"But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days says the Lord. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they shall be my people." ~ Jeremiah 31:33

 

This page contains excerpts of our 3 latest blog posts from our blog site Written on Our Hearts, for the full site click here

 

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07.01.2021
Patchwork Heart
1 Comments

Yesterday, January 6, 2021, is a day that will never be forgotten. I was out rideshare driving for several hours while listening to the news on the radio. I rarely listen to the news, as I usually prefer to have some light background music on while driving others around the greater Milwaukee area. However, yesterday was different, I needed to listen to the local traffic and news because less than 24 hours before it was announced by the district attorney in Kenosha, WI that no charges would be filed against the police officers involved in the Jacob Blake shooting last summer. Several streets in that community were barricaded the previous evening as they anticipated some protests and rioting.

For the most part, things seemed to be calm in Kenosha, and the rideshare trips led me out to the Waukesha area - I was safe and the risk was low that I would run into any demonstrations that might put my safety or the safety of my passengers at risk. Just as I reached for the dial to change the station, the news broke that protesters had broken into the United States Capitol building, the joint session of Congress had been suspended, Vice President Pence was escorted by secret service and a chaotic scene was unfolding. Upon hearing this, my heart sank immediately, I was deeply saddened by this news. I was also aware immediately that this would be a day that would leave a lasting and indelible mark upon this country.

This isn't a political blog, and I make the conscious choice not to share my political views on social media or in public - so if you are looking for a political analysis of yesterday's events, you'll need to look elsewhere. However, as the founder and president of a non-profit Catholic ministry, I believe I have an obligation to respond to the events we witnessed yesterday. 

I host a podcast and radio show called Young Catholics Respond, and I often say that the title of the program is both a declarative and imperative statement. It is a young Catholic response to daily issues we face and also a call for young Catholics to respond to the constantly evolving cultural climate in which we live. Each time I sit behind the microphone and host an episode, I do so with the intention to both respond as a young Catholic attempting to put the Gospel into action and challenge other young Catholics to do the same. Although today I'm behind a keyboard and not a microphone, it is in that same spirit that I write this post.

When last year, 2020, began I often said that it was going to be a year of "perfect vision" and prayed that God would allow us to see Him more clearly and look at all humankind through His eyes and from His perspective. God certainly challenged us to see things differently as a worldwide pandemic has broken out impacting every corner of the earth. 

The pandemic has caused all  - every race, creed, and social class included - to pause and think about what really matters in their life. Some have used this moment of pause for the common good, helping and assisting others in their community by giving selflessly of their time, talent, and treasure. Others have used this to push a selfish agenda, loot, riot, and destroy. The unifiers and the dividers are coming into clearer focus and we have a greater awareness of who these individuals and groups are and how they seek to build up or tear down our society. 

With each passing day, the contrast between unifiers and dividers seemingly increases. So too increasing is our anxiety and worry about the future of our world, country, community, and family. Simply, we are living in uncertain, difficult, and disturbing times. Many of us in our frail humanity are tempted to crawl in a hole and wait for the world to change, but God is calling us to something greater. We were created by God, positioned precisely at this point in human history to become saints and build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to two shepherd children in La Salette, France in 1846 she appeared wearing a crucifix around her neck. On the horizontal beam of this crucifix, there are two items, one on the left side and one on the right. On the right side of the crucifix, there are pincers, and on the left, there is a hammer (from the perspective of Jesus). In the simple wearing of this crucifix, and by juxtapositioning the hammer and pincers on opposite sides she was posing a question. She was asking which one will you take? Will you pick up the hammer and drive the nails further into Christ's flesh or the pincers and pull the nails out of His wrists and feet? 

You must make a choice, no one who gazes upon the horrific scene at Calvery can leave undecided, you can't walk away without either mocking or mourning Jesus. Despite the hammer being heavier than the pincers, many find it easier to pick it up, drive the nails further into Christ's hands, and walk away. Saints, take the pincers, kneel down next to the beaten, bruised, and lifeless body of Christ, and remove the nails. They subject themselves to the mocking of the others who tell them their God is dead, but they carry on and free Christ's body from the cross anyway. They show compassion, they don't lose hope, and because their faith is great they are rewarded with everlasting life.

History is full of saints and people of great faith who have in the most difficult of times knelt down, removed the nails, stood in hope, and cooperated with grace to ensure the ground on which we stand today is firm. With grateful hearts for these champions of faith, we are now being confronted and called by God to sainthood.

So, today as the sun rises upon the seemingly lifeless body of Christ and the vast valley of dry bones that surround us in every direction, God has placed a pair of pincers and a hammer at your feet. Which will you choose?

03.05.2020
Patchwork Heart
No comments
We are living in unprecedented and uncertain times. The entire world has been affected by a global pandemic, it has reached nearly every corner of the earth and affected nearly every person on the planet in some way. If you or a loved one has not contracted the disease, you are probably suffering in some other way from the fallout of schools, businesses, and all forms of public entertainment being shuttered. As a human family, more especially as Americans, this is the first time we have experienced the rapid spread of illness, death, job loss, and freedoms being restricted in our lifetime. As people of faith, it is only natural for us to turn to the Church in difficult times. Unfortunately, in this time many of us are finding that no matter how hard we pull and push on the doors of our Church they too are closed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Church has been absent or silent during these times. Many priests and bishops have become creative offering drive-by confessions, parking lot and online Masses to help nourish the faithful. However, for those of us who regularly participate in the sacramental life of the Church, it hardly seems adequate. These efforts might be admirable but they don't satisfy our deep hunger for the mercy and nourishment that only God can give us by living a consistent Sacramental lifestyle of regular confession and reception of the Eucharist. Simply, to those of us who have been living that way for years, they are as essential to us as water and air. Suddenly and seemingly overnight, we’ve found ourselves parched and gasping for air, desperate for the Living Water to flood and satiate our souls once again. As this crisis continues we are becoming increasingly famished, fraught, and frantic in our search to return to the Eucharistic table. We’ve moved from hoping and praying for our priests and bishops to open the doors to interrogating them and demanding they no longer sanction us from the Sacramental lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to for years. Some of us have outright criticized the character of our pastor or bishop publicly, others repeatedly quote canon law and constantly question the decisions of Church leadership on social media. In the midst of the crisis unlike any of us has ever seen, Jesus, who as Sovereign King and Omniscient God reigns over us and knows the outcomes of the times and seasons, is asking us an important question to each and every one of us desperately desiring to receive Him sacramentally again. He inquires, “What if you have received the Eucharist for the last time? If so, will you still follow me?” With your famished, fraught, and frantic heart will you live the Gospel to the best of your ability? Will you serve the poor, preach, evangelize, and lead souls astray back to Christ or will you walk away with a flash of anger at those keeping you from living a Sacramental lifestyle. Desperation often leads to desolation, being gracious for the gift of faith God has given to us through our baptism and confirmation leads to a contagious generosity. Therefore, while we are unable to fully experience the “source and summit of the Christian life (cf. CCC 1324),” let us remember that Christ calls us to personal holiness in all seasons of our lives. 
23.03.2019
Patchwork Heart
No comments
“Who has measured with his palm the waters, marked off the heavens with a span, held in his fingers the dust of the earth, weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord or instructed Him as a counselor? Whom did He consult to gain knowledge? Who taught Him the path of judgment or showed Him the way of understanding?” Isaiah 40:12-14 Recently, God has called me into a period of transition in my life to focus on expanding the mission of Patchwork Heart Ministry. Each new day is unpredictable, vastly different than the previous and can be filled with skyrocketing highs or rock-bottom lows. The reward of success is constantly and relentlessly paired with the added stress and responsibility of starting and operating a non-profit. In one of those rock-bottom stressful moments, earlier this month I was trying to hold it all together and began complaining to God, as I began reading Him my shopping list and asking Him for His intervention in my day, He stopped me in my tracks and began reading His list back to me. “If you think you are trying to hold it all together, have you forgotten what I’ve held together. Remember when my Son laid his life down for you? Well, as I was torn to pieces watching Him suffer for you did the world implode? Did gravity disappear? How about the stars, did they cease to give light? As I watched him breathe His last breath, did I forget to sustain the life of every other living creature and human being?” I sheepishly responded “No.” Suddenly, my issues seemed so small and insignificant and I sat there in awe of God. I know if I was watching my innocent Son be executed, I wouldn’t be concerned about the needs of anybody else, worried about paying the electric bill or other temporal matters. But even when God is humiliated, mocked, scorned, crowned with thorns, beaten and crucified, “He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45 NABRE).” Simply, if God can look down from heaven and watch His only begotten Son’s flesh be brutally torn apart by us sinful human beings and resist the urge to turn all the galaxies into dust, I’m confident that He can help me handle not only my worries, problems, insecurities and issues but your's and everybody's. Therefore, this Lent, let us intentionally spend quality time reflecting on the Paschal Mystery and allow ourselves the opportunity to realize the magnitude of what it means for our salvation and the salvation of the world.

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P.O. Box 563
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Phone: +1 424 704 3278+1 424 704 3278

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