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TOURS & RETREATS

mary under pavillion 2
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When things go wrong as they sometimes will;

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;

When the funds are low, and the debts are high;

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;

When care is pressing you down a bit –

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Success is failure turned inside out;

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;

And you can never tell how close you are;

It may be near when it seems afar.

So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.

teacup

There was a couple who went to shop in a beautiful antique store. Seeing an exceptional tea-cup, they asked “May we see that?” As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea-cup spoke, “I have not always been a tea-cup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me and I yelled out, “Don’t do that. Let me alone,” but he only smiled, and gently said; “Not yet!” Then, Wham! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick!’

But the master only nodded and said, quietly, ‘Not yet.’ He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape and then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. “Help! Get me out of here!” “When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. ‘Oh, please; Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’ Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. It was twice as hot and I thought I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I was convinced I would never make it. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and wondered ‘What’s he going to do to me next?’ An hour later he showed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself, you’re beautiful.’

God knows what He is doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds to give us the opportunity to become the disciples He wants us to be.

Buttermilk Biscuits

A pastor was attending a men’s breakfast. He asked one of the older farmers in attendance to say the prayer that morning.

The farmer began, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.” The pastor opened one eye and wondered to himself where this was going. Then the farmer said, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now the pastor was worried. But the farmer prayed on, “And Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw flour.”

As the pastor was about to stop everything the farmer continued, “But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bakes ‘em up, I do love me those fresh biscuits. So Lord, when things come up we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we just don’t understand what You are saying to us, we just need to relax and wait ‘til You are done fixin’ and probably it will be something even better than biscuits.”  Amen.

 closeup of monstrance

...Seriously reflect how many venial sins one who is careless about her eternal salvation commits in one day.  How many minutes does she offer up to God?  Does she think of Him seriously at all?  Well, there are 365 days in one year, and if there are many such years, that person dies charged with a multitude of venial sins which have not been blotted out because she has not even thought of them.

When such a soul appears before God to be judged there is scarcely a spark of love left in that soul when she comes to render an account of her life to Him who demands it back from her.  Such all but sterile lives have to be begun all over again, when they reach this place of expiation  Lives lived without love for God will have to be atoned for here in Purgatory with intense sufferings.  Whilst on earth, they did not profit by the mercy of God, but lived merely for the sake of the body.  Now to regain their first splendor, they have to make satisfaction to the last farthing.  That is what happens to indifferent souls.  For souls of greater guilt, it is far worse...

20 week old baby in utero preborn

With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.

-James Wilson, one of just six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Padre Pio Stigmata

This week, on September 23, the universal Church observes the Feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, known affectionately world over as Padre Pio.  These are just a few of the miracles of Padre Pio from an excerpt of ‘The Miracles of Padre Pio’ on EWTN:

...Like many people, O’Neill said he was very aware of the supernatural phenomena and miracles attributed to Padre Pio.  In fact, he said two of the most incredible interviews of his life occurred at the National Center for Padre Pio in Bartow, Pa.  There, he heard the story of Vera Marie Calandra, whose bladder was removed by future U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.  In 1968, Calandra was blessed by Padre Pio and her bladder grew back!

He also heard the story of Paul Walsh, who had been irreversibly brain damaged and had slipped into a coma after being in a car wreck.  He had a vision of Padre Pio while he was in his hospital bed and was miraculously cured...

O’Neill said to one of them: “I heard the miracle used for Padre Pio’s canonization happened in this hospital.  Is there a single person still here who might be able to tell a bit of that story?  The woman [I was speaking to] got on the phone, called upstairs, and said to me, “You’re in luck!  The doctor  who did the surgery that day is here today; he is available right NOW, and he speaks English!”

O’Neill raced upstairs with his camera crew and sat down with Dr. Alfredo Del Gaudio, Chief of the Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation, who had an “incredible testimony.”    The surgeon said he was operating on Matteo Colella, when he died on the surgery table. He immediately began praying to Padre Pio.

Said O’Neill: “The doctor said he gave a heart massage to this patient for one-and-a-half hours. In all of his 20 plus years of medicine, he said he had never seen a patient who has come back to life after that who didn’t have brain damage and other physical malfunctions. The boy’s heart rate was at 0, and it came right back up. When boy came to, he said he had had a vision of Padre Pio himself, who interacted with the boy while he was out. So [the boy] had his own vision of Padre Pio while everyone was praying to Padre Pio, including the surgeon!”

close up st paul

The great preacher gave us the words to get unstuck from our own prayer loop.

Pray like Paul? I tend to think of Paul as the great preacher, bringing the good news to the Gentiles from Galatia to Thessaloniki to Corinth to Rome. After all, his epistles make up a massive chunk of the New Testament, the earliest documents we have of the church.

But recently, as I’ve been reading Paul–and sometimes I can’t get enough of him–I keep stumbling over prayers in his writing. He frequently exhorts others to pray, exclaims how he prays for the people he’s writing to, and his very words form prayers. Here are a few:

Don’t be anxious about anything; rather bring up all of your requests to God in your payers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4:6-7)

May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of you Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

(Philemon 25)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

(Romans 15:13)

If you cannot preach like Peter, you can pray like Paul.

By Rick Hamlin

country sunset

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.  

Growing Older

On the first day, God created the dog and said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past.  For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.”  The dog said, “That’s a long time to be barking.  How about only ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten?”  And God saw it was good.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said, “Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh.  For this, I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.”  The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years?  That’s a pretty long time to perform.  How about I give you back ten like the dog did?”  And God, again saw it was good.

On the third day, God created the cow and said, “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family.  For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.”  The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?”  And God agreed it was good.

On the fourth day, God created humans and said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.”  But the human said, “Only twenty years?

Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back,  the ten the monkey gave back,  and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?” “Okay,” said God, “You asked for it.”

So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family.  For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.  Life has now been explained to you.

PotatoesEggsCoffee

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it.

She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.

Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter.

The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners.

He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her, he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft.

He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity-the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which one are you?” he asked his daughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Moral of the story:

In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is how you choose to react to it and what you make out of it. Life is all about leaning, adopting and converting all the struggles that we experience into something positive.

fene with holes in it

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said “you have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.” You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.

kid looking over fence

Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling.

The new baby was going be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in Mommy’s tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her.

The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen.

In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three, every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor.

Finally, after a long struggle, Michael’s little sister was born. But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.

The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had to tell the parents there was very little hope. Be prepared for the worst. Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby they found themselves having to plan for a funeral.

Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. “I want to sing to her,” he kept saying.

Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care.

Karen decided to take Michael whether they liked it or not. If he didn’t see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket.

The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, “Get that kid out of here now. No children are allowed.”

The mother rose up strong in Karen and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse’s eyes, her lips a firm line, “He is not leaving until he sings to his sister.”

Then Karen towed Michael to his sister’s bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began tossing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang:

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray.”

Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and became steady.

“Keep on singing, Michael,” encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes.

“You never know, dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away.”

As Michael sang to his sister, the baby’s ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten’s purr. “Keep on singing, sweetheart.”

“The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms”.

Michael’s little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. “Keep singing, Michael.” Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don’t take my sunshine away…”

The next day,…the very next day…the little girl was well enough to go home.

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.
 
WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE. 
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.
 
 
 
PRAYER FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
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.

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Archbishop of Denver, Samual J. Aquila,  on January 22, 2013 stated:

“I know without a doubt, that abortion is a violent act of murder and exploitation.  And I

know that our responsibility is to work and pray without ceasing for its end.”

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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.

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PSR 2021   June 7th-18th