Prayer, Fasting, and Good Works

02-17-2019From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Seventeen days from today is Ash Wednesday, a day when we proclaim our resolve to rise above sin and evil by having blessed ashes placed on our foreheads. Rising above evil is far more than just avoiding temptation in our personal lives. Truly rising above evil calls us to be beacons of faith, hope, and love in our world, and in particular, in our daily lives. In our parish we will offer two very concrete ways to join together as a parish family to enrich the lives of one another as life-giving members of the Body of Christ, the Church in the world. They will offer what we hear in the Gospel for Ash Wednesday (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) which is from the Sermon on the Mount. This powerful sermon by Jesus is presented in chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Matthew’s Gospel and spells out in very practical ways how to live the Beatitudes which begin this Sermon. The Gospel for Ash Wednesday invites us to take seriously three very important practices for our spiritual lives: prayer, fasting, and good works.

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I Hear You Knocking But You Can't Come In

02-10-2019From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“I hear you knocking, but you can’t come in.” These words are from a 1970 song by Dave Edmunds and in many ways these words describe the feelings we have when we are challenged to allow others into our lives or to do something that is different, difficult, or controversial. These past weeks I have been writing about the evil of abortion and the challenges we face as people of faith with this issue. What has brought abortion to the forefront was the passage in our New York State legislature of the Reproductive Act a few weeks ago that allows abortion up until the very day of birth. In a sense, children in the womb get ready for birth by knocking on the door of their mother’s womb to come to birth, that is, to come physically into our world, and most importantly, into our lives. How did we become so barbaric, insensitive, and evil? What continues to push us over the edge of love, decency, truth, and common sense in this area? There is someone else knocking to come in and the door has been opened wide to him - the devil!!!

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Beloved: Mystery & Meaning of Marriage

02-10-2019Formed Suggestion of the Week

This week, as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, explore the beauty and challenges of married life. More than a union based on romantic love or mutual fulfillment, marriage goes back to the very essence of what it is to be human – and reflects a design placed in our hearts by God himself. Beloved – from the producers of the renowned Symbolon series – explores the spiritual and eternal reality behind "I Do." Beautifully filmed and featuring acclaimed marriage experts, Beloved speaks to the very heart of every husband and wife, bringing sacramental truth and God-infused love into the everyday challenges of married life. Beloved: Mystery & Meaning of Marriage includes six inspiring and informative sessions.

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Joseph

02-03-2019Formed Suggestion of the Week

The thrilling Biblical story of Joseph is told in this high quality 3-D animated feature film for children ages 5 and up. Young Joseph is a dreamer, indulged by his father and resented by his older brothers who soon sell him into slavery without their father's knowledge. Now captive in Egypt, Joseph experiences humiliation, hardship and imprisonment. But his faith and his gift for interpreting dreams soon lead him to an exalted position in the kingdom. When his brothers come calling for help, Joseph responds in a surprising way. The program sets Joseph's story in the context of God's plan for Israel and the promised coming of the Messiah. It powerfully demonstrates God's sovereign hand in all things.

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The Support and Promotion of Death

02-03-2019From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“How can you be so obtuse?” These were the words of Andy Dufresne, the main character in the movie Shawshank Redemption. He was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. When a new prisoner came to where he was imprisoned, that prisoner told him someone else in another jail where he had been bragged that he killed Andy’s wife and lover and got away with it. Andy eagerly brought this information to the warden who refused to act on it and even plotted and had that new prisoner killed. He had Andy put in the “hole,” a place of solitary confinement for two months. He was using Andy and his banking knowledge to hide money. It was not how he could be so obtuse, but why he was obtuse. To be obtuse is to be totally insensitive to others or their situation.

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