Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Battling Forgiveness

This weekend I enjoyed a much needed sacrament of confession. I've had a couple of things that were weighing very heavily on me. The biggest was forgiveness -- a gift and a curse so to speak.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cheering Your Favorite Team -- An Observation

At Mass last weekend I was not really aware of what I was wearing but apparently others were. It was very interesting to see the faces of those that actually noticed.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Benedictus Deus catholicus sum nunc!

God be praised, I'm Catholic now!

Well, okay it was on Easter that I was officially Confirmed and my family and I have been so very busy with things I haven't had a chance to update things. Allow me to give you the overview.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prayer in Discouragement

My family and I have been a bit of a punching bag of late on all sides. Today, God spoke through a silly little post on Facebook. It spoke to me, found me in my dark place and helped. Hopefully this post will find and help you as well.

God bless.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My 2014 Patrons Feast Day -- St. Joseph

Today is the feast day of my patron for 2014. As the "step-dad" of Jesus, his was a unique choice for me this year. To be certain, St. Joseph actually has TWO feast days but I tend to lean towards this one focusing more on the fatherly aspect.
Jesus and Joseph in the workshop

Having chosen Saint Joseph, I was aligning myself with him on several levels. Firstly, as a step-father to four children, I understand and know that relationship he must have shared with Jesus. It's an oddly weird place to be. You are provider, and male role-model but there's an odd sort of detachment as well. Sure the kids love and expect you to be there, but it's likely that the real feelings will never be know (at least while you are living). It's a limbo that you come to accept. I didn't become step-dad for that accolade, but more inspite of.

Next you have the birth of my daughter. To her I'm dad (or will be she is only a few months old). As Jesus was all human and all God, I'd be willing to guess that he felt a great attraction to his earthly father as well. Can you imagine what it must have been in Joseph's carpentry shop when he was teaching Jesus? Did Jesus learn this way or did he already know and just allow the process to unfold? It's an interesting series that I've thought about from time to time. Certainly, I've related to that when most of my kids have come to me having already been "taught". Thankfully they have humored their stepdad from time to time. God gifted us with my own offspring so I can screw that up all on my own.

Lastly, with St. Joseph as my 2014 patron saint, I've tried to live up to the "upright" portion of Joseph's character. Being a good, loving, self-less, father figure to all of my children much less those I meet on the street. Thus by doing so I've also captured what I believe Pope Francis was trying to get us to become -- outward beacons of inward love and joy.

So today, as we celebrate the step-dad of Jesus, those of us that happen to be lucky enough to be step-fathers and fathers take a minute to think about St. Joseph and how he lived and accepted things that certainly could have turned out much different. Think about how, by accepting your own step-father status, how you have come to accept a great responsibility from God as well. Be a father to all your children, birthed and prefab.

Let us pray:

Oh St. Joseph, 
whose protection is so great, 
so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, 
I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph, 

do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; 
so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, 

I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. 
I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. 
Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. 
St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

My 2014 Revolutions!

Okay, I know it's supposed to be resolutions and yes I'm totally taking my joke from that AT&T commercial. That said it seemed to fit and after decades of failed resolutions (mostly related to consistent exercise) I really wanted to have a spiritual revolution for myself this year. I'm all fire and brimstone excited about my journey in the Catholic faith.

So what are my revolutions. Well, the first is pretty standard, at least for me. As I've mentioned in my post last year, I have my patron saint. I also have one that I pick every year (either at random or choice). Originally my idea was to have it be random to learn about a new saint however this year I picked. This year my "additional" saint is St. Joseph, Step-dad to Jesus. It seemed to me very appropriate since I'm a new "real" dad as well as perpetual step-father to my other four children. It seemed like a good fit and I wanted to explore more this known yet vaguely mysterious dad.

My second revolution is to learn more about the core of my new faith. It just so happens that my prayer to learn more was answered. On my twitter feed I happened to notice a post that explicitly focuses on learning and reading both the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I thought that this would do two things for me. First, I'd have my dedicated bible study for the next year, but also it allowed me to daily take bite size chunks out of the catechism.
The guide was created by the Coming Home Network. The guide is very simple. Three different readings in the Divine Scriptures, and a section of the Catechism. That's it. That simple. As nearly a life-long Christian I find myself woefully over confident on my understanding of the faith. Certainly my conversion has helped tone that down a bit, but as a self-professed bible-thumper it's really hard not falling back into that "more holy than thou art" attitude. That's something I've really been trying to keep from having come home to the Catholic Church. I want to be as universal and accepting as I felt the church was for me.

Anyway, tonight is #7 and I'm a week in and keeping things going. Pray for me and my continued quest for learning our faith and growing stronger in Christ.

Happy New Year everyone!