I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; whence shall help come to me? My help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

I know it’s unusual for me to post on Sunday’s, but I feel like I need to for a couple of reasons.  Last week I only posted a couple of times because of my work load and being at work early each morning last week.  More importantly, Today’s Readings are absolutely beautiful this morning but close with a rather ominous tone.

Once again Jesus tells us to pray – without ceasing.  We are asked to call upon God, to be persistent in what we are praying for and, unlike the arrogant judge in the Gospel, God will hear our prayer and lovingly answer it.  Pray fervently for what is just in your life…The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.

The Psalm last night brought a tear to my eye while playing it…

R.(cf. 2)  Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains;
whence shall help come to me?
My help is from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
May he not suffer your foot to slip;
may he slumber not who guards you:
indeed he neither slumbers nor sleeps,
the guardian of Israel.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade;
he is beside you at your right hand.
The sun shall not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD will guard you from all evil;
he will guard your life.
The LORD will guard your coming and your going,
both now and forever.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

And from our second reading from Paul to Timothy…

All Scripture is inspired by God
and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.

ALL Scripture is inspired by God.  I believe that bears repeating…ALL Scripture is inspired by God.  His Word; His Truth; His Light.  Those three words – Word, Truth and Light can be summed up in one word – Jesus.  Jesus is the Word, the Truth and the Light.  No one can come to the Father except through Christ.

So what is it that would be “justice” in your life that would cause you to pray fervently for?  Only by way of example am I putting this in my blog, but the following is what I pray for fervently each and every day.  These are the intentions I pray with my Rosary.

I pray for my wife Sarah, my mother Judy, my mother-in-law Bernice.

For the sick:  my sister Janice’ and her upcoming surgery; my brother Jeff (cancer); my brother in law Mark (cancer); my son-in-law Garrett (some strange blood disease); David (cancer); Ellen (cancer)

For those expecting babies:  Jerome and Megan; Justin and Mary; Tim and Taylor; Joe and Logan.

For the repose of the souls of the just:  my father Jack; my father-in-law Ignatius; my sister-in-law Karin; for John Snyder; Jim Schmidt and Tiffany Lentz.

For any special intentions asked by friends/family or people who request through this blog.

For the conversion of sinners.

For the end to all abortions.

For an end to all abuses.

For peace, perseverance and purity of heart.

For the Pope and our Church.

For the President and our Country.

On Sunday’s, I pray for the following:

For Bell Electrical Contractors, Inc. – my work family.

For St. Mary Magdalen – my faith family.

For Fr. Siefert and Arch-Bishop Carlson – my local “shepherds”.

I pray for intercessory prayers to the following Saints…

St. Cecilia, St. Blaise, St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Jerome, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Stephen, St. Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, St. Joseph and St. Mary.

the Dorhauer’s, the LePage’s, The Schumacher’s, the Caruso’s, the Kennedy’s, and my ring of close friends – the McMossRoeCornHauerSkinAcher’s

I know that is a mouthful, but it is my hope that my persistence will be heard by God and answered justly.

I don’t want to end this post on a down note, and I promise not to, but I did mention above that our Gospel ends today in a rather ominous tone…please read and reflect on this.

But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Will He?

In reading this and in listening to recent news reports that ALL faiths, with the exception of Atheists and Agnostics, are declining in the United States – a country founded on religious freedom.  We must all pray that this trend changes.  I can’t think of anything more JUST to pray for than to have people coming back to God, coming back to Church, coming back to the Word, the Light and the Truth.  Again, no one comes to the Father except through Christ.  So I will add another prayer to my litany above.  I will pray that we all find the Word, the Light and the Truth – I will pray that all who have abandoned the Faith find their way back to it.  I will pray that those who have never had God in their life walk down that narrow road – somehow, someway and convert to the faith of Christ and His Church.

Do something great for our Lord today – do this one thing for our Lord everyday…PRAY.  When you pray, pray for justice and it shall be granted to you by God.  Please remember the number one rule too – this was posted as the number one rule in our house anyway – ALWAYS ask with Please AND ALWAYS answer with Thank-You.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.

Holy moly – it’s Thursday already!  Time flies when you’re having fun – or when you’re behind the eight ball at work and just can’t seem to catch up.  I got a bit of a reprieve yesterday when the bid I was working on (scheduled to be turned in this morning at 10AM) got extended to the 22nd.  Praise the Lord and pass the potato’s!

Good news to pass on this morning.  One of the people who I’ve asked for you pray – David, found out yesterday that his latest CT Scan showed a net 6% reduction in the cancer.  The best part about hearing this was the positive nature that he sent the message to his family – praising the Lord and His Savior!  We should all be so brave.  Please keep David and his family in your prayers – the Lord has heard them and has helped David.

Want some more good news?  I know – that’s a loaded question – of course you do.  Take time to read and meditate on our readings for the day.  When reflecting on the first reading, I reflected on the continual argument of faith and works, so I went to the footnotes for this reading and rather than me try and explain what Paul was writing to the Romans (but not just the Romans – he was writing this to me and to you and to whoever else takes the time to read this)…

* [3:2131] These verses provide a clear statement of Paul’s “gospel,” i.e., the principle of justification by faith in Christ. God has found a means of rescuing humanity from its desperate plight: Paul’s general term for this divine initiative is the righteousness of God (Rom 3:21). Divine mercy declares the guilty innocent and makes them so. God does this not as a result of the law but apart from it (Rom 3:21), and not because of any merit in human beings but through forgiveness of their sins (Rom 3:24), in virtue of the redemption wrought in Christ Jesus for all who believe (Rom 3:222425). God has manifested his righteousness in the coming of Jesus Christ, whose saving activity inaugurates a new era in human history.

So how to we gain justification?  By faith in Christ!  How do I, guilty of sin, become innocent?  God’s divine Mercy declares me innocent and makes it so!  I do not gain God’s favor thru MY works but thru His works.  So can I live a life of sin and still gain eternal life?  I believe the answer to that is Yes.  But I also believe that if I truly want to see God in all His glory after I die, I must live my life in imitation of Christ’s life.  I must constantly seek God’s forgiveness and divine Mercy because by my human nature I am a sinner; but in order for others to find Christ and that divine Mercy, I must do my best to live a life that will bring people to God, so they to can find that divine Mercy and they too can then live a life that brings even more people to that divine Mercy.  It’s like Amway in a divine sense.

The Response Psalm offers more insight on God’s loving Grace…

With the Lord is forgiveness and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.

I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

When reading and reflecting on this Psalm this morning, the Holy Spirit guided my thoughts to my responsibilities as a father to my children.  One quick story.  I’ve always told my children to be truthful to me, especially when they’ve done something that they know is wrong; lying to me about what happened will only make the matters worse.  I believe every household in the world has a standard policy of NOT playing ball in the house.  Why?  Because it avoids something (that is precious to Mom) getting broken, obviously.  We all have that policy and any of us who have children, know that policy has been broken more than once.  So we had lived in our house for a couple of years and decided to put on a family room addition to the back of the house.  My wife loves windows, so in the new family room, we have double windows on all three of the exterior walls.  I was hard at work one day and I came home to find my two older sons greeting me at the door, which never happens, telling me how excited they were to have me home – which again, never happens.  It turns out that my youngest son decided to grab a bat out of the garage and play home run derby in the new family room.  Did he use a nerf ball to hit?  Nope.  Did he use a tennis ball? Again, nope.  He thought it would be better if he used one of my GOLF balls because he liked the sound it made off the aluminum bat.  Well I don’t have to finish this story for you to know what happened.  He hit a home run off of one of my new triple pane, highly efficient and expensive new windows and cracked it from top to bottom.  My two boys were more than willing to share this story with me because they knew the family was about to shrink to 7 kids and they couldn’t wait to see that happen.  I called Tony in and asked what happened and he told me what he did.  Funny thing about Tony, even when he does something he knows is completely wrong, he won’t stray from the truth for fear of what might happen.  So he told me everything and when he finished, you could see the tears growing in my two older sons eyes – partly because they were going to miss their brother and partly because they were giddy with laughter thinking how dumb is this kid to tell the truth like that?!!?  So when Tony finished his story, I simply said.  “I hope you learned an important lesson.”  Then I grounded him until he was old enough to move out of the house!!  I jest – I never asked if he learned anything important.  I jest again.  The reason I share that with you is that God is so much more loving than I am.  Yes, I did forgive Tony for hitting the golf ball against the window.  God would have done the same thing.  But what I did after that, to act as a reminder of not playing ball in the house, is took duct tape and taped the crack in the window instead of replacing it.  Come over to my house today and that duct tape is still on it some 10+ years later.  God would have replaced the window and left no reminder of the wrong done.  All that rambling to prove the point that with the Lord there is forgiveness AND fullness of redemption.  If you O Lord mark inequities, if you O Lord put duct tape on windows, who could stand.  That is why I love the Lord – he forgives all the wrongs I do when I go to Him in the confessional and profess to Him my sins.  He wipes the slate clean and our sins are completely forgiven.

That my friends is good news; that my friends is great news.

Do something great for our Lord today – replace that window with duct tape on it.  Forgive those who have done you wrong completely, just as our loving Father would.  I guess I know what my job is these next couple of days.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.

This week has been a simple week of posts.  I’m OK with that because simplicity is all we need sometimes.  Nothing could be more true than that today.  This is one of my children’s favorite Gospel’s in our Church cycle.  Two sentences – a quote from a woman blessing Jesus and Mary and Jesus turning that quote into praise of His Father and a mission for all of us…

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”

Blessed are those who hear the word of God…well, the word is The Word – Jesus Christ.  But for us to be truly blessed, we must not just listen to Jesus, but we must observe Him.  There is a whole lot to be taken from this seemingly simple statement this morning.  Whatever Christ taught us, whatever Christ did, we must do too in order to live a blessed life.  We must learn to love our enemies; we must learn to turn our cheek and willing to get struck on the other side; we must love all of God’s people and we must be good stewards of His entire creation.  We must admonish the sinner but in doing so we must forgive without any consequences attached to that forgiveness.  We must have faith; we must have faith; we must have love – the greatest of which is love.  We must be willing to die to ourselves and let God direct our path.  We must not be afraid to walk the narrow path and speak out for what is right.  We must study the Word of God and enlighten our minds to the Truth, inform our conscience so that what we think, what we say, what we defend is based on the Word of God.  Then we will be blessed.

Do something great for our Lord today – hear the Word of God AND observe it.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

 

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, Most High.

We are asked as Christian men and women, to pray for the repose of the souls who have passed from this world into the next.  There are a number of people that I offer on my daily rosary, but I have six names that I pray for each and everyday.

Jack Dorhauer – my father, my friend – a man I miss dearly but thank God for the time I did have with him.

Ignatius Schumacher – my father-in-law, a teacher, probably one of the smartest men I had to pleasure to know.  The man who embraced me marrying the woman I love (after initially saying “Over my dead body!”)

Karin Schumacher – the wife of my brother-in-law Pete, the mother of 3, grandmother of 1, aunt to many.  Karin was a beautiful soul who for most of her life fought demons most of us didn’t even know about.  She also had the BEST recipe for salsa.

John Snyder – father of one of my daughters best friends, Mary, John was one of the most business savvy men I knew and we became close friends through our daughters.  John died much too young and I pray for him daily and ask that God watch over his young family.

Jim Schmidt – our family met Jim and his family through Gateway Academy.  He was a mentor to my son Richard and helped my daughter Grace get her scholarship to Lindendwood University.   Jim was the most athletic and fit person I knew and little did I know that he had a heart condition that he fought all of his life.  Jim too, left behind a very young family and I hope my prayers for him and his family are helpful to them in their loss.

Tiffany Lentz – I didn’t know Tiffany as well as the others listed here; I came to know her through my youngest son Tony.  By the time I met her, her cancer was well advanced and she passed away the same year as my father and father-in-law.  She too left behind a young family, so my prayers for the repose of her soul are also offered everyday.  It is also my prayer that her husband and 3 young children are able to find God through their sorrow.

Do something great for our Lord today – think of someone close to you who has passed and say a prayer for the repose of their soul; it is part of our duties as Christian men and women.

 

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,a

and no torment shall touch them.

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;

and their passing away was thought an affliction

and their going forth from us, utter destruction.

But they are in peace.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.

I had a couple of thoughts about Today’s Readings, but one kept persisting in my mind.  How many of us have children, grandchildren who epitomize today’s Gospel…

I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

How many times before a meal did your kids/grandkids ask “Dad/Grandpa, can I have this Little Debbie?” and your natural reply was “No, we’re going to eat dinner in a bit.”  Only to hear in reply “Dad/Grandpa, can I have this Little Debbie?” – answer – NO.  Only to hear in reply “Dad/Grandpa, can I have this Little Debbie?” – answer – NO. Only to hear in reply “Dad/Grandpa, can I have this Little Debbie?” – answer – NO. Only to hear in reply “Dad/Grandpa, can I have this Little Debbie?” – answer – “For Gosh sakes, eat the thing – BUT DON’T YOU DARE TELL YOUR MOM!!!!”  Persistence pays off.  Jesus is telling us the same thing.  Be persistent in your Prayer, ask, ask, ask and you will receive, receive, receive.  I will say this – I hope my children and grandchildren are as persistent and diligent in their prayer life as they are pursuing a Nutty Butty Bar.

Do something great for our Lord today – enjoy that nutty butty bar with your kids but for heavens sake – don’t let Mom find out.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you. Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my pleading.

It cannot be said more perfectly than this.

“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

Learn it, live it, love it.

Do something great for our Lord today…let the prayer He taught sink into the depths of your being.  Say it once, twice, or however many times it takes for you to come to understand this prayer.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

ut you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, LORD, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.

Some days the readings scream out their message so loudly that whatever thoughts I can offer on them aren’t really necessary.  Today is one of those days.  I will offer one simple thought for you though.  With the strength of God, one man, one woman, can make a big difference in the world.  Jonah proves that this morning.  Let me offer a few other names of people who had the courage to carry out or still carry out the will of God.  Martin Luther King, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, , Blessed Margaret of Costello,  St. Mary Magdalen, Richard Lee, Ron Jorgenson, Fr. Bernie Wilkins, Fr. Jack Siefert.  All of these men and women are shining examples to me of people who heard the call of God and shared that call with the people around them; through their faith in God, my faith in God has been bolstered.  These are just a few of the many windows that I can look through and see Christ.  Some famous, some not so famous.  It wasn’t fame that made them great – it was/is their love of God and their dedication to His mission that made/make them great.

Do something great for our Lord today – think about that someone who has influenced your faith and say a prayer for them…and for you that you too may follow the call and will of God.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.