Tag Archives: Hope

Join Me in Rome in June!

 

Rome Pilgrimage 2014

Rome Pilgrimage 2014

If you could not attend the canonizations, there is still an opportunity to go to Rome and visit the Shrines of our newest Saints: John XXIII and John Paul II–as well as being with POPE FRANCIS and the Catholic Conference at Olympic Stadium. Join me to Rome, Assisi and San Giovanni Rotundo from May 30 to June 11. Book NOW! www.selectinternationaltours.com or call 800-842-4842 DON’T MISS THIS!!!

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Beyond the Zimmerman Verdict

Just had an article published in The Catholic World Report called “Beyond the Zimmerman Verdict.” The truth will set you free.

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Put Out Into the Deep

On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, welcomed its new shepherd, Alexander K. Sample. You can read more about Archbishop Sample and the installation Mass here:

The Catholic Sentinel

The Catholic World Report

Archbishop Alexander Sample Mass

I was truly inspired and heartened by Archbishop Sample’s fantastic homily (see an excerpt of it HERE) which he preached with conviction, authority, and zeal. The Archbishop outlined the pastoral priorities that will define his magisterium, including the “dictatorship of relativism”– a significant challenge since moral relativism, radical individualism, and subjective truth are woven into the fabric of Pacific Northwest culture, even in the Church. For example, there is a growing so-called “Catholic” women’s ordination movement (that has been publicly endorsed by several archdiocesan priests and lay leaders), as well as strong support and encouragement of the homosexual lifestyle in a number of Catholic parishes and educational institutions. His Excellency definitely has his work cut out for him and the honeymoon period will be short.

I, for one, am excited about Archbishop Sample’s presence here, and his commitment and dedication to the New Evangelization (as articulated by Blessed John Paul II) and to building a culture of life, both major themes in his installation homily.  The Archbishop has my full and complete obedience, support, and respect.

Archbishop Sample’s episcopal motto is Vultum Christi Contemplari (“To Contemplate the Face of Christ”) and, in his homily, challenged us to duc in altum: put out into the deep. We cannot be afraid to cast the nets of objective truth, natural law, and the Good News of Jesus Christ far and wide into the deep waters of contemporary society.  Like the fisherman of the Gospel, it may feel at times as if our evangelizing efforts are not bearing fruit–that our nets are empty–and we become frustrated.  But if we continue to contemplate the face of Christ and persevere, encouraged by the bold and faith-filled leadership of our new Archbishop, our nets will be filled to breaking.  

Please pray for Archbishop Sample and all of our shepherds.

©2013 Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

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Violence and Strife in Our Land

“O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and thou wilt not hear? Or cry to thee ‘Violence!’ and thou wilt not save?  Why dost thou make me see wrongs and look upon trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is slacked and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous, so justice goes forth perverted” (Habakkuk 1:2-4).

jesus-holding-girl

There’s no point trying to make sense of this week’s tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.  It was senseless.

Like many of us, Habakkuk can no longer endure the situation the world finds itself in.  Violence, abuse, and oppression are everywhere.  He cannot comprehend how God can seemingly stand by and watch.  He also realizes that we cannot improve the world’s situation by ourselves—God will need to help us.  That help comes in the Person and mission of Jesus Christ, whose birth we are preparing to celebrate, who saved us from certain death and restored us to life.

What he have seen this week in Oregon and Connecticut are the results of an increasingly hedonistic and godless society where foundational belief in the One True God is becoming progressively more irrelevant.  We’re at the point in this country where even the mention of God is met with fervent opposition, booing, and even the threat of lawsuits.  Our religious liberty, a fundamental tenet upon which this great nation was founded, is in jeopardy.  We replace the God of the universe with moral relativism and subjective truth, where “me” and “my opinions” are god.  A distorted sense of “diversity” and “tolerance” have replaced objective truth, natural law, and common sense.  And we wonder why we’re in the mess we are in today. We reap what we sow.

For the naysayers who claim there is no such thing as evil or that Satan does not exist: this is your wake-up call.  The fact that these horrifically malevolent events occurred so close to Christmas is the devil’s attempt to focus our attention away from Christ, who is the true light and life of the world, and instead stumble around aimlessly in the darkness of sin and death.  Satan will try to use the events in Oregon and Connecticut to cut us off from the life of God, to empty us of grace and fill us with hatred, anger, polemics, and a foreboding sense of hopelessness.

Although we can’t make sense of them, what do the events of this past week mean for us who empathize?  It is within the Cross of Christ that we find the true meaning of love and sacrifice, virtues intrinsic to the law that is written on our hearts (see Romans 2:14-15).  “It is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire.  The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross” (Saint John of the Cross).

In and through the cross, we must begin to find ourselves again and this effort must begin with a return to a culture of life: to a deep and abiding respect for all human life that is woven into the fabric of every human soul.  The return to a life ethos will ensure that no human being assumes “the right to decide who shall live and who shall die.  The right to life is not something that is given to human beings by a government, judicial body, parent, or institution of any kind.  The right to life is the most basic and fundamental right that exists by the very nature of a human person’s being.  We must not weigh human suffering on the one hand with the value of human life on the other […] We exist not to avoid suffering, but to find meaning in the suffering that is unavoidable” (Natalie Hudson).

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with all of the families who have endured unbelievable loss after this week’s events.  But what should our response be?  The answer is not as simple as “gun control” or “prayer in school,” which will undoubtedly be used as pawns in a political shoving match.  We must take a serious look inward: we must examine ourselves as a nation, rediscover the beauty and truth of our Christian heritage, and renew our commitment to metanoia, a turning back toward God, a complete change of direction.  We have been wallowing in the mire of self-centered individualism for too long.  We must challenge the pernicious influence of contemporary culture by building upon the solid principles and values that have shaped the heart and soul of our identity as the Land of the Free.

We are in a spiritual battle.  Let us, then, arm ourselves as Saint Paul did with the weapons of strength, love, and wisdom in the Spirit.  Our strength, which comes from God, is rooted in love and gives us the faith and courage to bear hardships for the gospel.  None of us enjoys suffering, and as followers of Christ and witnesses of Truth, we cannot sit idly by and do nothing as others suffer and die all around us.  In this busy world that numbs us and lulls us into complacency, it’s good for us to be shocked by what we see: to stand still and take a long, hard look at what the culture is truly saying to us, to look upon death, and to live with Christ in the heart of God—to savor the sweetness of the Father’s gift of endless mercy and life-giving love.

©2012 Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

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In Thanksgiving for My Wife

When God decided to take love—the very heart and essence of His being (1 John 4:16)— and place that love within Man, male and female made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27), that love first took root, first established a home and formed a foundation within the heart of the woman first. A woman is the very heart of God’s love.  Women, by their very nature, have a special relationship with the Holy Spirit as bearers and givers of life.

My wife gives life to me through her unwavering love and support of my work in the Lord’s vineyard, which sometimes keeps me away from home for long stretches of time.  Even though she doesn’t travel with me, we are a team and her role in evangelization is just as important as mine.  We are in this together!  While I am out preaching and teaching to the universal Church, she is taking care of things in the domestic church, the church of the home.        
Since the Holy Spirit speaks through her, I have come to learn the great value of listening to my wife—not just to her words but to her heart.  My wife’s wisdom has allowed me to become a better husband to her and a better father to my children.  Sometimes I’m so busy that I don’t take time to appreciate the great gift from God that she is.  Shame on me.  We’ve been through so much together during these past eighteen years and have not forgotten that Jesus Christ is the heart and center of our married lives.
So this Thanksgiving, make sure to tell your spouse how much you love and appreciate them … then have that second slice of pie!

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The Incredible Story of Claude Newman

I was recently contacted by the G.K. Chesterton Theatre Company. They produce plays that explore issues of conscience, faith and heroism with a special emphasis on the men and women who stood against the current tide of their time.  We all know that great plays can shape character in positive ways and the G.K. Chesterton Theatre Company feels a special obligation to produce inspiring works based on true stories.

Their latest production tells the incredibly powerful story of  Claude Newman. If you are in the Los Angeles area this is a “can’t miss” event!! The official press release follows:

GK Chesterton Theatre Co.

PO Box 3473

Santa Monica, CA 90408

Phone (310) 462 -5141

Fax (408)370-2915

gkctheatre.org

gkctheatre@yahoo.com

Press Release

Contact: Angel Duran

Phone: (626) 512-8198

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1:05 P.M. PST , September 18, 2012

GK Chesterton Theatre Co. Presents Claude Newman: A Miracle on Death Row

Santa Monica, CA, September 9, 2012: It is with great anticipation we await the exciting new live stage production from the producers that brought you the popular Southland stage play Viva Cristo Rey! This time playwright Cathal Gallagher ventures into Mississippi in our period piece entitled Claude Newman: A Miracle on Death Row, under the stage direction of Maria Vargo.

Claude Newman: A Miracle on Death Row opens September 28 and runs through October 21, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday, at 3pm at the Miles Memorial Playhouse at 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA. This will be the Los Angeles premiere for Claude Newman: A Miracle on Death Row, but was originally produced with great fanfare for the Quo Vadis Theatre Company in San Jose, CA.

Synopsis

Claude Newman: A Miracle on Death Row is based on the true story of an African American prisoner and his encounter with a presence so profound he could only describe her as the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. This miraculous encounter helps ignite the spring of living waters within his heart and the hearts of others.

This will be the fifth Los Angeles stage production for the Santa Monica based GK Chesterton Theatre Company. The GK Chesterton Theatre Company continues its mission to share compelling and thought-provoking stories of heroic characters who when faced with great adversity held true to the courage of their convictions.

Tickets are $20 or for groups 5 or more $15. To purchase tickets and or for more information, visit us on the web at gkctheatre.org or call 310-462-5141.

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Imagine Sisters Announces One Rose Project

Please support our young, vibrant, faithful Catholic sisters!

Psalm 115:1,

Deacon Harold

—————————————————————–

For Immediate Release

Imagine Sisters Announces One Rose Project

CHICAGO, Ill.–September 15, 2012 – Imagine Sisters, a new online organization founded to be the nexus for media and information about discerning a vocation as a Catholic Religious Sister, will launch its first viral vocation initiative, The One Rose Project, on October 1, 2012.

The One Rose Project invites Catholics around the globe to reach out to young women they know, personally inviting them to consider that God may be calling them to be a Religious Sister.

The campaign promotes a personal encounter on October 1, 2012–the feast of St. Therese of Liseux. Participants will invite the young woman they know to consider a call to consecrated Religious Life by giving her a single rose in the spiritual legacy of St. Therese.
Imagine Sisters has received substantial testimony that a personal invitation is incredibly powerful for young women who are open to a religious vocation. Imagine Sisters asks for prayers that this invitation will be used by God to plant the seeds of religious vocations among young women, blessing the Church with many new religious sisters.

The One Rose Project can be easily shared through social media networks, personal blogs and speaking engagements. Imagine Sisters has created a short video explaining the project, and encourages supporters to share this video as the primary means of transmitting the message virally.

In the spirit of The New Evangelization, Imagine Sisters embraces social and visual media to passionately propose the possibility of becoming a religious sister in the world today. Through the grace of God, the Imagine Sister website and Facebook interact with over 100,000 individuals each week, effectively working through the new media to reach young women around the world.

The short video may be found at the following address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPxYW4HiHsc

The Imagine Sisters website can be found at http://imaginesisters.org

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