Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily by Fr. Mike Mayer

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Children of Vacation Bible School Praise the Lord!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Here are some of the sayings (and more) of the saints which I used recently on CALLING ALL CATHOLICS.

Rejoice * in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18))

 “Blessed be God for everything”  Venerable Concepion Cabrera de Armida

In our troubles, we must always say, "Blessed be God, thank you my God, or glory to God!"  Blessed Jeanne Jugan, Little Sisters of the Poor

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us.
   - Henri Nouwen

All the way to heaven is heaven. St. Catherine of Siena

On Suffering
For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ, "In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God."  The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labors, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training. The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it.  From a spiritual canticle by John of the Cross (1542‑1591)

Adversity is . . . God's most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives. The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth. Once we begin to understand this, and accept it as a spiritual fact of life, adversity becomes easier to bear.
Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministry (Baptist Minister)

Pain is the kiss of Christ. Catherine Doherty

(Let us) not let ourselves be troubled when we are sometimes beset by adversity, for we know that it is meant for our spiritual welfare and carefully proportioned to our needs, and that a limit has been set to it by the wisdom of the same God who has set a bound to the ocean.
Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure and Claude de la Colombiere, "Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence"

"I am God's wheat, ground fine by the lion's teeth to be made purest bread for Christ. No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my brothers. Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me stillborn. My desire is to belong to God." (Ignatius of Antioch)

Good when He gives, supremely good;
Nor less when He denies:
Afflictions, from His sovereign hand,
Are blessings in disguise.
- Brother Lawrence, "The Practice of the Presence of God"

"Don't imagine that if you had a great deal of time you would spend more of it in prayer. Get rid of that idea! Again and again God gives more in a moment than in a long period of time, for God's actions are not measured by time at all."- Teresa of Avila

“Pray as you can, not as you can’t.”
       Dom John Chapman of Downside Abbey

"Because prayer is indeed a supernatural act, a movement of spirit toward Spirit, it is an act in which the natural creature can never begin or complete of itself. Though it seems to come by one's own free choice that one lifts the soul toward God, it is in truth this all-penetrating God, Who by His secret humble pressure stirs us to make this first movement of will and love."(Evelyn Underhill [20th C.], "The Golden Sequence")

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.    - C. S. Lewis

If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence... ? You'd be bored to tears in heaven, if you're not ecstatic about God now!   - Keith Green

I 've learned to hold everything loosely because it hurts when God pries my fingers from it.
      -- Corrie Ten Boom

You must accept your cross; if you carry it courageously it will carry you to heaven.  God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry. - Jean Vianney

"Our natural will is to have God, and the good will of God is to have us, and we may never cease willing or longing for God until we have him in the fullness of joy. Christ will never have his full bliss in us until we have our full bliss in him."- Blessed Julian of Norwich

"I have always believed that, when God touches a human being, the experience will survive three tests: 1.) The time test: The person touched by God will never be the same again. . . 2.) The reality test: The soul which has been touched by God will not be drawn up into an other-worldly posture or into bowered ivory towers of private ecstasy but will be deepened in awareness of the world around. . . 3.) The charity test: The human being who has opened to God's touch will be made more God-like by reason of that contact."- John Powell, S.J., "He Touched Me"

“Without you my kingdom would not be complete.”
        Jesus to St. Gertrude the Great.

God will either give you what you ask, or something far better. Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813‑1843)
Minister of the Church of Scotland

The signs accompanying grace are much joy, peace, love, and truth. Such signs impel us to seek truth. But the signs of sin are accompanied by turmoil, not joy and love toward God.
- St. Macarius

"The moment I realized that God existed, I knew that I could not do otherwise than to live for Him alone. . . Faith strips the mask from the world and reveals God in everything.  It makes nothing impossible and renders meaningless such words as anxiety, danger, and fear, so that the believer goes through life calmly and peacefully, with profound joy--like a child hand in hand with his mother."
   - Venerable Charles de Foucauld

"Giving soup and bread isn’t all that the rich can do. The poor are your masters, terrible sensitive, exacting as you will see. But the uglier and dirtier they are, the more unjust and bitter, the more you must give them your love. It is only because of your love—only your love—that the poor will forgive you the bread you give them.”
      St. Vincent de Paul
“I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual.  I can only love one person at a time B just one, one, one.  So you begin.  I began B I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn=t pick up that one person, I wouldn=t have picked up forty-two thousandY The same thing goes for you, the same thing in our family, the same thing in our church, your community.  Just begin B one, one, one.”
   - Bl. Mother Teresa

“An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all."  - Dorothy Day

“The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.”
      Henry Drummond, Free Church of Scotland, Evangelist

"Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car."
G.K. Chesterton

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people."
G.K. Chesterton

“In the "dynamic" religion that we are being promised for tomorrow, no ascetic discipline or special humbleness will any longer be required.  It will be a hot‑water bottle kind of piety with none of that gritty old morality it in.  It will be a brand of faith that has been synthesized, vitaminized, homogenized, and capsulized, and it will be as ready‑made for effortless consumption as that magically bleached, cottony, crustless, already sliced white bread which is the symbol of the modern American's massive superiority over the pagan bushwhacker.”
      Curtis Cate, "God and Success" (Biographer and Historian)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Same-Sex" Marriage

 A Message to Catholic New Yorkers
From the Bishops of New York State

     We bishops share with so many of you deep disappointment in the presumption of our state’s elected officials in the radical redefinition of marriage. Yet we are heartened by the vigor with which so many faithful Catholic New Yorkers fought to preserve the true meaning of marriage. Many surely believed that Catholics would simply shrug their shoulders and go along with this radical act of social engineering. Yet you did not do that. Together with people of other faith traditions, you spoke out. Thousands of you, by phone, email, letter or in-person visits to your legislators, and through social media like Facebook and Twitter, as well as hand-signed petitions in the back of your church, let you convictions be known.
    We are grateful to you, as we are to the many legislators in the state Senate and Assembly who voted to reject this bill. We know the pressure that was brought to bear on them, and we admire their courage and yours in attempting to defend marriage and protect religious freedom. Their integrity and yours was called into question by many. Both you and they were accused of bigotry for simply defending the timeless understanding of marriage.
    The proponents of so-called "same-sex marriage" portrayed their cause as a matter of "civil rights." Redefining marriage has nothing to do with civil rights. The Catholic Church has a proud history in this country’s civil rights movement for African-Americans. However, this situation is in no way analogous. In the first case, a race of people was shamefully made to endure hundreds of years of slavery and systemic persecution and discrimination. Today’s debate focuses on a small group of persons, whose human rights must always be respected and defended by us all, but who claim a civil right to redefine marriage for all of society based on a private and personal preference.
    As so many of you have let us know, this is not just a "Catholic issue." Yet for us Catholics, there is particular disappointment with those elected officials who publicly profess fidelity to our Catholic religion but whose public stance is at odds with a fundamental teaching of that faith. The definition of marriage resides in the plan of God for humankind. It is at the very least presumptuous for the state to attempt to redefine it.
    From this sad moment in our state’s history, let it be our prayer that we witness a new appreciation for authentic marriage as understood by our Catholic faith and revealed to us by God through nature. We have seen so many threats to marriage in recent years, from widespread cohabitation, to infidelity, to exploding out-of-wedlock birth rates, to pornography and other addictions that undermine family and married life. Sadly, we have even seen rates of Catholic marriages plunge over the last four decades by nearly 60 percent. And now we see the state presume to alter what God already has defined and common sense can recognize as right and true.
    While our culture seems to have lost a basic understanding of marriage, we Catholics must not. We must be models of what is good, holy and sacred about authentic sacramental marriage. Let this moment where marriage is being attacked from without become a moment of renewal from within – in our Church, in our communities and in our families – where marriage is indelibly marked by fidelity, sacrifice and the mutual love of husband and wife leading to children.
    The Church does not seek to be at odds with the society and culture. The Church welcomes the opportunity to be part of the public dialogue and listens respectfully to all positions. But the Church cannot do otherwise than stand against the claims of any culture and any society that attempts to define a relationship into being what it is not. To that extent we members of the Catholic Church are called to be in opposition to the prevailing culture. And sadly we are called to do so again. We know well that marriage always has been, is now and always will be the life-long, life-giving union of one man and one woman. No act of government can change that reality. With respect for the dignity of every person, we proclaim this truth and we will be faithful to its meaning and to its observance in all that we say and do.
--The Catholic Bishops of New York State
June 24, 2011
Feast of the Birthday of St. John the Baptist

We are always near the breaking-point when we care only for what is legal and nothing for what is lawful. Unless we have a moral principle about such delicate matters as marriage and murder, the whole world will become a welter of exceptions with no rules. There will be so many hard cases that everything will go soft. 

G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't Be Afraid

     In the most recent issue of the Paulist Evangelization Exchange Fr. Tony Krisak speaks about the fears of Catholics when it comes to evangelization. He says that we don't need to know everything about what we believe. Rather, we do need to know why we believe or have faith. Here are the questions he provides to help Catholics get ready to evangelize: How does the Catholic faith help you to respond to the human longings you have? Why do you experience a welcome spirit when you are in the midst of the Catholic community? What is it about your faith that raises enthusiasm and/or hope in you? What kind of perspective does the faith offer you in relation to others, toward those in need, and toward society and the world? Fr. Krisak suggests that if people see that our faith answers our deepest longings, they will respond.
     Here's a link to a a quiz to see how ready you are to be someone who invites others to check out the Church: