Clones by Mariyas (Wikimedia commons)
I grew up in the shadow of my sister who was 18 months older than me. I followed her around, copying her every preference and obeying her every request. She convinced me that her likes and dislikes, friends and fashions were the best and only choices possible for me. When she was 16, she got married, leaving me wondering who I was without her.
Lifting Hands by Vladimer Ovchimikov (DollarPhotoClub.com)
“Bless the LORD, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts, who pardons all your sins, and heals all your ills,” (Psalm 103:2-3)
As my husband and I waited on the frontage road to access the busy freeway, a large SUV rear-ended our Lexus sedan. Our car pointed west at an angle, while my head pointed east to monitor the oncoming traffic. The startling jolt pushed our car part way into the access lane, resulting in back injuries for both of us, and a shoulder injury for me. Luckily, I could drive home and didn’t feel a lot of pain until we got to the X-ray lab that our family doctor recommended. The next morning I knew I was in trouble when I couldn’t get out of bed, put on my clothes or tie my shoes by myself. We were as pitiful as two drowning rats trying to survive on a sinking ship. Continue reading
Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR
Isaiah 55:10-11; Ps 65:11-14; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-9
Parables are simple life stories that Jesus told his large audiences. They are down to earth everyday stories that were in their normal experiences like agricultural or fishing.
When we read these Jesus stories we see the various levels of people around Jesus. In his public life you can put Jesus in the center and then put around Jesus those closest to him, apostles and then his disciples both men and women. In the next set of circles you have three levels in the audience. There are his closest followers, those who came to hear Jesus out of curiosity and those who came to find fault with Jesus’ healing, teaching and deliverance from evil spirits. Beyond those levels are the pagans, the non-believes that those closest to Jesus were sent out to tell the world the good news about salvation in Jesus. Continue reading
Posted in Catholic, Community, Fr. Bob Hilz, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Joy, Sacraments, Scriptures
Tagged disciples, fruits of spirit, parables, shine
Four young woman chatting in a coffee shop by Igor Mojzek (Dollarphotoclub,com)
A trip with my husband to a technical conference in Colorado, meant I was on vacation and on my own during the day. I could freely explore the beautiful resort hotel with every amenities imaginable. The hotel shuttle was available to take me anywhere within a three-mile radius.
I found a church two miles away and happily headed for 8 a.m. Mass on Monday morning. It was a small quiet sanctuary and I looked forward to spending some prayer time after mass. But the staff was setting up for Vacation Bible School (VBS) so I retreated to a side chapel where a few women were gathering to say the rosary.
As soon as the last prayer was said, loud music began for VBS. We almost ran to get away from the noise. Outside, three women welcomed me with warmth and curiosity. They introduced themselves: Regina, Cindy and Sharon. I was right at home talking to them about our Catholic faith/ Sharon offered to drive me to the hotel instead of my calling the shuttle. I welcomed the opportunity to talk with her, a recent convert from a fundamentalist non-denominational church. Although younger than me, she felt she was at the end of her life. She was so glad she had come “home,” even with the disapproval of her family.
By Julie Davis
My parents are atheists so there was no religion in our home. They never tried to prejudice us against religion; they just never talked about it. It was kind of like talking about sex … it was the unspoken rule that you just didn’t mention religion.
As issues came up, we were taught to be good people in the morality of popular culture … work hard and do your best, be honest, don’t steal, cheat or lie. We learned that a lot of other issues were all relative. As long as you didn’t hurt other people or break the law what you did was your own business.
Of course, even though they never talked about it, we all knew that those boring churchgoers were weak because they needed a crutch like religion to get by.
Early in our married life, neither Tom nor I gave God much thought. We were just living our lives. And then God used what we cared about most to get our attention. Continue reading
Posted in Books, Catholic family, Conversion, Identity, Joy, Sacraments, Sharing YOUR Faith Story, Writing
Tagged atheist, Happy Catholic, Julie Davis, RCIA, Seeking Jesus in Everyday Life
Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR
Zachariah 9:9-10; Ps 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30
As we go through life we often get tired and look for refreshment, comfort and happiness. The world is not lacking in offering us all kinds of what seem like delights. Are all the pleasures of the world really what will make us ultimately happy? At the beginning we cannot see what these various pleasures of the world will bring us.
When God made us he placed within all of us a longing that only he can fulfill. Nothing in all the pleasures of the world will ultimately fulfill us. Perhaps we can spend much of our life following paths that we think will make us happy. There are many of these pleasures I could list: a nice drink of some alcoholic beverage after a stressful and draining day at work. One drink to start, which leads to more and more until we become addicts. We can become addicted to more than two hundred things. Some are serious and lead to death. Others are things we like and enjoy yet don’t have serious effects. Some of these addictions can be alcohol, gambling, sex, drugs and all kinds of entertainment. We can even become addicted to the computer, computer games, watching TV most of the evening, or negative music. Continue reading
Posted in Catholic, Community, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Sacraments, Scriptures, Spiritual Warfare
Tagged addictions, Divine Mercy, fake news, Matthew
How to Benefit from a Critique Group – Featured on CatholicWritersGuild.com – The Catholic Writers Guild is all about networking, honing our craft and supporting other Catholic writers. The critique groups do all that – and more!
The Fantasy of a Judgment-Free Zone– Featured on NewEvangelizers.com– Not judging one another is a wonderful gift to receive and a generous one to give. How can we find or create judgment free zones in our life?
Friars Corner: The Joy of following and serving Jesus – by Fr. Bob Hilz – The joy of following and serving Jesus comes in earthly and eternal rewards for our generosity in being and supporting the disciples of Jesus.
Posted in Catholic, Community, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Nancy Ward, Writing
Tagged CatholicWritersGuild.com, critique workshop, CWCL, judgment, NewEvangelizers.com