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Finding the Meaning of Life

Pastor’s Column Christmas 2016 We can’t really find the meaning of Christmas -- or even the meaning of life for that matter-- at Target or Nordstrom or Wal-Mart, or any other store. God knows we try, though, don’t we? The visible world does give us what it can though, entertainment, comfort, pleasure, cool stuff; it anesthetizes us for a while – with lots of suffering mixed in -- and that’s about it. But this is all the world has to offer. It is unable to give us real meaning, because at heart we are eternal beings in a temporal world, and only Jesus can fill our hearts, not stuff. The world can’t offer us eternal life. It can’t offer us answers to the deepest questions of our hearts. Chri

When Does God Tell Joseph?

Pastor’s Column 4th Sunday of Advent December 18, 2016 ​​​​ We are all familiar with the story: an angel appears to the Virgin Mary, requesting her permission to receive the Son of God within her. It is indeed the most awesome moment of human history! Mary is troubled by the greeting of the angel. She quickly ponders some of the implications of what she has just heard. She’s going to have a child and the child will be the son of God. Perhaps, as she pondered, Mary asked questions like this: “What about Joseph? Who will tell Joseph? What will I say to Joseph? Will he believe me?” I find it intriguing that the angel Gabriel does not immediately go to Joseph to explain the situation aft

Prayer to Jesus, the True Friend

Pastor’s Column 3rd Sunday of Advent December 11, 2016 This beautiful prayer that was made available to us by St. Claude de la Colombiere (the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary) at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Paray le Monial, France on our recent pilgrimage there, and which is now made available to you. Father Gary Prayer to Jesus, The True Friend By Saint Claude de la Colombiere Jesus, you are my only true friend. You shared my troubles, you bear them with me, you know the secret of bringing good out of them for me. You listen to me kindly when I tell you of my afflictions and you never fail to soften them. I can always find you everywhere; you never go away, and if I'm obliged

Advent as a Desert Experience

Pastor’s Column 2nd Sunday of Advent December 4, 2016 A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths! Isaiah speaking of John the Baptist in Luke 3:1-6 Advent actually is a kind of spiritual wilderness journey. The desert can be a very hostile place for the unprepared, but it can also be a place of great beauty. It is not for nothing that John the Baptist cries out from the wilderness. In fact, in order to hear God, there has to be a place of wilderness within us. God most frequently speaks in the desert areas of our lives. What does this mean in practice? Who are the people that we see hanging around Jesus in the New Testament? Who actuall

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