Wednesday, January 23, 2019

HAPPINESS AND HOLINESS by DEACON JOHN CLYMORE, DEACON SPIRITUAL ADVISOR


HAPPY NEW YEAR

The key to happiness is climbing the ladder of the Beatitudes. Each rung is a closer encounter in our relationship with our lord, JESUS CHRIST our light. The more we climb the closer we are to surrender. While we read down the beatitudes one through eight we realize how happy we have become and our personal relationship with the Lord has become greater. 

The world promises happiness in what we want success in, “money new cars etc”…. 

Most philosophers think it is a state of mind: happiness is much more; it is a state of being. It is derived from being in communion with God. This communion I speak of is given through the sacraments: My focus is the sacrament of reconciliation with the priest in the confessional. This brings the soul and the heart to peace. This peace is true happiness for it brings light to our soul. Being happy all the time is virtuously not to be in this life but is eternal in heaven. In Mt. Jesus says repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Take notice Jesus says REPENT for the Kingdom of God is at hand. To achieve happiness is to have peace to have peace is to have been in communion with God. To deepen this peace we can receive Eucharist with a clean heart. And even in pain we can   be happy, for the love of God is within and we know this because the Spirit reveals this in our mind. 

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)

1 When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 
2 He began to teach them, saying: The Beatitudes
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman & she becomes happy!!!!!!! (John 4)

1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John — 
2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 
So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.
18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

After the encounter with the Lord; the woman is transformed: she becomes excited, happy and wants to shout from the rooftops what Jesus has told her about herself. The woman can’t wait to get back to town to tell all she encountered & the truth Jesus revealed to her.

Now, remember the woman came to Jacobs well at the hottest part of the day when there is no one else at the well. The woman didn’t want to be around the town people, for she was ashamed of herself. Instead she found Jesus and climbed the first rung of the ladder truly happy she is on the way to holiness.

What truth has Jesus revealed to us, that we encountered a transformation that set us on the road to happiness and the first rung of holiness? It is in holiness that we find humility, and become humble in realizing how poor we are and that there is a great wealth in the people we encounter for we are truly less. 

At this point share on a holy person that we love! I shared about Marilyn my wife.

These are the steps of the ladder for there is great wealth in the climb; the gifts of the spirit are above us; the fruits of the spirit are above. Our Lady Wisdom is life. 

(Matthew 5: 4 - 11)

4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,*for they will be satisfied.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,*for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. 

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

Deacon John Clymore
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RESISTING HAPPINESS - A TALK BY ANNA MARIA AND TONY KINIFIC


Prayer: I put my trust in you oh Lord help me to do your will. Thy will be done. Amen.

For a while now I have been asking God Why am I here? Praying over it and thinking heavily about it, wondering if I would ever get an answer.

Last October I went to a talk at our Church and the guest speaker was Colleen Rayner, the subject of her talk was “The Power of Yes”.  During her talk she spoke about the Bible passage Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope”.  I began to notice a connection to my prayers. 

Then Kathy asked me with Tony to read this book “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly. I began to think and realize these are messengers from God.  God IS talking to me.

The Title intrigued me but I was apprehensive because I had a fear to give a talk, however I did say Yes.  Thinking back on the talk ”The Power of Yes”. 

First thing  “Seek his will in all things this is the road that leads to Happiness”. Then here comes the Resistance, my fear of the challenge, it would just be easier not to do it BUT God was challenging me. 

Resistance takes many forms: procrastination, laziness, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, tension, self-sabotage.

Here are some points in the book that is helping me to make a-better-version-of-myself.

“Reflect on my image of God and trace back to its roots. My image of God: Gentle, kind, loving, very patient.  Wants me to see what he has in store for me.  I think back when I was 13, I remember how I wanted a sister. I would go to Church for 10 minutes or so everyday after school and pray for a sister.  Months later I remember my mother coming to me and told me that she would be having a baby!  I said “I know”!  She was taken aback, but I got my sister.  As I grew I wanted a loving husband and children.  I made pilgrimages to churches and I was Blessed with all these things, God was there for me every  time.   Life was not perfect, life was messy. 

Tony speaks:

"We lived with my parents in Manhattan in a room and we had 3 children we needed to move to our own house everything was so expensive here on the east coast my friends in California wanted us to move out to them the houses where so much cheaper $24,000 compared to here $50,000.  We packed every thing with a U Haul and ready to leave for California but we ended up in New Jersey.  It was too difficult on my parents and with some help from them we were able to settle closer.  Everything was ok for a while. 

Our decision to move our business from NY to NJ was based on trust in God, we were scared, needed to educate our children, they were in High School and College was in the future for 3 boys in the next few years, it was truly scary.  Money was plentiful in Manhattan but  a toxic environment, a small town in Cresskill, NJ was a step down but healthier for the family.  We did well, we worked hard, less money but happier.  We worked together, our boys had to help at work. 
 
We got involved with marriage Encounter, Cursillo. 

Helped to bring my parents to our home.  God sent us a great health aide  Barbara, a Jamaican  women who stayed with us for twelve years.  We are still friends with her today.  I was there when my Mom and Dad passed. Thinking back God was always there in the center of our life.  I have a great devotion to Our lady I have consecrated myself to her as I remember being taught “To Jesus through Mary”. 

Anna Maria speaks:

"When we married we were married in Germany and during those years it was difficult for Tony’s family to come to our wedding because of the political climate in Yugoslavia. His parents were not at our wedding.  Through the years we would take many summer trips to visit Tony’s family, important for our children and Tony’s family.

We were able to have our 50th wedding Anniversary in Slovenia with many of Tony’s relatives and our children and their families. We celebrated our Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Thanksgiving for all these gifts from God. 

This book helped me to go back our life together and see how God is answering four questions:  Who am I?  What am I here for? What matters most? What matters least?

It has given me a perspective and put things in place so I can make sense of it all and where I am called to go next. 

I believe that God has asked me to read this book not Kathy."

Important parts from the book: 

  • Pay attention to your spiritual life.  Here is where Cursillo has played the biggest roll in our spiritual life and now I can see it. How fabulous is that!
  • Present moment awareness.  Learn to find God in ordinary activities of daily life.  He wants you to be aware of things while they are actually happening.  At the end of the day write down three times when you were fully aware of God in your day”.  In the smile of your little grandchild or your old friend.
  • God invites you/me to change and grow every day.  It is an on going journey.  God invited me to collaborate with him in my daily conversion.  But I am still resistant. I know the next step will bring as much if not more happiness than the last step he beckoned me to take, but I am resistant. I hope I can break through the resistance today”.
  • As Christians we are called to transform every activity in our lives into prayer.  This is how we become the-best-version-of-ourselves and live holy lives”. I remember when I was in grammar school the Nuns would always tell us “offer it up” whenever we had a task that we did not like.  It was always easier to do the job with the prayer in mind. 
  • “Everything can be transformed into prayer”. Cooking, cleaning, daily chores, etc.  
  • “Visit the lonely. Somewhere not too far from where you live, someone’s saying a prayer. He is asking God to send someone to visit him and lift him up out of the depths of his loneliness.  God wants you to help him answer that prayer”.
  • Read the Bible regularly the Bible gives us incredible insight into the mind of God. People who read the Bible make better decisions
  • From time to time it is good for us all to learn to listen again.  Listen to those you love.  Listen to your body.  Listen to your conscience and soul.  Listen to God.
  • “Prayer and fasting” it can be as simple as ordering a glass of water instead of a coke.
  • In order to consistently overcome resistance we need to give truth a place of honor I our lives.
  • “Our culture is trying to murder truth and it is important to note that you cannot murder truth without first murdering the Catholic Church. So in a culture that hates truth, the Catholic Church is public enemy number one”.
  • “You cannot be happy focused on yourself. You were made for mission.  It’s deep within you.  Only by serving others in a meaningful way do we truly discover the happiness we yearn for so unrelentingly”
  • "This world we live in is not our destination we are only passing through."
  • Lastly, Have you ever wondered what God Looks for on a resume?  Only one thing! He asks only one thing of us.  He can take care of the rest.  The one thing God needs from you in order to launch you into mission is availability.  Make yourself available to God and Incredible things will happen.
This book is very powerful I just skimmed over some points that seemed to resonate with me but it is a must read book and a must do book. 

Prayer:

Loving Father, I come to you today to make myself 100 percent available to you.
I lay everything I have and everything I am at your feet.
Take what you want to take, and give what you want to give.
Command me in all things. I will do whatever you ask me to do.
Transform me and transform my life, so that I may become the-very-best-version-of-myself
and lead others to you with my life and my love! Amen   
(Pray this prayer for nine days)

DeColores, Anna Maria and Tony Kinific

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

UNVEILING OF THE NEW STEP-BY-STEP RECTOR

From Mary Weis, Lay Director: De Colores! Below please find information about the Regional Spring Encounter that is a one day event. It will focus on the new guide for Rectors on the Cursillo Weekend. I encourage all of us to be there and to register in advance. We can easily carpool for the day - it is in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday, April 6 from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Thank you and God bless, Mary

***  APRIL 6 – REGION 2 SPRING ENCOUNTER *** (Note: this encounter is a one-day event, not the usual three-day event.)

Come for the unveiling of the new STEP BY STEP RECTOR’S MANUAL.  This one-day event will be held in Wilmington, Delaware.  WE ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGING THAT ALL SECRETARIAT AND SCHOOL OF LEADER MEMBERS OF OUR ENTIRE REGION ATTEND!  

Location: St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 1010 W. 4th Street, Wilmington, DE 19804 from 8:30am to 5:00pm

Cost: $25 – covers the cost of breakfast and lunch.

Please mail your $25 check payable to “Cursillos de Cristiandad Region 2” and mail to Carmen Oliva, 3308 Floral Street, Silver Spring, MD 20902

Deadline: PLEASE RSVP and make payment no later than Saturday, March 30, 2019
$35 will be charged at the door – so save money and pay now!  We hope you can join us!

Sue Wenzlick, Region 2 English Coordinator

Saturday, January 5, 2019

A CHRISTMAS REFLECTION by PAT BURKE

“Lord hasten to fill the emptiness within me this CHRISTMAS. Christ, light of the world, sparkle within me, dance within me, speak Within me, command within me. Christ, light of the world, take me, mold me, hold me, for I love you, Lord Jesus, Amen”

1st Reading:  Of all the titles by which we address Mary, the most profound and meaningful is “Mother of God”.  This is a daring, startling title.  God, the creator of the whole universe, has a Mother? The title “Mother of God” does not imply that Mary herself if divine.  It does mean that she is most worthy of our love, our gratitude and our confidence in her intercession.  As we pass through this Advent it is comforting to know that she will accompany us with her prayers and her motherly love.

Song:  SING OF MARY, by Gretchen Harris

2nd Reading:   In these days of Advent we often remember those who are spending this Christmas at Jesus’ table.  If someone close to us has passed this past year we might think this, “This is the first Christmas without them.”

But even if they died long ago, we remember them in a special way at Christmas.

We sometimes remember our childhood, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning as a youngster with our family.

We might think of Mary and Jesus together on the great Jewish feast after Joseph had died.  They remembered how they used to celebrate those wonderful days with him.  On those days Mary missed her husband, whom she loved. 

Whomever you miss at Christmas… talk to Mary. She understands.

Song: AFTER DECEMBER, by Gretchen Harris

Let’s take a walk with Mary

Song:  MARY, DID YOU KNOW by Kelley Mooney

“What do you want to say to Jesus”

Song:  HALLELUJAH BY Kelley Mooney

I always look for the special gift from Jesus every year sometimes it comes early during Advent last year it came on Little Christmas.

This year I got a call from a MOM whose child I had in Rehab.  Suzie after her father died she had a series of seizes. They told her Mom she would not make it start planning her funeral.  I’ve been praying for a miracle for her.  Well I was having a real rotten day and then her call came and she shared Suzie is eating and talking and walking.  My Christmas Gift came early today.

What is the most special gift you’ve ever received?  Did you receive it on your birthday, for Christmas, or on another occasion?

Turn and share with the person sitting next to you.

I will close with a song to bring you back in.

Song:   All Good gifts by God Spell

Christ gave us Grace, Justification, righteousness, obedience and eternal life.