Are We Fit to Receive the Spirit? Do We Cooperate with His Gifts and Grace?

We exist because God willed us into existence. We have life because of Him, and the awesome gift of His grace is free, but it is our responsibility to cooperate with that grace.Someone can fill your car up with gas, but if the engine is not working properly and you don't start the car and drive to your destination, what good is the fuel?

I often think of the many times I have not cooperated with God's grace, and in particular, how I allowed the grace received in the sacrament of Confirmation to lay dormant for years before cooperating with it. Unfortunately this happens with so many who receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

St. Basil the Great says the following in his work, On the Holy Spirit. "All that live virtually desire him, as they are watered by his inspiration and assisted toward their proper and natural end. . . He is the source of holiness, an intellectual light for every rational power's discovery of truth, supplying clarity, so to say through himself. . . He fills all things with power, but only those who are worthy participate in him. He is not participated in all at once but shares his energy in "proportion to faith" (Rom12:6). . . He is present as a whole to each and wholly present everywhere. . . He is like a sunbeam whose grace is present to the one who enjoys him as if he were present to such a one alone, and still he illuminates land and sea and is mixed with the air. . . Just so, indeed, the Spirit is present to each one who is fit to receive him, as if he were present to him alone, and still he sends out grace that is complete and sufficient for all. The things that participate in him enjoy him to the extent that their nature allows, not to the extent that his power allows."

Great Presentation on the Real Presence by Fr. Mike Schmitz!

I don't need to say anything. Fr. Mike Schmitz says it best in this video. It is powerful and moving! Enjoy, and please share!

Are You Looking for Answers? Fr. Mike Schmitz to the Rescue!

If you're looking for some short answers to questions you have about what Catholics believe, check out these great videos by Fr. Mike Schmitz. Most of them are less than 10 minutes long. I'm certain you'll will enjoy Fr. Mike's presentations because they are both informative and entertaining. In other words, Fr. Mike will not put you to sleep with these great explanations. Enjoy!

Far From Boring!

Have you ever heard someone say, "Mass is boring?" I hear this often and watch as even my own teenagers begrudgingly attend Mass. I confess that I felt the same way at one time.

But Mass is in reality is anything but boring when you think about what takes place at Mass! The God who created everything in our vast universe, the ends of which science will most likely never discover, and maintains it all in perfect order, DESIRES to be with us; to give himself to us whole and entirely; Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity; and does so by humbling himself and making himself available to us under the appearance of bread and wine. This folks is far from BORING! It is in fact AWESOME and MIRACULOUS once we wrap our minds around what occurs at every Mass!

The next time the priest places his hands over the gifts during the Epiclesis as shown in the photo and asks the Father to send the Holy Spirit in order to sanctify the offerings of bread and wine so that they may become the Body and Blood of Jesus, think about how privileged we are to be present there and have the opportunity to become so intimately close to the One who created us and loves us so much unconditionally!

Accepting the Cross

"From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matt 16:21-25)
I wanted to share this great presentation given by Fr. Peter M. Girard, O.P. in 2006 entitled "Accepting the Cross." After watching Fr. Girard's presentation I was much more willing to say yes to accepting the crosses in my life, and I'm sure you will feel the same.


Getting Answers from God

Recently my eight-year-old daughter asked me the following question during our ride to school, “Daddy, what does CCC stand for? I see it in my religion book at school.” Regan is in the second grade in Catholic school and is preparing to receive her first Holy Communion in April of 2016. I replied, “Honey, CCC stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is where we can learn much about our Catholic Faith. We are able to look things up in the CCC when we have questions about our Faith.” Regan replies, “Okay, Daddy.”

My wife told me later that day that Regan made it a point to tell her teacher that she knew what CCC stood for. Regan’s teacher subsequently asked the sixth grade class if anyone knew what CCC stood for to which no one could provide a an answer. The teacher then exclaimed, “Even one of my second graders knows the answer to that question!”

When I learned of what happened that day. I was so proud of my little girl, but more importantly grateful that I was given the opportunity to answer the question that she cared enough about to ask. I was reminded of how important it is for us as parents to share the knowledge of our Faith with our children, and that it is never too early to do so.

On a side note, I learned from my wife that Regan also informed her that she had “an in with God.” When Liz asked what she meant by that, Regan replied, “When I want to know something, I ask God the question and He answers me, not with words, but by showing me pictures in my head.” I immediately thought to myself, do we have a mystic in our midst?
How nice it is to know that my eight year old has that kind of relationship with God! Regan, and all of my children have always been an absolute source of pride and joy in my life, thanks be to God!