Deacon's Corner
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April 15, 2018, 12:00 PM

We are to love God with our whole heart and soul – how can we do that? Part 2

Two weeks ago, I used the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) to address what the Church means by our heart and soul. If we are to love God with our whole heart and soul, we should have a sense of what heart and soul mean. “The heart is our hidden center … It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death” (CCC #2563). The soul is, “The spiritual principle of human beings. The soul is the subject of human consciousness and freedom; soul and body together form one unique human nature … The soul does not die with the body” (CCC Glossary). We follow the commandment to love God with our whole heart and soul by being more Christ-like. Our Lent theme was change of heart, the desire to change our hearts to be more Christ-like. We prayed for the strength and courage to increase our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We now have an Easter theme of all things new in Christ. When we listen during prayer, God tells us His will for us. When we change our hearts and follow Him, we experience all things new in Christ. When we “fast” from things we are attached to in this life, such as our jobs, the internet or television, we change our hearts and have time to do more of what God asks of us. When we change our habits away from ourselves and turn toward service of others, God smiles at our change of heart and helps us enjoy all things new in Christ. Our almsgiving can be our time, talent, or treasure. This wide range can include serving as a catechist, minister in Mass, Council Member, or volunteer in a variety of ministries. Our goal is to have every St. Ann family participating in at least one ministry. Contributing financially to the family of St. Ann enables the Pastor to shepherd the Parish, provide for the parishioners’ spiritual needs, and help all experience all things new in Christ. We say in the Creed that we believe in the visible and invisible so here we have it, insight into two things invisible, heart and soul. Now you know!




April 8, 2018, 12:00 PM

It’s Divine Mercy Sunday! How can we celebrate?

I encourage all to come to theDivine Mercy Liturgy this Sunday afternoon, 12:30 to 4:00. It celebrates what Jesus asks of us through St. Faustina. You won’t be sorry, except for your sins.

In the 1930s, Jesus chose a humble Polish nun, Maria Faustina Kowalska, to receive private revelations concerning Divine Mercy. In her Diary, she recorded 14 occasions when Jesus requested that a Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday) be observed. For example, Jesus said, “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls … The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment … It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter” (Diary, no. 699).

Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Faustina on April 18, 1993, the Second Sunday of Easter, and canonized her on April 30, 2000, the Second Sunday of Easter that year. He then declared the Second Sunday of Easter (the first Sunday after Easter Sunday) to be Divine Mercy Sunday. In 2002, the Pope approved indulgences for Divine Mercy devotions. If we go to Confession, accomplish a Work of Mercy, and receive Holy Communion, we can obtain a plenary indulgence, the complete forgiveness of all sins and all of the due punishment.

Jesus also gave St. Faustina the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with this promise, “Encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given you” (Diary, no. 1541). “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. … I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy” (Diary, no. 687). Jesus gave St. Faustina nine intentions for which to pray a Novena. The Feast should be preceded by a Novena of Chaplets to the Divine Mercy beginning on Good Friday and ending on the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday. However, it can be prayed anytime.

Remembering the message Sister Faustina received is as easy as A-B-C. A: Ask for His Mercy. Repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness. B: Be merciful. Extend the forgiveness we receive (a la the Lord’s Prayer!). C: Completely trust in Jesus. God gave the world a Savior. We are called to make known His Divine Mercy and prepare for His Second Coming. Now you know!




April 1, 2018, 12:00 PM

Happy Easter!

It is impossible to express the greatness and joy of this day for Christians. This is the day Christ broke the chains of death and rose in triumph from the grave! He made all things new in Christ! He did this, not just for Himself, but for each of us. The power of His Resurrection helps us rise from our sins, frees us from the grip of fear and despair, and helps us live in joy and freedom as children of the Father. This is the heart of the Good News. Jesus wants us to share in His great victory over sin and death. We can do this if we are prepared to follow the way of Christ. This is what we promised at Baptism. So, it is very fitting that on this great day we joyfully renew our Baptismal promises and commit ourselves to a change of heart, to better follow Christ, our risen Lord. Throughout Lent we used the theme of metanoia, a change of heart, in homilies, intercessions, and activities at St. Ann. The desired result was for each of us to be more Christ-like and to follow the commandments to love God and neighbor. We want to strengthen our change of heart successes with an Easter season theme of all things new in Christ. In this way, we can better repent, forgive, and love as Jesus taught us. Now you know!




March 25, 2018, 12:00 PM

We say heart and soul quite often – what do we mean? Part 1

I received a very interesting question to address in the Deacon’s Corner: What does the Church mean by our heart and soul? If we are to love God with our whole heart and soul, we should have a sense of what heart and soul mean. Hang on, this can get very deep, very fast, but we need to begin with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). I’ve split this subject into two Parts. Today, I will dive into the Catechism then provide a Part 2 next week to give insights into practical applications for metanoia, change of heart, our theme for Lent.

The Church “emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being, is where the person decides for or against God” (CCC #368). “Our Lord called man’s heart the source from which the passions spring (Luke 7:21)” (CCC #1764). “The heart is the seat of moral personality (Matt 15:19) (CCC #2517). “According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain” (CCC # 2562). “The heart is our hidden center … It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death” (CCC #2563). Whew!

In Scripture ‘soul’ often refers to a human life or to the entire human person. But ‘soul’ also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image” (CCC #363). “The human body shares in the dignity of the image of God. It is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the Body of Christ, a temple of the Holy Spirit” (CCC # 364). “The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God, it is not ‘produced’ by the parents, and that it is immortal; it does not perish when it separated the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final resurrection” (CCC #366). Double whew! We say in the Creed that we believe in the visible and invisible so here we have it, a summary of the Church’s teaching on two things invisible, heart and soul. Now you know! Read through the Catechism and come back next week!




March 18, 2018, 12:00 PM

We pray Two Creeds – what’s the difference?

Creed comes from the Latin word Credo, which means “I believe.” We pray the Apostles’ Creed as part of the Rosary and the Nicene Creed at every Solemnity. What’s the difference and where did they come from? The Apostles’ Creed is a summary of the Apostles’ faith. “The Niceno-Constantinopolitan, or Nicene Creed, draws its great authority from the fact that it stems from the first two ecumenical Councils (in 325 and 381).” (CCC #195) The Church prayed the Apostles’ Creed for the first 300 years. As a result of the widespread Arian Heresy, which denied the Divinity of Jesus, the first ecumenical Council convened in Nicaea in 325. The Council condemned the Heresy and expanded the Apostles’ Creed statement, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord.” The Council added seven phrases to help us better understand who Jesus is: “eternally begotten of the Father; God from God; Light from Light; true God from true God; begotten, not made; One in being with the Father; and through Him all things were made. As a result of the Church’s struggle with the Faith concerning the Holy Spirit, the Council of Constantinople convened in 381. The Church expanded the Apostles’ Creed statement, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” The Council added four phrases to help us better understand who the Holy Spirit is: the Lord, the giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; with the Father and Son He is worshiped and glorified; and He has spoken through the prophets. The Council also added, “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church” to the Creed. These “marks” of the Church indicate essential features of the Church and Her mission. We end with “Amen.” In Hebrew, Amen comes from the same root as “believe.” By ending the Creed with “Amen,” we restate, repeat, and confirm the first word, “Credo,” “I believe.” Now you know!


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