From: Mary Zimmerman
Please allow me to touch on my faith, my place of worship. Jesus insists that religions all come together (Christian unity) someday. I believe the bridge to make that happen is education and knowledge, by better understanding each other. I am a cradle Catholic (means all my life). I am a member of St. Maryís Parish in Winona. Father Jim Berning is our priest. He surely has a spiritual way about himself to call us into the heart of our beliefs as Catholics. He seems to work tirelessly to gather us up into the flock God put him in charge of. Father Berning says as a priest he gives us 100 percent. He encourages us to give 100 percent back as well as his parishioners. Iím not talking about money at this point, however itís needed to meet the parish needs. The 100 percent Iím speaking about is the goal we all need to work toward giving ourselves lovingly to God and others. Iím not saying we must kneel in prayer all day (it surely should be part of our day), but be open to doing Godís will for us. Take a hint from St. Theresa, the Little Flower. She just did little things but with a lot of love. Sheís known for her ďlittle ways,Ē enough to make her a saint, a doctor of the church even. Perhaps we all have a lot to learn from her. There are excellent books out about her. ďThe Story of a SoulĒ is one of them. Letís all try to apply her motto to our life. Do all things well out of love for Jesus. I sometimes think of that when I pack my sonís lunch. I try to put a lot of love into it by packing healthy foods - always fruit and vegetables. I think that should take care of at least one of the deeds of mercy for the day. If possible Iíd gladly pack a lunch for all six of my children. Thatís not practical, as Lynette would have to come way from Dover for hers.
These words spoken by Our Lord (in the Diary of St. Faustina) are as follow: ďI demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. By this means a soul glorifies and pays a reverence to my mercy. If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain my mercy on the day of judgment.Ē
There are so many opportunities to practice the works of mercy. They are known as the spiritual works of mercy and the corporal works of mercy. Faith without works is dead, God says. Lets all keep that in mind when we are asked to feed, clothe and shelter Godís people and comfort the imprisoned as well, those in prison or the prisoners in their own home - the handicapped, the sick, the elderly, or new mothers.
I believe weíre all feeling the effects from this world that seems to be turning more and more toward evil. I think especially our children are suffering the chill of such exposure. Many cannot feel the warmth of Godís love. We as parents need to reassure them that God loves them and so do we. I believe if children donít get or feel love they may very well turn to drugs or alcohol and perhaps end up in prison, quite likely not much love there either, just a number. I firmly believe in prison ministry. Jesus will ask us someday ďI was in prison, did you comfort me?Ē
I thank those who encourage me. Please join with me in praying for church unity, that we may be one as Jesus desires.
I ask Godís blessings upon each one of you.