Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pride Smells Bad

Pride showed itself to me in the adoration chapel this morning. As I knelt their I smelt a repulsive smell coming from an older gentlemen that smelt like musty urine. "How awful," I thought, "That he comes here like that. Does he even know he smells bad," I wondered. 

Then it hit me that my soul stinks like that or even much worse. Jesus still wants me there and loves me. He still embraces me. Before I go thinking ill of people because of how they smell I need to look at myself in the mirror and realize God loves us in our imperfections. He won't wait till we are worthy to draw us to himself. The perfection He seeks is a completely humble heart. Perhaps today can be a step for me. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Who is Jesus to you?

Who is Jesus Christ to you (to me)? Who do I say He is with my life? I look at the monstrance and due to the reflection of light, am unable to see the host. Jesus is hidden to me. Other times I can see Him but do I know... do I see the true reality of who He is? Lord, give me eyes of Faith. Help me see who You really are and who You desire me to be today. Walk with me and lift me up to a higher more perfect existence in your love. 

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

I am the rich young man - thoughts from my a recent holy hour

I try to be a good person but know I am so far from perfect and so I sit here and ask my Lord what is keeping me from being a saint. Jesus looks at me, loves me and says, "Matthew, you lack one important thing. You must give every last part of you to your family, your neighbors and all those I place in your life who need to be loved. Then let go of every worry, every ambition, every prideful thought and instead follow me in every breath you take."

Like the rich man Jesus spoke to in Mark 10:17-22, there are so many things that I possess that I don't want to let go of. In fact salvation seems to be a ludicrously impossible notion. But for God, all things are possible... even me. He will lift and carry me when I fall and give me the grace I need to grow. Like a fire that purifies imperfections, my God can turn my ugliness into something beautiful. 

These were some thoughts from a recent Holy Hour I made on Feb 27. A verse from the days readings (Mark 10:21) especially stood out to me which reads “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him…” There is a lot in that short statement. First Jesus looked at the young man. He gave him his time and saw where he was at. Then it makes a point to say He “loved him.”  He didn’t just say "I am God and here’s the deal." He loved the man first and foremost. It was only after loving him and through His loving him that Jesus tells the rich young man what he must do to be perfect. This is a reminder to me first that Jesus does see me and loves me as I am which is a beautiful thing. And going beyond that it’s also a blueprint of how I need to be present to others. If I’m going to be a follower of Christ, I need to look closely at the people around me and love them like Jesus does or my words little.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

He comes - thoughts from my holy hour last night

I sometimes think that I am the one coming to you here in adoration but in reality you come to me. You are always coming to me. You never are content to just wait for my heart to find you but instead you seek me out. I approach you like the centurion did when you came to his town of Capernaum when his servant was sick. Even at this point you tell him, "I will COME and cure him." Oh Lord I am not worthy to have you come to me the way you do. To care for me and love me the way you do. To come and dwell within me the way you do. Say the word and make me clean. I am not worthy that you should come to me. I should be the one coming to you. I should be the one giving my entire life and love to you. Still you come to me again and again. You always come closer even though I will never deserve your goodness. And you just ask that I approach you honestly and wholeheartedly in humble faith. Increase my faith Lord. Increase my love. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you to coming to me. 

Monday, November 07, 2016

The advice I give my kids

I tell my kids to do the right thing, even when no one else is doing it. To do the right thing, even if they don't think anyone cares or will notice. To do the right thing, even if doing something else might be easier. And that's a big part of why I'm voting for Mike Maturen and the American Solidarity Party for President of the United States. Many people feel this is a 'wasted vote' but I've never felt like my vote meant more nor felt so good about who I am voting for.

I know many good people who are voting for one of the two final major party candidates and I respect them for following their conscience. However if I was to vote for either one of them, I would not consider myself a good person. Especially when there is another candidate and party that so closely align with my views. A party that is centered around a 'pro-life for the whole life' ethic at it's core and is inspired by Catholic social teachings. In my opinion it represents the best of the two major parties at a time when both of these parties have their worst on display.  If I don't support this new party that stands for what I believe when given the opportunity, then I have sold out and can't complain when the two major parties continue offering options I strongly oppose. Voting for the American Solidarity Party IS the right thing to do and my conscience knows it.

"But Mr. Maturen has no chance of winning," I often hear. This of course isn't technically true as he has secured write in approval from enough states to theoretically win the presidency. The only reason he has no chance is because people have bought into the lie that a write in could never win. What I find paradoxical is that so many people would love to vote for ANYONE else besides the two major party candidates, but refuse to do so because they feel they are helping the worst of the two evils. All it would take is for these very people to take a stand together and Maturen or another third party candidate could definitely win. I strongly believe that if Maturen had an 'R' or a 'D' by his name, people would love to embrace him.

And yet I am a realist and know that there is a better chance of that the Vikings will finally win a Superbowl then there is that Maturen will win the presidency. This disappoints me but it also brings me to where voting for him has it's greatest value. You see in voting for Mike Maturen, I'm not just voting for an individual in our current election. I'm giving a vote of confidence to party that can make a difference in the future. Everything no matter how large or successful, started as something small. Voting for the American Solidarity Party is building something good that I hope can one days soon become big enough to influence politics in our country in a major way.  It's building a party of Common Good, Common Ground and Common Sense. It's not just saying that I reject the major party options put forward, but also offering a solution. It's offering hope at a time our country and world desperately need it.

I'm not throwing my vote away when I vote for Mike Maturen and the American Solidarity Party. Especially here in my home state where the Democratic candidate will easily win, my vote for either of the two major party candidates would truly be the 'wasted vote'. No, my vote will actually stand for something that I believe in and can be proud of. I'm not simply voting against someone. I'll be one of the rare individuals who is actually voting FOR someone. Time will tell what will become of Mike Maturen and the American Solidarity, but in the words of St Mother Teresa,  “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.” There's certainly never been a better time to take the advise I give my kids.