February 17, 2019
SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Santa Barbara parish - bible study on tuesdays
Parishioners listen attentively during Bible Study classes. All are welcome to attend every Tuesday at 6:40pm in the upper parish hall.
The Family: The First School of Discipleship
The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmstead, Diocese of Phoenix
...Today, most of you who are parents face a secularized society, a culture that breathes air that is partially poisoned, and in some places deeply so. In these times, it is difficult to keep the sense of prayer and relationship to God and others foremost in your homes. But it is not impossible. As St. Paul says (Rom 8:31), “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
I want to offer four steps to assist parents to make their homes true domestic churches, places where Jesus is honored and followed intentionally. Making these four components of the family schedule and movements of the heart will bless you unimaginably and build a legacy of true discipleship for future generations.
Reclaim Sunday as the Sabbath: “As Sunday goes, so goes the week.” From the very creation of the world and forever, God knows our tendency to work instead of enjoying sacred rest. In addition to assuring that your family celebrates Mass on the Sabbath—for us Christians this is Sunday, the day of the Lord‟s resurrection and first day of the week—seek to make Sunday one of prayer, family fun and enjoyable time with friends and neighbors.
Prayer, the Oxygen of Family Life: “The family that prays together, stays together;” these words of Venerable Patrick Peyton are true. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul and of the Christian home. Dads and Moms, make the decision to bring prayer into the daily life of your family. This needs to begin with you. Couples who learn to pray together each day, and who live their marital embrace in fidelity to its true meaning—open to life and a mutual gift of self—experience a peace the world cannot give. The word “divorce,” much less the reality of it, never enters their home!
The family Rosary I most highly recommend. One of my most wonderful memories of childhood is of Mom and Dad pray-ing the Rosary with us children, as we all knelt before their bedroom dresser adorned with symbolic artwork of the Faith. Other devotional practices can be built into daily life, too, such as prayer before meals, Advent wreaths, Stations of the Cross during Lent and visits to the Blessed Sacrament at church. Meditatively reading the Bible, reciting the Liturgy of the Hours or praying with a resource like “Magnificat‟ are also good ways to listen to the Lord and surrender to His Plans. What matters is beginning the day by opening our hearts to God.
The Daily Family Meal: A reputable study in the 1990s concluded that among all of the habits in families where children were “successful” in school and in other social endeavors, the daily family meal was number one. This has been replicated in other studies since. While correlation does not prove causation, it would be foolish to ignore the overwhelming evidence and compelling common sense here. Whatever sacrifices are necessary to make this happen, I strongly encourage you to find the way to share meals together as a family. Eating together encourages natural bonding. This is one of the reasons so many cultures have distinctive foods which bless not only the body, but also the heart and soul.
Increase together time; Decrease technology time: Any critique of a tool requires a qualification—tools are not, in them-selves, evil. However, some tools, while technically neutral in a moral sense, are increasingly problematic. Obsession with technological screens is clearly the addiction of our times. In a recent interview, Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive once in charge of user growth, strikingly says, “I feel tremendous guilt...Consumer internet business want to fig-ure out how to psychologically manipulate you as fast as possible and give you back that dopamine hit. (Dopamine is the brain chemical that indicates pleasure in the brain.) It literally is at a point now where we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. People need to hard brake from some of these tools.”
The precious and irreplaceable nature of family time makes it a primary target of the evil one. What to do about this is a serious question we must face as a society. Parents, you have the ability and the responsibility to train your children up in the understanding and proper use of tools, and more importantly in living a truly human and Christian life. I urge you to place limits on the use of screens in all their forms and to increase “together time” as a family. Build times of prayer, family fun and new traditions as alternatives. Parents who do so construct a legacy of beautiful memories from which their chil-dren and grandchildren will find strength and joy.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” says Joshua at a moment in time where Israel was considering unfaith-fulness (Jos 24:15). Dads and Moms, you are the leaders of your own home, the first teacher of your children; God has giv-en you the grace and mission to disciple your children in the footsteps of Jesus.
Ten Pointers for Prayer
The baby‟s crying, the dog is whining, and you need to leave for wok in five minutes. Finding time for prayer can seem impossible. Amid the busyness of family life, how can one respond to God‟s ongoing invitation to speak with and listen to Him? Here are ten pointers to help you do just that.
1. Pray as you can, not as you can’t. God calls most Christians to an active life in the world, with family, work and community responsibilities. Such a call, while holy , does not usually allow for long periods of prayer and reflection. Lay people can become discouraged when they try to pray like a cloistered contemplative. Be realistic about what‟s possible.
2. Take ten—or twenty. If a half hour for prayer isn‟t possible, how about ten minutes, or twenty? Choose a good time of day and stick with it. Designate a special site for prayer so that spot becomes holy. Spouses can help by minding children during respective quiet times.
3. Pray as a family. Build upon rituals such as grace before meals. In addition to the usual “Bless us, O Lord…,” encourage family members to offer thanks for the blessings of the day, as well as prayers for those in need. Couples can deepen their spiritual relationship by taking a few minutes, perhaps before bedtime, to comment to God the joys and sorrows of the day.
4. Decorate your domestic church. When we enter our parish church, the statues and pictures focus our minds on Jesus, Mary and the saints. We can create an atmosphere for prayer in our home—the domestic church—by displaying a crucifix, icons, the Bible and other holy objects. Take the children to a religious goods store and let them choose a picture or statue for their rooms.
5. Short prayers count, too. When you‟re stopped at a long light or put on hold, consider it as God‟s invitation to turn your heart and mind to him, if only for a few seconds.
6. Find God at work. Connecting with God in the workplace takes effort. Try to cultivate a few simple habits. For example, offer the day to God as you turn on your computer, or pray for the person you‟re about to call or wait upon.
7. Jump start your prayer life. Sooner or later almost everyone experiences dryness in prayer. God seems far away and prayer becomes a burden. Praying with Scripture, perhaps the daily Mass readings, can help us focus. So, too, can an inspirational book, especially one of the spiritual classics. A good choice is St. Francis de Sales‟ Introduction to the Devout Life, written specifically for lay people who are striving for holiness.
8. Ask your Mother for help. The Blessed Virgin Mary, our spiritual mother, understands our needs and offers profound comfort. One family, gathered around the bedside of their dying husband and father, found peace and healing through the recitation of the rosary. The rosary is ideal for the family since children can be taught the simple prayers at an early age.
9. Read a good story. Children and adults alike enjoy an inspiring story, and few stories are more compelling than those of the saints. Whether it‟s the little way of Therese of Lisieux or the heroism of Maximilian Kolbe, their stories offer something for everyone. Consider the particular virtue that a saint demonstrates and pray for help to emulate it. Perhaps it‟s the humility of St. Francis of Assisi, the patience of St. Monica, or the courageous witness of St. Thomas More.
10. Walk with a spiritual friend. Prayer can lead to new thoughts and questions. Who better to share them with than a spiritual friend? A friend can help us to work through the concerns that inevitably arise in prayer. Good friends will hold each other accountable for their prayer life, making sure that prayer has not been neglected in the busyness of life. For married couples a spouse is often this spiritual friend, but God will also put wise and holy people in our path when we need them. They can be the answer to prayer.
Santa Barbara Parish Prayer Ministry
prays the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet
for prayer intentions.
May you strive to be a better Catholic and be closer to God than you did in the past year.
God Bless You & Your Family!
Saturday: 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm
6:00 am (Chamorro)
9:00 am (Astumbo)
12:00 pm (Filipino)
2:00 pm (Chuukese)
Daily: 6:00 am &
Tuesdays & Fridays also: 11:30 am
Saturday: 6:00 am
For baptisms, Please visit the Parish Office for guidelines and scheduling.
Monday to Friday: 15 mins before the 6:00 am and 6:00 pm masses (at the chapel)
Saturday: 4:30 pm (at the upper church)
Divine mercy adoration chapel:
Monday to Friday:
7:00 am - 6:30 pm
7:00 am - 3:30 pm
Monday to Friday except Thursday:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm (CLOSED 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)
Closed on Sundays, Thursdays, Holy Days & Holidays.