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  • Monsignor Michael T McCulken

Through Christ Who Strengthens Me


Dear Friends,

I write on an exceptionally rainy Monday, the final vestiges of Nate winding its way across this part of the nation. I’m not complaining, as we have been without rain for quite a while and the grass and flowers are all in need as well as creeks, rivers and water sources. However, it does feel like one of those days to stay indoors, curl up with a good book and recline on a sofa. But life goes on with God’s blessings and graces!

While I found September to be filled to overflowing with wonderful parish events, and activities both here and elsewhere, October has shaped up with untold numbers of meetings here, elsewhere and at the Archdiocese. It is always interesting and life certainly never gets dull nor boring.

However, sometimes life wears us out. Sometimes the work, the obligations, the responsibilities, the challenges, the daily grind, the coming and going, the seemingly endless demands from family, friends, co-workers, employers, school, neighbors, society, even the parish, can wear us out and even get us to doubt ourselves. Sometimes maybe we say or at least feel ~ “I can’t do this.”

Now let me quickly say that doubt is part of the devil’s tool bag. Other tools the devil often uses includes discouragement, depression and negative feelings. While there can be medical reasons that are underlying causes which can and need to be addressed, we cannot overlook the fact that these are the devil’s tools to keep us from accepting God’s grace, light, mercy, forgiveness and help. When we find ourselves in such a predicament, we need to claim and to pray over and again the words of Saint Paul in our second reading this weekend, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

Sure our personal strength is limited, our resources are finite and our human effort insufficient to the tasks. We really cannot do it on our own. But, we are not alone! Jesus is with us, at every moment. His grace is sufficient! And so, we pray and we claim, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me!” It is the Holy Spirit’s power in us that leads us to victory over obstacles of all kind. It is the power of Jesus’ Cross, freely embraced, that enables us to conquer every evil that attacks us.

We have been invited to the wedding feast in the Kingdom of God, a royal and rich feast indeed ~ something beyond imagination. The Father has sent His Son in search of us to bring us to Himself. Discipleship is accepting the invitation and doing everything necessary to become the best version of ourselves according to God’s plan, by our acceptance of the grace of the Holy Spirit. We are never alone. Jesus is with us and so we can confidently raise our voices to say, "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken


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