Monday, July 30, 2012

Reflecting on and with the Eucharist

The video is a little shaky at first, but it gets better about 30 seconds in (I guess it's part of the process of adjusting to video). Also, I realized after the 8:30 Mass that my microphone was not working for the first half of my homily, so I hope that this video helps you make sense of the second half of my homily that you heard. Of course in the homily I gave you some homework and to make it easier for you to complete your homework, here is a link to John 6.  Also, make sure to spend some time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and see how much more you will fall in love in God.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Faithfully Yours: Discover Natural Family Planning

Throughout the year the United States Catholic Council of Bishops (USCCB) has certain awareness weeks (by the way the USCCB is not just made up of Bishops, but is made up of many priests, religious, and mostly lay people who work on the staff). Anyways, some weeks it is vocation awareness week or Catholic Schools week, etc. Well, this week it is Natural Family Planning Awareness week. Maybe you are aware of this because there were some articles in the Catholic Spirit about it, but chances are you read about it and didn’t think much about it. However, when I was reading the Catholic Spirit I was very impressed with an article written by Stacia Poeschl about her and her husband’s experience with practicing NFP. I will not go into the details of the story, but it is definitely worth a read and you can find it right here. The USCCB also has some testimonials from couples about their experience with NFP, and you can find them here.
In all of these stories the thing that seems to be the main message is how NFP has helped the couples fall even more in love with each other, and also how it is not a burden, but rather a gift for their marriage. The reason why this is the week for NFP awareness is because today, July 25th, is the 44th anniversary of Humanae Vitae which articulates Catholic beliefs about sexuality. Also, tomorrow, July 26th, is the memorial of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. So, if you have time take a look at some of these articles and also thank God for the gift of human life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Following the Good Shepherd

With some help from Terry Carter and his son Bret I was able to have my homily from this past weekend video recorded, so thank you Terry and Bret.
As for the homily itself I think that it goes without saying that we should keep the victims and the families of the victims of the shooting in Colorado in our prayers. What we need to do is go to the Good Shepherd and let him guide us. God is there for us, and what we need to do is to turn to him and let him guide us in all times, good and bad.
Also, here is the audio recording of my homily. However, with the video option I am considering dropping the audio. So, if anyone out there really wants me to continue with the audio only option let me know, otherwise I will go to straight video.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Pack Lightly

This past weekend some of my family came out to St. Ambrose for the first time to see the church and also see the rectory, which they were very impressed with. They were also able to go to Mass, and listen to my homily without the people around them knowing who they were. Anyways, at the end of the homily I guess a husband sitting behind them said to his wife that my homily has inspired him to clean the garage. Now this is great, but this should not be the only message from the homily. I also hope that people will be inspired to get rid of any unhealthy attachments that they may have as well. This is a lot harder than cleaning out a garage, but it is definitely worth it. Here is my homily from this past weekend. I have decided to include two different players to play the homily, so hopefully those with Apple products can listen to the homily as well.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This past weekend I decided to switch things up a little and preach on the second reading instead of the Gospel. This reading from Paul I believe speaks volumes to us, especially for those who feel like they can't take anymore. It is important to remember that God will provide the grace that we need to make it through, or as God said to Paul "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness" 2 Cor. 12: 9. Like I mentioned in the homily (I think) instead of blaming God for the people in our life that sometimes just drive us crazy, let's thank God for them, because what they are doing is helping us grow stronger in Christ. So, this week let's be thankful, and I guarantee that all of us (including me) will be amazed at how much God does provide for us. Here is my homily from this past weekend if you want to listen to it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just Have Faith

What an awesome Gospel we had this past weekend, all about faith. I misquoted the Scripture passage in my homily at the end, the verse is from Mark 5:36, not Matthew. In case you wanted to listen to my homily about the importance of building up our faith here it is:

As I mentioned at the end of Mass I believe that there are many resources out there for us to build up our faith. As for books of course there is the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The United States Catholic Council of Bishops (USCCB) website just put together the Catechism online, and here is the link to this great resource. I also decided to make a video about some of the print options that we have as resources, so here is that video:

As for websites, there are so many that can help us out in our faith, but here are a couple that I think one should be aware of. I already mentioned the USCCB, but it is worth mentioning again. They have the daily readings available as well as daily reflections on the readings, and you can find them here. Of course the Vatican has a website, and here is that link. However, they also have another website that is meant to be more interactive, and here is the link to that website.

I also recommend a website called Catholics Come Home. This website is meant to inspire Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I have found that they have many resources available, as well as many question and answer sections. They also have some great testimonials of people who have come back to the Catholic Church, which will surely inspire you. 

A website that everyone should have bookmarked is their parish website. Now I still believe in the importance of a bulletin, but more and more the parish website is being used to promote parish events, so it is good to check in at least once a week with the parish website. Of course here is the link to St. Ambrose, now just make sure to bookmark it. Also, if you are part of the great Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis make sure to bookmark the Catholic Spirit Website.

Now there are so many other websites that I could mention, but I think it is worth you exploring on your own. However, I would caution you that there are some websites and blogs out there that tend to promote certain views of the Church Universal which are not actually teachings of the Church. So, just make sure to be careful when you are searching, and make sure that the websites and books that you are looking at stay true to the tradition of the Church.

So the only things for you to do now is to actually go and look up some of these resources and learn more about God. What is greater than this? I would say nothing, because we are learning about a God who loves us and wants to have a relationship with us!!!