My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!
Our greatest exercise in practicing our Catholic faith is PRAYER. The Prophet Elijah heard the Lord in “just the sound of a gentle breeze” and Our Lord Jesus “goes up into the hills by Himself to pray” in our readings for this XIX Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Often, Catholics imagine that God reveals Himself to us only in outstanding signs of His glory. The truth is that God speaks to us in stillness and our everyday situations. Like the Prophet Elijah, we have to strain to listen and like Jesus Himself, we must speak to Our Heavenly Father in quiet and solitude every day.
Saint Peter, Apostle, cries out to the Lord in just a few words: “Lord, save me!” St. Peter’s prayer was very brief and it was answered immediately! It’s interesting to note how many asked Jesus for favors in just a few simple words. This gives us a hint on how to approach Christ.
Today, we can do well to model some of our daily prayers after the brief prayers of those who walked and talked to Jesus on earth. Not neglecting our formal and “official” prayers of the Church, but because often in daily life we have not the time or energy to make longer prayers of our own. So I encourage you to say brief prayers that can be offered to God any time and any place. Try it at table. Say “thank you, Lord, for this food, friends, and family.” In the morning upon rising, “Good morning, Lord! Thank you for another Summer day!” Backing the car out of the garage, “Lord, give us a safe journey.” Before retiring after a long day, “Lord, grant me a restful night and a peaceful death.” Either in solitude or in the busy-ness of one’s day talk to Jesus briefly in your own words.
Learn to call upon Jesus in long or short prayers so that our faith and trust in Him grows. Simply tell Him throughout the course of your earthly life, “JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!”
As you may be aware, I will be away from the parish for a few weeks on Summer vacation. I will be leaving for Poland on Monday, August 11, and returning to Middletown on Friday, August 29. Please God, I will return refreshed, rested, renewed and ready for Autumn!
While I’m away please direct any pastoral needs to Megan Furtado, Parish Secretary, at the rectory. Father Greg Mullaney will cover any funerals Masses and Father Ephrem Karowski, O.F.M. Capuchin of St. Pius X Friary, Middletown, will be at St. John’s for the Assumption Day Masses and for the weekend Masses of August 16 – 17 and 23-24. There will be NO DAILY MASSES. Please attend daily Mass at one of our many local churches. I humbly ask that you please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as you will remain in mine. Thank you for all the kind remembrances of my 46th Birthday on August 6th!
Summer Blessings to you all!
Always, Father Jim