In Defense of Mother Church


jesus embracing sinner

Inspirational 1

This is the Message I keep re-reading b/c it is the most poignant and hits closest to home. And indeed, it DOES bring me peace of mind, heart & soul:

"Children, you must learn to depend upon grace to show you a solution when human affect does not. Nothing escapes My view, as I am Omnipresent and Omnipotent. This, then, is your reason to trust in Me. There is no problem - no situation - which grace cannot act upon. Proceed in Holy Love which carries you forward without fear."

"Trust is your vehicle of action. Do not fear man more than you trust in Me. The unknown power of My Grace awaits your beck and call. Fear only the power of your lack of trust. Every challenge is only a test in your trust."

Inspirational 2

“Nothing happens by chance. Everything is My Will. Every aspect of every present moment is ordained by Me. Therefore, it is best not to question - but to pray to accept what I allow in your every present moment. I also provide the grace in each moment to help you to accept everything. My Permitting Will is your anchor in grace. I permit the grace you need for every moment in time - this is where your trust comes into play. Trust in My love for you. In and through this love, I support you in good times and in difficulties. I give you nothing that you and I cannot handle together. I deliver you from evil. I cover you in the grace of every solution you need. I make strong your prayers. I show you the light on the path where there was nothing but darkness. Therefore, fear nothing. Trust in My Strength always. I will be your strength and your guide.”

I suck at accepting His Will.

Seems like I’ve probably questioned His Will, on average, about 1/2 dozen times a day.

Pretty sad!

ant carrying contact lens

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens.

Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for You.”

I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

jesus reaching in

A prayer of the Servant of God, Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo

Jesus to the soul:

Why are you upset and agitated? Leave your cares to Me and all will be fine. I tell you honestly, every act of true and blind reliance on Me, results in what you desire and will resolve all your difficulties.

Abandonment in Me does not mean being frustrated, becoming anxious and desperate, offering Me your anxious prayer, that I may follow you and have your anxiety be a prayer. Abandonment means to shut the eyes of your soul in peace, moving your thoughts away from your troubles, and instead of thinking about your worries and pain, let Me take over your troubles. Simply say: Jesus, You take over. To be worried, restless, and to think of the consequences of an event is the opposite of reliance, it is really contrary to it...

When you truly tell me: Your will be done, which is the same then to say: Jesus, You take over, then I do intervene with all My omnipotence, and I will resolve every situation, even if there is no way out. For example, do you see your sickness becoming worse instead of improving? Don’t become anxious, close your eyes and tell Me with trust: Your will be done, Jesus, You take over. I repeat it, I do take care, I intervene like a doctor, and even do a miracle if it is necessary. Does a patient become worse?

Don’t be frightened, close your eyes and say: Jesus, You take over. I tell you again: I will indeed do it for you, and there is no medicine more powerful than my loving intervention. I take over only when you close your eyes. You never sleep, you want to appraise everything, to think, to delve into everything; you choose to rely on human power, or, worse, on men, trusting their intervention. This is what hampers My words and My will. Oh how much I long for this reliance in order to assist you, and how much I grieve to see your anxiety. Satan does just this: he gives you anxiety to remove Me from you and throw you into human initiative. Trust only in Me instead, rest in Me, rely on Me in everything. I do miracles in proportion to your complete reliance on Me, with no thought of yourself. I spread treasures of graces when you are in the most squalid poverty. If you have your own resources, even a few, or if you seek them, you are at the natural level, thus you follow the natural way of things, which often are dominated by Satan.

Never a thinker or a philosopher has done any miracle, not even among the Saints; only he who relies on God does divine work. When you see that things become complicated, say with your eyes closed: Jesus, I abandon myself to You; Jesus, You take over, and stop worrying about it, because your mind is sharp and for you it is difficult to distinguish evil; but trust in Me, and let your mind wander away from your thoughts. Do this for all your needs; all of you, do this, and you shall see great things, endless and silent miracles.

I swear it on My Love. I shall indeed take over, you can be sure of it. Pray always with this loving confidence and you shall have great peace and great fruits, even when I choose for you the grace of immolating yourself for reparation and the love that entails suffering.

Do you believe it is impossible? Shut your eyes and say with all your soul: Jesus, You take over. Don’t be afraid, I indeed will take care of you, and you shall bless My Name, in humility. A thousand prayers do not equal only one act of abandonment; don’t ever forget it.  There is no better novena than this:

Oh Jesus I abandon myself to You, Jesus, You take over.

sowing seeds

Looking back over my life, I see how the tiniest seeds of fidelity grew into giant trees of faith.

In 1980s Tucson, I had stopped practicing my faith when I ran into an old friend. In only one meeting with me, she strongly — and very persuasively — encouraged me to join a Catholic Great Books program in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, in 1980s Orange County, a staff member at an unlikely parish promoted the program to a girl named April.

We met there and discovered our faith and each other — we got engaged and April invited everybody she knew to our wedding.

In 1930s Tucson, a Catholic boy had explained the Hail Mary to a Protestant friend. The friend was fascinated. He became Catholic, became a priest — and at our wedding gave the most relatable, powerful homily about the indissolubility of marriage I have ever heard in my life.

Many people told us how meaningful the homily was to them. One married couple told us that after hearing it, they canceled their planned separation and decided to work things out. A young woman who had left the faith was moved by the wedding to seek instruction from that priest, and is now the mother of a large Catholic family. A young man who had drifted from the faith told me that wedding was a turning point in his life; he is now a priest.

A boy explaining a prayer, two people promoting a Catholic program, a bride-to-be inviting everyone she knew to her wedding, a priest delivering bold truths gently — each deliberate small act of faith had enormous consequences.

But maybe my favorite mustard seed story of all time had nothing deliberate about it.

I got a strange call in my Connecticut office years ago. The voice on the other side said, “Is your wife that woman who walks to Mass with her children?”

“I guess,” I said. “Why?”

“My sister always talks about how impressed she is seeing her, and my sister is in real trouble right now. Can I give your wife her phone number?”

My wife ended up offering consolation and direction to the woman over the phone — but she had done nothing at all to evangelize her. All she had done was stay faithful to daily Mass, not even trying to be noticed.

God takes even our small acts of fidelity and makes them grow.

As the First Reading puts it, the Kingdom of God has always been a “lowly tree” that grows unexpectedly high.

You see it in the manger, where God’s answer to the problems of the world was a tiny baby.

You see it in Cana, where Jesus’s kindness at another wedding set a cascade of events in motion that ended in his saving death.

In every case, a small act plants a seed and then, as Jesus puts it, “Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.”

It takes painstaking patience to wait for seeds to grow.

Usually, we don’t even see the end product.

You will likely never see the tree that comes from most of the seeds you plant. As Paul puts it in the second reading, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Sometimes, he says, you only see the fruit when you are at the judgment seat of God.

Keep scattering seeds anyway.

desert bird

There was a bird who lived in the desert; very sick, no feathers, nothing to eat and drink, no shelter to live and kept on cursing his life day and night.

One day, an Angel of God was crossing from that desert. The bird stopped the Angel and inquired “where are you going?” Angel replied ” I am going to meet God”.

So the bird asked the Angel ‘please ask God when my suffering will come to an end?’ The Angel said “sure, I will” and bid good bye to bird. The Angel reached God’s place and shared the message of the bird to Him.

The Angel told Him how pathetic the condition of the bird is and inquired when the suffering of the bird will end. God replied “For the next seven life times, the bird has to suffer like this, no happiness till then”.

The Angel said when bird hears this, he will get disheartened. Could You suggest any solution for this?

God replied: Tell him to recite this mantra “Thank you God for everything”. The Angel met the bird again and delivered the message of God to the bird.

After seven days, the Angel passed the same path again and saw that bird was so happy; feathers had grown on his body, a small plant grew up in the desert area, a small pond of water was also there, the bird was singing and dancing cheerfully. The Angel was astonished as to how this happened, ‘God said for seven life times, there is no happiness for the bird’… with this question in mind, He went to visit God again.

The Angel asked his query then God replied: “Yes, it was written there will be no happiness for the bird for seven life times but because the bird was reciting the mantra “Thank you God for everything” the situation has changed”.

When the bird fell down on the hot sand, it said “thank you God for everything”. When it could not fly, it said “thank you God for everything”. Similarly, whatever the situation, the bird kept on repeating “Thank you God for everything” and therefore the seven life times’ karma got dissolved in seven days”.

I adopted this mantra in my life. Whatever the situation I faced, I started reciting this mantra ‘THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING’. It helped me to shift my view from what I did not have to what I have in my life.

Give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(1 Thes 5:18)

marine in hospital ward
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
“Your son is here,” she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.  
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand.   The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.  
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength.  Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.  
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.  
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.  
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.  
“Who was that man?” he asked.
The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.
“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”  
“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”  
“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”
I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this gentleman’s name?
The Nurse with tears in her eyes answered, Mr. William Grey.
The next time someone needs you ... just be there.  Stay.
jesus embracing sinner
Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to take 100 people,” Death replied.
“That’s horrible!” the man said.
“That’s the way it is,” Death said. “That’s what I do.”
The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan.
As evening fell, he met Death again. “You told me you were going to take 100 people,” the man said. “Why did 1,000 die?”
“I kept my word,” Death responded. “I only took 100 people. Worry took the others.”
This interesting tale portrays so well what the US National Mental Health Committee reported a few years ago - half of all the people in America’s hospital beds are constant worriers. Mental distress can lead to migraine headaches, arthritis, heart trouble, cystitis, colitis, backaches, ulcers, depression, digestive disorders and yes, even death. the mental fatigue of nights without sleep and days without peace, then we get a glimpse of the havoc worry plays in destroying the quality and quantity of life.
Worry is, and always will be, a fatal disease of the heart, for its beginning signals the end of faith.
Release the regrets of yesterday, refuse the fears of tomorrow and receive instead, the peace of today.
Free your mind and you will be glad you did.
Dear God, the heaviness of the world weighs on me and while I know You are in charge and You have my best interests at heart, I am struggling. My worries and the worries of the world crush me and bear me to the ground. O Lord, help me understand that You are the one holding me up, and that You will prevail against this darkness in me. Deliver me from the Valley of Death. Your love can heal all and I ask that you lift me from this pit of despair and surround me in Your incredible love and light. Let me see You in everything, Lord, that I may rise above this, in Your arms, and serve You. In Your Name, Amen.
pee wee baseball
Though you may not say it. Everyone has dreamed about making the gaming winning shot, game saving tackle, game winning touchdown pass, finishing first while a large crowd is watching, etc. Sports is one of the biggest idols. It is so easy to be swept in it.
As an athlete you must pray it’s all for God’s glory and not my own. I shall honor the Lord and not myself. I am able to participate in this event because of the Lord. God has blessed me with a talent for His glory.
...1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize?  Run so as to win.  Every athlete exercises discipline in every way.  They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.  Thus  I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.  No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
While Jesus was suffering Jesus said not My will, but your will be done. There are some sports athletes who talk about the goodness of the Lord when they are on top winning, but as soon as they are on the bottom they forget about His goodness and they have a bad attitude. I believe that God can use a loss to humble someone just like He could use a trial for the same purpose.
...Romans 8:28, We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.
One of the greatest things about being an athlete is the training. You are taking care of the body that the Lord has given you. Always remember that physical training might have some benefits, but never forget about godliness which has greater benefits.
...1 Timothy 4:8, Train yourself for devotion, for while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future. 
Never let the doubters get to you. Let no one look down on you, but be a good example for others.
Titus 2:7-8, Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves, showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized...
Win the competition the right way. Do what is needed and have self-control. Fight through the struggle, keep your eyes on the eternal prize, and keep on moving towards the finish line.
2 Timothy 2:5, Similarly, an athlete cannot receive the winner’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
the most holy body and blood of christ 
Lord, have mercy.                                                                   Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.                                                                Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy.                                                                   Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us.                                                                       Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,                                                    Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,                                   Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,                                                               Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,                                                             Have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father,     Save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God,                                Save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament,              Save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,             Save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,                 Save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,  Save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,                             Save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,                                   Save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness.         Save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, Save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,                                           Save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,                                      Save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs,                                      Save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors,                                Save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins,                                   Save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,                                    Save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,                                   Save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,                                          Save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,                                    Save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,                              Save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,                 Save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life,                                   Save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,                       Save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,             Save us.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world.             Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,             Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,             Have mercy on us, O Lord.
You have redeemed us, O Lord, in your Blood. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.
Let us pray:  Almighty and eternal God, you have appointed your only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by his Blood. Grant we beg of you, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation, and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy Spirit with dove
Cara Campo
Chelsea Cook
Rachel Cutrer
Jessica Dees
Brian Dees Jr.
Harvey Hayden
Rachel Johnson
William Koepp
Christian Luper
Kelly Luper
Virginia Wilson
Gabriel Addington
Julia Amar 
Michael Arnone
Matthew Binder
Michelle Capdeboscq
Marvin Cervantes
Kathryn Cornett
Joshua Dufour
Chelesa Ellzey
Margaret Faust
Diana Flores
Alexis Kliebert
Hunter Maurer
Madison Ourso
Madelene Pisciotta
Olivia Rainey
Alejandra Rico
Brendan Eli Rohner
Ruben Sanchez
Jennifer Saucedo
Jacob Starkey
Ty Tallion
Hannah Lee Travis
Frances Vazquez
Kevin Vazquez
Who is the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)?
The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
(a) The Holy Ghost is also called the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Love.
From whom does the Holy Ghost proceed?
The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.
(a) The Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Father and the Son by spiritual generation. Only the Son proceeds from the Father by generation. This is one of the mysterious truths that we know only from revelation.
Is the Holy Ghost equal to the Father and the Son?
The Holy Ghost is equal to the Father and the Son, because He is God.
(a) Because of the oneness of nature in the Blessed Trinity, the Father is entirely in the Son and in the Holy Ghost; the Son is entirely in the Father and in the Holy Ghost; and the Holy Ghost is entirely in the Father and in the Son. No one of the three divine Persons is outside the other, for none precedes the other in eternity, nor surpasses the other in power, nor exceeds the other in any way. This indwelling of one divine Person in the others is called circumincession.
What does the Holy Ghost do for the salvation of mankind?
The Holy Ghost dwells in the Church as the source of its life and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace.
(a) Although the sanctification of mankind, like all other outward works of God, is performed by all three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, it is attributed to the Holy Ghost, the third Person. The sanctification of mankind is attributed to the Holy Ghost because He is the love of the Father and the Son and because the sanctification of man by grace shows forth God's boundless love.
Jesus Christ is the risen ascended and glorified Son of God
Written by Maria Valtorta.  From POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, 
Volume 5, Chapter 634. Farewell and Ascension of the Lord.
24th April 1947. 
... I thank you for your faithful love. I thank all of you. You, My friend Lazarus, you, Joseph, and you, Nicodemus, who took pity on the Christ when to do so might have been very dangerous... And you, good women disciples, stronger, in your kindness, than Judith... Blessed be the Earth with its herbs and flowers, and its fruits that have given Me pleasure and refreshment so many times. Blessed be the Earth with its waters and its tepidness, for its birds and its animals that many a time exceeded man in giving relief to the Son of Man. May you be blessed, sun, and you, sea, and you, mountains, hills, plains. Blessed you, stars, My companions in My night prayers and in My sorrow. And you, moon, who illuminated Me as I wandered around in My pilgrimages of the evangelizer. May all you creatures be blessed, the works of My Father, My companions in this mortal hour, friendly to Him Who had left Heaven to relieve tortured Mankind of the troubles of the Sin that separates from God. And may you also be blessed, you innocent instruments of My torture: thorns, metals, wood, twisted hemp, because you have assisted Me in fulfilling the will of My Father! »
... He says to His disciples: « Stop the people where they are, and then follow Me. »
He climbs farther up, as far as the highest summit of the mountain, the one closer to Bethany, which it dominates from above, than to Jerusalem. Close to Him are His Mother, the Apostles, Lazarus, the shepherds and Marjiam. Farther away, in a semicircle, are the other disciples to hold the people back.
Jesus is standing on a large stone, that protrudes a little and stands out in its whiteness among the grass of a clearing. He is brightly illuminated by the sun that makes His garment shine as white as snow and His hair like gold. His eyes sparkle in a divine light. He opens out His arms in the gesture of an embrace. He seems to be wishing to press to His chest the multitudes of the Earth, whom His spirit sees represented in that crowd. His unforgettable inimitable voice gives the last order: « Go! Go in My Name to evangelize the peoples as far as the ends of the Earth. God be with you. May His Love comfort you, may His Light guide you, may His Peace dwell in you until you reach eternal life. »
He becomes transfigured in beauty. Handsome! As handsome and even more so than He was on Tabor. They all fall on their knees worshipping. While He is already rising from the stone on which He is standing, He looks once again for the face of His Mother, and His smile reaches a power that no one will ever be able to express… It is His last goodbye to His Mother. He rises, rises… The sun, now more free to kiss Him, as no foliage, not even a thin leaf, intercepts its beams, brightens with its splendour the God-Man, Who with His most Holy Body is ascending to Heaven, and displays His glorious Wounds that shine like living rubies. The rest is a pearly smile of light. And it is really the Light that is revealing itself for what it is, at this last moment as on Christmas night. Creation sparkles in the light of the Christ Who is ascending. A light exceeding that of the sun. A superhuman and most blissful light. A light descending from Heaven to meet the Light ascending to it… And Jesus Christ, the Word of God, disappears from the sight of men in this ocean of brightness…
On the earth, only two noises in the deep silence of the ecstatic crowd: the cry of Mary when He disappears: « Jesus! », and the weeping of Isaac. The others are struck dumb with religious astonishment, and they remain there, as if they were waiting, until two snow-white angelical lights, in human form, appear repeating the words mentioned in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles...
old man by fireplace
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending sevices regularly, stopped going.  After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.  It was a chilly evening.  The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.  
Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.  The pastor made himself at home but said nothing.  In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames aroung the burning logs.
After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone.  Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.  The host watched all this in quiet contemplation.  As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.
Soon it was cold and dead.  Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.  The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave, he slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.  Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.  
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon.  I shall be back in church next Sunday.”
-author unknown
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.
jesus embracing sinner
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Everyone says that forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”
The act of forgiveness is not a born trait. It is an acquired virtue. When you have been hurt, and sometimes far more deeply than words can explain, forgiving the person who hurt you is absolutely the last thing you want to do. Because to say, “I forgive you,” is just not enough. You want, no, you demand that the offenders experience the same pain with perhaps a bit more intensity than you experienced. You see simply forgiving the person as some sort of indirect acceptance for their behavior. However, forgiveness doesn’t remove any of the iniquities of the offender. It is the act of forgiveness that releases you from the bondage of pain, and places you on the road to healing.  God will take care of the rest. 
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengence is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(Romans 12: 19-21)
In the book entitled Forgiveness, a Catholic Approach by  Fr. Scott Hurd (Archdiocese of Washington, DC)  reminds us that forgiveness is a gift. “The forgiveness we are called to offer is a decision, a process, and a gift. It is a decision, because by forgiving we choose to let go of any desire for revenge or retaliation, and we free ourselves of the bitterness and resentment that hardens our hearts. Forgiveness is a process, because letting go of resentment takes time; we may need to make the decision to forgive over and over again. Finally, forgiveness is a gift of love that we give freely, without expectations, exceptions, or limitations. It is neither earned nor deserved. When we love the ones we forgive, we wish them happiness, not harm; well, not woe; heaven, not hell.”
Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta said it best,
“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”

I’ve learned... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned... That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned... That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’    makes my day.

I’ve learned... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned... That being kind is more important than being right. 

I’ve learned... That you should never say no to a gift from a child. 

I’ve learned... That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in any other way.

I’ve learned... That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. 

I’ve learned... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. 

I’ve learned... That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult. 

I’ve learned... That life is like a roll of toilet paper.  The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. 

I’ve learned... That money doesn’t buy class. 

I’ve learned... That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. 

I’ve learned... That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts. 

I’ve learned... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you. 

I’ve learned... That love, not time, heals all wounds. 

I’ve learned... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am. 

I’ve learned... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. 

I’ve learned... That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them. 

I’ve learned... That life is tough, but I’m tougher. 

I’ve learned... That opportunity is never lost; someone will take the ones you miss. 

I’ve learned... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve learned...  That I wish I could have told my Mom that I loved her one more time before she passed away.

I’ve learned...That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve learned... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life.

I’ve learned... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain,but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

 Divine mercy image
Once upon a time all feelings and emotions went to a coastal island for a vacation.
According to their nature, each was having a good time. Suddenly, a warning of an
impending storm was announced and everyone was advised to evacuate the island.
The announcement caused sudden panic. All rushed to their boats. Even damaged
boats were quickly repaired and commissioned for duty.
Yet, Love did not wish to flee quickly. There was so much to do. But as the clouds
darkened, Love realised it was time to leave. Alas, there were no boats to spare.
Love looked around with hope.
Just then Prosperity passed by in a luxurious boat. Love shouted, “Prosperity, could
you please take me in your boat?”
“No,” replied Prosperity, “my boat is full of precious possessions, gold and silver.
There is no place for you.”
A little later Vanity came by in a beautiful boat. Again Love shouted, “Could you
help me, Vanity? I am stranded and need a lift. Please take me with you.”
Vanity responded haughtily, “No, I cannot take you with me. My boat will get
soiled with your muddy feet.”
Sorrow passed by after some time. Again, Love asked for help. But it was to no
avail. “No, I cannot take you with me. I am so sad. I want to be by myself.”
When Happiness passed by a few minutes later, Love again called for help. But
Happiness was so happy that it did not look around, hardly concerned about
Love was growing restless and dejected. Just then somebody called out, “Come
Love, I will take you with me.” Love did not know who was being so magnanimous,
but jumped on to the boat, greatly relieved that she would reach a safe place.
On getting off the boat, Love met Knowledge. Puzzled, Love inquired, “Knowledge,
do you know who so generously gave me a lift just when no one else wished to
Knowledge smiled, “Oh, that was Time.”
“And why would Time stop to pick me and take me to safety?” Love wondered.
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and replied, “Because only Time knows your
true greatness and what you are capable of. Only Love can bring peace and great
happiness in this world.”
“The important message is that when we are prosperous, we overlook love. When
we feel important, we forget love. Even in happiness and sorrow we forget love.
Only with time do we realize the importance of love. Why wait that long? Why
not make love a part of your life today?”
Author Unknown
jesus tomb resurrection 778x485 
Vision of Maria Valtorta on 2-Apr-1945
“You are mad, women.  Grief has upset you.  The light has seemed an angel to you.  The wind, a voice. The sun, the Christ.  I do not criticise you.  I understand you, but I can only believe what I have seen: the open empty Sepulchre, and the guards who have run away with the stolen Corpse.”
“But if the very guards say that He has risen!  If the whole town is in a turmoil and the Princes of the Priests are mad with rage, because the guards have spoken while running away terrified!  Now they want them to say something different and they are paying them for that.  But it is already known.  And if the Judaeans do not believe in the Resurrection, they do not want to believe, many other people do believe...”
“H’m!  Women!...” Peter shrugs his shoulders and is about to go away.
Then the Mother, Who still has on Her heart the Magdalene, who is weeping like a willow-tree in a downpour, for her too great joy, and who kisses Her fair hair, raises Her transfigured face and says a short sentence: “He has really risen.  I have had Him in My arms and I kissed His Wounds.”  She then bends over the head of the passionate woman and says: “Yes, joy is even stronger than sorrow.  But it is only a grain of sand compared to what will be your ocean of eternal joy.  You are blessed because you made your spirit speak above reason.”
Peter dare not deny any longer... and with one of those sudden changes of the old Peter, who is coming back to light again, he says and shouts, as if the delay depended on the others and not on him:  “Then, if it is so, we must let the others know.  Those spread out in the country...look for them... take action... Come on, get a move on.  If He really should come...let Him at least find us”....
Jesus says:
...“And I, at the beginning of dawn on the third day, descended like the sun and with My brightness I broke the human seals, so useless before the power of a God, with My power I prized open and overthrew the stone watched over in vain, with My apparition like lightning I knocked down the uttlery useless guards placed as guardians of a death that was Life, that no human power could prevent from being such.
By far more powerful than your electric current, My Spirit entered like a sword of divine Fire to warm the cold remains of My Corpse, and in the new Adam the Spirit of God breathed life, saying to Itself:  “Live, I want it.”.....
....The new Adam goes to the new Eve.  Evil entered the world through a woman, and was defeated by the Woman.  The fruit of the Woman has detoxicated men of the slaver of Lucifer.  Now, if they want, they can be saved.  She saved woman who had remained so fragile after the mortal wound.
...Have, have, have faith in Me.  Love.  Be not afraid.  May what I suffered to save you assure you of the Heart of your God.”

palm sunday image


Vision of Maria Valtorta on 30-Mar-1947(Palm Sunday)

Jesus embraces with His arm the shoulders of His Mother, Who has stood up when John and James of Alphaeus have reached Her to say to Her: “Your Son is coming”, and then they have come back to join their companions who are proceeding slowly, talking, while Thomas and Andrew have rushed towards Bethphage to look for the donkey and the colt and take them to Jesus.

In the meantime Jesus is speaking to the women.  “Here we are near the city. I advise you to go.  And go without being afraid.  Enter the town before I do.  All the shephards and the most faithful disciples are near En Rogel.  They have been told to escort and protect you.”

“The fact is that...We have spoken to Aser of Nazareth and Abel of Bethleham in Galilee and also to Solomon.  They had come as far as here to watch for your arrival.  The crowd is preparing a great celebration.  And we wanted to see... See how the tops of the olive trees are shaken?  It is not the wind that is shaking them thus.  But it is the people who are gathering branches to spread them on the road and to protect You from the sun.  And over there?  Look over there, they are stripping the palm-trees of their fan-shaped leaves.  They look like clusters and they are men who have climbed up the truns to gather more and more... And, on the slopes, You can see children bending to pick flowers.  And the women certainly strip gardens or corollas and scented herbs to strew Your way with flowers.  We wanted to see... and imitate the gesture of Mary of Lazarus, who picked up all the flowers pressed by Your feet when You went into Lazarus’ gardens” says imploringly Mary of Clopas on behalf of them all.

Jesus caresses the cheek of His old relative, who looks like a little girl anxious to see a show, and He says to her:  “You would not be able to see anything among the large crowd.  Go on, to Lazarus’ house, the one whose keeper is Matthias.  I shall be passing there and you will see Me from on high.”

“Son... and are You going all alone?  Can I not be near You?  Asks Mary, raising Her very sad face and staring with Her sky-blue eyes at Her meek Son.”

“I would beg You to remain hidden.  Like a dove in the cleft of a rock.  Rather than Your presence, My beloved Mother, I need Your prayer!”

“If so, Son, we will all pray for You.”

“Yes. And after you have seen Him pass by, you will come with me to my mansion in Zion.  And I will send servants to the Temple, with instructions to follow the Master all the time, so that they may bring us His orders and His news, says Mary of Lazarus resolutely, always quick in realising what is the best thing to do and to do it without delay.”

“You are right, sister.  Although it grieves me not to follow Him, I understand that it is a just order.  In any case Lazarus told  us not to contradict the Master in anything, and to obey Him even in the least matters.  And we will do that.”

“Go, then.  See?  The roads are getting busy.  the apostles are about to join Me.  Go.  Peace be with you.  I will make you come when I think it is a suitable moment.  Goodbye, Mother.  Peace to you.  God is with us.”

Happy family walking together


While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about -the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me. Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags.

He stopped right next to me to greet his family. First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father.

The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing.

He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be.

I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me.

I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?” “Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked the man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!” With that, he and his family turned and strode away together.

I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, “What’cha looking at?” Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, “My future!”– Author Unknown



St. Helena Catholic Church
122 S. 1st. Street
Amite, LA, 70422


mary under pavillion 2
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“They [the women] are never allowed to look at the ultrasound because we knew that if they so much as heard the heart beat, they wouldn’t want to have an abortion.”

Dr. Randall, former abortionist

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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.


PSR 2021   June 7th-18th