Tag Archives: Providence

Hearing God’s Personal Message To You

If ever we are meant to see Our Creator face to face in one beautiful moment of bliss for all eternity; is it not well to consider the statement we always hear that everything happens for a reason, our reason. I have heard this statement so many times in my life, but does one ever really stop and contemplate the power and practicality behind those words?

In order to fully understand the meaning of this statement, we must first realize the reality of coming from such an omnipotent and infinite Designer. Since we are created from the ashes of the Earth, but live in a world of constant change and development; no matter how much of a pedestal mankind would like to elevate itself to, we are still subject to an inevitable change. Unfortunately the separatism that mankind undergoes in attempting to isolate itself from it’s Creator is nigh impossible to achieve, but is seemingly most always the goal of the societies we live in. As well, most people do not understand that created matter is in fact the lowest form of reality, that our senses deceive us in this life and that everything that seems important to devote our time and lives to is in fact not when compared to eternity.

“As a father hath compassion on his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear him; for he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.” (Ps. 102: 13-14).

“Can a woman, forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands; thy walls are always before my eyes.” (Is. 49:15-16)

One may consider the accomplishments mankind has achieved when it comes to the extent of space travel, as compared to the vastness and stretches of space itself. Apollo 13 currently holds the Guinness world record for the farthest travel by mankind in space at 248,655 miles away from the Earth. The Voyager satellite has since now, entered interstellar space and is still venturing forth. But what of those accomplishments compares to the vastness and openness of the space in which we occupy? Hardly any comparison if one takes the zoomed out perspective and sees the inifinte universe in its entirety.

Down at a molecular level, things are happening within us everyday that we are unaware of. White cells are fighting off infections and intruders to the body constantly. Billions of male sperm enter into the female body and fight through obstacle after obstacle; finally releasing it’s tail to enter into the female egg when but one sperm out of billions is left to lay claim to it’s long awaited destination. Automatically knowing what to do, when to do it, and not being given any direction by us as human beings.

The only thing we do have control over is our free will to choose the good things in life and our intellect to know what is TRULY good and what is only apparently good. This Earth as I have stated before is our Garden of Eden. This Earth is mankind’s workshop to achieve the designed end to which we are all subject. There is no middle ground, and we know this because this is what God in the person of Jesus Christ has come to tell us through His Church, and through His Apostles, and Disciples. Knowing that there is no middle ground, one must make a conscience decision everyday in every thought, word, or action to consecrate themselves to God and His Divine Providence for us or to work against it.

How do I know what God’s plan for me is? In order to answer this question, we should start with the best but probably most overlooked example of how we should be living our lives, it is the example of our first parents Adam and Eve. Many exclaim that such stories are only myths and often times distort their relevance when it comes to how it applies in their own lives. Regardless of the details the message is extremely simple and one worth considering everyday. That message is that when Adam and Eve cooperated with everything that God gave them they were happy and in constant contact with Him. It is when THEY chose to hide from Him and when THEY chose to disobey His command that life for them got a little bit harder. And by harder I mean that they were cast out of the Garden and that death, diseases, and sickness are now upon us all as a result.

Getting back to the infinite Majesty of God, is it not possible to think that whatever choices we make, who ever we are surrounded with, and whatever we are doing; that God is speaking to us through all these things. I do not mean that in a general sense, but that the events and happenings in our lives happen, as a result of the direction and guidance we need from God and His bottomless knowledge of His created beings.

“Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?” Matthew 6:26

It is said that not one hair falls from our heads without Our Lords consent. That makes everyday a test, a journey, the surrounding events in our lives are a result of how well we are doing, whetherour circumstances are TRULY or only apparently good. If we live in the reality that we all are meant for God then truly good things do and are happening to you, and not just apparently good things.

The things and circumstances placed before us in our lives are a direct reflection of the Love we do or do not have for God. Much as a Gardner who prunes a plant to bear good fruit, God knows what’s best for each and every one of us. We do not, because we do not do a well enough job of governing our senses with out His Graces. If we deny His Graces and live life according to the flesh, then we will die according to the flesh. Everything we need to know about how a person lived can be discovered from the manner in which they died. Whether or not someone has run out of favor or chances to use God’s graces to do His Will and be truly happy even in this life. And we know that the sins of one affect all, as a stone thrown into a still morning lake creates an unending ripple affect.

My grandfather was raised Catholic. During my youth I watched as he attended Church every Sunday with His wife, who taught Catechism to the students. Both of them prayed the rosary with all 8 of their grandkids whenever we were there and there was barely a moment I saw my grandfather without a rosary or Catholic book in his hands. Both my grandparents were extremely devout, and when they noticed the changes of Vatican 2 taking place in the Church, turning it from the only sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God the Father into another Protestant service, they got up and walked out and did not go to mass until they found a parish that celebrated the Tridentine Mass the was codified at the council of Trent (St. Athanasius in Vienna Va), and did not recognize the heretical hierarchy of the new Novus Ordo religion.

I grew up praying the mass in the basement of a house, we prayed the Novena to St. Joseph to obtain a bigger church, a school, and more priests. Everything we prayed for we eventually received. By the time my grandfather was nearing his death, he completely tuned himself out from the rest of the world, received last rights from our priests several times (as he had several close calls), the final time being in the hospital, he was being given the Apostolic Blessing and died halfway through, on Christmas Day. At this point we now had 3 priests in our parish, his dying wish was to have a high mass said with 3 priests which was accomplished without a hitch. As well, his final resting place (next to his wife in Buffalo, who also died several years prior to him, painlessly in a stroke induced coma); was being pounded by a severe snowstorm as my parents escorted his casket to the Chapel up north. My dad stated that when they got there, the Church was beyond any beauty they had seen in person as well there was an air infantry unit (as my grandfather was a WW2 Veteran), ready and waiting to give him one of the most solemn and reverent burials my parents had ever seen.

The following week I discussed these events with my father wondering in amazement how he was able to coordinate everything and deal with a snowstorm that shut down roads and get everything accomplished. He stated to me that it just happened, everything fell into place without having to do anything. The first thing that came to my mind, was the testament to how this man, my grandfather, lived and devoted his life to God. That God was doing, for him, what he could not do for himself, because my grandfather had devoted his life to the service of His Creator.

When my grandmother passed, my mother was able to find and give me her rosary. At that point in my life I was in the throws of addiction. I had children out of wedlock (contrary to how I was raised), I drank everytime I could find money, I was addicted to pain pills and anything I could get my hands on. Anything to fill the void, and it was bad. I was consistently getting my girlfriend pregnant, we were constantly having utilities shut off because I was blowing money left and right, and my poor son and daughter had to deal with their parents screaming and fighting.

I began to pray every decade of the rosary as much as time would allow, every single day. I started going back to Alchoholics Anonymous, I got a sponsor, I started working the steps. I was able to get a year of sobriety down one day at a time. Sometimes one Hail Mary at a time. And then I kept going, and prayed for more. I prayed to get out of the volatile situation, I prayed for His Will, for the eyes of my significant other to be opened to the changes I had been attempting to make, as 5 years of Hell living with an addict and being pregnant back to back 4 times started to boil over in my first year of attempting to get sober.

I leaned extremely hard on Our Blessed Mother, the saints, and God. As soon as I got a year of sobriety our lease was up and if I continued to stay something bad would happen. We were on the verge of literally ripping each other’s heads off in front of our children. I found a room for rent after many nights sleeping in my truck or at my sponsors house and I left.

Three months later we were engaged, God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. I have never been happier, because we separated, I made Holy Communion for the first time in 6 years. I have become an example that my kids do not run away from, my fiance loves, and my co-workers come to for advice and help. When we do right and live right God works His miracles through us! I only seek His Will for me everyday and I practically do not have to do anything but reap the rewards. I have had amazing moments of clarity and gratitude where I broke down crying. Not being financially well off, I had a wedding ring fall into my lap and the cross I thought I was to be cursed with carrying my whole life become another reason for me to live and to love.
We only have to live right and do right and have the Faith (see the blog post “In a Nutshell”), and He will meet us halfway. All we have to do is pray, hope, and don’t worry. That small inner voice that you hear everyday will guide you. You can become an instrument for His use in affecting day to day miracles and changes in others. We are all destined to be Saints! It does not matter where you come from, what you believe or don’t believe, everyone’s final end is God. The less we put ourselves, and our sensual desires for fleeting worldly things in between us and Him the more manifest the miracles become. Don’t believe me? Try listening to that small inner voice, the one that is constantly telling you to seek the Truth in all things. LOOK FOR THE TRUTH, not the apparent truth. You do not need to be rich if you have His Graces, and love conquers all. Look to the cross, and bear yours with patience. If Christ as God, had to suffer so much to prove His love for men, what will we have to suffer to prove our love for Him? Contrary to what most believe we actually have to work in order to obtain salvation. What’s the point of being born to just put your feet up, and not do anything? Where is the reward in that? Are not the Saints who are literally numbered in the millions all over the world, and in all times of our existence not the examples we need to follow to be like unto Christ? A life of hard and fruitful labor, with the mindset of laying up our treasure in Heaven that neither moth nor rust consumes, nor thieves break in and steal will pay off in this life AND for eternity. Do not stop drawing souls to Him and Truth until He says it’s time!

God Bless BJS!!

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​Bishops and Priests

    What jurisdiction has a bishop? –A bishop rules over that part of the Church, an organized territory called a bishopric, diocese, or see, assigned to him by the Pope.The word “bishop” is a translation from the Greek episcopos, which means “overseer,” a term first applied during apostolic times. To Titus St. Paul wrote, “For this reason I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set right anything that is defective and shouldst appoint presbyters in every city” (Tit. 1:5). 

  1. The bishops are the major-generals in the vast army of the Church. They command the different divisions of that army, subject to the authority of the commander in-chief, the Bishop of Rome. Under their jurisdiction are the parish priests in charge of parishes. As the Pope is the successor of St. Peter, so the other bishops are the direct successors of the other Apostles. Bishops are called “princes of the Church.” To them Our Lord spoke: “He who hears you hears Me.” They and their vicars general are termed ordinaries because they have ordinary, or immediate, jurisdiction over the diocese 
  2. A bishop administers the temporal possessions of his diocese, and gives an account of their administration to the Pope. He provides for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood, and the religious education of his whole flock. He gives faculties to hear confessions, censors books on religious subjects, and has many other powers for the proper administration of his diocese. A bishop is supreme in his diocese, but he is subject in all things to the Pope, who appoints him. The Pope grants their jurisdiction to bishops; before a bishop can exercise his office, he has to be recognized and confirmed by the Pope. He is obliged to go to Rome at stated intervals, to report on the state of his diocese. A bishop has the right to be called to a General Council, which is an assembly of the bishops of the world, presided over by the Pope. But, “If anyone is eager for the office of bishop, he desires a good work” (1 Tim. 3:1) 
  3. A bishop is shepherd of his flock. He appoints and supervises parish priests to help him. In governing his diocese, he is assisted by a number of “canons”, or by diocesan consultors. A coadjutor or auxiliary bishop is commissioned to assist the bishop of a diocese. Usually a coadjutor bishop is one with the right of succession. The Pope addresses a bishop Brother, because as bishops they have the same rank. Bishops wear a mitre, and carry a crosier as a sign of their office of pastor. They wear a pectoral cross. They have a ring, as a symbol of their union with their diocese. The faithful kiss this ring in token of obedience and respect. 
  4. Vicar Apostolic is a bishop who rules over a territory that is not yet fully organized, called a Vicariate ApostolicWhen the territory is first organized, it is usually placed under the care of a priest, and not a bishop. This priest is called a Prefect Apostolic and his territory is an Apostolic Prefecture. 
  5. titular Bishop or Archbishop is one who bears the title of a diocese, but has no jurisdiction over it. Nuncios, apostolic delegates, coadjutor and auxiliary bishops, and vicars apostolic are generally titular. Titular bishops and archbishops have no actual sees; they are given the titles of certain sees that previously existed, but that have since disappeared in the reorganization of jurisdictions, or because of the inroads of Mohammedanism, heresy, or paganism. The names of the sees are kept intact, and awarded to those whom the Holy See wishes to raise to the rank of bishops, and given special work. 
  6. An Archbishop or Metropolitan is a bishop who has certain powers of jurisdiction granted by the Pope over neighboring dioceses composing his province. Archbishops wear a pallium, a white strip of wool, on the shoulders, as a symbol of gentleness. They act as first judges of appeal from a decision of their suffragan bishops.
    Who assist the bishops in the care of souls? –The priests, especially parish priests, assist the bishops in the care of souls. 

  1. Parish priests are captains in the great army that is the Church. They command the soldiers of the Church, all baptized persons residing in the particular districts, called parishes, assigned to them by the bishops. The parish priest carries out the purpose of Christ in founding the Church. He teaches the people their religion, their duties towards God and each other. He governs the people, leading them in Catholic work. He sanctifies them by administering the sacraments. 
  2. Parish priests receive their orders and jurisdiction from the bishop. They are his spiritual children, and are bound to carry out his commands. In the parish the parish priest represents the bishop, and no one may, without his consent or the bishop’s, exercise spiritual functions there, such as marrying, baptizing, preaching, burying, giving extreme unction, etc.vicar forane (called also urban and rural dean) is a parish priest having supervisory power in the name of the bishop over neighboring parishes. A vicar-general is the chief among the officers of a diocese. Parish priests of large districts have priests helping them, called curates or assistants. 
  3. The duties of parish priests are many, varied, and of great responsibility. Like all priests, they are pledged to lifelong celibacy. Daily they must recite the Breviary, the priests’ book, which cannot be read under less than an hour’s time. On account of these heavy responsibilities all Catholics have the obligation to pray for their priests, and to help them as much as possible, especially that they may continue in the love of God, and be enlightened by the Holy Ghost.A parish priest and his curates have to visit the sick of the parish any time of the day or night, whenever there is a call. He has to give the last sacraments to the dying, however contagious or repellent the disease of such persons might be. He has to hear confessions hour after hour; he has to fast as long as the Masses he is scheduled to say have not been said. He must renounce the world with all its worldly amusements for the love of God. As shepherd of his flock, he is responsible to God for the souls of those committed to his charge; and on the day of judgment, he has to render a strict account of his stewardship over them.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

Divine Providence

​Many people make themselves miserable worrying over the future. They should have more trust in Divine Providence. Let them do the best they can, and leave the rest to God, Who cares for them. Our Lord said, “Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they? … Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or, ‘What shall we drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ for your Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given you besides” (Matt. 6:26-33).

Does God see us? — God sees us, and watches over us with loving care.

God preserves and governs the world. If He were to take away for one instant His sustaining power, the whole creation would at once fall back into nothingness
It is as if He held us in His hand. If He withdrew it for a moment, we would be nothing. “When thou shalt take away their breath, they shall die, and return again to the dust” (Ps. 103:29)

Nothing happens without the will or permission of God. Our Lord tells us that not one sparrow falls to the ground without the will of our Heavenly Father, and that the very hairs of our head are numbered.

God is to the world and men as the engine is to a train, as the pilot is to a ship. He guides the whole universe and all creatures. He guides the nations. “Cast all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7)

What is God’s loving care for us called? — God’s loving care for us is called Divine Providence, His plan for guiding creatures to their proper end.
Divine Providence is good, constant, and just. It watches over even the humblest and most despised creature on earth.

Of the paternal tenderness of God, Holy Scripture speaks thus: “Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands; thy walls are always before my eyes” (Is. 49:15,16).

 God has special care for those who are poor, despised, and forgotten by the world. He has often shown forth His glory by means of the humble
So poor shepherds were the first to receive news of the birth of the Saviour. So poor fishermen were His Apostles. So a poor maiden was His Mother.
 

If Divine Providence is good, why do poverty, sickness, sufferings, and other physical evils exist?
— Physical evils are often the result of the weakness of creatures in body and mind.
Although we often do not understand God’s arrangements, we must have faith and exclaim with the Apostle: “How incomprehensible are God’s judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33).
 
Physical evil is partly a punishment for actual sin. It serves to sanctify the good, and helps them attain eternal salvation. The greatest sufferers have often been the greatest saints. God sends suffering to the just man in order to prove his love.
So holy Job lost everything he had, yet loved God more. So Tobias became blind and poor, and only proved his love for God.
 
God never sends anyone suffering beyond his strength. To gain merit, we must be patient and resigned under suffering. Let us imitate Our Lord in the Garden, whose prayer was, “Father, not my will, but thine, be done!” Our Lord taught us to say, in the Our Father, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
He who resigns himself joyfully to the will of God, in sickness, death, poverty, persecution, and other misfortunes, obtains true peace of heart; he will be blessed even on this earth.
 
God often sends physical evil to sinners in order to bring them back into the right way. It serves as a warning to them.
Among those who were converted through bodily sickness, we may mention St. Francis of Assisi and St. Ignatius of Loyola.
 
Sufferings can be a boon, and should be welcomed. By sufferings, patiently accepted, the punishment due for sin is diminished or cancelled. The more we suffer in this world, the less would we have to pay in the next life, in purgatory.
As St. Paul said, “I am filled with comfort; I overflow with joy in all our troubles” (2 Cor. 7:4). “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us.” And St. Ignatius spoke from experience when he said, “When God sends us some great trouble, it is a sign that He designs great things for us, to raise us to great holiness.”
 

If Divine Providence is just, why do the good often suffer misfortunes, and the wicked enjoy prosperity and honors?
— The misfortunes and satisfactions of the world are not real and lasting, and cannot gauge God’s justice.
 
No sinner has true happiness; his conscience will not give him inner peace. Riches, honor, and pleasures can never give peace to the spirit. On the other hand, no lover of God has true misery, for he possesses inner peace and a good conscience. Real reward and punishment begin only after death.
On earth sinners are rewarded for whatever good they do. Their good fortune lasts only for this life. The just are punished on earth for whatever sins they may have committed. Their reward is full in the other life.
 
We must therefore resign ourselves lovingly to the will of God. Thus we shall have peace of mind even in the midst of the greatest trials. Suffering should remind us that this is not our true home, and that we are citizens of heaven.

“The Lord ruleth me, and I shall want nothing”
(Ps. 22:1). “In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, because thou hast saved my soul” (Ps. 30:1, 8).
 

Is God responsible for sin?
— God is not responsible for sin; sin is the result of man’s wrong use of his free will.
 
God does not will or cause sin; He forbids it and will punish the sinner. He permits sin for His own reasons, to sanctify the good, by trying them and giving them opportunities for more faithful obedience.
God created man free to choose good or evil. He wishes us to choose good, in order that we may merit heaven. But since we are free, we can, if we so wish, choose evil. God is not responsible for our sins.
 
Even the evil that God permits to happen, He turns to our good. He draws good out of evil.
The wicked persecutions of the Church make the Gospel better known and loved among the just. Thus the patriarch Joseph said to his brothers, “You thought evil against me, but God turned it into good” (Gen. 50:30). “For those who love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom. 8:28).

Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.


God Bless BJS!!