Author Archives: Terry Modica

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

When we identify the sin that interferes with our faith in God, we can overcome it to grow in holiness and live the way God intended — with the same miraculous faith as the first Christians that we read about in the Book of Acts. The biggest sin is culture-wide, it has infiltrated the Church, and we easily give into it every day. We can change that! And in so doing, we will become more alive in the faith and – if enough of us repent from this sin – we will transform the world. 

(If you believe that Good News Ministries’ podcasts are important enough to continue, please support this work with a donation. If you’d like to sponsor upcoming episodes, go to http://gnm.org/podcast-sponsorship.)

The sin that blocks faith

Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to send us out in mission to change the world, to transform the people around us, helping them to see — through us — a faith that’s alive. This means we have to have a personal relationship not just with Jesus Christ but with his Holy Spirit.

Sin blocks this kind of faith. And the biggest sin today is idolatry: the idolatry of thinking that something other than God himself should be in charge of our lives.

It could be the idolatry of money, thinking that if we get rich, this will solve our problems and we will be happy.

It could be the idolatry of self, wanting to do what we want to do rather than discerning what God wants us to do. The moral relativism that was increasing as I was growing up and increased a lot more while my kids were growing up — it’s still going further and further. The envelope of evil is pushing the moral relativism to the Nth degree to see how far we can go. This is so destructive, but people don’t know it. People don’t know that they are destroying their eternal souls.

It could be the idolatry of science, where if something is improvable by scientific methods it can’t be true, therefore, why worship God? Or the idolatry of the career, where the career comes first and, if it keeps me from going to church, so be it.

Fear is often our idol. We trust the messages of fear more than we trust God and what he has told us in scripture.

Think about the idolatry of suffering. For example: “I’m in so much pain that I am going to pursue every avenue to get rid of this pain — except God.” And why does this kind of idolatry happen? Because the Church has not been teaching how to live the supernatural life where we pray for one another for miracles of healing and the miracles happen! There are pockets of it. There are dioceses where bishops have said every priest needs to go through the Life in the Spirit Seminar of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in order to come alive in a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, and every parish needs to have a prayer group where people pray for one another and the miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit become commonplace.

Pope Francis has called for the Charismatic Renewal to not be a movement within the Church but to be the Church! To be waves of grace coming through the parishes bringing the supernatural life of Christians like we read about in the Book of Acts.

We have such a long way to go due to the idolatry of not understanding that God really does want to make miracles happen today. We fail to trust what we read in scripture. My favorite verse is John 14:12 where Jesus says, “If you believe in Me — if you really believe in Me — you will do the same works that I do and even greater ones.” He didn’t say, “You will do the good deeds that I did,” but he said “the works”. That includes everything: preaching the truth and working miracles. Miracles prove that what is spoken about God is true.

We tell people that God cares. We even tell people that we will pray for them. And then what? Do we see miracles happen? If we don’t, we need to ask: Why not?

One of the biggest reasons “why not” is idolatry. At its root it’s the thinking that “I know better than God about what’s not supposed to happen now. I do not have the faith to believe that God is going to perform a miracle, so therefore I’m not going to ask for the miracle.” That’s us trying to usurp God’s wisdom. That’s us trying to rewrite the truths that he has written throughout the scriptures.

We don’t live a supernatural faith because we trust our doubts more than we trust God.

We need to identify how we are committing idolatry. Each one of us is committing idolatry today. God wants to work the miracle of curing our wrong thinking. He does it through the Holy Spirit. He does it through the Sacrament of Confession and the Penitential Rite at Mass. We need to repent.

We also need to get to the root causes of what leads us to trust our own idolatrous thinking instead of God’s Word. A Christian counselor could help us with this, or a spiritual director.

Scripture is full of reasons to trust that God wants to do miracles in our lives. God longs to do miracles in our lives. Why don’t we believe it? It’s because we are believing something else. And that “something else” is our god. Jesus is our Lord and Savior; we are not committing idolatry all of the time, but any time we are not alive in the faith the way we see happened in the Book of Acts, we need to repent of our lack of faith and the idolatrous ways we are disbelieving God.

 

Our podcast shows are also available in audio-only

To listen to Footsteps to Heaven on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

To listen to other this and our other podcast shows, go to gnm-media.org/podcasts/.

How God brings our loved ones to Christ

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

John 14:12 is an amazing command from Jesus. God wants to do work supernaturally through us to bring others to conversion and faith growth. None of us can convince our loved ones who are rejecting Christ to change their minds and become faith-filled believers — not by our own efforts. God needs to intervene with supernatural evangelization.

This is why Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.” What was the work of Jesus? Everything he did was for the sake of the salvation of souls. Preaching the truth was just part of how he served as Savior. He also did supernatural works: healing diseases, raising people from the dead, multiplying the food — etc. When he sent his disciples out to help him with his mission, he gave them the power to do what he did. Later, after his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, the Holy Spirit empowered every follower of Christ to do the same.

When he sent his disciples out to help him with his mission, he gave them the power to do the same. Later, after his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, the Holy Spirit empowered every follower of Christ to do the same — and even greater works. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is filled with evidence of this. Signs and wonders give testimony to the truths that are preached. 

Take, for example, how St. Peter did it in Acts chapter 11. Peter raised a few eyebrows when he broke the rules of tradition while ministering to non-Jews, the Gentiles. Here is an example of how to convince – without debating – people who are believers but they object to something you have done or want to do.

What about convincing non-believers? Is there anything in scripture that shows us how God changed the hearts of non-believers through his supernatural intervention? Yes – and let’s look at a very tough case. Someone who was very, very opposed to the truth about Jesus Christ. Paul.

Two thousand years later, much of the Church has lost that original fervor. Most of us have not been taught how to fulfill Christ’s command to bring others to conversion. Sure, we know we’re supposed to share our faith — we’re supposed to talk about it and we’re supposed to live the faith in such a way that our lives prove the veracity of what we say. But something is missing here. Something big. Something essential, absolutely essential.

God’s divine, supernatural intervention.

How God brings our loved ones to Christ

Instead of relying on our lives to prove the truths we teach, we should be relying on God (because we live the truth so imperfectly). Instead of expecting our words to make a difference (and then getting frustrated and angry when we don’t succeed), we should — and can — expect God to do something supernatural.

So how do we become like the first Christians, so alive in the faith that signs and wonders help us bring others to conversion? There’s only one way: a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, which is strengthened by what is often called “baptism of the Spirit” or, as St. John the Baptist called it, “the baptism of fire”.  It comes from asking for a renewal and charging up of the in-filling of the Holy Spirit we received when we were baptized with water.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill me. Come, Holy Spirit, renew me. Come, Holy Spirit, You have my permission to change me.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

If you have teen or adult children who have left the Church, you can find helpful prayer resources on our website. See our Prayers for Parents at gnm.org/prayers-for-parents/.

Our podcast shows are also available in audio-only

To listen to Footsteps to Heaven on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

To listen to other this and our other podcast shows, go to gnm-media.org/podcasts/.

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

Think of the special someone you’ve been praying for because he or she has left the Church or never had true faith. How do you feel about it? In this podcast, you can find out how to bring loved ones to Christ.

It’s heart-breaking to love someone who is stubbornly rejecting the truth about Jesus. It’s hard to watch them suffer the worldly effects of not turning to him to let him be their Savior. You know how important faith in Christ is for their life now, and — the biggest heart-wrencher — you fear that they won’t spend eternity with you in heaven.

You’re not alone if feeling this kind of heart-ache. Many of the prayer requests that come into Good News Ministries are for the conversions of loved ones.

We are called and commissioned by Christ to evangelize. But how can we do this successfully for the ones we care about most? Jesus would not ask us to partner with him in the mission of salvation if he did not also provide the means for accomplishing it. And remember, he cares more about the salvation of your loved ones than you do!

How to bring loved ones to Christ

I cannot tell you what works in awakening a Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-filled faith in our loved ones, but I can tell you what doesn’t work. I cannot tell you what works, because each case is different.

For some, what works is hitting the bottom of what the world has to offer. We have to wait for their wrong beliefs to fail them — and most likely it has to fail them again and again before they become interested in finding out what a difference faith in Christ can make. But this doesn’t work for everybody. There are plenty of people who remain fully entrapped in their wrong beliefs their whole life long.

What doesn’t work is debating them. We cannot bring loved ones to Christ with words alone.

Think about what worked for you: What brought you to a fully immersed life in Christ? What converted you? Or what strengthened your faith when you relied more on worldly beliefs than Christian truths? Or what brought you back to church after being away for a while?

Next, think about the conversion stories of others. Then think about your loved ones who need conversion. What might open their minds to the truth?

For me, it happened when a friend explained how God miraculously changes bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus during the Catholic Mass. However, I’ve not been able to bring anyone else to conversion the same way.

Notice the role God played in my conversion story. Think about the role God played in your own story of conversion or faith growth. This will be the topic of my next podcast in the Footsteps to Heaven show.

Our podcast shows are also available in audio-only

To listen to Footsteps to Heaven on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

To listen to other this and our other podcast shows, go to gnm-media.org/podcasts/.

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

Hebrews 2:3-4 holds the key to experiencing joy even in the midst of trials and sufferings. By knowing how to read God’s signs, you can discover that he truly cares about your problems. God’s signs, which he provides as often as we need them, gives us reason to rejoice. God always reassures us that he cares and that he’s involved in helping resolve our problems. Learn how to identify the divine interventions that he’s providing for you right now, today.

In this episode, Terry Modica shares stories of miraculous signs she has experienced in her own trials. The hawk in the photo below was spotted in a tree in her back yard. It is the actual hawk that was one of God’s signs for her — as described in this episode.

God's signs

What is the FOOTSTEPS TO HEAVEN podcast show?

Life’s a journey full of challenges. Sometimes we get stalled. Sometimes we get sidetracked. When we walk with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to the destination that God the Father designed for us, the results are better than we could ask for or imagine. This podcast series provides faith-builders based on what GNM founder/author/speaker, Terry Modica, learned from her own journey and what people tell us they’re seeking in their daily struggles. It will be straight from her heart.

In the last 5 minutes of each episode, Terry takes a step in faith to provide what is called a “Word of Knowledge” for listeners, and then we close with prayer. She asks the Holy Spirit for a Word of Knowledge that would demonstrate his love to some of the podcast listeners.

To listen on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

To listen to other this and our other podcast shows, go to gnm-media.org/podcasts/.

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

Satan’s biggest strategy in today’s world is the disempowering of Christians so that we cannot successfully evangelize non-believers and doubters. In John 14:6-14, Jesus tells us the key to defeating this strategy. We must proclaim the truth about Jesus. However, this is only the first step! People do not become believers in Christ because we tell them that he is the only way to reach heaven. People become believers because they discover that (1) he is real, and (2) he cares about them, and (3) he is more powerful than all the evil they have been suffering. It is hard for non-Christians to believe in Christ when they have not witnessed miracles.

The problem is — the thing Satan is counting on — is that it is hard for us Christians to have enough faith in Christ to evangelize others if we have not witnessed miracles in the midst of our own sufferings. This is Satan’s biggest strategy.

God wants to change that. God is calling each of us to become his venues of truth and divine power. We are the voice of Christ in the world today, called to proclaim the truth. We are also the hands of Christ, called to reach out to prove that he cares by doing the works of divine power.

Defeating Satan’s Biggest Strategy

What is the FOOTSTEPS TO HEAVEN podcast show?

Life’s a journey full of challenges. Sometimes we get stalled. Sometimes we get sidetracked. When we walk with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to the destination that God the Father designed for us, the results are better than we could ask for or imagine. This podcast series provides faith-builders based on what GNM founder/author/speaker, Terry Modica, learned from her own journey and what people tell us they’re seeking in their daily struggles. It will be straight from her heart.

In the last 5 minutes of each episode, Terry takes a step in faith to provide what is called a “Word of Knowledge” for listeners, and then we close with prayer. She asks the Holy Spirit for a Word of Knowledge that would demonstrate his love to some of the podcast listeners.

To listen on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

Is there someone in your life who’s difficult to forgive? Terry Modica shares from personal experience and from scripture how to do it and why. In this podcast, she busts some myths about forgiveness — false ideas that make it more difficult to forgive than it needs to be. When we forgive someone, it does not mean everything is going to be okay. But it does mean that the person who has hurt you no longer has control over you. Protection is part of healthy forgiveness.

After listening to this podcast, you can find helpful articles by Terry on the Good News Ministries website at http://wordbytes.org/suffering-and-healing/.

How to Forgive When It's Difficult

What is the FOOTSTEPS TO HEAVEN podcast show?

Life’s a journey full of challenges. Sometimes we get stalled. Sometimes we get sidetracked. When we walk with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to the destination that God the Father designed for us, the results are better than we could ask for or imagine. This podcast series provides faith-builders based on what GNM founder/author/speaker, Terry Modica, learned from her own journey and what people tell us they’re seeking in their daily struggles. It will be straight from her heart.

In the last 5 minutes of each episode, Terry takes a step in faith to provide what is called a “Word of Knowledge” for listeners, and then we close with prayer. She asks the Holy Spirit for a Word of Knowledge that would demonstrate his love to some of the podcast listeners.

To listen on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

What is the heart of the Church? It’s the same place as the heart of your faith. It’s where you can feel closer to God and know, better than ever, that he truly cares about you. Terry Modica discusses the heart of the Church on a physical level and a metaphysical level, and she makes it easy to understand by sharing a couple of stories from her own experiences. She also explains that we enter into the heart of the Church when we go to Mass — and why daily Mass can make such a big difference in our lives. It’s not just a building that we enter into. It’s the heart of God himself.

What is the heart of the Church?

What is the FOOTSTEPS TO HEAVEN podcast show?

Life’s a journey full of challenges. Sometimes we get stalled. Sometimes we get sidetracked. When we walk with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to the destination that God the Father designed for us, the results are better than we could ask for or imagine. This podcast series provides faith-builders based on what GNM founder/author/speaker, Terry Modica, learned from her own journey and what people tell us they’re seeking in their daily struggles. It will be straight from her heart.

In the last 5 minutes of each episode, Terry takes a step in faith to provide what is called a “Word of Knowledge” for listeners, and then we close with prayer. She asks the Holy Spirit for a Word of Knowledge that would demonstrate his love to some of the podcast listeners.

To listen on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

In the premier episode of FOOTSTEPS TO HEAVEN, Terry Modica unpacks the rich meaning of the first three verses of Psalm 1 while sharing why it’s her personal Life Scripture. (“She is like a tree planted by running water; whatever she does, prospers” — adapted from Psalm 1.) Listen in to find out how this promise of God has been the key to success for Good News Ministries since 1995.

Footsteps to Heaven podcast about Psalm 1

What is the FOOTSTEPS TO HEAVEN podcast show?

Life’s a journey full of challenges. Sometimes we get stalled. Sometimes we get sidetracked. When we walk with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to the destination that God the Father designed for us, the results are better than we could ask for or imagine. This podcast series provides faith-builders based on what GNM founder/author/speaker, Terry Modica, learned from her own journey and what people tell us they’re seeking in their daily struggles. It will be straight from her heart.

In the last 5 minutes of each episode, Terry takes a step in faith to provide what is called a “Word of Knowledge” for listeners, and then we close with prayer. She asks the Holy Spirit for a Word of Knowledge that would demonstrate his love to some of the podcast listeners.

To listen on your mobile device, choose an app at breadboxmedia.com/footsteps-to-heaven/.

Want to know the hidden key to receiving miraculous healing? Here’s what I discovered after my knee became chronically painful. It’s not really about finding relief from pain. The miracle of healing is a bonus, a secondary benefit. There’s something much more important that God wants to give you.

This episode of Good News for Today is about: “Where are you today? Are you headed where you want to go?” Our discussion is based on the time Peter walked on water in Matthew 14:25-31 and on Psalm 37:4, how God gives us the desires of our hearts.

In this episode of Good News for Today, we consider: Where did we lose Jesus? Using John 20:1-2, 11-18, let’s discover how to find him when he seems to be missing when we need him most. Terry demonstrates her favorite technique for becoming more aware of the goodness of God actively working in our lives. And join us in a prayer by Ralph at the end to bring healing to your vision so you can see Jesus more easily.

Are you suffering persecution because of the truths you believe? This episode of Good News for Today, which is based on John 10:26-34 and John 15:18-21, will embolden you as you hear the calling to be the voice of Christ in today’s world, and it will comfort you as you become aware of God’s concern for and approval of you.

If you have experienced what Terry and Ralph Modica talk about in this video, please share your testimony in the comments section below. Your story can encourage others who are struggling to deal with persecution.

Jesus often speaks to us through unexpected people and ways that we don’t trust. How can we become better at recognizing that he has come to us or what he is calling us to do? This episode of Good News for Today is based on John 8:21-30.

How can we know when to speak the truth boldly and when to keep quiet? Especially on matters of Christian faith, salvation through Jesus Christ, and moral values! In John 5:31-47, we are challenged by Jesus’ example of speaking truth boldly, without regard for personal consequences. And yet, elsewhere in scripture he warns us to not cast pearls before swine. How do we figure out when is it time to speak up boldly and when is it time to remain quiet, speaking the truth only with our actions? Here are three ways we typically handle this challenge; only one of these ways is the way of Christ.

Shouldn’t miracles of healing be more common today? In this episode of Good News for Today, based on John 4:46-53, Ralph and Terry Modica deal with the question of why Jesus healed so readily in scripture but he is not answering ALL our prayers for healings today.

This video also mentions these links:

God loves you with all His heart, all His soul, all His mind, and all His strength! Knowing this makes it easier to love Him with all your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love others, too, as yourself. Based on Mark 12:28-31.

Be bold and courageous! This is the message of Joshua 1:6-9 to empower you in whatever positions of authority and responsibility you have. Ralph tells his story of speaking up in the corporate world, risking his job and successfully influencing upper management to relinquish their control to Ralph. And he ties it in with Jesus’ message of servanthood in Matthew 20:20-28.

This episode of “Good News for Today” is about God’s fatherhood. Are we really supposed to not call anyone “father” except God? That’s what Jesus tells us, but really? What did he really mean by that? Let’s put it into context of the whole Gospel reading, Matthew 23:1-12, and discuss how it means we’re being called to show others what God the Father is like. But how can we do that well when we don’t know, really know, the compassion, gentleness, and affirmation of the Father? If you see God the Father as The Punisher, The Disciplinarian, The Absent Dad, or The Abuser, here’s the key to experiencing the Wonderfully Loving Daddy that he really is.

Terry and Ralph share Good News for Today on how important YOU are to the plans of Jesus. You can make a big difference, but not alone. Using Matthew 16:13-19, the Gospel reading for the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, here’s the key to changing the world to make it a better place.

Who is hardest for you to forgive? Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15 that if we do not forgive, the Heavenly Father cannot forgive us. Here’s the secret to forgiving those unforgivable troublemaker, heartbreaker evildoers who have hurt you so much.

Mark 7:24-30 tells us that Jesus in you is the one who prays for others when you intercede for them. Therefore, do not worry about whether or not you will be effective if people ask you to pray for them.

Originally a live Facebook event, this video was a reflection for Thursday of the 5th Week of Ordinary Time (February 8, 2018).

Mark 7:14-23 tells us: Do not worry! Here’s how to let God be in control of your life instead of worry and fear. We constantly have bad things hitting us from the outside, and it’s how we react to them that matters. You have Christ in you. Learn how to rely on him when you feel like worrying! You will find blessings disguised as problems.

Originally a live Facebook event, this video was a reflection for Wednesday of the 5th Week of Ordinary Time (February 7, 2018). For more on this Gospel reading, see gnm.org/good-news-reflections/?useDrDate=2018-02-07.

See and meditate on Christ’s love for you! This version of the Stations of the Cross connects our own lives to the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

The video contains works of art created by people around the world. Each one is a different style to represent the globalness and diversity of the Church while honoring Christ through the talents of God’s people. The prayers were written by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries (gnm.org) and can be found at http://wordbytes.org/prayers/stations/. The stories of the artists and what they experienced as they produced their part of the Stations of the Cross can be found at http://gnm.org/about/StationsProject/.

My Lord Jesus Christ:
You suffered a great deal for me. I cannot even fathom just how much You accomplished for me through Your sacrifice. What I do know for certain is that I am suffering. I have trials I want to get rid of. But You have shown by your journey to the Cross and your death that I should embrace my sufferings as a journey that will lead to glory. Please help me unite my sufferings with Your Way of the Cross, so that I may be healed, purified and strengthened, and so that I may become Your instrument of healing love for others.

Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death (Barbara Boschee from North Dakota)
Station 2: Jesus carries his cross (Nadya Melina David from the Philippines)
Station 3: Jesus falls the first time (Richard Grzywacz from Michigan)
Station 4: Jesus meets His holy Mother (Richard Grzywacz from Michigan)
Station 5: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His cross (Rosie Yeo from Malaysia)
Station 6: Jesus meets Veronica (Kathleen Ellertson from Oklahoma)
Station 7: Jesus falls a second time (Jane Rullier from Florida)
Station 8: Jesus comforts the weeping women (Angelia Neo from Singapore)
Station 9: Jesus falls the third time (Dorothy Riley from Florida)
Station 10: Jesus is stripped of His clothing (Vanessa Conklin from Florida)
Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the cross (Mariela Gavino, age 13, from Virginia)
Station 12: Jesus dies on the cross (Rei Luzardo from Florida)
Station 13: Jesus is taken down from the cross (Sherry Phillips from California)
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb (Terry Modica from Good News Ministries)
Station 15: The Resurrection of Jesus (Jenny Cabrini Chan from Malaysia)

What problems do you have right now? Using the scriptures of Sirach 24, Psalm 147, Ephesians 1:3-6, and the Gospel of John 1:1-8, listen to Jesus speaking to you about your problems, lifting you up, giving you his victory and healing.

In the Liturgy of the Word at Mass when the scriptures are read, Jesus comes to us as the Word. Since Catholicism is a bible-based Church, our Sunday liturgies give us four readings to ponder (and three on weekdays).

Jesus is speaking to us! This is why readers of the Word have the duty to proclaim the scriptures well. Jesus is speaking to us! This is why we have the duty to listen well. And if a word or phrase sends your mind wandering, seek Jesus in that, too, for he might be speaking to you on a personal level.

What problem is on your mind? Jesus wants to speak to you about this. He wants to give you victory over it. He wants to breathe new life into it. We’ve created this video meditation so you can hear the voice of Jesus speaking to you.

What joy are you hoping for and you’re just not getting it? What awareness of love from God do you need and it’s just not coming? If there’s been something that, for a long time, you need from God and you’re not getting it, it’s not His fault. God’s power is available to you! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify the lock you need to turn to open up the door to end the blockage of what God wants to give you. When we do an honest examination of conscience, the Holy Spirit helps us identify the blockage that’s a sin, and he never does it with condemnation. He does it with peace and encouragement and motivation, because he wants us to grow in holiness. He doesn’t want us to sit here crying in our shame, because when we think we’re going to feel ashamed, we don’t examine our consciences, do we?

In this video, Terry Modica shares a person story from her life that reveals the hidden key that unlocks God’s power so you can receive all that He wants to give to you.

NEED GOD'S POWER? HERE'S THE HIDDEN KEY!

The Transcript

Hi! I’m Terry Modica of Good News Ministries. I’d like to talk about: the hidden key that unlocks the power of God in your life. What joy are you hoping for and you’re just not getting it? What awareness of love from God do you need and it’s just not coming? If there’s been something that, for a long time, you need from God and you’re not getting it, it’s not His fault. Let me tell you a story about my own life, why I can say this to you, because I have experienced this myself.

A long time ago, back in 1995, when we first moved to Florida and began Good News Ministries, I said “no” to a ministry that God had used me in before. I didn’t want to do it anymore. When I said “no”, I locked something. I closed myself off to something. I thought it was just closing myself off to a ministry I didn’t want to do. But anytime we say “no” to God, we suffer the consequences. He doesn’t go against our free will, but we do something that is detrimental to us.

You see, when I lived in New Jersey before moving to Florida, I had worked in my parish as Adult Education Coordinator. And I loved doing what I was doing. And one day while I was praying by the Tabernacle, I felt Jesus tell me that he has a special name for everybody, his own pet name for us. And His pet name for me was, “My Joy”. Well, after we moved to Florida, after I had said “no” to the Lord in a particular area of ministry, this joy disappeared. I still had some joy, but there was a series of hardships that, even after we had finished those hardships, I still did not have the joy that I remembered having in New Jersey, and I felt that I was letting Jesus down, and, in effect, I really was. I said to Jesus, “I’m not your Joy anymore. That must be a disappointment to you. Help me to get my joy back.” But it didn’t come back.

Yes, I wasn’t an unhappy person, I wasn’t a depressed person, but, as a whole, the joy that I used to feel was missing. And I knew I could have it because I had it once before. Well, many years passed by, and I kind of got used to not having this much joy. But finally one day, through a series of circumstances that got my attention, the Holy Spirit helped me to realize that my joy stopped when I said “no” to God. When we look for what it is that we have said “‘no” to that God wants us to say “yes” to, or we have said “yes” to something in the world that God wants us to say “no” to.

When we do an honest examination of conscience, the Holy Spirit is the one who helps us identify where the blockage is, what that sin is, and he never does it with condemnation. He does it with peace and encouragement and motivation, because he wants us to grow in holiness. He doesn’t want us to sit here crying in our shame, because when we think we’re going to feel ashamed, we don’t examine our consciences, do we? Go to the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify the lock you need to turn to open up the door to end the blockage of what God wants to give you: his power at work in your life. I went to Confession and I repented of that “no”. And I told the Lord, “Even though I still don’t want to do that ministry, I’m going to make myself available to you, oh Lord, and YOU choose whether or not to use me, how to use me, and I’m just going to leave it to you. I’m going to entrust it to you.”

When I did that, the joy that have been missing returned. We all get used to living with less than what God wants to give us. So I want to encourage you to go to the Holy Spirit. Ask him to help you find the key to unlock the power of God more fully in your life.

Next: Watch the video series on Miracles for Today: God’s Amazing Word, a Bible Study course on God’s Word and what Satan doesn’t want us to believe about it. We all have doubts to some extent. We all have verses of Scripture that we don’t truly believe. We might think we do, but we are going to uncover the lies that Satan has been giving us down through our lives. You know, his lies are very subtle. He is the father of lies, misconceptions, misunderstandings and disbelief that God’s Word is truly true.

Why Do Catholics Do That?!? In this 60-second video about the Eucharist, we look at: Why do Catholics believe the bread and wine become the real body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Jesus said, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19-20)

Jesus also said, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them”

Watch this video! It also explains why we call the Eucharist “communion”.

To see the whole Catholic Mass explained, see our set of videos entitled “Take, Eat, and Drink“. It includes discussion questions for personal reflection and for group faith formation classes.

Come to the Marian Shrine at Good News Ministries in Tampa through this video. Entrust your prayers to Jesus through the loving partnership of Mary, our Blessed Mother. Use this video and the music in it as a background for your Christian meditations while you watch the candle burn down.

The songs “Hail Mary” and “Magnificat” were written and performed by Elyse O’Kane from her CD “With All My Heart” (please visit http://elyseokane.com); used by permission.

Pray for world peace with the staff of Good News Ministries (gnm.org) using the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. This rosary meditates on the annunciation, visitation, birth of Christ, the presentation of the baby Jesus, and finding the boy Jesus in the temple. Meditations include quotes or prayers by popes, including:

THE ROSARY AS A WEAPON OF PEACE, by Pope John Paul II.
PRAYER FOR PEACE by Pope John Paul II.
PRAYER FOR PEACE by Pope Paul VI.
PRAYER FOR PEACE by Pope John XXIII.
PRAYER OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Quote from “PACEM IN TERRIS” by Pope John XXIII.
and more

The text for this rosary is available on our website at http://gnm.org/prayers/peacerosary

Speak to Me, My precious one! Tell Me about those who are closest to you, the sorrows they cause you, and your fears for them. How would you like Me to help them? And what about the people who have alienated themselves from you? Tell Me how they have hurt you. Tell Me you forgive them, so that I may heal your pain. Ask for wisdom and understanding in dealing with difficult people—the family member, the neighbor, the co-worker—and I will be generous in giving you insights.

(Complete text for this video is at http://wordbytes.org/prayers/conversa…)

Tell Me about the sick people you know, those who are suffering from physical ills. Tell Me about those who are suffering from mental anguish. Tell Me about the sinners you would like to see converted. I care about them even more than you do.

Speak now of yourself, my wonderful friend. What are the needs of your soul? …

Tell Me about your plans. What goals have you set? What goals would you like to set? …

What about the joys in your life?

Tell Me what has made you happy, what has consoled you, what has helped you. …

My precious friend, I long to hear your promises. … I will take your promises, secure them with My Love, and intercede to our Father for the graces you need to fulfill them….

Now let Me fill you. I fill you with My Love. I fill you with My forgiveness. I fill you with My generosity. I fill you with My gifts. I fill you with My strength….

THIS MEDITATION CONCLUDES WITH A SONG FROM THE RCIA RITE, “THE SIGNING OF THE SENSES”.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This video series is a Bible study of the Gospel of John to understand how to live the Christian life fully, complete with miracles and supernatural joy. The first session introduces the series by looking closely at John 1:1-5 (“In the beginning was the Word….”) With this video we begin a Bible Study course on God’s Word and what Satan doesn’t want us to believe about it. We all have doubts to some extent. We all have verses of Scripture that we don’t truly believe. We might think we do, but we are going to uncover the lies that Satan has been giving us down through our lives. You know, his lies are very subtle. He is the father of lies, misconceptions, misunderstandings and disbelief that God’s Word is truly true.

bible

The Transcript

Hi. This is Terry Modica of Good News Ministries. With this video we’re going to begin a Bible Study course on God’s Word, and what Satan doesn’t want us to believe about it.

We all have doubts to some extent. We all have verses of Scripture that we don’t truly believe. We might think we do, but we are going to uncover the lies that Satan has been giving us down through our lives. You know, his lies are very subtle. He is the father of lies, misconceptions, misunderstandings and disbelief that God’s Word is truly true. We’ve got a lot of faith in God’s Word or we wouldn’t be here taking this Bible Study. We already believe as Christians in the Word of God. However there are a lot of areas, a lot of verses that we don’t fully believe and therefore we are not living truly the empowered Christian life that God wants to give to us.

And so we begin this study with the first verses of chapter 1 in the book The Gospel of John. “In the beginning was the Word…” This is a Bible study about the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life and this life was the light of the human race. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Now we’re going to go through that, line by line even word by word to discover how to make our faith stronger by believing in the Word of God fully. The first verse: “In the beginning was the Word” and who was “the Word”? It’s not talking about words on a page, it’s talking about a person. It’s talking about something that was a “He” and was with God and all things came to be through him. Who is the Word? Jesus Christ because as it says, “The light shines in the darkness the darkness does not overcome it. This is the light of the human race.” Of course Jesus is God so the Word is God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. In the Creed we say the Holy Spirit is the giver of life so the Word is more than text on a page. The Word is God himself, come to us to bring us light, and the darkness cannot overcome it, talking about when we fully believe in Christ so fully that every word that’s in Scripture we believe in, we have faith in.

Later we’re going to reach John chapter 14, where in verse 12 it says that, “If you believe in me you will do the same works that I do and greater far than these.” Have you walked on water? Have you multiplied food? Have you gone fishing and pulled a fish out that had your tax money in it? These are things that happened, through Jesus when he walked the earth. Now he’s walking the earth through us. This is supposed to be normal Christian living, but Satan doesn’t want us to believe that, he wants us to stay unempowered. Satan wants us to not be fully who we are as followers of Christ, miracle workers because Jesus worked miracles, strong in faith because the Holy Spirit gives us faith as a gift and we received all of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in fullness when we were baptized, the fullness of living life in the Spirit. And in order to do that we have to know what God’s Word says about how to do that, and we have to know what God’s promises are and we have to believe those promises fully, completely without doubt. Doubt isn’t bad. Doubt is meant to be the starter of a question. We are supposed to be asking the Holy Spirit for answers. We are supposed to be asking the Holy Spirit for greater understanding of the truth.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit, he would send the Holy Spirit to be our teacher to help us understand everything we need to know about living the victorious life, the faith filled life, the successful life of a Christian where if we need a miracle because God’s Word says we can receive it, we will receive it. That’s what we’re going to discover as we go through this Bible Study.

God bless you.

Part 2 in the bible study of the Gospel of John covers chapter 1 verses 29-33 where John the Baptist identifies Jesus and prophesies that Jesus will baptize his followers with the Holy Spirit. This video ends with a prayer for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit after explaining why we need it.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This video series is a Bible study of the Gospel of John to understand how to live the Christian life fully, complete with miracles and supernatural joy.

The Transcript

This is the second video in a Bible Study on God’s Word, taking a look at how much we don’t believe yet, because Satan doesn’t want us to believe it, because  he’s robbing the Church of the graces that God wants to provide to this world.

As his Church we Christians are supposed to be making a difference in this world making this world a better place, bringing others to Christ. But Satan’s been lying to us, telling us to not believe everything that God says. The world needs to see God’s signs and wonders today to know that God is real to know that God is worth believing in and following. But we’re not doing enough. And why? Because we’re not believing enough. Now we’re going to take a look at the Gospel of John, starting in Chapter 1 with verse 14, “And the Word became flesh.” (The Word as we spoke of in the first video in this series being Jesus Christ, but all of God as well became flesh became one of us) “and he made his dwelling among us and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of Grace and Truth. Full of Grace and Truth.

Verse 16, “From this fullness we all have received”- full of Grace and Truth in verse 14 and now verse 16 says, “from this fullness we have all received Grace upon Grace. in other words abundant Grace no, more than that, abundantly abundant Grace extravagant Grace. God’s Grace is beyond what we can ask for or imagine. God’s Grace is beyond what we need. And he sent Jesus Christ to provide the fullness of this Grace to us. So that we get more than what we need, we get an abundance of what gives us a full life. Even the desires of our hearts if they’re holy and good, in such a way that others are converted by it. Grace isn’t just for us; it’s for the mission of filling the world with His Grace. “Grace”, (this is in verse 17 now) “Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ.”

What is Grace? Grace is a free gift from God that we don’t deserve, but because He loves us so much he freely gives himself to us. Grace is not just a noun as in “What is grace?” But “grace” is a verb; it’s an action word. It is God acting in our lives. When we fully understand what the Word of God tells us, we come alive in that Grace, and His Grace is helping us to fully understand his Word and his Truth because Jesus says he came to give us Grace and Truth. Now look a little bit further in Chapter 1. John the Baptizer is speaking and preparing people’s hearts to receive Christ. Verse 29, “John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and he announced,” to anyone who is listening, anyone in earshot, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” But John testified further saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky.”

This is when John baptized Jesus. “And remain upon him. I did not know him but the One who sent me to baptize with water told me On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain he is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” “He is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” That’s the key to powerful Christian living. That’s the key to being all that God wants us to be and doing all that God wants us to do. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Right here at the beginning of the Book of John we are hearing from the Word of God that we are all meant to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. When we were baptized in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with our water baptism that was the beginning but just the beginning, because after we received Jesus, Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit.

In Baptism that Grace that we received then it’s the fullness of God, but there is more to it. Jesus knows that to live the Christian life, we need his supernatural power, his supernatural Grace, so he baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. If you’ve not yet received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as an extra Grace from Jesus, then pray this prayer with me now or if you’re ready for a renewal in it pray this prayer with me now, “Come Holy Spirit, fill me Holy Spirit, fill me to overflowing Holy Spirit. I want everything that you want to give me. Fill me with your gifts; fill me with your fruits. Help me to be all that God the Father wants me to be. Come Holy Spirit you have my permission to change me. Amen.

Amen!

In the wedding at Cana (John 2), when Jesus performed his first public miracle, the disciples began to believe in him. Likewise, God wants to do miracles through us today so that others will believe in Jesus.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This video series is a Bible study of the Gospel of John to understand how to live the Christian life fully, complete with miracles and supernatural joy.

The Transcript

In the second Chapter of the Gospel of John, the first 12 verses we read about the Wedding at Cana – the first time Jesus performed a public miracle. You know the story: The host of the wedding ran out of wine too early before the party was over. The Blessed Mother’s there and she says to Jesus: “They have no wine.”

There’s an interesting exchange between Mary and Jesus there that I could give a whole other teaching on. However, what I want to focus on is this: “Mary, his mother said”, after talking to Jesus. She said to the servers, the wine stewards, “Do whatever he tells you.” We can work miracles in our lives. We who are followers of Christ, we have taken on the life of Christ, therefore we are called to do miracles. This particular Scripture helps us to know why, but the first thing I want to point out is that Mary says, “Do whatever he tells you.”

When we’re praying for a miracle, how often do we do whatever Jesus tells us to do through his word, through Church teachings? We have to line ourselves up in the ways of holiness, which by the way we can only do with the help of the Holy Spirit. So we need more of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as we need more holiness in our lives. When we are in that state of wanting to do God’s will, doing whatever he tells us, even if we don’t like it, even if it doesn’t make sense, even if it doesn’t seem logical, or fit with our plans – that needs to be the first place where our heart aligns up with Jesus, being willing to do whatever he tells us to do. And then after Jesus tells the wine stewards fill up the jugs with water and then he changes it to the best wine ever, at the very end of this story, it says, this is the verse 11, “Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and…” (here’s the important part for today) “…and so revealed his glory and his disciples began to believe in him.”

See, whenever Jesus reveals his glory or whenever we reveal the glory of Jesus to those around us, people begin to believe in him. It is not through our sufferings that people turn to Jesus. Yes, people who are not believers or people who are rejecting Jesus, people who are buying into the lies of the world, following the ways of the world, we need to reap what we sow, and there is suffering in that. When we stray down the wrong path, when we do immoral things we need to republish so, these are the chastisements that draw our attention to our need for God. But if we are trying to do whatever Jesus tells us to do, then those chastisements are not for us. We are not meant to suffer the same way as sinners suffer. We’ve been redeemed. We’ve been entered into, by what Jesus did, into his holiness and his miracles, and his power to work miracles.

The more we have the life of Christ in us the more miracles we should be seeing. That is normal Christian living. And why does it matter so much to God? Why does he want us to do miracles, to see miracles, and for others to see miracles worked through us? Because as it says in this story, others come to believe. First we ourselves grow in faith, but those around us that see the miracles, those that we give testimony to about the miracles that have happened in our lives, those who we minister to miraculously, they come to know Christ. Of course God wants to relieve our suffering. Anybody who has ever loved anybody and seen a loved one suffering, you know what it’s like. You want them to feel better.

Well God, who loves us even more than that, wants us to feel better. He wants to give us miracles, of course! It’s like, no duh! And one of the reasons is not just because of love, caring about how we are feeling and the pain, the suffering, whatever’s going on, but because it’s a witness that glorifies Jesus, and thereby brings others to Christ. So keep that in mind as you pray for the gift of miracles in your life.

In Acts 9:32-35, we see one of many examples in scripture of miraculous healings that resulted in people converting to Christ Jesus. Today, God still wants to convert people by providing his love through supernatural power, because this convinces people that Jesus is real.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This is the 9th video in a series about living the Christian life fully, complete with miracles and supernatural joy.

The Transcript

Which reveals the love of God more, Jesus dying on the Cross or the Resurrection? Let’s look at this. Jesus dying on the Cross, that’s usually our first answer, it’s like yes, he died for us, he went through tortures for us, he endured a lot of suffering, and he took our sins to the cross.

That’s a lot of love. But as true as that is, it was revealed more in the Resurrection. And here’s why. On the Cross all that really reveals by itself is that Jesus ticked off the Pharisees. Jesus upset the religious leaders of the day so much that they killed him. End of story. That’s all it really reveals, if we don’t also know about the Resurrection and believe that it’s true. In the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead God revealed his power which makes all that happened on the Cross valid and active in our lives today, real for us, bringing us to Heaven.

The power of God is what brings people to Heaven. The power of God is God revealing his love for us in the best most clear possible way. Let me read to you from the 9th chapter of Acts: “As Peter was passing through every region he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas who had been confined to bed for eight years for he was paralysed. Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas Jesus Christ heals you.’ There is the revealing of God’s power, the proclaiming of God’s power. Get up and make your bed. There is the word of take action based on this power. Or let me put it another way, take action based on this love that God has for you.

Peter said to him, ‘Anaeas Jesus Christ heals you, get up and make your bed.’ And what happens? The man who had been paralyzed got up at once and all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon, another town, not just the one town where Peter did this, saw him, that man who had been  paralyzed now healed, and they turned to the Lord”. They turned to the Lord. It is when the power of God is revealed to people that they turn to the Lord. We in the Church have not been revealing the love of God in the power of God.

We’ve created a culture for decades of “God is love” therefore, this is how the world has adapted this message, and we have contributed to this greatly within the Church: “Because the Lord loves he forgives. It doesn’t matter how I sinned God understands, God forgives. I’ll still be able to go to Heaven.” That’s not the truth. The truth we need to be teaching, the truth that you, now that you’re hearing this, need to be spreading, share this video that’s an easy way to spread this message, but speak it from your own life as well, live it in your own life, share it in your own life.

The truth that the world needs to hear is this: “God loves us so much that he wants to use his power to help us”. Not just to get us to Heaven but to help us now, here, in this life, just like Peter was able to heal through Jesus that paralyzed man and many turn to Christ because of it. We need to be God’s instruments of healing. We need to be God’s instruments of power in this world today, because God’s power is God’s love. God’s love is revealed through his power. Conversion happens through understanding that God really cares and people grasp onto that when they know that God’s power will work in their lives.

If you’re a parent you know how this works. When we have a child who gets a boo-boo, a skinned knee falling off his bicycle. What do we do? Do we say, “It’s okay. It’ll heal. Just go ahead and wash it. It’ll take time to heal but it’ll heal. You’ll be all right.” No. We go, we kiss the boo-boo, we embrace the child we clean off the wound ourselves. We put a bandaid on it. We put Neosporin or some other antibiotic on it, in order to heal the wound faster. And we’re not better than God as a parent.

God the Father wants to do the same with us, but we his children, this is how we act, “Oh that’s okay God. It’s okay. I’ll clean this boo-boo myself. What I’m suffering from I’ll take care of it. I can handle it.” Or, “I can learn to cope with it. I can deal with it because I don’t really think that you care enough to kiss my boo-boo… okay, so maybe a kiss my booboo but I still got to go to the doctor if I need stiches. You’re not going to miraculously heal it.” And God does use doctors and work through doctors, but he also uses miracles, he doesn’t use doctors exclusively. That’s his desire because who’s converted to Christ by us going to a doctor for a healing?

On the other hand when we get a miraculous healing we need to proclaim it because that’s when people turn to Christ. Yes, go to the doctor, but first pray and before that, learn how to pray with faith. And here’s how to begin doing that. Every day pray: “Lord, Holy Spirit come. You have my permission to change me, refresh me, fill me anew with your Holy Spirit as by a new Pentecost. Fill me, Holy Spirit and increase in me, Holy Spirit, the gift of faith for miracles. Increase in me the gift of faith to reveal your power in this world, your power that reveals your love. Amen.

In John 3:1-6, Jesus emphasizes the reality and importance of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Here’s why! (Includes Terry Modica’s personal testimony.)

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This is the 5th video in a series about living the Christian life with miracles and supernatural faith.

The Transcript

In the beginning of Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John we read about a Pharisee named Nicodemus. He was a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi we know that you are a teacher who has come from God for no one can do these signs (the miracles) that you are doing unless God is with him. Jesus answered him and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you”, and whenever Jesus says, “Amen, amen, I say to you,” he is saying, “Everything that I say to you is true, but this I want you to pay special close attention to.

This rises above other truths as important to know, embrace and live by.” Because ‘Amen, amen, I say to you’, not just to Nicodemus, but you my friend. “No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Now Nicodemus says to him, “How can a person grown old be born again. Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you.” Again he’s emphasizing. This is important, grasp onto this, hold onto this, believe it, live it. “Amen amen I say to you. No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of Spirit is spirit.

Notice that Jesus is separating the water Baptism from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. He’s not combining them as one event. Yes, we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit as well as God the Father and Jesus the Son when we are baptized with water, but it is not one event that turns the power of God on in our lives. It is not one event that helps us live the holy life. Baptism by itself as you know think of everybody you know who’s been baptized and is not living the holy life, not going to church, not producing the miracles of God in their lives. Baptism by itself doesn’t change us to a life of following Christ. It puts us in the right state of Grace for it. It frees us from the strongholds of sin that holds us back from it. It starts us on the right path. But it is when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, if when we are born again of the Spirit that our lives change and dramatically.

When I grew up I only knew Jesus. I only had the benefit of the baptism by water. And I went seeking for the supernatural because I read it in Scripture and I wondered where is it. If you’ve watched any of my other videos you’ve probably come across this testimony already but it’s worth repeating. I went finding the supernatural in the occult which took me away from Christ. It took me on a path away from Heaven. And I lost my relationship with Christ. I had grown up with Jesus as my best friend as far back as I could remember as a child, and I lost that because I went after a lie. I followed a lie thinking it was true.

When I was introduced to the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and I said, “Yes, something’s missing from my life, I want as much as God can give to me”, and the Holy Spirit came into anew, I still had the Holy Spirit in me, yes, but it was a new infilling. And in that new infilling he changed my mind about all the lies of the occult that I had been believing. One by one he took them away, he convinced me, he inspired me. I’d hear things in teachings and prayer groups, I’d read things in Scriptures and all of a sudden it made sense, and I felt convicted in my heart to reject the lie and to live the truths that were now being revealed to me. It is when we have the Holy Spirit filling us that the misconceptions and bad programming of the world are converted to the Truth.

Anybody you know who you’ve been trying to share the truth with and they’re not agreeing with you and they’re not accepting it, it’s because the Holy Spirit is not in them in such a way that the Holy Spirit has the opportunity to change their minds. So give up trying, instead pray for them and if possible pray with them for a new infilling of the Holy Spirit, or a first-time infilling of the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus had in mind when he told Nicodemus that one needs to be, in the memory he said, “Amen, amen” listen to this, “one needs to be baptized by water and Spirit.” That is how we are fully born again, into the life of Christ, and set firmly on the path to Heaven.

God’s plan for rescuing our loved ones and our world from darkness is revealed in John 3:16-21. The end of this video contains a powerful but rarely discussed fact about why there is so much darkness in our world today and what the Church needs to repent of.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This is the 6th video in a series about living the Christian life with miracles and supernatural faith.

The Transcript

In part six of this Bible Series on believing the amazing Word of God, we’re going to continue with the third Chapter of the Gospel of John starting with verse 16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.” Let’s continue because there’s a lot more to this than just that verse and a lot of people stop at that verse. But the next verse I believe is even more important. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.”

See, when we have people in our lives that we are trying to bring to the Truth we see them doing wrong things, unhealthy things, immoral things, and we want to help them. We care, and we want to help them live the way God called them to live. And let’s face it, if they become holier our lives are going to get a lot easier right? Because these are the troublemakers. These are the people who, by not following Christ, cause us problems, they’re family problems that… we’d like to see them change. And what do we do? We condemn them, maybe not intentionally but we say, “You’re sinning! You’re going to hell! If you don’t get to Mass you’re going to hell or if you don’t…” whatever. “God’s angry at you. There’s going to be chastisements. The world is going to be experiencing hurricanes and earthquakes and all kinds of devastation because we’re so bad. The world is made up of so many bad people.”

But Jesus says in his Word, right here, John Chapter 3, verse 17 that he didn’t come to condemn the world. He came to redeem it, to lead everyone to Heaven. But to accomplish that let’s look at the rest of his plan here. Verse 18 says, “Whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will not be condemned.” Okay we know that, we know that in order for people to get to Heaven and not go to hell, they need to believe in Jesus. It’s very clear, that’s very clear here, “But whoever does not believe has already been condemned because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.” We can’t get to Heaven through Mohammed. We can’t get to Heaven through some guru. We can’t get to Heaven by our own plans, our own doings, our own “I’m going to do what makes me feel good. I’m gonna do what the world says is okay.”

That’s not how we get eternal life. That’s not how we get freedom from God’s condemnation. It’s very clear here: “Whoever does not believe in Jesus has already been condemned because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.” Son with a capital S. Savior Son. “And this is the verdict:” (here’s more understanding of what is just being said there.) “The light came into the world but people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil.” Okay, yes, that’s the state of the world. We know people and we watch the news and we see that people run away from and fight back against the Truth, because they want to remain in their darkness. They want to remain in their ways. They want to stay attached to what they want to do with their lives.

“For everyone” verse 20, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light so that his works might not be exposed.” And now here, my friend, is what I want you to really grasp. Verse 21, “Whoever lives the Truth comes to the light so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” This is the hope of the world. Your good works need to be seen by the world as done because of Christ, through Christ, in Christ. But what? Opening the door for somebody and smiling at them? Letting somebody in into traffic in front of you? These are all good deeds. Loving your children? Helping a neighbor? These are all good deeds, but how many times have these kinds of deeds converted someone to come from darkness to light?

It’s the miraculous works that get people’s attention. It’s the amazing works of God that get people’s attention. When we can do what’s impossible because we have Jesus Christ, that is what gets people’s attention so that they too turn to Christ. They too want what we have. Even as their evil ways try to keep them in darkness, if we reveal the light of Christ with power people begin to want it. Take seriously my friend the importance of revealing God’s power to change the world. We need to repent of all these years that we’ve spent not living in the fullness of power of God, God’s love revealed in his power. All the times we have settled for living the mediocre faith of “Well I pray and I don’t see a miracle so well God has other plans, God will use the doctors.” And yes he does use the doctors as I’ve said before. But we need to repent of not seeking the Holy Spirit’s help in growing in faith to be wonder workers for the Lord.

We need to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with faith for miracles because the world desperately needs to see this kind of light. Pray. Pray for that kind of faith. Go to Confession for the lack of that kind of faith in your life before. And pray again, every day, “Holy Spirit come fill me. You have my permission to change me.”

 

John 3:34 contains an often-overlooked but very important truth: God does not ration his Spirit. You have within you the same fullness of the Holy Spirit as Jesus Christ himself did and as much as the Saints who experienced very supernatural, amazing manifestations of God’s power.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This is the 7th video in a series about living the Christian life with miracles and supernatural faith.

The Transcript

In part 7 of this video series on the amazing Word of God, there’s one verse in Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John that I want to especially highlight before we move on to Chapter 4. John, the Gospel writer, is summing up that Jesus came from Heaven, was sent by God, and speaks the Word of God. In the middle of that, almost like a passing by the way statement, it’s something that I want to highlight because it doesn’t just speak about Jesus and His being sent by God into this world. It speaks to you and me as well.

This is the second half of verse 34 in the third Chapter of the Gospel of John. “He (God the Father) does not ration His gift of the Spirit.” God’s ability to give you and me the Holy Spirit to work miracles is not rationed as in, well that person over there has a bigger amount of the Holy Spirit in him and can work miracles; I have less, so I can’t be expected to do as much. Or that person over there is a Saint. Or that saint that I’ve read about has been so gifted by the fullness of the Holy Spirit that he or she has lived the holy life.

I can’t be expected to have that same degree of saintliness in my life because I haven’t been graced with as much of the Holy Spirit. But right here in the Word of God, my friend, is that Truth that God the Father who filled Jesus with the Holy Spirit at His Baptism in order to do His very important redemptive mission, gives you and me the same Spirit. Not a piece of the Spirit! You can’t have just part of the Holy Spirit! We can live the life of the Holy Spirit only partly. But we have received all of the Holy Spirit, and when we ask God to fill us anew and release in us the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the presence of the Holy Spirit, the holiness of the Holy Spirit, the teachings of the Holy Spirit, the discernment of the Holy Spirit, prophecy.

Hey, even saints and other holy people that have not been canonized, they’ve levitated in prayer. This is because they are so connected to the Holy Spirit that the earth is no longer holding them down. That, too, is our inheritance. The Holy Spirit is not just a little bit in you and more in others. God the Father has not rationed to you any smaller part of the Holy Spirit. He has given you the fullness and wants you to live in that fullness. And that, my friend, is the challenge that I am giving you repeatedly in this video course. And we’re going to continue going through the Book of John looking at how the Holy Spirit is offered to us, how important that is, and how we are called to be evangelizers through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Before we go on to Chapter four, examine your conscience again. Where are you now in your journey of coming into greater embracing of God’s Word and believing the Truth of It? This Truth needs to be fully grasped before we go on with the next part of the series. God the Father is not rationing the Holy Spirit. You have the fullness available. What do you need to do? This is a question that I ask myself every day. What do we need to do? What do I need to do, what do you need to do to open more fully to being God’s instrument of power in this world? God bless you because God has many blessings to give you.

In John 4:23-24, Jesus emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit in worship. Our worship of God in Mass and other experiences should lift our spirits and transform us. God wants to uplift us. This video explains how it happens.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This is the 8th video in a series about living the Christian life with miracles and supernatural faith.

The Transcript

In John Chapter four, we have the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus meets her at the well. He talks to her, brings her to conversion. She’s the woman who had had five husbands, and she ends up converting the whole town – the whole village – because of what Jesus said to her and how He ministered to her. In the midst of that story is something very interesting about the Holy Spirit that I’d like to highlight. In verse 23, through 24 Jesus says, “The hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. And indeed the Father seeks such people to worship Him. God is Spirit”, He explains, “and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and Truth.” Why does He say this? Why is He emphasizing this?

Well let me ask you this question. When you go to Mass, when you do anything that is any worship experience, what kind of a spirit do you have? Do you have a spirit of joy? Do you have a spirit of peace? Or do you have a spirit, at least sometimes of – I wonder what time it is, we’ve got a lot to do today, and this homily is going awfully long. A spirit of impatience? Do you have a spirit of exalting God, a spirit of worship that is, that’s so so full of the Holy Spirit that there’s no words to describe it? Do you have such a spirit of worship in you that when you are praying, when you’re in Mass, when you’re celebrating Jesus’s presence in the Eucharist, are you lifted higher than your normal earthly existence? You know saints levitated because they were so much in the Spirit as they worshiped, that earth no longer held them.

That’s normal Christian living if we’re willing to take it that far. Most of us don’t. But that’s the promise. That’s what God is saying is possible. That’s what God desires. God is Spirit as Jesus said, and when we worship God as He truly is, we are connecting our spirit to His Spirit. We’re uniting our spirits. We are letting the Holy Spirit in us (because we received the Holy Spirit in Baptism) we’re letting the Holy Spirit in us connect us so closely to God’s Spirit – God the Father’s Spirit and to Jesus’s Spirit – that we’re elevated. Our mood is elevated. Any discouragement is elevated to hope. But now I’m talking about the benefits to us. What about the benefits to God? Because God is wanting that.

God is wanting such closeness with us that our worship is so beautiful, so on fire with His presence, that we are transformed by it. And that’s what He wants. He wants us to be transformed, lifted up, and become our best selves – the full potential of what God designed for us. Let me give you an example. A long time ago, I began to experience something in Mass. This came after I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Before the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I worshiped in church. I felt connected to God. But after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, my whole being felt so connected to God that my soul, my spirit, directs my body instead of my body directing my spirit. And what I mean by that is, I feel uplifted so much that I can’t hold my hands down when I’m praying. I’m like, “Oh Lord, thank You! Praise You!” in my heart, in my spirit. It’s like I want to reach up to Him.

I want to to do what the early Christians did. Normal prayer was to open the palms up to God and raise our hands up because we are raising or if we’re feeling raised up in spirit. Of course, I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I want people to stay focused on Jesus and what’s happening in the Mass, so I keep my hands down low. People around me can see it, yes, and I hope that’s a witness to them. But I keep it minimal to not draw attention to myself. But when the music’s playing, how much is the Spirit of God alive in you then? When the music’s playing, I especially if it’s a faster tune, I can’t help but, you know, bounce along with it, you know, in the rhythm of a little tiny dance in my pew because my spirit is dictating my body rather than my body dictating my spirit.

That’s what God wants for you, too. He wants you to in whatever expression works best for you whatever you’re comfortable with or maybe not so comfortable at first, but that’s your flesh. What is your spirit comfortable with? Let your spirit, let the Holy Spirit in you, free. Let Him have the freedom to lift you to higher heights whenever you’re worshiping God. God bless you. May your spirit soar.

Does God give his Holy Spirit to everyone? Jesus provides the surprising answer in John 6:63. This video explains what happens at the moment of conception and the choice everyone is given: to live by the Spirit or the flesh — God’s life or our own agenda and beliefs about what is right and what is wrong — and why the flesh does not give us life.

How fully do you really believe God’s Word? This is the 9th video in a series about living the Christian life with miracles and supernatural faith.

The Transcript

Now we’re going to take a look at John Chapter 6 and there’s one particular verse, verse 63, that I want to highlight here because it talks about the Holy Spirit in relationship to the kind of life (underline that word “life”) that He wants to give us. Before I read this verse to you, let me ask this. Does the Holy Spirit exist in everyone, everyone who ever lived? Does everyone have the Spirit of God? All across the planet, think of the most evildoing person. Think of that person in your life, in your family, somebody who has really deeply hurt you, somebody who’s far from the Lord.

Does that person have the Spirit of God? The surprising answer is yes – with a caveat. In the Creed we say that the Holy Spirit is the Giver of Life. Therefore everyone who has been given life has been given it by the Holy Spirit. Think of Father God as the Creator, the Father, and the Holy Spirit as the Breath of the Father. As God blew on Adam to bring him to life, He blows on all of us to bring us life. At the moment of our conception, He breathes into us. Now when we are born and take our first breath of earthly air, now we are living in the flesh. But right from the very beginning of our conception, God breathed His Spirit into us – into everyone.

But let’s read what verse 63 in John Chapter 6 says about this. Jesus says, “It is the Spirit that gives life while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Everybody is given the life of God, the life of the Spirit, but we have to choose between living the life of the Spirit and living the life of flesh. In other words, we have to choose between living the way God wants us to live, doing the words of Christ, first listening to the words of Christ, and coming to understand at least enough to act upon the words of Christ. That’s why He says here, the second part of verse 63, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

We need to live that spirit and life of Jesus’s words in order to have eternal life, in order to keep, in other words, to keep the life that God the Father gives to us as He breathes His Spirit on to us. Or, as many people do, we can choose the life of the flesh which means we’re in charge. We try to be in charge. We’re in charge of our lives. We’re in charge of our destiny. We’re in charge of what is right and wrong. We are in charge of what is moral and what is immoral. That’s living by the flesh.

And Jesus says very clearly there is no life in that because once the flesh dies, so do all of our agendas, so do all of our beliefs about what’s right and wrong. Only in Jesus and the words that He speaks – the words of Scripture, the words that the Church gives us as it helps us understand Scripture. All the teachings of the Church, for example, are based on and full of quotes from Scripture because this is God coming to us with life. And every decision that we face, we’re faced with two choices – the way of the Spirit or the way of the flesh. The way that God wants us to handle something or the way that we’d like to handle it because it’s easier, or it’s more self-centered, or whatever. All the decisions that you’re facing today, my friend, think about this.

What is the Holy Spirit guiding you to do? And if you’re not sure, pray, “Come, Holy Spirit. Fill me with Your guidance. Fill me with Your wisdom. Fill me with Your understanding. You have my permission to change me. Amen.”

 

 

Deepen Your Faith by Understanding the Catholic Mass

Gain a new, deeper appreciation of the Liturgy of the Eucharist and a more lively relationship with Christ.

Take, Eat and Drink is a set of 17 short segments (three to five minutes). Each video ends with a question for personal reflection or group discussion. It appeals to all generations: youth, young adults, and older folks, from traditional Catholics to spiritual explorers who aren’t sure they want to show up at Mass. It’s designed for those who want to deepen their faith by understanding the Mass better and for catechists to use in classrooms.

Help yourself, or your parishioners and catechists, or your teens gain a new, deeper appreciation of the Mass and a more lively relationship with Christ! Use it to explain the Mass in a way that evangelizes and builds interest in full participation in the liturgy.

Features Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, who at the time was Executive Director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Father Gary Dowsey of the “Hey Father Gary!” show on SpiritFM Catholic Radio, and Father John Gerth of “Ask Fr. J” fame on Lifeteen.com.

Reformatted for catechists!

In 2011, Good News Ministries produced a DVD to help prepare parishes for the changes in the New Roman Missal. Although the Church has finished transitioning to the new Mass, the content of the DVD is too good to throw away. We’ve updated it and repackaged it in short segments for catechists to use in adult and youth faith formation classes, including RCIA.

Part 1 covers the Introductory Rites.

Drawing Deeper Faith through Understanding the Mass: Gain a new, deeper appreciation of the Liturgy of the Eucharist and a more lively relationship with Christ. Part 11 covers the Preparation of the Gifts of the Altar and includes why the sins of the priest do not affect the consecration of the Eucharist.

Drawing Deeper Faith through Understanding the Mass: Gain a new, deeper appreciation of the Liturgy of the Eucharist and a more lively relationship with Christ. Part 12 covers the Eucharist Prayers. Why do we believe that the bread and wine become truly the Body and Blood of Jesus himself?

 

Drawing Deeper Faith through Understanding the Mass: Gain a new, deeper appreciation of the Liturgy of the Eucharist and a more lively relationship with Christ. Part 15 covers the Rite of Peace, the Fraction Rite, and the Rite of Holy Communion. This includes the reason why we say, “Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Jesus sacrificed his comfort and his body and blood to take the punishment that we deserve for our sins. In this video reflection on Luke 19: 28-40, we ask: Why do you think the Gospel writer spent time explaining how Jesus obtained the colt for his ride into Jerusalem?

WHAT’S TIED UP IN YOUR LIFE?

The Transcript

There’s a key phrase in the Gospel reading that we hear at the beginning of Catholic Mass on Palm Sunday. Mass starts with a procession with the waving of palm branches while we hear the verses of Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 19, verses 28 through 40. Jesus tells a couple of His disciples, “Go into that village and when you enter it, you’ll find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. And if anyone should ask you what are you doing, why are you untying it, you will answer, ‘The Master has need of it.'”

Why do you think the Gospel writers spent time explaining how Jesus was going to obtain the colt for His ride into Jerusalem? It’s meant to teach us something in our own current circumstances. We each have a colt of some sort tied up somewhere in our lives. A colt is anything that belongs to us and is not yet being shared with Christ. It could be our possessions, money, talents and skills, creativity, time and energy, and so forth. The Master has need of it. But sometimes we selfishly tie these things up with our own agendas and business. They would be useful to Jesus if we let Him have them. Like the colt that Jesus rode, they could become gifts that glorify our Savior.

Palm Sunday teaches us that Jesus deserves to be glorified for His awesome love which He made visible on the Cross. Who else would die for you with that much suffering? Jesus sacrificed His comfort and His Body and Blood to take the punishment that we deserve for our sins. We should rejoice gratefully for this on Palm Sunday, but every Sunday with hosannas and admiration, and for that matter every day of our lives and at every Mass. For in the Eucharist we reunite ourselves to that tremendous love. In this Communion with Christ, why aren’t we grinning like lovers who have become joined to their beloved? The answer to that is our colts are still tied to the post.

Jesus has sent His disciples to you to ask you to share your colt with Jesus. These disciples are at the altar consecrating the Eucharist for you. Or they are writing the church bulletin – writing help wanted blurbs in the parish in the church you belong to. Or they are interrupting you at work, asking for your prayers, or your counsel, or other assistance. They are the strangers who are in need of your charitable donations. So think about these questions for personal reflection. Make a list of the colts in your life. Which ones would you like Jesus to put to good use? Spend time in prayer imagining that you are untying them and handing them over to Jesus. See how pleased He is. And think a little deeper. What colt in your life is difficult to let go of? Why is it difficult to let go of the reins?

UNION WITH CHRIST (LUKE 4:1-13)

Jesus’ life is our life if we’re sincere about our faith. We unite ourselves to him by receiving his body and blood in the Eucharist. We meet him in the scriptures and walk with him on the path to heaven.

During Lent, the readings that the Church provides for Sunday and daily Mass will help us with this journey if we listen with an ear that recognizes our personal connections to Christ.

In this Luke 4:1-13, we journey with Jesus into the desert. Consider your own struggles with temptation; reflect on how sin makes your life feel barren and dry like a desert.

When we walk with Jesus, we unite ourselves to his struggle with the devil and to his victory over the devil. Our temptations become his temptations, and in our efforts to remain united to him, we reject Satan and choose the life of holiness. The Church helps us do this by giving us ways during Lent to improve our self-discipline and conquer the self-centeredness that makes us vulnerable to sin: fasting and abstinence, alms-giving, reconciliation services, faith formation events, reading materials, and more.

Every meal and meat that we give up for Lent, every sin that we confess in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, every sacrifice of time that we make to add more prayer and spiritual reading to our daily life, and every other Lenten activity is a practice of self-denial that unites us to Jesus in the desert.

Jesus fasted from food and other physical comforts during his battle with the devil, and this strategy strengthened him and prepared him for the ministry that came afterward. This is what Lent should be for us, too.

Satan is not someone to fear. Jesus already defeated all demons on our behalf, first in the desert and then on the cross. Our battle is really only against temptation and our personal weaknesses that make us vulnerable to succumbing to sin.

We don’t always want to follow Jesus. This is what we must surrender to God during Lent. Then Easter will be far more meaningful, because we will emerge from Lent much stronger in our faith.

This Good News Reflection comes from one of our daily Good News Reflections. To receive them free by email, sign up at http://gogoodnews.net/

In Luke 9, the Transfiguration of Jesus, we see Jesus reveal the uncreated light of his true identity and we hear the Father say, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

We experience Christ’s deepest identity every time we listen to him and allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding of his words and guidance.

By listening to him, we let his uncreated light consume the darkness that still lingers within us. Then, the people around us experience more of him, because they meet him in us — in our actions, in our compassion, in our forgiveness, etc. This is evangelization!

Lent is a time of concentrating on our need for Christ to shed his light into our areas of darkness. When we let Jesus enlighten us so that we repent (which means change), seeking and receiving forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s power to change, we become more like Christ. We shine more brilliantly with him. And we enter more fully into his ministry of redeeming the world. Although there is suffering in this ministry, we know that the pain of Good Friday is always followed by the victory of Easter.

It’s in the trials and sacrifices of life — our own crucifixions — where our holiness changes the world. Do we dare follow Jesus all the way to Calvary? It’s the only way to get to Easter! Our trials are his blood being shed again. Our pains are his pains. We’re already on the cross with Jesus! So why not embrace this extreme intimacy with him for the sake of those who’ve scourged us and betrayed us?

By loving those who don’t love us, forgiving those who mistreat us, and working hard to replace evil with the kingdom of God, we reveal the light of Christ to those who live in darkness.

This Good News Reflection comes from one of our daily Good News Reflections. To receive them free by email, sign up at gogoodnews.net/DailyReflections.

 

MERCY: HOW IT HELPS EVIL-DOERS (Luke 13:1-9)

How do you feel when someone who’s been hurtful, cruel, or morally corrupt gets hit with a hardship that makes them suffer? Our natural tendency is to rejoice because justice has finally been meted out.

Jesus addresses this in Luke 13:1-9. He wants us to understand that we cannot truthfully say that someone is a “greater sinner”, even if that person is doing more damage than anyone else, is more unChristian than we are, or is blatantly an evil-doer.

Every person has been created in the image of God, even the worst ones. Those who display an opposite image are nonetheless loved by Jesus Christ, who died for them. It’s a tragedy that they do not live as the person God created them to be, because this harms others. But it will be an even worse tragedy if no one invites them to turn their lives over to Christ by loving them as he loves them.

No person is an evil person. Evil-doers are children of God living in ignorance of their true identity. They are victims of evil and were seduced by it into believing that it’s the best way to live. They don’t understand that they can be healed by the Sinless One who conquered evil for their redemption. We should feel sorry for them — this is the gift of mercy. We should mourn with Jesus for the tragedy that continues within their souls — this is the most precious gift of mercy.

When we don’t care enough to grieve over a person’s inner destruction, we are sinning. We are disregarding what Jesus did for them on the cross. We are damaging our own souls.

All those who have sinned against you are like the fig tree in Jesus’ parable. If you have access to them, he wants you to till their soil. He wants you to fertilize their souls with love and with the truth of the Gospel as taught by your actions and, when they’re ready, by your words. He wants you to give them a gentle but obvious invitation to grow in the right direction.

Notice that Jesus doesn’t want us to keep a diseased, disintegrating tree in the garden forever. After (and only after) we have done everything possible, if the evil-doer does not want to change, the best care we can give to the garden is to cut down the tree. This means walking away or calling in the authorities for intervention and letting the sinner reap what he sows. This, too, is very loving. When fertilizer won’t produce good fruits, a fallen tree becomes mulch and enriches the ground for a new beginning.

This Good News Reflection comes from one of our daily Good News Reflections. To receive them free by email, sign up at http://gogoodnews.net/.

LOVE SAYS: YOU ARE WORTHY TO RECEIVE! (Luke 15:1-32)

Who is worthy to receive the love and unconditional forgiveness of God? During every Mass, we pray, “Lord, I am not worthy… but say the Word and my soul shall be healed.” Jesus illustrates in Luke 15:1-32 that we are all worthy, but not because of what we do — rather, it’s because of what Jesus did do: He died on the cross to take our sins into death so that we can rise up with him in the perpetual Easter experience of unity with God.

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, it’s not what the son did that made his return home acceptable. It’s not his repentance that made him worthy of receiving his father’s love. It’s what the father did. He loved his child. Unconditionally. He loved him even while he was far away, even while he was straying in a sinful lifestyle.

The dad’s unconditional, faithful love was his gift to the son even while the son was rejecting it.

The gift that the son gave to his dad upon his return home was an open heart to receive the love that had always been available.

During every Mass, we come to church as prodigal children. It doesn’t matter that we think we’ve been good Christians all week long. In some way or other, we have turned our backs on God’s full, unconditional, faithful love. This is why we always start Mass acknowledging that we have sinned. Let’s take this opportunity very seriously!

Next, we listen to the Word that heals our broken relationships with God. The homily should always be carefully planned to enhance this, but if it’s not, Jesus is nonetheless speaking to you through his Holy Spirit; listen in your heart. Jesus, who is the Word made flesh, has already begun to respond to your presence at Mass.

In the Offertory, we offer ourselves to the Father; it’s our moment of surrender: “I no longer deserve to be called your child, so do with me as you will.” What God wills is for us to be restored to a fully loving, give-and-take relationship with him and his family. And thus, in the grandest moment of the Liturgy, we receive the Eucharist as a gift of unity with God and with his whole family, the Church. (Those who cannot receive the Communion of the Host and Cup are graced with a Spiritual Communion.)

This Good News Reflection comes from one of our daily Good News Reflections. To receive them free by email, sign up at http://gogoodnews.net/.

 

COMPASSION CURES CONDEMNATION (John 8:1-11)

The Gospel reading John 8:1-11 shows us a good example of how to treat someone who is, as Jesus says elsewhere in scripture (Matthew 25) “the least of these.” The recipient of Christ’s compassion in this story was considered to be unworthy of life itself. She was first of all a woman, which in her society meant she was inferior to men. She was a sinner and deserved punishment. She was one single person facing a condemning crowd alone. How much more of a “least” one could anyone be?

When have you felt alone and insignificant? Perhaps you’ve faced a condemning crowd. Then again, have you ever treated others as if they’re not important? Yes, none of us can cast the first stone.

There are many in the Church who feel forgotten and neglected. We all know some of them. Their loneliness is usually hidden from us, and if we’re busy with many important responsibilities, seeking them out and giving them attention feels too overwhelming. Their needs become too insignificant to warrant the expense of our time, the development of parish resources, and the sacrifice of our personal comfort.

Divorced Catholics often feel condemned, and many who could be receiving Communion stay away because they’ve been misinformed about the Church’s rules, and no one is reaching out to lead them back. And although the Church has been stopping abuses against children, often the lustful or abusive treatment of adults is never addressed, because they are dismissed as “less vulnerable” — they are of least concern.

Identifying the least among us and reaching out to them is a good Lenten exercise — but only if the intention is to make it a year-round habit.

This Good News Reflection comes from one of our daily Good News Reflections. To receive them free by email, sign up at http://gogoodnews.net/.

JOY IN DAILY LIFE IS THE TRIUMPH OF THE CROSS

The doorway into heaven is the cross. Experiencing the glory of the celebration of Easter — deep within our hearts, within our needs, within our desires — began with accepting our sorrows and sacrifices and sufferings are our own personal connections to Jesus. And now, Easter joy comes not only from accepting what Jesus did for you on the cross but also from continuing the journey, side by side, step by step with Jesus.

When we’re sincere about following Christ, if we truly want to grow in faith, we do whatever he does, united to his ministry of helping others grow in their eternal relationship with God. In this, we face the cross again and again. There is no gain in salvation without the pain of sacrificial love.

The victorious alleluia of Easter is the triumph of the cross. It’s the realization that life doesn’t have to be free of troubles in order to be full of joy. It’s the day-to-day living out of a faith that comes from trusting that God is carrying us through the trials and bringing good out of bad.

Our cross is a soft word that we speak when someone else is angry and we feel like shouting. Our cross is a hand outstretched to comfort the afflicted when it’s inconvenient and we feel like withdrawing. Our cross is a good deed that we do to those who treat us unjustly and we feel like retaliating. And our resurrection is the joy that comes from knowing that we have made a difference in the lives of others for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Love that’s given when it’s difficult is a suffering love, a passionate love, a salvific love, i.e., it benefits the eternal lives of others. Then, our sacrifices have a value of endless worth. This is so much better than a self-serving, easy life. It’s eternally better! Easter Sunday Mass is the celebration of rising with Jesus into glorious victory over evil.

This Good News Reflection comes from one of our daily Good News Reflections. To receive them free by email, sign up at http://gogoodnews.net/.

Do you have prayer power? Here’s the role of the Holy Spirit in making our prayers supernatural. Normal Christian living is supposed to be like the early Church, as described in the book of Acts.

This video is the introduction to the Paracletia course found at http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-desc….

 

HOW TO PRAY IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (INTRO)

The Transcript

Do you have prayer power? Do you have the ability to pray and make a difference? Do you have the ability to pray and see the supernatural? Hi, I’m Terry Modica from Good News Ministries. And the answer to that question is: No you don’t. I don’t either, because only God has that kind of power. We are called to be prayer warriors, to be prayer intercessors. We are called to have a prayer life, because this prayer life connects us to God. We need to have, in order for the supernatural to happen through our prayer life, a close, personal, alive, active relationship with the Holy Spirit.

First, we have to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, because he is our Savior; He died for us. He rose from death and ascended into heaven and takes us with him if we want to follow him. But it is the Holy Spirit who is Part 2 of the Christian life. Because Jesus said that he gives us his Holy Spirit. We’ve all been called to have Part 2 in that relationship with Jesus. Because it is the Holy Spirit of Christ who helps us to live out the teachings of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit of Christ who helps us to have the kind of prayer and have the kind of affect on this world that followers of Christ are supposed to have.

Take a look at what the Book of Acts says is normal Christian living. What happened in the early Church is meant to be the Church of all time. God doesn’t change. Pay attention to how many times the Holy Spirit’s name comes up in Mass of the Catholic Church, in the scriptures, the prayers of the Church. The Holy Spirit is named very often — all the time because that is key to having a successful and powerful prayer life. So, I pray, in the name of Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit, that you, my friend, will come to know the Holy Spirit more than you ever have before. And it begins with your prayer, first: “Lord Jesus, I want You to be my Lord and Savior. Without You, I cannot get to heaven.” And then: “Holy Spirit, I want You to be my holiness. I want You to teach me how to be holy. And I want You to fill me, renew me, fill me to over-flowing. Set Your fire alive in me.”

Because it is the power of the Holy Spirit, my friend, who purifies us and helps us to live the saintly life that we are called to be, because Christians are no longer sinners. We are saints. Yes, we do sin, because we have not fully entered into our sainthood. But the Holy Spirit is the one who helps us with that — every day.

God bless you.

How do you know if you’re truly listening to the Holy Spirit? How do you know if the Holy Spirit is truly listening to you? Here’s how to get connected.

The Transcript

One of the most basic questions that most people have about a relationship with the Holy Spirit and their prayer life is, “How do I know whether I’m really listening to the Holy Spirit or not? Or, “How do I know the Holy Spirit is really listening to me?” What this question boils down to is, “How do I know I’m truly connected to the Holy Spirit?” Well the answer is simply we don’t try, we don’t try to get ourselves connected because it’s not our effort that matters. Yes, we do have to put effort into it, but what matters is the Holy Spirit’s effort.

You see we need to understand the Holy Spirit wants to connect with us more than we want to connect with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is ready. The Holy Spirit was given to us when we were baptized, and it was confirmed that we have the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. So we need to trust that, and that’s what having a life in the Holy Spirit is really all about: trust, and with that trust or what enables that trust is surrender, total surrender.

A good prayer to start every day with is, “Holy Spirit renew me, Holy Spirit you have my permission to change me.” It’s as simple as that. “Holy Spirit renew me, Holy Spirit you have my permission to change me”, and even if there’s part of you that does not really want to be changed because, hey!, we all have that simple part of us that says, “I’m in charge of my life not God, I want things to be the way I want them to be.” In other words I don’t really want to change there are certain parts of my life I want changed, and it’s usually the other person, I want somebody else to love me better or I want somebody to hire me or whatever. But true prayer that’s truly connected to the Holy Spirit begins with “Change me”, and if we give the Holy Spirit just even a small desire to be changed and the rest of us really is resisting that, all the Holy Spirit needs is that little bit and he’ll run with it.

I heard that several years ago when I went to confession and I really did not want to change, I really did not want to repent, I was angry at somebody and it’s like Dolly was justified anger. And if I too easily forgave, too quickly forgave, that person was as good continue on his ways that were wrong, and I was angry at what he was doing wrong, and I wanted to be angry. It was justified anger at least that’s how it began. But the priest asked me, “Are you willing to forgive him?” and I wanted to say, “Not yet, not until he does what he is supposed to do, not till he changes.” But I very feebly not in my head, and the priest said, “That’s all God needs, that little bit is all God needs,” and he continued with the prayers of Absolution. And I left that confessional changed. I was light-hearted, I was free of the chains of unforgiveness, and yes I still wanted that other person to change in the way that needed to be changed, but I was no longer caught up and trapped by the emotions of anger over it.

Whatever you need to surrender there’s more to surrender than you realize, because we need to totally totally give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit and let the Holy Spirit take charge. Give a little bit, just give the littlest or the greatest even if it is little bit of your willingness of surrender and the Holy Spirit will run with that. Holy Spirit renew me, Holy Spirit you have my permission to change me. That my friend is the beginning of a prayer life that is filled much more with the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless you!

This is Part 1 of the Paracletia video course, “How to Pray in the Power of the Holy Spirit”. For the full course, see http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-desc…

There are many things that come between us and the power of the Holy Spirit. And they all boil down to this: We’re not totally convinced that God truly cares about us. Here’s why, and here’s a spiritual exercise for a breakthrough. This is Part 2 of the Paracletia video course, “How to Pray in the Power of the Holy Spirit”. For the full course, see There are many things that come between us and the power of the Holy Spirit. And they all boil down to this: We’re not totally convinced that God truly cares about us. Here’s why, and here’s a spiritual exercise for a breakthrough.

The Transcript

Hi! There are many things that come between us and the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit’s power, and the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives. There are many things that hold us back from all that God wants to give us and do in us and through us. And the most basic of it, the root of it from which everything else comes, everything else that prevents us from having the closest to the Holy Spirit and the fullness of the Holy Spirit that we’re called to have, it boils down to this: we are not totally convinced that God really, really cares about us. We are not deep down believing that what we want really matters to God. Because we’ve been projecting onto God what humans have been and done in our lives. Especially the authority figures in our lives starting with our parents.

For example, if your father was absent from the home through death, divorce, work, and by my work I mean a lot of work like traveling, we grow up feeling that God the Father is distant. We project our human father’s distance from us on to God the Father. Well this works in many different ways. We project onto the Holy Spirit human limitations. So right now I’d like to do is help you begin a spiritual exercise in opening yourself more to the immense love of the Holy Spirit. Spend today, and make this a spiritual practice for every day, thinking about, reflecting about how much God is delighted in you. Yes, delighted.

Of course he knows your sins, of course he knows your imperfections, of course he knows your faults better than you. That’s not the only thing he’s looking at. He’s looking at the good that you do. He’s looking at his own reflection in you, the goodness in you is God himself. And God is resonating with himself that is in you. God the Holy Spirit is delighted in you and is filling you with good things, and is filling you with joy, and wants to release in you everything that God has in mind for you. You know Jesus said in John 14:12 that, “If you believe in me, if you follow me if you make me the Lord of your life, you will do the things that I do and even greater things!”

To have that we need to be fully alive and surrendered to the Holy Spirit. To do that we need to know that the Holy Spirit is delighted in us. So look around, look around and pay attention to all the ways that God is saying, “I love you, I care about you, I delight in doing good things for you.” You for example, what is the beauty in nature that God has placed around you. God is with you, God is giving you treats every day. Take for example, you walk down a lane, walk down a path and you see the light of the sun shining through the greenery. This is God putting things on display for you. This is God giving you something enjoyable to look at, to bless your day and to connect you closer to him, because he cares about you so much, he loves you that much that he gives you beautiful things to look at.

Yes my friend, God delights in you. Pay attention to all the way that he’s revealing that. Every little thing that goes right, every little thing and every big thing that reveals God’s hand at work. That shows that his timing got involved in something. And let the Holy Spirit speak to you about how much he cares about you, and how much God is trying to reveal that to you, through the things around you and the circumstances. Come Holy Spirit renew us. Come Holy Spirit you have our permission to change us. Amen

This is Part 2 of the Paracletia video course, “How to Pray in the Power of the Holy Spirit”. For the full course, see http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-desc…

What happens when you’re too tired to pray? Or when you’re struggling with a challenge or troubles, and you feel anger or depression or other strong, negative emotion? How do we discern the presence of the Holy Spirit under those circumstances?

This is Part 7 of the Paracletia video course, “How to Pray in the Power of the Holy Spirit.” For the full course, see http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-desc…

We are given the fullness of the Holy Spirit when we are baptized. In today’s world, we face many challenges and evil forces that threaten our joy and inner peace, and so we need to release the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you feel powerless in dealing with the difficulties you’re facing? Do you feel empty and alone? The Holy Spirit was given to you by Jesus, to be your Helper, a constant, faithful, supernatural Companion. If you feel like there should be more of God’s help in your life, you’re right. There should be. There can be! God desires this for you even more than you do.

This video, “Praying in the Power of the Holy Spirit” introduces the course “Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit”. To find out more and to continue in this course, please visit http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-desc….

Do you hear God speaking to you? How do you know it’s not just your imagination? In this video course, available on our website at http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-desc…, you’ll become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Wherever you are on your journey of faith, you can have more from your personal relationship with the Third Person of the Holy Trinity than what you’re currently experiencing. Live the Spirit-filled life like never before!

Did you know that God is dialoging with your inner spirit all the time, every day? Here’s the secret to recognizing this conversation and benefiting from it. Thus, all your prayers can be filled with joy.

A Multi-Media Meditation for Pentecost or any time you want to reflect on the Holy Spirit’s role in your life or share with others the inspiration of life in the Holy Spirit. Good for youth groups, RCIA neophytes, parish staffs and ministries, etc. Available for download at Catholic Digital Resources: http://catholicdr.com/m-m-m/HolySpiri…

When we add thanksgiving to our prayer requests, we conquer fears and overcome worries. This video explains how and why thankfulness is so important.

PRAYER THAT WORKS: THE POWER OF THANKSGIVING

The Transcript

Hi! This is Terry Modica of Good News Ministries. Do you know the value of thanksgiving in your prayers? We all have times when we’re praying for God to deliver us from a difficult situation. We’re all praying for people that we care about, whose bad situations just seem to be unending. There’s always something to pray for, isn’t there, that seems hopeless, or — we’re just getting tired of asking for it, or wondering if God really cares. We don’t feel like thanks-giving. We don’t feel that there’s anything to be thankful for in those hard times. But there’s power in adding thanksgiving to our prayers.

When we say, for example, “Thank you, Lord,” — for what? That’s where we come up with: “I’m not sure how to add thanksgiving to this prayer.” So, let me share with you what I do. “Thank you, Lord, for allowing this problem to happen in a way that has brought me closer to You, that has brought me to this prayer time.” Or: “Thank you, Lord, that You are here in the midst of this problem, even though I may not know what You’re up to, what you’re doing, how You’re going to solve this problem. Thank You that You are here.” Or: “Thank you, Lord, that You will make good come from this problem, even though I don’t know what that’s going to be, or how it’s going to happen, or — I think I know how that prayer should get answered, but it’s not working out that way. You know what’s best, Lord, and I thank You for that.”

When we make ourselves think of things to be thankful for, this conquers fear. This defeats the fears that diminish the power of our prayers. This also helps us to get in touch with the goodness of God. If you have any problems coming up with reasons to be thankful or a spirit of thanksgiving when you’re praying, here’s a prayer. Join me in this prayer that can help. “Holy Spirit, renew me. Fill me. Renew me with Your Truth. Activate my thoughts, my soul, my emotions, my very being through and through. Activate my life with Your Truth, Holy Spirit. Fill me with Your Truth.” Because it’s in those truths, my friends, that thanksgiving comes.

And with that, the defeat of fear, anxiety, worry, depression, disappointment, and everything else that diminishes the power of prayer. So go forth getting to know the Holy Spirit’s ability to help you raise up your spirit of thanksgiving. And go pray for something now — something that’s been hard to pray for, something that’s been hard to see results for, and add that spirit of thanksgiving and see what a difference it makes. It will make a difference in you immediately, and in the end results, certainly, at some point in time, in God’s perfect timing. God bless you.

What’s the most powerful way we can pray? Mary the Mother of God set the example. Watch this video to find out what scriptures show us about how Mary prayed.

 

TO PRAY AS MARY PRAYED

The Transcript

Hi. This is Terry Modica of Good News Ministries. Let’s take a look at how Mary, the Holy Mother of Jesus prayed. She’s our best example of how to truly pray in a way that makes a difference, in a way that connects immediately to God, in a way that makes miracles happen. She’s our best example because the grace of God, filled her from her conception so that she could be the successful child of God the successful Eve, that the original Eve was supposed to be, in order to bring Jesus into the world, through her own body, through her own life. And in that fullness of grace she had the perfect prayer life. So let’s look at how she prayed, let’s look at what Scripture tells us about it.

We don’t see Mary praying in Scripture though, do we? Or do we? Yes, the wedding at Cana. They ran out of wine and how does Mary talk to Jesus? How does Mary pray? She simply said, “Jesus they ran out of wine.” She brought to God’s attention the problem, without whining, without worrying, without saying how God should fix the problem. She just simply stated the problem because she was full of trust, trust in what? The guy would hear her prayers and answer her? No, although that was part of her life. What made her prayers work was because she was filled with the trust of Jesus’ cares.

This is why when she turned to the stewards, the wine stewards, she said, “Do whatever he tells you.” She didn’t say, “I asked him, I hope he’s going to come through, let’s give him a try.” She simply said, “Do whatever he tells you.” Why? Because she trusted that he cared. And you my friend and I need to remember whenever we pray, God cares. He cares more than you and I care. And in that caring of course he’s going to do something.

So the holiest way to pray is not, “Dear Lord help. Dear Lord here’s what needs to be done. Dear Lord… and then we give them our list of what we think he should do. Rather it’s simply saying, “I’m presenting the problem to you, O Lord, and I know that you’re going to do something because you care, and whatever you decide is best to do. That’s what you’re going to do.” So the second part of Mary’s prayer was to someone else, not God, not Jesus, but to the wine stewards and she said, “Do whatever he tells you.” So in other words we could say to ourselves whenever we have a prayer request, “Now I need to listen and do whatever God tells me to do.” In other words we simply let God show the way from here, and we stay tuned in, we stay watching, we stay available. That’s holy prayer.

That’s the same way that Mary prayed. Look at her prayer in the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel came to her and said, “You are going to bear the Son of God”, and she goes, “How can this be?” There’s another type of prayer, “I don’t understand Lord,” and it wasn’t said with doubt or distrust it was said with, “God cares, I know he’s going to reveal what I need to know.” That was the faith behind her prayer question. God cares, he will provide what we need. And like at the wedding of Cana even more than we need. God bless you.

 

How we pray can mislead our subconscious into wrong assumptions about God. This affects our prayer life, our faith, and our personal connection to God. Here’s what you can do about it!

PRAYER THAT IMPROVES YOUR CONNECTION TO GOD

The Transcript

Hi! This is Terry Modica of Good News Ministries. How intentional are your prayers? Do you pay attention, in other words, to the words that you pray? Especially during the words of prayers that we say over and over again. Prayers in the Rosary, prayers during Mass, the prayers of the Church for example, are filled with prayers that if we are not consciously thinking about, can subconsciously mislead us. Yes, mislead us.

For example, “Lord, hear our prayer”. That is very often a prayer that is said during the prayers of the intentions during Mass. “Lord hear our prayer.” It’s as if we’re saying, “Lord I need to convince you to hear my prayers, I need to wake you up and say, pay attention I’m praying now, we’re praying now. Lord, I’m asking you to hear our prayers.” No, we don’t need to ask him to hear our prayers because he of course is hearing us all the time, and he cares and he’s watching, and he’s sometimes even taking action in the situations that we’re praying about before we begin to pray about it.

Sometimes, by the way, he waits for us to pray about it before he takes action because he wants us to unite ourselves with him in doing whatever needs to be done in that situation. But are we just saying the prayers, “Lord hear our prayer” so rotely that there is no connection going out with God. To become intentional either think or say out loud during “Lord hear our prayer” such as during Mass, say the words something like this, whatever comes to your own heart, “Lord thank you for hearing our prayer”, because when we stop the rote automatic prayer we become intentional, we become connected to God much more fully, and when we say something like, “Thank you for hearing our prayers” instead of “Lord hear our prayer” the subconscious message that we’re giving to ourselves is that God of course is listening, and because we say “thank you” we know he cares we know he’s going to do something about it. So look at, pay attention to all the many times that you pray rotely.

Even for example the Our Father prayer. Change some words a little bit in order to wake yourself up and pray intentionally, in order to give you what your subconscious needs to know as you’re praying. For example, in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done”, can be said this way, “Your will be done, your kingdom come to me on earth just as fully as it is in heaven.” If we pray the Our Father prayer intentionally during our everyday prayer life, changing the words up to apply to our own lives to minister to our spirits when we do that then when we pray it rotely in Mass we easily bring to mind what we are really intending to say with these words. Intentional prayer is a true connection to God. God bless you.

We’ve learned truths about the Faith, but it’s only head knowledge until we can move it to the heart where we trust it. We don’t like to act on a truth unless we first understand it, and understanding comes from the heart. Here’s a simple truth about how to move from the head to the heart. (Hint: Matthew 7:24)

Do you know how much your Father God loves you? Really, really, really loves you?! Usually we don’t know that, because we project onto God the way human fathers have been, the way authority figures have been, the human failings that we’ve witnessed. Do you think God is disapproving of your sins? Do you think he is accusing you? The truth might surprise you. To understand God the Father better, watch this video.

What does the Parable of Sowing Seeds (Matthew 13) tell us about God’s character? And about our calling as Christians? When we see the farmer (God) casting seeds even on bad soil, it seems to contradict Jesus’ command to not cast our pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). Let’s take a closer look!

The key to successful Christian living is know the answer to: “How important am I, and why? What’s my purpose?” What are your dreams? What are God’s dreams for you? To figure that out, consider: What impassions you? What energizes you? You have been chosen by Christ to be empowered by the Spirit! But … for what?

This video is a 12-minute excerpt of a Parish Retreat on the Apostolate of the Laity. For information on bringing this to your community, see http://gnm.org/event-topics/

This video is produced by Good News Ministries, the Catholic center for daily growth in Christ. What do you want to discover today? Visit us at http://gnm.org

In Luke 9, the Transfiguration of Jesus, we see Him reveal the uncreated light of his true identity and we hear the Father say, “This is my chosen Son; Listen to Him.” We experience Christ’s deepest identity every time we listen to him and allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding of his words and guidance. By listening to him, we let his uncreated light consume the darkness that still lingers within us. Then, the people around us experience more of him, because they meet him in us — in our actions, in our compassion, in our forgiveness, etc. This is evangelization!

LUKE 9:28-36 – THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS

The Transcript

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 9, starting with verse 28 and ending with 36 we see Jesus revealed the uncreated light of his true identity and we hear the Father say, “This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” We experience Christ’s deepest identity every time we listen to him and allow His Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding of his words and guidance. By listening to him we let his uncreated light consume the darkness that still lingers within us. Then the people around us experience more of him because they meet him in us. In our actions, in our compassion, in our forgiveness, and so forth. This is evangelization.

The spiritual journey is a time and effort, a program of concentrating on our need for Christ and to shed his light into our areas of darkness. When we let Jesus enlighten us so that we repent, which means change, seeking and receiving forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s power to change we become more like Christ. We shine more brilliantly with him and we enter more fully into his ministry of redeeming the world. Although there is suffering in this ministry we know that the pain of every Good Friday we experience is always followed by a victory of Easter. It’s in the trials and sacrifices of life, our own crucifixions, in other words, where our holiness changes the world.

Do we dare follow Jesus all the way to Calvary? It’s the only way to get to an Easter experience. Our trials are his blood being shed again, our pains are his pains. We’re already on the cross with Jesus, so why not embrace this extreme intimacy with him for the sake of those who’ve scourged us and betrayed us? By loving those who don’t love us, forgiving those who mistreat us and working hard to replace evil with the Kingdom of God we reveal the light of Christ to those who live in darkness.

So let me ask you some questions to reflect on. Think of a Redemption you’ve experienced, an area of darkness in your life that Jesus shed his light upon when he inspired you to repent. How has this change increased your holiness? What is he inviting you to change now? Something that’s been difficult to look at or hard to overcome. What would you like to hear from Jesus that will help you turn this darkness into holiness? After you figure this out take it to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And one final food for thought, why is the Passion of Christ your passion? What crosses are you carrying that you hope will help Christ redeem the world from sin and darkness? How does your cross purify your own holiness?

 

Saint Paul had a passion for doing God’s work. What do you feel passionate about? That’s the secret to success!

Think about Saint Paul for a minute. What word comes to mind as you think about him? What word best describes him? For me, it’s the word “passion.” Paul was very passionate about what he believed in and therefore passionate about what he did with it.

Passion, I believe, is what empowers us, what makes life successful. When you find what you are impassioned about, and you discover how God wants to use your gifts and talents in that passionate energy, you can make a difference in the world, and it’s a much more enjoyable way and a much more fulfilling way to live. Even the challenges we face become something that we have the energy to get through.

So let me ask you: What are you passionate about?

Are you wondering what God wants you to do about difficult relationships? What’s the holy and healthy way to deal with someone who is hurtful, abusive, or alcoholic? People often write to me asking, “How do I handle this relationship? There’s something unhealthy in this relationship, but I need to do something to try to make it work, because isn’t that what God wants? I want to have healing, I want to have reconciliation, I want things to get better, I want that person to be happier, holier, healthier, I want our relationship to be happy, healthy, holy. And didn’t Jesus say that we are to love our enemies and to love even when they seem unlovable? Does this mean staying in the relationship, keep trying, even in a self-sacrificing way? The answer is NO. This video explains the importance of putting up boundaries while continuing to offer love and helpfulness.

This excerpt on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of Love”, is from Session 1 of our Good News Ministries video course. For couples and parents but also anyone in a position or opportunity to help others understand the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage and family — especially because of today’s world where secular and immoral beliefs about marriage and family have become louder than the truth.

To see the full course, go to http://gnm.org/paracletia-course-desc….

Terry Modica tells the story of a miracle that Saint Joseph provided for her family, and then she explains how much Jesus cares about us, using Matthew 12:1-8 and Isaiah 38:6. (Filmed in the remote village of San José in Panama.)