Morning of Reflection – St Peter Church Danbury CT

Religion and Ritual

Religion and Ritual is the Sept. topic. Today we often hear the statement, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Yet from the beginning of humankind peoples were religious and created rituals to honor or supplicate their gods. We will look at this reality and examine the role of religion for us. Join Yvette Lessard in the Parish hall of St Peter Church on Main St. in Danbury CT, Thurs. Sept. 12 from 10-11:45 AM

#Spiritual

#LivingOurFaith

And The Rich Man Turned Away Sad

It has been a busy but good summer that has slowed down my posting. Most recently spending four days with my two sisters and their families and my mother in Colorado. A time that really rejuvenates the soul.

Now that I am back, there have been several good Daily readings in August. One of them was the story about the rich man who asked Jesus several questions about what he should do to gain eternal life. We usually focus on how he was saddened by Jesus’ final response and went away sad. We do not hear about him again but was that really the end of his story? Here was a man who realized that he needed to grow and that is why he approached Jesus. Isn’t this what we should be doing as followers of Jesus i.e to ask questions of ourselves and seek asnwers from God? The meditation by Word Among Us on this reading was excellent and is included below.

Meditation: Matthew 19:16-22 

What do I still lack? (Matthew 19:20) 

When we read this story of the rich young man, we often focus on how he “went away sad” (Matthew 19:22). But we don’t always give him enough credit. He knew enough to realize he needed help—and to ask Jesus for it. His question was sincere too: “Teacher, what good must I do?” He wanted to be a better man, and he wanted the “eternal life” that he saw the disciples enjoying (19:16). 

This is a good question for us to ask Jesus every day as well. In fact, the Church encourages us to do it. Every day, we can ask Jesus to help us see how we are doing in our walk with him and how we can do better. In the sixteenth century, St. Ignatius of Loyola developed a way for us to do just that. He called it the “Daily Examen.” Here’s a version that consists of five steps. 

The first step is to thank God for all the blessings you’ve received that day. What are you thankful for? 

The second step is to pray to the Holy Spirit. It can be hard to recognize God’s presence in the course of the day. So ask him to help you look back with spiritual hindsight to see where he was with you that day. 

Third, review what happened today. Whom did you encounter? What situations and emotions arose? How was God speaking to you through them? And how did you respond? Don’t worry about every circumstance; just look at what stands out. 

Fourth, think about when you felt closest to God. Perhaps it was as someone helped you in the grocery store or as you admired a beautiful sunset. When did you feel further away from God? Maybe you felt impatient when someone asked you for help. Perhaps someone cut you off in traffic, and you got angry. Be sure to ask the Lord’s forgiveness for any sins and for his help to change. But remember, don’t go away sad! Jesus is inviting you to follow him on the path to heaven. 

Your fifth and final step is to look ahead to the next day. Think about the people you’ll meet, the situations you’ll face, and invite Jesus to be part of them. Remember, he wants to walk with you every step of the way. 

“Lord, open my eyes! Help me to become more like you.” 

Judges 2:11-19 

Psalm 106:34-37, 39-40, 43-44 

#IgnatianSpirituality

A Catholic Health Care Alternative

Over the years, I have talked with friends about how we, as Catholics, can make our faith more central to living our lives. Throughout history, the Church and its related organizations have usually been an integral part of a town or city’s life. An example would be the Knights of Columbus which was started in Connecticut in the 1880s by Father McGivney to help widowed mothers who were in poor financial shape after losing their husbands. They created insurance plans for families and have grown into a large fraternal benefit organization since then. In the past ten years, they have donated $1.5 billion to charitable causes.

Recently, I came across another Catholic fraternal benefit organization, Christ Medicus Foundation CURO, that is doing the same thing for health care. CURO (Latin for to care for, cure, heal , and watch over) is an affordable health care option for commited Catholics and Christians. CMF CURO members actively participate in God’s love and providence through medical cost sharing as members of Samaritan Ministries International (SMI). They are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit and not a health insurance company. And by affordable, their brochure shows a monthly share of $304 (1 person) and $579 (family of 3+). They are certainly worth considering as an alternative to secular health insurance.

I spoke with Jordan Buzza, JD (248.530.9651) who was most helpful in answering my questions. For complete info, you can also call 800 8407471 or visit http://www.cmfcuro.com.

Here is a link for a CMFCURO video (4 minutes): https://youtu.be/xcZWD1sOm3E

#CatholicHealth

#CatholicHealthCare

Be a Father Who Plays #CatholicFathers #CatholicParenting

For the past two years, I have been working a job that has required a daily commute of roughly two hours, more or less. Over time, it has slowly worn on me, not to mention my cars. It not only has had its effects on me, but my wife and my son also feel the impact of my long absence.

I’ve written and lamented in the past on how crucial it is for fathers to be home with their families as much as they can, and I very much still stand in that favor of that position. The absence of the father in a home can be very noticeable if we just observe.

On days when I’m able to show up at home immediately following a day’s work and I get to interact with my wife and son, the family feels more stable and the evening has a better flow to it. If I come home but I don’t interact with them, I find the tension gets high, and so do frustration levels (understandably so).

Most noticeably is the change in my son’s behavior when I can get home and just playwith my little guy. When I’m able to come home and get straight to playing, wrestling, rough-housing, or what have you, the evenings always go much smoother, my son is better behaved, and my wife is much happier and at ease and can relax a little.

 

In my own family, we have recognized how essential it is for me to get home and give my son my undivided attention and simply play with him. The difference in his behavior is night and day when I get to spend uninterrupted time with him versus when I don’t. Because of the noticeable difference and the desired result of a smoother evening, we’ve put rules in place where I put phones away and remove any other distractions for at least the first 30 minutes (or more) of my time in the evening and I focus entirely on my little boy. He has waited all day to see his ol’ man.  I’ve had to wait too.

When we take these measures as fathers to give of ourselves entirely to our wives and children and set aside things that call our attention, I find that we live lighter and more freely. By engaging in selfless play with our kiddos, we show them the love of the Father and give them the confidence and assurance they need that they are deeply a part of us, and that we love them in a way they cannot fully understand.

This, I believe, will dramatically affect the way they relate to our Heavenly Father. We dads here on earth have an opportunity to help our children engage in receiving the love of our Father. Many times, I have met Christians who speak incredibly highly of their fathers and how impactful that relationship was to receive the Divine Love. I have also heard the reverse, of how a poor relationship with a father (or lack thereof) has led to an abandonment of the Lord. What a beautiful opportunity for us, but also, how intimidating!

Playing with your child is a gift. Play is done not as a means but as an end unto itself; it’s done for the sake of itself. Playing with our children reminds us to let go and enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given us, namely our children. To hear the laughter of your child as you play-tackle him to the ground, is one of the finest treasures in our lives as fathers.

 

The post Be a Father Who Plays appeared first on Those Catholic Men.

Cameron Murray

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Cameron hails from the Peoria diocese originally, but now resides in St. Louis with his wife and son. Cameron works as a project manager by day, and teaches Spanish on the side. He is an aspiring homesteader and writer and God willing, hopes to run a small farm in the future. He is also the editor of a blog geared toward Catholic masculinity called The Seasick Catholic (www.seasickcatholic.wixsite.com/sscatholic)

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