Do Unimportant Things Blind Us?

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I delivered a PA System to a house in Laguna Hills, CA today. Those folks really know how to make houses! They had a gorgeous stone pool in the back next to a massive gas fire ring. Their spacious living room had high ceilings an opening into the kitchen and a smaller TV room. The stone work was beautiful. Everything was pristine.

But isn’t that superficial beauty? It’s not the kind of beauty that fosters love or relationships. It doesn’t offer any added sense of security. It doesn’t even promote imagination or thought. It just looks great.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with superficial beauty. Unless it distracts us from seeing true beauty. Does all the unimportant yet nice stuff distract us from what is important?

Grow Your Soul

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I must have been in first grade – or one of those elementary grades. I would watch TV in my parents’ bedroom, and my dad would sometimes turn to EWTN.

EWTN did a lot of good because it bored the Hell out of me! I don’t remember much of what any of the priests and nuns said on their shows. I mostly just remember lots of boring.

There was one time, however, that I saw something on EWTN that didn’t completely go over my head. A nun was speaking. Her face was fairly familiar. She must have been an EWTN regular. She said something I believe has really had a strong role in my prayer life. She said, “every time you pray, your soul gets bigger.”

I don’t recall thinking, “I’m going to pray all the time now so my soul gets huge!” But I do remember thinking of her words every time I prayed. When I said my prayers at night, I always had the visualization of my soul growing. I think that idea helped me become a person who prays on a daily basis. And God knows the massive impact that prayer has had on my life and on my faith!

I feel so blessed to have received that beautiful idea. I just had to share it with you!

Live Like You’re Falling in Love

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From the moment you’re born, you’re falling non-stop toward death.

You can’t even see the bottom. You have no way of knowing when you’re going to reach it.

You’re falling, and there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no branch you can grab onto, and no cushion at the bottom. So make the best of it. Don’t wait around for things to happen. Don’t stress about things that don’t happen. Live like you’re falling.

If you’re a Christian, there is good news. When you fall to your death, you reach God. When you reach God, you reach love.

That means, you’re not just falling. You’re falling in love.

Book Review: Killing Jesus

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I understand Bill O’Reilly and Martin Duggard had to continue their “Killing” theme when they named this book, but I think a better name would have been The Gospel of Bill.

Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Duggard

That’s basically what this book is. It’s the story of Jesus Christ written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Duggard. The Gospel of Bill name would really fit because the writers use simple language and make everything easy to understand. They don’t use any hifalutin words or any overly complex theological concepts like they would have if the book was named “The Gospel of William.” Instead they teach the life of Jesus to the average American.

I consider myself to be an average American, and I loved the book. It kept me interested, it was a quick read, and I learned lots!

This book is an important book for our country to have. Too many people misunderstand or are misinformed about the life of Jesus Christ. Bad news and negativity about Christianity seem to be running rampant in today’s culture.

Killing Jesus details not only the life of Jesus Christ as portrayed by the Bible, but also life in general during those times. The writers explain the Roman culture; the kings, the brutality, the politics. The book is really an account of that whole period of history, more than just an account of Jesus Christ’s life and death. It helped me get a firm understanding of Jesus Christ’s life by painting a broad picture of the world at that time.

Speaking of living in the world at that time, I’m damn glad I didn’t! Life under the Roman empire in those times was quite a bit worse than it is today, and I think you’ll agree with me if you decide to read the book.

I’m sure glad I read it!

Ultimately, Killing Jesus strengthened my faith, and I’m confident it will strengthen yours as well!

Peter Wasn’t Always a Rock

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When Jesus called Simon “the Rock,” (the name Peter is actually translated to mean Rock) Simon was actually quite the opposite. He was very temperamental and impulsive. He questioned Jesus. He even denied knowing him, three times!

That isn’t very rock-like behavior. So why did Jesus give Simon this name?

Because Jesus saw Simon for who he would be – the best version of himself – rather than for who he was.

Jesus didn’t bring attention to the fact that Simon was so temperamental by calling him something like “the River.” He brought attention to the fact that Simon was capable of growing and becoming “the Rock.”

When we offer love freely – as Jesus did/does – we aim to bring out the best in people. We see their strengths through their weaknesses, and we nurture them. I believe Jesus saw that Simon would be the foundation of his Church, but I also believe Jesus was a wise man who knew this positive encouragement would help Simon grow.

We are allowed to see the weaknesses of others, but it is important that we see and nurture their strengths. Even our enemies can grow to become saints. We will find it easier to love and accept our enemies if we judge them by the best version of themselves; even if that version hasn’t yet come to fruition.

Smile, This is So Good

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You can live forever! Oh, and you’ll always be satisfied like you just enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast. You’ll always be satisfied like you’re in love!

We have eternal life! Death is not the end.

Jesus Christ died and rose up, and now anybody who chooses to follow him receives the same reward!

This is so good!

While the Government is Shutdown

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I have a suggestion for Catholics, two things we can do while the government is shutdown.

1. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s intervention in the minds of those in power.

2. Promote/make public the services which are offered by Catholic institutions. Especially the services the government isn’t offering due to the shutdown.