Deacon John Homily at St. Mary on the Lake, September 16 2018

St. Alphonsus wrote, “In this valley of tears, every man is born to weep and all of us suffer by enduring the evils that take place every day.”

St. Alphonsus experienced his fair share of suffering and persecution.  Thru all of this, he never complained.

Let St. Alphonsus be a model for each of who face the difficulties of being a Christian, amid our life of problems, pains, misunderstandings and failures.  He picked up his cross to follow Jesus.

Take up your cross, accept your suffering as part of life, so we can grow from it.  Embracing our suffering not only allows us to surrender ourselves to God, but at some point realize that we have to make peace with our frustrations, disappointment, pain, misfortunes, illness, sadness, unfairness, and death that are part of life.  A part we must accept without bitterness.  Bitterness opens the door for Satan to claim our hearts.

Fr. Todd Homily, September 16 2018

I encourage you to say “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

There is a big gap between how the world trains us to think and how God tell us to think.

GospelMK 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said,

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”

 

Fr. Paul turns 96!

Our beloved Fr. Paul Ruddy will turn 96 on Sunday, September 23.

He enjoys receiving cards and well wishes from his parish families.   If you wish to send a card, his address is:

Fr. Paul Ruddy

3403 Loren Drive

Jackson, MI  49203

Mass intentions for Monday, September 24 will be for Fr. Paul.

 

 

 

A Report from Bishop Boyea

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recently, we have been horrified by more revelations of predatory sexual conduct by Catholic clergy as well as by the abuse of power and sexual sin by a cardinal. The horrid behavior described in a grand jury report from Pennsylvania is shocking. Not only are these acts deeply sinful, they are criminal. Anyone guilty of causing such pain to victims, as well as those at any level within the Church’s leadership who protected sexual predators, must be held accountable. Justice demands it.

Click here to continue…https://dioceseoflansing.org/news/bishop-boyea-plans-conduct-external-audit-and-publish-names-clerics-credible-allegations

Fr. Todd Bulletin, September 16 2018

Dear Sacred Heart Families,

One of the hard realities of life is suffering.  Suffering often can feel like being abandoned and we can ask God where He is, why did He allow this or that to happen.  Jesus didn’t promise that he would remove all suffering and hurt but He did promise that no matter what happened He would be with us.  It is part of our life of Faith to continue walking and trusting in times of trial and hardship.  Usually this is much easier said than done.  To that end I am grateful for the feast we celebrated on September 15th, Our Lady of Sorrows.  Mary experienced great suffering and still remained with the Lord throughout it. She can help show us the way and we can lean on her intercession for us.

I have included a brief explanation and reflection on this feast day (https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/the-feast-of-our-lady-of-sorrows.html) .

The title, Our Lady of Sorrows, given to our Blessed Mother focuses on her intense suffering and grief during the passion and death of our Lord. Traditionally, this suffering was not limited to the passion and death event; rather, it comprised the seven dolors or seven sorrows of Mary, which were foretold by the Priest Simeon who proclaimed to Mary, This child [Jesus] is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare (Luke 2:34-35). These seven sorrows of our Blessed Mother included the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt; the loss and finding of the child Jesus in the Temple; Mary’s meeting of Jesus on His way to Calvary; Mary’s standing at the foot of the cross when our Lord was crucified; her holding of Jesus when He was taken down from the cross; and then our Lord’s burial. In all, the prophesy of Simeon that a sword would pierce our Blessed Mother’s heart was fulfilled in these events. For this reason, Mary is sometimes depicted with her heart exposed and with seven swords piercing it. More importantly, each new suffering was received with the courage, love, and trust that echoed her fiat, let it be done unto me according to Thy word, first uttered at the Annunciation.  …

Focusing on the compassion of our Blessed Mother, our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, reminded the faithful, Mary Most Holy goes on being the loving consoler of those touched by the many physical and moral sorrows which afflict and torment humanity. She knows our sorrows and our pains, because she too suffered, from Bethlehem to Calvary. ‘And thy soul too a sword shall pierce.’ Mary is our Spiritual Mother, and the mother always understands her children and consoles them in their troubles. Then, she has that specific mission to love us, received from Jesus on the Cross, to love us only and always, so as to save us! Mary consoles us above all by pointing out the Crucified One and Paradise to us! (1980).

Therefore, as we honor our Blessed Mother, our Lady of Sorrows, we honor her as the faithful disciple and exemplar of faith. Let us pray as we do in the opening prayer of the Mass for this feast day: Father, as your Son was raised on the cross, His Mother Mary stood by Him, sharing His sufferings. May your Church be united with Christ in His suffering and death and so come to share in His rising to new life. Looking to the example of Mary, may we too unite our sufferings to our Lord, facing them with courage, love, and trust.

God Bless!

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Homily, September 9 2018

 

GospelMK 7:31-37

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

From the Principal, September 16 2018

Thank you to Catholic Charities

This week many of us attended the “Back in Black”- Faith in Action Fundraising Dinner for Catholic Charities. It was a beautiful evening hosted by Father Joe Krupp and Father Tim McDonald. We are so grateful for Catholic Charities and the way they support catholic schools. At Sacred Heart School and we have a Vision: Students are balanced: Confident of mind, academics and faith. We have teachers who form the students in academics and we all work to form the students in faith but we need Catholic Charities to guide us on forming their minds. Every Friday we have Mr. Marshall, our school counselor from Catholic Charities, to share his expertise. He focuses his efforts on the challenges that any of our students are facing. He knows to pull the new students aside and really talk to them about transitioning. He knows to team build with our 5th/6th graders because they can be pretty insensitive. He knows that second grade boys want to win at all costs and he explains how it feels to be on the losing side. He knows that when little girls form a club, other little girls feel isolated. He makes a difference that we can not measure but the impact is felt in the culture of trust that is created. Marshall is able to see the day through the eyes of the students and meet them to talk about ways to stay positive and joyful.

“A school’s mission is to develop the sense of the true, the sense of the good, the sense of the beautiful.”     Pope Francis 2014.

This is not an option for a Catholic school. It is our Mission to be the Light of Christ and to grow in confidence. We are so grateful for Marshall and Catholic Charities who help make this happen. Thank you for helping us to form loving disciples of Christ.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Deacon Corner, September 16 2018

Prayer does not always come easy or natural.  There are times for me it can be a real struggle.  Our Catechism calls this THE BATTLE OF PRAYER.  It’s a battle against ourselves to stay focused, and Satan doing all he can to keep us from getting closer to God (CCC 2725).  Our Catechism lists four common struggles in prayer and how to overcome them – lack of time, distractions, dryness, and being uninspired.

Lack of time comes from the failure to see prayer as a necessary part of our life.  There is no simple solution to this one.  Prayer is not optional.  Prayer is absolutely essential to stay close to God and keep the devil away.  We need to find time in our busy day for prayer just as we would any other activity that is important to us.  Even 15 minutes of prayer each day is better than no prayer at all.

Distractions are real and make prayer difficult.  The solution is not to give up but be persistent in refocusing on God.   C.S Lewis wrote it is better to accept distractions as our present problem and make them the main theme of our prayer than ignore they exist.  God understands and wants us to grow closer to Him rather than drift away with frustrating distractions.

Dryness is feeling like you are in the middle of the desert.  No water, no shade, and no hope of ever getting out.  Nothing is working.  Our prayer feels hollow, even futile, and we become no longer interested in our spiritual growth.  Even St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta experienced dryness in prayer.  When we do, we can think of Jesus’ own experience of forty days the desert.  No matter how tempted we are to quit, we can focus on our desire to become closer to God and emerge on the other side with renewed spirit and energy.

Being uninspired can happen when we are overwhelmed, have not prayed for a while, or can’t find the words to pray.  When uninspired, remember St. Ignatius said praying is like talking to Jesus as a friend.  Simply ask Him for forgiveness, protection, and wisdom about the problems you face.

Our Catechism reminds us we cannot pray without “humility, trust, and perseverance” (CCC 2728).  Praying is not rattling off a list of wants and needs (CCC 2650).  We pray to be ever mindful that God is with us no matter what we face in life.  We pray to express both our sorrow and thanksgiving.  We pray to do our best and exalt God in everything we do.  We pray for strength and courage, and yes, we even pray for miracles.  God calls us, and prayer is our response to that call. Through prayer, we train our minds and hearts to focus on what is good and holy to receive the peace of heart we all desire.

Deacon John

Adapted from an “Introduction to Catholicism” by Father James Socias