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  • Regina Mundi

Your Weekly Encouragements

Updated: 2 days ago

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.

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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.

"Nevertheless, it is certain that the Church of the new Advent, the Church that is continually preparing for the new coming of the Lord, must be the Church of the Eucharist and of Penance."

(Pope St. John Paul II, REDEMPTOR HOMINIS, chapter 20, para. 8)

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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.

Click here for quick chart references

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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:


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.

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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:


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:


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:


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.

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