I pray the Lord is Blessing you this day.
This my first Chaplain’s Corner for our national website. I have experienced a great deal of pleasure over the years sharing our Catholic faith as a Hibernian Chaplain on both my division’s website and the Virginia State Board’s website. I think our websites are great venues for us to share our faith journey. And it is a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to fulfill my pledge to serve you as one of your deputy national chaplains.
We are at the beginning of a New Liturgical Year. Happy New Year! We begin this new year with the season of Advent. Hopefully it is a time for us to feel motivatedby the opportunity to be able to prepare ourselves over these next four weeks to celebrate fully the Solemnity of Christmas. Too often, we can find ourselves beginning a new calendar year not always in the best of shape. But with the season of Advent, we are challenged, encouraged, empowered to begin the Church year by reflecting on how we have been living our faith this past year and where we need to step up our game. Throughout history, Irishmen have found strength and hope rooted in the practice of their faith, especially during times of great persecution. They embraced their faith, so they could hand it on to their children, and their children’s children. That’s us. Our faith has been handed onto us through good times and through bad times. Irish Catholicism has been a bedrock for the entire Universal Church. It has been a gift to the Church and it has been a gift that our parents have handed on to us.
The question that we need to ask ourselves during this Advent season is: How have I cared for and lived in this wonderful gift of faith? If we have taken our faith for granted and relegated it to just a minimal aspect of our lives, then we need to make some real changes. And just as we make resolutions following January 1st to lose weight or spend more time with family, we need to recommit ourselves to Christ this Advent. Prayer needs to be a daily part of our lives, both individually and with our families. Always remember that the family that prayers together, stays together. We need God to be at the center of our lives, so that all of the choices and decisions we make will have a solid foundation to build upon. As men, we need to be not just strong characters (which as Irishmen, I suspect most of us already are) but we need to be strong of character. When people describe us, they should use words like honorable, trustworthy, faithful, and yes – Christian. One of my favorite Philosophy professors from my pre-theology studies at St. Francis University, Dr. Robert Stith, was consistently described as a Catholic Gentleman. How are you described by others? How am I? How are we described by those closest to us? How do you think God would describe us? Remember he knows us through and through.
Let us make this Advent the season when we recommit ourselves to God. If we have not been to confession for a while, get Ye to confession! Then, through an abundance of His Grace in our souls, we can work on recommitting ourselves to our Church, our families, our work, our Divisions. Then come this December 25th, we will receive the greatest gift for Christmas, God’s Peace and Joy reigning in our hearts. With God, we can do all things; without Him, our lives are empty. SO as we begin our Advent journey let us pray: Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus, fill our hearts with Your Love and helps us to share Your Love in word and Deed.
May the Lord Give You Peace.
Fr Timothy, T.O.R.