Saturday, February 6, 2016


Isaiah 6:1-2,3-8; PS In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

Foccus!  YOU read that and thought Father can't spell.  What is his problem.

Foccus is a device or instrument that many of us use in ministry to prepare couples for marriage.  It is a pre marriage inventory.  It consist of 168 questions that break apart the relationship the couple is in and looks at it through various lenses.

It takes relations and looks at through the lens of problem solving, communication, sexuality, financial understanding, religion and values, extended family, commitment, readiness, personality, friends and interests, and so on and so forth.

As the couples answers these statements in the format of Agree, disagree, uncertain, then a snap shot is formed of the couples relationship as far as what they know about each other and what they think they know and what they are clueless about.  Then we take this instrument and we invite the couples to use it as a tool to affirm the goodness of their relationship and to challenge them in the areas of discussion.  And hopefully by the end they have a great respect for their differences and and more willing heart to grow together.

It isn't fool proof because fortunately or unfortunately fools will do what fools will do: they rush in.  But it is handy.

This weekend we should do a pre lenten inventory.  We should take a few moments to investigate where we are in our relationship with God and our relationship with those we meet and hang out with on a regular basis.

Agree (A) Disagree(D) or Uncertain(U)

Here are a few statements that are meant to get the ball rolling:

I am willing to go where God calls me . A D U
I give thanks to the Lord with all my heart daily.  A D U
I am willing to forgive those who have harmed or hurt me even if they do not ask.  A D U
I acknowledge and am humbled by God's grace and strength in my life and my family.  A D U
I count the cross of Christ as the true measure of LOVE. A D U
I celebrate the resurrection of Christ in my life as a source of hope. A D U
I acknowledge my sins in order to celebrate God's mercy in my life frequently.  A D U
I am willing to quit hugging the shores and shallow ends of life where i am in control and i will go out into the deep where God invites me.  A D U
I will work with others to make known the glory of God's kingdom.  A D U
I make time to pray daily.  A D U
I tell and show those around me I love them regularly.  A D U
I am concerned with some vices in my life that have weighed me down and hindered my happiness and joy.  A D U
I spend too much time in front of the TV or on the internet thus neglecting my duty to self.  A D U
I trust my Father's plan and loving care in my life and my family's. A D U
I am aware of  God's expectation of me as his disciple.  A D U
I have made tithing a regular part of my life and my relationship with God, giving intentionally not just what is left over.  A D U
I am a friend that supports faith in the lives of others. A D U
There are certain behaviors or habits in my life that annoy others and cause scandal.  A D U
I am inconsiderate of the feelings of others.  A D  U
I show appreciation when some one does something good and kind.  A D U
I gossip and entertain gossip regularly.  A D U
I am mean and spiteful.  A DU
I see myself as a child of God.  A D U
I see others around me as children of God.  A D U
There are some issues I refuse to discuss with God.  A D U
I can depend on God in all things.  A D U
I am satisfied with the way I express my anger.  A D U
I am concerned that I enjoy my comforts in life more than I am willingly to listen to God's will for me in life.  A D U
I value the sexual reality as a gift from God to be celebrated according to God's plan in the confines of a marriage.  A D U
I fast from food one hour before communion at mass.  A D U
I go to confession regularly, once every 2 months.  A D U
I examine my conscience daily before I retire to bed.  A D U
I spend time reading scripture daily and or weekly.  A D U
I spend time praying the rosary weekly.  A D U
I welcome strangers and those different than I as the true presence of Jesus in my life.  A D U
I see Jesus in those I encounter.  A D U
Those I encounter see Jesus in Me. A D U
I am satisfied with my relationship with God.  A D U
God is satisfied with my relationship with him.  A D U
I strive to learn my faith and grow in faith as much as I can and am able.  A D U
I share my faith with others generously. A D U
I am a good listener.  A D U
I avoid confrontation and fail to defend the faith and what I believe.  A D U
I make Jesus a part of my daily life including bringing him to work and allowing him to be part of my livelihood.  A D U
I tell God I love him daily.  A D U
I invoke the Holy Spirit to guide me in all my endeavors. A D U
I seek the wisdom that comes through church as instituted by Christ. A D U

I recently was in the hospital visiting a lady who is dealing with Cancer and its complications.  She was radiant even in the awful diagnosis she received and the surgery she had just under gone.

While I was speaking with her she kept saying: With God at the center all will come together.  Over and over she would say this.  She gain much spiritual strength from this reality which had become her mantra as she deals with cancer and the side effects of treatments and such.

While chatting and praying , i looked over and saw no the spine of one of the magazines situated on the IV stand these words: You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of Goodness."

This is the season of lent for us.  All that we do in regards to fasting, praying, and alms giving is about stretching in the direction of Goodness and allowing that reality of goodness to no longer be determined by our own opinions of things but by God's word who comes to guide us and illumine the path before us.

This lent stretch yourself in the direction of Goodness.

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