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So, tell me about yourself (How I hate that)


Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever sat down and plotted out a course of action for your current work position? I am sure many of you have and think nothing of it. But for me its one of the hardest things to do. There are two things I hate, one is having to write or talk about myself. In every ministry class or self-improvement class I have ever taken, that is almost always one of the first tasks. Call it what you like “selling yourself” “listing your gifts” or just bragging, what ever you want to call it, to me its hard and to tell the truth, some what silly. But, I know of many people who thrive on that, create the list even when they don’t have to, drop it into what ever they are saying or writing. Any chance to shine and they will.

I remember once, when I was part owner of a store, the three partners all happen to be at the store at the same time, and a salesman walked it. He was, as expected, extremely friendly and knew how to sell. He didn’t start off with”would you like to buy this” but rather with “So tell me a little about yourselves”. Very smart move, great way to open up a sales pitch. So I started with the basics, I was a youth minister and part owner of the store, partner number two, same thing, partner number three, had to mention every church they worked at, every school they even considered going to and every degree they might have even given a thought to. Her introduction, 10 min, mine and the other partner, maybe 2 minutes max.  The salesman, he really didn’t care, he was just hoping for an opening, and he found it, in partner number 3.

Why partner number 3, because he know that she would also be open to flattery. And with the power of flattery, her ego would be stroked and with her ego stroked, all reason and defenses would be out the window. Our only saving grace, I was the person in charger of purchasing all gift items, partner number 3 was in charge of the money and partner number 3, book. So we were safe, ego stroked or no stroke.

What does that have to do with stating your gifts or talents or what ever. To me its all about ego, and for anyone who has read my blogs over the years knows what I think about the ego, I have no use for it. Ego is Edging God Out, and is the root of all evil. I find no value in stroking your own ego, nor in having others stroke it for you. This has caused me many issues in the past, I have a hard time “selling’ myself, because I find it hard to talk about what I am capable to do, were my strengths lies, I am much more at ease talking about my deficits and what I lack.

My action plan for work is similar to this, I am being asked to define what I want, were I want to be and how I need to get there. This is a hard task for me. The issue is, I love what I do, but I am extremely unhappy in how it is done.

I am a technical instructor for a major PLM software, I write and deliver the course. I have been doing this for over 15 years, and must say I have gotten very good at it. Am I the best, depends on who you ask, am I the worst, same thing, depends on who you ask. I know I am good at what I do, and I also know I love what I do. But… Doing the same thing over and over and over can get to you. Fighting the same battles day in and day out gets old and feeling that you have no control over it, well that, to me, is the kicker. So this current task my company is asking for, my development plan, is suppose to help me achieve my goals. But what are my goals, were do I want to be in 6 month, one year or five years from now? Hard to say.

My interest is not software, I am not a programing nerd, I am a teacher that happens to teach software. I was lucky to walk into this job, allowing me to use what ever skills I may happen to have as a teacher, to teach software. I love the creative process of teaching and developing the courseware. But I would be just as happy teaching paper folding  as I am teaching software. In truth, I love to teach, plane and simple. So were do I go from here.

Do I decide its time to change gears, quit and find a new job teaching, giving up 15 years with the company, leaving my many friends and the comfort of what I know? Or do I find ways to make this work, stick it out and hope for the best? This is the dilemma, and this is why I hate having to do this.

The frustration is with myself and work, but more with myself. I understand and know, internally, that I have the power within me to fix it. I can accept it or not. If I accept it, than I have to stop the bitching about it, move on and keep on keeping on. If I decide to not accept it, than I have to fix it or leave. Either way accept or not, I have to get over it and move on.  And that is what this document represents to me, I have to decide what I want and articulate it in this document. And I don’t want to face it, I don’t want to think about it, but I am being forced to.

 

In away, I am feeling like Charlie Brown, I know I am unhappy, but I just don’t know why. I need my Linus,

Sometimes questions . “So, tell me about yourself”, “where do you see yourself in five years”, are questions you need to hear, even when we don’t like them. I know that this task set before me is driving me nuts, but I also know it is something that I have to face, sooner rather than later.

God Bless and Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Ego, Life, work

 

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Helping You Keep Your Lenten Commitments


Saint Luke Institute

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Welcome to Living Lent – Helping You Keep Your Lenten Commitments

I found this site, and thought it was cool.. It is set up for Young people, but hey, us old people need reminders also…

It’s easy, you enter your email address and or phone (I did both) and you you will get daily reminders about Lent, and a Friday reminder to not eat meet… What a simple and cool idea.

Here is the press release:


3/4/2011 – 9:17 AM PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY
Catholic PRWire

Diocese of Tulsa
TULSA, OK (March 4, 2011) – The Catholic Young Adults (CYA) in the Diocese of Tulsa are taking Lent to “Web 2.0” this year as they launch a new web service: LivingLent.org . The web service provides reminders and encouragement for users to help them keep up their Lenten sacrifices.
Although young adult Catholics made it, the service is open to everyone and would be specifically great for youth that are plugged into social networking.
Users can go to http://www.LivingLent.org , put in their email address (or cell phone for SMS text reminders), and select daily reminders and/or Friday reminders for them to abstain from meat. Each day, users either go to the site and click “recommit” or the reminder message will be sent at the time they specified.
About LivingLent.org
Visit http:www.LivingLent.org/aboutus.php
Email: help@livinglent.org
Call: Anthony Barber 918.740.2689 (LivingLent.org webmaster)
About Diocese of Tulsa CYA
Visit: http://DioceseOfTulsa.org/cya
Email: CatholicYoungAdults@gmail.com
Call: Joe Curry 281.725.8820 (CYA President)
Images:

Quotes:
“I could really use the Friday reminders… I usually remember after I start eating lunch.” Brent Rempe (CYA member)
“Hopefully users will see others keeping their Lenten commitments and will find the strength to keep their own.” (Joe Curry, CYA president, speaking about the front page, which shows a list of people who recently recommitted).
Additional Notes:
- The service is programmed not to send messages on Sundays or Feast days
- The main page displays the locations of users who recently recommitted to their Lenten sacrifice. Users can remain anonymous or share their name and what they are recommitting to.
- User suggested sacrifices are also displayed on the main page for people who struggle with what they should sacrifice.
- Links to Lenten resources (examination of conscience, Stations of the Cross, etc.) are also provided on the main page.

Contact:
Catholic Young Adults – Diocese of Tulsa
http://  OK, 74169 US
Anthony Barber – Secretary, -918.740.2689

Keywords:
Lent, sacrifices, young adult, youth, ministry, offering, commitment abstain, New Media, Web 2.0

Category:
Catholic Resources


God Bless

Paul

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Lent 2011: Are you ready for it?


Christ on the Cross cropped. Crop of old Mass ...

Image via Wikipedia

With Lent here, it’s a good time to ask the question, “Are you ready for it?” or an even better question, “Do you understand it?”

Lent is a complex time in the Church year, we are depriving ourselves, we are reminded of our mortality yet we are to be preparing for the Death and Resurrection of our Lord, a time of celebration….

Talk about emotions running the gamete… The high and lows of life are all put into the 40 days of Lent… We as Catholic/Christians are called to use this time as a time of renewal, a time to prepare for the new life, the new life in Christ.

It’s a time of sacrifice, a time to offer up to God. But many look at it as a time to stop eating candy or drinking pop. Yes they are sacrifice for many, but is that all we need to do?


(Source)

  1. Online Lenten ResourcesTake 30 minutes to pray, ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance, look over this activities list for the Season of Lent, and make a few practical Lenten resolutions. Be careful. If you try to do too much, you may not succeed in anything. If you need to get up early or stay up late to get the 30 minutes of quiet, do it. Turn off your phone and computer. Don’t put it off and don’t allow interruptions.
  2. During the Season of Lent, Get up earlier than anyone else in your house and spend your first 15 minutes of the day thanking God for the gift of life and offering your day to Him.
  3. Get to daily Mass.
  4. If you can’t do Mass daily, go to Mass on Fridays in addition to Sunday and thank Him for laying his life down for you. Maybe you can go another time or two as well.
  5. Spend at least 30 minutes in Eucharistic adoration at least one time during the week.
  6. Recover the Catholic tradition of making frequent visits to the Blessed sacrament throughout the week, even if it is only for 5 minutes.
  7. Get to confession at least once during the Season of Lent after making a good examination of conscience. If you are not sure why confession is important, get my CD “Who Needs Confession.
  8. In addition to the penance assigned by the priest, fulfill the conditions necessary for a plenary indulgence. You can learn about plenary indulgences from the official Handbook of Indulgences.
  9. Make a decision to read at least some Scripture every day. Starting with Today’s!
  10. Even if you can’t get to daily Mass during the Lenten Season, get a Daily Roman Missal or go visit the Crossroads Homepage for a link to the Daily Mass readings, and read these readings daily. During special seasons such as Lent, the Mass readings are thematically coordinated and make for a fantastic Bible study!
  11. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. You can buy a one volume edition or a full four volume edition. Or you can get it day by day online for free at www.universalis.com. Or you can subscribe to a monthly publication called the Magnificat that provides a few things from the liturgy of the hours together with the Mass readings of the day. The Magnificat is a great way to start learning the Liturgy of the Hours.
  12. Get to know the Fathers of the Church and read selections from them along with Scripture. Short selections from the Fathers writing on Lenten themes can be downloaded for free from the Lenten Library of our website at www.crossroadsintiative.com
  13. Make the Stations of the Cross each Friday of the Season of Lent either with a group or by yourself. If you have kids, bring them.
  14. Online Catholic Resources for LentPray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary often during Lent, especially on Friday and Wednesday. The glorious mysteries are especially appropriate on Sundays. Joyful and Luminous mysteries are great on other days.
  15. Purchase the Scriptural Rosary, which supplies you with a scripture verse to recite between each Hail Mary. This makes it easier to meditate on the mysteries. Another resource to deepen your understanding of the Rosary is my CD set “How Mary and the Rosary can Change Your Life.”
  16. If you’ve never done a family rosary, begin doing it. If starting with once a week, try Friday or Sunday. If it’s tough to start with a full five decades, try starting with one. Use the Scriptural Rosary and have a different person read each of the Scriptures between the Hail Mary’s. This gets everyone more involved.
  17. Make it a habit to stop at least five times a day, raise your heart and mind to God, and say a short prayer such as “Jesus, I love you,” or “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “Lord, I offer it up for you.”
  18. Pray each day for the intentions and health of the Holy Father.
  19. Pray each day for your bishop and all the bishops of the Catholic Church.
  20. Pray for your priests and deacons and for all priests and deacons.
  21. Pray for the millions of Christians suffering under persecution in various Muslim and Communist countries around the world such as the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Viet Nam, and North Korea.
  22. Pray for Christian unity, that there would be one flock and one shepherd.
  23. Pray for the evangelization of all those who have not yet heard and accepted the Good News about Jesus.
  24. Pray for your enemies. In fact, think of the person who has most hurt you or who most annoys you and spend several minutes each day thanking God for that person and asking God to bless him or her.
  25. Pray for an end to abortion on demand in the United States. Pray for pregnant women contemplating abortion.
  26. Pray for a just peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Holy Land and elsewhere. Pray for our troops and for others in harm’s way.
  27. Pray for an end to capital punishment. Pray for those on death row, and for the families of murder victims.
  28. Find a form of fasting that is appropriate for you, given your age, state of health, and state of life. Some fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some fast from sweets or alcohol throughout Lent. Some fast on one or more days per week from breakfast all the way to dinner, spending lunch hour in prayer or at noon Mass. Some cut out all snacks between meals. The money saved from not buying various things should be given to an apostolate or ministry serving the physically or spiritually poor.
  29. Prayer is like breathing – you have to do it continually. But sometimes you need to pause and take a very deep breath. That’s what a retreat is. Plan a retreat this Lent. It could be simply a half day, out in nature, or in a Church. Or it could be a full day. Or an overnight. You can certainly read lots of things during your retreat or listen to lots of talks. But try sticking to Scripture, the liturgy, and quiet as much as you can. During or at the end of the retreat, write down what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying.
  30. Find a written biography of a Saint that particularly appeals to you, and read it during the Season of Lent.
  31. Instead of secular videos for weekend entertainment, try some videos that will enrich your spiritual life. Suggestions: Jesus of Nazareth, by Franco Zeffirelli, The Scarlet and the Black, the Assisi Underground.
  32. While driving, turn off the secular radio for awhile and use commute time to listen to some teaching on audiocassette or CD. Some great resources can be purchased through this site or from other Catholic apostolates and publishers that you can find on our links page.
  33. Find a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or crisis pregnancy center, and volunteer some time there throughout Lent. Serve the people there with the understanding that in so doing, you are serving Jesus. Try to see Jesus in each person there.
  34. Visit someone at a nursing home or in the hospital or sick at home. Again, love Jesus in and through the suffering person.
  35. Is there a widow or divorced person living in your neighborhood? If so, invite that person to your home for dinner, coffee, etc.
  36. Catholic Online Resources, The Passion of the ChristView Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ during Lent on VHS or DVD, if you feel you can handle the violence. Get a copy of The Guide to the Passion to help you get the most out of the movie.
  37. Invite folks to view The Passion of the Christ with you, especially people whose faith is rather nominal, or who do not practice their faith, or who do not profess Christian faith at all. Give them a copy of The Guide to the Passion.
  38. Spend some focused time with your spouse, strengthening your marriage. Start praying together, or make praying together a more frequent occurrence.
  39. Spend some focused time together with each of your children. Listen. Pray. Maybe even have fun.
  40. When Easter comes, don’t drop the new practice you’ve begun during the Season Lent! Make a permanent feature of a deeper Christian life!

God Bless and Happy Lent

Paul

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Look at thy self


Carlyle_SMM_skyI just spent the last thirty minutes or so reading a blog site that I use to read daily. It’s a site that a former friend of mine writes. And after spending time reading her latest post, I know remember why we are former friends. The self absorbedness of her blogs is dripping in self sorrow and well, just a me, me, me attitude. Now that is not to say all her postings are, some are purely scripture based, yet even they seem to have a little “its all about me” in them.

This could just be my take on it all, this could be just my own reading of her postings, but I don’t think so. I think they are exactly what I say they are, postings of self sorrow and selfishness. The EGO (edging God out) is a very strong feeling I get when I read them. Once again, it may just be me, it may be me placing on them, or better yet, reading in to them, the feeling I hold towards her. Like I did say, reading them did remind me why we are no-longer friends.

But they also reminded me that I must true to myself and to my God, and as of late I have not been. I have been living a life of lies and sin, and I need to make a correction, and soon. Over the past few months I have not attend Mass, I just haven’t “felt” it. I don’t know why, but I just haven’t. In fact I haven’t even read any spiritual books and the weekly Catholic newspaper I get, and truly enjoys mostly goes unread. I am in a dark place when it comes to my faith, and I have known it for sometime, yet I choose to do nothing. Now I could blame the Church, the Priest or even my former friend for my despair and darkness. But I know they have no control over me, unless I allow them to.

  • How can I blame the Church, well look at Her, she is currently a mess, the sex scandals, the miss use of power and the over all liberal take on the Holy Mass. Yet I know in my heart of hearts that all that is not the Church, that is just mans miss handling of the Church hear on earth.
  • The Priest, well my last parish the priest was liberal and basically “retired”. He allowed the office manager take total control of the parish, and that resulted in her assuming power over all, and miss using that power to benefit her own agenda, not the agenda of the parish. She was one of the main reasons I left that parish and ended my ministry. But once again, I understand that the Priest is not the Church nor is the office manager, that Christ is the head and we all are parts of the body that makes up the visible Church hear on earth.
  • My former friend, well it was her ability to make everything about her, the demands that were placed on me and the false friendship she offered me. She was my “boss” at the parish I ministered at, she was the religious Education Director, and so I thought my friend. But as I found out, she was a self serving liberal who wanted the church to change for her, and not her to change for the Church. She wanted me to be he savior, her everything, yet truly give nothing back in return. But once again I know that she is not the Church, nor does she have control over me.

Nope none of the above “reasons” and “reasons” to abandon the Church, to miss Mass or anything else. They are, at best, excuses. Yes, they all can affect how I choose to react, but in the end it is of my choosing, not theirs. So why have I chosen to abandon my faith, not that I stopped believing God, or even the Catholic Church, because I do, with all my heart and soul. Yet I choose to not partake in the Holy Mass, to partake in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of my savior. Why?

That is my sin, that is my dilemma, so reading her blog has reminded me that I must look at myself, not others, to find the bark places in my soul that allow me to sin. It is no ones fault but mine. I am the one who is choosing to miss Mass, to sin in my life, choosing to stop feeling my soul. It is I who chooses to pick up a political magazine over the Catholic Newspaper, It is I who chooses to sit and drink coffee on Sunday mornings and not attend Mass. But why? What has changed in me that I choose this path over the others that I could walk?

I can not answer any of these question at this moment, but I do know that I need to receive the blessings of reconciliation, and I need to do a lot of soul searching. I know that God has the answers for me, I just need to learn to listen. So yes, reading her self loathing blogs did do me some good, they directed me back to my self, they reminded me that I am in control of my life, no one else, and that I must look at my own self before I look at others. So it was a well spent thirty minutes.

God Bless

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A Community of Friends


Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator ...

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As part of my job, my 9 to 5 job, the one that pays my bills, I get to travel the world. I love that aspect of my job, I love going to new places. Not only do I get to go to new places, I get to make new friends. I now have friends in five countries around the world and have traveled to seven different countries. So on this next trip I get to visit my friends I have not seen in over a year. It will be nice.

Sure, there is work involved, but still I get to visit with good friends. Sometimes its moments like these that make me thankful for all that I have. Not many people can claim to have traveled the world, not once but several times and even fewer can claim to have made very good friends. God has blessed me, of this I am sure.

But what does this have to do with anything about my faith, besides recognizing that God has blessed me? Well, the fact is, if I stopped there, just with the fact that God has blessed me, that would be enough. But I’m not going to stop there….

Sure Gods blessings is sufficient and I could blog about the blessings all day long. But there is something else at play here. I am reminded of St. Paul, and his travels. The book of Act’s is full of stories about Paul and his travels, and his friendships made. The letters of Paul to the other communities are because of his travels and the friendships he has made.

St. Paul was blessed by God, in many ways, but one way was through his friendships he was able to make on his travels. The friendships that lead to conversation. Sure Paul could have just arrived in each town, talked and left, and sure a few would have been converted, but not many. The words would have been the same, but the value behind them would have been lost on many. Friendship, true authentic friendship, is a powerful tool in conversation.

Words spoke without friendship, be they true or not, often fall to the ground. The hearers may be entranced for a time being, but they will fall. Jesus spent three years speaking the truth as only He could, and many were converted, but many more were not. Jesus also spent the three years cultivating His friendships with a few, getting to know each for who and what they were. If Jesus had not done this, upon His death the faith would have disappeared shortly after. It was the friendship of Jesus to the few that kept the faith burning. Mary Magdalene was the first to see her friend after His resurrection.  It was the friendship that made Mary go to see the grave, and it was friendship that made her cry over the missing body. And the same friendship that allowed her to believe what her mind told her not too….

Friendship played an important roll in Jesus ministry, is not John referred to as the one whom Jesus loved? It was friendship that made the rag-tag followers of Jesus in to a community. Jesus understood the purely human need for friendship. He understood the need to make connections and the need for fellowship. The Christian community was founded on this very principle.

As a life long Catholic, I can say that one of the areas we fail in is creating a community, of fostering friendships with in the church and parish life. All to often attending a parish function is an obligation rather than a joy. All to often we have our “church” friends and our regular friends, as if the people we know at church are not regular people who dine out or play cards or other social activities. We, as Catholics, have segregated our lives into two compartments, the parish and the world. Yet are we not called to live in the world? Did not Jesus tell us to go to the ends of the earth and to all the nations? We failed Him…

The Catholic community can be and should be a vibrant one, one full of life. We have many talents hidden with in our community. Yet we fail to use them, we have many gifts, yet we fail to see them. It is a shame and in some sense it is a scandal that we, as Catholics, do not celebrate the community that Jesus gave us. Rather we squander it away, we hide it as if we are ashamed of it. Our faith, our Church, yes even in today’s world with all the scandals, needs to be celebrated. In-fact maybe just because of the current situation on the Church we should all be praising the good she does to the world. We should be joining together in friendship and our commonalities as Catholics and proudly stating our faith for all to hear. I believe that Jesus would be happy if we all would have the courage to do just that.

Yet we Catholics seem to be a scared bunch, we seem to be ashamed of our faith, even before the current scandal. We have always, in my life time, seemed to shy away from proclaiming our faith. We down play it, or totally ignore it when we are in the secular world.

Why? Because we have no community, we have no friendship, with each other but mostly with Christ. Anyone of of you would gladly defend a friend who was in need. And if asked why, you would reply “They are my friend”, and rightly so! Yet we fail to do this on a daily basis for the Catholic Church, the Church the Jesus himself established here on earth.  We seem to forget that Jesus did stand up for His friends and defend them, He defended them, and us, upon the cross of friendship. Yet we are not even willing to defend the attacks upon the Holy Father or the Church.

The media is at war with the Catholic faith and the Holy father, yet we sit back. Sure, some of it is necessary, yet much of it is just plain mean spirited. Designed to harm the Church not help heal her. They attack based on false reports or fail to reveal the whole truth, they design the attacks to inflect the most damage, and we sit back and do nothing. Sure we may say “What a shame” or “That’s unfair” but we do nothing. friends defend friends when that friend is being attacked. Yet we fail to do so.

Judas did the something, he failed his friend. He sat back and allowed the attacks to go on until it was to late. Are we going to allow that to happen to our faith, to our Church, the  one and true Church established by Jesus himself?

“But what can I do?” is the question you most likely have, “I’m just little old me”. Yes you are, but there are millions of “Little old me’s” out there, and if all of us stand up in friendship for the Church the media will take notice. Write letters to the editor, hold Catholic and proud marches boycott the media, money talks, and in this economy it
talks loudly. Form a prayer group to pray for the healing of the Church or blog about it. There are hundreds of actions that can be taken, and each and everyone one of them should be taken. It is time that the world understands that the Catholic faith is not a monster, it is not a predator and her people are a community of friends.

God Bless

Paul

American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States (Galaxy Books)
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Less Hits


Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator ...

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I noticed that the number of hits to my blog have dropped dramatically after Easter Sunday. Leads me to think that peoples interest in the faith is at a peak during Lent, and as soon as Easter comes and goes, so does their interest in the faith. Kind of sad really…

It’s sort of like the world series or supper bowl, lots of non fans become fans during the big games. They look up the stats and follow all the games leading up to the big game but once the game is over they are back to their normal lives.

I can almost understand it with sports, all the hype surrounding it and all, but with my faith life, I just can’t understand it. But I am always trying to learn more and more about my faith, so I just have a hard time understanding people who do not. To me, my faith life is more important that any world series or supper bowl or word cup game, but it seems to me that more people are interested in that than in their faith. why is this, what makes people care more about a sporting event, that will have no bearing on their eternal life, than about their faith life, that will have a direct bearing on there after life?

This question has always bothered me, as a youth minister and catchiest I have dedicated my life to teach youth about their faith life. I always strive to keep myself active in the pursuit of knowledge concerning my faith life. And I always was amazed at how many of my young students knew more about a rock star or sports star than their own faith. Many knew the names of obscure reality TV stars but not the name of their local parish priest.

Amazing at best.

But I can not hold the youth responsible, I must look at the culture and parents. the culture we live in looks down upon faith, treats it almost as a illness to be cured. The schools can not or will not discuse faith and it’s impact on American society, all references to religion have been removed or watered down from our textbooks and teachers are encouraged, in the name of incisiveness, to exclude any discussion of faith and religion from the class room. And sad as this may sound, many parishes do the same, they have watered down the teachings of the Church to make them more acceptable to a modern secular society that does not want to be told that they have done wrong. They teach a dogma that is bubble gum theology made to make you feel warm and cozy with who you are, not calling you to become who God wants you to be. They have reduced the Ten Commandments to Ten Suggestions and the Beatitudes have become a mantra for the “Jesus loves you” cult that is growing in our faith.

Now before everyone flies off the handle, let me explain… Yes, Jesus loves you and me, and yes that message is important, but when it becomes the only message we are missing the point. Jesus loves me as I am, but He is still calling me to a greater version of myself, He is still challenging me to become what it is God is asking of me. If I just teach the “Jesus loves me” mantras than I am short changing the youth, I am committing a grave injustice to them. I would even go so far as to say I would be sinning. Jesus himself called people to a greater version of themselves, just think of the story of the rich young man and how Jesus called him to take the extra step to join Him. Yet the young man was not able to do so and left Jesus. Now if Jesus followed the whole “Jesus loves me mantra” He would have simple told the young man, follow me, come as you are, I love you and you don’t have to do a darn thing”. But Jesus did not say that, he said, “Give up all you have and than come and follow me”

17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:17-25)

Compare: Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 18:18-30

We all are loved by Jesus just as we are, yet Jesus knows we can be more, we can be better and He calls us to this greatness. Yet all to often we are teaching our youth that all is good “Jesus loves you”. What an injustice to our youth, what a travesty of our responsibility!

The home life, often times, is no better. Parents, often times through no fault of their own, teach the same dogma, or teach nothing at all, feeling it is the Churches responsibility not theirs. I have had to deal with this mentality for over 20 years of ministry. It is frustrating at best and infuriating at worst. All to often parents will pull their child out of formation classes for sporting events or just wont send them because they have to be bothered to drive them and pick them up. The message we send out children is that “religion” and “faith” are nice, but truly not that important. I have has parents ask me it it was ok for their child to miss class because they go to church every Sunday and learn all they need at Mass, or better yet, parents telling me they don’t go to Church but that’s ok because their child attends religion class once a week.

My response to both is basically the same “So if you don’t attend football or baseball practice everyday do you expect to play in the game that week?” Why are we willing to sacrific
e for a sporting event yet not for our faith? Our faith life is not a series of check boxes, it is not a task to be preformed nor is it an event to attend. Our faith life is our pathway to salvation, it is our roadmap to eternity with God. Yet so many treat it as a burden or a task to check off their weekly to do list.

It saddens me to see the number of hits to my blog drop after Easter, not because its my blog and I want lots of hits, but because it shows me that interest in the faith has dropped, that people are not as curious as they were during Lent.

We need to keep our curiosity up, we need to hunger for information and thirst for knowledge. We need to treat our faith life as if our lives depended upon it, because it does!

God Bless

Paul

 

Basic Spiritual Workout: A Guide to Christian Growth for Catholic Youth

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Posted by on April 9, 2010 in Catholic, church, Faith, Family, History, Lent, Life, youth

 

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The Liberals are coming… Opps to late…


DSC01796-254x346 The Catholic Church has been under attach for sometime from the liberals. Be it the liberal media or liberal Catholics. They have decided that the the Catholic faith is the last allowable prejudice. Not only is it allowable but it is also encouraged!

The attaches coming from with in the faith are the most destructive and discouraging. But all is not lost, we, the faithful can still take back our faith, be can still put up a good fight and win the battle for our Church and our souls.

As someone who has been involved in church ministry for over 20 years I have a great deal of background knowledge to build off of. As someone who seems to always be placed in a parish that is liberal, I seem to have been inundated with there concepts and lies. the lies can seem harmless at first, maybe even silly or no big deal. they can start off as just a tid-bit of information that leads the faithful off the path but just centimeters. But as that path continues to wind it’s way through the forest that centimeter turns in to meters.

The smallest of lies can lead to the biggest of errors. In truth it is easer to tell a small lie, less chance it will be seem. The liberal lie of “All are welcome” is a small lie. A lie the use to segregate the population under the flag of open mindness. They use the rally cry of “All are welcome” to bring in the pro-abortionist or the pro-same-sex couples. They cry out for acceptance yet fail to except the true teaching of the faith.

The lie itself is an inviting lie, who would not want to welcome all, as a conservative I to say “All are welcome” but unlike the liberal who use the it as a rally cry to bring down the Church from with in, I use it as a beckoning to call home the lost sheep to build up the Church.

Simple lie really, just a slight change in the purpose, yet the consequence of one will destroy what God has made and the other will build upon the foundation that God had laid.

The list goes on:

  • Woman Priesthood
  • Abortion
  • Same-Sex unions
  • Social Medicine
  • Unions

And on and on and on…..

social-justice The list of so called social issues can be exhausting, the catholic Church does address each and everyone of the issues, yet the liberals are able to twist each one to fit in to there agenda, perverting it in to some sore of pagan/Christian social/economic all you can eat buffet. They give the same value to the poor as they do to abortion. The use a concept call the one cloth or one garment theology.  A theology that perverts the teachings of the Church and Jesus. The Church teaches that Abortion is intrinsically evil, that under no circumstances is it ever allowable. that human life is sacred. Yet the liberals see no problem in demoting abortion to the same level and the poor.

The poor should be cared for as they are. They should be loved and nurtured and we as the faithful and as the Church have an obligation to do all we can to eliminate the conditions that create the poor. But the Church does not and has never taught that the poor were intrinsically evil. Big difference. Even Jesus stated that we will always have the poor with us.

The liberal Catholics have perverted the meaning of Catholic Social Justice to be a catch all phrase for all liberal concepts and ideas. They have impregnated the minds of countless Catholics with bubble gum intellectual thoughts that are nothing but sugar and air, no real substance to it.

The cry foul are every utterance the Pope makes, yet claim allegiance to the Church. They site Church dogma, yet lack understanding because they allow their own prejudice to interfere with Gods voice. And they claim fidelity to the Traditions and Faith  as they tear them down in the name of “Social Justice” and “Progress”.

The state of the Catholic Church is on shaky grounds, the liberals have succeeded in eroding the foundation. We, the faithful, must fight back, we must demand that our Priest, Religious Sisters and Brothers, Catholic Schools and Hospitals and Universities hold true to the Teachings and traditions of the Faith. We must demand that they return to the fold.

The video below is from Real Catholic TV , please watch this and go to their sight to watch other videos concerning Catholics and the attach on our faith.

 

God Bless

Paul

FULTON J. SHEEN COLLECTION : THIS IS THE MASS , THESE ARE THE SACRAMENTS , THIS IS ROME, THIS IS THE HOLY LAND
Psalm 23:1-3“[A psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

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Just something to question…


One of my favorite people to look to or to quote is Albert Einstein. I think is because we both are so much a like…. (I’ll let that one sink in a bit before I move on…….)

Truthfully I do see a lot of similarities between us, no I am not as smart as him, no were near, but we both share a thinking pattern. For anyone who reads my blogs or knows me personally will know that I am a person with an imagination and a positive attitude. Albert also has this trait, and I have quoted him several times, in fact I have a small postcard of his hanging in my office and I have read biographies on him. I find him to be a very interesting person. I have no ability to understand his math or his logic (most of the time), but I can understand his outlook and his way of dealing with the world. Today as I was thinking I should blog about something, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t want to blog about politics again, not because I don’t have anything to say, because I do, but because both of my blogs are not primary political they are primarily spiritual. So my latest rant concerning Obama will have to wait…. So what than do I blog about. As I often do when I don’t have a solid idea I will look up quotes on the internet (God’s gift for writers block). What I found was this quote from Mr. Einstein:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

I like that, in fact I teach that… I have from the start, I have always valued questions. To me if you are not questioning that you are dead, dead to the topic at hand, dead to the presenter, dead to the faith, dead to what ever it is you are not questioning.

To an insecure presenter or teacher the questions may come across as attacks, good question by e-magic.as if the questioner is challenging there domain. And they very well may be doing just that, and that’s ok. Hell if it was good enough for old Albert, than it’s good enough for me!

My overriding passion is my faith and teaching my faith to youth. In fact this will be the first time since 1990 that I will not be actively involved in a teaching ministry, but back to my point… My passion is my faith and the passing on of my faith (teaching). Part of this passion is also learning more about my faith on my own and taking formal classes. It is the process of questioning my teachers and my students that grow and learn more. It is the process of questioning that allows my mind to explore other areas it normally would not travel. It allows me the freedom to play the “devils” advocate in the name of knowing.

Questions are what makes America a land of the free, if were are not allowed to question of government, than we are no better than and no different than present day Cuba. Our ability to place our public officials under the microscope of public questioning is our key to freedom. My ability to question my faith is what makes my faith mine is my ability to question her teachings and to question my understanding.

Albert got it right, The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Think about a toddler and there constant why? why? why?, it is their ability to ask why that allows them to grow, why should that be any different for a pre-teen or teen, a parent of grandparent. Our ability to grow never ceases, just our own limitations placed on ourselves do. We have that same power as the curious 3 year old, the power of WHY… That power to change the course of events is not limited to the mind of a 3 year old, it is innate in all of us, it is our nature to question. God created us to question and he celebrates us when we do so.

A single question has changed the course of history, a single question can place common scene on it’s ear and turn right to wrong and evil to good. The power of a question should never be over looked nor should it be played down or belittled.

The question was asked of Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the King of the Jews?” and all of history was changed for ever. The question was asked, “What is the price of liberty” and a new nation was born.

The ability to question is our basic right as part of humanity, to stop questioning is to stop participating in humanity. Teacher and politicians and parents that stifle the questions of those they are charged with not only stifle that individual but also all of humanity.

Just imagine if:

  • Edison never question electricity
  • Ford never question the assembly line
  • Jefferson never questioned Liberty

It is the questions that have created the humanity we know today. With each stifled question our next Ford, Edison, Einstein or Jefferson might never be able to ask that all important, life changing question.

If we do not allow questions, than who will question poverty, hunger, global war’s and the outer limits of space or the inner limits of the mind? Sniffle one is the same as stifling all.

 

 

Just something to question….

Paul

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2009 in Change, Control, Faith, Improvement, Life, Self

 

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Someone to look too


Blessed Edward Poppe is a contemporary saint. He died at the young age of 33. He was one of 11 children born to a modest, pious family in Belgium. One of his brothers had become a priest, and five of his sisters became nuns. He felt a call to the priesthood at a young age, but he only entered the seminary on his mother’s insistence. His father had died when he was 16 years old and Edward thought he should take on the family business.

He was drafted to the military in 1910 and served as a battlefield nurse during World War I. His prayers to St. Joseph during that time led to the miraculous freeing of several prisoners of war.

He was finally ordained in 1916 at the age of 25 and served as associate pastor, focusing his ministry to the poor, children and the dying. He also taught catechism and founded Eucharistic associations.

Always a man with a weak constitution, he was transferred to rural Belgium. In 1919, he suffered a heart attack. During his convalescence, he spent most of his time studying, praying and producing thousands of writings against Marxism and secularization.

He also developed a devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux and adopted her spirituality. He had another heart attack in January 1924, and died of a stroke only six months later. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999.

 

Just goes to show you, you don’t have to live to be very old to make a difference….

Paul

 
 

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