Prayer

Stormy Seas and Seawalking

bicycle riding, learning, parents, training wheels

I laughed when St. Peter's sinking

into the stormy waves

reminded me of learning

To ride a bike.

For my first brief solo flights

without training wheels, 

I was fine until I realized

Dad wasn’t holding on anymore.

And then...crash...right into the hedges!

 

 

This gospel is wonderful encouragement

as we strive to follow Jesus.

First, encouragement not to lose faith

For it is then we begin to sink.

       There’s a point at which

       All the books about prayer

       Can’t teach us to pray

       If we don’t begin to pray

       And then stop worrying

       If we’re doing it right.

Second, reassurance

That if we’re heading

In the right direction...toward Jesus

And following his commands

He won’t let us sink.

 

St. Augustine preached

A wonderful homily

On this gospel

On which we can reflect

After we realize that

Augustine asks us

To make, “Lord, I’m sinking.”

Is not always easy to admit.

But we need not keep

Up a bravado with God - 

A false front of security

And calm, even if done

For the sake of others.

God doesn’t require it.

You are not walking on the lake like Peter
but on another sea, for this world is a sea;
Trials its waves, temptations its storms,
and men devouring each other as fishes do.
Don't be afraid, step out stoutly lest you sink.
When the gale blows and the waves rise,
and your weakness makes you fear you will be lost,
cry out, 'Lord, I am sinking,'
and he who bade you walk will not let you perish.

St. Augustine via At The Edge of the Enclosure a wonderful resource for prayerful reflection on Scripture each Sunday.


Could St. Clare Watch Television With You?

TvPope Pius XII named St Clare, virgin and abbess,  patron saint of television due to her reported ability to "watch" mass on the wall of her room when she was unable to attend in the chapel due to illness. She had one of the earliest big screen televisions?

Her radical commitment to poverty, chaste living and prayer, especially in the Eucharist are counter-cultural images to our age of acquisition, sexual promiscuity and self-deification. 

Could we invite her to watch the television images we project on our walls?

 


Enough? Enough!

Loaves and Fishes

Many times we find ourselves asking the question, "Enough?"

If we fall under the spell of modern advertisers our answer is certainly "no." We become convinced no one can never have enough money or popularity or youth or time. When we find ourselves in this state of worry, the tone my parents used to signal an end to family bickering is appropriate - "Enough."

In prayer, we might approach God with an earnest plea for help or courage or assistance in carrying out a project, dealing with a difficulty or using a blessing. "Enough?"

Whatever the circumstance, God's grace is sufficient. There is enough mercy, enough love. God's gentle, reassuring answer through Christ,  "Enough!"


Parish Day of Recollection in Advent - December 5th at Saint Alfonso Retreat House

Save the date:                                         

Tuesday, December 5th    9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Saint Alfonso Retreat House, West Long Branch

$ 35/person includes lunch and refreshments

Three Redemptorist priests will preach the retreat which concludes with Mass at 2:30 P.M.

Confession will be available.

 

 

                


Art, Film, Faith and Prayer

ImageImage Journal is always an interesting collection of prose, poetry and art, but the summer issue deals with film, specifically life changing, meaningful film

It's not specifically Christian, so there are the usual articles against hierarchical and organized religion, but these are occasional and can usually be avoided easily should the reader choose. 

In the summer film issue, notable writers and directors give their recommendations for must-see films of faith. Even reading the story lines of the recommended movies gives much food for thought.

 

 

 

 

 

  Film
For Christian reviews and recommendations, check out Josh Larsen's Movies are Prayers or visit a website he edits, Think Christian . Larsen's reviews are insightful and in the spirit of mainstream Christian thinking.
Think


Life, Marriage, Religious Liberty Are Threatened

Ctp-2-350x250The US Bishops have re-issued a call to American Catholics to pray and fast on Fridays for the protection of all human life, religious liberty and the dignity of marriage and the sacrament of matrimony.

One suggestion is to abstain from eating meat on Fridays (just like the olden days). 

Holy Hours, rosaries and specific times for family prayer, e.g. around the shared table are other worthy suggestions. 

Visit their website for other suggestions: 

 

Bishops Call To Prayer for Life Marriage and Religious Liberty


Join In A Holy Hour This "First Thursday" 6:00 PM until 7:00 PM

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Join us for all or part of the Holy Hour on this coming Thursday, the vigil of First Friday. Since Jesus' Gethsemane prayer, this is a day of prayer for reparation and mercy and watchful waiting with our Lord. 

It will be a quiet hour of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for those who choose to wait and watch with the Lord.

6:00 PM until 7:00 PM


Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacredheart
Our novena prayers to the Sacred Heart culminate in the solemnity of today's celebration.

Every pope in modern times has affirmed devotion to the Sacred Heart, an idea which when it was first introduced to the church after almost one hundred centuries seemed strange to some. It is difficult to trace the roots to the devotion, but some feel it began with the piety surrounding the wounds of Christ, of which his wounded heart always held primacy. It was His last; it was His deepest. Critics of the devotion thought that reverence to a body part, especially a human body part of Christ denied his full divinity and was akin to some practices in nature worship. Many Protestants and even Eastern Orthodox Christians avoid this devotion. 

There is a long list of saints and blessed who promoted the devotion, including the Jesuit and Dominican orders themselves. Most famously perhaps, the revelations of St. Mary Mary Alacoque popularized the devotion and popes, especially since Pius XI have written about it, grounding devotion to the Sacred Heart on solid theological and ecclesial footings. Saint Pope John Paul II's writings are particularly suited for the modern reader. 

At least two essential elements mark the devotion to the Sacred Heart: reparation and mercy. We cooperate with the reparation of sins by Jesus whenever we offer prayer and penance for the indifference or offenses of ourselves or others. We are also bathed in an endless font of mercy and forgiveness by the blood and water flowing in love from Christ's wounded side. 

 

 


Blessed Father's Day

 

Father

A Prayer for Christian Fathers

Heavenly Father,
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers
as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.

Amen.

 

It was great to see so many fathers and their families at mass today! God bless us all!


School Getting Ready To Dive Into Summer Vacation!

Diving_board_131981Today is a half-day of school and many classes will take the time not only to clean up their classrooms, but also to bid goodbye to our principal Mr. Bill Belluzzi. 

Our new principal, Dr. Mark DeMareo, will have his formal meeting with our faculty tomorrow on the last day of school.

Tomorrow is the official last-day-of-school starting off with our the last school mass of this academic year at 9:00 AM in the church. All parishioners are invited and we hope to see many parents there to give thanks to God for the blessings we received this past year and to ask God's protective care during the summer months.

 


Novena To The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

Sacred heartToday we began a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus initiating nine days of prayerful preparation before the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on June 23rd. It is celebrated on the date asked of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque during the apparitions to her of the Sacred Heart. 

The practice of novenas may originate from the Roman custom of honoring their dead for 9 days. Indeed, novenas of mourning are still one of the popular type of novena prayers - recall the novena published by the USCCB after the death of St. Pope John Paul II. But there are other types of novenas as well: preparation for a feast, prayers for specific intentions or to obtain indulgences.

We began praying the novena when St. Pope John Paul II designated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart as a day of worldwide prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. 

Join us in public prayer or private devotional prayer for the Catholic priesthood and our priests.

 

 


Second Monthly Fatima Prayer Indulgence

Tuesday, June 13th was the second monthly anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima indulgenced by Pope Francis. We prayed them after the 9:00 AM mass as a group, but our statue is exposed for veneration all day.

There is an interesting book on the challenges of crafting a statue according to the directions of Sister Lucia, the visionary who survived the longest, written by the priest-sculptor, Fr. Thomas McGlynn: Vision of Fatima  has been recently re-published. It gives good insight on the apparitions, Sister Lucia's personality and the variations in the public images of the apparitions.

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Praying the Rosary For America

Numerous intrepid prayers gathered despite the driving rain to pray the outdoor Rosary this past Saturday. 

They were able to seek some shelter from the rain under the school's porch and still remain visible to passers-by as a visible witness to the power of prayer, especially the Rosary.

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Pope Francis Grants Plenary Indulgence for Marian Fatima Devotions

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To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must fulfill the ordinary conditions: (1) go to Confession and Communion,(2)  be interiorly detached from sin, and (3) pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, usually the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be. 

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints (canon 992 and Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1471).”  A plenary indulgence is a complete remission of temporal punishment due to sins and is limited to one per day.

To the faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October 2017, and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary.  In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be exposed at Holy Cross Church in our sanctuary for public veneration beginning tomorrow, May 13th.

 


Principal Search Committee Convenes

Yesterday we held the organizational meeting of Holy Cross School Principal Search Committee. The members of the Search Committee are: 

Beth Camillone PTA Representative, Outgoing PTA President, School parent
Bruce Eagelson   Parishioner representative, Member School and Parish Finance Councils, Member Faith in our Future Core Committee
Dr. Chris Huss School parent, member Holy Cross School Board, Principal Millstone Township Middle School
Teresa Makin School Parent Representative, Public Relations Coordinator
Mrs. Carol Bathmann Principal, St. Dominic's School, Brick, New Jersey

 

 

Door

 

 

 Fr. Manning and Dr. Margaret Boland of the Catholic Schools Office in Trenton are ex officio members of the committee. 

Chris Huss has agreed to serve as Committee Chair and Teresa Makin as Secretary.

Advertisement for the position will be placed in media outlets next week. Deadline for receipt of applications is March 15 and the first round of interviews will be March 21 and 23.

Our first meeting was cordial, optimistic and mission-oriented. Please continue to pray for the right individual to lead Holy Cross School as principal to come forward.

Fr Manning