Archive for March, 2004

Mind reading computers

March 30, 2004

Will make blogging a lot easier. It is painful for me to sit down and write. I don’t know why. I have always done fairly well at it in School but I just have to wait til the last minute.

The consequence is I think of a lot of things I would like to put on the blog but don’t end up typing. I wish I could just think them and they think blog that and off it went.

Today was a good day. God never ceases to stun me with the way he uses the smallest of circumstances or even my quirks to do something for his kingdom. Case in point. I normally park my car in the garage. Last night I parked it out front to bring in some groceries (garage isn’t attached and out back). I left it there today and it still is sitting there.

Someone was driving buy and thinking they should talk to me but hesitating until they saw my car. We talked and hour and it was a good thing. Please pray. Can’t give more details than that.

Also my palms haven’t come. It isn’t my fault though. They were resent today. They should make it. Otherwise I did see some long grass in the ditch on the way into town….

Chrism mass tomorrow. First renewal of my committment to my Bishop. He sure makes it easy. It will take all day but it is a short trip. Only 225 miles roundtrip.

Monstrance Update

March 30, 2004

Well we are now at $990/1500. I went ahead and ordered it and plopped down the first $800. It should be in in about 60 days they said. It is coming from Europe.

The most beautiful monstrance I have ever seen is in our Sacred Heart Chapel at the Cathedral in Sioux Falls. If you ever get a chance to see it I encourage you to.

On a final note, I got a neat email from my brother. He was pretty impressed with The Passion of The Christ. I had no doubts. I need to call the rest of my family soon and see if they have seen it.


March 29, 2004

Well I saw the Passion again last night. I caught even more the second time. I will be seeing it again April 7 with an open night for the parishoners at my three parishes.

I hope to get the homily from this weekend up later today and possibly the funeral homily I did later. I have to do a bit of editing and since today is technically my day off I am not in a hurry.

On another note if you click on the link to Disordered Affections to the left of this post you will find the ongoing story of a writer by the name of Mrs. Karen Hall in Hollywood. She was in charge of Judging Amy this year and I thought she did a great job. The main actress did not and she will soon be out of a job. That means I won’t be watching the show anymore.

The Passion of the Christ Transforms Lives

March 26, 2004

Now many might think this is a negative consequence but it reminds me of the good thief. The guy still has to pay the price for his crimes but he in the face of the supreme Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross he is confessing his sins and changing his life. It is a moment of grace for him.

Monstrance Update

March 26, 2004

We are at $955/$1500. I just place the order and it will come in in 60 days or so. I am pretty sure we will have the necessary funds by then. I really appreciate everyone’s generosity. I am going to offer the Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart for all those who donated and/or prayed for this to be a reality. A special day for special people. Then we will have a holy hour of reparation that day with the same monstrance.

I was really hoping to have it by the next Children’s adoration but I don’t think that will happen. I am hoping to work it out with the homeschoolers to lead the adoration again next fall.

Again, thank you for helping this become a reality. We aren’t quite there yet but we are well on the way. I couldn’t get it done without you and I really appreciate it.

What would you think

March 26, 2004

If you were going to order some church goods from a supplier in Mexico and you got these payment instructions:

payment money order OR certified check as you prefer (NO personal check)


Address your envelope to our accountant:

L. Smith
640 North Nova Road #216
Ormond Beach, Florida 32174

Please do NOT put Smith’s name or Pax House on the check and send it by
REGULAR mail. Do NOT send by registerd, UPS or Fedex!!!!
Follow these simple instructions and we will thank you.
We will let you know when payment has been received.
Be sure to put your NAME & address on the outside of your envelope!!

La Vita E Bella

March 24, 2004

I am amazed at how exhausted I am. The last few days have been pretty tiring. It will be a good sleep tonight.

But in the midst of all of it is great beauty. I could’t help but marvel at the golden fields int he sunlight today. It is also calving season and new life was taking its first wobbly (sp?) steps everywhere I went.

I found myself throughout the day over and over saying to the Lord “Thank you for my life”. The more days I go on as a priest the more beauty I see.

I wish I could put it into words but I can’t. Off to collapse until tomorrow.

A very worthwhile read

March 24, 2004

I hope you will look at Ms. Barbara Nicolosi’s post entitled People not projects. It really is a thoughtful comment she makes and it applies to all professions. How much the temporal order, our professions, and institutions could be changed by people becoming sincerely pursuing the spiritual life and then allowing the fruits of their prayer to overflow into their work.

When it rains…

March 23, 2004

Wow is it busy. I had a funeral pop up this week. I just finished the Wake and have the funeral tomorrow. Some of my parishoners are in the hospital 100 miles away so that will take some time to visit on Friday. I did manage to get the Easter Candels ordered. That is a releif.

My battle cry is now “After Easter” to most of the new items coming up. I can’t wait to get to the pastoral planning.

One thing I would like to solicit comments on are devotions. I plan on actively bringing back the Sacred Heart Enthronement and First Friday Devotions.

I will probably be starting Children’s Adoration in one of my local parishes and hopefully continuing with the HomeSchoolers.

What are some other traditional devotions you would like to see back in your Church’s?

We already have the rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy before Mass.

March 21, 2004

Homily Ė 4th Sunday of Lent (Year C)
The history of Man began as an act of love. God, out of his great goodness, created man. He didnít do it because he was lonely or because he needed to. He did it as an expression of his great love, for as scripture tells us God is Love. In his own image he created man, male and female he created them. Man was created to know, love and serve God and it is in this that each person finds their true fulfillment and happiness. Man, in the persons of Adam and Eve, rebelled and chose to seek their own happiness apart from Godís will. They disobeyed God and refused his friendship and thus pain and suffering entered the world.
Each and everyone of us has made the same choice in our lives. We were created by an infinitely loving God. We were recreated new in the waters of Baptism and washed pure of any stain of original sin. Then we too, chose at some point in our life, to seek our happiness outside the will of God. That is what we call sin. To sin is to choose against Godís will for us. But God created us out of love and his will for us is our perfect happiness. So when we choose to sin, we choose something that will not bring us perfect happiness. In fact it will bring us pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are the natural consequences of our sins. God does not inflict them upon us like a spoiled child. Rather he lets us get what we asked for. Thus the old adage, be careful what you ask for.
We see this very clearly illustrated in the Gospel today with the parable of the Prodigal Son. A son chooses to take his inheritance and squander it on a life of licentiousness. He chooses to seek his own happiness apart from the Fatherís will. The consequences are that he leads a life of misery. One in which he envies the pigs and the food they eat. He experiences the consequences of living life apart from the Father and he finds it miserable. Only when he as hit the bottom does he decide to return to the Father. And when he returns home he expects to find a Father angry and that is not an unreasonable expectation for someone who has taken such advantage of his fathers graces. But instead he finds a Father waiting expectantly. A Father constantly looking for his Sonís return. A father who doesnít wait but rather runs to greet his son filled with joy. He doesnít take him into his house as a servant but welcomes him as a son. He kills the fatted calf and celebrates the return of his son from death to life.
This is the reality of our relationship with our heavenly Father every time we go to confession. We do sin. We do turn away from God. We squander the divine inheritance we received in baptism on meaningless and base things. We seek our happiness apart from God. But does God reject us? No. He is anxiously awaiting our return. He seeks the lost sheep. He goes to meet you as you return to him. And when you do you receive the welcome of a child not of a servant. A Father overjoyed that his child has returned from Death to life. What earthly Father wouldnít celebrate. Can we expect less of our heavenly Father?
The normal way we do this is through the sacrament of Confession. It is a sacrament established by Christ himself when he gave the Apostles the power to forgive sins in John 20. God doesnít do things without a reason. It is his will that our sins be forgiven normally through one of his Ambassadors. It has been with the Church since the earliest days of Christian History. It isnít until the last 500 years or so that people who call themselves Christians have started to argue against it. Even after Martin Luther broke away from the Church he still went to confession.
Recently you will even hear of Catholics who say they donít believe they need to go to a priest for confession. They think, like the protestants, that is sufficient to confess their sins to God. How many really do I wonder? I think it is just a convenient phrase some use to avoid having to admit their sins to another human being. In reality it is pride and fear that keeps people away. They do not want to humble themselves. They would rather keep eating the slop of pigs than return and admit that they have sinned against heaven and another human. No matter what the reason you cannot find any evidence of this in Scripture or any other teaching of the Church. In fact it contradicts both Scripture and the teaching of the Church. It is a belief that people make up to fit their own desires.
Look to the scriptures today. When the Son returns he confesses that he has sinned against his Father and against heaven. The Father in the parable represents not only God the Father but also our fellow human beings that we have sinned against. True reconciliation demands that we ask forgiveness of those we have sinned against as well as of God. For sin is an offense against God as well as another human being. If I slapped someone across the face and then went and asked forgiveness from God would you say that I was truly reconciled with God and that person. I doubt it. True reconciliation demands we do both.
For the Catholic we do that through the priest. The priest stands in place of God and of the community. When we ask forgiveness of our sins from a priest we are asking him as a ambassador of God as well as an ambassador of the community. It really is quite a deal. Imagine if you had to go to every person and tell them what you did and ask their forgiveness as well as that of God. You canít just ask God. He would tell you, as he did in scripture, if you approach the altar with your gift and remember that your brother has something against you, go first and be reconciled with your brother and then bring your gift to the altar.
True reconciliation demands we ask forgiveness of God and of those we have sinned against. Jesus Christ established confession and gave his apostles the power to forgive sins in order to do this. We on our part must humble ourselves, leave our sins, and ask forgiveness of the community and of God. If you to try to do anything else you would go against scripture and the teachings of the Church.
As we draw close to the end of Lent we draw closer to the observance of the consequences of our sin. Christís Passion, Death and resurrection are the consequences of our sin. God loves us so much that he was willing to send his only son to die to pay the price of our sins. It seems a small thing to ask us to go to confession in light of the great price that was paid for our redemption. I encourage you to cast away the slop of pigs, turn away from pride, and do not be afraid to return to the sacraments. They are there because God knows they will bring you peace and happiness. Put your faith in God and trust him to fulfill his promises. The communal penance services are an ideal opportunity to do so. You can go to confession, completely anonymously, with priests who have no idea who you are. We canít make it any easier for you than this. You can choose to take the opportunity and be reconciled. You can choose to act according to Godís word in scripture and the teachings of his Church. To experience the joy of the Father as he celebrates your return. Or you can choose to squander your opportunity and inheritance. You can choose to live apart from the Fatherís will and pursue your own course of action. The choice is yours. Choose well.