From Pain to Gain for the Glory of God!
Romans 8:18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
I've noticed recently that there has been much pain, hurt, sorrow, suffering surrounding me. It has not been affecting me directly, but I've felt the sting that one feels for a relative or friend when they are going through difficult times. Some times the pain is so difficult for those experiencing it that they feel there is no way the pain or suffering will ever go away. They believe there is no chance of ever healing. But, we have such an awesome God who has experienced these same pains, hurts, sorrows and sufferings. He knows exactly how we feel and wants us to know that He has come to heal and lift us out of our pain. He wants us to know that through the pains, will come great blessings. We may not feel like we have blessings awaiting us after we lose a job, get our home broken into, or worse, lose a loved one. No the blessings are not too apparent during those times. But remember, it is only through The Lord that we will get through these difficulties, Philippians 4:13 I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.
Blessings and miracles are happening, we may not see them clearly now, but when we turn to Him who empowers us, His glory will shine fully. So, offer up your pains, sufferings, sorrows and hurts, especially during the Mass. When our sufferings can be united to Jesus' on the Cross. He is waiting to transform them and you for the salvation of souls, from pain to gain.
|Father Stan Fortuna is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in New York, Father Stan is known for his music and dynamic speaking style. He is known to talk bluntly about Christian living in today’s culture. He has no fear of keeping it real and preaching the truth. He explains that we are called to rise above our struggles to evangelize the world for Christ. Fr. Stan will be speaking at all the Conferences that weekend.|
FR. ANTHONY SAROKI
Former attorney and now Pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in San Diego. Known for his gentle approach in preaching the Truth of the Catholic Faith.
Other than being a great NFL Quaterback he is also a Husband and Father who doesn’t shy from his commitment to the Catholic way of life.
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When it comes to religion and morality, is there truth that applies to everyone? Can we know that truth with any confidence? Does accepting the truth claims of the Catholic Church spoil my fun and my ability to be happy? Jesus said: "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (Jn 8:31-32). The Men's and Women's Conferences will explore these themes with dynamic presentations and personal testimonies that show the reality and power of the Truth.
*** Due to the content of the Conference, we do not recommend anyone under the age of 18.
The Boy Jesus in the Temple.
Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
Recently I was having a restless night, with deep concerns on my mind. I found it difficult to continue sleeping, my body was tired, but my mind was racing. I held my rosary in my hands and asked God to bring peace to the matter of my concern. As I continued, I felt heat and chill at the same time. Knowing that I would not be able to stop the racing mind, I rose out of bed, grabbed my rosary and went to the living room to pray the Joyful Mysteries. Ironic, because I did not feel any joy at the time. As I began praying, I did begin to feel my heart and mind slow down, but it wasn't until the Fifth Mystery that I felt a break through. Finding Jesus in the Temple! Upon completion of the Rosary, I opened up my study bible and looked up the scripture passage Lk 2:41-52. As I read it over a couple of times, I recalled the scripture passage also in Luke about the Road to Emmaus, Lk 24: 28-35, how Jesus meet a couple of his followers on the road and asked them why are you looking so sad? I thought about Joseph and Mary looking three days frantically for Jesus. As a parent and grandparent I know how upset they must have felt, worrying about their missing child. Even for a minute in a department store losing sight of a child could send a parent into an immediate panic. Imagine three days in a big city? My thoughts jumped back to the disciples on the road in their sadness, knowing that Jesus was nailed to a cross, died and placed in a tomb with a large rock to cover it up. Their whole world was also thrown into confusion and grief.
When our world is thrown off it's axis we often feel those same emotions. Especially when we realize we cannot control the situation or it's outcome. All we can do is look for guidance, peace, and hope. But where can we find them? Well as I was praying my Rosary and read the Fifth Mystery, it occurred to me where I could find it. The same place Mary, Joseph and the disciples on the Road to Emmaus found it! In the temple, in the breaking of the bread! As I read in the temple story, it it took Joseph and Mary three days to find Jesus in the temple, His Father's House. Our Father's House! Similarly I realized that the disciples on the road ran into Jesus on the third day. They exclaimed how their hearts were burning as he explained the scriptures about Him to them. But it wasn't until He sat at table with them, blessed, broke, and gave them the bread, that they recognized Him. I know when I attend Mass, I participate in those same acts as Mary, Joseph, and the disciples on the road to Emmaus. In the Church I find the same Jesus as them, the Jesus explaining the scriptures to me, the crucified, and risen glorious Jesus in the breaking of the bread sharing of Himself in the Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity! Yes we can pray anywhere, anytime, about anything. Too often we look for answers in all the wrong places, we try to do it on our own, our way! However, wouldn't it be better to be physically with our Risen Lord? Where the youthful Jesus and the Risen Jesus share of Himself with us? When we look for Him in our own ways, desperately seeking Him, He calls out to us, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Our Father's house! He's waiting for you to come home!