Monday, December 30, 2013

50 Encouraging Bible Verses

Sometimes you might need a little encouragement.
Why not let the written Word of God help you out?

50 Encouraging Bible Verses
  1. "Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you." -1 Peter 5:7
  2. "For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11
  3. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." -Romans 12:21
  4. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6
  5. "Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."" -Joshua 1:9
  6. "He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." -2 Corinthians 12:9
  7. "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." -Revelation 21:4
  8. "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you." -Deuteronomy 31:6
  9. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:23
  10. "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." -Matthew 6:20-21
  11. "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." -Matthew 7:7
  12. "Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." -Psalm 119:105
  13. "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." -John 4:14
  14. "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." -John 1:5
  15. "The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing" -Zephaniah 3:17
  16. "O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!" -Psalm 34:8
  17. "They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31
  18. "Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." -Isaiah 41:10
  19. "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28
  20. "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18
  21. "For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39
  22. "For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." -Ephesians 2:10
  23. "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." -1 Corinthians 10:13
  24. "Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful;" -Hebrews 10:19-23
  25. "Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." -James 1:2-4
  26. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28
  27. "Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong." -1 Corinthians 16:13
  28. "I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." -Psalm 32:8
  29. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:6-8
  30. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:4-7
  31. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16
  32. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." -Romans 12:2
  33. "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." -John 14:6
  34. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." -Philippians 4:13
  35. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" -Ephesians 2:8
  36. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." -Galatians 5:22-24
  37. "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -John 10:10
  38. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." -Phil 4:8
  39. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." -1 John 1:9
  40. "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." -Isaiah 53:5
  41. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." -Matthew 6:33
  42. "Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”" -Genesis 1:26
  43. "He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit." -Ephesians 2:17
  44. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" -2 Cor 5:17
  45. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -John 16:33
  46. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." -2 Timothy 1:7
  47. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -Romans 15:13
  48. "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies"" -John 11:25
  49. "The prayer of a righteous man is very powerful." -James 5:16
  50. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." -John 14:27

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Blogging Break

Unless one of us gets a burr under their saddle to write something over the Christmas break, we won't be back until 2014.

We wouldn't have a reason to spend time writing if you were not faithfully reading. Thanks!

May you invite Jesus into your heart once again this holy season.
Merry Christmas!

Fr. Barron on Luke's Nativity

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent and the Drumbeat of War

When we view a nativity scene, we generally think of a baby born to a virgin in a manger. We think of peaceful animals, humble St. Joseph, and of a bright star. But, something is missing.

It is the drumbeat of war. Can't you hear it? It is the spiritual battle that rages in places we cannot see with our eyes or hear with our ears. It rages in our hearts.

Even in the peaceful image of Jesus being born, we need to see God warning His people to prepare for battle. The victorious king has entered the fray and he calls us to take up our weapons of prayer, righteousness, chastity, faith, hope, love....

General Satan knows he will lose the final battle, yet he fights to ruin as many as he can. He will tempt, deceive, and push you to sin.

Notice how the manger scene cries out WAR IS COMING!
  • The star of Bethlehem is a warning flare that signals the victor is now on the battlefield. 
  • The gifts the babe receives include myrrh for embalming the King after His death. 
  • The angels are singing battle songs of a victorious King - "Glory to God in the highest".
  • The first casualties in the war are the innocent sons of Bethlehem.
Now it is our turn. If we fail to pick a side in the war, it means we have already chosen - "he who is not with me is against me."

The drumbeat of war is pounding. Pick up your cross - it is your weapon against the enemy - and follow The King of All into battle. He is about to be born as a poor babe to a virgin.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CULTURAL STATE OF AFFAIRS - Couple Wins $50 Million For "Wrongful Birth"

A truly outrageous story.
  • Couple gets prenatal test.
  • Test was mishandled.
  • Parents have a child with disabilities.
  • Sue because they would have aborted child had they known of disabilities.
  • Win $50 million.
  • Ug.
More details:
After his severely disabled cousin was found to have a rare genetic defect called an “unbalanced chromosome translocation,” Brock Wuth discovered that any future children of his were at risk.

In fact, Brock and Rhea Wuth were told they had a 50-50 chance of having a child with that defect or a related translocation. So they sought genetic counseling and testing and carefully followed all the recommendations.

When Rhea Wuth became pregnant, genetic tests pronounced their unborn child normal.

But as soon as their son was born on July 12, 2008, the Burien couple knew something was very wrong. Oliver, who has the genetic defect, was born with profound mental and physical disabilities.

On Tuesday, a King County Superior Court jury placed the blame — $50 million worth — equally on Valley Medical Center in Renton and Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), based in North Carolina.

According to court papers in the wrongful-birth case, Valley ordered a prenatal test that can be counted on to find this type of chromosomal abnormality only when the lab receives additional information — a “road map,” essentially — showing it where to look for the specific problem. Valley failed to send that information to the lab, and never told Rhea Wuth that without the additional directions, the test results might not answer the crucial question.

Although the lab’s own procedures specify it should follow up with a phone call when such information is missing, that call was not made, said the family’s lawyer, Todd Gardner, of Renton.

The lab missed the translocation. Had the couple known of the genetic defect, they would have ended the pregnancy, according to court filings in the case.

The verdict is the largest individual award in Washington state history, according to Jury Verdicts Northwest, which tracks jury awards.
This sounds akin to child abuse.
--We love you, but really wanted to kill you and wish you weren't alive. At least we are rich because of it all.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Speak With Conviction!

Believing in something enough to state it clearly and with conviction truly means something.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fr. Barron on Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Videos Of Bishop-Elect Michael Sis

From the San Angelo press conference:

Video from the Austin press conference:
Local news coverage (they couldn't get Fr. Mike - so they got me.):

*****Audio from another interview*****

Thursday, December 12, 2013

BIG NEWS - Msgr. Mike Sis (Former Pastor of St. Mary's) Named Bishop of San Angelo!

As the saying goes, we stand on the shoulders of giants. If there are any giants in the history of St. Mary's Catholic Center, then Msgr. Mike Sis is certainly one of them. Today he was named Bishop of San Angelo, by Pope Francis. As Rocco Palmo told me this morning on the phone, "Francis came to Aggieland".

Fr. Mike was assigned to St. Mary's in the summer of 1992 (and made Pastor in 1993), along with Fr. Dean Wilhelm as Associate Pastor (now the Pastor of the biggest parish in the Austin Diocese - St. William), Fr. Mike quickly won the hearts of the students and parishioners, with his smile and welcoming personality (and the way he starts counting with his thumb during a homily). He also found out that the facilities were old and inadequate. We frequently had to have meetings outside, due to the tight space.

Mud Lot Groundbreaking Ceremony
Fr. Mike led the effort, unequaled in the Austin Diocese at the time, to build a new
Student Center, Chapel, and Activity Center. The campaign brought thousands of donors together and taught the staff at St. Mary's how to form relationships with benefactors. Due to this success, St. Mary's grew astronomically from the mid 90s into the new Millennium. When Fr. Mike arrived arrived in the early 90s, the staff had four people. It now has more than 10 times that number!

Due to the first campaign's resounding success we continued to expand and grow even bigger. Today, we are (once again) so big we have no more room in our buildings and are in a campaign to expand to a size once unthinkable. 

Fr. Mike grew up in Bryan, TX - which borders College Station, for those of you who are not local. He received his 1st Communion with his friend, and our current pastor, Fr. David Konderla. He attended Notre Dame and then entered the seminary after college. He studied in at both the Gregorian and the Lateran in Rome. He was assigned to several parishes until he landed at St. Mary's. Since his time in Aggieland he has been Vocation Director for the Austin Diocese, pastor at a large parish, and Vicar General.

Known for being detailed-oriented and an extremely dedicated worker, Fr. Mike will frequently answer emails late at night and sometimes into the early morning hours. His work as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Austin has merely added to his reputation. Many consider him to be a model priest, which would explain why so many Aggies become priests and religious (135+) and we average around 10 students entering formation or seminary annually. The big wave started when he was pastor.

Fr. Mike at the site of Aggie Bonfire - where 12 Aggies died.
One of my best memories was when I was a student and he was a young priest (early 30s). I went to him struggling with my faith. I told him all the stupid things I had been doing. Somehow, he inexplicably told me to shape up and made me feel good at the same time. I walked out of his office feeling both a sense of purpose and happiness, knowing he had a keen pastoral touch, that thought with the mind of the Church. After I graduated we became friends. Once I started in campus ministry, he became a mentor to me.

Just a few weeks ago, he sent me his bio to post for our 100th Aggie Awakening Retreat Reunion and Conference. I wrote him back and told him it was the best bio I had read in a long time and that it brought a smile to my face.
It reads:
Msgr. Mike Sis is a priest of the Diocese of Austin. He served at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in 1989, and then from 1992 to 2005. He participated in various ways in all the Aggie Awakening retreats during those years.

He grew up in Bryan, Texas. He is the son of Ray and Jan Sis. His father was a professor in the Veterinary School at A&M, and his mother was the coordinator of religious education at St. Mary’s. When he was in the second grade, he made his First Holy Communion at St. Joseph’s Parish in Bryan, along with Fr. David Konderla.

While everybody knows that he loves the Aggies, he never attended Texas A&M. He received degrees from the University of Notre Dame, the Gregorian University and the Lateran University, and he was ordained a priest in 1986.

He was the pastor of St. Mary’s when the current student center was built, when we bought the Mud Lot, when Kappa Theta Beta was established, when Bonfire fell, when we applied for a federal license to get a radio station, when we first made those little maroon Aggie Catholic bumper stickers, when we did our first car raffle, when we got our first website, and when the Aggie football team had a Wrecking Crew defense.

After turning over St. Mary’s to the capable leadership of Fr. David Konderla, Fr. Mike served for a few years as the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Austin. He is currently serving as the Vicar General and the Moderator of the Curia of the Diocese of Austin. This is an administrative position where he oversees diocesan staff, assists Bishop Joe Vásquez, and learns something new every day.

He is an avid racquetball player, he is proud to be Catholic, and he considers the most precious treasure in his life to be his loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ordination of Fr. Brian Eilers
St. Mary's is excited and blessed to see Fr. Mike Sis join the rank of The Apostles. Please join us in praying for our former pastor and the soon-to-be Bishop of San Angelo, Michael Sis!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2 Great Videos on Pope Francis' New Document

Recently, I gave 10 reasons every Catholic should read Pope Francis' new document, Evangelii Gaudium. I still think every Catholic ought to read it. With that being said, there are some issues that have been brought up, most in regards to the comments on economics. Here is Fr. Robert Sirico, of the Acton Institute, commenting on these issues:

Also, Fr. Robert Barron comments on the document, but from a different perspective and emphasis:

Monday, December 2, 2013

BREAKING: War Is Upon Us!

There is a spiritual battle that rages in places we cannot see with our eyes or hear with our ears. It rages in our hearts, our culture, and in our world.

In the Sacred Scriptures God continually warns His people to prepare for war. Yes, He is The victorious King who has entered the fray, but he calls you and I to take up our weapons and fight with Him against the enemy - Satan.

All of hell knows there is no hope of final victory, but out of spite, they fight to ruin whatever souls they can. The rest of creation cries out for salvation.

Our war will not be fought with weapons made of our own hands, but of the grace of God.
How have you prepared for war this day?
What are you doing to help others survive it?
Are you prepared to go into battle?
Whether you are or not, war is upon you.

Now is the time to fight. Now is the time to put on the armor of God and take up the sword.

If we fail to pick a side in the war, it means we have already chosen - "he who is not with me is against me."

Can you not hear the bombs falling and the guns firing? Pick up your cross - it is your weapon against the enemy - and follow The King of All into battle.

He will come again, but until that day - it is up to you and me to take up His cause and fight the enemy.

If you want to fight - here are a 9 strategies in fighting the war:

9 Ways to Overcome Temptation: 

1. Avoid and/or flee from it. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
“She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” -Gen 39:12
2. Submit your thoughts to God. He knows better than we do what is good.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Phil 4:8
3. Overcome your selfishness. True Love doesn’t know selfishness. Because, if you love Jesus you don’t belong to yourself
“and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” -1 Cor 3:23
4. Expect and be ready for temptation. We need to be prepared for Spiritual battle.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” -Eph 6:13
5. Remind yourself of the consequences of sin.
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Gal5:19-21
6. Memorize God’s Word. Filling our minds with the thoughts of God and having them readily available to us is very wise.
“He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” -Luke 11:28
7. Cultivate a sense of God’s presence But don’t just listen – obey.
“Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey.” -Deut 5:27
8. Frequent confession heals us and we start over spiritually healthy.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16
9. Accountability helps us avoid sin. When we are accountable to both man and God it helps us overcome temptation.
“Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.” -Genesis 4:9-10