Joy Stories: From Communion to Eucharist by Colleen Spiro

"The one who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'” (Revelations 21:5)

When I was a child, I loved going to the Protestant church in our small New England town. I especially loved going on the first Sunday of the month when we received communion. While our church taught that communion was only a symbol of Jesus' Body and Blood, I never understood what it all meant. But I somehow knew it was special.

Over the years, my family drifted away from church, and I attended only sporadically. But when I did go, I still loved to receive communion. I didn’t know why. I just followed my heart.

When I met my husband, Rich, he was divorced and a non-practicing Catholic. We didn’t attend church but had many discussions about faith and God. Rich cleared up a lot of my misunderstandings about Catholicism. After we got married, my father-in-law kept praying that I would convert, but I had no interest at that time.

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Friar’s Corner: Does Jesus still heal people?

Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13; 2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-

In the three years of Jesus’ public life healing people took up 20% of his time and 20% of that was spent driving out evil spirits. That is how Jesus got many people’s attention. I often see the apostles as his "body guards," to keep him from being crushed by the crowds. I love this story in Mark 5:21-43 today for we have two beautiful examples of his healing.

Jesus came back to his early home base of Capernaum, the fishing village home of St. Peter. A large crowd gathered around him. Jairus, a synagogue official, asked Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. As Jesus went on that sick call, a women managed to "push" her way through the crowd just to touch Jesus. She was instantly healed of her 12-year blood problem. Jesus sensed power had gone from him and asked, "Who touched me?" Trembling, the woman told her story. Jesus said it was her faith in him that healed her.

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Pope Francis: Wounds of the family

General audience: The wounds of the family

Vatican City, 24 June 2015 (VIS) – Following his recent catechesis on external threats to the family, such as poverty and illness, during today's general audience the Pope spoke about those wounds that are produced as a result of family cohabitation.

In all families there are moments of discord, but when harmful words, acts and indifference are ignored, they can be aggravated and transformed into arrogance, hostility and contempt, which can become deep lacerations, dividing husband and wife and inducing them to seek understanding, support and consolation elsewhere. “But often, these forms of support do not think of the good of the family. … And frequently the effects of separation have an impact on the children.”

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CatholicMom: Summer Project: Blessed by Less

Summer gives us some flexibility to take on projects that can mirror those of Lent, or those we wish we had done for Lent. For Susan Vogt, author of Blessed by Less, a Lenten challenge became an addiction. Her forty bags for forty days campaign on her blog encouraged others to join her in giving away one bag of unneeded items every day for 40 days. The discipline of giving things away began to lift the burdens of clutter, confusion and indecision about things she didn’t use. Her new freedom set in motion a new radical, simplified, ecologically friendly lifestyle.

Living with less became a spiritual challenge for her and her husband 365 days a year. Soul-searching questions arose such as “How much is enough?” and “How much is too much?” These questions apply to everything in our lives from tithing to eating, from clothes to memorabilia, from relationships to emotional burdens of worry, sadness, guilt and fear of death.

Soon she was scrutinizing everything in her life and weighing its usefulness to the empty-nester stage of her life. Would she be better without it? Could someone else benefit more than her from having it?

She found that living lightly cleans out her home, shares the wealth, is good for the Earth and spiritually fulfilling. Learning to live more generously, humbly and lightly became her way of making a positive difference in the world.

(Read Susan's ten rules of thumb for living lightly on

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Friar’s Corner: Our Father’s continual blessing

Job 38:1, 8-11; Ps 107:23-26,28-31; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17  Mark 4:35-41

The readings this weekend speak about God having control of the weather. God spoke to Job from the storm asking him, "Who put limits on the sea?" God has set limits on the seas. The gospel story has Jesus taking authority of a violent story over the lake. And it stopped.© Have you ever had a storm come when you were doing something? Do you know you can take authority over the controlling demon of stormy weather and command it to stop in Jesus’ Name and with his authority? And did it stop. I love to do that and if it is important to stop it, it will stop. Amen.

Today in the US we celebrate Father’s Day. So my remarks are more in that area. We have so much work to do with fathers. With 50 to 60 % of our marriages separated and children growing up without a father we have a big problem and a lot of healing work to do with children.

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The Healing Power of a Father’s Blessing

I wish my father had read The Healing Power of a Father’s Blessing by Linda Schubert. He parented his three daughters from a distance, following the familiar pattern of how he was raised. Oh, Daddy was in town, working six days a week at the five-and-dime stores he managed in towns around Texas and New Mexico. He was sometimes home at suppertime and sometimes went to church with us. He wasn’t a demonstrative man who hugged or kissed much or sat down to read to us or ask us about school. He suddenly died when I was 18. I once asked my mother if he loved me, and she said, “Of course he loved you — because you reminded him of me!”

In the slim little book, The Healing Power of a Father’s Blessing, Linda Schubert described the “father-wound” that so many of us experience. Father-wounds, the deepest wounds on earth, cover our hearts in layers and often are healed in layers. Father-wounds come from lack of bonding in an abusive or insecure environment where the child feels fatherless, not provided for and unprotected. Children with father-wounds are so vulnerable to the dominance of others that they cannot think for themselves or develop their unique self.

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Friars Corner: God’s grace works even though we are often unaware

Ezekiel 17:22-24; Ps 92:2-3, 13-16; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34

Dear brothers and sisters, we have now finished celebrating the core teachings of our faith. We return to ordinary time where we can reflect on various elements Jesus taught in his public life. In the coming weeks we will look at various parables/stories from St. Mark’s gospel. Jesus used simple examples from ordinary daily life to help people understand how God wants us to live in his kingdom with his values.

Jesus told stories to the crowds yet explained more of the details later to his close

st followers. After Pentecost when the Holy Spirit guided them, they taught the people more details of living in Jesus’ kingdom. God is always about a greater work as he continues to guide us by his Holy Spirit and overall church leadership.

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