Journey to Heaven — Do you have your map? : The Integrated Catholic Life™

Journey to Heaven — Do you have your map? : The Integrated Catholic Life™

From Pain to Gain!

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.


Trust, Believe and Live!

John 4:50 Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.

Do you really place your trust in Jesus? Like the royal official in Cana who asked for healing of his ill son, do you believe Jesus completely? Do you trust His timing and His will for you? God wants so much more for you than you could want for youself. So, go to him, offer up your prayers, then listen, believe and be patient. He will answer you in His time. God is never early or never late, He is always on time! 
Like the image of the Divine Mercy of Jesus, painted by St. Sister Faustina, the inscription reads "Jesus, I Trust in You!" Call out to Him and let all your healing needs be put in His hands, believe and live!
Gospel JN 4:43-54

At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.

Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
he went to him and asked him to come down
and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him,
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
The royal official said to him,
“Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
“The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
“Your son will live,”
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.


Wisdom of a Child

  A friend of mine was telling me about a conversation he was having with his seven year old grandson. His grandson was the product of divorced parents who had remarried and each had a child with their new spouse. My friend asked him is your dad picking you up and taking you home? To which his grandson replied, in a matter of fact tone, "I don't have a home". He further explained, "my mom has a home with her family and my dad has a home with his family, but I don't have a home".  My friend said he could feel his heart come up to his throat and he tried to tell his grandson that his mom and dad really do love him, but he could tell his grandson was not completely assured by that statement. His grandson then looked at him and said, "the only place I feel at home is here with you and grandma, at your house". My friend told him "this will always be your home". 
  Too often when parents experience difficult times with their spouse, they get caught up in the blame game.  They begin to see the other's faults and short comings and focus only on those things that impact them negatively. They truly believe they are doing the adult thing by fighting for their own rights, rather than doing what is right for the family as a whole. They become too locked into their fighting stance too see the damage they are inflicting on the innocent around them. Why? Because they want what's best for themselves, not what's best for all. They want to win. Like a ship on a long journey off course by just a few degrees, they are headed for disaster and not just to themselves, but all passengers on board. So, parents should check their bearings and adjust their focus just a few degrees down to see what precious cargo they are endangering with a lifetime example of hate, anger, malice or any other deadly weapon, their children. Kids have a way of expressing their true feelings, they will act out or lash out, they will express the confusion they experience in some way and their parents would be wise to heed their cries before permanent damage is done. 
  We have an earthly example to show us how we should strive to live as a family, the Holy Family. As a man, St. Joseph showed us that true masculinity in found not in feats of strength, but in the strength of trust and obedience to the Lord. Even when St. Joseph was ready to quietly divorce Mary (Matt 1:19-25), he trusted and accepted what was told to him by an angel of The Lord in his dream and was not willing to bring shame upon her.  Even when he knew people would look at him as weak, he trusted and believed that God's will was far greater than his own pride. We see in scripture (Matt 2:13-15, 19-23) where Joseph was always obedient to God's voice and put the protection of his family above his own self interest. That is why St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers and the Universal Church. 
  So put away your pride and throw your pain, shame, sorrow, anger, hurt at the foot of the cross. Let Jesus know that you are willing to trust him, patiently like good St. Joseph. Believe that He is waiting to transform your life, your relationships, your family. Call on the Holy Spirit to cleanse your heart and fill it with the love that God has for you, so that you may love each other, again, like God loves you. Submit and surrender your will to the Father, for His perfect will to be done in you. It won't be an easy task, but   think about the voice of your child growing up in dual homes saying "I don't really have a home"! That won't be any easier!


Upcoming Catholic Men's Events

Sharing the Treasures ® 

The Truth Will Set You Free
8th Annual San Diego Men's Conference

Fr. Stan Fortuna, CFRFather 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.
Other Speakers Include
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.
Philip Rivers
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.

13541 Stoney Creek Rd.
San Diego (Rancho Penasquitos), CA 92129

March 29, 2014  -  9:00AM - 4:00PM 

Low $20 REGISTRATION FEE good until March 19th
Fee increases to $30 after March 19th and then $40 at the door
Priests, Deacons and Seminarians are Free, but must register
    Help Bring Men to the Conference. Invite them and hand them a Registration Form (CLICK HERE) 
    Download a Poster (CLICK HERE), Print it and display it somewhere (Church, Work, the Gym, etc.)

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.

For More Information
Call Kurt at 6 l 9 - 4 0 3 - 9 2 4 2 

©2014 Sharing the Treasures ®
San Diego, CA 92159.
All rights reserved.


Are you anxiously looking for Jesus?

Luke 2:41-52
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!