning, beginning with Mass at 9:00 AM there will be the most exuberant ever, “March for Life” in St Augustine. I will be there, joining our Bishop. Please let me know if you, and some friends, are planning to go to this, which is sure to be, the biggest and best gathering in the 40 years that have ensued since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. Perhaps we can have a “car pool” group that travels down together. What a great way to start your year; building up your happiness. You’re making this small sacrifice on a Saturday morning…to pray in solidarity with the gathered crowd…for an end to legalized abortion, will certainly reap spiritual dividends for you and your family and friends.

Our March for Life prayers will also express  our gratitude  for the results  of the election  that have  brought with them a heightened focus on the evil of abortion and the end of life issues that have been corroding  the morals of  our country for four decades now. So how else can we express our gratitude? In five months we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Blessed Mother to the three children of Fatima. Our Lady and the Archangel both instructed the children (and us) to make regular sacrifices and repent for all our failures and spiritual shortcomings, and then to offer them up for poor sinners, for the Holy Father, and in reparation for all the offenses and disrespect directed toward the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary’s Immaculate Heart. We today are all expected to follow suit with our prayers, in a quest for World Peace, and to faithfully pray the rosary every day.

Have you given thought to making at least one Holy Hour each month? If you have never tried it, I promise you, that you will find it to be consoling and strengthening. As St. Augustine, himself, taught us, the only thing that will fill the hole in our hearts that so desires happiness…is Christ…God Himself…God and only God! We have a priest coming from the Fathers of Mercy, up in Kentucky, to present a 5 day mission that will focus on building a fervor for Eucharistic Adoration and a deeper understanding of the graces and indulgences that can be gained when we adore Our Lord in the monstrance during adoration. If you have not yet been able to get away, and spend an hour of silent contemplation during our First (and Third) Friday, 24 hours of Adoration, please plan to attend this mission. Amazing things have happened to myriads of people during their time before the Blessed Sacrament, including miracles for a great many, who went on to become Saints. We have had good coverage for the 48 time slots (2 per hour) however, week after week it is the same 30+ people that cover the time slots. The “two people per hour” guideline, is the Diocesan “minimum” that must be present for each hour,  but there  is no limit to how  many  can be there during a  given hour I beg you to give it a try for an hour…any hour… and spend quiet time listening…then, as Mary said, “Do whatever He tells you.” 

Yours in Our loving Savior,       fr denis