How many times do you check your bank account, the stock market, your credit card rewards?
How many hours do you play that game?
How frequently do you go on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube?
With how much food do you stuff yourself?
And how about flirting, or thinking about the opposite sex?
Are you obsessed with the latest entertainment—movies, TV, music, sports?
Do you identify yourself with political beliefs, which may be contrary to the Gospel?
But how many times do you go to church?
How many times do you kneel to pray?
How frequently do you read your Bible?
How often do you follow the Ten Commandments?
Are you willingly carrying your cross to follow Jesus?
Do you sincerely forgive your neighbor, as the Father has forgiven you?
And when was the last time you fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned?
In your heart of hearts, we must all ask ourselves,
In Spirit and in truth,
“Is God really my god?”
How can a person be a friend of God
But be an enemy of life?
Didn’t Jesus say, “I am the way, the truth, AND THE LIFE”?
So how can the pro-lifers be the ones who have lost their way?
I’m all for women’s rights—
The right to vote, the right to equal pay, the right to be free from sexual harassment
But I don’t think it can ever be called a “right”
To take away anyone’s God-given gift, the beautiful grace of life
Can you imagine a parent saying to a child, “I wish I had aborted you before you were born”—
The knife that would be stuck in that kid’s heart?
By opening up the legislature to abortion on demand,
We are devaluing every human life
To the whims of choice—irrational, destructive, fearful, irreversible choice
Let us not be more brutal than animals
We should be nurturing our young, the most defenseless in the womb
If we want peace, we mustn’t do violence against the innocent
Otherwise, we only merit God’s justice
Can a year take away your health, your dreams, your strength, your will to live?
Can a year scandalize and demoralize, opening your eyes and breaking your heart?
Can a year be a participatory offering for the conversion of sinners, that ultimately leads you closer to God?
Can it remake you into a person more compassionate, discerning, humble, and generous?
If yes, then I’d say it was a good year
You don’t need to win a million dollars
You don’t need to be searching restlessly in foreign lands
You don’t need to numb yourself into forgetfulness
If you’re lonely without God, then nothing else is gonna satisfy…
Your deepest longing is for love, and He loved us first and best of all
If you’re lost, or know someone who is,
It’s not too late to end the year on your knees
How we posture ourselves is so important
For how God graces us in the here and now, and for tomorrow
Religion’s very private for me
I’d be content to keep what’s sacred
Separate from the profane
But truth is universal and ought to be defended
Like the baby Jesus, being targeted by Herod’s men
By attacking the Truth, it affects everyone around
Bringing injustice, pain, and death
So we have to fight, even if we’re tired
We have to show, by words and deeds,
Who is God in our lives
The God of the living, Who is Love,
Who was, is, and always will be
When you’re so stressed that you can’t think anymore
When several fires start burning before you can even put the first one out
When the only possible solution is a miracle beyond your limited human means
When people misunderstand or accuse you, even talking behind your back
When you’re being bullied and shamed into thinking that you’re completely worthless
When the secular world is trying to make you something that you don’t want to be
When your faith becomes a point of disagreement, a sword of division
When it feels like no one cares about their immortal souls, only for this passing life
When people act like swine, incapable of recognizing holy things, the pearls of the Spirit
When you’re about to go to bed and don’t know if you’ll wake up in the morning
When you’re about to eat and worry about those who have nothing to fill their stomaches
When, by grace, you remember that someone has asked you to pray for them
When you see your president making a fool of himself
When you hear about another scandal in the Church
When God touches your heart unexpectedly and you know that He’s with you despite everything
When someone you love is dying or has died
When your children, relatives, parents, or siblings seem so far from Jesus
When, like Mary, your heart is pierced, and yet, you would magnify the Lord with all your soul
It shocked me to my core…
I’d never met anyone who wanted to rape me
While making it seem as if they’d be doing me a favor
I didn’t know if humanity was worth saving anymore
If one person could be so like Judas…
Didn’t Jesus say it was better if he had never been born?
This is as close as it’s going to get for me
That hatred of sin, of injustice,
Bordering on hatred for another human being
When someone truly becomes your enemy
By allying themselves with the adversary,
Satan, the father of lies,
Remember, they are still that lost sheep
Whom Jesus wants to save, by dying out of love
I must believe in conversion
Because I know my own weakness and sin
I must believe in second chances
For who am I to limit His ocean of mercy?
If this soul is saved, then I will rejoice with all of heaven
But Lord, don’t let me rest in forgetful, complacent despair
Let me fight with fervent prayer, word, and deed
You know my choice is love
For love of You, in imitation of You,
Embrace the cross and follow You
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”
Conversions are happening every day
I must have hope
Rather than be disillusioned or disappointed
By those who’d use their free will so foolishly
I also need to be thankful
For those who have the will
To be fishers of men, martyrs for the faith,
Beacons of light amidst the darkness
Please let me be among the latter, Lord
For, as a sinner, I need Your mercy
Remind me that despite my sorrowful, prodigal past,
In You, we each have a hopeful, loving, beautiful future
The lonely soul can get lost
Like in depths of unchartered forest at night
Unable to reach civilization on one’s own
Maybe there’s the false belief that you’re unlovable
That you’re ugly or beyond repair
Let God enter into that maze you’ve wandered into
Allow Him to bring you home, where you belong
And where you have every reason to live again
Can we see it as a blessing
To know what chronic pain feels like?
A pain that runs deep into your bones
And a weakness where your body
Will no longer do what you want it to do?
It sparks the imagination, the empathetic heart…
Were Your nerves completely unhinged, Lord
After Your scourging by Roman soldiers?
Or even after sweating Blood in the Garden?
You were whipped, You were bruised,
You were pricked with thorns, You were psychologically abused
How could anyone treat the Crucifix with disrespect
If they truly knew how much love You poured out?
Not once did You retaliate, nor angels did You call down in retribution
When the women cried for You, You sorrowed more for their and their children’s sake
Struggling to breathe on the Cross, You prayed: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”
What great mercy, and what great thirsting for our love
Even today, with every sacrilegious Communion,
You allow Yourself to be a sacrifice—the Friend Who never gives up
Betrayal after betrayal, ingratitude after ingratitude
I’m saddened, Lord, for You to be so misunderstood
From a baby enclosed in Your mother’s womb
To Your burial in the tomb
You placed Your entire life on the line for us
And yet, how many today
Don’t even know You?
If suffering makes me a reflection, then Your reflection I can hope to be…