My Testimony – Chad

This is Chad’s testimony. He’s continued to develop his relationship with Jesus Christ for his entire life, always striving to give more of himself in the call to be a disciple. The Lord continues to fill his life with love, joy, and peace.

To listen to more testimonies, click here.

Lent is for lovers

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” -Hosea 2:14

Lent and wilderness.

Throughout this holy season given to us by the Church, we see the wilderness or the desert play prominently in the Scripture readings. As a season of fasting, penance and almsgiving, it can feel like a wilderness. We have heard that the 40 days of Lent recalls the 40 years the Israelites spent in the desert unable to enter the Promised Land. What we don’t always consider is the above verse from the prophet Hosea. Lent IS a desert wilderness, but Lent is also a profound romance.

Lent is the courtship of a man seeking to make the woman he loves his bride. It is his all-out, no holds barred, last-ditch effort to capture her every attention. It is his plea: let me steal you away for awhile, so I can have you all to myself. I want you all to myself so I can make sure you’re not distracted by your job or your hair or the weather or what is on TV, because I’m going to propose! I want you to be my bride! I want to give it all for you! Please set aside anything that could distract you from this all-important moment!

The wilderness is stripped of comfort and ease; it can be hard and unyielding. There is little to capture our attention in the barren wasteland. How is this a love story, a lover wooing the beloved towards betrothal? God almighty desires that we should come away with him, seek him as our only enduring comfort, and call upon him alone when it is hard and things get barren. He wants to remind us that all of life is a desert without him, the wellspring of life itself. He wants us to have nothing but him in a world that is captivating and alluring at every turn. He wants to speak tenderly to us, but he doesn’t want to shout over the cacophony of our daily lives.

This Lent, think of this time as a whirlwind romance in a foreign land. Your Lord and God is taking you by the hand and leading you to a quiet place, where he will whisper to you his deep, abiding affections. As the forty days draw to a close, he will slip a ring on your finger, promise to lay down his life for you, and lead you to a candle lit church where he will give himself to you day and night without ceasing unto eternity.

worship-easter-vigil

{Note: this post first appeared on the Ministry Blog for Catechetical Leaders in the Diocese of Crookston}

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life
— “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace),” Hillsong

This song is wonderful. Look at your Savior, who is love itself. Let His love fill you. Then be a bearer of His great love to the world.

My Testimony – Bobby

This is Bobby’s testimony. He drifted away from the Lord for a while during his life, but the Lord brought him back through the grace of the Sacraments. What a gift! Now he’s in the seminary, everyday pursuing a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

To listen to more testimonies, click here.

Thank God!

A popular phrase, often said with more emphasis on the day of the week than anything else: “T.G.I.F. – Thank God it’s Friday.” TGIF

A phrase often said when something lost is found, or when a crisis is avoided, but usually isn’t meant to be taken with any meaning: “Oh, thank God!

A phrase often heard at home around mealtime: “This again?!?

A phrase from the Bible:

The hope of an ungrateful person will melt like wintry frost, and flow away like waste water. Book of Wisdom 16:29

In other words, if we’re not grateful for the gifts God has given us – however big or small – we’ll quickly lose hope in our salvation. We’ll forget his love for us altogether!

I was playing a game with some people a few days ago and a guy dislocated and broke his ankle – some of the group had to take him to the hospital. While they were gone, those of us who remained prayed for him: we thanked God for his love, for our health, and we thanked God even for allowing this other guy to share in the suffering of Jesus. We maintained an “attitude of gratitude” because we knew that such an attitude will keep us hopeful of God’s love for us.Thank God

When we speak these phrases that include, “Thank God!” we should actually thank God in the moment. We need to take time each day – include it in your prayer time – to thank God for everything, even for our very existence. Doing so will remind us that God does indeed love us and has invited us to share in the salvation of his Son. Our gratitude will fill us with hope!

Thank him for your life. Thank him for your family. Thank him for your friends. Thank him for allowing you to go to school. Thank him for allowing you to have a job. Thank him for food (even if it’s the same meal over and over again) and drink. Thank him for animals and nature. Thank him for the flat tire. Thank him for the icy roads. Thank him for the red light. Thank him for everything. Thank God, literally.

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