Story Time

 “…we all reflect as in a mirror the splendor of the Lord…”     2 Corinthians 3:18

Perhaps you have already noticed, or perhaps today is the day it becomes news to you:  Fr. J.J., our associate priests, parish council, commissions, and staff have been making a gradual, purposeful push for you (yes, you!) to be able to tell others about your love story with the God who is Love.

One of the first steps toward being able to tell that story is recognizing that there is one, and then realizing that even though the story is ongoing/never-ending, it’s still important to be able to pick out key parts of it to relay to others for their benefit as well as our own.  Jesus passionately wants you and me to do this!

So, in fairness, here is part of my story….  //  LEARN MORE

Expectation

When I was little, our home’s single-paned windows would feature a considerable layer of frosty ice on the inside of them about this time of year.  I used to love to peek out at the street lights, headlights, and Christmas lights through the varying kinds of sparkling rainbows that I could create by scratching at the ice, or breathing on it, or just leaving it alone.  (I bet you can hear my mom, “Marian Donna!  Leave those windows alone!”)  I would most often find myself stationed at those front windows, fidgeting with joyful anticipation, when we were expecting an arrival:  the UPS truck, or party guests, or — best of all — a big sibling home from college.  One Christmas Eve, I swear, I even spied Rudolph’s nose.  I simply couldn’t resist the joy of the waiting, and the pure appropriateness of being on hand for The Big Moment.

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Are we like that, still, on this Fourth Sunday of Advent?  Are our souls dancing with anticipation?  Are we unable to stay away from the idea of “Soon!!”?  I hope so.  Because the Holy Family is drawing closer.  Their sparkling radiance invites our wonder.  Their infinite beauty encourages our awe.  The truth, love, and mercy they bring can increasingly make us, in the best sense, innocent again.  So let’s stay on our toes, my friends.  Not to turn them away as did the poor innkeeper who missed his chance, but to throw open the doors of our hearts so as to welcome in our own redemption.

Marian Bart
Parish Catechetical Leader

God’s Fridge

gods-fridge-stephanie-groomsAs the cold weather steadily encroaches, I’ve been grumbling about the dubious wisdom of living here in what seems to be God’s icebox.  Happily, my pessimistic thought processes have been somewhat soothed by remembering author Max Lucado’s sweet message (maybe you’ve heard it before) that “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning… Face it, friend. He is crazy about you! ”

I do think if God had a fridge, yes, my picture would be on it.  And not just my retouched professional portrait, either, but some real photos of me in action – with all my flaws and all my beauty plain to see, each facet of me treasured by my Father.  I also think all the photos I have ever taken and all the photos I have wanted to take would be there – the ones I remember and the ones I can’t.  Not only that, but I think that God’s fridge would display my other kinds of pictures too:  the stick-figure art I have created for Him in all my human fumbling with the gifts and tools He has given me.  Because when I have offered these almost-nothings (these broken prayers, these small deeds, these clumsy relationships) to Him, he has lovingly accepted them better than a mom with a kitchen full of tissue-paper butterflies and popsicle-stick puppets.  And He has glorified each one of them by His tender mercies…His personal love…His insistence that everything, everything, everything be saved.

Your Pickle,
Marian Bart
Parish Catechetical Leader

A note from Fr. Jim…

“The Church is not about a building, it’s about the people” is a fairly common phrase in churchy-circles. There is a lot of truth to it – especially when it is used to express the feeling that people are becoming more focused on keeping a parish running than about changing lives by bringing the Lord to the world in new and deeper ways. That makes sense. But that can also be taken too far, and we need a remedy to that “a building is just a building” attitude into which we might slip. So today, we celebrate not an event during Jesus’ life, nor a saint, but the dedication of a church: St. John Lateran in Rome. We celebrate that a bunch of stone were placed together, that a roof was put in place, that mosaics were laid out, and that finally the whole thing was dedicated to God.  //  LEARN MORE

Thoughts from the Cave

What is the Church asking of us today? You probably know the answer! The Church is asking us to pray in a very special way for all the deceased.  God knows all things: he knows what we are doing now because he watches us. He waits for us to turn to him with the simplicity of a child and when a person does this that person wish to be a saint, then the person must ready them self to being consistent, must respond to God’s grace consistently, positively, and unconditionally. This means, the person cannot allow my emotions to run my life. the person cannot solely follow or trust Their instincts, Their desires, Their feelings or Their emotions. Nor can they allow “the times”, “the fashions” “the storms” or “the current” to sweep me away. They must give the benefit of the doubt to the Lord. They must allow Him to pick me up and sweep me off my feet….  //  LEARN MORE