Conversion and Courage

Today, we hear about one of the unsung women who is an absolute hero in the Bible. Think back to the situation that is described in today’s First Reading. During this time in Egypt, all Israelite boys were to be killed, under the order of Pharaoh. You could be put to death for hiding children as well. Enter the hero of the story. This unknown woman conceals the child for as long as she can. 

Now I don’t know about you, but my experience with children is that they do not stay quiet for very long, especially without food or comfort. So this woman is constantly trying to keep her child quiet and well fed in order to save him from Pharaoh’s wrath. I think of the scene in “A Quiet Place” where they just had a newborn and have to try to keep the crying down so they are not heard by the invading force in the movie. 

If you have seen the film, you know that it ends in a sacrifice to protect the children. In the same way, this woman sacrifices her very life for Moses, and look at what God did with this sacrificial love. But notice that Moses is not ready right away to do God’s will. In fact, he even commits murder and has to hide out for a time as God slowly calls him to deeper and deeper conversion. 

I think there are two things we can learn from this reading that apply to our daily lives. First, sometimes God’s will can be difficult for us to follow, but we should be courageous just as this woman was in the Bible, because we never know what our actions will do in the long term. Second, we are constantly being purified and sanctified. When I was in seminary one of the major slogans was constant conversion. 

The word conversion simply means to turn away. Turn away from a certain lifestyle or sin or vice in order to turn back to God. John Paul II in his Encyclical Redemptoris Missio said, “From the outset, conversion is expressed in faith which is total and radical, and which neither limits nor hinders God’s gift. At the same time, it gives rise to a dynamic and lifelong process which demands a continual turning away from ‘life according to the flesh’ to ‘life according to the Spirit’. Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple.”

Conversion is not once and for all, but gradual and daily. It is a lifelong process whereby we accept the love of the Trinity.  If we courageously follow God and open ourselves up to his constant love, it may not be what we expect, but it will be what we need. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God bless!

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Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and a content specialist for Ruah Woods, a Theology of the Body Ministry. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith.

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The Lord’s Help Amid the Nightmare

As I was sharing with my sister-in-law all that my son has been through, I told her this felt like the song that never ends. She responded, “more like the nightmare that never ends”. And she was right. It has seemed more like a nightmare, but low and behold, it appears it has come to an end. After two full months including three five-day hospital stays, two surgeries, several procedures, a catheter, blood draws, countless IV’s, a few follow-up appointments, two weeks with an abdominal drain and two weeks on a feeding tube to administer meds, my son is left with a healthy body and 5 or 6 small scars on his belly to show for it. All that remains is to build up his strength and his appetite so he can enjoy the rest of the summer.

In today’s Gospel Jesus proclaims: “…whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

This hit me right between the eyes. I have been focusing so much on my son that my relationship with my God has gone by the wayside. Do I love my son more than my God? Has this trial been a cross that I am called to take up? Have I been trying to find my “normal” life these past two months only to realize I have lost it? Although I don’t think I could ever be worthy of God, I would hate to become unworthy from my own doing…

Bishop Barron’s reflection today held a great reminder: “‘And I will make you fishers of men.’ This is one of the best lines in Scripture. Notice the first part of the phrase: ‘I will make you.’ God is the one who makes us from nothing. To live in sin is to live outside of the creative power of God, to pretend that we can make ourselves. How wonderful that he tells us that he will make us!”

It is God who allows us to walk into the storm and it is God who leads us out of it. He molds us, shapes us, transforms us and makes us with each and every experience we live.

Our Psalm Response echoes this sentiment: “Our help is in the name of the Lord.”

Sure, I have received help from others, from family and friends who have supported me during this time, from doctors and nurses who have done their best to take care of my son, from perfect strangers who have prayed or sent gift cards for a meal, but it has all been the Lord working through them. My true stronghold, my one and only Sustainer is the Lord. I cannot rely on my own power or feeble strength.

So as this season comes to a close and we turn our focus on welcoming our fifth child soon, I pray that you also be reminded that God is in charge of making you and that your help is in His name alone.

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Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at her parish, is a guest blogger on and, runs her own blog at and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.

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Our Smallness and God’s Strength

My kids’ bedtime stories consist of a good mix of library books, super hero conquests, animal adventures, outer space voyages and Bible stories. But about once a month, they pull out their baby albums and love looking at themselves as newborns. It’s hard for them to believe they were so little. 

Sometimes they also ask me to sing to them. One of their favorite songs is about Zaccheus, the tax collector: “Zaccheus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see. ‘Zaccheus! Come down! For I’m going to your house today. I’m going to your house today.” 

While three of my sons were born at about 8lbs 9oz and 21 inches long, my second son was born at two pounds and two inches less. He wasn’t a premie, he has just always been smaller. He knows he’s my little one, so one day he said to me, “Mommy, I’m just like Zaccheus, aren’t I? Because I’m small too!” 

I wonder if the apostles who were sent out to evangelize in today’s Gospel also felt small. They were told: “take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in [your] belts.” Were they scared, wondering if their needs would be met? Did they wonder if they were important enough that people would actually listen to them? 

We don’t have to do great things to make a difference. We just have to do what God asks us to do. I love the example of St. Therese of Lisieux and her little way. She just did small things with great love. 

Perhaps the apostles did feel insignificant or unworthy but in the end they believed in the power of God. They trusted that He would work through them and “so they went off and preached repentance. [They] drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”

I remember one particular moment when I was in the hospital with my son that I really thought I couldn’t do it anymore. Instead of asking God to give me the strength to go on, I begged Him, “God BE my strength”. And He did. I was too small to endure on my own, but asking God to take over and become my strength granted me the grace I needed. 

God can do so much with our smallness as long as our willingness is included. May the Lord be your strength today. 

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Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at her parish, is a guest blogger on and, runs her own blog at and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.

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Proclaim His Wondrous Deeds

To proclaim something, we have to know it. To know something, we need to give it our attention. 

Recently, I was asked how God was working in my life. And I went blank. I mean, absolutely blank. I could have listed all the things I was doing, how school was going, what we were doing to keep life busy, but when it came to how God was working in my life, I didn’t have one single thing to say. 

I was horrified. I am still embarrassed. 

There isn’t one thing in my life that isn’t an incredible gift from God, yet in that moment I couldn’t come up with anything. 

My days are filled with a multitude of tiny and wondrous ways God is active in my life. I have a husband I love. I have a job I love. I have a wonderful home with a wren who comes and sings on my deck as I drink my morning coffee. I have a dog who snuggles extra tight during thunderstorms. It wasn’t that God isn’t present and active for me, it was that I hadn’t stayed present to God. I had not been giving God my attention. I had not maintained a sense of gratitude or kept a vigilant eye for all the miracles that surround me everyday. 

This is when I need to go to confession; when I become so busy, so sure of myself that I forget I am only capable of taking my next breath because God purposefully holds me in the palm of His hand. All that I do and all that I have is gift, freely given.

I am not called to do great public acts but I am called to keep my mind and heart open to all the daily ways God’s grace is present in my life. When I give God’s actions my attention, I can come to know Him and His will for me. When I know God well, I am able to proclaim all his wondrous deeds, not just when I am asked, but through all that I do each and every day, so each and every act becomes a prayer of praise to Him. 

Today, my prayer is that you are able to stop and become more aware of how God is working in your life so that with the Psalmist, we can proclaim God’s wondrous deeds together! 

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Sheryl O’Connor delights in being the number 1 cheerleader and supporter for her husband, Tom who is a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. They are so grateful for the opportunity to grow together in this process whether it is studying for classes, deepening their prayer life or discovering new ways to serve together. Sheryl’s day job is serving her community as the principal for St. Therese Catholic School in Wayland, Michigan. Since every time she thinks she gets life all figured out, she realizes just how far she has to go, St. Rita of Cascia is her go-to Saint for intercession and help. Home includes Brea, a Bernese Mountain dog and Carlyn, a very, very goofy Golden Retriever.

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Today my coworker led our morning prayer and ended with, “Father, all I ask is that we find ourselves laughing today. I ask for nothing more than the beautiful gift of laughter.”

And what a gift it is, being able to feel so free, so joyous, so relaxed, that we find ourselves enjoying laughter. A large part of being able to genuinely laugh (not nervously laugh) is being able to let your guard down, being able to trust the situation you’re in, and being able to trust the people you’re with. Similarly, I find myself laughing with the Lord when I trust in Him. 

How many times have I found myself in some ridiculous situation that would normally be worrisome or stressful, yet I am laughing because I trust in God’s plan, whatever that may be. For example, I was once late to work because there were literally goats on the road and traffic was stopped while people got out of their cars and tried to chase them down. Instead of being upset, I laughed. I laughed because I knew how ridiculous it would sound when I told my boss that I was late because goats had escaped onto the road. I laughed because even though I would be late, I knew that this was a part of God’s plan.

You see, I was having a terrible day before this and, just minutes before, I had started praying in the car. I was just having a conversation with God. I asked for His grace so I could see beauty in the world. What I was given was the beautiful gift of laughter.

In today’s reading, Jacob trusts in the Lord enough to leave his home with everything he owns and everyone he loves. Then, he is greatly rewarded by the joy of seeing his son. I can just imagine his overwhelming joy, the tears as he laughs. His trust in the Lord’s plan, in the Lord Himself, means the beautiful gift of laughter is able to enter his life. 

So, today, pray for the gift of laughter. Allow yourself to trust in God. Drop the guard around your heart and… Just laugh.

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Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Pennsylvania. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various Catholic articles in bulletins, newspapers, e-newsletters, and blogs. She continued sharing her faith after graduation as a web content strategist and digital project manager. Today, she continues this mission in her current role as communications director and project manager for Pentecost Today USA, a Catholic Charismatic Renewal organization in Pittsburgh. 

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What You Have Received

There are so many places to launch a reflection from in today’s Gospel. Jesus’ sending of the disciples is full of vivid imagery and specific instructions on how, where and why the Gospel will be preached. As I prayed with this Gospel, I kept being struck by two little lines that seem to be tossed in the middle:

ˆWithout cost you have received; Without cost you are to give.”

Jesus had just detailed the things the disciples were to do during their time away. They were to preach the Gospel, cure diseases, cleanse the people and drive out demons. During Jesus’ day, these activities were all ones that a payment would have been expected. A preacher would extend a hat or shawl after a lesson, doctors have a fee, even religious leaders expected something in return for services rendered. 

Jesus, however, immediately and without conditions lays bare what sort of payment the disciples ought to expect. Nothing. What they have received from Him, what powers or knowledge they now possess, they received without any monetary cost. They are to give what they have in the same way that they received it. 

We, too, have received from Jesus. Jesus freely gives himself to us each Sunday at Mass in the Eucharist. This gift is given for our salvation and for our unity in the Mystical Body of Christ. The following is a beautiful passage from the document Lumen Gentium, one of the defining documents from the Second Vatican Council. It speaks about this incredible mystery that we participate in without charge:

“As all the members of the human body, though they are many, form one body, so also are the faithful in Christ. Also, in the building up of Christ’s Body various members and functions have their part to play. There is only one Spirit who, according to His own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives His different gifts for the welfare of the Church. What has a special place among these gifts is the grace of the apostles to whose authority the Spirit Himself subjected even those who were endowed with charisms. Giving the body unity through Himself and through His power and inner joining of the members, this same Spirit produces and urges love among the believers. From all this it follows that if one member endures anything, all the members co-endure it, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.” (LG 7)

We are transformed each Mass more and more into the Body of Christ. This should produce within us a spirit of love and generosity for the other members of the Body. But even more so, it should open our eyes to all humanity, who Jesus is equally calling to the table. Jesus did not send His disciples to specific people, but to all people. He did not require they demand payment, create hoops to be jumped through, or hurdles to be surmounted before receiving what they themselves had freely received. 

The love and forgiveness you have been gifted by God are not yours to keep. They have been given to you so that you can freely give them away. Each Mass, you are given the grace of the Eucharist not to keep for yourself, but to pass on to those you meet in your daily life. 

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Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at

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Chosen and Sent

I was on the edge of my Kindergarten seat, hoping to be called by the teacher to run the weekly errand of taking the attendance sheet to the Principal’s Office (which was practically next to our classroom). Why was this desirable? I think it was because only the reliable kids were entrusted with this task – the ones who would be certain to do just what they were given to do without childish dilly-dallying. The Friday that I was called, I was elated and couldn’t wait to get home to tell my mom.

Have you ever been chosen from a crowd to participate in the task of the moment in a particular way?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus chooses twelve men from among those who followed him as disciples. A disciple, or pupil/student, chooses which teacher to follow; an apostle is chosen by the teacher for a specific task. This reading from Matthew is the first time the word “apostle” is used in the Gospel, and these twelve specific men are identified. We can see them as very real people (identified by name), flesh and blood and fallenness (among them are a tax collector and a betrayer), men with family trees (they are brothers and sons), a band of men who knew each other and their idiosyncrasies. Men who had to respond to a special personal call of Jesus, and who were then sent to bear Jesus himself into the world.

This call comes in three parts: Jesus “summons” them to himself, he instructs them and gives them “authority over unclean spirits…and to cure every disease and every illness”, and he sends them out. His first sentence to his would-be followers (after his baptism in the Jordan) is: “Come, and see.” His final words on earth (just before his Ascension into Heaven) is: “Go and make disciples.” First, come and be with him; then, go out to others.

This is the nature of every call or vocation: we are called to Christ (in baptism and in successive “calls” through our lives), we are given a share in his own authority and power (through study and prayer and the sacraments), and we are sent forth for others. The gifts that we are given are not for ourselves only; they are given to us so that we can use them in service to others. In fact, like the Twelve Apostles and countless saints after them, we are called to pour ourselves out completely to fulfill this call – all twelve of them were martyred for remaining faithful to this call of Christ!

My five-year-old self only wanted to be called to do something special; there was not even an understanding of service to others. A Christian call is much deeper than this, demanding a commitment of our whole self to the cause of Christ, for God’s glory, our own good, and the good of others!

What is God calling you to today?

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including newly ordained Father Rob and seminarian Luke ;-), and two grandchildren. She is a Secular Discalced Carmelite and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 25 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE. Currently, she serves the Church as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio, by publishing and speaking, and by collaborating with the diocesan Office of Catechesis, various parishes, and other ministries to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

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The Privilege of Being a Laborer for the Kingdom of God

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”  Mt 9:32-38

My grandfather’s humble service to the Church was awe inspiring to me.  During his retirement years, he spent hours upon hours serving the Lord by promoting a devotion to the Sacred Heart through his work with the Men of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Cincinnati, OH, making rosaries, serving his family especially his wife or volunteering at his local Catholic church.  When asked why he was so dedicated to it all, he used to chuckle and say with a wink, “the pay is out of this world”.  Through his example, I learned that sowing eternal seeds is far more rewarding than earthly ones. 

When one lives a life devoted to the Lord, one can begin to identify the fellow workers in the field and appreciate the work they are inspired to do to serve the King of Kings. Some of the workers are priests and religious, while others are lay men and women seeking to do the most rewarding and meaningful work of spreading and living the faith. 

When we witness such examples of selfless service, we might be tempted to be discouraged by our own lacking or even become jealous of the work they do, the commitment they have, or the “tools” they have at their disposal.  Instead, we ought to focus on the work to which we are called, thank God for their example, and be inspired to better love God as they do. 

We are called to pray for more workers in the harvest.  The Lord wants us to ask for more holy men and women to serve the Church, and when they do appear, to have a heart full of gratitude for their “yes” to God.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic

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True Freedom

We just celebrated the Fourth of July and the Alleluia before the Gospel today really got me thinking about freedom. The reading says, “Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” Christ has conquered sin and death and brought freedom to us. But what is freedom?

Genesis 2 explains, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’”

Adam was free to eat, he was free to choose. This leads to the question that keeps philosophers busy; Why did God allow freedom if he knew we were going to fall? Ultimately, he gave us freedom because he loves us and wants us to freely love him in return. But that necessarily means that the very freedom that is required for authentic love, also allows for rejection.

Currently, our culture tends to think of freedom as doing whatever we want, whenever we want, in whatever way that we want. This was the mistake Adam and Eve made as well. Adam and Eve believed that God was holding out on them. So, they allowed their freedom, which was meant to bring them closer to God, to turn them away from him and toward death.

Now, let’s fast forward out of the echoes of Eden to the present day. We still misuse this God-given freedom to turn our backs on him. John Paul II recognized that, in the beginning, before the fall, this was not God’s will, proclaiming, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” This sounds counterintuitive in our modern era; for freedom to be doing what we “ought,” but think about it. When we live in accordance with God’s order, design and purpose, we are most fulfilled. When a dog obeys his owner, he is man’s best friend. When a child obeys their parents, they are joyful and protected. And so it goes, within his created order, when we obey God, we are living to our fullest potential.

Contrast that with the fact that every time we sin, it is easier and easier to form harmful habits and become enslaved to that sin, even addicted. That’s when evil makes us less and less of who we were created to be. Therefore, the question for us this month, as we celebrate The Fourth of July is, how are we going to use our freedom? Do we want slavery, or do we want fulfillment? Don’t let this be an empty question that slides off the screen. Take 30 seconds right now and ask yourself how you can live in true freedom this month, and then next month and the next (virtue can become habit too, you know). Then pray to be open to receiving the grace God is offering to you. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God bless!

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Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and a content specialist for Ruah Woods, a Theology of the Body Ministry. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith.

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The Faith of Paul

In today’s Gospel we hear of Jesus returning to His native place and preaching in the synagogues. Those he encounters, however, doubt and question Him. Mark recounts that “…he was not able to perform any mighty deed there…” and “He was amazed at their lack of faith.” Jesus’ inability to perform any mighty deeds is not a testament to His lack of power or strength, rather it is a testament to the peoples’ weakness and lack of faith. The miracles Jesus performed, be they small or big, were not just His way of proving that He is the Messiah that was sent to heal us of our sins. They were also proof of the faith of those who believed in Him.

The Second Reading stands in contrast to the Gospel in that St. Paul shows tremendous faith whereas the people of Jesus’ native place show a tremendous lack of faith. In St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he writes “…I am content with weakness, insults, hardship, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” I think this can be a difficult passage to understand and to digest. St. Paul turns his suffering, the thorn in his flesh, into a means for praising God! He sees his suffering as an opportunity to take refuge in God and His strength. It is Paul’s faith in Christ that allows him to be content with weakness and persecutions. 

It’s easy to read these two readings and recognize that Paul is the one to whom we should look as an example of faith. But how often do we reject Christ in our own lives? How often do we expect Him to perform great miracles in our lives but do not have the faith that He actually can or will? How often do we grow angry at God when we suffer rather than recognizing our suffering as an opportunity to unite our suffering with His?

May we be like St. Paul who, in his suffering, turned to God in humble prayer and allowed the strength of Christ to work through his weakness.

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Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at

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St. Thomas the Apostle

Going through my morning email last week a quotation from another famous Thomas, St. Thomas Aquinas really caught my attention. “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

The Apostle Thomas wanted to see Jesus with his own eyes. He wanted to feel the wounds of Christ with his own hands. I am 99.9% certain I’m not the only one who has asked for a sign of proof from God about a choice or decision of what He really wanted for me at a specific time in my life.

I also think about the many throughout time who have believed without seeing the Lord or a Bible. The Word spoken to them ignited their hearts with the Truth to believe in the Way and teachings of Jesus Christ. While I strive to keep God as my focus, I find myself saying this prayer.

Lord, I do believe.  Help me with my unbelief.  When I am tempted to give in to despair or to doubt Your almighty power over all things in life, help me to turn to You and to trust in You with all my heart.  May I cry out, with St. Thomas, “My Lord and my God,” and may I do so even when I see only with the faith You put into my soul.  Jesus, I trust in You.   Amen.

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Beth Price is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She is a Secular Franciscan (OFS) and a practicing spiritual director. Beth shares smiles, prayers, laughter, a listening ear and her heart with all of creation. Reach her here

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Dinner with Christ

In today’s Gospel, we read that the Pharisees questioned why Jesus sat for a meal with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus responded: “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” 

Jesus’ words should be a huge relief to us, for we are all sinners. We all need the salvation that He came here to offer us. 

And through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can be absolved of our sins. We can tell God we’re sorry. And we can promise to try to sin no more.

Yet He knows we will sin again. And invariably we do. So we pick ourselves up and try again. That’s all He asks—that we keep working at following His laws and becoming closer to Him.

And sometimes we envy those who got to sit at the table with Him, who had the chance to talk with Him, who heard His voice, and who listened to His stories. Maybe we even think: If only I could sit down to dinner with Christ, how much different my life would be.

But we can! We can sit down to dinner with Christ every day in the celebration of the Mass. At Mass, we listen to His word. We sit in His presence. We sing hymns of praise. We pray and tell Him we love Him. And, if we are free of mortal sin, we can eat of His flesh and drink of His blood.

There is nothing more amazing than that!

As Catholics, we are so incredibly blessed to be able to partake in the Eucharist, for the Eucharist really is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. 

What a gift!

If we truly contemplate this miracle, we would be running to the confessional then skipping to church so we could receive Communion. 

But even once we’re there in Mass, we find ourselves getting distracted. Maybe the music is of poor quality. Maybe people are making noise. Maybe we can’t hear the homily. So our minds begin to wander away from the table and away from Christ. We are no longer eating with Him but drifting aimlessly and alone.  

It is at these times that we need Him the most. 

When this happens, ask Him to draw you back to the table. Tell Him how much you love being with Him. 

And as you think about that meal where He spoke to the Pharisees, understand that he was talking about you

He came here for you. He came here for me. We are the sinners He died for. Let us never forget that.

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Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Eleven of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program-an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students.

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