Friday, June 29, 2012

We Weren't Spiritually Prepared **warning**this might disturb you

So the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare.
Prior to the decision the US Bishops called for fasting and prayer.
It was way too little and way too late.

The reality is--The Roman Catholic Church is not spiritually prepared to do the battles.

Their spiritual balance is off.

We have forgotten fasting and prayer and confession.
Somehow during the past 30 years we focused on social justice issues and policy--to the point where the spiritual balance was upset.  Instead of peace marches and sit-ins complementing spiritual and religious practices, they replaced confessional lines and Friday fasts and daily Mass.

Just last week I heard a homily where the aging priest listed what he decided were prophets of his time.  And then he likened them to St. John the Baptist--yep the cousin of Jesus Christ the Messiah.  I must have heard a homily like that once or twice a year for the past 40 years.  I even preached homilies like that (my belated apologies to those congregations).
The balance is so off that even our language has become nothing more than politically correct crap which skirts the real issues and has the potential to confuse the congregation.  When the preacher discussed recent church scandals he avoided the use of words like; evil, demonic, and satan.

We don't even use the language that clearly describes right from wrong. How can we even be expected to awaken ancient spiritual practices?

So when the Bishops called for fasting and prayer they were expecting the clergy and people to practice something that isn't even preached--I wonder how many clergy and laity really did fast--yes physically fast.  I wonder how many Roman Catholic Church's offered an evening prayer service or conducted novenas. 

The Bishops expected the people to do something that hasn't been promoted, practiced, or preached for years.

"Only by fasting and prayer can these demons be expelled."
-Jesus Christ.

Friday, June 15, 2012


The following article of mine was picked up by Priest Magazine a couple years back and has now become an 'annual' post.

I sat in the pew and listened as the newly ordained priest introduced himself to the congregation; “Hello, I am Father…”  I remembered the many times I stood before a congregation and how blank their stare was.  But there was no getting around it.  The first weekend in a parish for a new priest was simply exhausting on a variety of levels.    
            Sitting next to me were my wife and son and the three of us glanced and smiled at one another.  As the priest  began his homily, I settled into thinking about the word he just used; Father.  Though I knew he was using it simply as a title, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was aware of its power—a power that can open his life to a much deeper existence.  Father is a word that transcends the vocational boundaries of priesthood and dadhood. So, for what it is worth, here are some thoughts from a man who was both.

Being a Dad means you are not the center.
Fatherhood isn’t about you—you are about it.  Priesthood isn’t about you—you are about it.

Fatherhood is about sacrifice
Dads keep a variety of vigils in life.  From the bedside of your sick child, to the middle of the night worries about losing your job, to watching your spouse suffer through chemotherapy—desperately hoping your child doesn’t fall into despair.  We simply keep vigils at all hours, day and night.  Keeping vigil has something to do with asking the question “Why?” and then moving the heart to trusting that God is present.  Keeping vigil is really about offering everything back to God.  Spend a night in prayer.  It will do your soul good.

There is no such thing as a day off.
There might be a day off from work or even vacations—but you are still a Dad.  In priesthood, a day off should not become an excuse to blend into the world.  One of the worst homilies I ever heard was preached at a first Mass of a newly ordained—the premise being that to be a good priest the new priest must venture forth and immerse himself in the world. He must read, watch and listen to what the people read, watch, and listen. Really?

Being a parent means trusting in Divine Providence.
It means putting earthly desires aside and consciously uncovering your soul’s desire for God.  When this happens—God provides everything you need.  Where is your desire?  What is your desire?  Being more concerned about the diocesan campaign and weekly collection than anything else is fertile ground for self destruction.

To be a good Dad, I need to pray and fast
Constant prayer and fasting must be modeled.  As a priest it is easy to get caught up in the responsibility of leading prayer—so much that one forgets to pray.  That is acting not praying.  Fasting, true physical fasting magnifies heartfelt prayer.  “Only by prayer and fasting…”-Jesus Christ

A Dad must not shy from teaching right from wrong.  
For now, I must be my son’s shield and filter from the media frenzied world.  You are the teacher—Nobody else has the responsibility of your child’s soul.
Priests, are you truly living a conscientious priesthood and teaching right from wrong?  Are you truly caring for their souls?  Or are you living a soft approach more conscious of popularity?  Being a priest means that you are loved for just that—not super homilies, not building a parish, not even keeping everyone ‘entertained’ on a Sunday morning.  Live the Sacrifice…there is no greater love.  Spend just as much time in the confessional as you do in meetings.

The easiest way to be a good Dad is to love your son’s Mother.
Not all Dad’s have the blessing of a loving wife and mother of their son.  But I know one thing, without her I’d be lost.  Her love makes me want to be a good Dad.
Priests, love the Mother of Jesus, she will help you.

Being a Dad means I will never have this opportunity again.
Every practice, every event, every game, every recital, every kiss good night, every prayer—live your Fatherhood with intention.
Pray this Mass as if it were your first, your only, and your last

And so, let us pray for our Fathers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God Hates Everyone

That was what the tattoo read.  It stared me right in my face as I waited in line to purchase a gas card.
The young man struck up a conversation with another fellow in line.
Their vocabulary was left wanting.

I wanted to turn away and just come back later--but the tractor needed fuel.
So I stood and stewed.
It ticked me off.
Yeah, I know there is free speech.  There are even Christian bumper stickers that are annoying.  That's not my point.
It goes deeper.

It's a soul thing.

The therapist in me wanted to understand the permanent gesture as unresolved anger issues.

I saw a soul that made a decision and he marked himself with that decision.

The praylium in me wanted to battle it--but I didn't know how to start. It might have gone like this;
"Got some ink there, do you mean it?"
"#*@%^* You!"

It was right in front of me, written in ink on his skin, what that soul believed.  I needed more than a standing in line moment.

So I stood in silence at the convenience store pondering death and resurrection and judgement and what will happen to him and me and what it is that God is looking for.  His soul and mine, after all is at the mercy of God--with or without tattoo.

I left there thinking I have to pray more, fast more, receive Holy Eucharist, and confess more often--that will be my tattoo.

(I won't even talk about the other guy who came up to me and said, "Hey, I got some fireworks that will blow you away.  You interested?  Come out to my car.")

I should have filled the tractor up with gasoline yesterday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Post Medjugorje

It happens almost every time.
M Ripple 2012
Our Lady--Apparition Hill 1:00 am 6/2/2012
I've experienced it.
I've witnessed it.

Post Medjugorje...

You pray and fast before you go on pilgrimage.  You throw in a novena or two in preparation.  And then you head off.  The days seem to blur and speed by.  It is like a dream.
You climb hills, eat, laugh, cry, confess, pray, fast, receive Christ, ask for the Blessed Mother's intercession, laugh some more, think, ponder, reassess your direction in life, sleep or stay awake all nite on a mountain and then maybe come away with a renewed sense of mission and call and direction.

God is real.
He sent his Son for you--to show you the way of love--a way that means sacrifice and passion and death to self.
He continues to send His Son's Mother--Mary Co-Redemptorix--to CALL YOU BACK.

Medjugorje is easy.
Being home is difficult.
I've watched people throw away the gift of pilgrimage again and again because they didn't want to do the work. 

I am reminded of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Luke 11:24ff.

24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Prayer group meeting

Sorry, the prayer group meeting for tonight has been postponed until next week. This note is really for the anonymous comment inquiring as to being part of the group. Again sorry for the late notice.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Release; A Lost Shepherd--ARRIVAL

With the grace of God--copies of A Lost Shepherd arrived today and are available for local distribution and purchase.

For all other orders and shipping please follow the link to the right or go to the website.

Medugorje Prayer Group Meeting This Thursday--a fruit of the recent pilgrimage--if interested please use this email link and not the comment box.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

All nite on Apparition Hill

"Dear children, I am continuously among you because, with my endless love, I desire to show you the door of Heaven. I desire to tell you how it is opened: through goodness, mercy, love and peace – through my Son. Therefore, my children, do not waste time on vanities. Only knowledge of the love of my Son can save you. Through that salvific love and the Holy Spirit He chose me and I, together with Him, am choosing you to be apostles of His love and will. My children, great is the responsibility upon you. I desire that by your example you help sinners regain their sight, enrich their poor souls and bring them back into my embrace. Therefore, pray, pray, fast and confess regularly. If receiving my Son in the Eucharist is the center of your life than do not be afraid, you can do everything. I am with you. Every day I pray for the shepherds and I expect the same of you. Because, my children, without their guidance and strengthening through their blessing, you can not do it. Thank you."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gift exchange

my prize was a snow lights
 A break in the midst of days of prayer


Blue Cross

walking the street in podbro

 Another full day...investiture in the brown scapular.
Tonight sleeping on Apparition Hill.

my dear lovely group...