Jul 24, 2019

From the desk of Fr Stephen

This past weekend, I believe, was a difficult one for all of us here at the Rock.  It is not easy to move on after change.  We heard the news about the changes to be made for our Redemptorist confreres in June, but until you see it happening it is hard to accept.  There certainly was an outpouring of emotion on the part of many.  Both Bro. Terry and Fr. Rick have spent the better part of their ministry as Redemptorists here at the Rock, and we are sad to see them go.  Bro. Terry will at least be close by to come and save poor Fr. Steve whenever anything breaks down.  They will be missed.

I want to thank all who have offered condolences on behalf of the passing of my father.  Yes, I do miss him, but I am at peace knowing he is at peace in the presence of God.  Thank God for our faith in the resurrection, otherwise I would be tempted to despair.  However, with the help of so many loving people, my family has handled his death as well as we can.  Thanks again.

In this week’s gospel we are taught by Jesus how to pray in his giving to us the “Our Father.”  This prayer has been said by us hundreds, if not thousands of times.  It is a prayer simple in form, but very powerful.  Just the fact we call God Father is very endearing.  It is so intimate and touching in being able to relate to God as a parent instead of just some cosmic presence off in the distance somewhere.

In the midst of Jesus’ ministry he often goes off by himself to a place of quiet to pray.  This is important because it teaches us we must do the same.  I have talked about prayer before and once again we must challenge ourselves in this regard.  Do we pray?  How long do we pray?  What form does our prayer take?  Here at the Rock we offer different types of prayer that you can take advantage of if you wish.  Certainly attending mass is a proven way to pray.  We come to church and sing, listen, adore God in word and sacrament.  It is important to enter into the event.  Having the proper attitude of praise and worship helps.  It is not entertainment, but a lifting of ourselves to be with God.

On Mondays we offer the opportunity to come and pray a visit before the Blessed Sacrament, and then benediction of the Eucharist, followed by mass.  What an opportunity.  On Sunday before mass, those who want, can pray the rosary together.  On Tuesday we offer the novena to Mary followed by mass.  On Thursday we have been getting together at 6:00 p.m. to study the gospel of John.  There is plenty going on here at the Rock to deepen our relationship with God if only we make the effort.  God is not going to force us to pray, but the more we do it the more we want to do it.  And the more we do it the more the Lord blesses us with his grace.