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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

The Call to Holiness

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In the papal encyclical “Gaudete Et Exsultate, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World,” Pope Francis talks about the challenges we face as followers of Christ. He also reminds us to call upon the saints/Saints as companions on that journey to everyday holiness. They are there to help protect, sustain, and carry us when we feel that we cannot.We can do this for one another as well. We all have the same goal in mind – to be transformed into the image of Christ, right? It is only through community that this can happen.

Throughout the entire encyclical, Pope Francis reminds us of the many saints who, by their lives, were not perfect, but tried very hard to live a life worthy of God. They always sought forgiveness. They always sought love. They always had hope, and they brought others to the Lord by their witness.

There is no greater example of how to live a life of faith, than to live a life of faith and have courage in it. Let us begin by acknowledging that we are His, and never apologizing for being in love with Him, and being grateful for all He has done for us.

The Road to Holiness

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The way to live a life of holiness is found in the gospels. Embedded in all the wonders and teachings of Jesus lies the key. The life of holiness is a life rooted in the beatitudes. To be holy is to be poor in spirit, meek, empathetic, just, merciful, simple and pure, peaceful, and courageous in faith. In other words, to be holy is to be unaffected by the worries of the world because of a dependence on the will of the Father.

Is that easy? Not at all. This is why a "holy" person depends on prayer, a tight relationship with God that goes beyond formal words to conversations with Him. Conversations where you are not just talking, but also listening. Listening for what God is saying to you through Scripture, through others, through the events of your life. "Holy" people depend on their relationship with God. They trust in God. "Holy" people don't take life too seriously, but they are serious about loving and serving God and others.

"It takes effort to always do good…The road to holiness is not for the lazy!" ~ Pope Francis tweet on 9/17/2018