Summer is in full swing now. Outdoor activities abound – baseball, softball, camping and vacations to exciting places. We are a busy people. When it comes to planning a trip most of us will get out the map or the G.P.S. to have an idea of where we are going to find what the shortest route is or the most scenic route. This insures that our vacation is a pleasant one and we get to our destination.
Maybe each one of us needs to do a little planning for our spiritual lives. Like planning a trip we need to plan how to get to Heaven which is our final destination. We should have goals for each day, each week, each month and each year that will strengthen the spiritual life. There are many opportunities out there to learn about the faith. There are many good books, magazines and videos which will inform and also challenge. How can a person make progress in the spiritual life without a plan? Simply put, you can’t. It has been said that if one is not progressing then one is regressing and that just won’t do if the goal is union with God for all eternity.
The Spiritual Plan of life is simple. Just review what you are doing now as far as prayer, study and service then create a plan that you will follow each day, each week, every month and then yearly. Set a goal for adding just one new prayer, or reading a book on the faith and challenge yourself to be of service to someone. If you pray five minutes a day shoot for ten minutes, if you read one book a year on the faith try reading two. If you volunteer twice a month go for four times. Set a goal for going on a retreat yearly. God will reward you if not in this life, surely in the next. With a Spiritual Plan of Life you will be able to determine if you are moving in the right direction or if you are faltering.
Think about it… Do I have a spiritual plan in order to get to Heaven? What is the foundation of my faith life today? I plan for many important thing in life, why not my prayer life? Do I believe it is just a given that all will get to heaven?
Blessings, Father Dooley
The 4th of July is upon us and the Bishops of the United State are inviting us to stand up for the Fortnight for Freedom. We are encouraged to renew our commitment to protecting Religious Liberty as written in the United States Constitution. This year the Church’s theme is “Freedom for Mission,” which unites the idea of Freedom of Religion as found in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States with responsibility to serve the people regardless of their religious affiliation. As a Church, we have a duty and obligation to live out our faith in real and concrete ways. Yet, whenever a government or agency begins to redefine what it means to be Church or limits the actions thereof the rights of the people are threatened.
Some may not understand that Rights guaranteed by the Constitution are being redefined. If one Right is able to be redefined then all Rights are threatened. The Health and Human Services Affordable Health Care Act mandates the Church’s institution to provide health care coverage for things contrary to our moral beliefs or limits our compassion solely to Catholics. We, as a church, are being forced to either compromise our moral beliefs or sacrifice our charitable work to help our brother and sister in need. True religious freedom means freedom from governmental influences and freedom to provide health care insurance that is not opposed to the moral and ethical teaching of Christ. Although the most recent congress is trying to address the issues of the Affordable Healthcare Act we, as members of both society and the Church, must continue to see that the poor receive adequate care. We must also protect the right of the Church to speak out morally on current issues for the development of society.
Think about it… Do I understand why the Catholic Church is opposed to contraceptives, abortion producing drugs, and sterilizations? Can the Government separate worship of the church from its involvement in society? How much control should the state have over the Church?
Blessings, Father Dooley
This Sunday is the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The liturgical color is green as you can see from the vestments worn by the priest. The Church has completed the Lent and Easter Season and now moves into Ordinary Time which will lead us up to the Feast of Christ the King just before Advent begins.
Ordinary Time as a liturgical season is anything but ordinary in the traditional sense. It is a season which reflects the cycles of life on earth and salvation history. We hear from the Gospel the teachings of Christ which is meant as an encouragement to grow in faith. The green color chosen for Ordinary Time is reminiscent of our growing more faithful. Green becomes a sign of hope.
Think about it… Do I have a sense of hope in God’s goodness when I hear the Sunday Gospel? Am I trying to learn more about my faith during this ordinary time? How do I invite Christ Jesus into my life daily?