From The Pastor's Desk


Holy Family Sunday 12-28-08
Well, it’s the fourth Sunday of Advent with Christmas just around the corner. There is a Franciscan priest in the Holy Land who is a welcoming presence for all w

Fourth Sunday of Advent 12-21-08
Well, it’s the fourth Sunday of Advent with Christmas just around the corner. There is a Franciscan priest in the Holy Land who is a welcoming presence for all who come to Shepherd's Field (that is the field where the angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the good news of Christ's birth). He stresses to all pilgrims that it can be Christmas all year round when we allow Christ to be daily born in our hearts. Christ continues to become incarnate in his body, the Church. So please look to those around you and say, "MERRY CHRISTMAS" because Christ can be and often is daily born in you and me!

Third Sunday of Advent 12-14-08
Gaudete! is the Latin imperative for Rejoice. The candle in the advent wreathe is pink. A sense of joyous anticipation is in the Air. The King, the Lord, Our Savior Jesus Christ is just about here! We should live every day for the rest of our lives with great hope that soon and very soon we are going to see the Lord!

Second Sunday of Advent 12-7-08
Life is not about waiting for the storm to is about learning to dance in the rain.
Unknown author

First Sunday of Advent 11-30-08
We do not know when the Lord is coming for us as an individual soul or for his people at the end of the world. DO NOT MISS THE TRAIN! BE READY ALWAYS AT EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!

Christ the King Sunday 11-23-08
Are you wearing your Jesus glasses? What do you mean! You don't know what Jesus glasses are! Let me explain. When you put on your Jesus glasses (as opposed to "cultural" glasses), you no longer see attractive people or unattractive people. You no longer see intelligent people or unintelligent people. You no longer distinguish between talented and useful people in contrast to untalented and waste-of-space people. When you are wearing your Jesus glasses you look beyond all these "cultural" norms and measures to see only one thing, a precious life made in the image and likeness of God. You see only Jesus, knowing that whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers and sisters, you do that unto Jesus himself! Along with Mother Teresa, do we recognize Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor? Remember what Saint John of the Cross said, "In the evening time of our life, we will be judged by love." When we come into the presence of Jesus at the end our life, the only thing that will matter is Faith, Hope, and Love. And the Greatest of these is Love!

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 11-16-08
My dad had a plaque on his office wall that read; It is not the mountain before me that wears me out, rather, the pebble in my shoe! The Lord gives grace for us to handle the big things in our life and beckons us not to sweat the small stuff. However, when it comes to little acts of charity and love, we need a different posture! Mother Teresa of Calcutta said two key things about this: #1. Even the smallest act of kindness takes on infinite value when done for Christ. #2. God does not ask us to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things with extraordinary faithfulness. In the Gospel, the Lord asks us to offer our talents to him with great love and promises that if we are faithful in small matters, he will put us in charge of larger matters. We can transform the irritating pebbles in our shoes into nuggets of valuable gold. So keep on teaching those religious education classes that don't always seem to go as well as you planned. Keep getting up every morning offering your whole day to the Lord. Keep changing the diapers and making the meals. Keep shoveling your aging neighbor's walk. Someday these little gold nuggets will be used in your everlasting home in heaven!

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome 11-9-08
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. We are NOT celebrating a building as beautiful as it is. We are celebrating “The Mother and head of all the churches in Rome and the entire world!” It is the Pope’s Cathedral Church. We don’t have to wander around in the dark. We know what God wants because we know what Peter teaches. Whoever hears Peter hears Jesus and whoever hears Jesus, hears The Father. We celebrate our UNITY as the church of God, a unity that originates and goes out to the entire world from this Church.

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed 11-2-08
The trials, sufferings, and challenges of this life, and how we respond to them, prepare us for our eternal citizenship in the next life.

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time 10-26-08
In our humanity, we are so very frail. We are like a crumpled-up soft white cloth that is constantly being hit with fireballs from the world, the flesh, and the devil. These fires have great power to greatly scorch us and even incinerate us. The key is this: Be a person of deep prayer; from the center of your being flows the cooling and moistening waters of the Holy Spirit that is enough to endure even the most intense heat.
List for your Spiritual Restaurant:
For about 2,000 years now, the church has laid before a smorgasbord, a multi-dish, exquisitely seasoned banquet for all to feast upon. The problem is, many of us are starving because we are not eating!
Everyone needs to set up a private spiritual restaurant in their homes. Let me show some things that I do in my restaurant.
A Place of relative quiet and solitude-
Table- Crucifix- Statues- Mary- Icons- (Peter and Paul- Death and Resurrection)
Books- Bible, Daily Missal, Liturgy of the hours Catechism, writings of the Saints, prayer books- Holy Water- Votive candles
Rosary Prayer cards- Prayer to Saint Michael- Music –ETC...

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time 10-19-08
"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time 10-12-08
“The church isn’t feeding me!”
Response: “The church has spread a fine table with the best of foods. EAT!”

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time 10-5-08
I believe that it was Meister Eckert who said, “The only prayer we really need to make to God is, THANK YOU!” What are some of the fundamental and sublime realities for which we are thankful?
Thank you Lord for:
1. Loving me into existence.
2. Creating me in your own image and likeness.
3. Calling me to loving union with the life of the most unfathomable Triune God.
4. For sending you Son to freely lay down his life for me that I may not perish but have everlasting life.
5. For the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me.
6. For the Church which is the Sacrament of Salvation.
7. For the call to life everlasting in Heaven.
8. The luxury of some “boring” evenings at home! ETC... We take these and 1,000,001 more blessings for granted. We are called to be a people of praise and thanksgiving! Only then will depression and oppression lift!

26th Sunday of Ordinary Time 9-28-08
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill, but really it is greenest in the fullness of God’s will.”

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time 9-21-08
Tom, Dick, and Harry were triplets. Their father sent them out to work hard selling Kool-Aid. Tom raised $7.50, Dick $3.00 and Harry brought in a mere 25 cents. The day came for their graduation. The rich and very generous father gave each of them a brand new car, starting with the laziest one, Harry. None of them made enough to purchase the car that the father gave to them. Even $7.50 couldn’t dent it. God’s gift of eternal life is something way beyond what we could ever afford or earn. The best we can do is humbly and gratefully accept his Gracious Love.

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross 9-14-08
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time 9-7-08
We say, “I am so mad at Buella! Do you know what she did...” and then we go on to decimate her reputation with disproportionate and unjust words without her even having a clue as to what she did! Did we think to gently go to her first? The gospel tells us to go to her privately, then if she doesn’t listen to get two or three witnesses, then refer her to the church. It takes courage but it’s the best way! Also, the well known classic Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis puts it this way: “If, after being admonished once or twice, a person does not amend, do not argue with him but commit the whole matter to God that His will and honor may be furthered in all His servants, for God knows well how to turn evil to good. Try to bear patiently with the defects and infirmities of others, whatever they may be, because you also have many a fault which others must endure.” Book 1:16

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 8-31-08
“Shoot for heaven with purgatory as your safety net instead of aiming for purgatory with hell as the only next option!”

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time 8-24-08
Whoever Listens to Peter Listens to Jesus!

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time 8-17-08
“Faith is confident assurance of what we hope for and certainty of what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1-2

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time 8-10-08
Two of the most powerful and world-changing men in all of history were Elijah and Saint Francis. Both of them spent the greater portion of their time in solitude totally surrendered to God. The source of their power was drawn from their time alone with the Lord. They simply followed the example of Jesus, who himself was constantly in deep prayer seeking to do ONLY the will of the Father. The Lord is calling each of us to follow their example.
No Prayer, No Power
Some Prayer, Some power
A lot of Prayer, A lot of Power
Housekeeping rules:
1. Vatican Rules! Clothing in church must be appropriate and matching the dignity of the liturgy. If you go to Saint Peter’s in the Vatican, you will not be allowed in if you have bare shoulders, shorts or a dress that is not below the knees! Put simply, we need to observe those same guidelines here as well.
2. Gum Chewing in mass is also not allowed. It is both out of taste and violates the one hour fast.
3. Cell phones need to be turned off unless you are in an emergency situation or on medical call. If this is the case, please position yourself at the nearest exit so as not to interrupt the liturgy.

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time 8-3-08
God, you are God and I am not.

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time 7-27-08
WISDOM = The ability to take all the intelligence, talents and skills that exist within us in conjunction with all that exists in the world and to use all these means to point to our final goal which is LOVING UNION WITH GOD. Put simply, Wisdom is the ability to live your life in such a manner that it leads to Heaven.

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time 7-20-08
There is an interesting story about a hotel manager in a prestigious hotel who received a panicked message from someone who was stuck in the elevator between the second and third floors. He ran up to the floor and spoke to the trapped man from the elevator shaft:
“Don’t worry; I am calling the hotel maintenance man!”
A nervous and scared reply returned from the trapped elevator:
“I AM the hotel maintenance man!”

The Gospel this Sunday speaks of weeds and wheat. The Lord calls us to weed out of our lives those things that block His love for us.
Through humility, acts of contrition, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus is the one who takes the weeds out of our garden and restores us back to our families, friends and our world.
We cannot do it alone.

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time 7-13-08
Year of Saint Paul
(June 28th, 2008 – June 29th, 2009)
A Prayer to the APOSTLE PAUL
Glorious Saint Paul, Most zealous Apostle,
Martyr for the Love of Christ in witness to his glorious resurrection,
Give us a deep faith, a steadfast hope, a burning love for the Lord.
With you may we proclaim,
“It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me!”
Help us to become apostles who serve the church with pure hearts, Shining her truth and beauty in a world of falsehood and darkness.
With you Saint Paul, we Praise God, our Father:
“To Him be Glory in the Church and in Christ, now and forever!”

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time 7-6-08
One way of entering in to the rest of the Lord and increasing a sense of God’s presence through out the day is to do the following:
Imagine that your bed is the palm of God’s hand.
At the beginning of the day set your alarm (with the snooze) for 30 minutes before you actually have to arise. Let this be “Father” or “Abba” time. Also, at the end of your day collapse into the “Palm of God’s hand.” If you attend to these two bookends of your day, you will find yourself growing ever deeper in contemplative prayer throughout the day, i.e. an awareness that you are in God’s company at every moment.
To fall peacefully asleep, memorize, then S l o w l y Pray this part of Psalm 63:6-8 as many times as needed. (You have all night!)
1. God, on my bed I think of you.
2. I muse on you throughout the night watches.
3. Under the shadow of your wings (the covers!) I take refuge.
4. My soul clings to you.
5. Your right hand holds me tight

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles 6-29-08
Year of Saint Paul
(June 28th, 2008 – June 29th, 2009)
A Prayer to the APOSTLE PAUL
Glorious Saint Paul, Most zealous Apostle,
Martyr for the Love of Christ in witness to his glorious resurrection,
Give us a deep faith, a steadfast hope, a burning love for the Lord.
With you may we proclaim,
“It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me!”
Help us to become apostles who serve the church with pure hearts, Shining her truth and beauty in a world of falsehood and darkness.
With you Saint Paul, we Praise God, our Father:
“To Him be Glory in the Church and in Christ, now and forever!”

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time 6-22-08
“Life, whether long or short,
Is a journey towards Paradise;
There is our Fatherland,
There is our real home,
There is our appointment!
Jesus is waiting for us in Paradise!
Never forget this supreme and consoling truth.”
Pope John Paul the Great!

11th Sunday of Ordinary Time 6-15-08
Every single Catholic is called to be a Saint. The universal call to holiness flows from our baptism, all are called to sonship and daughterhood in Christ. From this basic call, and flowing from deep and intense prayer we discover the way we are to live that call out. The married state, the clerical state, or the single state are all specific ways we live out our life as a son or daughter of God that is bestowed upon us at our baptism.

Happy Father’s Day to one and all!

10th Sunday of Ordinary Time 6-8-08
MERCY is love, forgiveness, and blessings showered upon us when we don’t deserve it. If we deserved it wouldn’t be mercy.
God desires to drench us in His Mercy!

9th Sunday of Ordinary Time 6-1-08
After appearing to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus acted “as if he was going on further.” They then invited him to stay with them. Jesus offers us life and salvation, but because love is a free choice, he is willing to respect our choices and move on. Salvation or damnation is essentially our choice. Will you say YES to the Lord today?

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ 5-25-08

Holy Trinity 5-18-08
We do not access the Holy Trinity so much through reason as we do through Love.

Pentecost 5-11-08
Come Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Divine Love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. Oh God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructed the hearts of the faithful, Grant, that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Ascension of the Lord 5-4-08
Christ as passed beyond our midst not to abandon us but to be ever present at every moment of every day for the rest of our lives till eternity dawns.

6th Sunday of Easter 4-27-08

Prayers of Truth and Identity that Set Free!

-Before praying these prayers become aware that you are constantly in the presence of God.
-You may substitute other names for God’s name such as Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Abba, I AM etc… There is one for every day of the week!

1. God, You are God and I am Not.
2. God, You are my God, only you and you alone.
3. God, I am your Son/Daughter/child, nothing less, nothing more, only this.
4. My God and my ALL!
5. God, you do not love me because I am, rather I am because you love me.
6. God, in you I LIVE, I MOVE, and I HAVE MY BEING.
7. Be still and Know that I am God.
Alternate Prayers:
1. Abba, I belong to you.
2. I receive you into my heart and I give myself to you.
3. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Have mercy on me, a sinner.
4. Jesus I Trust in You!
5. (God’s word to you- What does the Holy Spirit give you?)

5th Sunday of Easter 4-20-08
Do you believe that you are living an authentic Catholic/Christian Life? Some of the signs are as follows: 1. You have been baptized and realize that you are part of the bigger picture called the "People of God" or the "Church", that you are not just an isolated monad before God. Through Christ you realize that you are deeply connected and related to your brothers and sisters throughout the world. 2. You have some awareness of God as a personal God in "whom you live and move and have your being." God is not just a doctrine, philosophy or teaching, but rather a personal God who knows and loves you through and through. He is the Good Shepherd whose voice you recognize and in who's steps you confidently follow. 3. The fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22 are found in your life; Love, Joy Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. To be considered a true follower of Christ there must be ONE MORE ELEMENT in your life... that element is... 4. STRUGGLE! Jesus said to all "If any one wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" Luke 9:23. And in the Gospel of John he tells us that we will suffer in the world but to have courage because he has overcome the world. Even when everything is about as good as it can possibly be on this side of the grave we always seem to have some kinds of struggle even if it is the fear that something will go wrong to upset our now great life. I often tell people that I have never been happier in my life than in Ida Grove, Iowa yet I make a solemn promise and declaration that I don't want to spend eternity in Ida Grove, just many years! Jesus promises that in His Fathers house there are many mansions for us. He asks us to have Faith in God and Faith in him. He, the Risen Christ has indeed gone to prepare a place for us so that where he is we also may one day be, never to be parted. Please persevere then in the struggle, with Jesus the best is yet to come.

4th Sunday of Easter 4-13-08
There are many voices speaking to us! They come at us from all sides. Unfortunately, often times these voices are shaming, condemning, and downright mean. Why do we listen to these inner and outer voices that don’t reflect and even contradict the One Voice to which we should always be tuned, the voice of the Good Shepherd? We need to tune into the frequency of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ to hear what he has to say to us. There is so much Good News and Truth that is just longing to set us free from the voices that would condemn or belittle us. Please do yourself and those around you a favor and listen to the sweet words of the Good Shepherd. Hear him say, “You are my precious little one for whom I have laid down my life!”

3rd Sunday of Easter 4-6-08
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed...” These words clearly reflect one major part of the Petrine Ministry of the Holy Father and the ministry in which we all share. John Paul the Great once said, “If you have met Christ, then proclaim him to the world!” Peter never claimed to have anything on his own, in fact he was very aware of his human frailties, but Peter did realize that the work of God through his ministry was vital and so the work of his successors remains vital. He said in Acts 3, “Silver or Gold I have not, but what I have, I give you. In the name of Jesus...” when he speaks in the name of Jesus he speaks as if it were Jesus himself speaking. That is what made his ministry powerful. When Peter’s shadow would fall upon the sick and they would be cured, it was the shadow of Jesus falling on that person. How many times have we listened to John Paul the Great and now Benedict XVI speak and experienced our hearts burning as the word of God came forth! That is because, it wasn’t simply the man speaking, it was Christ himself, speaking to us, Shepherding us, guiding us, challenging us through the ministry of the pope. Jesus said of the Church, “the one who hears you hears me!” Thank you for promising to continue to be with your church until the end of time. Speak to us Lord that our hearts may burn with love for you!

Divine Mercy 3-30-08
Today is DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY. Jesus came to humankind to enter into our human situation, to suffer, die and rise in order to pour forth his forgiveness upon the entire world so as to reconcile us to the Father. Because we did nothing to deserve this, we call this MERCY. Mercy is mercy precisely because it is given when it is not deserved. On Divine Mercy Sunday let us remember the ABC’s of Mercy:
A. Ask for God’s Mercy.
B. Be Merciful yourself
C. Completely trust in God’s Mercy

Easter Sunday 3-23-08
Happy Easter! Alleluia!
“The Easter event-the bodily resurrection of Christ-pervades the life of the whole church…The resurrection has immense power to liberate, to uplift, to bring about justice, to effect holiness, to cause JOY…We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know that Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the resurrection. And we live in the light of his paschal mystery-the mystery of death and resurrection. We are an Easter people and alleluia is our song!”
John Paul the Great

Palm Sunday 3-16-08
The true story is told of a famous evangelist who was introduced to speak to a stadium full of people. After taking in a 10-minute standing ovation, he simply said, “When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, he received a similar response from the crowd. It would have been a great mistake for the donkey to think that that reception was meant for him! I am just God’s donkey.”

5th Sunday of Lent 3-9-08
Someone has once said, “I am not afraid of death, I am afraid of the moments right before death!” How true! I remember as a boy thinking, “If I were Lazarus, I would have been mad! Here I just went through the death process and then this guy comes around and now I have to go through the whole thing again!” Actually, Jesus was ready to let him go but was moved by the prayers of Martha. Remember, Jesus resuscitated the dead body of Lazarus. This means that he had to die again! Lazarus did eventually die again, but the second time Jesus bought him to the glorious life of heaven, never to die. Death does not have the POWER over us that we think! The truth is that we will never die. After our body shuts down our real self, our soul will continue on for all eternity. John says that some will rise to life and others, rise to condemnation. We who are in Christ have no fear of condemnation, but only joyous hope in the resurrection to life!

4th Sunday of Lent 3-2-08
David was the least likely to be anointed by Samuel as the King of Israel. He wasn’t even considered. Well, the Lord DID consider him. David was anointed, the Spirit of God rushed upon him and he became THE Old Testament figure that most closely resembled the future Savior, Jesus Christ. God does not call the equipped; rather he equips those whom he calls.

3rd Sunday of Lent 2-24-08
“Be Patient with people as they get ready to meet the Lord, but remember, the Orkin man is coming!”

2nd Sunday of Lent 2-17-08
Are you “Being Under Satan’s Yoke?”
Are You “Being United to the Saviors Yoke?”

1st Sunday of Lent 2-10-08
God loves the sinner but hates the sin because it hurts the sinner whom He loves. When you look at yourself, are you happy with what you see? Do you like the person you have become? Lent is a time when we make an intense effort to root out all that is not of the Kingdom of God and to let all that which is of God to grow. “I must decrease. He must increase.” The Lord tells us that “now is the time of fulfillment...The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel!” There is a twofold movement here:
1. Repent - means to turn away from all those things that are not of God.
2. Believe in the Gospel - Gospel means Good News. We are to turn towards the truth about God’s love for us, his offer to have life with him on earth and everlasting life in heaven.

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2-3-08
Blessed are the Pure of Heart, for they shall see God! This is what it means to be pure of heart: “God you are my God, only you and you alone!”

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time 1-27-08
“On those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, a light has risen!” As far as I am concerned, 4,000 abortions a day in America would qualify our land as one overshadowed by death. In the midst of this darkness, we are called to deep repentance and turning of our hearts, lives, and country back over to God. It is possible for the light to shine in this present darkness. In fact the deeper the darkness, the more our light will be seen. We should never apologize or compromise for being PRO-LIFE PEOPLE! Why have we gotten used to the destruction of some 124,000 human beings a month in this country through an intentional terrorism of the womb! May the light of the Gospel dispel this darkness and put our country as “One Nation under God” not just in name, but in fact.

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 1-20-08
In the Jewish tradition, the community would find a spotless lamb, they would then push down upon the lamb, thus transferring and conferring their sins upon it. The lamb would then be sacrificed, thereby freeing the people from their sins. So when Jesus came on the scene and John declared, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” it was very clear to the Jewish listeners that Jesus was the one without blemish who would lay down his life so that they may be free of sin.

Baptism of the Lord 1-13-08
From the very beginning of the First Sunday in ordinary time (which begins with the Baptism of the Lord) we are invited to connect with the Holy Trinity. Jesus comes on the scene, The Holy Spirit hovers above him, and the voice of the Father is heard, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Through Jesus we are Baptized into the beautiful life and love of the Trinity.

Epiphany of the Lord 1-6-08
Epiphany means to "SHINE LIGHT UPON" something, hence the first reading, Rise up in splendor Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. The star shed it's light upon the infant Jesus revealing him to the world as the true light of all peoples. There is a natural progression in the liturgies. We begin the Christmas season with the Birth of Christ. After Christ is born we celebrate the Holy Family. Since the Holy Family was there for the world, we celebrate Epiphany where Christ is revealed to the world. Finally, we will end the Christmas season at the Baptism of the Lord. Since we have been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, we too are called to be "epiphanies" or manifestations of Christ to the world. When people look at you, do they see the Light of Christ?