top of page
  • Regina Mundi

Your Weekly Encouragements

Updated: Mar 29

Dear brothers and sisters,


Christ is risen, Alleluia Alleluia!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia Alleluia!


We have something to celebrate, or more accurately put, we have SOMEONE to celebrate. As St. Paul said, “if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.” (1 Cor 15:14).


This was the promise Christ Jesus made, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19). This is the God we worship, who gives sight to the blind, makes the deaf hear, and the lame walk. We can trust that Christ has done this, He will continue to do this, and many more things we need His help with He will do. Why? How do I know? Simply because Jesus, our Lord and God promised.


You can ask Jesus for anything, and He will give it to you, but He will give only as much as you need at that time. (I try not to insert myself in your encouragements, forgive me please.)

Years ago, I went to Fatima asking for healing, came to seek for healing, came to knock for healing. I believed, had faith, trusting in God for my healing because He said, "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it." I may not have got what I asked for or what I wanted, but I did get what I needed, The Blessed Mother told me, and now She tells you, "Always adore My Son."


Beloved brothers and sisters, I urge you to always open your hearts to our blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, He is our Abba, our Daddy and He loves you more than you can comprehend.


We are called to trust in a God who makes the impossible possible again; Jesus walked on water and said to Peter, “come,” Peter came and began to walk on the water after Christ. Peter kept his eyes focused on Christ. But what happened? Peter got distracted and took his eyes off of Christ and started to sink. Peter cried out to Jesus for help and “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” (Matt 14:22–33).


May we always keep our eyes focused on Jesus Christ, looking to Him because Christ is our strength and hope. In the busyness of life when we too get distracted and lose our focus off of Christ and begin to sink, (in fear, sin, feeling overwhelmed…). As children of God we have the assurance that if we cry out for help, Jesus will run to our aid.


Remember the closer you are to Mary, the closer you are to Christ.


Continue to ask Mary, daily, beg Her, to always keep you in Her Immaculate Heart.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,

 

As we enter Holy Week, the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, I like to encourage us all with a sermon from St. Andrew of Crete who was a bishop in the 8th century.

 

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will toward his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation. He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, above every sovereignty, authority and power, and every other name that can be named, now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem. He comes without pomp or ostentation. As the psalmist says: He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.

 

Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.

 

In his humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, glad that he came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself. And even though we are told that he has now ascended above the highest heavens—the proof, surely, of his power and godhead—his love for man will never rest until he has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with his own in heaven.

 

So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.

 

If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


As we come into the fifth week of Lent, I like to encourage you to stay focused and to grow in relationship with Christ Jesus. An excerpt taken from the Office of Readings.


The writings of the Saints lift our hearts that in all moments of life we can praise God, so may we look to Christ for strength and courage in difficult moments because that is what He promises.


From this Sunday, “the second reading from an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius”:


“The Word who became all things for us is close to us, our Lord Jesus Christ who promises to remain with us always. He cries out, saying: See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us. … True joy, genuine festival, means the casting out of wickedness. To achieve this one must live a life of perfect goodness and, in the serenity of the fear of God, practice contemplation in one’s heart. This was the way of the saints, who in their lifetime and at every stage of life rejoiced as at a feast. … When we celebrate the feast in our own day, what path are we to take? As we draw near to this feast, who is to be our guide? Beloved, it must be none other than the one whom you will address with me as our Lord Jesus Christ. He says: I am the way. As blessed John tells us: it is Christ who takes away the sin of the world. It is he who purifies our souls, as the prophet Jeremiah says: Stand upon the ways; look and see which is the good path, and you will find in it the way of amendment for your souls.”


Life brings all kinds of hurts and disappointments, but between these challenging times God provides a joy and laughter by a friend or loved one. In every situation may we open our hearts to Christ.


Jesus wants to be part of your life through the ups and downs, but it is on us to invite Him in because Jesus won’t push Himself on us. He is knocking at the door; will you open it?


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


As we are in the fourth week of Lent, I like to encourage you again with an excerpt taken from the Office of Readings.


The writings of the Saints are so profound in wisdom and offers a clear picture that speaks directly to the heart.


From this Sunday, “the second reading from a treatise on John by St. Augustine”:


“The Lord tells us: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. In these few words he gives a command and makes a promise. … on the day of judgment [He will say]: ‘I laid down certain conditions for obtaining my promises. Have you fulfilled them?’ If you say: ‘What did you command, Lord our God?’ he will tell you: ‘I commanded you to follow me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life. What life, if not the life about which it is written: With you is the fountain of life?’ … Let us do now what he commands. Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord. Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following him. … Those who have been freed and raised up follow the light. The light they follow speaks to them: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness. The Lord gives light to the blind. Brethren, that light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith. His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind. We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth; we need him to give us light. He mixed saliva with earth, and so it was prophesied: Truth has sprung up from the earth. He himself has said: I am the way, the truth, and the life.”


Open your heart to the light of Christ, not only your mind. It is good to know the Word of God and to know of Jesus Christ, but it is better that you open your heart to Him and tell Christ: “Dear Jesus receive my heart, it is yours do with me what you will.”

What is the storm in your life? Give it to Jesus. Ask Christ to calm the storms.


What are the chains of sin which confine you? Ask Jesus through the Sacrament of Reconciliation to liberate you and seek the maternal love of Mary to accept you in Her Immaculate Heart.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


As we are in the third week of Lent, I like to encourage you with two excerpts taken from the Office of Readings.


The first excerpt is from the first Sunday of Lent, “the second reading from a commentary on the Psalms by St. Augustine”:


“Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.


The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish, but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are his body, by means of his body, in which he has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of his body may hope to follow where their head has gone before. He made us one with him when he chose to be tempted by Satan.


[…] the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received his flesh from your nature, but by his own power gained life for you; he suffered insults in your nature, but by his own power gained glory for you; therefore, he suffered temptation in your nature, but by his own power gained victory for you.”


I am no scholar on the writings of St. Augustine, please forgive me, but we see here that Jesus Christ chose to take on flesh, like us, in order to experience the struggles and hardships of human life. Though He was without sin. Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil, the same way you and I are tempted by the devil. However, Satan did not have any power over Christ. The same way Satan does not have any power over you, or I because we are baptized in Christ Jesus. Hold onto that Truth and let that give you strength for Lent, but also throughout life! Continue to fight the good fight because you are not alone; heaven is full of Saints who tried again and again.


The second excerpt is from this Sunday, “the second reading from a treatise on John by St. Augustine”:


“[We have heard in the gospel how] a woman came. She is a symbol of the Church not yet made righteous but about to be made righteous. Righteousness follows from the conversation. She came in ignorance, she found Christ, and he enters into conversation with her. … The Church was to come from the Gentiles, of a different race from the Jews. We must then recognize ourselves in her words and in her person, and with her give our own thanks to God. … But the [O]ne who was asking for a drink of water was thirsting for her faith.”


Jesus is thirsting for your faith; Jesus is thirsting for your soul! Beloved brothers and sisters please do not hide away from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, embrace it, be open to it, and if you cannot attend a church phone a priest to come to you. Answer Jesus’ thirst!


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


In this second week of Lent, I like to encourage you to be mindful in your days. Most of us live busy active lives, always on the go, and distracted with different errands or just that daily “to do list…” having a set routine is good. I love my daily routine, especially in the mornings and then it is quickly occupied with papers and deadlines for school, that part is not always as endearing.


As we journey through this penitential season, ask yourself a few questions such as:


How can I give more of myself to God?

How can I give God more time?

How can I allow God to come into my daily life more?


We all have things to do that’s not a question, but sometimes we cannot do everything we want.


How can you give more of yourself to God? I like to remind you of that short morning prayer, every morning as soon as your eyes awake from sleep and before the daily worries and responsibilities start flooding in, say five simple words: “Good morning, Daddy, thank you.” Throughout your day say short affirmations of praise to God. When a church hymn suddenly comes to mind, offer it up to God with love. When you pray the Rosary and meditate on the mysteries for the day, put yourself in the mystery with Jesus and Mary. For example, The Agony in the Garden, “Jesus here I am holding your hand and praying with you…” Use your imagination, have fun (respectfully) God loves that!


How can you give more time to God? Spend time with God, that’s what He wants, He wants a relationship with you. Not because God is board, but because He loves you. God wants to bless you in ways you can’t imagine, but for Him to be able to do so He needs your open heart. Some ways to have that open relationship with God are read the Bible, just a short chapter a day. If you are not able to attend daily Mass, read the daily readings. If you are not able to receive Holy Communion daily, ask God to receive spiritual Holy Communion daily. If you are not able to attend Adoration because of work or sickness, invite God into your heart and invite Him to come with you wherever you go. If you can practice reading the Divine Office (there is even a phone app you can get of the Divine Office and the Bible as well).


How can you allow God to come into your daily life more? INVITE HIM IN! From morning till night invite God everywhere. Why, isn’t God everywhere anyways? Yes, God is everywhere, but He still wants an invitation. Even while you nap during the day or sleep at night offer your sleep to God.


Remember: Everything you say or ask God for do it through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Always ask and beg Mary to keep you in Her Immaculate Heart. So much better!


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Ave Maria! See how Mary is good, I wrote (the first half of) this encouragement and finished it not realizing that this week is the start of Lent. When I realized, I quickly asked Mary, what now? I must start all over! But (the latter half) Mary showed me how She is also seen in what I had already wrote even for Lent.

Therefore, this is Mary’s encouragement to you!


Last week we started to look at certain Marian teachings of St. Pope John Paul II – following the book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It- Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley.


The insight St. Pope John Paul II gave on The Wedding Feast at Cana, it is here that the roll of Mary’s Motherhood is clearly seen. Mary took Jesus aside and voiced Her concern that “they have no wine,” a small detail compared to the bigger picture. “Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs, and sufferings. She puts herself ‘in the middle,’ that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as Mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she ‘has the right’ to do so.”


The Mother of Christ presents herself as the spokeswoman of her Son’s will, pointing out those things which must be done, as she directs the servants: “Do whatever he tells you.”

(33 Days to Morning Glory, 98)


We commemorate the Miracle at Cana to Jesus, right? It was His first public miracle. That is true, but if you read John 2:1-12 carefully how much is it about Mary than Jesus? Nevertheless, there was some lack of planning on the part of the master of the house and his connoisseur, and their great party was about to turn into a penitential meal with no wine. So, who steps in and notices the need and obtains its fulfillment? Our Mother, of course!


This year we need to go to Mary and ask Her to tell Her Son that you have no wine of true contrition, no wine of penance and fasting, no wine of prayer and contemplation, no wine of merciful deeds. And then She will obtain for you the insight to settle on your resolutions in all of these areas, and to keep those resolutions. She will see to it that your vessels are filled to the brim with penance, prayer, and mercy.


Mary always has an unbroken vessel to fill with new, unbroken resolve! She is a loving Mother who wants no one to be left out of the celebration of Easter for lack of preparation. She is the perfect friend and hostess; She wants no one to be ashamed or embarrassed at Her Son’s victory parade!


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


I have been largely focusing my encouragements on Marian consecration, that you may grow in intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord, through our spiritual Mother Mary. Mary is the surest, fastest, and easiest way to become a Saint for the glory of God. Who else then Mary to better know the heart of God.


I been highlighting certain aspects or teachings of great Saints of Marian consecration:

St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and now looking at St. Pope John Paul II – following the book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It- Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley.


“Who was the first person to entrust himself to Mary? It wasn’t St. Louis de Montfort. It was God the Father. John Paul explains, ‘For it must be recognized that before anyone else it was God himself, the Eternal Father, who entrusted himself to the Virgin of Nazareth, giving her his own Son in the mystery of the Incarnation.’ Mary surely marveled at this act of humility on God’s part. As she marveled and pondered it, might she have begun to have some inkling that God would later want the people he came to redeem to follow his example?”

(33 Days to Morning Glory, 95)


To highlight the words of St. Pope John Paul II, “For it must be recognized that before anyone else it was God himself, the Eternal Father, who entrusted himself to the Virgin of Nazareth, giving her his own Son in the mystery of the Incarnation.”


It is my personal prayer, that you, and all whom you visit with these encouragements embrace and totally consecrate yourself to Mary, our spiritual Mother. In doing so you are following the example God the Father first set for us.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Last week we looked at how St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta embraced the call of Jesus “I thirst,” it’s meaning, and pondered some ways how we too could answer Jesus’ “I thirst.”

(33 Days to Morning Glory, 69—76)


I like to encourage you this week with another teaching from Mother Teresa, which is loving Jesus with and in the heart of Mary Immaculate.


When you consecrate yourself to Mary and live out that consecration in your everyday life Mary becomes more and more present in your life, in your heart. Now, how do you live out your Marian consecration, what does that mean?


It simply means living each day with Mary, both in heart and mind. When you need help with something tell Mary, frustrated with something or someone tell Mary, you just got bad news tell Mary… – She is your Mom – She loves you and cares for you. This is the will of God, that is why Jesus gave Mary to us when He was on the Cross. (John 19:26)


“[Mother Teresa’s] version of a total consecration to Mary focuses on a kind of exchange of hearts: We give Mary our hearts, and she gives us her Immaculate Heart. For Mother Teresa, this gift of Mary’s heart through consecration essentially means two things that are expressed by two simple prayers: ‘Lend me your heart’ and ‘Keep me in your most pure heart.’”

(33 Days to Morning Glory, 77)


If you can, talk to Mary throughout the day, pray Her Rosary, call Her to mind, and tell Her “Mary, keep me in your Immaculate Heart”…


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Last week, I gave you the central teaching of St. Maximilian Kolbe for our goal in life as children of God.


This week I wish to encourage you with the teaching of St. Teresa of Calcutta:


Mother Teresa lived her life with one goal, that was to answer the call of Jesus when He said from the Cross, “I thirst.”


What did Jesus mean when He said, “I thirst”?


The meaning is essentially that Jesus is longing for your heart, our hearts, and for the hearts of others – our brothers and sisters – our neighbours.


How can you answer this call of Jesus, “I thirst”?


The Catholic Church teaches of The Corporal Works of Mercy which are found in the teachings of Jesus and gives us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise. In addition, the Holy Mother Church also teaches of The Spiritual Works of Mercy which are found as Jesus attended to the spiritual well-being of those he ministered to.


  • The Corporal Works of Mercy are: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the prisoners, bury the dead, give alms to the poor.

  • The Spiritual Works of Mercy are: counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, comforting the sorrowful, forgiving injuries, bearing wrongs patiently, praying for the dead.

  • Aside from The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy you can step out and invite someone who doesn’t really know the Catholic faith to church, prayer group, or Bible study with you.

  • Perhaps go see a Christian movie with someone in theatre (when one is playing) or have a movie night showing a particular Saint of the Church.

  • Or just talking and listening to others about Jesus. Intentionally praying with them and for them.


Ask the Holy Spirit to help guide you in how you can answer Jesus’ call “I thirst”


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


I like to reiterate the encouragement I gave you two weeks ago encase you missed it, with an added note. This teaching from St. Maximilian Kolbe is very important for our ongoing relationship with Christ Jesus.


Fr. Kolbe would often teach this simple formula to the new men entering his religious community. He titled this “How to become a Saint”


Fr. Kolbe wrote the following: “W + w = S”


“The capital W stands for God’s Will. The small w stands for our wills. When the two wills are united, they equal Sanctity.”


To this Fr. Kolbe urged his listeners:


“[We are] to become soldier saints for God under the generalship of Mary Immaculate. Why under Mary Immaculate? Because, among creatures, she alone does the will of God perfectly.”

(33 Days to Morning Glory, pg. 59)


Simple as this teaching is to comprehend, we acknowledge our weakness in the presents of God, and that is ok because as Jesus tells us, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)


See, we cannot do anything without God. Our very existence is because God loves us and He [W]ills it so. Therefore, love God, hold onto Christ Jesus, and seek the Holy Spirit.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


I like to encourage you with the wisdom of the Holy Mother Church:


Last Sunday the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord and on Monday was the Baptism of the Lord Feast Day, marking the close of the Christmas season.


Tuesday was the start of Ordinary Time. Most, if not all of us know and understand the special liturgical occasions within the Church of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.

But what does Ordinary Time mean?


“Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.”


This title simply refers to the ongoing and rhythmical nature of the season. Just like everyday life, there is a rhythm to the days and the weeks. Sure, we have holidays and special occasions that we look forward to that change the pace, just like we have holy days and feasts in the Church year. But those special occasions aren’t the whole picture, just like there is more to the life of Christ than what we celebrate in other liturgical seasons.


Like all liturgical seasons, Ordinary Time is meant to be lived! We aren’t passive receptors of the liturgy – or at least we shouldn’t be. We are called to be active participants! Participating in Ordinary Time means participating in the everyday life of Jesus.

Here are a few things you can try to fully embrace this liturgical season and get caught up in Christ:


  • Examine your habits. Your day to day life is typically just a series of habits played out one after the other. If you want your life to change, the first place to look is your habits. A great new habit to start: reading the daily Gospel.

  • Gratitude. Joy always finds its root in gratitude. Try starting each day by thanking God for five ordinary, everyday things. If you have a family, try going around the table at dinner time and list few things together.

  • Use your imagination to reflect on the daily life of Jesus. Imagine Jesus doing the simple things. Eating, walking, joking with his friends. Praying. Make yourself a bystander to the Gospel stories in your imagination.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Happy New Year!


May the new year bring you and your loved one’s great blessings and joy in our Lord Jesus Christ through Mary, Our Blessed Mother.


As we come to the close of the Christmas season, the Holy Mother Church celebrates the Baptism of the Lord Feast on Monday, and the start of Ordinary Time on Tuesday. Even though it seems like time is quickly slipping away, may we embrace the new year with great vigor in our hearts looking to Jesus, but holding on to Mary. What better way then through the Marian consecration.


I want to encourage you with the simple teaching from St. Maximilian Kolbe:


Fr. Kolbe would often teach this simple formula to the new men entering his religious community. He titled this “How to become a Saint”


Fr. Kolbe wrote the following: “W + w = S”


“The capital W stands for God’s Will. The small w stands for our wills. When the two wills are united, they equal Sanctity.”


To this Fr. Kolbe urged his listeners:


“To become soldier saints for God under the generalship of Mary Immaculate. Why under Mary Immaculate? Because, among creatures, she alone does the will of God perfectly.”

(33 Days to Morning Glory, pg. 59)


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


I like to encourage you with the wisdom of the Holy Mother Church:


Trying to understand the true significance of an event like Christmas can’t be done in a single day. For Catholics, Christmas is not just over and done with on December 25.

It’s only just begun!


Christmastide is the name given to the Christmas season in the liturgical calendar. It begins on Christmas Eve and ends with celebrating the Baptism of the Lord. This usually gives us a Christmas season of around 20 days or so.


The liturgical calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass still celebrates an extended Christmas, so modern-day Latin Mass-goers will find themselves in the Christmas season until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.


Of special note is that the Christmas season kicks off with a gift - seven special days other than December 25th, designed to extend our focus on the mystery of Christ’s birth. During these days, we’re to take in all the joys and graces associated with such a momentous event.


These days are called the “Octave of Christmas,” and you can remember their timing because the Octave starts and ends with solemnities - the Nativity of the Lord on December 25, and Mary, Mother of God on January 1st. Both are Holy Days of Obligation.


Ultimately, all these details of the season can get a bit confusing at times don’t miss out on the opportunity to stay in a holy, holiday spirit by celebrating for the entire Christmas season.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


The Fourth Week of Advent Represents: Love


As we come to the close of the Advent Season and are awaken to the great Solemnity of Christmas, where we are called to adore the Christ child in the manger, as where the shepherds awakened by the choirs of angels in the fields two thousand years ago. Announcing, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”


I encourage you to take some time aside to quiet your heart as you gaze at the nativity scene, open your heart to The Gift, which is Christ the Lord, from our heavenly Father, our Abba, our Daddy. Say thank you and be at peace, knowing that you are loved more than you can comprehend. He loves you with the agape love which has no limits or end.


Trust in that love. Take courage and be strengthened in that love because you are a beloved child of God.


This is my personal prayer for you all this Christmas season, that you truly embrace the Father’s love for you because it is revealed in the manger of Christ.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


The Third Week of Advent Represents: Joy


Last week I encouraged you to embrace the consecration (yourself) to Jesus through Mary by following the guidance set out in the book True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort or in the book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It- Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley.


I enjoy the feel of the actual book in my hand and it’s easier to follow, I know it’s all in my head. What can I say, it’s the student in me hahaha.

Some may enjoy other ways to read, you can’t trust everything online that’s the problem. However, I did some digging and I found free online PDF copies of these books if you prefer:


Click here for: True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort



Why am I encouraging you with Marian consecration in Advent? The truth is the homily Fr. Adam gave the first Sunday of Advent taught me something. Advent is a time to prepare for Christmas sure, but its more than that. Advent is an annual reminder to keep awake, to watch, and to recommit yourself to Christ. In heart, mind, body, and soul.

This is the Joy we acknowledge and celebrate, Christ Jesus, the gift of God the Father to us all. Who has come and who has yet to come again. Why? It’s simple really, God loves you.


That’s great! Why Mary? God loves you so very much, so He gave His Mom to be your mom as well. Mary always points the way to Her Son.


“Marian consecration is a quick, easy, and secure way to holiness.”


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


The second week of Advent represents: Peace and Preparation


A few years ago, with the help of Fr. Michael King, I made my first consecration to Jesus through Mary, following the book True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort. As long and intense as it was, I am very happy that I solemnly dedicated myself to Our Blessed Mother and renew my consecration every year.


Two summers ago, I stumbled upon a new book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley.


I must say 33 Days to Morning Glory is much easier, exciting, and fun I love it!!! Every November 29th I start the retreat with Sts. Louis de Montfort, Maximilian Kolbe, Teresa of Calcutta, and Pope John Paul II. Read just a short chapter every morning, and I like to follow it with a rosary after reflecting on the readings. Then on January 1st I would solemnly renew my consecration.


I encourage you to get a copy of 33 Days to Moning Glory and you can pick your own Marian Deast Day to follow, there is a calendar inside to help you with that. I enjoy doing the retreat during Advent and over Christmas to keep focused on Jesus Christ.


What better way to celebrate Advent hand in hand with Mary, Our Mother, Queen of Peace.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


This Sunday, the Holy Mother Church celebrates the season of Advent, a time of preparation leading up to Christmas Day. It is a penitential time of reflection, excitement, and hope as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus.


I encourage you, these four weeks of Advent, to sincerely take some time aside from the rush of shopping malls and stress of baking during this season and open your hearts to the Holy Spirit.

  • Spend time to reflect on your relationship with Jesus by reading the Bible, a chapter a day, or some other spiritual text; asking the Holy Spirit to help you grow in intimacy with Him.

  • Use this time to become more regular in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; asking the Holy Spirit to make room in your heart for the manger of the Christ child.

  • Embrace a deeper devotion and friendship with Our Beloved Mother Mary, draw near to Her because She is only too happy to help you deepen your relationship with Her Son.

One of my favourite Christmas songs is the Little Drummer Boy, I cry every time (when I’m alone of course… my mom and friends know this, so they have fun with this knowledge.)

  • Perhaps, ask the Holy Spirit and Our Dear Mother what (spiritual) gift will you bring to the Christ child?

  • If you want and are able to safely, you can burn some Frankincense during prayer just another way to create an open space of preparation in your heart and mind. Just be safe.

If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Last week I highlighted the two Sacraments of Healing, which are Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. However, I would be wrong not to point out that there is another “Sacrament of Healing” per say:


Christ Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

The very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ truly and substantially present under the appearance of bread and wine.


The Holy Mother Church, in her wisdom, properly grouped the Eucharist under the Sacraments of Christian Initiation. To clarify there are two other Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism and Confirmation.


Be that as it may, the Eucharist is another “Sacrament of Healing” because Jesus is The Great Physician of both body and soul. Therefore, I encourage you to ask for the Sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Reconciliation – from which our souls are cleansed, freed from the penalty of sin, and we are made ready to come into full mutual relationship with Jesus with open hearts. I understand that some people shy away from it or joke it off, but why else would Our Blessed Mother remind us time and again of the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, knowing you have committed a mortal sin, is the same as dumping Jesus on top of garbage. Take advantage of the good gifts Jesus gave us because He gave us them for a reason.



If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Last week I mentioned that Jesus Christ instituted and gave us the Sacraments of Healing that whoever asks this of the Church will receive them. So, what are they?


There are two Sacraments of Healing:


The Sacrament of Reconciliation – whereby we unburden our souls of the sins we have committed and return in the state of grace – What does this essentially mean? The act of sin is detrimental to our relationship with God; when we sin, we are saying “God, I don’t care what you want for me, I want to do what I want!” Thus, we tear ourselves away from the relationship with God. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are brought back into perfect harmony with God again.


The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick – whereby we are given the grace and strength of both body and soul with the healing effects of God – What does this essentially mean? Our openness and need for God’s help, where we acknowledge that we are nothing without God especially when faced with adversity.


I encourage you with all my heart, please seek the Sacraments of Healing.

– Reconciliation at least once a month and Anointing of the Sick when in need.



If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Today I encourage you to open your hearts to the holy Gospel, Luke 4:38–44.


Consider with what depth and intimacy our Blessed Lord loves you. We can see that it was a long and laborious day, if we read from Luke 4:1. However, looking at verses 38–44, we are told that Simon and the others asked Jesus “to do something for her” and He does so. Therefore, Christ Jesus, in His infinite wisdom and great love, gave us the Sacraments of healing that whoever asks this of the Church will receive them.


Continuing with verse 40–42, we are told “At sunset…” Not at daybreak nor midday, but at sunset Jesus takes time to touch each individual person who comes to Him. Why didn’t Jesus just open His arms and heal everyone at one shot, obviously He being God could do that, but He doesn’t, why not? Because Jesus wants an intimate relationship with each one of us who comes to Him individually. We do so in the Sacraments, and we do so in prayer. Please open your heart to Jesus, He is waiting with open arms for you.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Today I encourage you to consider the question: who is Jesus, and how do you know Him?


Now most of you would probably look at this and say, “what kind of question is this, of course I know who Jesus is – just listen to Fr. Adam’s homilies – adding, Christians need only to turn to the Gospel accounts and the New Testament letters to understand and grasp this [T]ruth.” All valid comments. I encourage you to go deeper…


Who is Jesus to you, and how do you know Him? We can answer the question above many ways, but this question also suggests a personal relationship with and in Christ Jesus. Christ doesn’t want a textbook answer to this question, nor does He want a deep theological homiletic answer, no. What Jesus wants is an answer from your heart because He wants your heart. Write this question on a sticky note and put it on your fridge, or on the mirror, in your office or on your desk, in your wallet or in your car. Life is busy, but don’t be too busy for Jesus.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


Last week I encouraged you, every morning as soon as your eyes awake from sleep and before the daily worries and responsibilities start flooding in, say five simple words: “Good morning, Daddy, thank you.”


I understand that most, if not all of us, might feel uncomfortable addressing God Almighty, the Creator and Author of life, with such simplicity as “Daddy”. I understand because I felt the same way at first, but I then looked at the Gospel accounts and saw that every time Jesus went off to pray alone, He would always cry out “Abba…” Jesus didn’t address God as “Dear Heavenly Father…” or “Dear Lord Almighty…” No, Christ started by saying “Abba” “Daddy”.


Now you can say that different translations and sayings mean this and that. We human beings like to complicate things, but one of many indications Jesus said, “Let the children come to me” (Matthew 19:14). As Fr. Henri Nouwen has always taught “we are the beloved children of God.” Therefore, may we always have the courage to run into the arms of our Abba, our Daddy with openness and simplicity.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


I know this may sound too easy, as far as growing in an intimate relationship with God, but it’s like the rosary challenge; pray one rosary a day for a month and see what happens to you. Well, this morning salutation to God is like that, do it for one month every morning before any other thoughts, and see what God does, it's exciting.


I like to encourage you, every morning as soon as your eyes awake from sleep and before the daily worries and responsibilities start flooding in, say five simple words: “Good morning, Daddy, thank you.”


Why? What does this mean?


In saying this short prayer, “Good morning Daddy” you are acknowledging that you are a child of God and your daily openness to Him.

In saying, “thank you” you are giving God glory and praise for everything He has done and everything He will do.

But, in calling God “Daddy” you are telling Him I am your child and I need you. No matter how much I squirm and try to run away in my selfishness, I love you, Daddy.


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear brothers and sisters,


The word “encourage” occurs 34 times in the Bible – 11 times in the Old Testament and 23 times in the New Testament – though the word “encourage” is not mentioned in any of the four Gospel accounts, we can affirm that the teachings of Christ Jesus Himself, are in themselves encouragements from God Our Father directing us to God Our Father.


So, what does the Bible say about encouragements, or encouraging others? Some teach that we should always help each other by lifting up one another both in word and deed, in difficult and discouraging moments. Pretty basic eh? Let’s try another view:


“[Jesus] died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:10–11)


What does therefore mean in the Bible? “Think of the word ‘therefore’ as a magnifying glass, taking a bigger idea and zooming in to an important aspect of it. It says, ‘We’ve discussed a big truth, now here’s why it matters.’”


If you wish to write me for whatever reason, you can contact me at the email address: encouragementsrm@gmail.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My name is Anthony Ramuscak, I am 37 years old. Currently, by the grace of God, I am attending McMaster Divinity College. I am working on my Master of Divinity but getting to this point of my life was not as easy. I will try to explain a little of my past.


Growing up I used to dance in Croatian folklore and would play the small tambura (similar to a mandolin in shape and sound). Few years later I chose to play the big stand-up bass. The folklore practices would be in the parish hall right next to the church, they would be in the evening so when I finished, I knew to go in the church because my aunt had choir practice at the same time. The Catholic Church was always very much part of my life and when I was old enough, I became an altar server, the happiest moments of my childhood were when I could serve in the church and at church events, but it was short lived. I was full of life as a child and as any child I could never sit still for five minutes, I was very active and always causing trouble, happy, and loved to help everyone. My mom says, ''as if I knew what was going to happen.''


It was July 23, 1995, quarter to three in the morning, when my life changed. I was eight and a half years old at that time. Three months before I had fallen off my uncle's pick-up truck, which seems to have led to my near fatal stroke. My mom dropped me off at my aunt and uncle's house to sleep over. The next morning my uncle and I went to go pick up some fresh haystacks, so while he and his friend loaded up the pick-up truck I played outside in the open field. Later my uncle and I drove in front of the barn to unload the hay back at the house. I hopped out of the truck to open the gate, then I jumped on the back of the truck. I was standing with my back towards the barn not looking for the cord that was connected from the house to the barn. It was too late to move when I saw the cord come towards me. I turned around and the electric cord caught me by my throat. I was dangling by the cord for a second and all I remember is that my cap fell and then I fell to the ground. I hit my head on a patch of ice. My uncle saw that I had fallen; he stopped the truck and ran over to me to ask if I was okay. I replied, “Yeah I'm okay, but my bum hurts”. When I fell I hit my head and my tail bone. After that I must have blanked out because I don't remember how I got from the ground to the sofa in the house. When I woke up, I had a wet face cloth on my head. My uncle saw that I woke up; he came to me and told me not to tell my mom what happened, it will be our secret. I said, "I won’t tell." Then he gave me a bowl of ice cream. When I finished the ice cream, I went back to sleep. That night my mom came to pick me up, she tried to wake me up, but I didn't want to get up I kept on sleeping. Then my aunt said, “Wake up, you won’t die.” After that, my mom picked me up and we went home. I can't really remember what happened during the next three months.


During the following year in the hospital to say that my faith was shaken would be an understatement, it was frustrating mentally, emotionally, and indeed physically. The first ten days I was in a comma. My mom was always by my side, while I was in the comma she would read me the Bible and knew what I needed just by looking at my face. When I came home from the hospital, I was lying in bed one day and I tried to move my legs a certain way, but I was not able to move them the way I wanted. Anger filled my heart, confusion clouded my mind, and I became indignant lashing out at my mom, family, myself, and most of all at God. I gave God my life, why did He permit this to happen to me? I lost my faith. I did not want to talk to God anymore or go to church, I only went to church to please others, but not because I wanted to go. One month I carried this anger in me, the pain started to intensify, and I knew why. It was as if God said, “I will let you be angry at me, and rightfully so, but it ends now.” One morning I wrote in my journal at school that I have talk to a priest urgently and that I will not receive Holy Communion before I do. My educational assistant right away took me to call the priest, but with no answer, he tried two more times, but still no answer. We were turning the corner to go back to the classroom, and we see the priest walking towards us. The priest said, “I didn’t have any meetings or reason to be at the school this morning but felt I should visit.” Fighting through my tears I looked up at the priest and said that I had to talk with him. We both went in a small separate room and the moment the priest closed the door I broke out in tears crying uncontrollably, and after a minute we entered the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That evening I went in my room and wanted to pray, but I didn’t know how anymore. So, I talked to Mary, it was in talking with Mary few times and praying the rosary with Her that I slowly began to fall in love with Jesus all over again. It was during this time that I dedicated my life to Christ saying, “Father, I want you to use me in ways I cannot even imagine, my life is in your hands.” God was not finished with me, I still had much to learn.


The doctors told my mom that due to the stroke I suffered I will be a “vegetable” all my life and that nothing will become of me. Only by the grace of God have I been able to graduate from elementary school, high school, Mohawk College in the General Arts and Science Program, I then attended and graduated from Redeemer University in the Pre-Seminary Program, and I am currently attending McMaster Divinity College pursuing my Master of Divinity.


Lord knows my failures and my weaknesses, He knows how sorry I am truly in my heart, and He knows how much I love Him and Our Blessed Mother - I want nothing more and nothing less than to be with the one I love the most, Jesus Christ. In Fatima the Blessed Mother came to me one afternoon as I was praying the rosary, after the third decade - She was beautiful as nothing I saw before; in Her right hand She was holding a heart, extending Her arm with the heart She said, "always adore My Son." The last day we were in Fatima I wanted to spend few hours in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament; again, as I was praying the rosary on the bench, I saw a bright image of Our Lady. My mom took me to the front to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament; not knowing if I could kneel I put my left hand on the pew and my right knee just fell to the ground with no pain. I went back to my chair to continue my prayers as my mom and friend left me for few hours; I closed my eyes in prayer and like a strip of film I saw myself walking with Our Blessed Mother in the last procession. I didn't walk for myself nor because I wanted to; I walked with Her, I walked out of love, and I will walk with Jesus wherever He leads me. I came to Fatima asking for healing, came to seek healing, came to knock for healing - I believed, had faith, trusting in God for my healing because He said, "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it." Did I go from Fatima saying, Father why have you forsaken me? Yes. But did He? No. I may have not got what I asked for or what I wanted, but I did get what I needed, "Always adore My Son." Thus, I don't pray for healing; instead, I pray to become an instrument of peace and reconciliation in the hands of Our Mother and Our Lord Jesus Christ.


My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to thank Fr. Adam for allowing me this opportunity in offering reflections both on the Parish website and in the bulletin, as part of my formation studies and placement at McMaster Divinity College. I like to think of the following year not as writing “reflections” per say, instead I offer encouragements to you, to us all, on this journey of faith. To embrace God and to grow in intimacy with Christ Jesus, our Lord. We all have struggles and hardships in life. We have to remember we have to hold onto Christ, yes our grip will slip, but His grip on us never will. The late Holy Father St. Pope John Paul II once said, "The Holy Rosary is a sweet chain linking us to God." Prayer is so important; prayer cleanses your heart and soul. Every Hail Mary we say we place a rose at Her feet, Our Blessed Mother cherishes and keeps these roses we give Her and when we need help the most in life our Blessed Mother gives us back one rose, a rose as a symbol of Her love and protection.



Commentaires


bottom of page