Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Prayer helps

This might seem like a "Duh!" moment when you read the title, but I need to be reminded of this from time to time, prayer helps. It seems so obvious that when we find ourselves in some type of hardship that we should or would turn to prayer for help and guidance. Obvious right? Not so much, for me anyway.

I am a very hard headed stubborn and prideful person. This is something that I am working on to try to let go of, but it is difficult. When I find myself in times of trial or hardship or in any type of difficulty, my hard headed prideful self tries to figure out and fix the problem internally. as if I knew I had the answer and the tools to fix what ever was plaguing me.

Something dawned on me yesterday. If I had these tools, wouldn't I have already fixed these issues? looks like my blinded pridefulness struck again. I cannot fix me. I need to turn to someone else. Much like a doctor who severely injures himself he cannot fix himself and be healed. He needs help. My doctor in this regard is God. And He has sure given some great tools to help me. I'm just blind and haven't seen them.

Some of the tools that God has given to us are the Sacraments. Other tools are the saints, who have the responsibility and love to intercede for us on our behalf. We just have to ask. We have to pray! Prayer is such a wonderful tool! I honestly don't think I utilize it enough. Sure, I sit down everyday in chapel for 2 hours and pray the Divine Office and sit before the Blessed Sacrament, but that's not enough.

When I find myself in a difficult or stressful situation, I must stop what I am doing. I must turn myself over and surrender my pride and ask for help. My go to patrons are St. John Bosco (Don Bosco) and Mary, Help of Christians (MHC). They are there not just for me, But for you too! we have to only ask for their help.

The song based off of Psalm 91 comes to mind, "Be With Me Lord"

Have a blessed day!
-Br. Adam

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Location:Nicola Pl,Port Chester,United States

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mary said yes

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne, the parents of the Blessed Mary. Without these two wonderful people our hope for salvation would be a bit more difficult. Joachim and Anne brought Mary into this world in a similar way in which Mary brought Jesus into this world.

We refer to Mary as the Immaculate Conception. She, like Jesus, is the only other person in the history of humanity to have been conceived without original sin. This is a very important point which could be written into its own doctoral thesis or its own book (as I am sure it probably already has). But today I am focusing on vocation.

What is it that God has planned for our life, for our own personal mission from God? It has an almost Mission Impossible feel to it, "You're mission, if you choose to accept it. . . " we all have the primary vocation to holiness. The secondary vocation is how do we reach this primary goal set out for us? Through a lot of prayer and discernment we can reach some decisions. But Mary at the age of 13 or 14 said yes to God and became the theotokos, the God Bearer.

Today at the camp's religious education periods I am breaking up the children into two groups, one of the girls, and the other the guys. The girls will speak to a nun friend of mine who is a Franciscan postulant. She is going to become a novice I believe this coming August. The girls will have a question and answer session with her so that they an ask questions of curiosity. The boys will later meet with myself and Br. Rob, a Salesian preparing for his perpetual profession next month.

Please pray for all of us that we may be able to do God's will for us today.

God bless!
Br. Adam


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seeking higher office

Matthew 20: 21-23:

"Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom."

Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking.Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"

They said to him, "We can."

He replied, "My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
How often we think that getting that higher place in office or in the business place is filled with prestige and power and money. It usually is to some degree but what is not often talked about is the amount of sacrifice and hardships that go along with the power and prestige.

In today's Gospel from Matthew we read of the mother of the sons of Zebedee asking for her children to have the seats at the right and at the left of Jesus. Jesus, fully knowing exactly what it was that she was asking says to her that those places are not for him to give away but that those places had already been chosen by his Heavenly Father, God.

One lesson that we can learn from in this Gospel is that we don't have any idea what a burden places of responsibility an be. For instance, when I first joined the Salesians I thought it would be a grat job to one day be the Provincial or even a Director. After being around now for over 5 years I can say with great certainty that I do not want those jobs. I would not choose them for myself. But, if asked I would most certainly serve.

Those places of importance, bishop, pastor, director, provincial, pope, are all appointments that come with a great amount of sacrifice of a person to whom that post is appointed. The person must be humble of heart and approach that role with love and sincerity. S as to not lord their position over those to whom they have been charged by God to serve.

God bless you! ~Br. Adam

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Companionship...

Another important key to the Kingdom of Heaven would be the people you surround yourself with. If one chooses good friends then goodness will surround them. But if one is to choose bad friends then goodness will not surround them. We are sort of obliged, if we care anything about our soul, to choose good friends. St. John Bosco once said that "One who associates with the good will go to heaven with them."

They key to choosing god friends should not be based on popularity or cool factor. Friendship should rather be based on the particular chosen person's relationship with God. A person who is firmly rooted in Godly values and virtues will surely be a good companion in life here on Earth and in Heaven.

I understand that this may be difficult. However, Christ requires some sacrifice of us. When I was in high school I thought that I had many friends. I later found out that I was very mistaken. I had people who would hang out with me because I had a big car (not because my daily was rich but because at one point I was driving 5-6 brother and sisters to school with me in the mornings). When I came to the realization that God was calling me to become a priest a lot of people that I thought were my friends gradually stopped talking to me. And thank God they did.

When I entered into formation with the Salesians my summer vacation was only two weeks long. The people who were sit ll my friends were okay with the fact that I was not going to be home much. They knew that I was following God's will and they did not want to interrupt that in any way. They gave me the space I needed to grow in holiness and I am Vu thankful for that. So, choose good friends. The reward for it he on Earth could carry you on into Heaven.


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Keys to the Kingdom

There is such a thing as a key to the Kingdom of Heaven. I know that this sounds like a very bold statement, and it is. But let's think about it for a second. Heaven is not some automatic place that we go to when our time on Earth expires. Haven is a reward. As St. Paul wrote in his Second a letter to Timothy in chapter 4 verse 7. "I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith." we must compete, finish the race and keep the faith.

How do we do these things? By making the choice to. Just like Mary's yes to God to bear Christ in her womb we must answer yes to God everyday by living our lives for him. When we wake up in the morning, we need to offer our day to God, we need to thank Him for giving us another day. When we begin to realize that the life we have is not our own we will be successful in coming to the conclusion that heaven is attainable. Humility is one of the components to this key.

The key to entering the Kingdom of Heaven is making the conscious decision to say yes to God everyday. To say "Yes, Lord! I am here to do your will." is the key to heaven. For when we die to ourself we are able to rise and live in Christ.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

Charity above all

"Whatever you did for the least of my brethren, you did for me." -Matthew 25:40

Throughout history there have been accounts of great charity, Mother Theresa helping the impoverished in India, people buying meals for the homeless, people adopting orphans and many others. How often do we reach out to a brother or sister in Christ to aid them simply because it is the right thing to do?

Recently, I have been faced with a situation in which to help a down cast member of society. It is not always the easiest of tasks to offer assistance to a person who has lied, cheated and stolen. But they are still a person who deserves to be love and respects and cherished. People know of the faults and misdeeds of the individual, but aren't we a people who are open to reconciliation?

I often feel that there is a moral obligation to aide the person who is the underdog in some situations. I think people deserve second and third chances. I especially advocate for those who are being persecuted unjustly. I hope and pray that for all of you who read this little blog, that you would offer. Up a quick prayer for a personal intention. Also, please help out a person today who needs it. Whether it be a quick smile smile, or assisting an elderly woman with her groceries. Help somebody.

God bless you!
~Br. Adam


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

When the routine is broken...

Sometimes it is not always easy to be charitable. That is when grace kicks in and assists us. This morning I woke up late and missed the early 6:30am Mass. When I had awoken I immediately realized that there was way too much light in my room. My room faces to the East and the sunlight just poured into my room. I knew instantly that I was late. I got up and looked at my watch for the time and it read 6:54. Not a minute later and I hear my cell phone alert me to the presence of a text message. This was from one of the priests that I live with asking me if I was awake yet. I told him I would be down for prayers.

I must have needed that rest , and I thank God for it. But when I tried going on with my day I felt empty. Almost no energy. I felt aloof and empty. This morning I had two classes scheduled for religious education. One at 8:30 and the other right after. Well, after the first class ended at 9:25 I expected the other class to walk in soon after the first had left. I sat there patiently waiting and waiting. I waited some more. Finally at 9:45am I went down to look for them. I heard some noise coming from the cafeteria and I walked in and immediately was encountered by some 3rd graders. "Br. Adam, Br. Adam! Why weren't you here to do the prayer for us this morning?"

Dang! I forgot all about the morning prayer and spiritual thought for the day for the young people!!


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Daily Mass

Every morning I have been blessed to attend daily Mass. This is a great consolation for me because I believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. I believe that He is there and I want Him to be a part of my life. He gives me strength for my journey. My journey to Heaven.

This journey is certainly no easy road. Everywhere I turn there is temptation to go against God's will for me in m life. Everyday Since an have entered the Salesians I have been learning, albeit slowly, to ask for God's help by using the saints and praying through their intercession. Lets face it, the saints have been down this road before and Harv overcome the evil temptations. They know just the remedy that we need. What better way than to ask them to help us to connect to God for the grace to overcome this temptation.

The benefit of going to daily Mass is the Eucharist. It is the " source and summit of the Christian life." (CCC 1324) the Eucharist is our strength. It gives us the graces needed to overcome temptations to turn away from God and His Holy Will for us.

As we all know we must be properly disposed in order to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. We must be free from Mortal Sin and must have the proper intention of celebrating in that Eucharistic feast of the Mass! St. John Bosco told his boys in the Oratory that if they wanted to go to heaven and to be saints they should go to Confession and Communion regularly.

A bonus for me this summe is having an Adoration Chapel attached to the house I am assigned to for summer camp. Everyday after the Mass at 6:30 am the Eucharist is exposed and I have the great opportunity for Adoration.



God bless you! Be saints!

Br. Adam

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Be Saints!

Time to face reality, people! (myself included!) we are all called to holiness. But what does this mean? Sometimes I am not sure myself. So, I look to the scriptures, to my spiritual doctor, to my confessor...and to God for guidance on this whopper of a question.
Often times, I struggle. I am human, I am weak, and I'm very gullible. Satan is a tricky bastard whom I loathe for what he does. But, we must be stronger than he is and we can be. But we cannot be stronger than he if we try to be a lone ranger. God had given us so many tools to triumph over Satan. But they often go unutilized. For example; we are part of a community of believers (A COMMUNITY, we aren't alone.) We are also given role models they'll base our lives on (the Saints) we can also implore them for their help, because lets face it, they are kind of in a place to help out. Sacraments!
I love the sacraments! Christ has given us 7 sacraments to help us on our road to holiness and ultimately to assist us in getting to Heaven. We will not be able to do this alone. Christ established for us these tools of grace to help our struggle with temptation and to strengthen our relationship with Christ! Now we have only to be open to them, to Christ.
For us to become Saints we have to recognize our own humanity and all that comes with being human. We can be very strong beings, but we are broken thanks to Original Sin. God has put us on this Earth with others. I think it would be wise for us to surround ourselves with the type of people who can help and affirm us in our quest for sanctity.
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Location:Port Chester,United States