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What We Put in our Minds & Body Matters

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 What we put in our minds matters and what we put into our bodies matters. What we put into each, changes us. When you surround your mind with what we perceive as good and true and beautiful, it influences our desire to pursue that in life. St. Paul wrote about this in Philippians 4:8 "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things".

So think about Jesus. Don't just think about Jesus, be Jesus. When we receive Eucharist, Jesus then resides in us. Total perfection becomes one with you. You are made perfect! This is the most profound union we can have with our God here on earth. Dr. Edward Sri makes the point as it relates to the mind, "When we come back to our pews after receiving Holy Communion, it is not the time to look around and see who's at Mass, or daydream about the football game in the afternoon, or develop our 'parking lot exit strategy'. And, it's certainly not appropriate to leave before Mass is over. This is the most intimate time we have with our God - to talk to him from the depths of our hearts. As he is lovingly dwelling within us, we should use these profound moments to tell him we love him, to thank him for blessings in our lives, to pour out our hearts to him with whatever may be troubling us, and to quietly rest in his love and listen to him."

Fill your mind with what matters so that the body follows.

Sounds of the Spirit

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Stop! I want you to just stop. Take a moment and feel where your mind is. Are you thinking of what you need to yet get accomplished for Christmas? Are you thinking of the food and house you must prepare? Are you thinking, who gets what and did I forget anyone?

Can we stop and just listen to the sounds of the Spirit breaking through? One of my favorite lines of any of the many Christmas songs is from O LIttle Town of Bethlehem.

The hopes and fears of all the years are met with thee tonight.

It seems paradoxical, fear is the enemy of hope. This one line reveals the incarnation as something that bridges these two opposites. God becoming human changed the world and everyone in it, from the joyfully hopeful to the dreadfully fearful. And in this little place called Bethlehem, in this little stable, from this unremarkable couple, came this epic event.

God unsettles us with his opposites, choosing a humble beginning instead of a majestic entrance. This baby Jesus is visited by lowly shepherds and three kings. The birth of Jesus appears to do nothing, yet everything is changed. This year, I have thought of the gifts I have been given by being pastor of this parish. I have spent time thinking about those who clean our church, plow and salt our driveways, pay our bills and answer our phones. I also remember having all three pastors here for Holy Thursday, and having Archbishop Listecki for the dedication of our Risen Christ statue. I remember the baptisms, weddings and funerals. This place, our parish of St. Dominic is a place where the hopes and fears of all the years are met with thee tonight. It is what makes us family.

Have a blessed Christmas season and New Year,
Fr. Dennis Saran

Give Hope

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The first week of Advent asks us  to ponder the virtue of hope. Are you looking for a way to give hope in preparation for Jesus? Try this.

In the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta:
Jesus wants us to prepare the way for his coming, for there are so many blocks in the way of his becoming all in all for us. Give him whatever he takes and take from him whatever he gives with a big smile.
Be a cause of joy to others.
Speak well of everybody
Smile at all you meet.
Deliberately make three acts of loving kindness every day.
Confess any sin against charity.
If you offend anyone - even a small child - ask forgiveness before going to bed.
Read about, meditate on, and speak of this love.

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