In Defense of Mother Church

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This parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule praying or whatever mules do when they fall into wells...

After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together, told them what had happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, HE WOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!

This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up!” He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!

It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him actually helped him … all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

THAT’S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity.

 

To let go does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization that I can’t control another.

To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To let go is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to criticize, or regulate anyone, but to try to become what I dream I can do.

To let go is to fear less, and to love more.


Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.
Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

blessing of the pets

Here's the surprising answer of a 6 year old child.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that dogs' lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued,

"Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay for as long as we do."

SO:

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

• When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

• Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

• Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

• Take naps.

• Stretch before rising.

• Run, romp, and play daily.

• Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

• Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

• On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

• On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

• When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

• Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

• Be faithful.

• Never pretend to be something you're not.

• If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

• When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

That's the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog!!



One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor walked around the class and handed the question papers with the text facing downwards.

Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions, but just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor thoroughly read through everyone’s bewildered expressions and said- “I want you to write what you see there.”

The perplexed students began to do what they had been asked to do.

At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain:

“I am not going to grade you on this test; I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. This is exactly what we end to do with our lives. We have a white paper to hold onto and enjoy ,but we are so busy contemplating about the dark spots that’s in there. Life is a special gift and we will always have reasons to celebrate. It is changing and renewing everyday- our friends, jobs, livelihood, love, family, the miracles we see every day.”

And yet we insist on focusing only on the dark spots – the health issues that are bothering us, the money that we need to have, the luxuries we don’t have, complications in any relationship, problems with a family member, the disappointment with a friend and so on. You need to realize that the dark spots are very small and only few. And yet we allow these to pollute our minds.

Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you.

rosesA new minister was walking with an older, more seasoned minister in the garden one day.

Feeling a bit insecure about what God wanted him to do, he asked the older preacher for some advice.

The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of God for his life and ministry.

But because of his great respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact.

It wasn’t long before he realized how impossible this was to do.

Noticing the younger preacher’s inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older preacher began to recite the following poem…

“It is only a tiny rosebud, A flower of God’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine.”
“The secret of unfolding flowers is not known to such as I.
God opens this flower so easily, But in my hands they die.”

“If I cannot unfold a rosebud, this flower of God’s design,
Then how can I have the wisdom to unfold this life of mine?”
“So I’ll trust in God to lead me, each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance, in each step along the way.”

“For the path that lies before us, only our Lord and Savior knows.
So trust Him to unfold your life, just as He would this precious rose.”

I went to the Lord’s Clinic to have my routine checkup and I confirmed that I was ill. When Jesus took my blood pleasure, He saw I was low in tenderness. When he checked the temperature, the thermometer registered 40 degrees of anxiety. He ran an electrocardiogram and found that I needed several “love by-passes” since my arteries were blocked with loneliness and could not provide for an empty heart. I went to orthopedics, because I could not walk by my brother’s side and I could not hug my friends, since I had fractured myself when tripping with envy.

He also found I was short sighted, since I could not see beyond the shortcomings of my brothers and sisters. When I complained about deafness, the diagnostic was that I had stopped listen to Jesus’ voice talking to me on a daily basis.

For all that Jesus gave me a free consultation thanks to his mercifulness. So my pledge is to, once I leave this clinic, only take the natural remedies he prescribed through his words of truth.

Every morning take a full glass of gratitude. When getting to work, take one spoon of peace. Every hour, take one pill of patience, one cup of brotherhood and on glass of humility. When getting home, take one dose of love. When getting to bed, take two caplets of clear conscience.

Do not give into sadness or desperation for what you are going through today. God knows how you feel… God knows exactly with perfection what is being allowed to happen to you in your life at this precise moment. God’s purpose for you is simply perfect, he wants to show you things that only you understand by living, what you are living by being in the place you are now.

pushing a boulderOne man had a great desire to please God. He prayed day and night and once he heard the voice from above saying: “I want you to go and push that large stone.”

The man woke up and was so inspired. He ran to find the stone and started pushing it. He pushed and pushed, but nothing happened. He kept pushing the rock all day long.

The next day he did the same, but the stone did not move at all. For three months the man kept pushing the huge boulder. Finally he got tired and stopped pushing.

That night he had another dream, and he heard the voice saying:
“Why did you stop pushing the stone?”

“Nothing happened and the boulder is still there,” – answered the man.

“Nothing happened? Look at you! You have become so much more focused and stronger. You built up your muscles. You are a changed man now! Pushing has transformed you! Besides, I did not tell you to move the stone. I just told you to push it. When the time comes, I’ll move it Myself!”

It was about eight o’clock when her son who was asthmatic developed some complications. He had to be rushed to the nearest hospital about 1km away or else it would be fatal. She called a neighbor who had a car but the neighbor said the car had no fuel; she called the pastor who said he had visiting pastors from the neighboring country and could not leave them alone. She decided to carry the son to the hospital; she could not imagine loosing her only child to the same sickness that had killed the husband few years earlier. She had a problem with her leg and could not move fast enough and the son was also heavy for her to move faster.

Along the way she met people rushing home from work who just stared at her. She tried to beg them for help but they assumed her. She also tried to stop passing vehicles but they never responded. She fell many times but she had to keep moving. Then a man who was mad and used to roam the streets Unclad noticed her. He came running towards her and took the son from her. She could not talk but just pointed the direction of the hospital.

The crazy Unclad man could understand perfectly well what she meant since he saw the desperate boy struggling for breath. He put him on the shoulder and told the woman “all will be well” as he ran towards the hospital. The doctors on seeing the crazy man knew something was really wrong, they attended to the boy immediately.

Ten minutes later the mother arrived and the doctor broke the news “if he was brought five Minutes later, he would have died”.

No matter what may come your way, no matter what you are going through, your life is in His hands & He has good thoughts for you.

The Word of God says:

“For with GOD all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 )

“...for nothing will be impossible for God” (Luke 1: 37)

A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted...

“Dad, look the trees are going behind!” Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed... “Dad, look the clouds are running with us!” The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man... “Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” The old man smiled and said... “I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today...”

Every single person on the planet has a story.

“Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you...think before you say something.

old carpentar

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.  He would miss the pay check, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.  

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”  

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well

.................................................................................................................................................

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

horse

The horse was beautiful and also it had many good qualities. But it wanted to be more perfect in every way. It especially wanted to have beauty unparalleled.
One day the horse said to God, ‘O Lord, You have given me beauty. You have given me other good qualities. I am so grateful to You. But how I wish You could make me more beautiful. I would be extremely grateful if You could make me more beautiful.’

God said, ‘I am more than ready to make you more beautiful. Tell Me in what way you want to be changed.’

The horse said, ‘It seems to me that I am not well proportioned.

My neck is too short. If You can make my neck a little longer, my upper body will be infinitely more beautiful. And if You can make my legs much longer and thinner, then I will look infinitely more beautiful in my lower body.’

God said, ‘Amen!’ Then immediately He made a camel appear in place of the horse. The horse was so disheartened that it started to cry, ‘O Lord, I wanted to become more beautiful. In what way is this kind of outer form more beautiful?’
God said, ‘This is exactly what you asked for. You have become a camel.’

The horse cried, ‘Oh no, I do not want to become a camel. I wish to remain a horse. As a horse, everybody appreciated my good qualities. Nobody will appreciate me as a camel.’

God said, ‘Never try to achieve or receive more than I have given you. If you want to lead a desire-life, then at every moment you will want more and more. But you have no idea what the outcome will be. If you cry for a longer neck and legs, this is what will happen.

Each thing in My creation has its own good qualities. The camel is not as beautiful as you are, but it carries heavy loads and has a tremendous sense of responsibility.

Joseph waited 13 years...

Abraham waited 25 years...

Moses waited 40 years...

Jesus waited 30 years...

If God is making you wait, you are in good company.

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:

"Take only ONE. God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.
A child had written a note:

"Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated
our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?

What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go... hmm... where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing...

Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think ‘where are my priorities?’

And no dropped calls!

When Jesus died on the cross, He was thinking of you!


“There are some protestant traditions that teach there are not degrees of sin- ‘sin is sin’! While all sin is undeniable evil, the Bible reveals that there are at least two distinct levels of sin; that which is deadly and that which is not. Mother Church calls deadly sin ‘mortal’ and non-deadly sin ‘venial’.

1 John 5:16-17; ‘If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and H’e will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.’

John 19:11; ‘For this reason the one who handed me over to you had the greater sin.’

1 Corinthians 6:9-11; ‘Do you not know that the unjust will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God? Do NOT be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolater, nor adulterers, nor boy prostitutes, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanders, nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God.’

These sins must be Deadly/Mortal, to cut us off from God; if all sins were considered equal, it would have been meaningless not to mention misleading, for Him to make such a qualification. AMEN.

Among the many healing stories is the story of the call of Peter.  It is powerful for us because we see the very human moment of Peter’s self-doubt: he realizes the power of Jesus, falls down in an awareness of his own sinfulness and wants Jesus to turn away from him because he is too sinful.

All of us can have moments of feeling we are unworthy - and the truth is that we can never be worthy of the unending love Jesus offers us.  But how blessed we are if we realize that we are loved without limits even thought we have done nothing to deserve that kind of love.

Knowing in a balanced humility that we are sinful is not a bad thing - but if we get stuck there, and are tempted to turn away from Jesus as Peter did, then we have become more focused on ourselves than on the love we are being offered.

Each morning as we awake, we can ask the Lord to open our hearts in gratitude for what we will be offered this day.  We might pause to imagine ourselves being healed and touched by Jesus.  For just a moment, we might see Jesus in front of us, His eyes filled with such love.

Throughout the day we can remember that gentle touch from Jesus and ask Him to continue to drive out any of those unclean spirits we may be carrying today.  What is Jesus calling me to?  Who am I being invited to listen to and speak on behalf of today?  Who will come across my path today that needs Jesus’ healing through my own care and kind words?

Dearest Jesus, be with me in this day.  I can feel how much I long for a deeper connection with You, and yet I am ashamed of my weaknesses.  Touch my heart so that I might be open to Your healing love.  Let me be open to all of those You put in my life today and let me be aware of their needs and care for them before I worry about my own.  Give me an awareness of the love that is already there for me and a generosity of heart that allows me to share it with others.  Amen.

-Taken from the University Ministry at Creighton.

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

Hands started going up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?”

And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. “Now who still wants it?”

“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. Because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.”

jesus rescues sheep

Stress can result from feeling powerless in difficulties, yet change isn’t always up to us. Knowing when to step back and surrender can actually bring peace.. When faced with what we cannot change, try these tips for increasing feelings of serenity and peace.

“My peace I give you” (John 14:27).
Remember, Jesus does not want us to be troubled by worldly concerns. When you feel yourself starting to worry or stew about a difficult situation (or person), act out your belief that your prayer for resolution will be answered. Substitute positive, cheerful thoughts for negative ones. God is in control. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

“...Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
While we hope to be strong witnesses of our faith, not everyone will see us that way. Sometimes sharp words or critical comments from others can disturb our peace. Feedback can be helpful, but if anyone gets to you for more than a day or two consult a fellow Christian whom you trust for a better perspective.

“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Take every opportunity to appreciate your place in God’s kingdom. Relish the tasks you have been given, for a job well done brings satisfaction and increased contentment.

baby jesus with st joseph

Story Of Life
One day, little Jim was taking a walk with his father in the rugged roads of the mountain near their house. Suddenly, he slipped and hurt himself; Jim screamed, “AAAhhhh!” Immediately he heard a voice from the mountains saying “AAAhhhh!” Jim forgot his hurt and shouted, “Who are you?” Once again he heard that voice saying “Who are you?” Jim was amused and he shouted, saying, “I like you!” The voice immediately answered back, saying “I like you!”

Finding the voice repeating everything that he said, Jim got annoyed and said, “You’re a coward! Come in front!” Once again like every other time that voice from the mountains repeated exactly what Jim had shouted its way.

Jim got flabbergasted. He looked at his father and asked, “Father, what is going on? Who is this?”

His father smiled and said, “Son, this is called an echo.” And then he said, “Now listen to this.” Jim’s father then shouted towards the mountains saying, “Hey you are a champion!” The voice answered back, “Hey you are a champion!” Jim got puzzled.

Jim’s father then looked at him and said, “Son, although people call it an echo, it is, in reality, Life. It gives you back everything that you give to it. Our life reflects our actions. If you give out love, then life rewards you back with it. If you want happiness from the world, spread happiness first and then you get your return.”

Jim kept listening to his father as he continued, “Life is not a coincidence, son. It is your reflection – the reflection of your deeds, acts and beliefs.”
-Father’s Day Short Story

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Diocese of Baton RougeDiocese of Baton Rouge

We, at St. Helena Catholic Church, are concerned with educating, directing, and sustaining all who visit. 

In particular those who draw near to the teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church. 

We strive to achieve this by utilizing the Cardinal Virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude.

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PSR 2019 - JUNE 10TH - 21ST