Knowing Christ & His Message through Scripture, the Catechism, & the Catholic Church

My family is my strength…

But Family must be rooted in Christ & his love….

“Maybe the soul is tired because all it needs is more time with the Lord. Maybe the heart is tired because it has been fed with all the wrong things. Maybe the mind is tired because it hasn’t been nourished with beneficial knowledge.”

Dear God, Help me to spend time with You this day. May my family be my strength. May my family be a reflection of Your love. May I spend as much emotional time and energy with my family as I do in all the other areas of my life: work, social media, play, distractions, school, & the problem’s of others. May my family never “feel” the absence of my love. Rather, may my love be so strong & rooted in Your love, that they may “feel” it even when I am not with them. Amen.

Family is our greatest strength... & a family rooted in Christ is the strongest yet.

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In need of a spiritual mentor?

The life & writings of st Francis de sales:

St Francis taught that we can all attain a devout and spiritual life, whatever our position in society: holiness is not reserved for monks and hermits alone. He wrote that “religious devotion does not destroy: it perfects,” and his spiritual counsel is dedicated to making people more holy by making them more themselves.

St Francis mentored many people in his life time – bishops, priests, nuns, & lay people. He provided great spiritual counsel, & his wisdom lives on today in his writings…

Major writings of St Francis de Sales:

“An Introduction to the Devout Life,” a work intended to lead “(Philothea)”, the soul living in the world, into the paths of devotion, that is to say, of true and solid piety. Every one should strive to become pious, and “it is an error, it is even a heresy”, to hold that piety is incompatible with any state of life.

“Treatise on the Love of God,” It contains twelve books. The first four give us a history, or rather explain the theory, of Divine love, its birth in the soul, its growth, its perfection, and its decay and annihilation; the fifth book shows that this love is twofold – the love of complacency and the love of benevolence; the sixth and seventh treat of affective love, which is practised in prayer; the eight and ninth deal with effective love, that is, conformity to the will of God, and submission to His good pleasure. The last three resume what has preceded and teach how to apply practically the lessons taught therein.

“Defense of the Standard of the Cross”, a demonstration of the virtue:

    • of the True Cross;
    • of the Crucifix;
    • of the Sign of the Cross;
    • an explanation of the Veneration of the Cross.“Spiritual Conferences,”familiar conversations on religious virtues addressed to the sisters of the Visitation and collected by them

“Sermons,” – various sermons preached while he was Bishop.

“Letters,” mostly letters of direction, in which the minister of God effaces himself and teaches the soul to listen to God, the only true director.

Do you have a spiritual mentor/friend? Are you in need of one?  Why not invite St. Francis de Sales into your life?  He will lead you to a deep & loving relationship with God!

Excerpts adapted from the Catholic Encyclopedia

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You make known to me the path of life, O Lord…

On January 22 our nation will mark the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.

Since that tragic decision, more than 56 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.

Join thousands of Catholics/Christians across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 17 -  Sunday, January 25!

9 days

Click on image for ways to join the effort to celebrate the beauty & importance of life!

Does the Lord really want me?

The Lord wants us – He looks at our heart – He speaks to our heart- He awaits our response…. Are you listening? Are you responding? Do you want God as much as He wants you?

Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will. (psalm 40)
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.

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Can’t pray? Try this…

You can always pray! Click on image for Rosary Meditation.


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Partners with Christ…

When you hear God's voice, will you choose to partner with Him in faith, or harden your heart & walk away?

The Holy Spirit says:
Oh, that today you would hear his voice,
“Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion
in the day of testing in the desert,
where your ancestors tested and tried me
and saw my works for forty years.
Because of this I was provoked with that generation
and I said, ‘They have always been of erring heart,

and they do not know my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter into my rest.’”

Take care, brothers and sisters,
that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart,
so as to forsake the living God.
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,”
so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.
We have become partners of Christ
if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.  Heb 3:7-14

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Baptism – Sharing in God’s life.

The Baptism of the Lord

Sunday, January 11, 2015 – End of Christmas Season

Let us do honor to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed.

Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist.

He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven.

You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received—though not in its fullness—a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. From A sermon by St Gregory Nazianzen

The Baptism of Jesus invites us all to recall our own baptism & the necessity of Baptism.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20).

In baptism:

  • We become children of God.
  • We share in God’s diving life.
  • We are also made priests, prophets, and kings like our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • As priests, it is our duty to lift up to God our prayers and the prayers of our brothers and sisters.
    • As prophets, we are called upon to proclaim the truths of the Gospel whether it is convenient or not.
    • As kings, we have the responsibility to be good and trustworthy stewards of God’s gifts to us.
  • We made a profession of faith in the Triune God and a commitment to reject sin.

As we remember the baptism of Jesus, let us pray to him to grant us the courage to face life with vigor and with eagerness to fulfill our vocation as Christians. Let us remain true to our baptismal commitment of living truly and loving endlessly.

Almighty, ever-living God,
when Christ was baptized in the river Jordan
the Holy Spirit came upon him
and your voice proclaimed from heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son.’ Grant that we, who by water and the Holy Spirit are your adopted children, may continue steadfast in your love. Amen.
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2015: A New Year – A New Resolution

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be… But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God… (Jn 1:1+)

Christmas & the beginning of a new year is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, but it is so much more than that. This is a perfect time to reflect on our own lives, and how they should be a reflection/ a mirror image of the life of Christ.

In adoring the birth of our Saviour, we find we are celebrating the commencement of our own life, for the birth of Christ is the source of life for Christian folk, and the birthday of the Head is the birthday of the body… just as the entire body of the faithful is born in the font of baptism, crucified with Christ in his passion, raised again in his resurrection, and placed at the Father’s right hand in his ascension, so with Him are they born in this nativity. From a sermon of Pope St Leo the Great

Thus, as we continue celebrating this great season of Christmas, and enter into a new year, we might want to ask ourselves and take to prayer the following: “Is my life an imitation of Christ? Not only ‘mirror, mirror …Do you see Christ in me at all?, but ‘Stranger, stranger/ family, family/friend, friend’ do you see Christ in me at all?

May our lives truly be a reflection of our Head, our Brother, our Savior – Jesus Christ!

All-powerful, ever-living God,
we thank you for the human birth of your Son,
which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship. Number us among his people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in him,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.

(Taken from the Liturgy of the Hours for the Day).

Merry Christmas! & Happy New Year

Jesus – return to the world as wise men to show Jesus to the world!

Wise Men, Return to the World

“…we are like the 3 Wise Men who journeyed to Jesus. Now, like those Wise Men, we return to the world from which we came, to the everyday life where we will witness to what we have seen.

Click for a reflection on the True Meaning of Christmas

“We need to ‘set out anew from Christ,’ with the zeal of Pentecost, with renewed enthusiasm. To set out from him above all in a daily commitment to holiness, with an attitude of prayer and of listening to his word. To set out from him in order to testify to his Love by living a Christian life marked by communion, charity, and witness before the world.” . . . . . . . Pope John Paul II (Epiphany homily, 2001)

Merry Christmas! Are you testifying to the love, joy, & peace of Christmas? If we want people to appreciate & understand the true meaning of Christmas, we must live it. Thank you for your witness!

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I wish you a “Mary” Christmas!

From “One Bread, One Body”


“Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be…?’ ” –Luke 1:34

To have a true Christmas, to meet Christ at Mass in a new, glorious way during the Christmas season, we must have a “Mary” Christmas and love Jesus as Mary does. To have a “Mary” Christmas, we should:

  • not fear (Lk 1:30),
  • be filled with God’s grace (Lk 1:30),
  • have “the Holy Spirit…come upon” us (Lk 1:35),
  • believe that “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37),

  • rejoice in being the Lord’s servants, that is, the slaves of the Lord (Lk 1:38),
  • “let it be done” to us according to God’s Word (Lk 1:38),
  • trust “that the Lord’s words” to us will “be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45),
  • proclaim “the greatness of the Lord” and find “joy in God” our Savior (Lk 1:46-47),
  • “be pierced with a sword” of sorrow (Lk 2:35),
  • “do whatever [Jesus] tells” us and tell others to do the same (Jn 2:5),
  • be at the foot of Jesus’ cross (Jn 19:25), and
  • together devote ourselves to constant prayer for a new Pentecost (Acts 1:14).

A “Mary” Christmas is a Christmas of faith, joy, self-sacrifice, obedience, evangelistic zeal, redemptive suffering, praise-filled worship, and constant prayer in the Holy Spirit.

    “Mary” Christmas!

M Crooks, Doctorate Pastoral Ministry: 2009-2012