The Cave Poem By Fr Stefan

Darkness was inside the cave

The boy wanders inside the cave

He remembers that the Christ Child was born in a cave

The confessional feels like a cave to the boy

In the back of the confessional there is a door

The boy opens the door

On the other side of the door he sees two lions, a male and female lion

The altar is grand

Mass will begin soon

There are 24 smaller thrones around the altar

The floor is like crystal glass

The courtyard is larger than the eye can see in all direction

Jesus was born in a cave

Reflection of the day Aug 12 “Jesus talks about our guardian angel”

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”

We read in the catechism, “From the beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their (guardian angels’) care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.’ Already here on earth the christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.(336)”

At mass today I was talking about how everyone has a guardian angel. John XXXIII encouraged all christians to become friends with their guardian angel.

After mass a lady came to the back of the church and told me this story about the angels. She told me that her husband is not religious, but he prays sometimes. A few years back he was hiking an extreme and dangerous route in the rocky mountain by himself. At one point he was at a series of cliffs and he slipped. He looked up and saw a young German man around 18 reaching out for his hand. The young German man pulled him up and walked with him to where it was safe and then he disappeared.

Here is a devotion that came to my mind and heart and I recommend it to you. Every time you see or hear the word angel. Pray the guardian angel prayer.

Jesus is the New Phoenix Poem by Father Stefan

floating motionless on the sea
face in the water, back to the sun
still very much alive
trying by not trying
doing by not doing
out of the ashes comes new life
out of the cloud comes the Phoenix
eyes blue, wings purple, the head like the sun
the Phoenix majestic and strong
lands on the water
With it powerful talons picks up the man
talons sharp enough to kill a man
but safe and secure
the Phoenix picks him up, his body limp
but as the Phoenix rises towards the sky
the man is reborn
Jesus is the New Phoenix

Do You Give Jesus Permission

Do you give Jesus permission?

I remember going to many charismatic retreats in the Philly Diocese. Father Bob was at many of the retreats as a speaker.  I could give many reasons why I always liked Fr Bob and I remember most of his stories. This is just one that I remember.

Fr Bob was asked by the bishop to be the pastor of St Mary in Ottawa Canada.  Fr Bob always gave a reason to the bishop why he was unworthy to be a pastor. He ran out of excuses and here he was the pastor of St Mary.

Fr Bob talked about having the tour given to him by the previous pastor. The previous pastor said, “You will have lots of free time nothing happens here, well there is a brownie group that meet twice a month but that is it.”

Fr Bob said the pastor spent most of the time talking about the boiler.

Fr Bob noticed that only a handful of people went to mass in this inner city parish.  He said you could throw a snowball from one end to the other and not hit anyone.

Outside the church there were more than the fair share of the homeless, drug addicts and those who were down on their luck.

Fr Bob went to prayer and he said to Jesus, “this can’t be what you want for your church?”  He heard in response, “I want your permission to do what I want to do in my church and I want you to ask every person in the church, do you give Jesus permission to do what He wants to do in this church?”

Fr Bob said yes to Jesus I give you permission and he spent the next two years asking every single person in that church,  “do you give Jesus Permission to do what he wants to do in the Church?”

People were getting bored that Fr Bob always had the same homily.

One day a young man and former student of Fr Bob came to visit. He came into the Church to look around. He was a fallen away catholic.  As he came into the church he started to weep, more like wail.

What happened for many months and years after that day when people came into St Mary they could not stop weeping and crying. The light of the Holy Spirit had touched their hearts.

In the falling month St Mary became a parish very much alive. You had to come one half hour early before mass to get a seat. People were worshiping God before the mass.

Do you give Jesus Permission to do what He wants to do in your life?

If the answer is yes than go out and ask 100 people the same question.

Priesthood and Community a New Day for the Diocesan Priesthood

Community and Priests

Father Bob Bedard  founded the Companions of the Cross. This order was founded to renew diocesan priesthood. The initial inspiration is that diocesan priests need to live in community to fully live out their priesthood.

Fr Bob says in their directory, “The effectiveness of our ministry flows from the quality of our life together.  As brothers we are called not merely to care about one another but to care for one another. Taking time to discover the authentic needs of brothers, investing in fraternal relationships, and ministering to one another are central to our call to community. We acknowledge that we cannot claim to love and serve God if we neglect the brother within our own house.”

How beautiful and true the thought, “The effectiveness of our ministry flows from the quality of our life together.”

I would say that one of the answers to the challenges in the priesthood is that most priests live in community. Community is more than just two priests living under the same roof. Community is a shared life and a shared brotherhood.

I would offer this suggestion to the bishops.  When a man is ordained and leaves the seminary that he has to spend 5 years living in a community with other diocesan priests.  And only after 5 years after consulting with his superiors may he move to parish were he lives alone.

May we move to a day when most diocesan priests live in community because, “The effectiveness of our ministry flows from the quality of our life together.”

More Reflections On The Healing of the Family Tree By Fr Stefan Starzynski

 

Reflections on the healing of the family tree.

I was walking home from my elementary school St Ann’s thru a garden to get home. As I was in the Garden I experienced what I would later learn was a unitive experience.  As I was walking in the garden I was suddenly and unexpectedly united to all that is in the universe. I felt like I was “One” with all of creation.

A thought came into my mind like lighting. This is what I thought: “To know everything about anything is in turn to know everything about everything because everything is interconnected.”

My cousin Tom is a PH.D plant geneticist. He is helping to feed the world by making better and better rice. He travels the world talking to scientists all over the world. He has told me on many occasions that this thought that I was given in  the garden is part of his power point presentation when he gives lectures all over the world.

I get a kick out of the fact that I, who found science so difficult, am now being quoted to hundreds of scientists in Bejing China.

I think this is what Julian of Norwich meant when she said that all the mysteries of the universe are contained in a single chestnut.  I think there are some parallels also in the world of physics where the world of the very large ie, the entire cosmos, and the world of the very small, the atom,  are also mirror opposites of each other.  When a scientist peers through thru a microscope into the world of atom, it is like he is also looking into the vastest recesses of space.

Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, in his book,  “Introduction to Christianity” reinforces the notion that no man is an island.  In writing about our interconnectiveness, he writes that we are all interconnected with each other, nature in fact the entire cosmos. Cardinal Ratzinger writes, “Every man also contains the past and future of Mankind, which really does emerge, the closer one looks, as the one single “Adam.”

I am reminded of the movie, “Roots.” I think there is a great theology of the healing of the family tree in the movie when lead actor says in the great tradition of Africa, “All my ancestors live in me.”

Blessing and prayers Fr Stefan

Healing of The Family Tree By Father Stefan

 

Mass for the Healing of the Family Tree

When I was a young priest I came across the idea that there is such a thing as intergenerational healing. We are affected both positively and negatively by the choices that family members have done in the past. As the famous poem says, “No man is an Island.” St Paul would say, “We are the Body of Christ and individually member of it.” 1Cor12:27

I will try to show that praying for intergenerational healing flows quite nicely from what we believe in our Catholic Faith. Once a month I have a mass for the Healing of the Family Tree. At this mass people bring me their family tree and I place them at the foot of the altar. If you want to see when I do these masses check out my website at www.fatherstefan.wordpress.com. I have hundreds of family tree sent to me from all over the world. Every month all these people are being prayed for.

Actually this mass is no different than what we do at most masses. Most mass intentions are for a deceased person.  (In a future blog, I will explain that having a mass said for the living is more powerful for the person than a mass said for them when they are dead, but that is for a future time.) We believe that the mass said for the deceased person truly has as a positive effect on the person. Well at the masses for the healing of the family tree we bring our entire family tree to Jesus. One of the things that I have learned is that illnesses are connected to events and sins in the past, and when the past event is touched or brought to Jesus the present event is touched and healing can take place.

An example, a person might suffer from an eating disorder. At the mass she might see a past ancestor suffering starvation. When she prays for healing of that person she is also healed of her eating disorder.

If you read the chapter in my book, ‘Miracles Healing for a Broken World,” in the chapter on curses and evil spirits, you will read about my experiences with intergenerational healing.  I wrote in the book Miracles, “In the same way that physical conditions such as alcoholism, depression, or heart disease run in families, spiritual condition can run through families as well.  When it comes to physical maladies, a doctor asks his patients questions about the family medical history. However, sometimes illnesses are rooted in generational attitudes or sins. For example, sometimes events like abortion, unexpected deaths, or infant deaths run in families. I believe this is true, in large part, because of personal experiences. I have prayed with people who appear to be suffering from incurable conditions, but when I’ve prayed for healing of the generation, I’ve seen remarkable results”

I am not saying that all illness are caused by past events or even most. All I am saying is that we are all interconnected. The good and bad that we do has effects for many generations.  Again as the famous poem says, “No Man is an Island.”

In future blogs, I will make my case for this type of healing, as how it flows from our Catholic Faith.

Remember to pray for your family members who have gone before us. One of the Spiritual works of Mercy is to pray for the dead.

God Bless

Fr Stefan

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