Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 7

BEADS OF JOY 2-29-12 “The Sting of Concupiscence”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 7
My Friends,

Even after our baptism and all our sins have been forgiven; and we have been reborn, nothing remains to stop us from going to Heaven, Except, I want you to take a look at this in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. "Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, "the tinder for sin"; since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ." Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules." CCC#1264 The serious challenge I see here is that we are left to wrestle with concupiscence, this is the stinger right there. By God's grace we must prove who we are in this struggle, concupiscence at its sharpest point gives us the natural tendencies to sin. We can resist with God's grace, but in so many of the teachings I have read, we cannot absolutely, completely, day in and day out, without any doubt; never sin at all.

The reality of our salvation is that in the end, it is at our own hands. It is only through God's grace that we will be able to resist temptation to sin. To those who reject God's call unfortunately will be the cause of their own demise. Let us also not fall into the trap that so many do; by manipulation to ultimate forgiveness that God gives to all of us. In other words one might say to themselves, "I can sin today and tomorrow, and on Saturday when I go to confession God will forgive me." Because of the unfortunate tendency there are some who try to manipulate God's kindness. "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" Romans 6:1. We must not allow the sins and temptations of this world to mislead us, rather we should help one another in defeating sin, "remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins." James 5:20

We must also remember that before we can embrace the joy that can be ours, we must suffer and die to ourselves and our sins. To reject this will result in a bad outcome, "But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." Romans 2:8, rather we need to be humble before God, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:10, and, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6 Our lives must not be self-fulfilling and all about us; we were not created to be self-serving, rather we were bought with a price and with that price we must love and adore our Lord. "For he who was called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called." 1 Corinthians 7:22-24. We must remember these things as we walk in the light with Jesus.

This is no free ride; we are always accountable for what choices we make. Our lives must be lived with God's love inside us, and with that love inside of us, we need to be open in helping others cope with their challenges as best we can. "And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:3 Let us live a life that gives to others, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29. We are all God's children and in being children of the same Lord we are brothers and sisters who should be looking out for one another doing all we can to help one another receive the reward of eternity with our Father. Nothing in this world is going to matter in the end, all that will matter will be the last thing we are told by God in His judgment. "All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law." Romans 2:12

Today's Challenge: This can be fun just because you'll have your radar up and running all day. Today or pick any day. Keep 100% track of every single sin you commit, write it in your journal (venial and mortal). And I encourage you to really really watch yourself. Be truthful, don't miss any of them.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 6

BEADS OF JOY 2-28-12 “God The Son Is The Word”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 6
My Friends,

The nature of God is mysterious indeed, but one thing that is certain is who He is. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1. "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 See we got into scripture as soon as we begin today. Isn't the thought of all this so exciting? Jesus the Son of the Father is indeed the Word. The image of the invisible God is breathtaking, and it's His magnificence that makes our heart skip extra beats. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." Colossians 1:15, It is God's glory that we see poured throughout the pages of scripture. It's His unending love for us that makes the Word come to life for us. "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:3

We are all called to share in the knowledge of His love for us in His word. Whatever we see and know that is good in this world and the entire universe for that fact, is of God. God is eternal as is His word is also eternal, "All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal." Psalm 119:160. There are also many New Testament verses that guide us to the eternal greatness of His word. "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." John 5:24. I get so fired up over scripture, God's word pours His love deep into my heart and soul every time I spend time meditating and pondering scripture. "Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:68-69.

Think of this profound though: To all things that just are; God our Almighty God is ever present in them, because He is the infinite power, of all that is in His perfection, of all that He creates. I think you get the point. You see God is so Almighty so powerful, so present everywhere that the entire universe in and of itself in all its endless infinity of space, cannot contain God. Inside God's word we can open that power and absorb so much of it into our lives; by enriching our lives with His wisdom. Will we ever fully understand the magnitude and ultimate visual size of God? probably not. But the wonder and beauty of it all, is that we don't have to, in order for us to be so blessed by Him. Now do you begin to see where I get all this overwhelming, overflowing Joy inside my heart and soul for my Lord? I'm telling you, your life will never be the same, once you fully allow Him in.

Are you starting to get really excited now, about having God as the ultimate center of your life? Do you really understand to some degree about how much God loves each and every one of us individually, as much as He does? I hope and pray that this Lenten Season is dynamic for you and that you are able to draw yourself ever so much more closer to our Lord. "Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity." 2 Corinthians 8:2, do not allow any excuse to keep Him away in your life. There is no trial to big, no sorrow to sad that can't be carried by Jesus, as He helps us through the toughest of times. We must truly trust in His word in our life, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. Jesus helps us, and He leads us to help others, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 Be creative in your studies, keep it interesting and learn all you can, to better absorb as much as you can into your life.

Today's Challenge: I give you a bible challenge. See how many times you can find in scripture that Jesus is referred to as "The Word". I'm not going to give you the answer, the bible study will be good and fun and it may help you start your own bible study habits.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 5

BEADS OF JOY 2-27-12 “God's Eternal Embrace”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 5
My Friends,

We are without a doubt certain that there is a God, at least most likely all those who read this blog believe that. It is His loving friendship that we must at all costs attain and then retain. The only way that can even be remotely possible; is that man (both male and female) must live a life to some level of spirituality throughout. Without God we are nothing. You don't have to accept that statement; I'm not asking you to accept it, that my dear friend is the plain hard truth. Truth the unbelievers don't wish to hear. We really must have our own personal conviction and sincere deep love for Jesus alive and on fire in our soul. We don't have to wear our faith on our sleeve, evangelizing every day; instead we need to have that special personal relationship with Him. There is no other purpose that is so fulfilling and eternal for all mankind. In our love for Him we find that we are able to build a firm solid unshakable foundation in His word. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Romans 10-17. Many know that famous verse, here's another, "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." Hebrews 11:3

Yes there are skeptics. But remember many a skeptic through their own studies has ended up developing their own convictions by what truths they have found. Anyone can be skeptical about anything, that doesn't mean it's not the truth. And the key word here is "conviction". If indeed we are believers of God and followers of Jesus; then there is something inside our heart, and our soul that make Him become the center nerve of this enlightenment, it's our own personal conviction. Many of you have read "my story", well that is my conviction. Those events, and my awareness of what was going on, as my eventual surrender to Jesus began; that is forever burned inside my soul, it is who I am in my faith and love for my Lord. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20.

Our minds are not limited to only the knowledge of God. It is through our own experiences of worship, love and devotion that we expand ourselves learning ever so much more about the nature of God. "Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." 2 Peter 1:3. Allow Jesus Christ to come alive inside of you, in such a way that your life is ecstatically overflowing with so much joy you just can't contain it anymore. "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men." Romans 14:17-18 You can make a huge difference in this world by devoting your life to His will. He will direct you in ways you may have never ever thought possible before.

It is through our love for God, that at the end of our life we are able to embrace Him as we enter into all eternity united with Him. God has given mankind a most precious gift; one that is supernatural and beyond anything anyone can comprehend. It is our unwavering faith and love for Him that opens our eyes and allow us to see Him. "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,: Ephesians 2:6. There are so many exciting scriptures that help us focus on Heaven. "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." Colossians 1:16 I strongly encourage you to write out your story, share your joy with others.

Today's Challenge: Take 10-15 minutes today and in a very quiet place, where you can hold the cross with the crucified Christ on it. Hold it and look upon it in silence and think about how much He loves you. Suggestion, through this experience develop and write out your personal conviction about how your life in the Spirit began.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

Sunday, February 26, 2012

First Sunday of Lent 2012

BEADS OF JOY 2-26-12 “Unnerving Test of Our Faith”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

First Sunday of Lenten Season - Time B
My Friends,

Welcome to the First Sunday in Lent. Today our Lord is tempted when He is weakest; yet in His weakness He finds strength in God and in God's word. And we think we have it hard today don't we. We think everything in our world don't work the way we want it to, when we want it to, immediately without patience or understanding. I know I am not speaking to everyone. But I know I will say this; I have been there, in the face of challenges that made me want to "eat the loaf, pat my own back and jump off a cliff". My friends, we all face the grit of this life; maybe you’re on the end of a rough period of time, or maybe something unexpected just hit you in the face this week. We are all human beings; we have all been there at some point. How and what we do with these experiences tells us who we are. Do we trust in God, in everything? Do we boldly go where no satan has ever gone before? See how I said that, did you get it. I am speaking about straight into the arms of God.

Satan had the nerve to tempt our Lord, and to do it three times, from three different angles. He thought by going after the frailness of His human needs that Jesus the Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; was going to collapse and fall into his trap. He even used God's word to show Jesus that it's OK. How easily do we give in? Are we weakened by the beauty of what is shown to us? or Are we bold in knowing that Jesus will protect us from anything satan attempts to do to us? We must never surrender to anything that will ultimately send us into the abyss of hell for all eternity. God knows what we can handle and He will not allow anything to go beyond what we can fend off. "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Remember that Jesus endured three temptations; the devil can be very articulate in his approach as he uses reason to deceive us in our walk with Jesus. He will present logic and an understanding of things that he wants us to understand, so that our thinking becomes likes his. In his deceit and disingenuous approach on us; he changes his appearance so that we believe he is something other than who he really is. "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." 2 Corinthians 11:14-15. Satan waits for and knows when he sees the op-tune time to make his attack. His appeal to us is usually when we are down and out. This is why it is so important that we keep our heads and stay focused on Jesus. Satan saw our Lord's physical need for water, and thought that would be the perfect time to offer him food.

There is nothing in this world that we should ever allow to lead us away from God. The best way to keep our minds and thoughts focused is with much prayer and reading of the scriptures. Our minds and thoughts need to be constantly cleansed with God's word and thoughts of Him. By doing so, we are excising our minds to basically keep an eye out for the evil one and his misleading ways. By staying spiritually in shape, we will be more apt to notice the subtleties of temptation and know when and were to veer to, so we can make a clean break for it. I personally believe the more scripture we know and the more we know how to access certain verses within our bible; the more ready we are able to deal with handling life's challenges and temptations. It really turns into a very powerful tool for us. Let's do all we can to not fall victim to the traps satan lays before us. By no means is this going to be easy, but we will be faced with many challenges ahead there's no doubt in that truth. It's going to be the awareness of them that we will help us better defeat them. I will be praying for all of you.

Today's Challenge: Keep a section within your spiritual journal noting when you feel you are tempted most. Write down what is going on in your life.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 4

BEADS OF JOY 2-25-12 “Pray Every day, Everywhere”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 4
My Friends,

Yes I am serious, it's not as impossible as it may sound. And it's a good worthwhile habit to develop. I made this decision about incorporating prayer into my life probably about 20-25 years ago. Let me walk you through some of my own prayerful daily habits. As a side note, please note that I am not perfect, absolutely not, by no means of the word. I do the best that I can do every single day, I to have many challenges, disappointments and sorrow that make even good habits have a challenge at times. But since I have been doing this in my life for so long now, it does come rather easy to me. I work five days a week (Mon-Fri); and on average I drive 8-10 hours a night and my weekends have a slight difference to the habits I am going to share. To me there is no excuse to not be praying to Jesus, God or Mary every single day. Do we have time to eat, do we have time to watch TV, do we have time to be on-line; well then we have time to pray to Almighty God. If we dare have time for any of those things and so many other things; then what we are saying to God is that those things are more important than Him. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "why pray?...well then why breathe?"

Let us start by understanding what prayer is; now it can be defined in many ways, but I like the way Archbishop Fulton Sheen defined prayer best, "Prayer is a lifting of the mind and heart to God." Prayer is also the greatest gift anyone can ever give, as long as we follow through and really pray for those we tell we are praying for. And on the flip side receiving prayer from someone is gift that is beyond the greatest to receive, it's the most precious, most valuable and the most eternal gift we can ever receive. With that being said, I will say that if there was one gift I'd rather receive from anyone over anything in this world, it would be there prayers for me. OK, let me bring you into my crazy, fun, exciting world. I like to consider myself a prayerful man, I am very devoted to the rosary and my bible study; I would guess pretty much to the levels of addiction at times. LOL. Don't prejudge that yet, let me explain. I have so much overflowing Joy inside my heart and soul because of all this. Keep in mind this statement: Junk in - Junk out, or would you rather Jesus in - Jesus out.

Here's my daily schedule at work, since I drive for a living, I take my rosary prayer and meditation Cd's and my New Testament cassette's (hey don't laugh, at least there not 8-tracks, these tapes are 27 years old, and can't be replaced, and they are awesome Janelle heard them). Every single day at work I pray my 20 decade rosary followed by listening to 1-2 books of the New Testament, I also have Cd's of Fr. Larry Richards and Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Scott Hahn and a bunch of others. I am very addicted to constantly feeding my life with inspiration that sparks tremendous Joy into my heart and soul. But that's what I pretty much do every day I got to work. On the weekends my prayer life is a tad bit different, it's usually only one rosary each day and a tremendous amount of reading and writing in my bible study. Like I said earlier, an addiction. Also key to my daily prayer life, I talk to Jesus in "conversation - one way" every single day. What I mean by that is this; when I am thankful about anything (having a good day, seeing a sunrise, being treated rudely, literally anything that raises an eyebrow). I look up to Heaven and say, "Thank You Jesus,..." and comment about it. I always do this, probably 10-20 times a day, this is a habit engraved inside me. I don't even think about remembering to do this, it's literally like breathing to me.

I will also confess that even with all this most joyous prayer time that I have been blessed with probably spending about 3-5 hours a work day singing to the top of my lungs. Ok, everyone can make all the usual comments, but I will even agree with all of you. LOL. I keep the radio so loud that even I can't hear myself...so there. LOL. Maybe I can write, and I know for a fact that I adore and love Jesus. But one thing is without a doubt the truest statement of all in today's blog: I cannot sing a tune! Yes I sing, but not anything that Simon Cowell would say yes to. LOL. Today let's reflect on our own personal prayer life, Lent is a good time to re-evaluate the time you might be able to spend in conversation with Jesus; praying your rosary or just in whatever form of prayer you enjoy the most. Let us remember the example Jesus always showed us in scripture, here are just a few of them, "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Luke 5:16, "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:" John 17:1, "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." Luke 6:12, "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." Luke 11:1. I pray that you all have a blessed day. I hope I made you laugh today.

Today's Challenge: Take one full day of your normal routine and see how you can entwine prayer within it. I'm sure it's possible.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 3

BEADS OF JOY 2-24-12 “Mankind's Sacrifice to God”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 3
My Friends,

It all started through mankind's offering of himself and his entire life to God; once mankind consciously acknowledges God's existence, it is at that precious moment that the exchange of sacrifice begins. Through the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist which Jesus instituted for us, He truly shares Himself with us every time at Mass. Jesus Christ is ever present in the Holy Eucharist (I know many don't believe that, but I do and so do about ten billion others worldwide). I told y'all a Bold Fresh approach now. No matter what's been said know that it is true, I'm just being me, very bold in my faith. "The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ." CCC 1377 It is through Jesus Christ that we are able to give ourselves to God.

By living a life completely as a sacrifice to God we are open to His will for us in our lives. It's all in the Eucharist for us in the Christian life. Along with our sacrificial life we must focus fully on the Eucharist. Jesus can be found in the Eucharist and in finding Him, we find ourselves the way He wants us. It is through Jesus that we are made victorious in this life. "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." Romans 12:1. I can personally tell you that by offering your body and your life fully; that your life will be so filled with an absolutely overwhelming amount of Joy, that's the Joy I always talk about. I will tell you that when you are filled with this JOY, no matter what life throws at you, you will survive it. My life is far from perfect, challenges seem to hit me from all angles, all the time, non-stop.

Lent is also known as a time where many for us to make sacrifices. Sometimes I stop chocolate or a certain favorite food until Easter. In our home we even post all the families individual sacrifices on the cabinet in the kitchen. I think that's a very humble way to show each other and our Lord how much we each individually love Him. But I believe in our walk with Jesus we need to take this to the next level. What I mean by that, is to really sacrifices our entire life to Jesus in ways that the world would probably say, that we are wasting our life away. When you do sacrifice to that level I believe it is then that you have fully given up everything for Him. Do you see what I mean? What is it that consumes all of your time now in your heart? "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Hebrews 13:15-16. Stop anything in your life that takes you away from Him, or go one step beyond that; and don't waste your time doing anything meaningless that does not help you draw closer to Him.

Do not let anything or anyone so consume you that Jesus is no longer the very first thought you have in your heart. We do not stand alone when we give up everything for Him. When we do so, we stand with Jesus in all we do for our love for Him. Our external sacrifices are a reflection of our internal sacrifices that show Jesus our true and complete love for Him. "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Romans 6:12-14. Be bold and strong in this, following Jesus was never meant to be a time that we become selfish, on the contrary rather it is a time for us to live a life pleasing to Him. In doing so we must never put ourselves before Him or others. Just do it, your life will be refreshed beyond anything you can possibly imagine.

Today's Challenge: On Sunday's and only on Sunday's, offer up a sacrifice of not enjoying a certain activity or a special favorite food you like.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 2

BEADS OF JOY 2-23-12 “Mankind's Approach to God”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 2
My Friends,

First of all we must get a few things perfectly clear before we begin. Man (meaning all mankind - both male and female) is not from some evolution of an ape (if you want to believe that then that's your fantasy, not mine); or any sort of an angelic being (our human abilities do not allow us to be that way, angels have not flesh and blood); nor an automaton (meaning a human being who acts in any mechanical way). Man is Body and Soul. This is who man is, and this is how man and woman were created: "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:26-27 I hope you enjoy this bold fresh approach. The objective for us during this Lenten Season is not about being politically correct, but rather Spiritually Correct. I am inspired by Fr. John Corapi.

Man is flesh and blood, and he has a mind to think and reason with. No other being exists in the world like man. Animals merely use their instincts they can not think or feel or reason like a human can. We are unique and we have been made in God's image, "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 1:7 Then God created woman, "So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,'for she was taken out of man." Genesis 2:21-23 I took this approach as I begin this Lenten Season, so there is no confusion to what it is that I believe.

So how does Mankind approach God? What's really neat is that our minds have the ability to imagine and we can use words and phrases; and with those words and phrases we can sort of picture things we really can't see. That alone makes us extremely unique, and we tend to use our senses a lot to understand things. And we also believe what God himself has told us, so mankind sees God as someone with a body; Jesus is God's Son, we are made in the likeness of God, how else could we picture God. When mankind is convinced about anything they believe they usually approach it and do something relative to that belief. Because we understand what magnificence God has accomplished in creation; biological design and the countless infinite things about our own physical being, the planet we live on and the universe we revolve in; we see God as someone who is huge is size, strength and power that which we can truly never will ever fully comprehend.

Now knowing all that, mankind's approach to God is also unique. We prefer to approach God on our knees or prostrate before Him. The approach is almost like a fear, but it's a fear knowing that His love for us is immeasurable. The fear is full of love and devotion to our Lord and Creator and Maker. "Then the man bowed low and worshiped the Lord." Genesis 24:26, "And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him," Matthew 8:2, "Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him;" Mark 5:6. But we also know that our God is a jealous God, we are not to worship, love or desire anything or anyone before Him. "You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." Exodus 20:3-7

Today's Challenge: Pray to Jesus on your knees. Try to develop this into a regular daily habit within your own private prayer life.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday - Lenten Season

BEADS OF JOY 2-22-12 “Gospel Decades”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Today is Ash Wednesday in the Lenten Season Time B
Today’s Gospel is: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
(Prayer, Almsgiving and Fasting)


Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you…”
1 – Our Father -10 Hail Mary’s –Glory be… - Oh My Jesus…

Reflection: My Friends…

Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving…
During this Lenten Season many of us can make some serious changes in our lives. This is a wonderful time to make changes in our lives. Just try to keep all things in perspective going and growing simply one day at a time. These first four days represent a sort of starting point, a preparation period where we can focus on: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. Three very important elements to our faith, these three traditionally are a very important part of our Lenten Journey. Four separate yet all equal portions of a very spectacular quest as we go day to day through Lent together. Let us look at what each of these mean to our faith:

Prayer:
This is the most wonderful special act of love, so many of us share every single day. In prayer we lift up our soul to God in love and praise and thanksgiving. Prayer builds up and empowers our faith, and faith comes from our hope, and our hope and desire for Him leads us to hunger, a hunger for Him and His word and the grace that leads us to God, which leads us to prayer. I just tried to lay that out all by myself. Was anyone able to follow that? lol. Prayer is an essential part of who we are in God, and in our walk following after Jesus. We must be a praying people, our communication with God is vital to our eternal life and the transition that we will go through at our death. I encourage you to please pick a devotion that is of interest to you, and then try to pray and speak to God every single day. Our conversation doesn't necessarily have to be written prayers only, we can speak plainly to Him also. We are in relationship to a person, Jesus. And in that relationship we can freely talk and share and open our hearts to Him.

Fasting:
This isn't easy for everybody. But this has a lot of spiritual value added to the experience. Fasting is about curbing down our desires in our appetite that appetite could be for anything. This in turn creates a hunger for God, which is key to living our lives in Jesus. If many of our pleasures are fulfilled with food, we will have much less desire for God. I will share with you something I told Fr. Mullally a while ago (actually many many years ago), as to how and why I fast. Believe it or not, it's not health related at all. To me fasting is a spiritual experience. I fast as an offering to all those who hunger and starve around the world. I do that so that I feel the hunger pangs. I want to feel their pain and suffering, so that I can offer the reality of the pain of starvation. No I don't starve myself, but I have done very long fasts for that sole purpose. I have found that when you are "starving - very very hungry" you tend to draw so much closer to Jesus spiritually, that it can't really do justice trying to explain it in words. Don't do these things if your health requires medication and food intake. First consult your doctor and make sure it is safe. Please...

Almsgiving:
This evolves from our prayers and our fasting. Charity in all forms: your time, your talents, your treasures, whatever you can do to help further the spreading of the word and love of God. Most all of us belong to church communities, we should invest in them to help support them in whatever way you can. I tell you the following for the sole purpose to share ideas that maybe you can use; back in the past when I was in business, we as a family gave both our treasures and volunteer time. Now with all our challenges and lack thereof, we do our best to increase our time offered. I know once we move back in town we will return to our old way of living. And some of you might be saying, "What is that?" Our lives, our day to day, our weekends revolved around our St. Patrick's Church community activities, and schedule. When we lived in town in the past, we pretty much were involved with everything at our parish. I strongly encourage you to try this. If you are anything like me and my family, once you do that, you will always be very involved in whatever capacity you can help.

Another quick note on giving, especially to your parish; please make it a habit to GIVE, no matter what; even if you are poor. I’m not saying “should we buy food for the kids?” or give to the church? I’m saying make it habit that no matter what you give, and if you can afford a dollar (shame on you), you most likely can afford a $5 or $10 or a $20 every single week and it won’t hurt you at all. Our family tradition of understanding “how do we fill our church envelopes” every week is simple. No matter what we must give to our church, OUR CHURCH, we must; and even if we have to take all the change and money we can scrounge up in the house and cars, like five or ten dollars in loose change, pack it up and give it to the church. When should we give? Always... When should we give even more? When we can’t afford to. A similar thought is: When do we pray? Always.. What happens when we have no time to pray? We should pray even more…

Trust fully and completely in Jesus. I promise you, from personal experience in these matters, He shall provide and take good care of you and your family. I’m not preaching this, we’ve lived this.

Questions we may wish to Ponder Today:
-Do we hunger for God?
-Each day do we seek the bread of life or His word or the Eucharist?
-Do we have a daily prayer life? If not, why not?
-What devotion of prayer interests you?
-Have you ever fasted before? Might you?
-Now after today's meditation would you consider fasting?
-How might you give your personal charity to your parish?
-Would you ever consider joining a ministry? Think about it.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Lenten Preparation

BEADS OF JOY 2-20-12 “Lenten Preparation”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

2012 Lenten Liturgical Calendar
The Monday before Ash Wednesday; also known as “Shrivetide”.


My Friends,

Today marks the beginning of Lent, yes today. I know many think that Ash Wednesday actually begins Lent. But today is more like the preparation of beginning before we prepare to begin. There are two names in my research that I found that identify today: Clean Monday and Shrovetide. That was a rather interesting find, but note that both of those titles really have the same meaning as to how one would see today. Shrovetide intrigued me the most when I found it on a Catholic webpage, so I researched it. Shrovetide means “to shrive” or more clearly it means “to hear confessions”, interesting find indeed. This is a day of preparation, before we actually begin to prepare on Wednesday. So follow me now, we are beginning to prepare, to be prepared on the day we are preparing for the Lenten Season. LOL. I know WOW!! A very exciting and interesting; and even insightful find, indeed. I hope this enlightens you even more as we begin to prepare for the most Joyous Season of Lent. Just a tid-bit of “check this out” information. Tomorrow would be called, “Shrove Tuesday” also known as “Mardi Gras”, “Fat Tuesday”. This is the traditional day to eat all you can before the sacrifices of Lent begins. In its original understanding, families would consume all their eggs and fatty foods which were prohibited during Lent. I thought that to be a fun fact to share.

A Family Tradition: This is our Dacey Family Tradition. On Ash Wednesday in our home, on a regular piece of paper, we each write what we are “giving up” for Lent, and then we tape it to the kitchen cabinet for all to see. Why?, for all to see of cause, but even more than that, we make ourselves accountable and we help encourage one another to stick to the personal commitment of sacrifice that you chose. Pretty cool I think. We as a family have been doing this since; as long as I could remember. Everyone had to sacrifice something (don’t matter how old you are), and you couldn’t pick something everyone knows you either didn’t like or it wouldn’t matter if you sacrificed it. We encourage one another to pick something within reason that is a real sacrifice. And having this posted in the kitchen reminds us every day what each of us will stay away from for 40 days. Typical sacrifices are: Chocolate, soda, chips, cookies, coffee… All food related usually. And we didn’t stop buying those items, if you sacrificed eating cookies and I sacrificed drinking soda. We still buy them for the others to consume. To sacrifice in our home meant, everyone watched each other, not to break their commitment while the others didn’t have to stop that item. So it took strength and character to not do something, with the temptation right in front of you.

2012 Lenten Calendar

February 22, 2012 (Wednesday) – Ash Wednesday
February 26, 2012 (Sunday) – 1st Sunday of Lent
March 4, 2012 (Sunday) – 2nd Sunday of Lent
March 11, 2012 (Sunday) – 3rd Sunday of Lent
March 17, 2012 (Saturday) – Feast of St Patrick
March 18, 2012 (Sunday) -4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)
March 19, 2012 (Monday) – Feast of St Joseph
March 25, 2012 (Sunday) – 5th Sunday of Lent &
March 25, 2012 (Sunday) – The Annunciation of the Lord
April 1, 2012 (Sunday) –Palm Sunday
April 5, 2012 (Thursday) – Holy Thursday
April 6, 2012 (Friday) – Good Friday
April 7, 2012 (Saturday) –Holy Saturday
April 8, 2012 (Sunday) – Easter Sunday !!!!!

Here is a rather interesting quote I thought would be perfect to share as we begin this Lenten Season. “The first step to be taken by one who wishes to follow Christ is, according to Our Lord's own words, that of renouncing himself - that is, his own senses, his own passions, his own will, his own judgment, and all the movements of nature, making to God a sacrifice of all these things, and of all their acts, which are surely sacrifices very acceptable to the Lord. And we must never grow weary of this; for if anyone having, so to speak, one foot already in Heaven, should abandon this exercise, when the time should come for him to put the other there, he would run much risk of being lost.” ~St. Vincent de Paul

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time B

BEADS OF JOY 2-19-12 “Gospel Decades”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Today is the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time B
Today’s Gospel is: Mark 2:1-12 (The Healing of a Paralytic)

And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic -- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!.”
1 – Our Father -10 Hail Mary’s –Glory be… - Oh My Jesus…

Reflection: My Friends; A most fantastic exciting miracle has taken place in Capernaum. Four very faithful friends were determined to get their other friend who was a paralytic before Jesus so he can be healed. Today we are reading and studying Mark 2:1-12 (The Healing of a Paralytic). I can only imagine the look on the face of those in the house, when they saw the roof section broken through as these four were lowering down their friend. The faith and determination of these four friends must have been breath taking.

Jesus was without a doubt happy with all their efforts. In verse 2:5, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven." This mans healing was instantaneous. Do you realize how exciting it must have been for him? Now let's take this even further outside the box, how ever did those present in the house respond? I'm sure their are those who sincerely believed in Jesus; but consider this, what about those on the fence, or those who wanted to believe and those who were curious and didn't believe. That was all a bit long winded I agree, but you see how that was indeed an exciting moment for everyone no doubt. Would we believe even stronger if we seen it happen before our eyes? Or would we still doubt our own sight?

There are a few things we can understand in this miracle. For starters the forgiveness of sins healed the paralytic. Another incredible part of this miracle was that the bondage of the pain (the sin) was healed immediately. Jesus simply heals with the slightest utter of His will for us. And I noticed that in verse 10 leading into verse 11, Jesus was possibly speaking directly to the scribes who didn't believe in Him. His tone, I realize there is no "tone" in the written word, but verse 10 just seemed a bit misplaced, like all of a sudden a point needed to be made. I hope you can all follow that.

The end of verse 12 was a spectacular way to end the gospel reading, "They were all astounded and glorified God, saying "We have never seen anything like this." So many must have believed; after seeing that miracle, happen right in front of them. Praise Jesus for loving us so much, not only to die for me and you so that we may live eternally with Him; but for loving us so much that while He was here He healed so many.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

PS.. Lent begins Wednesday February 22, 2012 (Ash Wednesday)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time B

BEADS OF JOY 2-12-12 “Gospel Decades”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Today is the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time B
Today’s Gospel is: Mark 1:40-45 (The Cleansing of a Leper)

And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people." But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.”
1 – Our Father -10 Hail Mary’s –Glory be… - Oh My Jesus…

Reflection: So what is stopping us from approaching Jesus like the leper did in today’s gospel? Leprosy is a disease; a disease nothing short of being the living dead. Sadly that is true. It’s a poison far worse than even cancer; in that little by little it takes over your entire body, till it has killed it. For the most part leprosy is incurable and the person with it will inevitably die. Well knowing all this, this man still approached Jesus with a humble deep faith. That faith is beyond what many may think is common sense thinking. Why ask for something you probably know for the most part, you probably won’t get anyway. And it’s not because you can’t have it; it’s more like the reality of, in this case it’s not medically even possible. Yet this man still came forward asking for a healing.

The lepers confidence and trust in approaching Jesus in the end, gave him exactly what he not only wished for; but he also asked. How can today’s gospel be embraced into our own lives? In other words if we are to “Live the Gospel” How in the world do we do it, in reflection to today’s reading? Today’s gospel to me shows us that we can boldly, yet very humbly and confidently approaching Jesus with the impossible, in the end He makes all things possible. Pray this little pray every single day, keep it at the edge of your thoughts constantly, and you will see more and more how Jesus does answer our prayers. Simple pray, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time B

BEADS OF JOY 2-05-12 “Gospel Decades”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Today is the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time B
Today’s Gospel is: Mark 1:29-39 (Jesus Heals Many)

And immediately he left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him of her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them. That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered together about the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him pursued him, and they found him and said to him, "Everyone is searching for you.” And he said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out." And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.”
1 – Our Father -10 Hail Mary’s –Glory be… - Oh My Jesus…

Reflection: Sometimes sickness is permitted by God and many ask why. It is permitted for the sole purpose of us glorifying God. Jesus was beaten, whipped and killed upon the Cross alone; shows us how through suffering, Jesus was made perfect before God and through that suffering we are brought to Him. Suffering is so misunderstood by the world. In today’s gospel there is no doubt in observation of Peter’s character, that Peter is one of our Lords most devoted followers, and his love for his mother in law is sincere, and most precious. He was truly a most commendable son in law. Today let us look at this healing, this wonderful miracle; and let us think about how we handle and consider the trials, struggles and even illnesses in our own lives and families. Here’s a thought, “Do we really place all our trust in Jesus when we are suffering?” It is when we are brought to our knees that we finally look up to God and ask why? It is that final humble approach that brings us to where we most certainly need to be before God respectfully.

On a personal note, there was a time when we lived a sort of Soprano lifestyle. No not mafia, I am referring to spending without concern or worry ever about money, we knew more cash would be in our hands tomorrow. A lifestyle, I can’t even begin explain properly. Think of this: Have you ever went shopping and just left and paid and swiped your debit/credit card and never knew or cared what you spent? Well we lived like that for more than two decades. It’s all different now, and with Chrissy’s life threatening illness we are also brought to our knees. When God wants our hearts fully, “His will” will take us directly to Himself. Suffering is indeed a blessing, an unexplainable blessing we must learn to embrace. Remember this, all suffering is followed by thanksgiving and blessings and praise to Almighty God for His love and mercy.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS