Monday, September 25, 2023

"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain" Hmily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023


“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain”


As I have mentioned many times, I went into my first surgery with about 170 names of victims of Catholic Clergy sexual assault. 

When I was staying at St. Martins rectory in the winter of 2021, I started writing a book for the victims, and have emailed out that book several times.  If you are a victim of Catholic Clergy abuse who has not received the electronic copy of this book, email me and I can send you a copy.


There is another chapter, though, that I have not emailed out, and it is titled “If I were to die”

I mention this because if references today’s line from St. Paul to the Philippians: “For to me life is Christ and death is gain”


I would like to read a brief excerpt from that chapter: “I totally trust in the Providence of God, and if I should die, I would consider that a great honor…the honor of being able to imitate Jesus through to the end…All that I ask is that you do what St. Monica on her deathbed asked of her son St. Augustine.  “Remember me at the Altar as often as you are able.”  Pray for the repose of my soul, that I may one day enter the glorious light of Heaven…for as St. Paul tells the Philippians: For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.”

St. John Chrysostom 1700 years ago wrote this: “What are we to fear? Death? But St. Paul tells the Philippians “Life to me means Christ, and death is gain.” I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good.”

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ praises those for whom “love for life did not deter them from death.”

The world is beautiful, life is beautiful…we love being alive…but we cannot let love for life deter us from death.


“For to me life is Christ and death is gain!”  May we all say the same thing…may we trust that if God decides it is our time to die, that our family will be taken care of…that everything that happens is in accord with His holy will!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Questions on End of Life Issues


The Catholic Church always Requires nutrition and hydration be given, no matter what.  That is typically one small tube inserted into the nose, but even if nutrition and water needs to be administered through an iv or a gastro tube, nutrition and water need to be supplied through that method.  It is only okay to stop nutrition if it becomes apparent that the body is no longer able to digest nutrition.


Life Support is where a machine is breathing for you.  It is acceptable to make the decision to withdraw life support if there is not a possibility of recovery.


The best practice for a Catholic is to not fill out an advanced directive, nor any sort of living will, but rather to appoint a health care representative who is Catholic and also understands what the Catholic Church teaches about end-of-life issues.  Indiana has a form titled “Indiana Health Care Representative Appointment” (click HERE to view the form)


Make your funeral plans now and send them to the funeral home, your parish, and any people who you feel like would want a copy of your plans among family and friends.  Sometimes, the parent is a faithful Catholic who would clearly want a funeral Mass, but if the children are not practicing, the family may not want a funeral Mass.  It is critical to make your funeral plans out ahead of time so that there is no discussion about you having a funeral Mass. 


The Catholic Church says the body should be present at the funeral Mass.  Cremation is only supposed to happen after the funeral.  If cremation is chosen after the funeral, the urn needs to be buried or placed in a vault.  It is not acceptable to scatter the ashes, nor is it acceptable to keep them at home, nor any other practice contrary to burying the urn or placing the urn in a mausoleum.


The only situation where cremation is acceptable before the funeral is when the funeral is a great distance away.HERE

Sunday, September 10, 2023

"Where 2 or 3 are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them" Homily for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023


“Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them"


Last night, I was sitting in Saint Lawrence Church praying, and the Devil was trying to discourage me with all these things going on in the world and the Church….and I just was leafing through the book that all priests and religious vow to pray from 5 times a day, and eventually I came across a beautiful passage from St. John Chrysostom, the best preacher of all time…and he wrote this about 1700 years ago…and it spoke to me so clearly with that spirit of discouragement and dismay that the Devil always wants us to experience, and so in case any of you at this Mass are being assaulted by Demonic spirits of discouragement, I share some of St. John Chrysostom’s words:


“I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth, I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good.  I concentrate, therefore, on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.”

I have talked before about how it is so important for all of us to be present, in every moment, to those around us.  The Devil wants us worrying about the future, our past, he also tells us lies about ourselves in the present, and the best way fight back against these attacks is to be present to the current moment and to be present to those around you.


St. John Chrysostom goes on: “Do you not hear the Lord saying “where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name there am I in their midst?  Will Jesus be absent then, when so many people united in love are gathered together?”

There are so many people here at this Mass, and we are here because we are striving to be saints, striving to get to Heaven.  That is what I focus on…those who are here at this specific Mass.


Pope Francis has said his favorite novel is “Lord of the World” and it is a novel about the antichrist.  The antichrist has killed all the other Catholics except for 2, and so even in that novel, when 2 are gathered in Christ’s name, Christ is there.  Christ promises each of us who keep the Commandments of His Catholic Church that “I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”


We here at this Mass have many reasons for discouragement and despair, but let us hold fast to Christ’s promise in tonight’s Gospel “That where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”

Monday, September 4, 2023

"Christ Suffered for You Leaving You an Example" Homily for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023


22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023 – “Christ Suffered for you leaving you an example”


Saint Paul tells the Romans to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” and Jesus says to his followers in today’s Gospel “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”



I made a prayer in early 2019 that if there was anything I could suffer for the victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse/assault etc., that I would willingly do that.  A month later I had my first seizure from what I later learned was a brain tumor.  And I knew as soon as the words came out of the doctor’s mouth, that this tumor had been an answer to that prayer I made.


And so, after receiving my diagnosis, I wrote up a blog post that night about how I had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and that I was offering that suffering up for all the victims of Catholic Clergy Abuse, and that post went viral.

Since my first surgery was not for another month, that gave me the opportunity to communicate with about 170 victim survivors, and parents of victims, and parents of victims who had taken their life because of the abuse done to their children by Catholic clergy, and so I entered my first of 3 brain surgeries in March of 2020 with 170 names of victim survivors and victims who had committed suicide because of the abuse.

I told all of them that I don’t expect my offering up of my suffering them to suddenly help them return to the Catholic Church, but some of them reached out several years after and let me know that was the case for them.

Why do I mention all of this??? Because the Bible says, over and over again, and in our readings from St. Paul and Jesus in our Gospel today a teaching that I don’t hear coming from any other place besides the Catholic Church, and that is that our suffering has the power to change people’s lives and OUR life.  

In all of this, I will say that the number one person who was helped through this offering up of my suffering for the victims...was 3 year battle forced me to slow down and question things about myself that I had never stopped to question, and I recognized that a lot of times I was spreading gossip, slandering people not present and on and on.

Mother Angelica had this beautiful phrase “Never let a DROP of suffering go to waste”


My heart aches when I hear people say that they think their suffering is meaningless…that narrative is out there a lot in our world, but it is not true…our suffering has an infinite weight to it…just as Christ’s suffering won our salvation, so our suffering can, when offered up for other people, have dramatic effects in their lives, and in ours.


What does this look like practically? 

It might look like “Lord, I offer this small inconvenience that I am experiencing at the grocery store up for other people”

or…lord I am offering the suffering I am experiencing from strife in my family up for that person causing the strife…

or lord, I offer up the suffering of this cancer and chemo up for other people…


Try it with big and small sufferings in your life…God always keeps His Word because He loves us…see if offering up your sufferings for yourself and others does in fact make you more peaceful and calm.

And we all know people who need to hear these things about our suffering not being meaningless but something that we can offer up for others, and we all know people who suffer because they are listening to the Devil tell them they are the worst sinner because they get distracted at prayer…invite those people to come learn more about Catholicism.

Inviting a person to come learn more about what the Catholic Church teaches also has the benefit of being something that, for most of us, we are MASSIVELY FEARFUL of doing…so offer that suffering up for that person who you are going to push through your fear and invite.


Classes start September 14th at 6:30pm at St. Martin’s campus hall


Let us all heed St. Paul’s command today and offer ourselves up as a sacrifice in both big and small ways…may we make that a constant habit in our lives moving forward!

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Lifesite Video