The Lord is Near to the Brokenhearted

Has your heart ever been broken?
Has your spirit ever been crushed?

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had an experience (or more than one) that caused us to feel emotional pain. An experience that made our hearts ache. An experience that made us feel like we were kicked in the stomach and had the wind knocked out of us.

Whether we’ve experienced the loss of a loved one; end of a romantic relationship; betrayal of a significant other, friend or family member; or something similar, we can probably remember how much it hurt.

When we go through painful situations, do we try to deal with them on our own or do we turn to the Lord for help? When we go through painful situations, do we believe God is somewhere off in the distance or right there with us?

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“The Narrow Way”

I’m not usually interested in poetry. Figurative language doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m a straightforward, literal person; I prefer for someone to just tell me what they mean, rather than use fancy techniques to make me figure it out.

Recently, I saw a quote posted on a blog:

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.”

I was intrigued, so I searched online to find out more. (If it’s not obvious why I like the quote, look at the title of my blog.) I discovered that the quote is actually a line from a poem written by Anne Brontë.

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Love One Another

How do we know what love really is when the word is used so casually and its meaning is often distorted and misunderstood? As always, we must look to God for the truth…

When we see Jesus on the cross, we witness the greatest demonstration of love that will ever take place. When we look at Christ crucified, we discover the true meaning of love: sacrifice.

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St. Valentine: Christian Love Means Death to Self

Jackie & Bobby

St. Valentine was tortured and beheaded by Emperor Claudius II in the 3rd century for marrying Christian couples in secret.

I don’t think I ever heard that factoid growing up in school. Candy, cards, and flowers seemed to dominate the conversation that day.

Then I got older and it seemed like I had to do something romantic because Hallmark told me to. But when I learned the origin of this holiday (a term that comes from “holy day”) I remember being confronted with the demands of what love truly means.

As a Christian, it means death to yourself. Perhaps that is in small ways, like letting your wife sleep in while you manage the kids, or giving up a listening ear to the coworker who interrupts you. Maybe it’s speaking the truth when it’s unpopular to do so. Or maybe it is the demand of your very life.

God is…

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Abortion: Truth, Hope and Help

Thus says the LORD:
In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing,
bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns for her children,
she refuses to be consoled
for her children—they are no more! (Jeremiah 31:15 NABRE)

A Day to Mourn

As you probably know, the “Reproductive Health Act” (RHA) was passed in New York State on January 22, 2019.

The law permits “late-stage” abortions, which could be performed up to the moment of birth in some cases. It also allows abortions to be performed by any licensed health practitioners, rather than full doctors. The law removes all legal protection for unborn children and those born alive after attempted abortions.

It was passed on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States.

I believe the NY vote took place on this anniversary intentionally. I believe it was meant to be a slap in the face to those of us who are pro-life.

When I heard about the law, I felt extremely angry and upset; and I wasn’t the only one.

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Four February Saints

Saints are men and women whose souls have reached heaven. The Catholic Church has a specific process for declaring men and women as saints and over 10,000 have been canonized! There are also many holy men and women who have not been officially canonized.

Below is information about four saints with feast days in February: Blaise, Agatha, Amata, and Thalelaeus. You may have heard of all, some or none of these saints.

Each has a unique story and personality, just like you and me. Each has something valuable to teach us about being a faithful disciple of Christ.

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If We Love God, We Will Keep His Commandments

The Ten Commandments are laws that are meant to be followed. God created them for a reason. He’s not a forceful dictator who creates rules to make our lives difficult. He’s a loving Father who knows what’s best for His children.

We obey these laws because we love the Lord and desire to follow Him.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

The Second Commandment

The second commandment is: You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

Because of how frequently we hear God’s name being used in casual and disrespectful ways, I often wonder if people know of this commandment; know what it means; and know that we sin when we break it.

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The Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus in the Roman Catholic Church. Today, January 3rd we observe the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Below is a beautiful prayer known as the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Litanies are prayers containing a series of petitions and responses to God, the Blessed Mother and the saints. The word “litany” comes from the Greek word “lite” meaning prayer or supplication.

They are traditionally recited or sung during special Church celebrations and Masses. Some litanies can also be prayed privately.

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