Monday, March 17, 2014

Prayers for Lola and all mothers out there

From today's Gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

Lord God, I ask for Your healing mercies upon my grandmother, my Lola Nelly, who will be undergoing surgery at Hackensack hospital today. May Your healing hands come down upon all those who are caring for her today. May You allay her fears with Your most gentle hand, may Your quell her fears with Your love and presence. Send down Your Holy Spirit and fill her with peace and tranquility.  Lord God, I thank You for giving me another grandmother, whom I have grown to love and admire more and more each day. Thank You Jesus, for my own mother, for her perseverance & patience in caring for my Lola during her old age. Thank You Jesus, for my wife and mother to our son, Cory Benjamin and the child who is growing inside her.

Lord, thank You for this time to reflect on Your word. May I measure those who I come into contact with today with love, kindness and compassion, so that in return, I will be measured with the same. 


Thursday, March 13, 2014


Today's Psalm
I will thank you always for what you have done,
and proclaim the goodness of your name
before your faithful ones.

I know I am a sinner and not worthy. Everything I have is from God, anything more is just icing on the cake. Thank You, Father God, for the blessings, the hardships, the difficult times, but mostly for humbling me each and every day. I am nothing without You. Help me to turn to you in times of need, and praise You instead of curse You when things are going wrong. 

I pray for my wife and the child that is in her belly. May you bless it with good health, and may You shower Your tender love on her and the child that is within her. I pray for my son, that You continue to guide us in raising him to be a loving, compassionate and caring child. 

Thank You, Lord, for this time with You. I love you with all my heart.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The poor will you will always have with you.

Excellent reflection in my church's little black Lenten book.

They quote the reading where Jesus states that, "The poor you will always have with you."  I haven't really studied the bible cover to cover, which is sad, but true. I haven't come across this verse and it struck me because it kind of goes against what I have come to believe the past few years.

The book says that Jesus isn't stating that poverty is just a fact of life and we should get over it. To the contrary, He is quoting Moses in Deuteronomy, who was preparing the Israelites to enter the promised land. He warned them, the same way Jesus did - that although there were riches in the Promised Land, that wealth would not be distributed evenly...a fact that, unfortunately, is still prevalent around the world and in our society.

As for me, I consider myself to be middle-right, politically. I am fortunate enough to be educated, to have two bachelors degrees, and to be gainfully employed...and I feel as if I have earned it with hard work, discipline, and (lastly) the means to do so through the support of my parents and family. As I progressed and developed a bias against handouts...welfare...whatever you want to call it. Yet, I know that there are those poor who did not have a fraction of the circumstances and means that I did growing up and have become reliant on welfare programs.

I pray that I my heart softens to those who are in need, are hungry or who lead difficult lives - that I may be more selfless than selfish and that I may give alms freely and without expectation of reward, especially during this Lenten season. Amen.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Today's first reading struck me:

...if you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in His ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.

My wife and I, God-willing, will be blessed with our second child this September. And by April of this year, we will move into our first house. Two blessings that are undeniable and somewhat unfathomable due to their timing. And yet, we receive these blessings not under the pretext of today's first reading.  Not speaking for my wife, but I know that I have strayed from God these past few years. I have spent less time contemplating my relationship with the Lord, and have instead turned my ears to the noise that surrounds me - career, graduating school, work, retirement planning, social status, etc. I guess these are things that someone of my age and marital and familial status focuses on, but I know God has had a hand in all these things.

I reflect on the past few years and realize that I only turned to God and uttered His name under 3 conditions:

  1. when I needed something
  2. during Sunday mass
  3. when I blasphemed His name
Now that things are well and the blessings are abundant, I want to be better. I want to pray more. I want to give praise and thanksgiving to God for all that He has done for me and my family. Not only when we are in need or during Sunday mass. I want to represent the LORD better, and be a reflection of His goodness and kindness.

Specifically, I know that this time to reflect on His Word has already lit a fire in my spirit. I need to pray more, not just on my own, but teach my son Cory to pray to God and to thank Him (and not just at meal time). And I need to thank God everyday for keeping His promise, and I look to do the same for Him.

obey the commandments will live and grow numerous
   ...God will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.

Praise God.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent is more about losing weight

I read the subject line in a Lenten prayer book my parish was handing out last Sunday. It was preceded by a reflection that spoke to our fragility as babies, surviving the birth process (which is why they call it the miracle of birth), but eventually we will die.

I will die.
I will return to the ground.
I will leave everyone and everything that I've done and accomplished here on earth.
I cannot take anything with me.
And I will meet God.

Not quite ready for that. I contemplate living in the here and now and I envy people and friends who live by the moniker that, "you only live once." I know that as I get older, I myself am more a proponent of the, "life is not a sprint, it's a marathon," mentality. Looking at this as if I am applying to college again, are my grades high enough? Did I join enough clubs? Extra curricular activities? Am I well rounded to have a seat at the table?

I wonder if I'm good enough to get in.

Do so quietly...

Ash Wednesday 2014, and according to my pastor, it is a time of prayer, fasting and giving alms. For the past 3-4 years, I have been living a bit of a lie. I give alms and go to church regularly, but I have never felt so far from God.

Thankfully, my years spent in my old prayer community (shout out to BLD) has prepared me for this - to just stop, pause and reflect on my life. I want to know God more. I want Him to resonate within me, not just on the periphery. Prayer, fasting and giving alms. I know this is the recipe for peace.

I have a lot going for me and my family now, much of which is due to a combination of hard work and good fortune. But a part of it feels empty, and I've figured out it's because I haven't involved the Lord in any of it. I've patted myself on the back too often.I have not looked upward and given Him the credit He deserves.

So although I am a bit rusty, and the prayers may now come to mind freely or roll off my tongue smoothly, I want this cup of life to overflow, starting now, Ash Wednesday.

Thank You Jesus, for this time to spend with You. Help me to be in Your presence, to feel Your unconditional love for me once again, so that I, in turn, can share this love with others. Amen.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The years that were 2011-12

since the last time i was on here, much has transpired. finally went to europe and saw the eiffel tower, the louvre (twice) and bought my wife a louis vuitton bag (i think this is a right of passage for any husband, at least that's what my wife told me), I finished nursing school, managed to get my wife pregnant in the process (immaculate conception IMO), held my firstborn son Cory Benjamin in my arms, passed the NCLEX and managed to get hired at the same employer in the operating room.

through it all, I know God was with me and my family, and sad to say I have yet to give Him his due. so I'll start small and say thanks, Father God, for everything. I am so unworthy of this life you have given me and I am in awe of You. I will remember all of this when life deals me a bad hand, I will not complain, I will not curse You, I will take it in stride and bear that cross.

that is all.