Sunday, January 28, 2018
Thanks for your prayers! I am deeply moved by your support! At the Center for Morton's Neuroma, I received a radiofrequency ablation and a PRP treatment. There is some hope that this will decrease pain and enable me to sleep at night. The doctors at the Center also questioned whether I am suffering from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. They advised me to see a neurologist to be properly tested. If this is my correct diagnosis, treatment can begin immediately. Please keep the prayers coming!
The movie “American Sniper” is the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy Seal and the most lethal sniper in US history.
Early in the film, Chris Kyle’s Dad tells him – there are three types of people in the world:
- Evil wolves that threaten the sheep.
- The sheep who are good people, but they can be harmed because they don’t understand about the existence of evil.
- The sheepdogs that protect the sheep.
Chris Kyle knew that evil is for real. He understood himself to be a sheepdog. He is out to protect the sheep and his fellow soldiers.
Sheepdogs are not the only ones protecting the sheep! There are also shepherds! Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He cares for the sheep as well. He also understands that evil is real! But, He wages a different kind of battle against evil – a spiritual battle – which is even more important!
Man with unclean spirit enters the synagogue: unclean spirit: something out of place in the spiritual sense, not in order, something opposed to the holy.
Cries out “What have you to do with us?” Plural is frightening. Trinity = unity Evil = disunity.
Jesus says “Quiet! Come out of the man!”
What are we to think of this in our modern world of medicine and psychology?
Can’t this be explained just as a healing of an illness? Clearly many times yes, but not always.
I have done enough spiritual counseling to see the effects of evil in people’s lives. The presence of evil is real and can sometimes overtake people.
We see evil at work today:
- when young gymnasts are taken advantage of by a trusted doctor
- when women come forward to say “Me Too” that men have used their power in evil ways.
- In the use of drugs that are supposed to help people that end up taking over their lives.
- When fake news is used to destroy people reputations.
This is all the work of the evil one!!!
Pope Francis speaks about the evil one quite often. He says there is no shadow of a doubt – a battle exists in which the eternal salvation of us all is at stake!
1) “Salus Animarum Suprema Lex” What can be more important than eternal life or the loss of it? Protect our souls. Stay away from people or things that can threaten us!
2) King Philip sent a note to John about his brother, Richard the Lionheart: “Look to yourself. The devil is loose!” Fight against complacency: watch ourselves and guard our hearts. Make a Daily examination of conscience.
3) Fight against worldliness – living the way of the world. Live the way God truly wants us to!
4) Fight against hate, anger and bitterness – all come from the evil one. Never hate but serve others. Pray and live in joy.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd has entered the struggle against evil. Never forget this, in the words of Pope Francis: “God is stronger! God is stronger!” So, may God give us the grace to turn away from evil and live only in the Light!!!!
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Sunday, January 21, 2018
After five podiatrists and two surgeries, I am still experiencing debilitating foot pain. I have been accepted as a patient at the Center for Morton's Neuroma in Framingham, MA. I will be spending time at the Center this Wednesday and Thursday (my appointment was moved up!) Please pray that they may find the cause of the pain and apply some remedy. Thanks so much!
NFL Championship Games are here – Philadelphia vs Minnesota & Jacksonville vs New England (again New England)
People will be doing a lot of praying! Especially for Tom Brady’s hand! Ok to Minny to pray after their miracle? Yes. Of course – no public prayers before games – and athletes usually pray they do well and won’t get hurt.
Surveys taken 2 years ago reveal that a lot of praying is going on before the Super Bowl: 26 % of American pray to God to help their team - 23 % believe their team is cursed! No more Cubs or Red Sox Fans!
31 % of Catholics & 45 % of Protestants believe: God plays a role in determining the winner of a sporting event!
65 % of Catholics believe that God rewards faithful athletes. Wow!
This is how God works? What happens if a faithful athlete loses? He didn’t pray enough?
Website “Open Doors” says that: Each month 322 Christian are killed because of their faith 214 Christian Churches and properties are destroyed 772 forms of violence are committed against Christians. Worst country – North Korea – followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan & Pakistan.
They did not have faith????
I remember my Dad one year before death – his health was getting worse – Michael: what did I do? Did I do something wrong? This was a faithful, good man who went to daily Mass after he retired. Broke my heart - no, dad, you just got old! Since when does having faith mean bad things do not happen? What about the Cross?
Young priest was talking with a group of old priests like me. Would you do it all over again?
He said: The expected answer is YES
The Question is WHY?
Not because I had good support from other priests -
Not because I met so many wonderful people -
Not because everything went well: IT DID NOT ALWAYS GO WELL! -
Not because it was an easy life: IT WAS GOOD BUT LIKE MOST PEOPLE, NOT EASY. (Or else our seminaries would be full!)
WHY? – because somehow God worked through me! - CALLED!!!!
I was used for good –
somehow my life made a difference -
despite sometimes lousy homilies or not best advice –
yet God was at work.
I Wonder – would Andrew, Peter, James and John done it all over again? – said yes and followed? – nothing like they thought – yet they were used for good
How about Mary? - do it all over again?
Faith does not mean things will always go our way – but that God will always be there – and if we cooperate with His grace – God can use us for good!!!!
So, who will win games today? God knows (which does not mean he fixed it!) May the best teams win!