theROCK

Results filtered by “Faith”

Mother of All People

main image

I remember as a child sitting in church watching people pray the Rosary and being so happy at my First Communion to receive my own beautiful set of prayer beads. I recall the beautiful May Crownings, as well as one of my teachers asking us to create a shrine to Mary in our homes. That idea did not go over too well, having shared a room with my two sisters. Yet, the statues and the pictures of Mary were very formative in my life. My first visit to the Schoenstatt Shrine in Milwaukee, was unforgettable. Mary has a very important part in the life of our Lord. She was the first Tabernacle, carrying our Lord within her. She accompanied her Son throughout his life until his death on the Cross. Jesus declares that Mary became the mother of all people. Her mission is to lead us closer to her son, Jesus. In 2019, we celebrate the 160th anniversary of the apparition to Adele Brise in Champion, WI at Our Lady of Good Help. This is the only approved apparition of Mary in the United States. Yes, my friends, this important place of grace is only two hours from Brookfield.

I recently made a pilgrimage to Holy Hill, to the shrine of Mary, with a trusting heart in her powerful intercession. Both my brothers were diagnosed with cancer. I knelt in complete dependence and humility begging her help on their behalf. Several days later, we received the amazing news that treatment and surgery would remove all cancer cells. How relieved and grateful I was. Consider making a visit to one of her shrines or praying the Rosary. She is the woman, the mother of all people who pleads with her Son for all of us.

Gift of Grace

main image

What was the last gift you received that truly surprised you and changed your life? Maybe it was a tool that helped you better organize your life or helped you to finally lose that stubborn weight. Maybe it was a gift that changed the trajectory of your life or gave you a second chance at life itself. Gifts that have the ability to change our lives often come from people who truly love us.

Through the sacraments, we receive an undeserved gift from God called grace. This sanctifying grace helps us get into heaven. So what are you doing daily to stir your faith so that it is a fire that consumes all parts of your life?

Unfortunately, I believe many of us can treat our faith as another activity to squeeze into our busy lives. When we treat our faith as an activity, as an obligation, it is easy to place faith on the back burner when life gets busy. Our faith is not an activity, it’s a relationship with a God who loves us. A God who is constantly willing to give us the gifts we need to handle the turbulence in our lives and was willing to give the gift of Himself for us to spend eternity with Him. What are we doing with that gift to better ourselves, better others, and better our relationship God?

Faith

main image

Faith. If God loves us, why do bad things happen? That isn't an easy answer. Some of the bad things that happen are the result of God loving us enough to give us free will. We are free to choose what we do and what we don't do. God created us with a conscience, reason, and gifts us with a whole lot of grace, so that we hopefully choose options that are in line with His will. Working counter to God's will results in actions with less than great consequences. That makes sense.

But what about those things that randomly happen. To this I would say, especially as it related to natural disasters, that the Earth has been doing what it has been doing for millions of years. Plates shift and move, air masses collide, stuff happens. People get in the way. The Earth is bigger than people. That makes sense. God has empowered people to develop ways to track storms and warn people so choices can be made.

Then the questions of illness, pain, suffering pop up. Indeed, these are the toughest because one can't reason it away. That is where faith steps in. When we struggle to understand why, our faith compels us to action. There's a reason in the suffering somewhere. It can be hard to find what the reason may be but faith leads us to it. This level of "bad" is to compel us toward God; to a dependence on Him. It doesn't make sense but it will if you have faith. It is said that hindsight is 20/20. When a person takes time to think back to a time of suffering, the fruit can be seen. What was to be learned? What was the reason? In fact, long suffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. How is suffering good? It brings us to dependence on God. Faith.

12345678910 ... 1415