The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

26. XII. - St. Stephen - Deacon and Martyr

You will be hated by all

Perhaps you do not experience such a situation as Christians in Arab countries, in India, in Indonesia or on Moluccas. Perhaps we are not persecuted and exterminated openly as the Christians in those countries. Perhaps nobody demands from us a witnessing of blood, like in the case of Patron Saint of today. However, if someone wants to be a Christian today, he/she has to be a Christian not just on Sunday, and must be prepared to be misunderstood, to be ridiculed, to be mocked, even from other Christians, and those who are the righteous servants of God and believe have to admit the persecutions. To be a disciple of Christ has never been easy and never will be easy. He -Jesus Christ-was a "sign of contradiction", "stumbling block" and "rock of offense". He has always been and will be. "Whoever wishes to come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me" - these are the words of Him who first took on the cross and hung him in contempt and neglect. And he also said: "The servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you. "(Jn 15:20)

Searching of applause and popularity, compromises and agreements, it is not the style of Christ or His disciples. And you have to be prepared. Bright, clear witness of life and, if necessary, also the death witnessing (it is an unusual grace and not everyone can attain it) is the only way of a true disciple of Christ. Compromises, systems, and diplomacy, is something that is absolutely strange to Christianity. They will ridicule and challenge you, mock and call you: fundamentalist and fanatic, will speak about the need of tolerance and the need for prudence ... but in this case, Christ was most imprudent, backward and nonconformist, fundamentalist and stubborn, the most smug and immune to diplomacy. In this case, all his disciples with St. Stephen were fundamentalists, fanatics and fanatics!

"You will be hated and despised by all. Brother will raise against his brother and father will rise against his own child ... "And maybe that's what you need? Of course, that does not always and not mindlessly, but sometimes you have to be able to go against the current, even if the current of conformism is very trendy and very strong. We are afraid of being ridicule, we fear the unpopularity, but ... holy peace and Peacefulness at any price is not the true PEACE OF GOD. It is only a delusion and lying to oneself and others.

Holy Stephen - the first martyr, help us to be faithful to Christ, despite the temptations of conformity, despite the unpopularity and fear of losing ...

Holy Stephen - pray for us ... conformists ...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Prayer ...

         O Christ, Good Shepherd,
          I thank You for leading me to glory;
          I pray that the flock You have entrusted to my care
          will share with me in Your glory for ever. Amen

Thursday, September 26, 2013

walking away ...

Knowing when to go away, is wisdom.
Being able to, is courage.
Walking away with your head held high, is dignity ...

so ... I am walking away with my head held high

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Awkward .... but ... is it not true???

The Truth

The biggest battle in the contemporary world especially in the western civilization is the battle against the Truth. The Truth must be killed, distorted, silenced, perversely presented in order to by destroyed.

Since the time of the Old Testament's prophets, through John the Baptist till Jesus Christ -THE ULTIMATE TRUTH- and going on for 2,000 years after Christ ... the Truth is killed, persecuted, silenced, executed, neglected, distorted        in the name of freedom, political correctness, for the sake of peace or happiness, to avoid the scandal, to protect the interest of some powerful persons, to not ruin somebody's career, or to not destroy somebody's image ..... different reasons, one purpose .... destroy the Truth, because it is awkward, difficult, uncomfortable, inappropriate or undesirable ... clumsy.

And yet, as Jesus said "you will  know the truth and the Truth will make you free",
As long as we are avoiding the truth we are not free, we are slaves .... and we will die slaves ....

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to kill the Word of God .... .

The Word of God in the last Sunday's Gospel is very clear, direct and wonderful ...

Gospel LK 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing! 
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! 
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? 
No, I tell you, but rather division. 
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

And then came liberals with their philosophy of "nonjudgmentalism", tolerance and smooth "catholicism" and the Word of God was killed :-(. 

Thursday, August 01, 2013

False apostles ...

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. 

Their end will correspond to their deeds.

2 Cor 11:13-15

Awkward truth ...

Jesus brought us The Good News and not the nice news.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - “C”

In today’s Gospel from St. Luke we see that  Jesus was in a certain place praying and when He had finished one of His disciples said “Lord, teach us to pray. Obviously they were watching Him pray and were impressed because they waited until He had finished before the one disciple asked the question.

He said to all of them “Say this when you pray:”

Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen

That is the modern day version of the “Our Father”.  As we say it today.  The modern version captivates the prayer more or less as Jesus said it according to St.  Matthew - which really is just a longer version of the prayer we heard in today’s gospel from St. Luke. The “Our Father” is the first and greatest of all Christian prayers because not only does it come from God Himself but also it’s short and simple phrases pretty well embraces every relationship between us and our God.  It not only tells us what to pray for, but also tells us how to pray for it. Properly understood, this wonderful prayer of the ”Our Father” contains in it all that we should know to live our lives in Christ.

If we were to live up to everything that it contains, we would be perfectly in tune with the mind of Christ, because there can be no doubt that that is how He Himself prayed and lived. The first part of the “Our Father” deals with God. We acknowledge God's existence and call Him 'Father'’ because that is what Jesus called Him. God is neither male nor female.  However, God is a parent to us, and we are His children. Sometimes He acts like a father, and sometimes He acts like a mother. Then we praise His name. In praising His name we praise Him.

We pray for the coming of His kingdom - a kingdom of truth and life, holiness and grace, justice, love, and peace. We have a part to play in making His kingdom a reality. We pray that His will may be done on earth. 'On earth' means that His will be done in our lives too. God's will may not always be the easiest thing to do, but it is always the best thing.

The second part deals with us and with our needs. We begin by praying for our daily bread. 'Bread' stands for all of our material needs.  All the things that we need for that day because all that we really need in our lives is really just enough for today. We pray for forgiveness for our own sins, and for the grace to be able to forgive those who sin against us. We need to remember that our inability to forgive others makes it impossible for us to receive forgiveness from God. We pray also not to be led into temptation. God does not put temptation in our path but our ordinary daily life does. And then again we ourselves sometimes walk into tempta­tion all on our own.

And so we ask God to help us to cope with the temptations that simply come to us, and also to avoid those temptations we choose of our own free will. Finally, we pray that Our Father will deliver us from all evil, both moral and physical. We can't expect that we would never encounter evil. But what we are asking God for is the grace to be victorious over all evil that comes our way, most especially moral evil. We notice that the whole of the Our Father is spoken in plural terms. We say “Our” instead of “My”. This shows us that we are really one family under God and states our belief that there can be no salvation for us independent of others.

In the last part of the parable Jesus says “Ask and it will be given to you.”

 “Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks, always receives.”  “The one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. The one who searches, always finds.” Ah, we say. I have prayed and prayed and asked and I did not receive.  I have searched and searched and I have not found. I have knocked and knocked but the door stayed closed.  In fact I have begged and begged the Father and still I did not get what I wanted. So how can Jesus say “Ask and it will be given you”? Jesus answers this question with another question.

 “What Father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread?  Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion instead of an egg? How often in our own lives we have refused our own children what they have asked for because as parents we knew that it was not the best thing for them.

How do they react when we do that? Jesus is saying that God always answers prayer.  However, sometimes we do not receive that which we have asked for even though it seems to us perfectly obvious that what we are asking for (it seems to us) to be exactly what we figure we need. But, only God knows the future and it is now that we need to increase our trust in Him. We should not react like a spoiled child in anger because we God does not always answer our prayers in the manner in which we would want Him to. God always answers prayers. We need to submit ourselves to His will when our prayers seem not to have been answered. We need to trust in Him. God knows best.

When it seems that God is not answering our prayers we need to conform our will to the Father’s will for us.  We need to ask for the grace to submit to God’s will for our lives. We need to ask for the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself in our lives. Because Jesus said “If you who are evil,  know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
When we pray we need to mean what we say.
When we pray we need to mean “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever, Amen.

Deacon Bernie Ouellette

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Faith and humility

We have a huge problem with our faith, because we have a problem with our humility. We are too proud and too selfish to believe humbly that God is God and I am not. Today's Gospel (Mt 9:18-18-26) is exactly showing that these two attitudes faith and humility are interrelated.

Unhappily not in our daily life. 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

O, he/she is a good person ...

I acknowledge my transgression, says David. If I admit my fault, then you will pardon it. Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticize, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others. 

St. Augustine

Friday, June 28, 2013

a good pastor ...

(2 Letter to Timothy 3:1-5)

You may be quite sure that in the last days there will be some difficult times. People will be self-centred and avaricious, boastful, arrogant and rude; disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious; heartless and intractable; they will be slanderers, profligates, savages and enemies of everything that is good; they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it. Keep away from people like that.

And the pertinent question is raising up ... "how to be a good pastor in the times like that?"

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sadness of God ...

What is a sin? Sin is a selfish and egoistic statement when I am saying to God: “I don't need you, I am self-sufficient and I know better what is good for me and what is not, and you will not dictate me what I have to do and what I cannot do”. Every time I am going away from God this is causing a deep sadness to God the Father, Who sees that I am going astray and away from Him and Who knows that I cannot live without Him and at the same time, I won't like to live that with Him and for Him. Even more, going away from God doesn't only men ignoring Him and His love, but it is also a way of creating a Hell for myself. And the Hell is exactly the existence far away from God and His Fatherly love among selfish and egoistic creatures like me. How can one exist far away from the Source itself of all existence?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

XII Sunday in Ordinary Time - C - June 22/23, 2013

Jesus’ question "Who do the crowds say that I am?" had as much relevancy down the centuries as it did when it was first asked in the northeast corner of Palestine. I will even dare to say that this is the crucial question for all Christians, for all who claim to believe in Christ and to believe Christ. Many have attempted to answer that question. In fact, each Christian of every age must give an answer. And today as in the time of Christ we have as many answers as people trying to answer the question. Today however “Many people consider Jesus irrelevant because he proposes a life of self-discipline”, the life of truth and authentic love. For this reason His teaching and His person are rejected and denied or neglected even by some so called Catholics, who are not able to accept God who is not fitting their simplistic and false images of Loving God, who forgot about justice.

If God doesn’t fit my expectations and my conviction He doesn’t exist.

So, this people try to diminish Christ’s role and reduce Him to the mere human dimensions, refusing His divinity and His divine prerogatives and rights. They are creating an image of a false God (Christ) who is weak, insignificant, unimportant and finally useless. We can see it nowadays where the whole -apparently Christian- societies are living as if Jesus doesn’t exist or –as one of the American theologians said: “we are creating and worshipping an idol of God, conform to our ideas and who finally follow or obey us and our projections. This god is not the God of the Bible is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is not the God of authority and powerful, creative Love. He is a weak idol, who has to obey us and our requests and if not I reject Him.”

Famous German theologian Karl Rahner in his book “Foundations of faith” writes:

True religion, as a religion of the transcendental God and not the religion of my own subjective imagination cannot be rooted only in my subjectivity or depend only on my individual projection. It has to be a religion of objective and indisputable moral and ethical values rooted ultimately in an objective God, Who is always out of me and finally out of my understanding. If the religion is only an expression and interpretation of my personal understanding and my private acceptation, it is always subjective and week, and finally it is a kind of home-made religion. And what is the value of such a home-made religion? The value of such a home-made religion is the same as the value the home-made currency. Means null, literally zero!!

To guarantee, to assure this objectivity of God and objectivity of religion, God gave us two complementary elements: Bible and the Church which is: “the pillar and foundation of truth.” (1 Tim 3:15)

How many of our contemporary Christian communities are creating such a home-made religion, or home-made God, because they reject Jesus Christ as a Messiah, they reject the church instituted by Christ?

More important however is Jesus’ second question: "who do you say that I am?"
Matthew Kelly in his book: “Rediscovering Catholicism” writes:

You can prise Him, disagree with Him, quote Him, disbelieve Him, glorify Him, or criticize Him. The only thing you cannot do is ignore Him.

I agree with him only partially, because -as we can see in our society- … many, even Christians or Catholics ignore Christ, or prefer not to know Him. Ask please one of your relatives or friends a sincere a serious question: “Who is Jesus Christ for you?” … and in many cases the only answer -you will get- will be an embarrassment or an awkward smile of discomfort. They are Christians, they are Catholics …. But the question is awkward … isn’t it?

And if I ask you the same question, what will be your answer? Not a catechetical or neutral "smooth" answer but your personal, the most private, the most secret and most individual answer: “Who is Jesus Christ for me, here and now?

I must decide -as someone has suggested- whether I am His disciple or just only His fan.

If I declare myself a disciple of Christ I have to know that the word disciple comes the word discipline … and it means that as a disciple I suppose to follow the discipline of Christ.

As a disciple I have to understand directly the words:

If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

We must decide eventually WHO IS JESUS CHRIST FOR ME. If my answer is the same as St. Peter's, I have to do something with it and not just pretend that I know Jesus and that I am His disciple.

And this has to be absolutely clear. Otherwise I am creating an idol who has nothing to do with and objective and Almighty God, I am creating my home-made religion and the value of this home-made religion is the same as the value of the home-made currency.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

some biblical quotations

(Letter to the Hebrews 4;12-13)
The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts.
No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.

(2 Letter to Timothy 4:1-5)

Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I charge you, in the name of his appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, give encouragement -- but do all with patience and with care to instruct.
The time is sure to come when people will not accept sound teaching, but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths. But you must keep steady all the time; put up with suffering; do the work of preaching the gospel; fulfill the service asked of you.
(Ezekiel 3:17-21)
'Son of man, I have appointed you as watchman for the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them from me.
If I say to someone wicked, "You will die," and you do not warn this person; if you do not speak to warn someone wicked to renounce evil and so save his life, it is the wicked person who will die for the guilt, but I shall hold you responsible for that death.
If, however, you do warn someone wicked who then fails to renounce wickedness and evil ways, the wicked person will die for the guilt, but you yourself will have saved your life.
When someone upright renounces uprightness to do evil and I set a trap for him, it is he who will die; since you failed to warn him, he will die for his guilt, and the uprightness he practiced will no longer be remembered; but I shall hold you responsible for his death.
If, however, you warn someone upright not to sin and this person does not sin, such a one will live, thanks to your warning, and you too will have saved your life.'

Monday, June 17, 2013

From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr

(Nn. 4-6: CSEL 3, 268-270)

Let your prayer come from a humble heart

When we pray, our words should be calm, modest and disciplined. Let us reflect that we are standing before God. We should please him both by our bodily posture and the manner of our speech. It is characteristic of the vulgar to shout and make a noise, not those who are modest. On the contrary, they should employ a quiet tone in their prayer.

Moreover, in the course of this teaching, the Lord instructed us to pray in secret. Hidden and secluded places, even our own rooms, give witness to our belief that God is present everywhere; that he sees and hears all; that in the fullness of his majesty, he penetrates hidden and secret places. This is the teaching of Jeremiah: Am I God when I am near, and not God when I am far away? Can anyone hide in a dark corner without my seeing him? Do I not fill heaven and earth? Another passage of Scripture says: The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing both good and wicked men.

The same modesty and discipline should characterize our liturgical prayer as well. When we gather to celebrate the divine mysteries with God’s priest, we should not express our prayer in unruly words; the petition that should be made to God with moderation is not to be shouted out noisily and verbosely. For God hears our heart not our voice. He sees our thoughts; he is not to be shouted at. The Lord showed us this when he asked: Why do you think evil in your hearts? The book of Revelation testifies to this also: And all the churches shall know that I am the one who searches the heart and the desires.

Anna maintained this rule; in her observance of it she is an image of the Church. In the First Book of Kings we are told that she prayed quietly and modestly to God in the recesses of her heart. Her prayer was secret but her faith was evident. She did not pray with her voice, but with her heart, for she knew that in this way the Lord would hear her. She prayed with faith and obtained what she sought. Scripture makes this clear in the words: She was speaking in her heart; her lips were moving but her voice could not be heard; and the Lord heard her prayer. The psalmist also reminds us: Commune within your own hearts, and in the privacy of your room express your remorse. This is the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Through Jeremiah he suggests this: Say in your hearts: Lord, it is you that we have to worship.

My friends, anyone who worships should remember the way in which the tax-collector prayed in the temple alongside the Pharisee. He did not raise his eyes immodestly to heaven or lift up his hands arrogantly. Instead he struck his breast and confessing the sins hidden within his heart he implored the assistance of God’s mercy. While the Pharisee was pleased with himself, the tax-collector deserved to be cleansed much more because of the manner in which he prayed. For he did not place his hope of salvation in the certainty of his own innocence; indeed, no one is innocent. Rather he prayed humbly, confessing his sins. And the Lord who forgives the lowly heard his prayer.

Cohabitation Ceremony ...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – “C”

In today's Gospel from Luke Chapter 7 we are told about the encounter between Jesus and a woman who was a sinner. This takes place in the house of a Pharisee. Jesus has been invited to come and eat with the Pharisee.


The woman of the city, this sinner, has heard that Jesus was eating in the Pharisee's house. So she enters the house and kneels at the feet of Jesus. Weeping, she begins to bathe His feet with her tears and drying His feet with her hair. Then kissing His feet she anoints them with an alabaster jar of ointment.


We can imagine the reaction of the self-righteous Pharisee. He is shocked! How can this woman, who is well known as a sinner dare to touch Jesus? Doesn't Jesus know who she is? If she touches Him then Jesus would be ritually unclean.


Jesus responds by telling a simple story of two debtors, of whom one was forgiven a very small debt and the other was forgiven a very large one. Jesus puts a question to the Pharisee as to which of these two debtors was more grateful, the one who was forgiven little or the one who was forgiven the greater debt?


The point of the parable is that forgiveness always brings the loving response that we call gratitude, and that obviously the more generous the forgiveness is the more intense the response is likely to be. Jesus now applies this lesson to the woman and the Pharisee. The Pharisee gave Jesus no water to wash His feet, whereas the woman bathed His feet in her tears and dried them with her hair. The Pharisee gave Jesus no kiss, but the woman from the time she came in, she has not stopped kissing Jesus' feet. The Pharisee did not anoint Jesus' head with oil, however, the woman anointed His feet.


Jesus said “Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; because she has shown great love.” “ Woman, your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace”


What Jesus was saying to the Pharisee was that this woman, despite her sinful past, was much closer to God than the Pharisee was, because she was able to recognize her sinfulness and the necessity of God’s mercy.


Today's first reading tells us about God's prophet Nathan confronting David for adultery and murder.

David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, and then engineered the death of her husband so that he might continue his relationship with Bathsheba. David did what displeased the Lord. David, after being abundantly blessed by God, went from neglect of duty, to lust, to adultery, to deceit, to treachery, to conspiracy, and finally to murder.


Upon being confronted by God’s prophet Nathan, David, sincerely and humbly confesses his guilt. David is profoundly repentant, and having confessed his sin to Nathan with the result that the Lord forgives his sinfulness, and remits the worst, though not all of his punishment.


The entire story is both a severe warning to human pride and, at the same time, a gracious assurance of the availability of divine mercy to those repentant sinners who sincerely confess their sins.


This is the classic Old Testament statement of the pattern of self-examination in the light of God's law. Examination was followed by confession of the sin as an offense against God.


It concludes with the confessor's declaration that because of the person’s repentance and confession - God has put away the sin.


Nathan tells David that God has put away his sin – he is forgiven his sins. However, God tells David through Nathan that there is still a debt to pay even though his sins are forgiven – the Lord tells him that because of his sin – “the sword shall never depart from your house.” The damage must be repaired.


As it was in the Old Testament so it is today. We follow basically the same process when we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Sacrament of Confession. The Sacrament of Reconciliation given to us by Jesus consists of examination of conscience beforehand, an act of repentance, confession of sins to Jesus through the priest, with the intention to make reparation. The priest then gives us absolution and our sins are taken away and we leave to do whatever penance we have been assigned.


Like David, God has forgiven our sins through the action of the priest and like David we are assigned a penance. Remember, even though David’s sins are forgiven, God told him there is still a price to pay and he is told “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised Me”. Even though God has forgiven David’s sin God still assigns him a punishment – a penance if you will. Why?


Because the reality of God’s Mercy is always connected to the reality of Justice. We really don’t have trueMercy without justice.


The forgiveness of sins is the sign of God’s Mercy but the penance assigned is the expression of God’s Justice. God is a merciful but just God.


God is not vengeful and unforgiving, but the damage caused by sin must be repaired, because the structure of God’s good creation was damaged.


This penance that we have been assigned by the priest of course is only symbolic in that it could never make reparation for our sins. Only Jesus Christ can do that. Jesus came to pay for our sins. We could never pay the price. Only Jesus can.


We are not able to repair the damages caused by our sins since we have sinned against Almighty God, so only the Son of God, the Omnipotent and creative Word of God can “make everything new”, only Christ can re-create the nature broken by our sins.


However, it is not possible to do this without our participation. And this is the sense of the penance we receive in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Sacrament of Confession.


This penance allows us to participate in the reparation made by Christ. That is mercy. That is justice.


And what is the reaction of the repentant person whose sins are forgiven? Today’s responsorial psalm tells us about the joy we should feel in our hearts after we have sincerely confessed our sins to the priest and been given absolution – the assurance that God has heard our plea and forgiven our sins.


Psalm 32 tells us about the joy of those whose sins are forgiven, who have confessed their transgressions to the Lord and were forgiven the guilt of their sins and now they find their refuge in the Lord.


“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven whose sin is covered. Blessed is the one to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit. I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not hide my iniquity; I said “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and you forgave the guilt of my sin.


Did David confess his sins directly to the Lord or did David confess his sins to God through God’s representative, Nathan. What does Scripture say? Scripture is very clear. David said to Nathan “I have sinned against the Lord” and then Nathan said to David “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die”.


In hearing the words of absolution with our own ears from God’s minister, the priest in the confessional - we have the wonderful assurance that God has heard our confession and taken away our sin. God’s knows human nature – He knows of our need to be assured of forgiveness, He knows what comfort it will be to hear those words of forgiveness.


That is why we confess our sins to God’s minister a priest, because according to Holy Scripture that’s the way God wants it to be. That is why the Lord instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So that we might mysteriously participate in Christ’s redemptive action, be forgiven our transgressions and know that we are forgiven when we hear the words of forgiveness and receive our assigned penance.


God does not want to condemn us but rather to give us the opportunity to receive His forgiveness.


In his book “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” the late Great Pope John Paul II wrote and I quote:


“…convincing the world of the existence of sin is not the same as condemning it for sinning.” God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." Convincing the world of sin means creating the conditions for its salvation. Awareness of our own sinfulness, including that which is inherited, is the first condition for salvation; the next is the confession of this sin before God, who desires only to receive this confession so that He can save man. To save means to embrace and lift up with redemptive love, with love that is always greater than any sin.” Unquote.


We have a choice. We can be like the Pharisee who obviously felt he had no need for forgiveness maybe because he felt he had no sin. Or, we can be like the woman in the Gospel, humbly acknowledging our sinfulness.


David confessed his sin to God’s representative, the prophet Nathan. That is how God wanted David to be forgiven – through the actions and words of His minister Nathan. God’s prophet Nathan spoke to David. David acknowledged his sin to Nathan.


If it was not for that encounter with Nathan, David would never have known for sure that God had forgiven him and that God required more from him namely “that the sword should never leave his house”?


In today’s Scripture readings Jesus places a challenge before us.


God did not speak directly to David but rather spoke to him through His minister Nathan.

God does not speak directly to us either but rather speaks to us through His minister the priest.


And that is the challenge the Lord gives us today.


Do we want to hear with our own ears the words of words of Jesus “Go in peace, your sins are forgiven.”

When was the last time we heard the words of forgiveness spoken to us in the confessional?


God bless you.

Deacon Bernie Ouellette


11th Sunday - 2013

Her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has been shown great love. 
Again love has prevailed.

This woman had great courage. Surely, she was aware that by coming to Jesus, He could have ignored her and shown disdain.

However, she wanted to change her life but even more she wanted to taste true love and forgiveness.
Full of tears of desire flooded her eyes when she met the warm eyes of Jesus. Everything changed.
She suddenly saw that someone respected her as a human being and looked at her with love. She saw that she had a chance to begin again.
She desired forgiveness and waited for Jesus' words -"Your sins are forgiven".

Love and forgiveness is the central theme of actions of God.
This theme should also be the goal for Christians.

Why forgive?
Because forgiveness brings peace and agreement. It brings joy to the heart of the one who is forgiving and greater joy to the heart of the one who is forgiven.
God loves us and He is still forgiving.

We cannot speak of true love until we forgive.

Until we learn this our heart will  be open only to someone. It will never be an open and loving heart.

It will be hard if partially closed growing in aversion, suspicion, jealousy, and even a desire for revenge.
It will be a restless heart, not peaceful because we cannot love God and hate man.

Today, we can come to Christ, crying or weeping and touch His feet and ask for His forgiveness.

Let us pray also for His love to transform us and give us the courage and strength to forgive.

 Fr. Tom

Friday, June 14, 2013

Do I trust God?

The more you trust God the more you will be given out of His bounty and His love. He is THE GIVER an He is a very generous Giver, He loves to give and He is giving even Himself in the Sacramnet of the Body and Blood. He is the Generous Giver and the most precious Gift. And you will never be able to embrace the generosity and the beauty of this Gift. The whole eternity will be not enough to reach the end of this Gift.

But once you stop to trust, once you start to trust yourself or anything, or anybody else .... He retires because He cannot compete with any other things or person, who is only His creation. There is no competition between the Creator and the creation. So the basic attitude toward God is the attitude of full, absolute trustfulness, childlike attitude of trust, honesty and faith.

Unhappily so many people even Catholics are rejecting this attitude because of the mentality of "immediate gratification", or selfishness ...  They don't trust God, because they cannot reject the substitutes of happiness, the ersatz of good, the apparences of value.

And this is why they are not able to receive all the treasures God prepared for them because their heart is full of junk, and there is no place for God's far more precious gifts.

And this is the sad, very sad reality of so many contemporary people. They are running and searching and they are constantly unhappy, non satisfied, restless and they don't know why ...
What is blocking any kind of help is the boastful attitude of pride expressed in the conviction "I know better what is good and what is not good for me. Even God will not dictate me what is good and what is evil!" 

This is a kind of self condemnation, because even God is not able to pierce,to penetrate this kind of shield ...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Church of Jesus Christ ...

Catholic Church will certainly stay true to its faith because it is (or she is) protected by the Holy Spirit !!!! and the promise of the Lord that the gates of Hell will not prevail.
What doesn't necessarily mean that all members of the Church will stay true ...
Sadly we can rather notice the opposite process in certain areas of the world. But it is only a question or problem of a part of the Church and not of the whole Church.

We have rather to pray so that those who are going astray can convert and repent. Or maybe for those who are faithful so they don't abandon the true faith and Jesus Christ … and be strengthened.
But the Church as such will certainly not abandon the Lord even if it should be only a few faithful disciples.

For me what is going on now is not the warning for the Church but rather the warning for those who try to manipulate the Church according to their caprices.
This is rather the process of "sifting the chaff" …

Those who are capable of understanding and (more important) of accepting it will have no problem. But what is the most difficult is the fact that this demands the simplicity of heart and absolute trustfulness to the Lord, what isn’t necessary the attitude of our contemporaries …

And this is the saddest reality … that so many Catholics were misguided for so many years (and they are constantly misguided in many parishes) that it is extremely difficult to convince them that they are on the slippery slope …
Every time you try to show them this dangerous situation you are accused of fanaticism, fundamentalism, negativism, rudeness, impoliteness etc.
But that don't understand because they are stubbornly persisting in their errors, accusing God and not themselves ...