If or when something manifests itself in our lives, which by worldly standards are not
supposed to be possible, it is very important to keep going.
Because although Divine Life starts to grow in us, The Evil One has not gone away.
Watch out for the Fear, often the number One.
Stay in control, do not  allow it to take you over.
You are safe now, God Himself is minding you.
Stay open, relaxed and alert, be always ready. Every moment is NOW.
Every time you feel the fear, see yourself on your death bed facing death in the face.
This is not being morbid, or wanting to die, it is simply reminding us of reality,
which helps us to put things in perspective now.
This is why we pray at the end of the "Hail Mary":
"pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death."
It is to remind us, so that we do not forget.

Look what happened to Peter. When Jesus walked on the water, Peter walked towards Him, also on the water, until he became afraid.

"25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Praise The Lord with song:

Pharisees and Scribes

For us Catholics, the Mother of Christ; the Mother of God, is also our Mother.
She is our model of how to be in the world.

She did not say a lot, she was certainly never seen on a pedestal,
her attitude and life spoke louder than words.

She is known for her readiness, her willingness.

One of the few things she said was:

"Do as He tells you" referring to her son Jesus, addressing herself to the servants
at the wedding in Cana when they ran out of wine.
Jesus is the perfect physician and therapist, there is never a risk that He will make a wrong diagnosis.

The spiritual teaching of the Catholic Church tells us to master all our feelings, reactions and impulses of all kinds.

Do not constantly justify or defend yourself
Do not take revenge for any wrongdoings against you
Be present and willing to suffer whatever feelings you have, no matter what their origins.
Tolerate others when they put themselves up on their pedestals, because
there are still some pharisees in the Church, proclaiming the Word of God.

What is important to God is what is in a person's heart, what is the real motivation for the things
he does, including participation in the Church.

Titles such as "Your Reverend" "Your Excellence" etc. given to bishops and cardinals make me feel uncomfortable. For me it is a barrier.
Even now some people might be encouraged to make idols out of them.  
We must not have false gods, we must not revere men, nor put our trust in them.
Only in God.
Idolatry is the worship of an idol or cult image, being a physical image, such as a statue, or a person, in place of God.

Our Lady's Magnificat:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
For He has looked with favour on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
The Almighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him
In every generation.
He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
And has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of His servant Israel
For He has remembered His promise of mercy,
The promise He made to our fathers,
To Abraham and his children for ever.

"Just Google it"

The Catholic Faith is referred to as a Faith of Mystery.

In the world we live in now, there are no more mysteries. Anything that we do not know about,
we just Google it, and then we find out.

In the Creed we professe to "believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, 
of all things visible and invisible."
Since Jesus's Kingdom is not of this world, in order to try and find it
we have to work in a way that is in contradiction to how things normally work.

It takes time, attention, patience and perseverance to come to uncover a bit of the Mystery;
but the little bit will be enough to motivate us to go on, however we will never "know it all".

Curiosity can also be a good motivator in this work.
Curiosity about who we are;

Psalm 8:4-8:

"What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas."

Mental Health

During this week I heard  the result of a study on mental health announced on the news.
They said that people that attend mass regularly have better mental health than people that do not.

This is not surprising.

The underlying causes of  most mental health problems are addressed by the teachings of the
Catholic Church.

We are told what to do about ALL manifestations of

Fear (Let go of all fear, Trust in me, Jesus said)

Guilt ( Confesse your guilt, and you will be pardoned)

Shame ( Jesus took our shame on Him)

Arrogance (Practice humility, Our Lady is our teacher)

Jealousy (Practice gratitude, jealousy is like a cancer)

Anger ( practice self control)

Bitterness (forgive others, and you yourself will also be forgiven for the wrong you have done)


And what you end up with is an immense HOPE where depression and darkness cannot survive.

Yesterday there was yet another 2 mass shootings in America, in one of them the gunman even shot his own sister.
In response the people responsible for Law and Order over there are not so much talking about
white nationalism, as they are about the underlying real issue of mental health.

"The problem of mental illness is on the increase" they say.

This is not a mystery; it is the effect of living in a deeply sick and schizophrenic world.

In America for example Michelle Obama is highly respected and even revered as a role model for women, yet she is a fierce champion, crusader, promoter and protagonist for abortion.

Every human being knows in his heart that it is wrong to kill.
There are no grey areas; it is wrong.
To even put forward the notion that the killing of living babies in the womb is "health care" is sick, twisted and schizophrenic.
Now that the Irish people supported it by voting it into legislation also in Ireland,
(Ireland was the last bastion of human decency), means that it is all over.

Definition of  schizophrenia:

Long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

Since innocent, living, feeling, babies  are being slaughtered legally in the hundreds of thousands every day in slaugherhouses called hospitals, I can't see how these mass shooting are any worse.
In fact, it is in line with it.

Kissing the face of God

What is Mass?

One complaint that one might hear,  is that Mass is "boring".
That reminds me of a homily that a french priest held as he was addressing himself specifically to children during a Children's Mass.
He was telling them that when he was at Seminary in the south of France, (he was himself from Normandy ),  all the young seminarians were very into rugby, they were all watching the rugby matches with great enthusiasm. But he himself found it completely boring, because he did not understand it, and did not know the rules.
Then someone took the time to explain it to him, and after that he got "into it".

So what is Mass?
Mass is A Sacrifice, An Offering, A Memorial, Worship, Celebration.

The sacred scriptures are read, and while some people's minds might drift away, thinking that they "have heard all those stories before a hundred times", they are only bored because they do not understand.

 'For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I [a]should heal them.’

(Matthew 13:15 New King James Version (NKJV))

“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

(Ezekiel 12:2 New King James Version (NKJV))

(Jeremiah 5:21 New King James Version (NKJV))

What we can eliminate as what Mass is not:  it is not about making you feel anything.
(Another thing one might hear: "I do not feel anything, I get nothing out of Mass")

The truth is that if you are willing ( we have free will, why not make use of it) 
to offer up the time of the duration of 
the Mass by giving it your full attention,  being awake and alert, the words pronounced at Mass 
will, with continued perseverance, eventually penetrate our minds and finally enter into our hearts, where they will change us, we will be born again.

Because of the heavy machinery of the Mind; whose function it is to downloads programs and formats and contains our individual particular conditioning, preconceived ideas and concepts, we have to be mindful.

I am Willing, I am Here, I am Now ( I am not thinking about something else).

If  you feel your own resistance to the Present, (what am I doing here, I have a lot of other things to do, etc.....) fine, stay with it, accept it, be with it.

If we find the other people in the congregation challenging, we offer that up as well, we are willing 
to "suffer" it.
And even if we do not understand a lot of it, or even most of it, we know that it is normal, 
the understanding (the enlightenment) will follow, gradually.
We have to go beyond the Mind, otherwise we will become victims of it. 
(I do not want to fall victim to a machine!)

If we repeat; do and say the exact things that our parents did and said when we were little, without any reflection, then we are asleep, unconscious. 
But those things have been downloaded into our minds, and they determine our decisions and our speech on a daily basis.
But are they relevant to us, here and now? Some of them might be, but think about it.
If my parents were atheists, does that mean that I have to be one too? Were my parents right about everything?
Some configurations of the mind are VERY heavy obstacles to attaining God:

Pride, Arrogance, Snobbery, Materialism, Ambition, Greed, Blaming others, Bitterness (Unforgiveness).

Other serious blockages are Feelings, for example:  Fear, Guilt, Shame, Anger, Jealousy, Envy.
That is why confession is vitally important. We are forgiven!
Addictive behaviour, which is just basically overdoing things, (whether it is drink, food, sex, gambling, shopping, etc, just means that you have lost control of yourself.) 

The ability to control oneself, is at the heart of the Catholic Faith's spirituality.

When we don't have instant gratification of our biological drives, for example, it helps us to center ourselves, in the deepest part of ourselves, where God resides. 
The reason why Catholic priests are asked to sacrifice a sex life, is because the more they give of themselves, the more God can act in them. It is metaphysical.
The sad and tragic fact that so many of them have not been able to carry this through, is not because it is impossible, because the vast majority are in fact successful.

If/when suffering comes our way, any kind of pain or loss, included physical pain,  
if we really accept it internally,

(we have to become aware of our defense mechanisms of avoiding pain, which have often 
become unconscious and automatic)

we can come close to God. 

(One of the principal teachings of Jesus's Stations of The Cross)
To master our feelings and reactions to things, people and events, on a daily basis, 
is to be truly Mindfull.
The wisdom of the world often says "to follow your feelings"
I do not think it is a good idea to put one's trust in one's feelings, because
feelings change, ( I loved you, I do not love you anymore...)  
only God is constant. ( As it was in the Beginning, is Now, and ever shall Be, world without end)

The Catholic Faith says to trust only in God, and His Only Son; Jesus, our brother.