theROCK

Pocket Saints

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I have a collection of pocket Saints. My pocket Saints are my go to group of "friends" that I call upon when needing some additional assistance in one way or another. Just as we have family/friends on earth that we call upon when we need assistance, I have collected a heavenly variety. I ask them to pray with me and intercede on my behalf to "get something done." I currently have a collection of twenty. They are, in no particular order, but for very particular reasons: St. Jude, St. Anthony, St. Dominic, St. Joseph, St. Gemma, St. Gianna, St. Marie Almondi, St. Cecelia, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Terese of Calcutta, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Katherine Drexel, St. Monica, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Medjugorie, Mary Mother of God and All the Holy Men and Women. It is like saying a litany every time I lay them out like that. The newest addition is St. Monica.

I added St. Monica to my list of pocket Saints about a year ago. As a parent, my biggest fear is that my children, two daughters, would grow away from Christ. With my children now attending college, one is a junior at St. Norbert and the other a freshman at University of
Minnesota in the Twin Cities, I had to resign myself to the fact that I have done all I could to help them put on the armor of God, and it was now up to them to wear it. Faithfully. While I trust in God's providence in all things, I am only human. I want to control what happens to my children. I realized a little over a year ago that this is yet one more thing that I can't control. Therefore, I called upon all of my pocket Saints and solicited the help of St. Monica to surround my children with an extra layer of support to steer them in the right direction - straight to the heart of Jesus! St. Monica is the patient mother of the most notorious bad boy, St. Augustine. If her prayer power can turn the course for him, she certainly can keep my girls on track. The best tool I have now is my prayers. The hands-on work is complete.

Through the Narrow Gate

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Since God revealed himself to Abraham in the Old Testament, all that was ever asked of believers was to have a relationship with Him. This entailed talking to God through prayer and following directions known as commandments. In return, God bestowed all forms of blessings upon them, including children. Children that were to be formed to believe in God as well. Throughout the Old Testament, believers in the one true God struggled but never fully lost faith. By the time history reached the New Testament,
God's people needed a reboot. They had all but lost faith when Jesus arrived on earth to reinvigorate our relationship with God.

In teaching us, suffering for us, dying for us, and rising from the dead for us, Jesus defines the love God has for us and models for us the love we are required to have for God. It is this love, through a relationship with God, that can get us through the narrow gate named in the Gospel.

I don't know about you but I don't want to be left outside the gate. I don't want my loved ones left outside. I don't want anyone left outside. In my mind, to be left outside means that a lifetime was wasted in getting to know Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. In knowing Him, having a relationship with Him through the Mass and the sacraments and engaging with others in a manner that will assist all of us in getting to Heaven, I hope to pass through the narrow gate. No one should be left outside if we do our very best to lift each other up.

The Narrow Gate

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In Scripture, Jesus is asked, who will be saved--a question that is brought to his attention several times. Let’s face it, we too want to know if we will be in heaven and who will be with us. Which family members or friends will be at the table in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Jesus reminds us to strive to enter through the narrow gate. Historically, Jesus tells us that the camel will enter the narrow gate easier than a rich man enters heaven. The camel had to lay on the ground and crawl carefully through the narrow entrance. It was uncomfortable for the camel to do this. We are challenged to strive to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Christ. The demands of discipleship often asking us to move out of our comfort zone. There may be pain and suffering in following Jesus, but His grace is always there to sustain us.

 How is God challenging you today to follow Jesus?

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