My Dearest Family in the Child Jesus,
I hope this past year brought you closer to Mary’s son, Jesus. We should always strive to become closer to the Lord because we are His Children… His sons and daughters. It amazes me how people get all excited with movie stars, politicians, people of royalty or wealthy people. Yet, they forget who they are. Remember, those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus, YOU are royalty! The Family of God is thee family over all royalty. You are of royal blood; you are the future duchesses and dukes of Heaven. You have to believe in this! I don’t care who you are. The cost of this royalty is trying to love God every day. If we fail Him at a given moment, then we pick up our heels and try again. The key is to never stop trying to love Him, for it’s your passport into Heaven and your proof of belonging to Heaven’s family and not this world. Next time you look into a mirror, remember who you are… a future duke or duchess of Heaven.
Someone asked me, “Why are Churches closing down?” Perhaps I can answer from another angle. As a chaplain of two hospitals, I became friends with Lisa and Glen. Lisa was a Methodist Minister and Glen was a Presbyterian Minister who were both chaplains at other local hospitals. One day we had coffee together and seeing the shortage of priests I asked them the question, “Would married priests solve our vocation crises?” They replied, NO! I asked them, why not? Lisa piped in with this… in my Church, we have male and female ministers and we still we do not have enough. Glen also agreed with this because of the vocation crises in his Church. Finally I asked them, then what is the problem today? They both said in unison: Because we stopped believing in God! There is your answer! Only when we start returning to God then will the Churches become strong again and you will not need to shut them down. Until then, let us pray.
I went to Chicago some months ago with a friend. We made this a pilgrimage of visiting the cathedral like Churches that came about during the Renaissance Era of the growing immigrants in the 1800’s. Wow! What amazing beauty that I never knew existed. We visited a total of nine churches and each one had its own distinct beauty. It’s sad that some of these Churches will no longer be in the future because of changing neighborhoods and ‘less and less’ people attending.
Someone once asked are we in for a chastisement of some sort because of the evilness going on? I said, look at these two people who spoke about this and they are now saints of today. One is Mother Theresa of Calcutta and the other John Paul II. Mother spoked at a pro-life event and said this as a warning: “The fruit of abortion shall be a nuclear war.” As long as we ok this for sure, we can expect what was said. And finally, John Paul II said, “We cannot stop what is to come (chastisement), but we can mitigate it through our prayers.” Let us pray!
And now some humor:
A priest, a minister and a rabbi wanted to see who’s the best at his job. So each walk into the woods, finds a bear and attempts to convert it. Later they all got together. The priest begins: When I found the bear, I read to him the catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his First Communion. I found the bear by the stream, said the minister, and preached God’s holy word. The bear was mesmerized that he let me baptize him. They both looked at the Rabbi, who was lying in a body cast, looking back, he said, maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision. (Readers Digest)
The Sunday school teacher was describing that when Lot’s wife looked back at Sodom she turned into a pillar of salt, when little Bobby interrupted. “My mommy looked back once while driving,’ he announced, ‘and she turned into a telephone pole.’
May the Child Jesus warmth your heart with His love and protect you in the coming New Year of 2018.
Wishing everyone a Blessed and Joyful New Year,
Fr. Dan Zaleski