Another “Quitter”!

My Union brother from Pensacola, Cliff, had a birthday yesterday and announced that he is giving up tobacco!  What an excellent present to yourself.  It also reminded me that I have kind of neglected this blog…

I have freshened everything up for those of you who are avid readers…

 

Ash Wednesday 2013

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent.  It is forty days long which mirrors the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness after his Baptism being tempted by Satan and preparing for his public ministry.

Lent is the season in which we seek to open ourselves to God through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as we prepare to celebrate His Passion, Death and, finally, His Glorious Resurrection!

Jesus teaches us that, when we pray, to do it in secret and not as a public display to make others think that we are pious.  He also asks us to rend (tear) our hearts (spiritual inner-being) so that we are open to the Word of God and the Divine guidance of the Holy Spirit.

He also teaches that through fasting, don’t look all sad and down-faced but to put on our finest and look our best so that no one will know.  Through fasting, though, we empty ourselves as Jesus did, not desiring equality with God.  Thus He became the Servant of all and, because of this was exalted above all.

Through fasting we also feel the hunger inside our bodies, enabling us to more closely identify with those in need so that we can also serve them through acts of charity.

Finally, Jesus teaches us to give alms.  This is not just a monetary metaphor!  We must give of ourselves to serve our fellow man, to tell the Good News that Jesus saves SINNERS!

It has been way to long since I wrote and I hope not to wait so long next time.  Tomorrow I will gladly be marked with the Sign of Faith on my forehead and hear the words: “Repent and believe in the Gospel!” and will go forth to do whatever I can to be the Light of the World in the name of Jesus Christ.

Kevin

The Lord works in mysterious ways

I can’t believe I’ve not made an entry for over a year again.  It is now almost halfway through the Easter season of 2010 – eight full weeks of celebrating the joyous Resurrection of Our Lord.  At each Mass we are sprinkled by the Priest with Holy Water during the Gloria which is the last of the Introductory Rites of our Liturgy.  This is very special as it reminds us of our Baptism and that, through it, God has placed us into a state of Grace by forgiving us of our sin and thus allows us to be in Fellowship and Communion with Him and His Church.

Easter Season 2010

I can’t believe I’ve not made an entry for over a year again.  It is now almost halfway through the Easter season of 2010 – eight full weeks of celebrating the joyous Resurrection of Our Lord.  At each Mass we are sprinkled by the Priest with Holy Water during the Gloria which is the last of the Introductory Rites of our Liturgy.  This is very special as it reminds us of our Baptism and that, through it, God has placed us into a state of Grace by forgiving us of our sin and thus allows us to be in Fellowship and Communion with Him and His Church.

Easter 2009

Wow – what an awesome experience!  This day, after 10+ months of Inquiry, Formation and Instruction, 28 souls received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and became fully-initiated members of the Catholic Church.  It was a distinct blessing to have played a part in the conversion of a few of our Neophytes!

Lent Again

Here we are in 2009 and it is Lent again.  This year’s “giving up” item is very private and personal.  Although Ash Wednesday is not a Day of Obligation I was able to get away from work long enough to attend Mass at the Basilica at Mission San Diego de Alcala.  What a blessing it is to worship at a place where the faithful have been worshiping since 1697 . . . 1697!  That’s a looong time in our country.  Lent is all about Spiritual renewal.  It is my hope and prayer that you will grow closer to God during this Lenten season.  When we talk about God relating to mankind it is definitely a Love Story.  Peace be with you.

Octave of Easter 2008

Here we are in the Octave of Easter 2008.  I decided this year to take all of Holy Week off (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday).  It was for me one of the most inspiring and enriching times of my life.  I participated in virtually every activity that was offered and found even more to do that is the “Lord’s Work”.  On Good Friday, we have a long-standing tradition of devotions to our Lord.  One of them is called the “Seven Last Words of Christ”.  It is actually His seven last phrases beginning with “Father forgive them . . .” and finishes with “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.  Each phrase and a brief narrative is read by the presider and then a Reflection is presented by a Member of the Faithful.  I was honored to reflect upon the last phrase, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.  You can read my reflection by clicking “Reflection” in the menu.

Join the Ranks

I have recently learned that two of my very good friends have also quit smoking cigarettes.  This is an awesome thing for them to do for their health.  There are links to the left for a couple of good online resources that can help one to kick the habit.  I cannot stress though how easy it was for me to quit – because of when and why I did it.  I quit on Ash Wednesday, 2006 in order to honor our God.  He strengthened me, enabling me to not endure further cravings thus keeping me smoke-free since.

Lent Again

Here we are in the Lenten season of 2007.  One thing to always bear in mind is that it is not what you “give up for Lent”, it is important that you let God work his wonderful deeds in your life!  Turn your heart to God and he will truly bless you — not only in this life, but he will take you to heaven for all eternity.  What a bonus!

Almost a year

It has now been 11 months, 1 week, 1 day, 18 hours and 25 minutes since my last cigarette.  It will be one liturgical year two weeks from today because two weeks from tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  Thanks be to God!