30 Day Retreat

Picture yourself driving down a highway during the summer and it is early morning, the sun is beginning to rise. As you are driving you hear or see the splat of a bug hitting your windshield. If you’re quick enough you rinse the remains of the bug off. After driving for an hour you pull off into a rest area. You notice that your windshield is a mess. Bugs and remnants of them have left their mark on your windshield. You get back in your vehicle and start to drive away noticing the mess on the windshield. You can still see the road but it’s not as clear. You get to a crossroad and make a turn, the wrong turn because you could not see clearly.

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Sometimes we allow things to get in the way of our journey with Christ. People, material objects, vices, places, situations, they all can create a blurred vision of the path that leads us home to him. That is when we need to stop, clear our vision, and get back on track.

 

I am at one of those times in my life where I need to clear my vision. I need to get away from the world as best as I can, and clean my inner windshield. A friend and Catholic brother of mine introduced me to a program, “Freedom Through Christ” created by a Catholic Deliverance Ministry.

I saw the changes that he went through and although I know that I may not experience those same changes, I know that changes need to be taken in order for me to continue my journey with Christ. This is my time to reconnect with God in a deeper more intimate way than what I’ve ever done before.

Tomorrow July 16, 2020, I begin my retreat. I will be off the grid per se for at least 30 days, maybe more, I have no idea how this will go or where God will lead me during this time.

I’d like to ask you all to pray for me during this time. Pray that God will deliver me from whatever it is that is holding me back. Pray that his will be done in my life. I will pray for all of you and your intentions during this time and when I return, I pray that I am a better man than who I am today.

Thank you, God bless you, Buen Camino, and I’ll see you all later.

A Time For Healing. A Time For Action.

Yesterday my fellow brother candidates and I were installed in the Ministry of the Lectorate. It was another great day and another accomplishment on our journey towards the Holy Order of Deacon.

As we sat and listened to a Bishop Cantú’s homily, he reminded us that we are to go out and “profess the word of God” and how we need to do so, not only by words but through our actions. Our lives should reflect the word of God in everything we say and do, in every aspect of our lives, at home, at work and in our communities. This isn’t just a good reminder for us deacon candidates but for everyone especially during this dark time of the Church.

This is a time where we need to step up and lead the Church back into the light, to encourage others not to despair and to be that light of Christ for others to see the path that leads back to Jesus Christ and His Church. This is not a time to sit back and ignore what happened, nor is it a time to remain in despair because of the horrific actions that happened at the hands of a few. I am not diminishing the events that took place. Even if it was one person who committed these acts, that is one too many. It is time to start the healing process.

Let us pray for those who were victimized, that God will heal them. Let us pray for those who committed these atrocities, that they will ask for forgiveness and atone for their sins. And finally, let us pray for our Church, that during these dark times people will turn to Jesus and his Church instead of turning away because of what the world says. The voice of a God speaks louder than the voice of man.

Removing the Johnson Amendment and the Impact I Believe It Will Have On the Catholic Church.

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President Lyndon B. Johnson

Below is an explanation of the Johnson Amendment via Wikipedia.

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. 501(c)(3) organizations are the most common type of nonprofit organization the United States, ranging from charitable foundations to universities and churches. The amendment is named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. In recent years many Republicans have sought to repeal it, arguing that it restricts the free speech rights of churches and other religious groups.

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President Donald J. Trump

During the Republican National Convention, now President Donald Trump said: “An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. Their voice has been taken away,” Trump said. “I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans.”

If this does happen, and President Donald Trump does rescind the rule, it will be very interesting to see how the Catholic Church, as well as other Christian denominations, will proceed in regards to future elections. Will they allow their pastors, priest, ordained, etc… to promote a certain electoral party or individual?

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Fr. Joseph Ratzinger

“The Church will become small.” This was part of a prophetic statement made by then Fr. Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) in 1969. Now you realize why it is called a “prophetic”statement. When you look at the state of the Church now, this statement of his is not that far fetched at all. From the outside looking in, especially on social media, one would think that there are more interpretations of Catholicism than there are Protestant denominations. One person says “This is what the Catholic Church is about” while another person says, “Don’t listen to him, he’s one of those Church of Nice people. We need to be more like Vatican I” and yet you have another person saying something else, and another, and another and so on and so on. In this day and age, everyone is an expert in Catholicism. Personally, I am in favor of President Trump rescinding that law and allowing our Church Leaders to start informing us who is indeed the correct politician to vote for.

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Broken Church

If that ends up being the case, and our Church Leaders are allowed to inform us who we should vote for from a “Catholic” point of view, things are going to get very ugly, very hectic, very troublesome and very frightening. It will let us know who is leading us to Christ and who is deceiving us. However, in the end, and it may not be in my lifetime, the truth will come out. The Church may indeed be very small at that time and I’m sure it will have gone through many trials and tribulations worse than ever before, but it will come out stronger, a beacon of light for those who are lost.

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The Parousia – The Second Coming

In the end, truth will always prevail. The horrors that we are going through as Christians will come to pass and we will all come together under the Cross of Jesus Christ as One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we await the Parousia, the second coming of Jesus Christ, King of Kings. This I pray for. Viva Cristo Rey!

 

A Message for My Dad


As I finished up my first weekend in the Aspiancy Diaconate program, I couldn’t help but wonder what my dad would say if he were here. My dad had faults, like we all do, but he was a good man at heart, a very giving man, especially to the poor and to those in need of a loaf of bread or whatever he could give. My dad was a bread man. He worked for Rainbo Bread Company for over 20 years. During that time I had my struggles with him in my early years however, I always noticed how he never turned away anyone who was in need of bread or whatever he could give them. Like I said, he was a very giving man and he always thanked God for what he had.


He was born in the small town of Carencro, Louisiana. He came from a simple and poor family with strong Roman Catholic roots as did most Cajun families back then. He was heavily involved in his Church serving as an alter boy and also helping his priest around the house. Later on, as with most Catholic men, he became more of a man of the world. As we, his children, started to grow older, I noticed him going back to Church here and there and as he grew older, he started attending daily mass like he did back in his childhood. He would always tell me, “Mijo (son – in Spanish) you should go to Church and thank God for all you have. You own a successful business, you have a beautiful wife and three beautiful children, thank God for all that he has given you.” I had not yet come back to the Church and would reply with my typical “yeah dad, I know” but I never did. It wasn’t like in my teenage years or my early twenties when he would get mad at me for not going to Church, instead, he planted the seed and allowed God to do the rest.


My dad passed away on January 18th, 2012. I came back fully to the Catholic faith in November of that same year. There were many people who played a vital role in my return to the Church and my dad was one of them. In his later years he was a great example of a Catholic man because he was Catholic and Christian by actions, not just by name. I’ve had many other examples in my life like him as well, the biggest one being my bride. My dad was always proud of me for the things that I’ve accomplished in my life but I know he would have been extremely proud to see me return to the faith like I finally did.

 Dad, if you are listening, and I know you are,  I’m sorry for being such a knucklehead and not listening to you with my ears when you tried to encourage me to turn to God. I’m glad to say that even though my ears never heard you, my heart did and I hope that I am making you proud now. I love you.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same.

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I came back to the Church almost 4 years ago and I’ve been thinking lately, although things for me have changed for the positive during this time, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Let me explain.

One of the biggest factors that brought me back to the Church was the sin of abortion. Not that I have personally been involved in one but the simple fact that prior to me coming back to the faith, I was very pro choice and then, through time and the grace of God, I slowly started to have a change of heart and am very much pro life now. It drove me nuts during the last election to see so many “Catholic” parishioners who voted our current POTUS in. Most of them gave me the same old song and dance answer “He’s a Democrat and he is for the poor.” And another favorite, “He’s going to change this country for the better.” Well, eight years later and what do we have to show for it? A divided country, continued funding of Planned Parenthood, our religious rights being snatched out from under our noses, forced to buy healthcare, etc…etc…

My thought process was, “Here I am, not practicing my faith yet I seem to know more about what is right and what wrong than some of these parishioners who’ve looked down on me the whole time.” That was it. I was fed up! I asked Jesus to take the reigns and lead this jackass in the direction that he wanted me to go. I wanted to do his will instead of wasting time and doing my will. I wanted to learn more about my Catholic faith and I wanted to have a relationship with Jesus Christ!

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Fast forward 8 years later and here we are again. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Parishioners singing the same old song and dance about how good they are yet, they are willing to vote in another Democrat who will continue to run this country into the ground. I’m not here to say that Donald Trump is our savior. We only have one savior, Jesus Christ, and right now we sure could look to Him for guidance and help. The best excuses that I’m hearing for this election year are: The oldie but goodie, “Democrats are for the poor,” “Donald Trump is going to build a wall,” and “Donald Trump is going to deport 11 to 20 million illegal immigrants (number depends on who’s giving the excuse).

Ask them about the policies and you get a look like the one below.

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The time has come for no more excuses. Take some time and aquatint yourselves with what the candidates stand for and what the Church has to say in regards to voting. A good start is by reading Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship by the USCCB.