theROCK

Built Solid & Strong

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It was a black Brimnes wardrobe with 3 doors. It had a mirror mounted in the front and lots of shelves inside for storage. I was so excited to make my purchase at Ikea, deliver it to my house and prepare to put the entire wardrobe together. I opened the box, laid out all of the pieces and began the assembly process. Not too bad, I thought. I can look at the final photo and figure everything out. I mean, how tough could it be to put together?

Yeah, right. It took me three minutes to get confused. Was “A” a left side panel or right? Which screws was I supposed to use for the top? Did I attach the shelves first or last? I knew I was in over my head and reached for the instructions.

That made me think about how I assemble the days of my life. Am I simply laying out all my pieces and randomly trying to put things together? Do I know my priorities ? Do I know the steps I should follow to get things accomplished?

If only life came with instructions.

Ah…but they do. God has given us two simple instructions:

  1. Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

That’s it. The instructions are clear and easy to understand…IF we take the time to read them. So often we think we can do everything on our own. I don’t need God’s help. I can figure this out on my own. I have all the answers.

But there always comes a moment when we realize that our lives are made up of lots of screws and lots of shelves, each with different uses. If we take the time to ask for help and follow God’s instructions, there is no doubt that our lives will be built solid and strong.

Posted by Dan Herda

Circle of Love

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Every now and then I am struck with how totally awesome our Church is. When I reflect upon the Communion of Saints, I can't help but think this concept is genius! First introduced in the Book of Maccabees in the Old Testament, our faith tradition has since built upon a rich tradition that can bring such peace and hope for all the living and those who are dying. The Saints, those canonized by the Church, and the saints, the faithful departed, create a full circle of love through intercessory prayer. The Saints will have your back, you only need to ask. How lovely that our Church honors this family
and roots it in our creed. Knowing that at any time you can shout out to a loved one or an icon of faith and bring them close to work with you and beside you to gain the graces to stand strong through any situation is AMAZING! We are truly never alone between
our angels and our Saints/saints not to mention through our Blessed Mother and our Holy Trinity. With all that love and support, how can we not have love, joy, hope, and peace. One need only pray and believe.

But wait, there's more. While they are there to help us, we are also here to help them. An often forgotten teaching of the Catholic faith is the belief in purgatory. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a "purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven," which is experienced by those "who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified" (CCC 1030).  How can we help our departed loved ones? Prayer! When we offer up Mass or our prayers for them, we assist them in gaining the glory of heaven. They in turn are praying for us. The full circle of love!

in Faith

Penetrating Fear

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I am a big fan of the month of October. As a kid, I liked it for Halloween and all things spooky, but recently I  asked myself, "What are you afraid of?"

I am not a fan of birds or things touching my head, two things that could answer this question, but I am referring to what really penetrates into my bones as an honest to goodness fear.  When I ponder that, I get at the core of why I teach and work in a Catholic school. I am totally afraid of children not having a relationship with Jesus. I am afraid of a world that dismisses God. That people no longer find religion, let alone Jesus, relevant. This is what really scares me. 

We are finding ourselves in a post-Christian era. We need to help people see that Jesus is totally relevant and necessary today. How do you get a relationship with Jesus? Just as you would with anyone else - spend time together. Talk to one another.

How do you do that? Pray. Go to Mass. Participate in the sacraments. A life without Jesus, an eternity without the possibility of heaven, now that is scary.

Posted by Jill Fischer

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